Burks Bases-Loaded Triple Sparks Cubs to Victory at Diablo Park

Charcer Burks belted a bases-loaded triple to ignite a four-run 2nd and later reached base on a walk and an HBP and scored two runs, and Adonis Paula went 3-3 with three singles and two runs scored, leading the Cubs to an 8-6 victory over the Angels in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game played this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.     

Ex-Cub Trevor Gretzky singled, doubled, walked, stole a base, scored a run, and collected two RBI for the Angels. It appears that Gretzky is now only playing 1B (he was shuttled back & forth between 1B and LF when he was with the Cubs).  

Four Cubs made their U. S. Cactus League EXST game debut today, including 6'5 19-year old Dominican RHP Luis Hernandez (three runs allowed on four hits and a walk plus two WP in 2.0 IP), 19-year old Venezuelan RHP Adbert Alzolay (a 1-2-3 nine-pitch 9th inning to get the save), 19-year old Dominican 3B Adonis Paula (the aforementioned three singles in three AB with two runs scored), and 21-year old Dominican RF Shamil Ubiera (0-2 with a walk and a run scored).

Paula and Ubiera have two years experience each in the DSL, while Hernandez and Alzolay made their pro debuts last season, Hernandez with the DSL Cubs, and Alzolay with the VSL Cubs. Ubiera's 17-year old brother Luis (also an outfielder) will make his pro debut with the DSL Cubs this season, after signing with the Cubs last November. 

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

1. Elliot Soto, SS: 0-5 (5-3, 6-3, P-4, 5-3, F-8, RBI)
2. Erick Castillo, C: 1-4 (6-3, BB, 1B, 6-3, K, R, 2 RBI)
3. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-3 (BB, BB, F-7, 5-3, F-9, SB)
4a. Tyler Alamo, DH: 1-3 (5-3, K, 1B, RBI)
4b. Antonio Valerio, PH-DH: 0-2 (5-3, K)
5a. Matt Scioscia, 1B: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 5-4 FC, R)
5b. Roney Alcala, 1B: 0-2 (P-6, 3-U)
6. Giuseppe Papaccio, 2B: 0-5 (P-3, 6-4 FC, K, 5-3, K)
7a. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-2 (BB, 5-4-3 DP, 1-3, R)
7b. Rony Rodriguez, RF: 0-0 (HBP, R, SB)
8a. Adonis Paula, 3B: 3-3 (1B, 1B, 1B, 2 R)
8b. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
9. Charcer Burks, LF: 1-2 (3B, HBP, F-9, BB, 2 R, 3 RBI)

1. Trevor Clifton: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/FO, 33 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Tyler Ihrig: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 25 pitches (15 strikes)
3. Jose Paulino: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 43 pitches (25 strikes)
NOTE: Paulino's first inning was stopped with two outs and bases loaded
4. Luis Hernandez: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 2/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (23 strikes)
5. Adbert Alzolay: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 9 pitches (7 strikes)


Erick Castillo: 1-7 CS

CF Jeffrey Baez - threw out baserunner 8-6 after runner over-ran 2nd base


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 80's


Adonis? Really? If Adonis gets to the majors, it will be a sign that the Cubs have erased all these years of futility.

So much for that theory. The best they finished was 4th.

darwin "buckner" barney...wow...that's a rare whiff on a fielding try.

Send him down.

Sure didn't take long for the Cubs to get back to PAINFUL to watch.

welly bunting with men on 1st/2nd, no outs, and r.kalish due up.

one of the guys capable of hitting a double or homer...bunting...in the 5th inning...with a DH/AL lineup.

kalish Ks...barney pops out...neat.

Totally ridiculous. Welly bunting with Kalish and Barney on deck is almost inexplicable.

he's already been asked to sac twice this year (not counting sac flies)...he has 1 sac total in his career before this season. yeah, it's a short career...but this is only his 10th game of the year.

Who does that in the 5th inning, period, much less in the first month of the season for a last place ball club? It's beyond stupid. I'm stumped.

I'm cool with playing more small ball, but that's kinda ridiculous.

Reminds me of when Trestman had the Bears try a 47 yard field goal on 2nd down ... hopefully just rookie coach jitters. But it sucks to be making excuses for him already.

