Caridad & Sanchez Get Rehab Work in Extended Spring Training Twin-Bill

Bobby Wagner drove-in three runs with a solo home run and a two-run double and Albert Hernandez had two hits and two RBI, leading the EXST Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the EXST Giants in an abbreviated eight-inning game on Field #2, while over on Field #1, Austin Kirk struck out six (including Freddy Sanchez twice) in three innings of work, but the other squad of EXST Giants rallied late to defeat the other squad of EXST Cubs 7-5 in a game that was stopped after seven innings, as the Cubs and Giants played an Extended Spring Training doubleheader at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this morning. As per usual, the games were played simultaneously.


Cubs RHP Esmailin Caridad saw his first game action since being placed on the 15-day DL with a strained forearm on April 12th, working 1.2 IP on Field #2. Caridad threw 19 pitches (11 strikes) and allowed no runs or hits, but he did walk two. He struck out one Giants hitter (swinging), while getting another three outs on a pop-up to the catcher in foul territory, a fly-out to deep CF, and a ground-out to SS. (The 5th out was a CS). Caridad continued to pitch even after he recorded the third out (getting five outs total in the inning), because he had thrown only 11 pitches up to that point, and the Cubs wanted him to throw at least 15-20 pitches, but only pitch one inning. Caridad appeared to have good velocity on his fastball, but his control was spotty.


The Giants also had a big leaguer on a rehab assignment playing in one of the games, as 2B Freddy Sanchez (who is at Extended Spring Training rehabbing from shoulder and knee surgeries) played 2nd base and hit third in every inning on Field #1. Sanchez struck out twice against Cubs 2009 3rd round pick LHP Austin Kirk, once in the 1st inning (on three pitches) and then again in the 3rd. He lined a single to CF off Kirk in the 2nd. Then in three AB against RHP Jose Rosario, Sanchez walked, grounded out to SS, and lined out to third, before completing his day by stroking an F-7 SF against RHP Tzu-An Wang in the 7th (the game continued after the Giants had scored the winning run in the 7th, in order to give Sanchez another AB).


Cubs OF Runey Davis left the game on Field #2 after getting hit flush on the knee with a pitch. He stayed in the game initially and ran the bases (more like limped around the bases), but he was replaced in the field at the start of the next inning.

Cubs Edge A's at Papago Park

Frank Batista threw four shutout innings and Carlos Rojas got the last four outs to nail down the victory, as the EXST Cubs edged the EXST A’s 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Papago Park Field #2 in Phoenix this morning.


Batista became the first EXST Cubs pitcher to throw four innings, allowing just one hit and no walks while striking out one. The 21-year old Dominican RHP was the Cubs #1 pitching prospect in the DSL last season, going 4-2 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.20 WHIP, with 7/63 BB/K in 58.1 IP for DSL Cubs #1. So far at EXST, Batista has thrown 9.2 IP, allowing four runs (three ER) on six hits, 2/4 BB/K, with a 2.79 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and .171 OBA.

Angels Withstand Cub Comeback at Extended Spring Training

Runey Davis reached base three times, scored two runs, knocked-in another, and stole a base, but the EXST Angels scored two runs in the 8th to take the lead after the EXST Cubs had clawed their way back from a 6-0 deficit to tie the game in the 6th, and held-on to defeat the Cubs 8-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.


With two hits today, Davis raised his EXST batting average to .353 (.450 OBP), and with his speed and the ability to play all three OF positions, I would think Davis (the Cubs 2009 12th round pick out of JUCO World Series champion Howard JC) is a strong candidate to get promoted to Peoria.

Boycott the Arizona Diamondbacks?

That seems to be the growing sentiment by a number of folks upset about the passing of SB1070 - the new Arizona immigration law. The tie between the Diamondbacks and the law is that the owners of the Diamondbacks - the Kendrick's - are big contributors to the Arizona Republican party and the Republicans in power in Arizona are behind this new law.

Extended Spring Training Bullpen Collapse at Diablo

Sergio Burruel cracked a three-run double, Alvaro Ramirez drilled a two-run triple, and Xavier Batista and Arismendy Alcantara smashed solo home runs, but the Angels took advantage of nine walks to score 11 runs over the last three innings and overcome a four-run deficit in the bottom of the 8th and another four-run deficit in the bottom of the 9th, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Angels played to a 12-12 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe this morning. The game was halted by mutual agreement between the two teams with one out in the bottom of the 9th after the Angels tied the game on a 420-ft+ three-run home run off the top of the Batter’s Eye in CF.

Cubs Can't Fend Off Gnats

Sobering thought...the Cubs just got beat 2 of 3 at home by the worst team in baseball the last two years. Sure, anyone can win a 3-game set, but the Cubs sure didn't look like a better team at any moment in this series. And yes, the Nats are a better team this year than year's past, but they also were missing Ryan Zimmermann for the set. All of that is just a convoluted way of saying that the tea leaves aren't really predicting a bright 2010 future at the moment for the Cubs.

