Hops Go Brew Crew's Way, Barley Defeat Cubs at Riverview Park

Jorge Ortega tossed six shutout innings, Tucker Neuhaus (Brewers 2013 Supplemental 2nd round draft pick - Wharton HS - Tampa, FL) drilled two RBI doubles, singled, and scored a run, Edgardo Rivera reached base four times (a single and three walks), stole a base, and scored three runs, and Luis Aviles smacked a three-run home run, as the Brewers outlasted the Cubs 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.   

Jeffrey Baez walked twice, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run and Eloy Jimenez singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Cubs. In 17 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (67 PA), Baez is hitting 345/433/500, with two doubles, two triples, one HR, 5 RBI, 8 RUNS, 9/8 BB/K, and 12 SB (0 CS), and he leads the team in OBP, SLG, SB, BB, and RUNS, is second only to the departed Matt Scioscia in AVG (Scioscia hit 348 in 26 PA), and is one of only three EXST Cubs players to hit a HR (Tyler Alamo and Rashad Crawford are the other two).    

Justin Ruggiano (Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring) and Casper Wells (AAA Iowa 7-day DL - back spasms) continued their EXST rehab assignments in today's game, going a collective 0-8.

Ruggiano popped-out to short and flied out three times (including two near-HR hit to the warning track, one in left and the other in right-center), and Wells tapped back to the pitcher on a check-swing, popped out to the shortstop, lined-out to CF, and reached base on an E-5 (dropped infield pop fly).   

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

1. Jeffrey Baez, DH #1: 1-2 (2B, P-6, BB, BB, R, SB)
2. Oliver Zapata, CF: 0-3 (F-7, K, BB, P-6, R, SB)
3. Justin Ruggiano, DH #2: 0-4 (F-7, F-8, P-4, F-9)
4. Casper Wells, RF: 0-4 (1-3, P-6, E-5, L-8)
5. Eloy Jimenez, LF: 2-4 (1-3, K, 1B, 2B, R)
6. Antonio Valerio, C: 1-4 (E-5, 5-3, 5-4 FC, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, HBP, F-9, R)
8. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (6-4-3 DP, K, 2B, BB, R, RBI)
9. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-8, E-4, HBP)
10. Dalfis Ortiz, 2B: 0-4 (4-6 FC, K, 4-U FC, FC. 2 RBI, 3 SB)  
11. Arnaldo Calero, DH #3: 0-3 (HBP, F-9, E-6, K)

1. Michael Heesch: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Erick Leal: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 8/1 GO/FO, 60 pitches (37 strikes)
3. Trey Lang: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 3/0 GO/FO, 39 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Francisco Carrillo: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1/3 GO/FO, 27 pitches (22 strikes)

1. 3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 2B Dalfis Ortiz - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)

Antonio  Valerio: 0-2 CS

1. CF Oliver Zapata - threw out baserunner 8-2 trying to score from 2nd base on single to CF
2. CF Oliver Zapata - threw out baserunner 8-5 trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on single to CF


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


cubs/cards postponed because of rain and obama.

Captain Happy: "We won't be able to have Olt in the lineup because we need to bring him along slowly, and a rain delay will throw him off because he was expecting some at bats today. Hopefully next week we can start easing him back into the lineup."

Did he really say that? Jesus, he's not some finely-calibrated piece of space travel equipment or something, he's a professional athlete. I'm trying to cut the manager some slack, and get that not playing Olt isn't really the problem, but yikes, what's with the odd rambling about Olt.

The real problem with this team is the players are not good enough. Think about it, put Rizzo, arguably the best Cubs hitter, in the Yankees lineup, where does he hit? 6th? 7th?

His OPS puts him 3rd among regular yankee players and Mark Teixeira has only been in 25 games. His OWAR puts him behind only Yangervis Solarte.

the 2014 yanks are batting jacoby "why the hell is this guy hitting 3rd" ellsbury 3rd...and the slow, elderly, almost-extinct dinosaur jeter 2nd in almost every lineup...because jeter is jeter or some crap. managers, go figure.

their power guys occupy the 4-5-6-7 slots...and of course soriano is hitting before solarte (which made sense early, but keeping it up seems kinda odd).

quite honestly...on girardi's 2014 yanks...rizzo might actually be hitting 6th =p

I think Rizzo's numbers would be ginormous in a real lineup. Right now, pitchers simply walk around him for the most part. I just hope he hangs in there and doesn't start giving in. It's gotta be frustrating.

Sorry, Ryno, I was hoping it was such a ludicrous statement, even for Captain Happy, that you guys would recognize the satire. And although I did make that up, I did borrow heavily from RenteriaSpeak.

I'm not sure what that says about Renteria that we can't discern what's real and what isn't.

Veres up. Rosscup to DL (we hardly knew ya).

4ip 1h 2bb 5k... 0.00era 0.75whip

short sample size (of course), but he was getting some absolutely silly swing/miss and frozen strikes on guys. come back soon, guy.

Did I hear a crunch heartbreak?

looks like TEX is having pitchers drop like flies (harrison/perez...both expected to miss significant time).

too bad the cubs minor league system is the former TEX minor league system because otherwise they might have something to trade for ninja.

