I-Cubs and Smokies Pound RockHounds and Sounds at Fitch Park

Ian Rice hammered an RBI double and a single and scored a run, Jesse Hodges belted an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, Tyler Pearson slugged a solo home run, and five pitchers combined to toss a shutout, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) blanked the Midland RockHounds (AA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) 5-0 on Field #3, and David Bote ripped an RBI triple and two singles, stole a base, and scored two runs, Charcer Burks drilled a triple and an RBI single, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Jason Vosler singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Brandon Cummins (recently acquired from the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League) singled twice, stole two bases, scored a run, and drove-in another, leading the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 9-5 victory over the Nashville Sounds (A's AAA affiliate) on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League game action Wednesday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The game on Field #4 was called after eight innings of play.

The A's started two of their top pitching prospects in the games, with RHSP Jharel Cotton getting the start for Nashville and RHSP Daniel Gossett the SP for Midland. Both pitchers were sent down to Minor League Camp by the A's specifically to pitch in the two games against the Cubs AA/AAA affiliates, and they are the type of high-end MLB-ready (or near-ready) arms the Cubs might target in a potential trade involving Cubs excess position-player prospects somewhere down the line. Cotton was acquired from the Dodgers as part of the Rich Hill trade last July and led the PCL in strikeouts, WHIP, and OppBA in 2016, and Gossett was the A's 2nd round draft pick out of Clemson in 2014.

As is typical for minor league Spring Training games, a few Cubs position-players were moved up to higher levels for the two games. 

Also, while Zach Hedges is assigned to the Tennessee squad at Minor League Camp, he was the starting pitcher for Iowa, and Adbert Alzolay is assigned to the Myrtle Beach squad at Minor League Camp, but he was the starting pitcher for Tennessee. (Alzolay's fastball was sitting at 95, BTW). All of the other Cubs pitchers who worked in the games pitched for their assigned squads (levels), including Jake Stinnett, who "piggy-backed" with Alzolay in the AA game but actually threw more innings and six less pitches than Alzolay.

Cubs pitchers being stretched out as starters (Alzolay, Stinnett, and Hedges) were limited to three innings or 45-50 pitches (whichever came first).  

RHP Tyler Skulina (Cubs 2013 4th round draft pick - Kent State) is being moved to the bullpen in 2017. (He was a SP at AA Tennessee last season). He threw a scoreless inning in the AAA game on Field #4 (but only 50% strikes).

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


FIELD #3

TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1a. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (6-3,  2B, K, R)
1b. Robert Garcia, RF: 0-2 (K, K)  
2a. Daniel Spingola, DH #1: 1-4 (1-3, E-3, 1B, F-8, R, SB)
2b. Sam Tidaback, PH: 0-1 (K)
3. Eddy Julio Martinez, LF: 0-3 (F-8, L-9, F-9, BB, CS)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
4a. Ian Rice, C: 2-3 (1B, 2B, F-9, R, RBI)
4b. Tyler Pearson, C: 1-2 (HR, P-3, R, RBI)
5. Andrew Ely, SS: 0-4 (F-8, P-5, F-7, K)
6. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (3B, L-4, K, 1B, R, RBI)
7a. Franklin Tineo, DH #2: 0-1 (BB, F-7)
7b. Rafael Narea, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, PO)
8. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-3 (3-U, F-8, 2B, RBI)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9. Vimael Machin, 2B-DH: 2-3 (1B, 1B, K)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10. Roberto Caro, CF: 0-3 (L-7, K, F-8)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER

TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Adbert Alzolay: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 2/2 GO/AO, 46 pitches (28 strikes)
2. Jake Stinnett: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 4/4 GO/AO, 40 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Jeremy Null: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Craig Brooks: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 27 pitches (17 strikes)
5. Ryan McNeil: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 16 pitches (12 strikes)

TENNESSEE ERRORS: 2
1. LF Eddy Julio Martinez : E-7 (dropped fly ball allowing batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Jesse Hodges: E-5 (errant throw allowed batter to reach base safely) 

TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Ian Rice: 1-1 CS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FIELD #4

IOWA LINEUP:
1. David Bote, DH-SS: 3-5 (6-3, 1B, F-9, 3B, 1B, 2 R, RBI)
2a. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 0-3 (F-9, F-8, K)
2b. Trent Giambrone, 2B: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI, SB)
3. Trey Martin, CF-RF: 2-5 (P-3, 3-1, 1B, 1B, F-8, RBI, CS)
4. Charcer Burks, LF: 2-3 (3B, 1B, 5-4-3 DP, BB, R, RBI, 2 SB)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
5a. Yasiel Balaguert, 1B: 0-3 (P-3, F-7, 6-3)
5b. Kevin Zamudio, 1B-3B: 0-2 (K, K)
6a. Jason Vosler, 3B: 2-4 (1B, P-4, F-9, 2B, 2 R, SB)
6b. Marcus Mastrobuoni, PH-1B: 0-1 (E-5, R)
7a. Kwang-Min Kwon, RF: 0-3 (K, 1-3, F-7)
7b. Brandon Cummins, CF: 2-2 (1B, 1B, R, RBI, 2 SB)
8a. Erick Castillo, C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, RBI)
8b. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-2 (K, 1B)
9a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (4-3, 1B)
9b. Richard Nunez, PH-DH: 0-2 (E-5, K, F-9 SF-DP, R, RBI)

IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Zach Hedges: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 BALK, 1 PO, 1/3 GO/AO, 48 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Andury Acevedo: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 29 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Tyler Skulina: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 22 pitches (11 strikes)
4. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Gerardo Concepcion: 2.0 IP. 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 2/3 GO/AO, 40 pitches (18 strikes)
6. Nick Sarianides: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 20 pitches (10 strikes)

IOWA ERRORS: NONE

IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 48

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 80's 

Comments

Phil, when do you think the minor league cuts will occur?

