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): 

Arrieta Leads Cubs to Doubleheader Sweep

Jake Arrieta and four relievers combined to hurl a three-hit shutout, Tommy LaStella drilled three singles, and Kelly Dugan and Ryan Kalish each belted a two-run home run, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) blanked the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate) 5-0 on Field #6, and Cael Brockmeyer ripped a double and a two-run single, David Bote collected an RBI double and a single, and four relievers combined to toss five innings of one-hit shutout relief, helping the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) edge the New Britain Rock Cats (Rockies AA affiliate) 5-4 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader played in front of a standing-room-only crowd Saturday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Arrieta was sharp throughout his five innings (57 pitches - 72% strikes), allowing just two singles and a walk (1B, 6-4-3 DP, F-8, 4-3, P-4, F-7, 1B+E5, K, 4-3, K, 4-3, K, 4-1, BB, F-9, K, 5-3). In addition to his work on the mound, the Cubs also had Arrieta bat twice, and he struck out both times (once bunting foul for strike three while attempting a sac-bunt).  

Miguel Montero served as Arrieta's catcher, and went 0-2 with two deep F-8 fly-outs. 

Tommy LaStella (calf strain) made his second start in two days at Minor League Camp, serving as a DH for the Iowa squad. Once again, a pinch-runner ran for him when he reached base, but at the plate he was roping balls all over the yard, from foul line to foul line. I guess he's the kind of hitter who can roll out of bed anytime and anyplace and hammer line-drive after line-drive. He could probably turn around a 100 MPH fastball from a wheelchair.  

Matt Szczur (oblique strain) got the start in CF for Iowa and looked very good at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. He went 1-3 with a single, an infield pop out, and a fly out, and appeared to have no lingering issues with the oblique.  

As per usual, several players were called up to the Iowa and Tennessee squads for the day. RHRP Scott Effross was moved up from the Myrtle Beach squad and worked a scoreless 9th while picking-up the save for Tennessee on Field #5, and OF (ex-C) Yohan Matos was moved up to the Tennessee squad from the South Bend group and made a late appearance in LF. Also, 3B Wladimir Galindo, OF Michael Foster, 3B Adonis Paula, C Tyler Payne, and INF Edgar Rondon were moved-up to the Iowa squad from the South Bend group, and each saw some action in the game on Field #6 (Paula got the start at 3B for the I-Cubs). 

It would appear that C-1B Cael Brockmeyer, RHSP Brad Markey, and RHRP Juan Carlos Paniagua have been moved-down to the Tennessee squad from the Iowa group (not confirmed yet).  

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

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

Old Man Olivo Just Keeps Rollin' River Cats Past I-Cubs in Scottsdale

Jake Hannemann ripped an RBI double, walked, scored a run, and stole a base, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) edged the Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants AA affiliate) 5-4 on Field #1, and Ali Castillo drilled a two-run double to cap a three-run second inning and 37-year old veteran catcher Miguel Olivo belted a two-run double to highlight a three-run 6th, as the Sacramento River Cats (Giants AAA affiliate) defeated the Iowa Cubs (the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 6-2 on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League Camp game action Friday afternoon at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.   

Both games were called after eight innings of play. 

Richmond DH Tyler Horan slugged a solo home run in a losing cause on Field #1, and Cael Brockmeyer hammered a solo home run for the I-Cubs in a losing cause on Field #2. 

Iowa Cubs LHRP Scott Barnes continued a strong Minor League Camp with a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts (both swinging) on Field #2, while RHRP Michael Jensen and Steve Perakslis were hit hard, with Jensen also struggling to find the strike zone (throwing only 44% strikes).  

Seven position players were temporarily moved up from the South Bend group to augment the Iowa and Tennessee rosters for the game, with 3B Adonis Paula, OF Donnie Cimino, OF Michael Foster, and 2B Edgar Rondon (who is now switch-hitting -- he had two hits in the game) assigned to the I-Cubs squad, and LF Ricardo Marcano, SS Andruw Monasterio, and C Kevin Zamudio assigned to the Smokies squad, and RHRP James Norwood was moved up to the Tennessee squad from the Myrtle Beach group (and Norwood recorded the save for the Smokies, although he did labor through his one inning of work).    

