Shelby Miller a Mystery to Cubs Hitters

RHSP Shelby Miller (on Arizona Diamondbacks MLB 15-day DL retro to May 25th with a sprained/bruised right index finger) hurled five innings of shutout ball and Max Brown (RBI double) and Gerard Hernandez (RBI single) stroked run-scoring hits to highlight a two-run first inning, as the Diamondbacks made the two runs stand and edged the Cubs 2-1 at Sloan Park, and Joey Armstrong laced a two-run single to cap a three-run second-inning and Marcus Wilson walked twice, singled, stole a base, and scored two runs, leading the D'backs over the Cubs 5-2 on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.  

With local Phoenix TV crews recording every pitch, Miller breezed-through his five innings (55 pitches), allowing just three singles and no walks, with two strikeouts and an 8/5 GO/AO.

D. J. Wilson belted an RBI double and a single and Wladimir Galindo singled twice and drove-in a run for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1.

RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) and LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) continued their EXST rehab, working in the game played at Sloan Park. 

Tseng started the game and worked four innings (48 pitches - 73% strikes) and allowed two runs on four hits (three singles and a double), but he struck out five, did not issue any walks, and he retired the last eight hitters he faced (K, 4-3, 4-3, 3-1, K, L-9. K, 6-3). 

Leathersich followed Tseng to the hill and worked a 1-2-3 5th inning (4-3, F-9, K). While he's still in "rehab mode," Leathersich is increasing his velocity & command with each EXST outing, and he could ultimately replace Clayton Richard as the Cubs second LHRP option (perhaps sooner rather than later).    

In EXST Cubs roster news, SS Ho-Young Son (2014 IFA - South Korea) is being converted to pitcher, but he is not ready to throw in games yet (just bullpen side-sessions and PFP drills so far). The 21-year old Son hit just 238/310/295 in 65 career minor league games (AZL Cubs & Eugene) 2014-15, but he has a rifle for an arm.   

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

Galindo Three-run Blast Highlights Cubs Sweep over Giants

Wladimir Galindo belted a three-run home run and an RBI single, Chris Pieters rifled a two-run double, and Andry Rondon and four relievers combined to toss a five-hit shutout, as the Cubs blanked the Giants 7-0 on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, and RHSP Pedro Silverio hurled five innings of three-hit/one-run ball with no walks & eight strikeouts and Roberto Caro drilled three singles, as the Cubs edged the Giants 4-3 at Sloan Park, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.  

The game on Field #1 was called after seven innings of play, and the game at Sloan Park was called after 6-1/2 innings. 

The EXST Cubs record now stands at 32-16-6. 

With today's outing, Silverio becomes the second Eugene starting pitcher to go five innings (Jesus Castillo was the first, hurling five innings yesterday).  

In EXST Cubs roster news, LHSP Justin Steele (Cubs 2014 5th round pick - George County HS - Lucedale, MS) has been assigned to Extended Spring Training after struggling at South Bend (6.17 ERA - 1.94 WHIP - .308 OppBA - 45 H - 23/37 BB/K in 35 IP - nine GS). Steele will likely be a starting pitcher at Eugene (NWL season begins on June 16th), joining some combination of Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Manny Rondon in the Emeralds rotation (if there isn't room for all of them in the starting rotation, one or two may end up as "piggy-back" relievers). 

Also, RHRP P. J. Francescon has completed his 50-game "Drug of Abuse" suspension and has been reinstated from the Restricted List. He celebrated his freedom by working two perfect innings on Field #1. Francescon was the closer at AA Tennessee last season, and it's probably just a matter of time before he's back in the Smokies bullpen.

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

Pierce Johnson Continues Rehab at Riverview Park

Gerard Hernandez belted an RBI triple and an RBI single and scored two runs, Ramon Hernandez tripled twice, scored a run, and drove-in two more, and Jazz Chisholm drilled an RBI single and an RBI double, leading the Diamondbacks to an 11-6 victory over the Cubs on Field #1, and Wladimir Galindo singled and tripled, reached base on an HBP, and scored both Cub runs, as the Cubs and D'backs played to a 2-2 tie on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

Jose Paniagua went 4-4 (all four hits were singles) and drove-in two runs and Isaac Paredes doubled, singled, walked, and scored a run for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1. 

RHSP Pierce Johnson (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL since May 5th--retro to May 3rd--with a lat strain) got the start on Field #1 and did not fare well, allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits (including a triple and a double) and three walks in 3.1 IP (61 pitches). He did strike out five, however. One more EXST rehab start in which he pitches five innings and gets his pitch count up to 75-80, and Johnson should be ready to return to the I-Cubs starting rotation.   

RHSP Jesus Castillo (one of two pitchers acquired from Arizona in the Tony Campana trade in February 2013) had a far better outing on Field #2 than did Johnson on Field #1, working five innings (71 pitches) and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out four and did not issue any walks, although he did hit a batter. So Castillo becomes the first of the Eugene starters to go five innings (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, and Jose Paulino fell short earlier in the week, with Pedro Silverio and Manny Rondon yet to try). Castillo got through the first four innings on only 44 pitches while facing just ten batters, but he needed 27 pitches to get through the 5th (just barely), successfully working out of a runners at 2nd & 3rd and no outs jam (with Enrique de los Rios warmed-up & ready to go in the pen).   

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

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  • Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.

    Eric S 3 hours 18 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 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.

    Brick 4 hours 24 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 4 hours 50 min ago view
  • Don't sell yourself short, Judge.

    Jackstraw 5 hours 17 min ago view
  • I love this team.

    Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.

    Rob Richardson 6 hours 46 min ago view
  • Hey! I remember this team!

    billybucks 6 hours 54 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 8 hours 20 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 8 hours 48 min ago view
  • Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.

    Old and Blue 9 hours 54 min ago view
  • Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.

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

    Dusty Baylor 10 hours 52 sec 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 10 hours 2 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 10 hours 4 min ago view
  • Maddon basically said as much...Fowler still kind of sore, they're being proactive, etc.

    Tito 10 hours 6 min ago view
  • La Stella at 2B...Baez at 3B, or vice versa. Zobrist in RF, Bryant in LF No one gets bumped.

    Dusty Baylor 10 hours 14 min ago view
  • If Coghlan is leading off, I assume Fowler is getting the day off. Who is supposed to lead off, then? Someone has to get on base for Bryant and Rizzo. Coghlan's OBP is .346 with the Cubs. Jackson's was .304. LaStella can lead off, but then he has to play second or third, and bump Zobrist or Baez.

    Unless he gets hot, Coghlan will likely change places with Soler soon.

    VirginiaPhil 10 hours 16 min ago view