Strop Sharp in 2018 Debut at Riverview

Dairon Blanco ripped a bases-loaded triple with two outs in the top of the 9th as the Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics Hi-A affiliate) rallied to edge the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Hi-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 4-3 on Field #6, and Anthony Churlin went 4-4 with a solo HR (off an MLB pitcher) and three singles to lead the Beloit Snappers (A's Lo-A affiliate) to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs Lo-A South Bend affiliate on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Monday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Wladimir Galindo collected three hits (two singles and a double), drove-in a run, and scored a run, and RHSP Oscar de la Cruz hurled three shutout innings for Myrtle Beach, and Christopher Morel drilled two doubles (both pulled sharply into the LF corner) for South Bend (the SB Cubs managed only three hits, and Morel had two of them).

South Bend 1B Austin Filiere left the game after being hit on the helmet with a pitch in the bottom of the 5th.  

Both games were called after 8-1/2 innings of play.  
Cubs RHRP Pedro Strop (calf strain) made his 2018 debut in the game on Field #5, and he was outstanding, working 1.1 IP (18 pitches - 89% strikes) and allowing a single while striking out four (all four swinging, all four on hard sliders). Most of the Beloit kids probably have never seen a slider like Strop's so it was a true education for the youngsters, but no question Strop was on his game. Cubs closer Brandon Morrow and LHRP Brian Duensing also saw action in the South Bend game, with Morrow allowing an unearned run on a single and a walk with two strikeouts, and Duensing surrendering a solo HR in his one inning of work (and he also two recorded a couple of punch-outs). 

NRI catcher Ali Solis was sent to the Riverview backfields from the Cubs MLB squad, and he caught Strop, Morrow, and Duensing. AAA Iowa catcher Cael Brockmeyer was also assigned to the South Bend game to warm up the MLB guys in the bullpen, and he got a couple of token AB as a DH as part of the deal. 

Will Remillard (2015 & 2016 TJS) saw his first game action of 2018 on Field #6. He looked healthy and in great shape, throwing out a Stockton baserunner who was attempting to steal 2nd with a strong pinpoint throw, and he also reached base on an opposite-field double that bounced off the warning track and over the fence in RF.  

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


1. Chris Singleton, CF: 0-3 (BB, K, 5-3, K, R, SB)
2a. Ali Solis, C: 0-1 (BB, L-8 DP)
2b. Miguel Amaya, C: 0-2 (P-3, K)
3a. Ramsey Romano, 3B: 0-1 (BB, K)
3b. Rafael Narea, 3B: 0-1 (5-3)
4a. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-2 (4-6-3 DP, 4-3)
4b. Kwangmin Kwon, RF: 0-1 (K)  
5a. Nelson Velazquez, LF: 0-2 (6-3, 4-3)
5b. Zach Davis, LF: 0-1 (K)
6a. Luis Vazquez, DH #1: 0-1 (F-9, HBP, R, SB)
6b. Delvin Zinn, 2B: 0-1 (BB, SB)
7a. Austin Filiere, 1B: 0-1 (5-3, HBP)
7b. Rafael Mejia, PR-1B: 0-0 (BB)
8. Jared Young, 2B-DH: 1-3 (1B, 6-U FC+E6, 6-4-3 DP)
9. Cael Brockmeyer, DH #2: 0-2 (L-8, F-8)
10. Christopher Morel, SS: 2-3 (3-1, 2B, 2B)

1. Pedro Strop: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 18 pitches (16 strikes)
2. Brandon Morrow: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Brian Duensing: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1/0 GO/AO, 18 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Javier Assad: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/2 GO/AO, 49 pitches (30 strikes)
5. Jesus Camargo: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 27 pitches (18 strikes)
6. Brendan King: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 8 pitches (8 strikes)

SS Christopher Morel: E-6 (two-out throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)

Miguel Amaya: 3-6 CS



1. Austin Upshaw, DH: 0-3 (F-8, K, K, BB)
2. Aramis Ademan, SS: 0-2 (BB, BB, 1-3, K, R, SB)
3. Brandon Hughes, CF: 0-2 (BB, K, BB, L-6 DP, SB)
4. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 3-4 (1B, F-9, 2B, 1B, R, RBI)
5a. Fernando Kelli, LF: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K)
5b. Kevonte Mitchell, LF: 0-1 (K)
6a. Gustavo Polanco, 1B: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)
6b. Adonis Paula, 1B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R)
7a. Chris Carrier, LF: 0-2 (K, F-7)
7b. Yovanny Cuevas, LF: 1-2 (P-6, 2B, RBI)
8a. Yeiler Peguero, 2B: 0-2 (6-3, K)
8b. Jhonny Bethencourt, 2B: 0-2 (4-3, 6-5 FC, RBI)
9a. Will Remillard, C: 1-2 (2B, K)
9b. Michael Cruz, PH-C: 0-1 (BB, P-2)

