Soto Shuts Up Talking Stick at Salt River Fields

Elliot Soto belted a bases-loaded triple in the 2nd, walked in the 4th, and singled and scored in the 6th, Varonex Cuevas drilled three singles and scored two runs, Rashad Crawford drove-in three runs with a two-run single and a sacrifice fly, and Jeffrey Baez singled and tripled and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.   

The 24-yeart old Soto is at Extended Spring Traning while serving a 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension received last November. While Soto is on the Restricted List and cannot play in an "official" minor league game, he is permitted ti participate in Extended Spring Training and play in EXST games. Soto is a flashy defensive whiz at SS but has struggled to hit throughout his minor league career (hitting a combined 248/311/301 in 342 career minor league games), but he brought the whippin' stick with him today. Once he has completed his suspension (after AA Tennessee has played 50 games) he will likely rejoin the Smokies.    

RHP Dallas Beeler got the start for the Cubs and threw five innings (68 pitches), allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits (five singles and a triple) and a walk, while striking out two. Although he allowed six hits and only struck out two, he did induce quite a few ground balls (9/2 GO/FO, plus most of the hits he allowed were grounders, too). After he left the game Beeler threw another 15 pitches in the bullpen, so he could be close to returning to the AAA Iowa Cubs starting rotation (he has been on the I-Cubs 7-day DL since Opening Day, after missing the second half of Spring Training with a "dead arm"). 

Today's game was orginally scheduled as a nine-inning contest, but was cut-back to only seven innings by mutual agreement between the two teams after the Cubs arrived almost 90 minutes late for the game. The Cubs team bus was stuck in traffic on the Pima Freeway (AKA "Loop 101") for over an hour after Arizona DPS (Highway Patrol) suddenly closed the freeway as the result of a person threatening to commit suicide by jumping off a freeway overpass.  

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

1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-3 (K, F-8 SF, F-7, 1B, 3 RBI)
2. Kevin Brown, 1B: 0-4 (4-3, K, 4-3, 4-3)
3. Jeffrey Baez, DH: 2-4 (1B, 1-3, 3B, K, R)
4a. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 0-2 (F-9, P-3)
4b. Arnaldo Calero, RF: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)
5. Antonio Valerio, C: 0-3 (HBP, 5-3, 6-3, 6-3, R)
6. Shamil Ubiera, LF: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, L-8, R)
7. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 3-3 (1B, 1B, 1B, 2 R)
8. Elliot Soto, SS: 2-2 (3B, BB, 1B, 2 R, 3 RBI)
9. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 0-3 (4-3, 4-3, K)

1. Dallas Beeler: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 9/2 GO/FO, 68 pitches (45 strikes)
2. Erick Leal: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 0/2 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)

1. 1B Kevin Brown - E-3 (overthrow at 3rd base after successful sacrifice bunt allowed runner to score from 3rd)  
2. 3B Varonex Cuevas - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

CF Rashad Crawford - threw out baserunner 8-4 after runner overran 2nd base on single to CF


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's







"Jose Veras is unavailable for Friday's game against the Brewers due to a sore left oblique."

well that...well...that's actually cool...i'm fine with that.

junior wow.

i have no words for this cubbery.

nevermind...this is team-wide cubbery. castro,, what an eventful 14 pitches into a game.

hey, at least the cubs are finally working hard to give m.garza a win...lulz...sigh.

lyle overbay? still in the league?

cubs caught a break tonite no fielder or hart

I didnt know this channel existed

Some names to watch for the Cubs 2nd pick in the draft.

n.ramirez debut...

1ip 0h 1bb 1k

threw a lot of 94-96mph heat

DON'T bring him up. No walks from our late inning relievers. Thanks

veras to DL (oblique)...schlitter called up

jake "how f'n many rehab starts does this guy need" arrieta going for his 5th rehab start tonight in AA (4th in AA).

supposedly this is his last tuneup and he's due up next week. he threw 94 pitches in his last start.

