Eddie Butler Gets a Start at Minor League Camp

Isaac Paredes drilled an RBI double and two singles and scored a run, Rafael Mejia blasted a three-run home run, and SP Duncan Robinson hurled three innings of one-hit ball and combined with four relievers to toss a six-hitter with 13 strikeouts, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 6-1 victory over the Kane County Cougars (Lo-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks) on Field #5, and Luis Alejandro Basabe belted a three-run HR, Ramon Hernandez singled and doubled and scored two runs, Kyle Smith stroked an RBI double and a single and scored a run, and SP Mack Lemieux threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball (albeit allowing four walks, an HBP, and two WP along the way), as the Visalia Rawhide (D'backs Hi-A affiliate) defeated the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 7-3 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Tuesday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.     

The MLB squad had the day off, so recently acquired RHSP Eddie Butler was sent to Minor League Camp to get his scheduled game work versus the Diamondbacks Hi-A affiiate (Visalia) on Field #6. Butler allowed four runs (all earned) on six hits (three singles, two doubles, and a triple) in 4.2 IP (69 pitches - 65% strikes), allowing no walks while striking out five with a 3/5 GO/AO. He retired the last five hitters he faced (K, F-9, K, 4-3, L-8). Butler's FB sat at 93-94 and he was able to throw his secondary pitches for strikes, but D'backs (Rawhide) hitters consistently squared-up his pitches and made hard contact up until the last five outs. 
Cubs 2016 3rd round draft pick RHSP Thomas Hatch (Oklahoma State) followed Butler to the mound on Field #6 and worked 3.2 IP, allowing the Basabe three-run homer, but he got stronger as he got deeper into the outing, eventually retiring the last eight men he faced in a row (four of the last five by strikeout). Hatch had all of his pitches working (92-93 MPH two-seam FB, slider, and CH) over the last eight outs. 

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


1. Luis Ayala, CF: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, K, K, R, SB)
2. Yeiler Peguero, 2B: 1-3 (6-3, BB, 1B, 4-3, R, SB)
3. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-4 (K, E-6, L-7, 4-3, R)
4. Isaac Paredes, SS: 3-4 (3-U, 2B, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
5. Zack Short, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, 1-5-3 DP, BB, R)
6a. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-2 (BB, 4-3, 5-3)
6b. Gustavo Polanco, C: 0-1 (6-3)
7. Rafael Mejia, 1B: 1-3 (6-4-3 DP, F-7, BB, HR, R, 3 RBI, CS)
8. Kevin Zamudio, DH: 1-4 (5-3, F-8, 1B, F-7, PO)
9. Tolly Filotei, LF: 1-3 (1B, 1-3, F-9, PO)

1. Duncan Robinson: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 5/1 GO/AO, 44 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Marc Huberman: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 27 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Dakota Mekkes: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 32 pitches (21 strikes)
4. John Michael Knighton: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (8 strikes)
5. Chad Hockin: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GO/AO, 18 pitches (12 strikes)

SS Isaac Paredes: E-6 (fielding error allowed batter reach base safely)
P Dakota Mekkes: E-1 (errant throw to 1st base on infield single allowed batter to advance to 2nd)
Dakota Mekkes: E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd) 



1a. Kevonte Mitchell, RF: 0-3 (K, E-6, E-8, HBP, R, SB)
1b. Jose Gutierrez, RF: 0-0 (BB)
2a. P. J. Higgins, C: 1-3 (K, 1B, 4-6-3 DP, SB)
2b. Jhonny Bethencourt, 2B: 0-1 (K)
3. Chris Pieters, 1B: 0-2 (HBP, F-9 SF, 6-3, P-6, RBI)
4. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 0-4 (K, P-4, K, K)
5. Trent Giambrone, 2B-DH: 0-3 (BB, 6-3, L-5, 6-3, CS)
6. Sam Tidaback, DH-C: 1-2 (BB, BB, 1B, F-9, R, CS)
7a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (BB, 5-4 FC, 1B)
7b. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 0-1 (4-3)
8. Brandon Cummins, CF: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, 1B, K, R, RBI, SB)
9. Zach Davis, LF: 0-3 (K, BB, 3-U, 5-3)

1. Eddie Butler: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 3/5 GO/AO, 69 pitches (45 strikes)
2. Thomas Hatch: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 5/1 GO/AO, 48 pitches (29 strikes)
3. Wyatt Short: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 16 pitches (10 strikes)

3B Wladimir Galindo: E-5 (errant throw to 1st base on infield single allowed batter & baserunner to advance an extra base) 