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

Also, John Arguello (Cubs Den) has a report from the two Cactus League Minor League games played at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa on Friday.  

link 

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

Eloy No Joy for Bees at Riverview Park

Trevor Clifton and Adbert Alzolay combined to hurl six innings of two-hit shutout baseball and three relievers followed with three more innings of no-hit ball, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) two-hit the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) 4-2 on Field #5, and Eloy Jimenez slugged a two-run home run to cap a three-run 1st and Ricardo Marcano belted a two-run HR in the 7th (the Jimenez bomb carrying 420+ feet over the CF fence just to left of the Batter's Eye), leading the South Bend Cubs (the Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 7-3 victory over the Burlington Bees (Angels Lo-A affiliate) on Field #6, in a Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader played Thursday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Yasiel Balaguert collected two doubles and an RBI for Myrtle Beach, and Kevonte Mitchell singled twice, walked, scored two runs, and stole a base (home, on the back-end of a double-steal) for South Bend.

RHRP Alexander Santana had an unusual outing for Myrtle Beach, working the 9th inning of the game on Field #5. Santana entered the game with a 4-0 lead, and proceeded to hit three batters and throw two wild pitches, and of the 16 pitches he threw in the inning, only two were strikes. But he never-the-less somehow managed to record three outs, because the two strikes both turned into 5-3 ground outs, and the third out was a game-ending caught-stealng at 3rd base on a ball-three pitch with the potential tying run at the plate.  

OF Alex Bautista, 1B-OF Chris Pieters, and INF Edgar Rondon were moved-up from the South Bend group to the Myrtle Beach squad for the game, and all three entered the game as late-inning replacements for the Pelicans.

Myrtle Beach 2B Ian Happ and SS Gleyber Torres (who are two of the Cubs Top 5 prospects) were absent from Minor League Camp on Thursday, as they traveled with the big league club to Salt River Fields for a morning Cactus League "B" game versus the Colorado Rockies.  

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 Play Triple-Header Ball at Riverview Park

Dan Vogelbach drove-in five runs with a grand slam home run and a bases-loaded walk and Matt Murton doubled, walked twice, and scored two runs, leading the Iowa Cubs (the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 7-3 victory over the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) on Field #6, Shawon Dunston Jr clubbed a two-run HR and Billy McKinney and Jacob Rogers singled and doubled, but it wasn't anywhere near enough as the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) belted out 14 hits (including three triples, a double, and a home run) en route to a 9-4 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #5, and Gleyber Torres drilled a single and an RBI double, scored a run, and stole two bases, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) cruised to an 8-4 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) in Minor League Camp game action this afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

The three games were played simultaneously.

As usual, several players were moved up to higher levels just for the day. 

John Arguello from Cubs Den was at the game, and (as usual) he has some great pics & commentary posted over there

link  

Here are the abridged box scores (Cubs players only) from the games played on Field 5 & 6, and the box score from the game played on Field #4:

Lester Goes One-for-Four at Minor League Camp

Cubs #1 prospect Gleyber Torres belted an RBI double and a single and scored a run, and side-armin' RHP Preston Morrison (Cubs 2015 8th round draft pick - TCU) tossed 3.2 IP of no-hit/no-run relief, helping the iowa Cubs edge the Tennessee Smokies 2-1 in Minor League Camp game action this morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after six innings of play. 

Jon Lester got the start for the Smokies (pitching against Iowa) and threw five innings (68 pitches - 78% strikes), allowing two runs (both earned) on six hits (five singles and a double) and no walks, with five strikeouts (two swinging) and 8/0 GO/AO. He made three errant pick-off attempts at 1st base (with the baserunner advancing to 2nd each time), but he did pick-off Dan Vogelbach. Lester also one-hopped SS Carlos Penalver on a 1-6 FC, and Penalver made a nice play just to keep the ball from bounding into CF. 

Matt Murton saw his first game action of the Spring after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on February 26th, working as a DH for the Iowa squad and batting four times. He went 2-4 with a single, a double, a 6-3 GO, and a called third strike (all four PA versus Lester). He was running the bases full-tilt, and looks to be very close to 100%.      