I read - no link, sorry, it was on my phone - that it was Castillo's idea to bunt. I didn't see the play, but it sounded like it looked like a sacrifice all the way, but I'm also pretty sure Renteria wouldn't throw Castillo under the bus if it was Renteria's idea.

cubs 4-10...shut out in a double header for the first time since 1962...awesome.

the wsox ran out of pitchers in the 14th...ventura put l.garcia (2nd/OF) in to throw 75-78mph "fastballs" to the rsox...it didn't work out too well.

garcia got 2 outs via the fielders...then he walked a couple guys and gave up a 2 run double.

wsox lose...lulz were had.

I would have enjoyed seeing Adam Dunn pitch.

Dude, those were changeups. His fastballs were 82-84 and face high. But yeah, I had lulz.

Right now the Cubs are in line for the #2 draft pick in 2015 after the Dbacks (but it's early, so to speak...so there's hope).

The let's get the highest draft pick thing is getting old - not a comment on you Cubster, but on the Cubs management. A third pathetic season is not going to sit well with me, even if i was expecting it. I think the attendance figures this season will demonstrate that I'm not alone here.

If they ARE going to suck, then move the journeymen off the team and start filling the roster with kids. I've really had enough of the Valbuenas, Sweeneys, and even Schierholtzes of the world. Let's see what Junior can do every day. Give him 60 days straight of playing, no platooning with these washed up vets, and see if he is good or not. If he's not, cut your losses, get rid of him, and move on. If Alcanatara does well in the minors, bring him up and play him. Etc. Stop trying to get me to watch crap, cuz I'm not gonna do it.

per Roto...

BJax on Iowa DL with oblique strain.

Wild Cubs v. Cards action from 1974


ESPN Insider's Top 5 Best power prospects for 2014

1. Javier Baez, SS/2B, Chicago Cubs
Current level: Triple-A Iowa
Power grade: 70

Analysis: There's some debate as to where Baez is going to end up playing on the field, but whether he's at second base or shortstop, he's going to give you a ton of production at the position. Baez has world-class bat speed, and he has the ability to either turn on fastballs on the inner half of the plate or take balls out to right field in the middle and outer half. A sprained ankle will keep him on the disabled list for the next couple weeks, but Baez should be back by the beginning of May and could be in a Chicago uniform at some point this season, maybe as soon as the All-Star break.

5. Kris Bryant, 3B, Chicago Cubs
Current level: Double-A Tennessee
Power grade: 70

Analysis: Bryant was the second overall pick by the Cubs after hitting 31 homers for the University of San Diego last spring, and he has already proved in his time with the Chicago organization that it's not a fluke. The bat speed isn't elite, but his strength is, and anything middle-in could be sent 450 feet. He'll have to jump two levels to help you in 2014 -- and cut down his strikeouts -- but the Cubs don't have a long-term answer on the current roster, and Bryant could absolutely be hitting balls onto Addison Street later this year.

ESPN Insider's Top 5 Future Power hitters

4. Jorge Soler, OF, Chicago Cubs
Current level: Double-A Tennessee
Power potential: 65

Analysis: It's easy to forget, but when Soler and Yasiel Puig signed in the winter of 2012, they were rated about the same, with many giving the edge to Soler. He's not likely to live up to Puig's exploits (literally and figuratively), but there's tremendous raw power in Soler's bat thanks to plus bat speed and long arms that get big-time extension. There's a small chance that he will make it to Chicago this season, but more than likely Soler will make his debut in 2015 and he, Bryant and Baez will form one of the most formidable young power-hitting groups in all of baseball.

Are they rotating Wrigley as part of the renovation or is Bryant going to hit a ton of foul balls backwards?

Recent comments

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  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.

  • Wrigley was electric tonite
    Not many card fans
    Video board was great, they played "there goes my hero" by foos over ryno highlights before he came out. Spectacular

    Good times hopefully they win tomorrow but think Lester will beat poopy pants on Wednesday.

    Happy 4th anniversary of Theo's signing

    Go Cubs !

  • Yeah. "Goodbye!" is a lame HR call.

    I miss Len and JD -- although, driving home from a friend's, WBBM played all 6 HR calls in a row -- and Len got to call the Bryant/Rizzo back-to-back. Very fun.

  • Lackey has been a beast against us. His stats on 3 days rest, however, not as nice. There is plenty of hope.

  • And, no dreadlocks grown yet.

  • Captain Obvious Strikes Again!!!

  • Amen, brother.

  • In the wild card game he mentioned that aram started with the Pirates, then played for the Brewers, and now he's back with the Pirates. Uhhhh, missed a step there, guy.