ARTICLE XX-D MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT: Brent Lillibridge, IF-OF Ian Stewart, 3B Hisanori Takahashi, LHP
MLB RULE 55 MINOR LEAGUE FREE-AGENT:
SIX-YEAR FREE-AGENT: Jeffry Antigua, LHP Brian Bogusevic, OF J. C. Boscan, C Kyler Burke, LHP Yeiper Castillo, RHP Jaye Chapman, RHP Johermyn Chavez, OF Dayan Diaz, RHP Jair Fernandez, C Eduardo Figueroa, RHP Marcus Hatley, RHP Marcos Mateo, RHP Edwin Maysonet, INF Darnell McDonald, OF Jose Morales, C-IF Guillermo Moscoso, RHP Jonathon Mota, INF Donnie Murphy, INF Brad Nelson, 1B Blake Parker, RHP Larry Suarez, RHP Tim Torres, OF Casey Weathers, RHP Ty Wright, OF
SECOND CONTRACT (PREVIOUSLY-RELEASED): Michael de la Cruz, RHP Carlos Figueroa, INF Humberto Garcia, INF Nate Maldonado, C Zach Putnam, RHP Brohiglyn Rivero, RHP Orbandy Rodriguez, RHP
1. A minor league player eligible to be an ARTICLE XX-D FREE-AGENT who accepts an Outright Assignment and defers free-agency until the end of the season is not eligible to be a free-agent if the player is added back to an MLB 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season. If the player is not added back to a 40-man roster by the end of the MLB regular season, the player can file for free-agency beginning on the day after the conclusion of the MLB regular season up through October 15th.
2. A minor league player eligible to be an MLB RULE 55 FREE-AGENT is not eligible to be a FA if the player is added to his club’s 40-man roster by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series.
Dustin Houle and Jalen Harris smacked back-to-back RBI doubles in a two run 4th, Francisco Castillo collected three singles (including a run-scoring hit in the 9th), and RHP Zach Quintana tossed five innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts, as the Brewers defeated the Cubs 3-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs scored their one run in the bottom of the 1st inning, when Albert Almora ripped a two-out triple into the left-centerfield gap, and then scored on a Xavier Batista line-drive double into the LF corner.
Almora was 2-4 for the day, including the 1st inning triple, an L-7 line-out in the 3rd. a strikeout (swinging) in the 6th, and a two-out single in the 8th. In five Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (22 PA), Almora is hitting 273/273/500 with three singles, a double and two triples, no walks, and four strikeouts.
While the Cubs and Brewers were playing their game on Field #3, RHPs Chang-Yong Lim and Daury Torrez and LHPs Angel Mejias and David Villegas faced-off in a "sim" game on Field #2. Among the position players participating was Steve Clevenger, who was seeing his first game action of any kind since being placed on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL with a strained oblique on April 14th.
Clevenger hit a couple of squared-up rocket line-drives, including one that almost took Daury Torrez's head off. He certainly didn't show any ill effects from the injury, and I would think he will likely get some ABs as a DH in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games beginning sometime next week, before going out on a rehab assignment at either Tennessee or Iowa. (He isn't eligible to be reinstated from the DL until June 13th).
Here is the abridged box score from today's Cactus League Extended Spring Training game (Cubs players only):
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.
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.
Yasiel Balaguert singled, doubled, and walked, drove-in three runs, and scored another, and Xavier Batista drilled a two-run double, walked twice, scored a run, and notched another outfield assist (he now has five in 17 EXST games), leading the Cubs to a 9-4 victory over the Giants in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Indian School Park Field #4 in Scottsdale, AZ.
Xavier Batista blasted a three-run home run and an RBI double and Trey Martin singled twice, doubled, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in another, leading one squad of Cubs to a 10-3 victory over one squad of Giants on Field #1, and Rock Shoulders drilled a two-run single in the top of the 1st and six Cub pitchers combined to throw a three-hit shutout as the other squad of Cubs blanked the other squad of Giants 3-0 on Field #2, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader played this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.
Xavier Batista ripped a single, an RBI triple, and a solo home run to stake the Cubs to a 2-1 lead through five innings, but the Rockies scored two in the 6th and two more in the 7th and then held-on to edge the Cubs 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Roberto Lopez laced a double into the LF corner to knock-in the tying run, and Drew Heid hit a sacrifice fly to RF to drive-in the winning run, as the Angels scored six runs in the bottom of the 9th and edged the Cubs 9-8 in AZ instructional League action at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe this afternoon.
