Hunter Ackerman, LHP Arismendy Alcantara, INF Gioskar Amaya, INF Jose Arias, RHP Frank Batista, RHP Xavier Batista, OF Dallas Beeler, RHP Justin Bour, 1B Sergio Burruel, C David Cales, RHP Esmailin Caridad, RHP Marcelo Carreno, RHP Lendy Castillo, RHP Javier Castro, RHP Zach Cates, RHP Hunter Cervenka, LHP Pin-Chieh Chen, OF Casey Coleman, RHP Gerardo Concepcion, LHP Willson Contreras, C Wes Darvill, INF Antonio Encarnacion, RHP Luis Flores, C Anthony Giansanti, OF Enyel Gonzalez, RHP Carlos Gutierrez, RHP Jae-Hoon Ha, OF Eric Jokisch, LHP Dong-Yub Kim, OF Austin Kirk, LHP Luis Liria, RHP Matt Loosen, RHP Jeff Lorick, LHP Eric Martinez, RHP A. J. Morris, RHP Chad Noble, C Loiger Padron, RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua, RHP (see NOTE) Amaury Paulino, RHP Felix Pena, RHP Starling Peralta, RHP Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP Kevin Rhoderick, RHP Greg Rohan, IF-OF Jose Rosario, RHP Zac Rosscup, LHP Victor Salazar, RHP Brian Schlitter, RHP Ryan Searle, RHP Elliot Soto, INF Nick Struck, RHP Luis Villalba, LHP Yao-Lin Wang, RHP Oliver Zapata, OF NOTE: Player not eligible for selection if added to MLB 40-man roster by 11/20. Also, Juan Carlos Paniagua signed his first contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as "Juan Callado" on 5-8-2009 and pitched for the DSL Diamondbacks in the Dominican Summer League in 2009-10, but the contract was "pending" for almost two years and was never officially approved by MLB. The contract was eventually rejected by MLB due to "fraudulent paperwork" and Paniagua (Callado) was suspended for one year and then was declared a free-agent. He signed with the New York Yankees in March 2011 but then was suspended again and that contract was rejected, too, because his birth certificate could not be verified. Paniagua was cleared by MLB in 2012 and he signed with the Cubs on 7-9-2012. Therefore, Paniagua could be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time in December 2013, since 2009 was his "first season" on the field and he was 18 on the June 5th immediately preceding the signing of his first contract, or he might not be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft for the first time until December 2015, if 2012 is considered Paniagua's "first season" for Rule 5 eligibility purposes.
Darnell McDonald and Junior Lake each had a single, a double, and an RBI, leading the Cubs to a 5-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics in Cactus League action this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.
The regular seasons for the Latin Winter Leagues in Venezuela (VWL), Mexico (LMP), Puerto Rico (PWL), and the Dominican Republic (DWL) close this weekend, and the playoffs will start next month. Then the four league champions will meet in the Caribbean Series in Hermosillo, Mexico, the first week of February (just prior to the start of MLB Spring Training).
About 30 Cubs (both major leaguers and minor leaguers) are playing winter ball in Latin America, and the following are seven of the better performances:
Dundee-Crown HS alum Ryan Court reached base five times on two doubles, a single, and two walks, leading the Diamondbacks to an 11-4 drubbing of the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
D'backs Stephen Drew (2011 broken ankle rehab) arrived at Fitch Park after the game started and played the middle three innings at shortstop, batting once each in the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings.
Justin Bianco hammered a solo home run leading off the bottom of the 5th to break a 1-1 tie, and it was just enough as the Diamondbacks edged the Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Junior Lake continued his rehab, batting six times (once in each of the first six innings) and playing shortstop for seven innings.
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 Downs clubbed a grand slam home run to cap a nine-run 2nd inning, and the Giants coasted to a 9-4 victory over the Cubs in AZ Instructional League action this afternoon at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Junior Lake drove in three runs, Matt Cerda had three hits, and Brandon Guyer belted a solo home run, as the Cubs defeated the Giants 5-2 this afternoon in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
2008 33rd round pick Sean Hoorelbeke (Central Michigan) roped a two-run double into the left-centerfield alley on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, driving in the tying and winning runs and giving the AZL Cubs a 4-3 victory over the AZL Giants at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
3B Junior Lake gave the AZL Cubs a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd inning when he blasted a towering HR onto 8th Street, but the lanky 18-year old Dominican infielder got yanked out of the game by Manager Franklin Font after he failed to run out a ground ball in a later AB.
Just a typical Day in the Life of AZL baseball.
Prior to the AZL game, LHP Rich Hill threw a two-inning (35 pitches - 22 strikes & 13 balls) simulated game on Field #1 under the watchful eye of Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Mark Riggins (who stood at various vantage points around the infield and home plate area during the session, including behind the mound).
"Some of the best advice I've gotten is, I was sitting with Ian Stewart, talking about hitting and I was feeling for my swing as you do early in the season," Jackson recalled. "He asked if I was comfortable at the plate and I said I'm not very comfortable right now. He's like, 'You need to be yourself at the plate and be comfortable and be the type of hitter [you] want to be.'"
Interesting tweet in the tweet box: z'Remember when Rizzo was striking out a lot? No K's in last 31 AB's..tied for 2nd longest active streak in majors"
Don't know if that includes last night, but it sure goes a long way to explaining his improved hitting. It's a curious thing, though, the difference between the way his season started and now. How does that happen?
The Cubs will wait to see how Matt Garza (lat) feels and how his bullpen session goes Saturday before they make a decision about activating him.
Garza declared himself ready to rejoin the Cubs' rotation after six scoreless innings during Thursday's rehab start. It's probably just a formality at this point before the team announces that he'll rejoin the rotation next week. Carlos Villanueva is the likeliest candidate to be demoted to the bullpen.