Cubs Extended Spring Training

Angel Five-Run 3rd Sinks Cubs at Riverview

Alexis Rivera hammered a two-run home run to key a five-run 3rd inning that turned a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 lead, and the Angels held-on to edge the Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

17-year old SS Aramis Ademan (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic - $2M bonus) ripped a double and a bases-loaded bases-clearing three-run triple, 17-year old 2B Yonathan Perlaza (2015 IFA - Venezuela - $1M bonus) drilled an RBI triple and a single, walked, and scored a run, and 19-year old CF D. J. Wilson (Cubs 2015 4th round draft pick - Canton South HS - Canton, OH) singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored three runs for the Cubs in a losing cause.

Ademan also made a nice play in the field on an L-6 that he turned into an inning-ending DP in the top of the 1st. (This was Ademan's first Cactus League EXST game action since April 16th, although he did play in yesterday's intrasquad game). 


RHSP Pedro Silverio got the start for the Cubs and threw ten straight balls to start the game, before settling down and retiring eight of the last nine men he faced (K, L-6 DP, 6-3, BB, K, F-7, K, F-9, 4-3). 

Recently signed RHRP Nick Sarianides (ex-AZ) was the victim of the five-run explosion in the top of the 3rd, allowing all five runs on two hits (including the Rivera HR), two walks, a HBP, and two WP (he threw only 39% srikes and he could not complete the inning). The strikeout and save leader in the California League in 2015, Sarianides was released by the D'backs earlier this month because he could not throw strikes at AA Mobile. He posted a 1-2-3 nine-pitch inning in his first EXST outing on Tuesday. 

RF Michael Foster fouled a ball off his left ankle mid-AB in the bottom of the 7th and had to be carted off the field (Yohan Matos finished the AB), the third Cub outfielder to leave a game due to a leg, ankle, or foot injury in three days (Jose Gonzalez and Robert Garcia were injured in Wednesday's SS-DH versus the Rockies).  

Prior to the game on Field #5, RHSP Aaron Brooks (March 2016 hip contusion) and LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) threw "live" BP on Field #6 (one inning - 25 pitches each), so if there are no medical setbacks, both pitchers should be ready for Cactus League EXST or intrasquad game action within a week or so. This was Leathersich's first time throwing from a mound on a field since his TJS, but Brooks threw in an intrasquad game at Riverview on April 26th (he was shut-down after just two innings, and he hadn't thrown on a field since). 

Among Cubs 40-man roster pitchers who are on the DL, LHRP Zac Rosscup has had season-ending left shoulder-surgery, RHRP Andury Acevedo has had season-ending knee surgery (torn ACL), and RHSP Dallas Beeler (right shoulder inflammation) was shut-down mid-AB while throwing in a Cactus League EXST game on April 30th, and he hasn't pitched since. RHSP Pierce Johnson (lat strain) is at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa, but he is not throwing "live" yet. And I have not seen Joe Nathan. 

RHSP Stephen Fife (oblique strain) is not on the Cubs 40-man roster but he was an NRI to Spring Training, and he has completed his EXST rehab assignment (he threw 81 pitches in a Cactus League EXST game on Wednesday) and he will be re-joining the Iowa Cubs when they return home on Monday. 

RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) is also not on the Cubs 40-man roster but (like Fife) he was an NRI to Spring Training, and he was active and pitching in Cactus League EXST games regularly (one inning every two or three days) up until ten days ago (5/10), when he was shut-down while warming up to come into a game versus the Giants in Scottsdale, and he hasn't pitched since.

And as I've mentioned here before, but in case you missed it, LHRP Manny Parra (another NRI to Cubs MLB Spring Training) had TJS last month and is out for the year. 

John Arguello has notes from the game at Cubs Den: 

link 

And here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only) : 

Cubs Sweep Rockies as Fife Completes Rehab

Kevonte Mitchell doubled, walked twice, and drove-in a run and Erling Moreno and two relievers combined to hurl a four-hit shutout as the Cubs blanked the Rockies 3-0 on Field #4, and Chris Pieters singled, tripled and scored a run, Alex Bautista singled twice, stole a base, scored two runs, and knocked-in another, and Eric Gonzalez smacked a solo home run, leading the Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the Rockies on Field #5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Alex Castellanos (ex-LAD) belted a two-run HR for the Rockies in a losing cause on Field #5. 

The game on Field #4 was called by mutual consent after seven innings of play, and the game on Field #5 was called by mutual-consent after six innings of play. 

Speedy waterbug Edgar Rondon laid-down a picture-perfect two-out squeeze-bunt hit to get the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 2nd inning on Field #4, after practicing his bunting in pre-game BP. (I guess that's why they say "practice makes perfect"). 