Xavier Batista smashed a solo HR and threw a runner out at the plate, leading the Cubs to a 5-3 victory over the Angels in AZ Instructional League action at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe this afternoon.
Xavier Batista rapped out three singles and an RBI double and scored four runs, and his teammates took advantage of six errors, as the AZL Cubs defeated the AZL Dodgers 11-5 in Arizona League action at HoHoKam Park in Mesa tonight.
Jesus Morelli extended his hitting streak to 17 games with two doubles, Arismendy Alcantara tripled, singled, and scored a run, Xavier Batista doubled, tripled, and scored a run, and Vismeldy Bieneme reached base three times, scored one run, and drove-in another, as the EXST Cubs defeated the EXST Giants 4-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Indian School Park Field #4 in Scottsdale this morning.
Morelli has hit 437/485/621 over the course of his 17-game hit streak that goes back to May 5th, and with two more hits today, Morelli is hitting 384/452/603 with a team-leading 12 doubles in 23 EXST games since being sent down from Peoria on April 23rd. He has hit safely in 22 out of the 23 games he has played at Extended Spring Training, and he has reached base safely in all 23 games (he walked in the one game he went hitless).
Rafael Disla, Cody Shields, and Xavier Batista ripped RBI triples in a five-run Cub 7th, leading the EXST Cubs to an 8-3 victory over the EXST A’s in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.
21-year old Cuban Defector RHP Juan Yasser Serrano got the start for the Cubs and went three innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out two. This was Serrano’s third appearance in the last week, and his pitch count has been increased each time out (one inning - 13 pitches last Saturday, two innings - 23 pitches this past Tuesday, and now three innings - 40 pitches today), as it appears that the Cubs are making an effort to get him through Extended Spring Training as quickly as possible. Serrano received a reported $250K bonus (essentially equivalent to "4th round money") when he was signed by the Cubs this past March.
The EXST Giants swept the EXST Cubs in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played at Indian School Park in Scottsdale this morning, winning 6-2 on Field #1 and 3-2 on Field #2. The game on Field #1 was terminated after seven innings of play, and the game on Field #2 was stopped after the Cubs took their turn (and failed to score) in the top of the 8th. And as usual, the games were played simultaneously.
Sergio Burruel cracked a three-run double, Alvaro Ramirez drilled a two-run triple, and Xavier Batista and Arismendy Alcantara smashed solo home runs, but the Angels took advantage of nine walks to score 11 runs over the last three innings and overcome a four-run deficit in the bottom of the 8th and another four-run deficit in the bottom of the 9th, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Angels played to a 12-12 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe this morning. The game was halted by mutual agreement between the two teams with one out in the bottom of the 9th after the Angels tied the game on a 420-ft+ three-run home run off the top of the Batter’s Eye in CF.
Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield each had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI, but the EXST Angels rallied for five runs in the bottom of the 8th to edge the EXST Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park in Tempe this morning.
Rebel Ridling (appendectomy with complications) once again was a DH, getting five Plate Appearances in the first seven innings. He roped a liner into the LF corner in his first AB (but only managed to get to 1st base), then was called out on strikes in his second PA, before grounding out three times in a row (1-3, 5-3, 5-3) to complete his day at the plate. While he seems to be swinging the bat OK, he also seems to be running a bit gingerly.
Xavier Batista and Blair Springfield drove-in two runs a piece in a four-run Cubs 2nd, and Matt Spencer whacked a home run over the RF fence leading-off the bottom of the 3rd, as the EXST Cubs held-on to defeat the EXST A's 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
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I was listening to the "live" audio on mlb.com when the Cubs drafted Dustin Geiger back in 2010, and they announced him as an "outfielder" when they drafted him. So although he had played 3rd base in HS, the Cubs Area Scout projected Geiger as a corner outfielder. But to get him to sign (he had signed an NLI with Central Florida), the Cubs had to give him an overslot bonus and agree to let him play 3B (at least for a while).
So look for Geiger to be moved to a corner OF slot (probably LF, what with Soler holding down RF) sometime soon.
"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?