David Ross was Lester's catcher (natch), and he went 0-4 (three fly outs and a 6-4-3 DP), batting once in each of the first four innings. He also threw out a runner trying to steal 3rd. Ross left the game when Lester did. 

The game also featured the first game action for RHRP Jose Rosario since 2014 (he missed the 2015 season after undergoing TJS last April), and he worked a scoreless inning. The 25-year old Rosario was signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old IFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, and although he was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2015, he opted to return to the Cubs organization in 2016. Rosario shares a similar background with Cubs 3B prospect Jeimer Candelario, in that both were born in New York City, but moved to the Dominican Republic when they were children.  

Four players were added to the Iowa roster for the game, with RHP Preston Morrison moving up from the Tennessee group, SS Gleyber Torres and 2B Ian Happ moving up from the Myrtle Beach squad, and 3B Wladimir Galindo moving up from the South Bend group.

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

Here is the box score frrom the game: 

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  • You lollygag the ball around the infield. You lollygag your way down to first. You lollygag in and out of the dugout. You know what that makes you? Larry!

    Jackstraw 42 min 39 sec ago view
  • Its too bad Warren didnt get to pitch. He would have saved us.

    The E-Man 59 min 58 sec ago view
  • Whoa -- that Contreras play in the 8th looked too much like a "Schwarber" -- nearly crashed into the wall going full speed, with Heyward doing the same.

    New rule: if you are a catcher playing LF, and find yourself sprinting after a fly ball in the gap -- stop, let the CF go after it and get ready to play it off the wall.

    billybucks 1 hour 11 min ago view
  • Cubs have no spark and no life. Pretty boring to watch these days.

    billybucks 2 hours 44 min ago view
  • I thought trips to Miami were supposed to be fun. This one sucked.

    The bottom half of the bullpen now turns close games into blowout losses. Not good.

    Once Fowler went to the DL, the team went into the tank. Wonder if he'll get any love this offseason? Probably not.

    billybucks 2 hours 48 min ago view
  • 6IP, 2ER. The last one scored because of another botched Zobrist DP turn.

    And now, a bad throw by KB. Sloppy.

    billybucks 3 hours 30 min ago view
  • What is it with Hammel always starting well and sucking after a couple months?

    The E-Man 5 hours 4 min ago view
  • Ahhh...sad. Lke a few of you here, I saw him play during the '69-'71 seasons. He was the "hot Zobrist" for the club in August/September of '69 while everyone else was fizzling out...

    The E-Man 5 hours 43 min ago view
  • I predict: "They will play hard and if they give the same effort every day, they'll win a lot of games."

    The E-Man 5 hours 46 min ago view
  • OK, boys -- find a way to win today.

    billybucks 6 hours 39 min ago view
  • There's some BA is missing too, here's all signing bonus BA doesn't have some:

    -6 Hockin $241,000 (slot price), 7 Cruz $75,000 (saved $110,00), 8 Ridlings $120,000 (saved $53,800), 9 Robinson $30,000 (saved $132,300), so far the Cubs have saved an extra $297,100

    cubbies.4ever 8 hours 30 min ago view
  • per Muscat...
    Zobrist (2B), Hayward (CF), Bryant (3B), Rizzo, Contreras (LF), Montero, Russell, Coghlan (RF), Hammel

    Cubster 8 hours 39 min ago view
  • Also -- despite losing 6 of their last 10, the Cubs picked up a game on both STL and PIT during that period. Weird, given that they swept PIT and were swept by STL.

    billybucks 8 hours 39 min ago view
  • Also, I'd like to know if there are numbers to back up my suspicion that there are a lot more fast starts than late June romps. This seems like a time where everybody not named Willson Contreras is looking a little tired and/or banged up a bit.

    For once, the Cubs got off to a fast start. Seems like I've been waiting for that for 50 years.Everybody is really gunning for this team, too. It's their playoffs.

    Old and Blue 10 hours 4 min ago view
  • He reminds me of a little of a young guy currently on the Cubs' DL, who is also tank-like in appearance.

    Old and Blue 10 hours 19 min ago view
  • draft signings are trickling in...rounds 6-9 are signed + a random slew of others.

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/draftdb/index.php

    filter by team.

    crunch 19 hours 6 min ago view