April 2012

Angels Edge Cubs at Diablo

On a rehab assignment from AA Tennessee, Junior Lake (back strain) doubled, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Pierre LePage (also on a rehab assignment after suffering a hamstring injury in Spring Training) laced an RBI triple, an RBI single, and walked, and Kevin Encarnacion ripped a two-run triple and scored a run, but the Angels scored three in the 5th and two more in the 8th to edge the Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.


Matt Garza's 9th inning hair

What a dominant performance by Matt Garza.
The Philadelphia Phillies get one eensy weensy perfectly placed bloop single from Jimmy Rollins to lead off the game.
Then it's just Garza magic for 7 innings - one walk, no runs, Cubs 3 Phils zeeero.
Rafael Dolis gets 3 straight in the 8th.
And then it's Carlos Marmol.

Rockies Take Road to Victory at Fitch Park

Shawon Dunston Jr ripped a solo home run and Pierre LePage reached base three times, but the Cubs left six runners stranded over the final three innings, allowing the Rockies to escape with a 4-2 victory in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

Looks Like We're Temporarily Losing our .500 Hitter

Per Paul Sullivan and Enrique Rojas of ESPN Desportes, who tipped it late last night on Twitter, the Cubs are expected to disable Steve Clevenger--yes, 11-for-22 and 1249 OPS-hitting Steve Clevenger--because of "tightness in his side." Sullivan says Clevenger felt the discomfort during batting practice before Friday night's unmerciful thrashing of Roy Halladay.

Welington Castillo, hitting .320 with 2 HR and 8 RBI at Iowa, will get the call-up.

Cubs Take Two from Giants at Indian School Park

Xavier Batista blasted a three-run home run and an RBI double and Trey Martin singled twice, doubled, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in another, leading one squad of Cubs to a 10-3 victory over one squad of Giants on Field #1, and Rock Shoulders drilled a two-run single in the top of the 1st and six Cub pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout as the other squad of Cubs blanked the other squad of Giants 3-0 on Field #2, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader played this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.

Angels Cruise Past Cubs at Fitch Park

Aided by 12 walks, a HBP, a balk, four wild pitches, two passed balls, and two errors, the Angels defeated the Cubs 8-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

The Cubs managed only four hits, but one of them was a Dan Vogelbach solo home run that gave the Cubs an early 1-0 lead.

Diamondbacks Take Advantage of Cub Miscues at Talking Stick

Taking advantage of four errors to score four unearned runs, the Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 8-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ.


Promotion of the Roster Snatchers

Slowly, the infiltration has begun.

Marlon Byrd’s banishment from the nest cleared the way for Tony Campana’s
temporary custody of the roster spot reserved for Brett Jackson. If Soriano’s
reinvention as a singles hitter who doesn’t even manage many of those goes on,
how long might it be until LaHair takes his team-leading [no, it’s not saying
much] slugging totals to the outfield and defers to Raker Rizzo, the scourge of
PCL pitchers, at first base? We shall see.

In the meantime, today at Principal Park the Cubs-in waiting
wrapped up a four-game set with their Cardinal counterparts from Memphis, dropping a 4-0 yawner in front of a sun splashed crowd that couldn't have cared less. On
the mound for the Redbirds was their prized pitching prospect, Shelby Miller.
Miller’s stumbled a bit out of the PCL gate so far but remains highly touted [#8 prospect in baseball per BA last time I looked] and eagerly awaited in St. Lou as shadows lengthen on the careers of Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright.

Game 17 Thread - Garza vs. Garcia

The Cubs get their chance to make up some ground....I can't even finish that sentence with a straight face. How about? Cubs get the World Champs again and a chance to lose another series. Better.

