Andreoli & Kalish Long Balls Carry Iowa Cubs to Victory at Fitch Park

Employing  the long ball (a Ryan Kalish three-run bomb and a John Andreoli solo blast) and six innings of one-run ball from 2015 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year Ryan Williams, the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) defeated the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) 6-2 on Field #4, while on Field #3, Michael Soto, John Nogowski, and J. P. Sportman drilled consecutive RBI singles to highlight a three-run 7th, lifting the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) to a 6-3 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate), in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Saturday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.  

In addition to his HR, Andreoli also walked twice and stole a base.

The I-Cubs bullpen (Peralta-Edwards-Pena) retired the last seven Sounds hitters, striking out six of them.

Iowa 1B Dan Vogelbach left the game on Field #4 after being hit on the foot with a pitch. 

Gioskar Amaya reached base four times (three walks and a single), Mike O'Neill collected three singles, and Mark Zagunis drove-in all three Tennessee runs (two-run double and a bases loaded HBP) in a losing cause on Field #3. 

Smokies SP Jonathan Martinez and reliever (ex-starter) Daury Torrez had rough outings on Field #3, with Martinez allowing five hits (two doubles and three singles) and four walks in just 3.2 IP (78 pitches - only 60% strikes), and Torrez surrendering three runs on five hits in just one inning of work.  

In Minor League Camp roster news, the Cubs have released RHRP Matt Brazis (acquired from SEA for OF Justin Ruggiano post-2014), 1B Matt Clark (ex-MIL), OF Donnie Cimino (2015 37th round draft pick - Weslyan U.), LHRP Heath Dwyer (2015 NDFA - VCU), LHRP Nick Greenwood (ex-STL), C-INF Jordan Hankins (2013 11th round draft pick - Austin Peay), RHRP Santiago Rodriguez (2013 IFA - Dominican Republic), RHSP Austyn Willis (2014 18th round draft pick - Barstow HS - Barstow, CA), and LHRP Sam Wilson (2013 8th round draft pick - Lamar CC). 

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

Here are the abridged box scores from the two game (Cubs players only): 

Four-Run 7th Lifts South Bend Cubs Past Bees at Diablo

P. J. Higgins grounded an RBI single through the 3.5 hole to plate the first run of the inning and Ho-Young Son followed with a bases-loaded triple into the left-centerfield gap to score three more, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) rallied for four runs in the 7th and defeated the Burlington Bees (Los Angeles Angels Lo-A affiliate) 7-4 on Field #4, and Brendan Sanger and Hutton Moyer belted back-to-back RBI triples to highlight a three-run 3rd and RHSP Tyler Carpenter hurled four innings of shutout ball, as the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Hi-A affiliate) defeated the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 5-3 on Field #7, in Cactus League Minor League game action Friday afternoon at the Diablo Stadium Complex in Tempe, AZ.   

Besides the four-run rally in the 7th, Carlos Sepulveda doubled twice and scored a run and Kevonte Mitchell belted an RBI triple, walked, and cut-down a baserunner 9-5 attempting to advance from 1st to 3rd on a single to right for the SB-Cubs. 

RHSP Jake Stinnett had a rough outing for Myrtle Beach, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits (including the back-to-back RBI triples), a walk, and a WP in 4.0 IP (61 pitches).

Among the more-notable Cub position player prospects playing in the two games, Ian Happ played 2B and went 0-2 with two walks, a strikeout (swinging), and a 1-3 bounce-out (slamming his bat into the ground in frustration before starting for 1st) and an E-4 fielding miscue (which led to an unearned run scoring), Donnie Dewees served as a DH and reached base three times (two singles and a walk), Eddy Julio Martinez also served as a DH and drilled a ringing RBI double (near HR) off the LF wall, and Eloy Jimenez played LF and went 1-3 (double into to the LF corner, walk, and a run scored).   

Angelo Amendolare, Vimael Machin, Alberto Mineo, Andruw Monasterio, and Ho-Young Son were moved-up from the Eugene/Mesa group for the day to augment the South Bend and Myrtle Beach rosters.

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

Cubs Grab the Bulls by the Horns in Four-Run 9th

Gustavo Polanco drilled a one-out game-tying two-run double off the LF fence (near HR) and Roberto Caro followed one out later with a two-out walk-off line-drive game-winning RBI single, as the Cubs Eugene/Mesa squad (Extended Spring Training group) rallied for four runs in the bottom of the 9th to edge los Toros de Tijuana (Mexican League) 10-9 in Minor League Camp game action Thursday morning on Field #3 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Adonis Paula belted a two-run double and a single and scored two runs, Yohan Matos ripped a two-run double and an RBI single, and Kwang-Min Kwon tripled and singled and scored a run to aid the Cub cause, and Isaac Rodriguez slugged a two-run HR and singled, Dustin Martin hammered a two-run triple and walked twice, and Edson Garcia rifled a two-run triple for los Toros in a losing cause. 