Cubs outfielders Jose Gonzalez (knee or ankle injury after tripping over 1st base on two-run RBI single on Field #5) and Robert Garcia (hit on foot by pitch on Field #4) left their games with injuries. 

RHSP Stephen Fife (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL with strained oblique since 4/15) made his final EXST rehab start, working four innings (81 pitches - 69% strikes). He was not particularly effective, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits (four singles, a triple, and the Castellanos two-run bomb). He also hit a batter, threw a WP, and struck out six, with a 3/3 GO/AO. His next start will likely be for the I-Cubs next Monday or Tuesday, but don't be surprised if he gets released sooner rather later.    

RHRP Nick Sarianides made his Cubs debut, throwing a 1-2-3 inning (F-8, P-2, K). The 26-year old Sarianides was released by the Diamondbacks earlier this month after struggling to throw strikes at AA Mobile, but he led the Hi-A California League (an extreme hitters league) in both saves and strikeouts last season after being acquired by the D'backs from Tres Rivieres (Cam-Am League) in 2014. He was mentioned by Baseball America prior to last December's Rule 5 Draft as a likely candidate to get selected, although he was not. Sarianides features a 91-92 MPH fastball and a dive-bomb change-up (which is his strikeout pitch). He probably won't be at EXST very long, because he was in "game shape" when the Cubs signed him. He looked very good today.   

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

Paredes Saves the Day at Riverview

Isaac Paredes rifled a two-run single into LF with two outs in the bottom of the 9th as the Cubs rallied to tie the Diamondbacks 2-2 on Field #4, and LHSP Jose Paulino and four relievers combined to toss a two-hit shutout as the Cubs blanked the D'backs 2-0 on Field #5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The 17-year old Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K bonus) is hitting 306/390/583 (7% BB-rate / 10% K-rate) in 13 games (41 PA), and leads the EXST Cubs in RBI with 14 (in just 13 games) and is second in HR with two (Jose Paniagua has four). He has made one error (it was a fielding error) in 13 games played at SS.  

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

Cease to Exist - Submission is a Gift

Sam Koenig lofted a two-run double over the centerfielder's head with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, as the Angels rallied to tie the Cubs 2-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, AZ. 

Kevonte Mitchell tripled, walked, and scored a run for the Cubs.  

RHSP Dylan Cease got the start for the Cubs and was dominating, easily retiring the first eleven Angels he faced (K, 3-U, K, 5-3, K, 3-U, 1-3, 4-3, K, K, 3-U) and firing four innings of one-hit shutout ball (the one hit being a ground single to CF with two outs in the bottom of the 4th). He issued no walks, struck out five, and posted a 7/0 GO/AO (seven weak-contact GO). None of the Angel batters hit the ball in the air against him. 

Cease's fastball sat consistenly at 98-99 MPH from the gitgo, and he threw his 79-81 MPH curve for strikes time-after-time, mixing it effectively with his heater. He also threw one or two change-ups.

Cease threw 64% strikes (the highest percentage of strikes thrown in a game by Cease so far in his pro career - minimum 30 pitches), and not only did he not walk anyone, he went to three balls on only three of the 13 batters he faced. (I've actually seen Cease outings where he went to three balls on every batter he faced). 

Today's outing may have been the most-dominating performance of Cease's pro career, rivaling his eye-popping ("Is that Arrieta?") outing versus the Brewers a couple of weeks ago.  

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

Sierra and Paniagua Long-Balls Help Cubs Gain Split with Giants

Jonathan Sierra (two-run home run), Alberto Mineo (RBI triple), Kwang-Min Kwon (RBI single), and Roberto Caro (RBI triple) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run 2nd, Jose Paniagua clubbed his team-leading 4th HR in the 6th, Edgar Rondon drilled two doubles, walked, and scored a run, and Marcus Mastrobuoni doubled, singled , and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 7-3 win over the Giants on Field #2, and Chase Compton belted a solo HR and an RBI single, Richard Amion Jr rifled an RBI single and walked twice, and RHP Hengerber Medina and four relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Giants blanked the Cubs 3-0 on Field #1, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.  

Both games were called by mutual-consent after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

Now 17, Jonathan Sierra (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic- $2.5M bonus) was invited to AZ Instructs as a 16-year old last September, and he made a favorable impression, even drawing comparisons to a (very) young Darryl Strawberry (lanky teenaged LH hitting & throwing corner OF with potential to mash). But Sierra has struggled at Extended Spring Training so far, hitting just 152/243/303 (16% K-rate - 11% walk-rate) in 13 Cactus League EXST games (37 PA), and his second-inning home run today (which was his 1st Cactus League EXST HR) broke an 0-13 skid that goes back ten days. So while his future is bright, he will likely be assigned to one of the Cubs DSL squads (DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2) in the coming days.     

