Shawon Dunston Jr

Tyler Alamo blasted a two-run home run over the LF fence and onto the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead, and Kelvin Freeman, Shawon Dunston Jr, Jacob Hannemann, Jeimer Candelario, Yasiel Balaguert, and Jordan Hankins drilled six consecutive two-out hits to highlight a five-run 6th, as the Cubs hammered out 17 hits and drubbed the Angels 10-3 in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa.


Junior Lake doubled twice, singled, walked, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jeffrey Baez doubled twice, scored twice, and knocked-in a run, Shawon Dunston Jr belted a two-run triple, singled, stole a base, and scored two runs, Brad Zapenas drove-in three runs with a double and two sacrifice flies, and Xavier Batista hammered a solo home run (his third HR in two days), as the Cubs drubbed the Rockies 13-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa,AZ.

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair so that more pitchers could get game work.  

Junior Lake (fractured rib cage rehab) played CF for seven innings and batted five times, going 3-4 with two doubles (both rifled off the LF fence), a line-drive single, and a walk, plus a strikeout (swinging). 

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

Shawon Dunston Jr and Brad Zapenas collected three hits a piece, Francisco Sanchez stroked a two-run single and a double, and Loiger Padron tossed three innings of one-hit shutout ball, as the Cubs edged the Athletics 4-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that all of the A's and Cubs pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, OF Reggie Golden has been promoted to Kane County. 

The Cubs 2010 2nd round draft pick out of Wetumpka, AL, Golden suffered two torn knee ligaments while running the bases as a member of the Peoria Chiefs in April 2012, and missed the balance of the 2012 season. He looked rusty at Minor League Camp this past March, and so he was left behind at Extended Spring Training to get into better playing shape. 

Golden was mired in a 1-22 slump through his first 11 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games, but turned things around beginning on April 30th. He ended up hitting 250/384/400 in 24 Cactus League EXST games (73 PA), with four doubles, one triple, one HR & 12 RBI, 12/19 BB/K, and two SB (no CS), but he was especially hot over his last ten games (35 PA), hitting 400/486/533 with two doubles, a triple, and eight RBI over that span.   

Also, RHRP Larry Suarez has been moved-up to Daytona.

In five Cactus League EXST games (7.0 IP), Suarez allowed one run (earned) on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts (1.29 ERA & 1.00 WHIP). Suarez struggled to throw strikes in Minor League Camp, and was left behind at Extended Spring Training to build up arm strength and work on his mechanics.

Now 23, the 6'4 270 Suarez was signed as a 16-year old "bonus baby" out of Venezuela on July 2, 2006 (the first day of the 2006 International Signing Period). He has occasionally shown flashes of talent (he was the closer for a while at Peoria last season), but has mostly been a disapointment. He is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league free-agent (AKA "six-year free-agent") post-2013 if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster or agrees to a 2014 minor league successor contract by the 5th day following the conclusion of the 2013 World Series.   

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

Yorman Garcia belted a three-run HR to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead, Wagner Mateo tripled, singled twice, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Karl Triana tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball, leading the Diamondbacks to a 7-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ 

Shawon Dunston Jr ripped an RBI triple, singled, walked, reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and scored a run for the Cubs.

Steve Clevenger was a DH for the Cubs and batted four times, hitting once in each of the first four innings. He popped out to the third-baseman in the 1st inning, drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch in the 2nd, drilled an RBI double off the fence in right-centerfield in the 3rd inning, and flied out to the centerfielder in the 4th.    

Instead of playing two seven-inning games (as they usually do when they play each other), the Cubs and D'backs opted to play one 11-inning game. However, the umpires didn't get the message, so four umps showed up (ostensibly two for each game), and they ended up working as a four-man crew for the one game (something you don't see very often in an Extended Spring Training game). 

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

Jacob Rogers blasted a three-run home run over the right-centerfield fence to put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning, Dong-Yub Kim belted a solo HR over the LF fence and off the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street, singled, and walked, and Shawon Dunston Jr laced an RBI triple, singled, and scored two runs, leading the Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.  


Carlos Escobar blasted a 420+ foot two-run HR that landed on the roof of a mobile classroom at Frank Borman Elementary School beyond the left-centerfield fence to put the Cubs on the scoreboard in the top of the 1st, Shawon Dunston Jr belted a triple and two singles, scored two runs, and drove-in two more, and Yasiel Balaguert laced a two-run triple, singled, walked, and scored two runs, as the Cubs outlasted the Brewers 9-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Maryvale Baseball Complex Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") in Phoenix, AZ.   