HAGSAG: I wouldn't expect the big cut (batch release) at Minor League Camp until the last week of March, although there will probably be one cut here or a couple there in the interim.

seattle jumps out to an early lead in the "baseball is back" weird humor commercials for 2017... https://streamable.com/2iipp

Is Zach Hedges going by Trey now?

BRADSBEARD: Right after they were drafted, for some unknown reason I periodically would confuse the names "Zach Hedges" and "Trey Masek" (even though they don't look alike or even have similar pitching styles). Masek is long-gone, but still every now & then I will write "Trey Hedges" when I mean "Zach Hedges." It's a programming glitch in my brain, and our Admin here at TCR is working on fixing it if it doesn't cost too much. Personally, I blame Drupal.

Ha! It's understandable when you are trying to keep a few hundred or so players straight. I sometimes struggle with Zach Hedges and Jesse Hodges myself.

It's trumps fault.

j.fernandez has been confirmed as the driver of the boat...he was intoxicated and piloting at 65mph at the time of the crash

Sigh. Young men do stupid things. Very sad.

182.1ip - 149h - 55bb - 253K ...as a 23 year old animated personality. great backstory. crazy that chapter has closed on baseball history.

White Sox fans lone highlight for 2017 http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/ken-harrel...

I look forward to hearing, "He gone."

Recent comments

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The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • bradsbeard 1 hour 8 min ago (view)

    Best I can think is that maybe he was going to be squeezed out of a starting role next year with 2019 draftees and other lower level pitching pushing up into A ball. Doesn't seem like a great reason, but the pitching in the system is getting more crowded each year.

     

  • crunch 9 hours 23 sec ago (view)

    i truly wonder why f.carrera wasn't more of a priority.

    he throws straight up junk, but he's got great control and command over his pitchers.  he's young enough that he could find some more velocity, too.

    i mean, this is a management team that decided to trade for dan haren and kyle hendricks.  they don't have an aversion to slow-tossing starters.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Has anyone else noticed James Norwood's picture on the Cubs top 30 prospects page is actually Brandon Kintzler?

     

  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 3 min ago (view)

    It's always interesting to see how many players each MLB club protects on its AAA affiliate's 38-man reserve list on 11/20.

    I'm not saying it absolutely and necessarily proves what a club thinks of its own prospects, but there are 38 slots available on a AAA reserve list, and if you leave 15 slots open, I think that does say something, especially when you don't lose anybody in either the MLB Phase or in the AAA Phase. (I'm looking at you, Seattle Mariners!) 

     

  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 48 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: Instructs starts next month. The pitching lab operates year round, so guys are always coming & going. 

     

  • Hagsag 14 hours 54 min ago (view)

    Phil, when does the Instructional program begin? Are there pitchers in the pitching lab now?

     

  • cubbies.4ever 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013.  The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.

    Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.

    And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    Vimael Machin can play anywhere in the infield & outfield, but he also went through the catcher conversion program at post-2015 Instructs so he can even catch in a pinch, too. He could be a very useful 26th man.

    Machin is bi-lingual (he is from Puerto Rico and went to college at Old Dominion), and was projected by the Cubs as a future coach or manager. He's a savvy & astute baseball guy. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Every year the Cubs convert two or three position players to pitcher (it was Galazin, Hughes, and Zardon in 2019), so it's very possible that Suiter will be given a chance to pitch. 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Suiter, who pitched in HS and briefly in college and who doesn't appear to be much of a hitter, seems to me to be a good pitcher conversion candidate.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    BTW, three of the four players selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (Stewart, Suiter, and Masters) will be minor league free-agents post-2020, and the fourth one (Vance Vizcaino) is a second-contract player (he was previously released by KC) so he could be a post-2020 minor league free-agent, too (TBD).

    Incidentally, David Masters was selected by the Cubs after signing a minor league successor contract with the Nationals. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    So LHSP Brailyn Marquez, INF Christopher Morel, RHSP Cory Abbott, SS Aramis Ademan, RHSP Erich Uelmen, RHSP Keegan Thompson, and LHSP Brendon Little stand-out among the Cubs 2020 first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles, and RHRP Oscar de la Cruz, LHSP Luis Lugo, and LHRP Jordan Minch are probably the ones to watch  among the Cubs post-2020 free-agent eligibles.    

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    For those of you who like to plan ahead, AS THINGS STAND NOW here is how the Rule 5 Draft and minor league free-agency shape up for the Cubs post-2020: 

     

  • bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    You say that in jest, but just from the 2016 draft, which did not feature a first or second round pick, the Cubs drafted 4 players who were added to 40 man rosters this winter (Hatch, Miller, Rucker, Short) with Mekkes, Giambrone, and several others being potential mid-season additions.