Old Fashioned Pitchers Duel at Salt River Fields

LHSP Jose Paulino hurled three innings of shutout ball for the Cubs, and RHSP Christian Talley tossed four innings of shutout ball for the Rockies, as the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.  

Jose Paulino combined Cactus League Extended Spring Training line (three outings):
9.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 8 K, 15/3 GO/AO 

The 21-year old Paulino features a heavy 91-93 MPH sinker that touches 94-95 (hence the extreme GO rate), a hard-breaking slider, and a so-so change-up, but has struggled to command his electric stuff throughout his career. He was the last cut from the South Bend squad at the end of Minor League Camp, so he could find himself in the Midwest League sooner rather than later. If you're looking for an "under-the-radar" Cubs pitching prospect, Paulino might be one. At the very least, he could eventually be a very effective lefty reliever at the higher levels. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHSP Kyle Miller (Cubs 2015 19th round draft pick - Florida Atlantic U.) and 3B Jesse Hodges (2012 NDFA - Canadian Junior National Team) have been moved-up to South Bend, and RHRP Scott Frazier has been sent to Extended Spring Training from South Bend.

In two Cactus League EXST outings (one GS), Miler has allowed one hit, one run (unearned), and no walks with five strikeouts in 5.1 IP, and (like Paulino, Hudson, Cease, and Null) has been one of the more-impressive SP down here. He'll probably be used as a "piggy-back" reliever at SB. 

The 22-year old Hodges was the everyday 3B at South Bend last year (hitting 238/316/363 in 90 MWL games), but was a late-cut from the Myrtle Beach squad at the end of Minor League Camp and was left behind at Extended Spring Training. He was hitting 333/500/333 in four Cactus League EXST games, and he has made several eye-popping defensive stops at the "hot corner." He also drilled an RBI double off Dylan Cease and a HR off Eugenio Palma in an intrasquad game last week. 

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

Victorino Lifts Cubs over Giants at Indian School Park

Shane Victorino drilled an RBI single and a double, Kelly Dugan walked five times (including one BB with the bases loaded that forced-in a run), and SP Jeremy Null and two relievers combined to toss a four-hitter, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Giants in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #2 at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Null threw 86% of his 51 pitches for strikes. 

The Cubs banged-out nine hits, drew twelve walks and one reached base on an E-3 (so 22 baserunners total). 

Through their first ten Cactus League Extended Spring Training games, the Cubs are 6-2-2. 

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

On an Off-day in April with the Cubs in 1st Place

The 2016 Chicago Cubs media guide is 384 pages long.

Very little of it has to do with the World Series. Surprise, surprise. In fact, in the T of C, there’s no listing for that topic, though there is one for “World Baseball Classic and Cubs.” There’s even one for “Clark the Cub” on page 218. Who knew that he’s a direct-line descendant of Joa, his “great grandbear,” the team’s original live bear mascot back in the halcyon days of the early 20th century?  Joa was retired to the Lincoln Park Zoo where he…never mind.

Underwood Sharp in Final Rehab Tune-Up at Sloan Park

Five pitchers combined to toss a one-hit shutout and Didimo Bracho belted a two-run home run and an RBI single to account for all of his team's runs, helping the Diamondbacks blank the Cubs 3-0 at Sloan Park, and D. J. Wilson (two-run triple), Luis Ayala (RBI double), Gustavo Polanco (RBI double), and Jesse Hodges (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run Cub 3rd, as the Cubs and D'backs played to a 7-7 tie on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.   

Michael Foster broke up the D'backs no-hit bid in Sloan Park with a one-out single in the bottom of the 9th. 

RHSP Duane Underwood (right ebow stiffness) made his final rehab start in the game at Sloan Park and threw 5.1 IP (78 pitches) of one-run ball, retiring 13 of the first 16 men he faced before running into trouble in the top of the 6th when he allowed three singles and a HBP and surrendered his only run. But he was outstanding through the first five innings, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts.  

RHRP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs 15-day DL - right shoulder inflammation) made a rehab start in the game played on Field #1 and was hit hard, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits (two singles, a double, a triple, and a home run) and a walk (plus a throwing error) in 3.1 IP (50 pitches).

RHRP Aaron Crow (ex-KC - April 2015 TJS rehab) threw in the game on Field #1, but was unable to complete his inning, allowing a single, a double, and a triple and two runs while retiring only one batter. I couldn't tell if he was lifted because of pitch count or performance issues, but his stuff was subpar today and obviously didn't fool any of the young D'backs hitters.  

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

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  • The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).

    A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 17 min ago view
  • Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.

    ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.

    Eric S 6 hours 42 min ago view
  • Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 23 min ago view
  • Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.

    Brick 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
    Hope they can sustain it.

    blockhead25 8 hours 14 min ago view
  • Don't sell yourself short, Judge.

    Jackstraw 8 hours 41 min ago view
  • I love this team.

    Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.

    Rob Richardson 10 hours 9 min ago view
  • Hey! I remember this team!

    billybucks 10 hours 18 min ago view
  • The key for Heyward's offense: get early leads. Heard a stat on Mike & Mike on the way to work that his avg/power much better this year when the Cubs have the lead. And true to form he gets the two run dinger with Cubs winning 3-0 ...

    Eric S 11 hours 44 min ago view
  • I'm sorry - I was probably not looking at the correct line, or spot, or...who knows!

    I could blame it on the weed, but I stopped smoking many years ago.

    Fortunately, I can rely on the rest of you sober and astute folks to bring the correct info forth.

    The E-Man 12 hours 11 min ago view
  • Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.

    Old and Blue 13 hours 17 min ago view
  • Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.

    I'm just not a fan of 2016 Coghlan.....

    Dusty Baylor 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • @Dusty Contreras if it's a Lester or Arrieta start. TLS is good PH too. You also forgot about Heyward, assume Fowler is CF.

    chitownmvp01 13 hours 25 min ago view
  • I expect Soler to get optioned as well when activated and Cahill to replace Grimm. It wouldn't surprise me if Coghlan and/or Soler is included in a trade.

    Maybe Coghlan is up to see if he can get on track before someone acquires him.

    This move could also be to assure that we have as much OF depth as possible to maximize Joe's ability to rest players in September once we've clinched.

    chitownmvp01 13 hours 27 min ago view
  • Maddon basically said as much...Fowler still kind of sore, they're being proactive, etc.

    Tito 13 hours 30 min ago view