Los Toros are one of three Mexican League teams taking Spring Training at the Kino Sports Complex (formerly known as "Tucson Electric Park" when the White Sox and Diamondbacks based their Spring Training there) in Tucson. (Pericos de Puebla and Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz are the other two Mexican League clubs sharing the facility with los Toros), and in addition to playing games against each other in Tucson, the three Mexican League clubs have also been playing games against MLB minor league affiliates in the Phoenix area during the month of March. (Mexican League Opening Day is April 1st). 

The Cubs have signed nine players out of Mexico over the last 18 months, and six just in the 2015-16 IFA alone (the same number they have signed so far out of Venezuela in the 2015-16 IFA). So the Cubs--and more specifically Mexico Area Scout Sergio Hernandez--have really been going hard after Mexican talent lately.  

Three of the players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico over the past couple of years (RHSP Jesus Camargo, shortstop Isaac Paredes, and catcher Kevin Zamudio) played in the game against Tijuana, and you could see that the trio were stoked to compete against los Toros.   

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

Here is the box score from the game: 

South Bend & Myrtle Beach Get Swept at Fitch Park

The Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics Lo-A affiliate) defeated the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 5-2 on Field #3, and the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) edged the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 5-4 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Wednesday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Miguel Guzman belted a solo HR for Beloit and Chris Pieters smacked a solo HR for the SB Cubs on Field #3.   

Kevonte Mitchell left the game on Field #3 after being hit in the head by a fly ball in foul territory in the bottom of the 4th inning. 

Both Cubs starting pitchers (South Bend LHSP Carson Sands on Field #3 and Myrtle Beach RHSP Erick Leal on Field #4) fared poorly, allowing a combined seven runs on twelve hits (including five doubles and a triple), five walks, and a HBP (and a WP) in just 5.1 IP. 

Because of the Cubs-Rangers Futures Game in Surprise, more than the usual number of position players from the Eugene/Mesa squad (Extended Spring Training group) were temporarily added to the South Bend and Myrtle Beach rosters on Wednesday to replace absent players.    

John Arguello has posted pics & observations from Tuesday's AA and AAA games at Riverview at Cubs Den:

link

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played Wednesday at Fitch Park (Cubs players only): 

Trevor Clifton Looking Sharp in Scottsdale

Trevor Clifton tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball, Tyler Alamo and Ian Rice drilled RBI doubles, and Michael Wagner recorded a six-pitch save, helping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) edge the San Jose Giants (Hi-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) 2-1 on Field #1, and Ho-Young Son clubbed a solo home run and Eddy Julio Martinez rifled a two-run triple into the LF corner to highlight a five-run 3rd inning, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) and the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants Lo-A affiliate) played to a 6-6 tie on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League game action Tuesday afternoon at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.

In addition to the two-run triple, Martinez lined out sharply to short, lined-out sharply to center, and walked and scored in his other three PA.  

Four players were temporarily moved up from the Eugene/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group to augment the South Bend roster, with SS Andruw Monasterio, 3B Vimael Machin, 2B Ho-Young Son, and CF Roberto Caro in the SB starting lineup, and Alberto Mineo was moved-up to the Myrtle Beach roster from Eugene/Mesa for the day, getting the start at 1st base for the Pelicans.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only) 


Cease Fires Gas to Extinguish Blaze

Dylan Cease struck out six in two innings and combined with five other Cubs pitchers to fan 17 batters, Jose Paniagua belted a three-run home run and a triple, Isaac Paredes slammed a solo home run and walked twice, Yohan Matos drilled an RBI double, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, and Adonis Paula hammered a two-run HR, helping Eugene/Mesa (the Cubs Extended Spring Training group) to a 9-3 victory over the Langley Blaze in Minor League Camp game action Tuesday morning on Field #3 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was extended an extra inning to allow all the Cubs pitchers who were scheduled to throw to get their work. 

A member of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League (BCPBL), the Blaze are one of the top amateur baseball clubs in Canada. Notable alumni include Brett Lawrie and Scott Mathieson, as well as ex-Cub minor leaguer Wes Darvill. 

