Not Everybody Can Go to Boise
Kevin Encarnacion belted a bases-loaded three-run triple and a double and scored three runs, Yasiel Balaguert singled three times, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Xavier Batista collected three hits including a solo home run and an RBI single, helping one squad of Cubs defeat another squad of Cubs 12-6 in an Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.
Squad "B" pitchers retired 19 of the last 20 men they faced, as Squad "B" rallied from an early 6-1 deficit to win the game.
The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that more pitchers could get work.
The players had three days off during the First-Year Player Draft, and the team reconvened in Mesa yesterday. The players came into today's intrasquad game unaware of who would be going to Boise and who will be staying in Mesa. The Boise roster was to be announced by Hawks Manager Gary Van Tol at a team meeting at 2:00 (MST) this afternoon at the Fitch Park clubhouse, and supposedly one or two of the roster slots were still up for grabs going into the game.
Boise's first game is this Friday night at Eugene (first home game is next Monday night), and the AZL Cubs will begin league play on June 20th. All AZL Cubs home games will be night games played at HoHoKam Park (Dwight Patterson Field).
Not related to the battle for Boise roster slots, AA Tennessee OF Jae-Hoon Ha (lower back strain rehab) played CF for five innings and batted five times in the game, going 1-5 with two strikeouts (one swinging & one looking), a FC, a F-9 fly out, and a line-drive opposite-field single. He also stole a base. Ha suffered the back strain during batting practice prior to a Smokies game on May 3rd, and this was his first game action since suffering the injury.
Also, Iowa Cubs RHP Carlos Gutierrez (2012 shoulder surgery rehab) threw one inning and allowed the solo HR to Batista, and switch-hitting ex-Minnesota Twins C-1B-3B Jose Morales (strained hamstring rehab) was the starting catcher for Squad "A" and was behind the dish for seven innings.
The Cubs claimed Gutierrez off waivers from Minnesota last October, and then outrighted him to Iowa in November. He was assigned to the Iowa squad at Minor League Camp, but was left behind at Extended Spring Training to continue his rehab. He got into one Cactus League Extended Spring Training game on April 10th, and then was shut-down for about six weeks. He has been pitching in "sim" games for the past couple of weeks.
Gutierrez was a former Twins 1st round draft pick out of the University of Miami, where he was the Hurricanes closer. He was throwing mostly cutters & sinkers today, topping out at 92 MPH.
The Cubs signed Morales to a minor league contract in April, and he suffered the hamstring injury in his very first Cactus League EXST game on April 19th. He returned to game action on May 30th, and should be about ready to move up to Iowa.
Here is the box score from today's intrasquad game:
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
X. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 1-5 (K, FC, K, 1B, F-9, R, SB)
NOTE: Ha batted five times, hitting 3rd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-4 (F-8, 4-3, 4-3, L-8, RBI)
2. Jose Morales, C-DH: 1-4 (2B, 3-U, F-7, K, R, RBI)
3. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-3 (BB, K, K, K, R)
4. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (2B, F-8, 1B, K, R, RBI)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (2B, F-9, 5-3, L-5, 2 RBI)
6. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-4 (F-7, F-7, K, K)
7a. Garrett Schlecht, DH #1: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R, SB)
7b. Neftali Rosario, PH-DH: 0-2 (K, 5-3)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-1 (K)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-3 (3B, K, K, R, RBI)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Encarnacion, LF: 2-6 (P-4, 3B+E4, F-8, K, 2B, E-4, 3 R, 3 RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-5 (K, 1B, K, L-8, FC, BB, RBI, SB)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 3-6 (L-4, 1B, 1B+E7, F-9, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI, SB)
4. Xavier Batista, DH: 3-5 (HR, K, 1B, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
5. Jose Dore, 1B: 1-4 (HBP, P-4, 4-3, 2B, R, RBI)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-5 (E-6, 1B, 6-3, L-8, F-9, R)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (BB, 4-6-3 DP, BB, K, 1B, 2 R)
8a. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI)
8b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
8c, Erick Castillo, C: 1-1 (1B)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-5 (K, K, K, 1B, 6-U FC, 2 R)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Carlos Gutierrez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
2. Erick Leal: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 68 pitches (42 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Bottom of 5th inning was stopped with two outs when Leal reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
3. Armando Rivero: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 35 pitches (24 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. David Villegas: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 25 pitches (13 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Game was called with one out in bottom of 10th inning after all pitchers completed their scheduled work
SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Loiger Padron: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 78 pitches (48 strikes), 2/5 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 22 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP: 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 5
1. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (error on relay throw to third base on triple allowed batter to score)
3. LF Trevor Gretzky - E-7 (fielding error allowed batter to take an extra base on single)
4. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error while attempting complete 6-3 DP allowed runner at 3rd base to score)
5. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE
SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jose Morales: 0-2 CS
SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures 105+
Cubs 3B Christian Villanueva (who is out of minor league options) is hitting 358/464/500 for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP), and is leading the LMP in OBP, is second in BAvg and walks, is seventh in SLG, and is tied for 8th in HR. He also has struck out only 16 times in 175 PA.
CTSteve, thanks for spelling Zimmermann correctly. We don't need another first baseman.
The media has linked Cueto and the Cubs approximately zero times this winter. I'm thinking there's just not a lot of interest there on the Cubs' part. It seems unlikely.
If the Cubs miss on Price, Grienke, and Zimmerman, they will aim for a mid-rotation starter via free agency or trade. However, I think this scenario also significantly boosts the odds that they extend Arrieta.
The Tigers are going after Zimmermann and the Red Sox will be throwing money at Price. Bringing Cueto back to the NL with the Cubs is looking like a serious possibility. Thoughts?
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe in the financial impact to the Red Sox for not signing Jon Lester early in the free agent process:
It will be interesting to ultimately add up the cost of letting Jon Lester go.
The Red Sox botched up their negotiations with Lester in during spring training of 2014, making an initial offer of $70 million that was roughly $40 million short of what it should have been. Talks broke down and Lester was traded in July.
Wait...you're flip-flopping again?!
Is this legal? What is the rule here on opining definitively and then changing your mind?
I am not only surprised at your declaration, but Cutler's better 2015 showing. I don't get it - he went through Martz, Turner, Trestman, Kromer, and now Gase...and he is still here! And. he'll be here mext year too.
Happ signs w Jays
Morsi saying Price won't be a Jay
needs more d.beeler and e.jokisch
As an Illinois tax payer I appreciate what they r doing
+ Bankruptcy Court
2 spots left on the 40-man...wonder if they're going to play around in the rule-5 market...
A special after day after Thanksgiving thanks to AZ for his insanely detailed posts on all things roster. I don't know how you keep track of all that stuff - I suspect a chip implant, but whatever it is, it's cool.
...the wrong half.
there's nothing like crapping out of the playoffs with a strong/young cheap team after pinching pennies for years then having theo talk about having to be creative with money to make things work for 2016...but hey, baseball isn't baseball without a farmer's market and beer garden plaza with ice rinks.
they can do both...then again, if you want to look at it from a business point of view, they don't have to do both because the team is expected to be competitive and the merch+tickets+eyes-on-team are going to be at a peak unless they fail badly.