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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  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.

  • most likely cost sharing + the league is short on players anyway. not many teams are chipping in on 'advanced instructional.'

  • I'm glad this is a one game playoff coming up, because McCutchen is one of my favorite MLB players. And as a baseball fan, I rather like the Pirates. I hope we beat them bad, of course. No mixed feelings here. And, I don't want a nail biter. Too old for that shit. The team of moran fans is easy to hate, though, and more suitable for a longer series.

  • A Jurickson Profar sighting!!!!???

  • I'd guess Jackson over Coghlan for the defense.

    EDIT: Now that I think about it, is Jackson a better defender?

  • Less stress on the pitching staff?

  • I recall earlier this season when the Cubs played Bryant in center instead of left due to the weirdness that is the PNC outfield.

  • AZ Phil, what is the reason the Cubs are co-oping this team? They seem to have plenty of talent that would fill a roster.

  • RF is actually easier to play than LF in PNC so I'd guess Schwarber is there and that's why he was playing it Friday but yeah I'd say that's hopefully accurate.