The Blaze are on a ten-day Arizona Spring Training Trip, where they are playing minor league teams, and college and high school teams. The Blaze are scheduled to play one or two (and sometimes even three!) games per day, including morning games, afternoon games, night games, doubleheaders, and split squad games, so the Canadian lads (age 15-18) are playing a LOT of baseball in the Valley of the Sun.

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

Cubs Youngsters Swept at Diablo

RHSP Alexander Blackford hurled three innings of no-run/no-hit ball with six strikeouts and Zach Houchins drove-in four runs with two run-scoring doubles, leading the Arkansas Travelers (Los Angeles Angels AA affiliate) to a 9-2 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #4, and Chad Hinshaw belted an RBI double to key a three-run 1st inning as the Salt Lake Bees (Angels AAA affiliate) edged the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 4-3 on Field #7, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Monday afternoon at the Diablo Stadium Complex in Tempe, AZ. 

Carlos Penalver drilled an RBI double and a single and stole a base for the Smokies in a losing cause. 

It was a mixed-bag as far as the Cubs pitching was concerned.

Iowa SP Eric Jokiisch threw strikes (78%) but was (once again) hit, this time to the tune of seven hits in just three inings, Tennessee RHP Preston Morrison allowed seven runs (all earned) on eight hits (a triple, a double, and six singles, plus an HBP) in only two innings of work, and Iowa lefty reliever Edgar Olmos had difficulty finding the strike zone (25 pitches - only 13 strikes) and did not record an out.   

On the positive side, LHRP Gerardo Concepcion (working in the AAA game) threw two innings of shutout relief with three strikeouts and was consistently 93-94 MPH with his fastball, and I-Cubs LHRP Scott Barnes continues to wipe out opposing hitters with strikeouts, recording two more today in his one inning of work. 

There were some roster additions to provide bench and bullpen depth for the game, as LHRP Sam Wilson was temporarily moved-up to the Tennessee roster from the Myrtle Beach squad, LHP Gerardo Concepcion and C-1B Cael Brockmeyer were moved up to the Iowa roster from the Tennessee squad, and OF Roberto Caro and INF Andruw Monasterio were moved-up to the Iowa squad from the Eugene/Mesa group (Extended Spring Training).  

In Minor League Camp roster news, there was quite a bit of movement in the aftermath of the Cubs sending eleven players to Minor League Camp from the MLB squad this past Friday:   

IOWA to TENNESSEE: Pitchers Michael Jensen, Brad Markey, Juan Carlos Paniagua, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Tayler Scott, Tyler Skulina, and Rob Zastryzny, catchers Cael Brockmeyer, Ben Carhart, and Will Remillard, and infielder Bryant Flete;

TENNESSEE: to MYRTLE BEACH: Pitchers Craig Brooks, James Farris, Ryan Kellogg, Jeremy Null, Jasvir Rakkar, and Michael Wagner, and catcher Tyler Pearson;    

TENNESSEE to SOUTH BEND: Catcher Erick Castillo; 

MYRTLE BEACH to SOUTH BEND: Pitchers Adbert Alzolay, Corbin Hoffner, Justin Steele, and Kyle Twomey, and catcher Jordan Hankins;

MYRTLE BEACH to EUGENE/MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING): Catcher Alberto Mineo; 

SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA (EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING): Pitchers Jose Albertos, Javier Assad, Jordan Brink, Jesus Castillo, Enrique de los Rios, Andin Diaz, Wander Feliz (ex-OF), Francisco Garay (ex-INF), Yapson Gomez, Luis Hernandez, John Michael Knighton, Gabriel Lima, Junior Marte, M. T. Minacci, Yomar Morel, Erling Moreno, Santiago Rodriguez, Manny Rondon, Pedro Silverio, and Austyn Willis, catchers Miguel Amaya, Eric Gonzalez, Jhonny Pereda, Gustavo Polanco, and Kevin Zamudio, infielders Angelo Amendolare, Wladimir Galindo, Vimael Machin, Andruw Monasterio, Jose Paniagua, Adonis Paula, Edgar Rondon, and Ho-Young Son, and outfielders Luis Ayala, Alex Bautista, Roberto Caro, Donnie Cimino, Michael Foster, Kwang-Min Kwon, Ricardo Marcano, and Yohan Matos (ex-C).    

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

Here is the abridged box score from the two games played at Diablo Park (Cubs players only): 

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 39 min 4 sec ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 40 min 5 sec ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 10 hours 21 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 13 hours 19 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 13 hours 31 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 13 hours 40 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 13 hours 45 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 14 hours 4 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 14 hours 40 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 14 hours 57 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 14 hours 59 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 15 hours 17 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 15 hours 24 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 16 hours 20 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 16 hours 38 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 16 hours 42 min ago view