Matt Szczur

Arrieta Leads Cubs to Doubleheader Sweep

Jake Arrieta and four relievers combined to hurl a three-hit shutout, Tommy LaStella drilled three singles, and Kelly Dugan and Ryan Kalish each belted a two-run home run, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) blanked the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate) 5-0 on Field #6, and Cael Brockmeyer ripped a double and a two-run single, David Bote collected an RBI double and a single, and four relievers combined to toss five innings of one-hit shutout relief, helping the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) edge the New Britain Rock Cats (Rockies AA affiliate) 5-4 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader played in front of a standing-room-only crowd Saturday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Arrieta was sharp throughout his five innings (57 pitches - 72% strikes), allowing just two singles and a walk (1B, 6-4-3 DP, F-8, 4-3, P-4, F-7, 1B+E5, K, 4-3, K, 4-3, K, 4-1, BB, F-9, K, 5-3). In addition to his work on the mound, the Cubs also had Arrieta bat twice, and he struck out both times (once bunting foul for strike three while attempting a sac-bunt).  

Miguel Montero served as Arrieta's catcher, and went 0-2 with two deep F-8 fly-outs. 

Tommy LaStella (calf strain) made his second start in two days at Minor League Camp, serving as a DH for the Iowa squad. Once again, a pinch-runner ran for him when he reached base, but at the plate he was roping balls all over the yard, from foul line to foul line. I guess he's the kind of hitter who can roll out of bed anytime and anyplace and hammer line-drive after line-drive. He could probably turn around a 100 MPH fastball from a wheelchair.  

Matt Szczur (oblique strain) got the start in CF for Iowa and looked very good at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. He went 1-3 with a single, an infield pop out, and a fly out, and appeared to have no lingering issues with the oblique.  

As per usual, several players were called up to the Iowa and Tennessee squads for the day. RHRP Scott Effross was moved up from the Myrtle Beach squad and worked a scoreless 9th while picking-up the save for Tennessee on Field #5, and OF (ex-C) Yohan Matos was moved up to the Tennessee squad from the South Bend group and made a late appearance in LF. Also, 3B Wladimir Galindo, OF Michael Foster, 3B Adonis Paula, C Tyler Payne, and INF Edgar Rondon were moved-up to the Iowa squad from the South Bend group, and each saw some action in the game on Field #6 (Paula got the start at 3B for the I-Cubs). 

It would appear that C-1B Cael Brockmeyer, RHSP Brad Markey, and RHRP Juan Carlos Paniagua have been moved-down to the Tennessee squad from the Iowa group (not confirmed yet).  

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

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

Cubs Ding Long Dongers to Christen Cubs Park in Mesa

Justin Ruggiano, Welington Castillo, and Christian Villanueva blasted solo home runs, and Kyle Hendricks threw 2.2 IP of no-run/no-hit ball, as the Cubs "White" team defeated the Cubs "Blue" team 5-3 in a six-inning Cactus League Intrasquad game played this afternoon in what was the first Cubs game played at Cubs Park in Mesa.

Javier Baez Tries 3rd base at HoHoKam Park

The Mesa Solar Sox played their AFL home opener this afternoon at HoHoKam Park, but the Salt River Rafters drubbed the home team 11-3 thanks in no small part to four home runs.


Four Cubs saw action for the Solar Sox in today’s game:


Szczur Triples Smokies to Victory

Matt Szczur tripled twice, scored twice and drove-in a run, Justin Bour had two hits and three RBI, and Matt Cerda reached base four times on a double, two singles, and a walk, leading the Tennessee Smokies to a 6-4 victory over the Midland RockHounds (Oakland A’s AA affiliate) on Field #2, but the Sacramento River Cats (A’s AAA affiliate) took advantage of seven walks and bested the Iowa Cubs 9-6 on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


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  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 8 hours 29 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 9 hours 11 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 9 hours 22 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 9 hours 29 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 9 hours 32 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 9 hours 44 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 9 hours 49 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 10 hours 5 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 10 hours 6 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 12 hours 57 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 15 hours 29 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 16 hours 2 min ago view
  • If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.

    If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.

    Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.

    chitownmvp01 16 hours 4 min ago view
  • The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.

    billybucks 18 hours 1 min ago view
  • I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

    JoePepitone 20 hours 20 min ago view
  • Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.

    billybucks 21 hours 16 min ago view