Tyler Roberts doubled twice, singled, scored two runs, and drove-in one, and Dustin Houle singled, doubled, walked, and scored three runs, to aid the Brewer cause.   

The pitcher's mound on Field #7 was in deplorable condition. It had apparently baked in the heat (the infield was hard as cement) and then had been over-watered just prior to start of the game, so starting pitchers Josh Conway (Cubs) and Daniel Keller (Brewers) were constantly slipping & sliding on clods of dirt when they hit their respective landing spots after throwing a pitch, and the two pitchers had to continually go to the back of the mound and scrape mud out of their cleats. The mound was also tacky at the rubber, so that at one point the cleats on Keller's right shoe got stuck in the mud and he had to abort a pitch by throwing it directly into the ground.

Meanwhile, Conway looked uncomfortable from his very first pitch, continually pawing at his landing spot and scraping mud out of his spikes after every single pitch. A member of the grounds crew was eventually located after the end of the 1st inning (today is Saturday, so there was just a "skeleton crew" on duty), and while he raked up the mud clods, nothing was done to dry up the mud itself or stamp-down the mound. On his second pitch in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Conway's spikes got caught in the mud and he tripped and threw a pitch awkwardly, about six feet over the head of the Brew Crew batter. A loud pop could be heard when he let go of the pitch, and his arm recoiled as if he had been shot. He was obviously in tremendous pain, and he ran up the 1st base line into foul territory before coming to a stop and going to one knee.  

Only after Conway left the game did two other members of the Maryvale grounds crew arrive and completely manicure the mound to make it safe for the pitchers. 

Conway was immediately driven back to Fitch Park in the Cubs utility van, and presumably he will be examined next week.

Conway was the Cubs 4th round draft pick last season out of Coastal Carolina University, and he was considered a pre-draft 1st or 2nd round talent who fell to the 4th round only because he had elbow UCL reconstruction (Tommy John Surgery) prior to the June draft. But after nearly making the Kane County starting rotation out of Minor League Camp, Conway has been the most-impressive Cubs pitcher so far at Extended Spring Training, and after throwing five solid innigs and 80 pitches in his previous start last Monday, he appeared to be on the verge of getting a promotion to Kane County or possibly Daytona.

Jose Rosario was scheduled to once again "piggy-back" with Conway (with both pitchers throwing four or five innings each), but Conway's early exit caused the Cubs to turn to reliever Mike Hamann to get ready quickly and throw a couple of innings. Rosario eventually did enter the game in the bottom of the 4th, and he had a miserable outing, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits (including three doubles), three walks, a wild pitch, and a two-base throwing error over three innings of work. He benefited from an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP and two runners being thrown out at the plate trying to score on singles to the outfield, or his final line would have been even worse. 

Reggie Golden earned the notorious "Golden Sombrero," striking out four times (all four times swinging), and he did it in four AB. 

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

Shawon Dunston Jr reached base four times on three singles and a walk, scored twice, and drove-in a run, Yasiel Balaguert singled twice, tripled, and knocked-in four runs, and Jacob Rogers smacked a two-run triple and walked, leading one squad of Cubs to a 7-3 victory over one squad of Diamondbacks on Field #3, and Francisco Sanchez hammered a two-run triple and then scored on a WP in a three-run 5th, and Garrett Schlecht, Erick Castillo, and Wilfredo Petit punched-out consecutive singles with two outs in the bottom of the 7th, rallying the other squad of Cubs to a 4-4 tie with the other squad of D'backs on Field #2, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

As is usually the case when they play an EXST doubleheader, both games were seven-inning affairs, and the games were played simultaneously on adjoining fields.

RHP Dayan Diaz saw his first 2013 game action today, starting and pitching one inning in the game on Field #3. Signed by the Cubs as a minor league free-agent last November, Diaz got an NRI to Spring Training, but never got to pitch in an MLB Cactus League game because of a sore arm. (In fact, he never even threw "live" BP while with the big club). He has been rehabbing at Fitch Park for the past six weeks.   

The Cubs have signed 30-year old veteran switch-hitting C-1B-3B-PH Jose Morales to a minor league contract, and he was a DH in the game on Field #2. He went 2-3, roping two line-drive singles and striking out (swinging). With Steve Clevenger on the DL for at least 60 days with a strained oblique, it's possible that Morales was signed to eventually provide Manager Dale Sveum with the third catcher he seems to covet. 