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

Cub Pitchers Fan Sweet Sixteen A's at Fitch Park

Wladimir Galindo smacked an RBI double, singled twice, and scored a run, Chris Pieters singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs, D. J. Wilson drilled an RBI triple, and RHSP Pedro Silverio hurled three innings of no run/no hit ball and combined with three relievers to strike out 16 hitters and toss a five-hitter, as the Cubs defeated the Athletics 5-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action this morning at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Mike Martin tripled, singled twice, and scored both of the A's runs. 

In twelve Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (43 PA), Wladimir Galindo is hittting 333/372/462 (28% K-rate and 2% walk-rate), with three three-hit games. Galindo displays a similar offensive skill-set as Jorge Soler (extremely hard contact when he hits the ball, but not many walks and a lot of strikeouts). He has also committed five errors (two throwing and three fielding) in eleven games played at 3B (he was a DH in the other game). The 19-year old Galindo was part of the touted Cubs 2013-14 IFA class that also included Gleyber Torres, Eloy Jimenez, Jen-Ho Tseng, and Jeferson Mejia, and Galindo had a fine rookie season in 2014, hitting 278/356/472 for the VSL Cubs and leading the VSL in HR as a 17 year old. But then he missed most of the 2015 season with left wrist inflammation (at EXST) and then a fractured left hand (in the AZL), so the inconsistency he is showing at the plate and in the field right now is probably to be expected. 

As things stand right now, it would appear that Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, and either Erling Moreno, Manny Rondon, or Jesus Castillo will form the Eugene starting rotation, and Daniel Lewis, Tommy Nance, Pedro Araujo, Tyler Peitzmeier, Jared Cheek, John Michael Knighton, and Mark Malave will be the bullpen arms, with Scott Frazier, Alexander Santana, Enrique de los Rios, M. T. Minacci, and Yapson Gomez still battling for jobs in the Emeralds pen. Again, this is only as things stand right now at this point in time, because a lot can happen between today and June 17th (Northwest League Opening Day). 

John Arguello (Cubs Den) has a game report:  

link 

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

It's ex-Cub vs ex-D'back at Salt River Fields

Ramon Hernandez doubled twice, singled, and scored a run and Luis Silverio belted a two-run triple and scored a run, leading the Diamondbacks to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs on Whirlwind Field. and RHSP Chester Pimentel hurled five innings of shutout ball and combined with two relievers on a four-hitter, as the D'backs edged the Cubs 2-1 on Jackrabbit Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Both games were called by mutual-consent after seven innings of play. 

The Cubs have lost seven of their last ten Cactus League EXST games, and so their record now stands at 16-9-3 after a 13-2-3 start. 

Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K bonus) provided the lone EXST Cub offensive highlight of the day, smacking a two-run HR high over the LF fence and into the parking lot (just missed hitting my ride) to put the Cubs on the board in the top of the 1st inning on Whirlwind Field. In eleven Cactus League EXST games (36 PA), Paredes is hitting 323/417/645 (11% K-rate), leads the team in RBI with twelve, and is second in HR with two (Jose Paniagua has hit three). Of the eleven Cubs 2015-16 IFA at Extended Spring Training, Paredes is the one who could skip AZL and go directly to Eugene. The one knock on Paredes is that he is definitely a below-average runner (especially for a middle-infielder), so I would not be surprised if he is moved to 3B at some point in the future. 

The game on Whirlwind Field featured the somewhat unusual (at least for Extended Spring Training) "our former guy versus your former guy" match-up on the mound, as ex-Cub RHP Jeferson Mejia (sent to AZ in the Miguel Montero deal) started for the Diamondbacks, and ex-D'back Jesus Castillo (acquired by the Cubs in the Tony Campana trade) started for the Cubs. Mejia threw 3.2 IP, walked three, hit a batter, allowed two hits (including the two-run HR to Paredes in the first), and struck out two, with a 3/6 GO/AO, and Castillo surrendered four runs in three innings on four hits (two singles and two triples) and two WP, striking out two with a 3/4 GO/AO. 

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

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 8 hours 15 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 11 hours 13 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 11 hours 25 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 11 hours 34 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 11 hours 39 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 11 hours 58 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 12 hours 34 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 12 hours 51 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 12 hours 53 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 13 hours 11 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 13 hours 18 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 14 hours 14 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 14 hours 32 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 14 hours 36 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 15 hours 46 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here: http://www.thecubreporter.com/05242016/cub-power-d...

    QuietMan 16 hours 25 min ago view