Mick Gillispie‏@BroadcasterMick
Jake Arrieta finishes up his@cubs rehab assignment 2ip 2H, 2r, 1er, BB-2k. 44pitches/25strikes.

that's a short last outing...and a weird amount of non-strikes thrown to only have 1 bb against his total.

also, k.bryant stole his 5th base (5/0 sb/cs) and hit his 5th HR...CUBS GONNA HAVE A 40/40 GUY IN 2015! =P

in AAA news...baez 1-7 with 2Ks. a.alcantara 5-7 (1 triple, 4 singles) continuing his hot streak of hitting (though he's not walking...only 2 this season after showing a lot of improvement in AA last year in that area).

It's a typical spring training type final tuneup in terms of IP

yow...segura hit in the head by a teammate swinging a bat w/ donut on it in the dugout.

accidental, but enough to take him out of the game.

Braun did it
Immediately blamed bat boy

there's a lot of win in that comment

t.wood just walked the load the bases...with 0 outs.

i knew this was going to be a sunk season, but sitting through 162 games of this kind of crap is going to be nearly f'n impossible. a few times a week this team amazes me with how many different ways they can combine to suck without having the means to make up for those mistakes elsewhere.

it's a well oiled train wreck.

...okay...valbuena/castillo...that DP was both improbable and awesome.

that's enough inspiration to last me another week at least.


Is it safe to assume the mega platoon system is a failure if everyone involved is hitting around .200?

(I also realize it's possible they all suck)

i think your second point might be more apt.

quite honestly, i just want kids to get work. it's not wins i'm looking's experience. if they can get some wins out of it, good for them.

even if there were some that bought into there being a chance of a playoff run (because anything is possible) it's getting increasingly clear (already in april, even) that 2014 isn't the the time for this team to come out of the cellar.

Agreed 100%

Valbuena hits a very long homerun.

Does not flip bat.

Vin Scully just told me that "in the hole" is wrong. It's "in the hold". That makes so much sense, but I'd never heard that before. My mind is blown.

i think he's also getting tired of trying to figure out positive things to say about brian wilson's performance...though he's yet to be mean or complain.

2 guys faced, 2 walks, 0 outs...pulled...$10m this year, $9m player option for 2015. crazy loot for a guy who's barely worked a month and 1/2 combined the past 2 years.

I usually find him unbearable (no, I don't find it interesting that Drew Stubbs is from Atlanta, Texas), but that was a new one for me.

i love the dude...he'll read you the media guide, tell personal stories from his 10,000 years around the game, and still call every ball/strike/play as it happens.

no partner, all net.

but yeah, i can see how some people wouldn't want to hear him being a random fact machine for 3 hours.

for a lot of these late/west coast games so far i'm taking away 2 things... 1- i miss mark grace calling games for ARZ (even though he's a weird acquired taste) 2- i miss bob in the booth for the cubs, but it's nice to hear him call games for ARZ.

Listen to an inning of Harrelson you will appreciate Scully

listening to an inning of harrelson will make you want to invite Scully over for Chips and Beer and watch old archive footage of Jack Drees

I'm sure he'd be a great grandpa to have, but during a broadcast, I find the lack of interaction unsettling. I feel like civilization has ended and he's talking to himself over a long dead ballgame.

I would watch every game if Scully and Brenly worked together.

Re Hawk: Can't I dislike both?

AZ Phil, please explain the reason for putting minor league players on the 60 day DL?

HAGSAG: Just like there is a Reserve List limit for MLB clubs (the so-called "40-man roster"), there is also a Reserve List limit for minor league clubs, too:

IOWA (AAA): 38 (25-man Active List) 
TENNESSEE (AA): 37 (25-man Active List)
DAYTONA: 35 (25-man Active List)
KANE COUNTY: 35 (25-man Active List)
BOISE: 35 (30-man Active List - 25 designated "active" for any given game of which at least 10 must be pitchers)
AZL CUBS: 35 (35-man Active List - 30 players designated "active" for any given game of which at least 10 must be pitchers)
DSL CUBS: 35 (35-man Active List - 30 players designated "active" for any given game of which at least 10 must be pitchers)
VSL CUBS: 35 (35-man Active List - 30 players designated "active" for any given game of which at least 10 must be pitchers)

So the 60-day DL is essentially used the same way in the minors as it is in the big leagues, to create additional slots on a minor league affiliate's Reserve List during the season if the affiliate's Reserve List is full. (The one difference is that an MLB player can be placed on a club's 60-day DL beginning with the start of Spring Training as long as the MLB club's 40-man roster is full, but minor league players cannot be placed on a 60-day DL until Opening Day). 