The Good: The Cubs walked 4 times(Colvin, Fukudome x2 and Nady) and had 9 hits including Theriot and Fukudome getting on-base 5 times in total. Dempster had a solid 8 IP, 3 ER affair with just one walk and 6 K's. Marlon Byrd's circus catch losing the ball in the sun. I wonder how the media and crowd reacts if he doesn't make that catch as they were sure quick to jump on Bradley last year for losing the ball in the sun.

Cubs Say No to Winning Record

I think that was the first game I got to watch in its near entirety in about 2 weeks. My apologies for the outcome.

The Good: After Gorzelanny finished his warm-ups, he mowed the Nationals down through 7 innings. The problem was it took him 3 batters into the game to finish loosening up. Geovany Soto went 2/4 and Kosuke Fukudome reached base 3 times, twice on walks to set-up getting stranded by Lee, Byrd and Ramirez. Soto also gunned down two very capable baserunners in Wily Taveras and Justin Maxwell.

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  • CHILDERS: RHSP Dylan Cease and LHSP Bryan Hudson are probably the top two SP prospects in the organization right now. 

    LHSP Jose Paulino has electric stuff (91-94 MPH fastball with sinking action and a mid-80's slider), but he also has trouble commanding it.  

    RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) just turned 17 in November, and his fastball already sits at 95-96. He also throws a curve and a change-up, and is fairly advanced for a kid his age.   

    Arizona Phil 7 min 44 sec ago view
  • AZBOBBOP: Most of 2016 draft picks will get assigned to either Eugene or AZL Cubs, but the Opening Day Eugune roster will probably be almost 100% from the Extended Spring Training squad roster (pending the arrival of draft picks).

    I think I can probably tell you which pitchers and players at EXST are in contention for roster slots at Eugene and which are in contention for slots with the AZL Cubs - AS THINGS STAND RIGHT NOW - (listed alphabetically):  

    * bats or throws left 
    # bats both

    Arizona Phil 35 min 48 sec ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez atop the leader board for minor-league home runs in the Cub system, with seven. Tied with Balaguert and Vogelbach, two 24-year-olds. Jimenez won't be 20 until late November. Leads the Midwest League in SLG and OPS. Maybe he'll get promoted to the Myrtle Beach squad that visits Woodbridge, VA, in June or Frederick, MD, in August.

    Watched two Pelican games at Frederick the other week. Was most impressed by Stinnett and Happ. Happ may swing harder than Javier Baez, though more compactly. (Also got to see Brockmeyer hit a bomb.)

    VirginiaPhil 57 min 35 sec ago view
  • E-MAN: Jose Paniagua isn't a string-bean, but I wouldn't say he necessarily bulked-up during the 2015-16 off-season  either, He led the DSL Cubs in HR and doubles in 2014, and he showed XBH power when he arrived in Mesa last year, leading the AZL Cubs in HR, doubles, and RBI in 2015. It's just that he has taken his HR power to a new level this year.

    Paniagua displayed plus-HR power in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games in March, and that got him a slot on the South Bend Opening Day roster. But he was sent to EXST after only six MWL games.  

    Arizona Phil 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • Martinez is one of my least favorite pitchers in baseball. I'd love to see a game like yesterday's against him.

    Send Soler down!

    Old and Blue 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 2 hours 29 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 3 hours 18 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • given that he seems to only be throwing low 90s these days rather than the 93-96mph he used to throw, along with his wildness issues this year, he may end up passing through.

    i dunno if something is wrong with him physically or his past shoulder issues has rendered him what he currently is, but he's been throwing a lot of sliders he can't control well and his fastball isn't as sharp. even when his slider wasn't working in a game he was still throwing a lot of them.

    crunch 7 hours 19 min ago view
  • Any scuttlebutt on where Neil Ramirez gets traded?

    He seems better than some of the relievers on competitive teams. He ought to bring more than the waiver fee.

    My guess? Toronto.

    tim815 7 hours 42 min ago view
  • PHIL: It seems as if Paniagua has always played 1B with the Cubs. At 6'2 and 180#, what is his frame like? String bean? Have you seen him bulk up? Where do you project him? Thanks.

    The E-Man 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • Phil, what's your thoughts on which position players are going to Eugene and who is staying in AZL?

    azbobbop 11 hours 48 min ago view
  • Ahhh...way to bring me down BB.

    Still - a win tomorrow will be an acheivement regardless.

    The E-Man 12 hours 35 min ago view
  • Don't mean to spoil your mood, but with tonight's win the are 3-5 on the trip with one to play.

    While I'm bringing the room down -- Richard comes in to pitch the 9th with a 12-1 lead...and can't finish the game. Woof.

    billybucks 13 hours 9 min ago view
  • jacos 13 hours 9 min ago view