1. Oscar de la Cruz: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/5 GO/AO, 34 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Jose Paulino: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 2 GIDP, 5/3 GO/AO, 56 pitches (36 strikes)
3. Wyatt Short: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 BALK, 2/2 GO/AO, 28 pitches (19 strikes)

1. SS Aramis Ademan: E-6 (throwing error allowee batter to reach base safely)
2. 1B Adonis Paula, E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

1. Will Remillard: 1-1 CS


WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 70's


"Just because it's not official doesn't mean it didn't happen"


Phil, do you think de la Cruz will wind up in Myrtle Beach?


Per Patrick Mooney, Justin Wilson has a minor blister he was recently dealing with (creating Helter Skelter outings).

Has he had it since July? Some blister...

Some blister...

Some may say he's been pee-ing on himself over that time (hear that, Moises)

j.turner (LAD) to miss at least a month with a broken wrist. he got HBP last night.

Hate seeing that happen to anybody. D. Lee didn't seem to be the same hitter after his busted wrist.

Great news about Remillard!

For those wondering about Adbert Alzolay, he apparently pitched against an Angels affiliate yesterday:

Adbert Adzolay showing plus curveball with sharp bite from same arm slot, consistent mechanics. Fastball was in the mid-90s #Cubs

Thanks, beard, that's great to get some positive news on Alzolay. Some kind of physical thing is presumably the reason he's not been pitching, that's the usual reason. But I have wondered if the Cubs did the unusual and just thought they'd delay him for a month, so he'd have some innings left for September/October?

Hi Arizona Phil,

Have any of the pitchers with the South Bend or Eugene/Mesa group impressed you thus far this spring?

Thank you!

O's about to sign a.cobb for some reason...alright then.

I was just wondering what was up with him. So, Greg Holland now stands alone?

as far as impact players who 100% should have a job, yeah. there's still a few decent "secondary/support" guys out there like melky cabrera and yunel escobar.

4/57m on cobb fwiw... 14.25m a year...part of it deferred. he'll start the season in the minors getting ready to join to the team in mid-april.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 54 min 9 sec ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.


  • crunch 6 hours 44 min ago (view)

    i miss baseball.  it could happen in may happen in late might not happen either way.

    there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list.  there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead.  former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup.  his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...


  • JustSayin' 9 hours 12 min ago (view)

    COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever.  It WAS still America's grass roots sport.  Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive.  I believe that era is over.  What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems.  With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go.  I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    fyi for anyone who bought

    for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...


  • bradsbeard 1 day 14 hours ago (view)

    I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement. 


  • Hagsag 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 20 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.   


  • jdrnym 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.


  • crunch 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    "Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.

    Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."



  • bradsbeard 5 days 6 hours ago (view)

    This one has me scratching my head too. Surely they knew Lakins would have a hard time clearing waivers. Hate to just lose Pereda like that. Feels like they gave up more for Lakins than for Sadler, and I'm guessing Sadler might have been slightly more likely to clear waivers since he's out of options. 


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 7 hours ago (view)

    I think the most puzzling aspect to the Travis Lakins Caper is that the only plausible reason for the Cubs to have struck a pre-emptive trade with the Red Sox instead of waiting and hoping to win a waiver claim is that the Cubs believed that another club with a better waiver claim priority would almost certainly claim him. So to ensure that they would be able to acquire Lakins, the Cubs must have offered the Red Sox something more than the $50,000 waiver price, otherwise there would have been no point in the Red Sox agreeing to the deal. 


  • crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)

    RedSox acquire catcher Jhonny Pereda from the #Cubs, completing the January 21 trade for RHP Travis Lakins

    ...cubs lost lakins on waivers to BAL, btw


  • erich081 5 days 23 hours ago (view)

    I wore my Rick Wilkins #2 shirsey today and kept thinking real baseball was only a week away. And then I remembered this weird alternate reality we've seemed to have slipped into. Hope everyone stays healthy and safe.


  • Hagsag 6 days 3 hours ago (view)

    I am installing a padded room to sit in until this hell is over.


  • Charlie 6 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Watched it yesterday with my girlfriend and while Skyping my dad. It was fun to give her running commentary since she's only been a Cubs fan for the last five years.


  • crunch 1 week 39 min ago (view)

    MLB is sidestepping this "to the surface" pushing issue by choosing to "finacially support" minor league players according to a press release from a couple days ago.  minor league pay has been a recent source of embarrassment for MLB...

    i have no idea how robust this assistant will be, but anything less than 100% for most players (no matter the source) would be a disservice to future of the game.