Danny Lockhart

Cubs & Pelicans Pitchers Give Bees & 66ers That Sinking Feeling

Chesny Young belted a two-run triple, singled, and walked, Jason Vosler doubled twice, singled, and scored a run, Jesse Hodges ripped an RBI double and a single, Rashad Crawford roped a line-drive RBI single, drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a run, and Jeremy Null threw five innings of two-run ball with an amazing 12/1 GO/FO, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A  affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to edge the Burlington Bees (Lo-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels) 4-3 on Field #5, and Daury Torrez threw six shutout innings with four strikeouts and an 11/2 GO/FO, Kevin Brown belted a two-run triple, singled twice, and scored a run, Varonex Cuevas doubled twice, singled, and scored a run, and Danny Lockhart roped a two-run single, walked, and scored a run, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (the Cubs Hi-A affiliate) rallied for four runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.    

The 66ers had just scored four runs in the top of the 9th off Myrtle Beach lefty reliever Gerardo Concepcion to take a 6-2 lead, but the Pelicans came right back with four of their own. 

Both Daury Torrez and Jeremy Null had the sinker working to perfection, combining to produce a 23/3 GO/FO ratio over 11 innings of work, one of the most extraordinary groundball heavy minor league doubleheaders I have seen in some time. Torrez will join Duane Underwood, Tyler Skulina, Paul Blackburn, and Jen-Ho Tseng in the Myrtle Beach starting rotation, and Null will be part of a South Bend rotation that will also feature Jake Stinnett, Erick Leal, Trevor Clifton, James Norwood, and/or Zach Hedges (last slot still TBD)  

The defensive play of the day was turned-in by South Bend CF Trey Martin, who made a spectacular diving catch in right-centerfield after a long run at full speed. Martin is a "long-strider" who can make long distances seem shorter than they really are, but what was especially impressive about Martin's play was that he dived onto his left (non-throwing) shoulder to complete the catch, the same shoulder that was surgically repaired about a year ago.    

With the exception of Travis Wood and Kyle Hendricks, the Chicago Cubs left town after last night's Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in anticipation of their MLB Opening Day game tomorrow night at Wrigley Field, leaving minor league players behind to be presented as the "Chicago Cubs" for this afternoon's MLB Cactus League finale. Most of the players assigned to the MLB game at Chase were pulled from the AAA Iowa Cubs roster, but a few came from the Tennessee and Myrtle Beach squads as well. Also, several members of the Myrtle Beach squad were moved up to the Iowa Cubs for this afternoon's Cactus League minor league game in Tempe against the Angels AAA Salt Lake City affiliate, and a number of players from the Cubs Extended Spring Training contingent filled in for the missing Pelicans at Riverview, as well as providing roster depth in the South Bend, Tennessee, and Iowa games.  

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

Cubs Fire Blanks to Celebrate Memorial Day at Talking Stick

Danny Lockhart tripled, singled twice, and drove-in two runs, Jacob Rogers singled twice, walked, and knocked-in two runs, and four pitchers combined to toss a three-hit shutout, as the Cubs whitewashed the Rockies 7-0 in Memorial Day Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort, east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

25-year old Cuban RHP Armando Rivero ($3.1M signing bonus in March) started the game for the Cubs and threw one shutout inning, surrendering one walk while striking out one. Rivero was consistently working at 94-95 MPH with his fastball, mixing it with a hard-breaking splitter and an occasional slider. Although he only struck out one, he got seven swings & misses among his 19 pitches. Rivero was the closer for Industriales in Serie Nacional (the Cuban Major League) prior to defecting, and so I wouldn't be surprised to see him move quickly through the system once he leaves EXST. He has late-inning shut-down type stuff.

RHP James Pugliese followed Rivero to the mound and tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball (51 pitches- 38 strikes). He retired the first eight men he faced, and allowed his one hit (a single) with two outs in his fourth inning of work. He also walked one and struck out three. 

Though he may not have the ceiling of a Dillon Maples or a Duane Underwood, Pugliese has been the best Cub pitcher so far at EXST (1.86 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, .155 OppBA, 9/25 BB/K, and a team-leading 70% strikes in a team-leading 29.0 IP). He will very likely join Duane Underwood, Paul Blackburn, Trey Lang, and a 5th starter TBD to form the Boise starting rotation. (RHPs Ryan McNeil and Josh Conway would have been candidates for the Hawks rotation, but both suffered season-ending elbow injuries during the course of Extended Spring Training).

It's possible that a pitcher presently at Kane County (perhaps someone like Brian Smith or Ian Dickson) could be moved down to Boise next month to get regular work as a starter, or one of the pitchers currently projected to make-up the "Big Four" at AZL Cubs (Erick Leal, Alexander Santana, Daury Torrez, or Carlos Rodriguez) could possibly yet capture the 5th rotation slot at Boise. (The AZL Cubs only need four starting pitchers, because AZL teams get every fifth day off). RHRP Loiger Padron has also recently been stretched-out as a starter at EXST in case he is needed to start or to "piggy-back" at Boise.