How about a deal that centers around Hammel for the injured Perez himself? I know it would be unusual to trade for a player about to have TJ surgery but . . . Perez should be healthy again by the time, if not before, the Cubs might actually start fielding a competitive team. Plus he would have the now requisite TJ surgery out of the way. Have TEX throw in a young high risk/reward prospect to help mitigate the health risk. Might be a chance to get a future middle of the rotation starter that would be under club control for the proverbial pennies on the dollar.

Edit: Forgot Perez already signed an extension, believe through 2020.

well I'm sure that extension would be quite valuable to Cubs, think they tried to get him in Garza deal last year but were rebuked. But I have doubts Rangers will dip back into the Cubs waters after Dempster and Garza did nothing for them. Of course you never know...

HOU wins...CHC now with the least amount of wins in MLB (13).

they're still better than HOU by win%, though...by 0.01 (13-25 / 14-27)

Yeah, take that Houston bitches...

this was posted in the twitter feed side-bar, but it's rather on-point and worth a read. my experience with minor leaguers is mostly AAA guys, but these experiences are often reflected upon.

i don't know how Hayhurst was living without a refrigerator or went through so many tough times through all his levels, though...most minor leaguers have a roommate or 2...or 3...or living in "sponsor housing" though the lower levels (kinda like a foreign exchange student)...which gives them at least a "college kid dweller" level of living...but whatever, i'm not gonna pick apart the whole article.


Trib/Mark Gonzo on Gerardo Concepcion, I wasn't aware of him having back problems (article includes a few other topics, Baez, Rosscup, Grimm)...

Hoyer has been encouraged with the recent development of Cuban left-hander Gerardo Concepcion, who struggled after signing a five-year, $6 million contract before the 2012 season and was sidelined for most of 2013 because of back issues.

Concepcion, 22, has a 3.20 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 192/3 innings at Class A Kane County.

"He was a guy who a lot of our scouts thought really highly of out of Cuba and dealt with some back injuries and issues that slowed him up," Hoyer said. "He's throwing well and hopefully he can keep that going.

"It's a hard transition (coming from Cuba). Some guys make it seamlessly. With some guys, it takes a long time, and some guys never make it. Hopefully Concepcion is starting to make that adjustment, and it's nice to see.''

Denver Post article proposing Shark for Gray


Clearly the trade idea is made up out of whole cloth, but it is an interesting one. I guess I'm hoping they get more, like Gray and a low-A power arm, but maybe I am being unrealistic.

Cubs are always looking for quality and depth in these deals. Gray and something would definitely be part of the deal and probably a few other parts.

The Rockies have a tradeable competitive balance draft pick (#35 overall). Getting that added to a deal would be nice. But that may not fit the timeline for a Samardzija trade.

I thought trading draft picks wasn't allowed in MLB. Has that changed, or are competitive balance picks treated differently?

From AZ Phil's Corner:

Rule 4 Competitive Balance Draft Picks

Beginning in 2012, six "Competitive Balance" Rule 4 Draft picks will be awarded by lottery between the 1st and 2nd round, and six more will be awarded by lottery between the 2nd and 3rd round. The lottery will take place on the Monday following the Rule 4 Draft signing deadline. Only MLB clubs that receive revenue sharing and clubs from the ten smallest markets will be eligible to participate in the lottery for Competitive Balance picks.

Once awarded, these draft picks can be traded, but only during the MLB regular season, and the pick cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade. Also, a Competitive Balance draft pick can be traded only once (only by the club that was awarded the pick). Once traded, the pick cannot be "flipped" to a third club.

If a player selected with a Competitive Balance Draft pick does not sign, the club receives a compensation selection in the next Rule 4 Draft, one slot lower between the 1st or 2nd round than where the club selected the previous season. There is no further compensation if a player selected with a Competitive Balance compensation draft pick does not sign.


My brain says no, but my heart says yes.

"A high school baseball player in Washington State threw 194 pitches over 14 innings Tuesday before being removed in the 15th inning of his team's eventual 1-0 victory in its district tournament."


The coach ought to be fired immediately.

"People just don't understand. I'm not a ace pitcher, I'm a infielder who pitches every now and then. Not a prospect ruining there career

— Dylan Fosnacht (@DFosnacht5) May 15, 2014"


he's not going to be an english major in college, either.

Is he tossing underhand? Because that is the only way I can imagine 194 pitches in one outing would not constitute a significant injury risk, infielder or otherwise. Throwing overhand is bad for your shoulder, regardless of who you are and what position you play.

Rizzo bunts twice to beat shift

Like it, but does it play into other teams hand by not giving up extra base hits?

I'm OK with it in these circumstances. Bases empty, Cubs not hitting Wacha much up to that point. It's a good time to demonstrate he can do it and also get himself on base. Maybe it makes someone rethink shifting on him some other time.

Screws up the spray charts. Take that stat heads managers.

No shift third ab...flyout

backup catcher d.butera pitched last night for LAD...

1ip 0h 0b 1k...hit 94mph.

Reminds me of the Michael Barrett days whose throws to 2B seemed about twice as fast as Maddux's best fastball.

Can't remember last time so many fielders pitching

Recent comments

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  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • 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.'