The Cubs have been working out Jose Dore (acquired from SD last month) at 3rd base this week, and he played there in yesterday's intrasquad game and then again in today's EXST game on Field #2. He looks like a "natural" at the hot corner, and although he probably will continue to see action at 1B-LF-RF, it looks like he wil be playing a lot of 3rd base in the coming days. (He also got three innings at 2nd base last week, as the Cubs apparently see him as a bit of a "super-sub"). 

Conversely, I doubt that 18-year old slugging INF Luis Acosta (signed on July 2, 2011 - $1.1M bonus) will be remaining at 3rd base. His throws have been consistently scatter-gun (in fact, about the worst I have ever seen), and he was worked-out at 2nd base in pre-game infield practice this morning (although he did not play in the game). He was signed as a ahortstop, but was moved to third-base at DSL Instrux post-2012 because of defensive struggles at SS. If second-base doesn't work out, he'll probably be moved to LF. (He also needs to learn how to hit breaking balls, or at least recognize a breaking ball and then not swing at it).  

Here are the box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):

Hector Mercedes roped a two-run triple to highlight a three-run 6th and Randy Ortiz tripled and singled, scored two runs, and stole a base, leading one squad of Giants to a 9-3 victory on Field #2, and Cristian Otero smacked a two-run triple, singled twice, and scored three runs, Alberto Robles drove-in two runs with an RBI double and an RBI single, and Ryan Jones doubled twice, stole a base, and scored a run, leading the other squad of Giants to a 9-2 victory on Field #3, as the Cubs were swept in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.


Garrett Schlecht (two-run triple and a walk), Jacob Rogers (solo HR), Shawon Dunston Jr (single, triple, and a run scored), and Jose Dore (RBI triple and a run scored) provided what Cub offense there was. 


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


Dan Vogelbach crushed a towering three-run home run over the right-centerfield fence in the top of the 6th to give the Cubs a 4-2 lead, and a two-run Diamondback rally in the bottom of the 9th fell just a bit short as Nathan Dorris struck out Justin Bianco looking on a 3-2 pitch with the potential tying and winning runs on base, earning the Cubs a 5-4 victory in Arizona Instructional League action at Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale this morning.


In addition to Vogelbach’s Big Fly, Shawon Dunston Jr drilled a double and an RBI single, stole a base, and recorded an outfield assist, and RHP Pierce Johnson threw three innings of one-hit ball.


Carlos Penalver and Shawon Dunston smacked back-to-back two-out doubles and Ben Carhart followed with an RBI single to plate the first two runs in the top of the 5th, and Jeffrey Baez poked an opposite-field RBI single to drive-in the final run in the 8th, leading the AZL Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the AZL Athletics in Arizona League action at Papago Park Baseball Complex Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field" ) in Phoenix this evening. 


Ben Carhart muscled a walk-off RBI single to center with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to drive-in Garrett Schlecht from 3rd base with the winning run, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL Giants 8-7 to clinch the AZL Wild Card berth tonight in Mesa, AZ.

David Bote reached base four times on two RBI doubles, a single, and a walk, and Shawon Dunston Jr tripled, singled, scored two runs, and drove-in another, leading the AZL Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the AZL Dodgers in Arizona League action tonight at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

Jorge Soler drove-in three runs with an infield single and a two-run home run, Ben Carhart blasted a three-run homer, and Shawon Dunston Jr doubled, tripled, and walked, and scored three runs, leading the AZL Cubs to a 9-2 thrashing of the AZL Indians in Arizona League action this evening at HoHoKam Park in Mesa. 


In his third AB in just his first professional game, Cubs 2012 1st round draft pick Albert Almora (Mater Academy - Hialeah Gardens, FL) blasted a two-run HR over the LF fence and onto the berm in front of the scoreboard to cap a three-run 5th, leading the AZL Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the AZL Brewers in Arizona League action tonight at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix.

Dan Vogelbach ripped an RBI single through the 3.5 hole and Jorge Soler followed with a 420-ft two-run HR over the berm beyond the left-centerfield fence to highlight a three-run 4th, but the AZL Reds scored six runs over the final five innings and defeated the AZL Cubs 6-4 in Arizona League action tonight at HoHoKam Park in Mesa.

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