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:

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)
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-1 (K)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-3 (3B, K, K, R, RBI)
10b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (K, 4-3)

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)

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

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

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)


Jose Morales: 0-2 CS

Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS  


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures 105+ 


Fog Bowl at Wrigley.

i've never seen the fog this thick @wrigley.

the cameras can barely follow the game...especially in the OF.

this is getting kinda's actually really hard to see what's going on.

WGN TV crew "photoshopped" a graphic showing a lighthouse in the OF bleachers as part of the new wrigley renovations proposal...lulz.

picture of the fog from earlier in the game...

Daytona Cubs‏@daytonacubs
@javy23baez has hit his 3rd home run in 3 at bats!! A 3-run shot to give the Cubs an 8-4 lead!

make that 4hr (off 3 different pitchers)

Daytona Cubs‏@daytonacubs
He did it! @javy23baez hit his 4th home run of the game!!!! Only the second player in 94 years of the FSL to do so! Ryan Harvey daytona '06

Bad form bringing up Ryan Harvey.

if he hit game balls as well as batting practice harvey would have been a hell of a player.

he cost the organization a lot of $$ putting cases of baseballs over the fence/park/county-line during BP.

b.phillips grand slam...

5-0 CIN, top 3rd...bleh.

"Shawn Camp (toe) will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday."

he should be back in the bigs with his 86mph heater by the weekend.

...and today's 7th is being sung by 2 guys from NYC who are with a traveling broadway production.

...what was that about how the 7th is going to be locals or people with strong ties again?

they did well, fwiw.

You mean they didn't have ties to Jacob Hannemann?


You have to watching not very closely if you haven't noticed they've pared back on the D-listers. Note that that does not mean they've eliminated using them. The only one that really bugged me was the guy who won some auction for the right to do it.

At the game last night - my first game of the year, keeping to the Billybucks "no Wrigley before Memorial Day" rule:

- The fog was amazing. I was in the first row, upper deck behind home plate, and at times I could not see DeJesus in CF. Couldn't read the scoreboard for extended periods.
- Smallest crowd I have seen in a long while for a June game. Filled in as the night went on, but, for the first pitch, maybe 30% full. Weird.
- Odd vibe in the crowd. "Oh, we're losing 5-0 to Dusty and the Reds? Oh, well." Not even much drinking that I could see -- just people quietly watching bad baseball. Couple of boos when Sori whiffed badly for the 3rd time, but that was about it.
- I was Ok with the Book of Mormon guys (I'm biased; I saw the show and loved it.). Biggest show to hit Chicago in a while, and who better appreciates hard-hitting comedic theatre than Chicago?
- I've never seen anyone move more slowly than Scott Feldman.

Book of Mormon was awesome. I instantly recognized the lead when I saw him in the booth

Recent comments

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  • deno ended the season well even though ajax heavily cut into a lot of his chances to play. it's either him or ajax. i'm a bit partial to deno, but least ajax isn't hitting 2nd.

  • Agreed. And, with Hendricks on the mound, Cubs will probably need to score some runs to win -- why not start Soler for his bat and bring in Ajax for defense later?

    NEVER MIND....just re-read the lineup.

  • If the Cubs have the lead in the 8th, who pitches? Rodney? Travis? Yikes.

  • The Cubs had some good runs and nice winning streaks that propelled them to the playoffs. Austin Jackson wasn't part of that. I don't quite understand what it is about Jackson that they are so enamored with.

  • I think the strike zone was very inconsistent, but it's hard to blame the loss on the ump. They had chances and mistake pitches and just couldn't cash in. Lackey ran the ball inside and outside very effectively.

  • Correct. Castro 5th, AJax 6th; I'll edit my lineup post to fix this.

  • Lineup: Fowler, Soler, KB, Rizzo, Castro, AJax, Montero, Hendricks, Russell

  • if he put ajax 1st/2nd in the f'n playoffs he deserves to lose his nearly sure-thing MOY award to terry collins.

  • I believe Castro batting fifth, Ajax (LF) sixth

  • Maddon did not listen to me yesterday re Strop, or EricS on Schwarbs today.

    Wtf is up w/that?!

  • Crunch got his wish - Ajax not hitting 1-2 in the lineup ...

  • I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.

  • Awesome stuff, Phil.

  • listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.

    That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.

  • it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
    should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?

    sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.

  • HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).  

    Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.