Iowa already played today and loss to the Cardinals AAA affiliate, Memphis 6-2 at home. Jay Jackson with yet another poor outing, 5 IP, 4 ER, 0 K, 1 BB, 8 H. B. Jackson goes 2/4 with a SB, Rizzo 2/3 with a 2B and a BB and W. Castillo 1/4 with an RBI. The other minor league matchups include:

Dallas Beeler vs. Chattanooga (Dodgers): Soto 6, Watkins 4, Ha 8, Ridling, Mota 7, Burgess 9, Samson 5, Brenly 2, Beeler 1

Zach Cates vs. Lakeland (Detroit - Jacob Turner happens to be starting):  Szczur 8, Torreyes 4, Perez 9, Rohan 5, Jones 3, Andreoli 7, Silva 0, Noble 2, Alcantara 6

Jose Rosario vs. Lansing (Toronto):Devoss 4, Zapata 9, Cuneo 3, Hoilman 0, Davis 2, Easterling 8, Darvill 5, Hernandez 6, Gonzalez 7

Rockies Edge Cubs at Fitch Park

Xavier Batista ripped a single, an RBI triple, and a solo home run to stake the Cubs to a 2-1 lead through five innings, but the Rockies scored two in the 6th and two more in the 7th and then held-on to edge the Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.


Game 16 Thread - Wells vs. Cueto

Cubs break their 6-game losing streak on the strength of Maholm's pitching and a 2-out, 4-run rally in the 2nd. In the minors, Iowa loses 12-7. Sappelt goes yard, Rizzo goes 2/5 with 3 RBI's, Jackson 2/5 with a double and a K. Coleman pitched well enough, 6 IP, 2 ER and 7 K but 4 BB's. The bullpen blew up though, Corpas and Beliveau giving up 9 runs in 2 innings. It got so bad that Blake Lalli and Alfredo Amezaga had to finish the game. Tennessee won 4-2, N. Struck with the win (5 IP, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K). Antigua with 3 scoreless innings out of the pen and Hatley with a scoreless inning for the save. Ha (3/4), Ridling (2/3), Wright (2/3) provided most of the offense. Daytona won 13-2, Jokisch gets the win (5.2 IP/2 ER/3 BB/2 K). 5 doubles, 1 triple and a home run (Nelson Perez) were part of the offensive explosion. Peoria lost 2-1, but can't blame starting pitcher Michael Jensen who went 7 IP, 2 unearned runs, 1 BB, and 6 K.

Penalver Is Mightier Than the Sword

Carlos Penalver had three hits, drove-in a run, and stole a base, and Rock Shoulders and Yasiel Balaguert hammered RBI doubles, leading the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Papago Park Baseball Complex Field #1 ("Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix, AZ.

Byrd Flying East for the Summer

UPDATE #2: @Sean_McAdam: Red Sox will be responsible for only the pro-rated minimum - about $400K -- of Marlon Byrd's $6.5 million salary. Cubs eat the rest.

UPDATE: @Sean_McAdam
Baseball source: Byrd to Red Sox for Michael Bowden and PTBNL done. Cubs will pick up "most'' of Byrd's $6.5 million.


Nick Cafardo was the first to report that the Cubs and Red Sox are working on a deal to send Marlon Byrd to the Red Sox. It would also make sense of the earlier roster move today where the Cubs called up Tony Campana to put Ryan Dempster on the disabled list since they still need to lose a body to make room for Randy Wells tomorrow.

Bruce Levine is saying the Cubs will get a left-handed reliever and a minor leaguer in the deal and it should be completed today. I'm presuming Cubs will pay a healthy portion of Byrd's roughly $6.5M salary as well, but no word on that yet. Franklin Morales and Justin Thomas are the 2 lefties on their current active roster. There's also Michael Bowden, a righty, that was DFA'd last week by them.

Lineups for today's loss after the jump...

Cubs Rally to Avoid Double-Dip Sweep at Fitch Park

Neftali Rosario had three hits including a solo home run and a game-tying RBI single in the bottom of the 7th, as one squad of Cubs and one squad of Diamondbacks played to a 3-3 tie on Field #2, and Wilson Contreras singled, doubled, and tripled, scored a run, and drove-in another, but the other squad of D’backs clubbed Frank del Valle for six runs on nine hits en route to a 6-4 victory on Field #3, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Both games were seven-inning affairs.

Game 14 Thread - Volstad vs. Bailey

Scott Maine called up to replace Kerry Wood, who was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue backdated to last Saturday. Also, Ryan Dempster is in jeopardy of missing his start on Sunday and is headed for an MRI on his quad. It's posible Randy Wells would be called up to take the start.

Concepcion Goes Five But Giants Rally to Edge Cubs

Gerardo Concepcion threw five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits (all singles) and a walk with four strikeouts and two wild pitches, but the Giants rallied for three runs off two relievers and edged the Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Indian School Park Field #1 in Scottsdale, AZ.