When players are signed after being selected in the MLB Rule 4 Draft (AKA "First Year Player Draft") and the player signs a contract for that season, the player must be placed on a minor league affiliate's Active List or Disabled List within 20 days after the contract is signed, but the player does not count against the minor league club's Reserve List until the Reserve List rosters are filed in November. 

And players who are "Signed for Future Service" (player signed after July 1st and first contract is for the following season) cannot be placed on a minor league affiliate's Active List and do not have to be placed on the minor league affiliate's Reserve List until Opening Day of the following season, even though the player can participate in a post-season Instructional League, Minor League Camp, and Extended Spring Training. So for example, Gleyber Torres was "Signed for Future Service" last July and so he is not presently on a minor league Reserve List. but he will have to be added to the Reserve List AND Active List (or DL) of whatever affiliate he is eventually assigned beginning on Opening Day of that affiliate (whether it be Boise, AZL Cubs, or VSL Cubs). Same goes for Eloy Jimenez, Johan Matos, Erling Moreno, et al.

Because players selected in the June draft who are not Signed for Future Service (which are almost all of the drafted players who sign) must be added to a minor league affiliate's Active List or DL within 20 days of signing, the roster crunch for Boise and the AZL Cubs during the season relates to the affiliate's Active List, not its Reserve List. So (for instance) when the AZL Cubs place a player on its 60-day DL during the AZL season, its because the AZL Cubs 35-man Actve List is full, not because its Reserve List is full.    

Also, even though the Iowa Active List presently includes about a dozen players who are on the Cubs MLB Reserve List (Chris Rusin, Matt Szczur, Josh Vitters, Arismenmdy Alcantara, et al), the AAA Iowa Reserve List is usually full or nearly-full because of the number of players who were assigned to the Iowa roster the previous November (prior to the Rule 5 Draft) to exempt the player from selection in the minor league phases of the Rule 5 draft (there are no roster restrictions or right to re-claim players lost in a minor league phase of the Rule 5 Draft, so if there isn't room for a prospect on the MLB 40-man roster in November, the next-best thing is to place the player on the AAA affiliate's Reserve List--its "38-man roster"-- so that he will only be eligible for selection in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft), even though the player might presently be on the Tennessee, Daytona, or KC Active List.  


Thanks, as always for clearing up another question in my mind.

"The Cubs team bus was stuck in traffic on the Pima Freeway (AKA "Loop 101") for over an hour after Arizona DPS (Highway Patrol) suddenly closed the freeway as the result of a person threatening to commit suicide by jumping off a freeway overpass."

My only advice to my fellow long suffering Cubs fans is this: Remember, it's only a game.

My only advice, assuming he is a Cubs fan: Jump.

Garza gave Samardzija some advice

"I told [Samardzija], 'It doesn't matter, dude. You play in Chicago,'" Garza told reporters. "'I was there, and I lost 30 wins in three seasons. It's not your fault. You pitch your way out of there.'"

"Also dude, I'm really bad at math and tell your woman to shut her mouth."

That's one problem I have with a lot of pitchers, they think wins belong to them instead of the team. Good riddance.

Yeah, a quick check of the stats and... He didn't have 30 no-decisions in his three years with the Cubs. Mostly because he couldn't stay healthy. What a jackass.

Recent comments

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  • No idea what will happen. The Cards are the Cards and they have come back from 2-1 holes twice in the last 4 years, so I don't see them in panic mode at all. If anything, I expect the Cubs to be pressing more than the Cards today.

    I want the Cubs to win because it would be great for the City, and great for the fans. But more than anything, I want the Cubs to win so I can see this team play for at least one more week this year. Never enjoyed watching a team more than this year.

  • Just to remember how far we have come: last year's opening day lineup was Bonifacio, Lake, Castro, Rizzo, Olt, Castillo, Schierholz, Barney, and Samardzija. It's been a fun ride this year!

  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • 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.