RHP Daury Torrez followed Pugliese to the hill and hurled three shutout innings (needing only 31 pitches to do so), allowing two harmless singles. He struck out one and did not issue any walks. Torrez is a strike-throwing machine.

LHRP Hunter Ackerman then threw an 11-pitch 1-2-3 9th (4-3, 1-3, 4-3) to wrap things up neatly.

Steve Clevenger (strained oblique rehab) saw his first EXST game action at catcher, working as the Cub backstop for the first five innings (catching Rivero and Pugliese). He also batted five times. once each in the top of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th innings. He went 1-5, with an opposite-field RBI double into the LF corner in the top of the 3rd. (He later would score on the Danny Lockhart triple). Clevenger also grounded out 4-3 and popped out to the third-baseman in foul territory, and he was called out on strikes in his final final two Plate Appearances (and was none too pleased either time).  

In EXST Cubs roster news, catcher Lance Rymel has been promoted to Tennessee, and 3B Luis Acosta, OF Roberto Caro, and SS Frandy de la Rosa have been sent back to the Cubs Dominican Academy. (The DSL Cubs begin play this Friday).

The 23-year old Rymel was the Cubs 2012 28th round pick out of Rogers State U. He hit 226/353/321 in 16 EXST games (37 PA), throwing out 10-21 runners attempting to steal (48% CS), plus one PO.  

Here is the abridged box score from today's game:


Baez Long Ball Propels Cubs to Victory

Jeffrey Baez smacked a three-run home run onto 8th Street, Danny Lockhart singled twice and drove-in three runs, and Ryan McNeil (Cubs 2012 3rd round draft pick) threw three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts, leading the Cubs to a 12-7 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.


Ian Stewart continued his Extended Spring Training rehab assignment, batting five times (once in each of the first five innings) and going 1-4, reaching base on an RBI single and an HBP. He also flied out, lined out, and grounded out.


Cubs Bats Stay Hot in Arizona Heat

Shawon Dunston Jr ripped an RBI single and a three-run inside-the-park HR and Lendy Castillo threw three innings of shutout ball, leading the AZL Cubs to an 11-8 victory over the AZL Athletics in Arizona League action tonight at Field #2 (Connie Mack Field) at the Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix, AZ.  


Will the Vogelbach Curse Haunt Boise Hawks?

Dan Vogelbach singled twice, doubled, drove-in three runs, and scored three more, Carlos Penalver collected three singles and two RBI and scored two runs, and Danny Lockhart had four hits (three singles and a double) and scored twice, leading the AZL Cubs to a 12-6 victory over the Boise Hawks this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.  

Angels Victory a Saturday in the Park

Trey Martin singled twice, walked, stole two bases, drove-in a run and scored another, Dong Yub Kim singled and doubled and knocked-in two runs, and Danny Lockhart and Justin Marra belted back-to-back RBI triples, but it wasn’t enough as the Angels scored five runs in the top of the 2nd inning and cruised to a 9-5 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

Cubs & D'backs Split a Pair at T-Stick

Trevor Gretzky singled, doubled, walked, stole a base, scored three runs, and drove-in another, and Danny Lockhart belted an RBI triple to key a five-run 5th, leading the Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Diamondbacks on Quail Field, and Jeimer Candelario and Xavier Batista each rapped a two-run single and Dustin Geiger laced an RBI double to highlight a five-run 2nd inning, but the D’backs took advantage of four Cub errors (including three errant throws on attempted pick-offs) to score seven unanswered runs en route to a 7-5 victory on Mesquite Field, as the Cubs and Diamondbacks split an Arizona Barbeque Festival Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.


Cub Bats Rock Fitch Park

Javier Baez (solo HR and a two-run single), Jeimer Candelario (two-run triple and an RBI single), and Danny Lockhart (two-run single and an RBI single) drove-in three runs a piece, Xavier Batista doubled twice, singled, and scored a run, and Micah Gibbs reached base four times on two singles and two walks and scored two runs, leading the Cubs to an 11-3 thumping of the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.

Rock Shoulders the Load at Fitch Park

Rock Shoulders ripped a two-run double, walked twice, and scored a run, Trey Martin drilled a two-run single, and Danny Lockhart laced an RBI triple, leading the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.


Cubs Rally for Two in 8th to Claim Victory

Danny Lockhart drilled an RBI single to right to drive-in Dustin Geiger from 3rd base with the tying run, and Shawon Dunston, Jr scored the go-ahead run (the eventually winning run) on an errant pickoff attempt at 3rd base, as the Cubs rallied for two in the 8th to edge the Angels 4-3 in AZ Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.

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