Game 13 Thread - Samardzija vs. Nolasco

Sorry, no time for a recap last night as I got caught up in that Cliff Lee vs. Matt Cain epic showdown. Anyway, Cubs lost in every way possible although they manage zero caught stealings or errors. Iowa lost 6-4, Valbeuna hit a home run and a double. Jackson and W. Castillo hit doubles as well. Jay Jackson gave up 5 in 5.2 IP. Tennessee split a doubleheader, each of the 7-inning variety. Dallas Beeler gave up an unearned run in the first game and K. Rhoderick gave up the winning run for the loss. R. Searle, C. Weathers and F. Batista combined for the shutout in the nightcap with Ty Wright providing all the offense with a solo shot. Peoria lost 5-2, Jose Rosario giving up 3 ER in 4.2 IP.

Cubs Play to Win (and Also to Tie) at Indian School Park

Starling Peralta threw three perfect innings and Wilson Contreras, Kevin Encarnacion, and Garrett Schlecht smacked run-scoring hits in a five-run 7th, as one squad of Cubs rallied from a 5-0 deficit to tie the Giants 5-5 on Field #1, while meanwhile three pitchers were combining to throw a two-hitter on Field #2 as the other squad of Cubs edged the Giants 2-1, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.


Both games were seven-inning affairs.


Baez Hits for the Cycle at Diablo

Javier Baez hit for the cycle and drove-in all five Cub runs with a two-run triple and a three-run home run, but the Angels rallied for five runs in the middle-three innings to edge the Cubs 6-5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe, AZ.


In addition to his big day at the plate, Baez also stole a base (3rd base following his double) and made the defensive Play of the Day, going deep into the hole to backhand a grounder headed for LF, and then nailing the out with a leap and an on-the-money throw to 1st.

Sunday Funnies (sort of): Cubs watch Cardinals' ring ceremony.

I get that Dale Sveum was trying to be all high-roady (and I even admire that) having his Cubs watch the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals have their ring cememony.
But for the Cubs it had to be pretty galling.
I didn't have the tv on.
Maybe they showed it, maybe the Cubs were all perfect gentlemen..
And maybe this is what they were all actually thinking.
 

A's Rough Up Cubs Cuban Connection at Papago Park

Rob Whitenack (rehabbing from June 2011 TJS) threw two innings (27 pitches) of shutout ball with three strikeouts, but Cuban southpaws Gerardo Concepcion and Frank del Valle allowed a combined seven runs on 10 hits, five walks, a HBP, and two wild pitches over the next six innings, as the Athletics defeated the Cubs 7-4 in Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #2 (AKA “Connie Mack Field”) at the Papago Sports Complex in Phoenix, AZ.

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  • Jake Arrieta gives up first inning run

    For the first time in a year, 33 starts.

    /nervous
    //not really

    jacos 1 hour 3 min ago view
  • Old news, sorry if it's 3/44-

    J-Hey being classy by repaying an old teammate:
    http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/chicago-cubs-ja...

    Ryno 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • Sigh.

    Ok... maybe.

    Ryno 2 hours 7 min ago view
  • With Paredes moving to 3B, how do you see playing time shaking out between him and Galindo? Do you think Galindo gets starts at 1B? Galindo is more of a prospect than Paniagua, right?

    bradsbeard 2 hours 9 min ago view
  • Phil, your knowledge of the Cubs Minor League system is unbelievable.

    Hagsag 2 hours 12 min ago view
  • This kid would be a key piece in a trade for a pitcher, imo.

    The E-Man 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • This might be old news but Hammel was on ESPN 1000 and said that he changed his diet and workout routine over the off season and tweaked his delivery so it'd be more repeatable so he'd have a better second half. So...some cause for optimism anyway.

    johann 3 hours 36 min ago view
  • 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 3 hours 45 min 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 4 hours 13 min 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 4 hours 34 min 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 4 hours 41 min ago view
  • Rob Richardson 5 hours 10 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 6 hours 4 min ago view
  • Awesome thanks AZ

    Old and Blue 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • Great report, Phil! This organization has so many hitters to be excited about.

    John Beasley 6 hours 56 min ago view
  • Ben Zobrist is very enjoyable to watch!!!!!!

    Hagsag 9 hours 44 min ago view