P. J. Higgins: 2-2 CS


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 


As things stand right now, these are the starting rotations for the four Cubs minor league full-season affiliates plus projected Extended Spring Training squad. SP who are not yet "stretched-out" could piggy-back with a "swing-man" or begin the season at Extended Spring Training (TBD). * throws left IOWA: Eddie Butler Alec Mils * Rob Zastryzny Aaron Brooks Jake Buchanan Williams Perez (not stretched-out yet) Casey Kelly (likely SP/RP "swing") Seth Frankoff (likely SP/RP "swing") TENNESSEE: Trevor Clifton Zach Hedges Preston Morrison Jake Stinnett Jen-Ho Tseng Duane Underwood Jr (not stretched-out yet) Jonathan Martinez (likely SP/RP "swing") Brad Markey (likely SP/RP "swing") MYRTLE BEACH: Thomas Hatch * Justin Steele Adbert Alzolay Kyle Miller * Ryan Kellogg (not stretched-out yet) Oscar de la Cruz (not stretched-out yet) Casey Bloomquist (likely SP/RP "swing") * Kyle Twomey (likely SP/RP "swing") SOUTH BEND: Dylan Cease * Manuel Rondon Erling Moreno Tyson Miller Duncan Robinson * Bryan Hudson (not stretched-out yet) Matt Swarmer (likely SP/RP "swing") EUGENE (EXST): Javier Assad Junior Marte Andry Rondon Manuel Rodriguez Nathan Sweeney Bailey Clark (Limited Activity right now) NOTE: SP at EXST will be gradually stretched-out over a period of weeks. A number of pitchers are expected to arrive in Mesa from the Cubs Dominican Academy within the next couple of weeks, and some of them will be primed as SP for AZL Cubs at EXST.

ryan williams?

CRUNCH: I did leave Ryan Williams off the Iowa SP list, but that's kind of a tricky one because as I explained in my post about the new MLB 10-day DL, MLB clubs now need five starters at AAA who are on the MLB 40-man roster and who can be easily shuttled back & forth from AAA to MLB when an MLB starting pitcher goes on the 10-day DL and misses a start, and while Butler, Mills, Zastryzny, Buchanan, and Brooks are on the 40, Williams is not. 

Even though he is starting the Cubs MLB Cactus League game tonight in Goodyear, the Cubs will probably be very careful with Ryan Williams in 2017. They will probably have Williams on a strict innings limt.because of last year's shoulder issue, and it also might not be good for him to open the season at Iowa in April. It really wouldn't surprise me that much if Williams begins the regular season at Extended Spring Training (even if he is already stretched-out) and remains there until the Iowa SP situation shakes itself out a bit and the weather warms up. 

thanks...was wondering where you stood on where he's at with his 2017 reboot.

Still in shock about Oscar de la Cruz. Really hope they are just trying to build his innings slowly so he has more to throw down the stretch.

DJL: The Cubs are indeed bringing Oscar de la Cruz along VERY slowly at Minor League Camp. He could begin the regular season "piggy-backing" with a SP/RP swing-man like Casey Bloomquist or Kyle Twomey at Myrtle Beach, or he could be left behind at Extended Spring Training for an extra couple of weeks or so to get him fully stretched-out. 

The Cubs are clearly being more cautious with de la Cruz this time around after rushing him a bit at Minor League Camp last year, which resulted in elbow/forearm inflammation that cost him about a half-season of development time. The Cubs will almost certainly limit de la Cruz's innings in 2017 one way or another, either by initially leaving him behind at EXST for a while, or by piggy-backing him with another pitcher at Myrtle Beach, and/or by shutting him down once he reaches his pre-planned 2017 innings limit.   

Thanks Phil, great intel. Fingers crossed he stays healthy, and I really am hoping he is still viewed as a starter long term.

Thanks for rotation post, Phil. Q's: 1. Kellogg: What's up with him and why is he not already stretched out? Injury of some kind? 2. Bailey Clark: Any info on why he's limited-activity? 3. Any views of Albertos, or insights into how unhealthy he may be? 4. Is Hudson pitching? Seemingly fine, just behind? Hope they all get healthy and have good seasons.

CRAIG: Ryan Kellogg was used as a reliever with Team Canada in the WBC and he arrived back at Cubs Minor League Camp just a few days ago, and so he is a bit behind schedule as far as getting stretched-out as a starter. 

I don't know what's up with Bailey Clark, but he is able to participate in PFPs. He just isn't throwing right now (and he is not yet in the Rehab Throwing Program). 

Jose Albertos is still in the Rehab Throwing Program, and there is no ETA for completion for those guys. It's an individual thing, but once Albertos is ready (cleared) he can start throwing bullpens and then eventually "live" BP.  So I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. Hopefully there will be no setbacks.

Bryan Hudson finished the Rehab Throwing Program last week (he began Minor League Camp there), but I have not seen him throw "live" BP yet, although he is probably is throwing bullpen sessions. I would think he will probably begin the seaaon at Extended Spring Training and take as much time as he needs to get stretched-out, and if all goes well, he will probably eventually get moved-up to South Bend (if there is room for him there).

RIP Dallas Green The man who changed the losing culture of the Cubs. Thank you for 1984.

Wow -- rough week for former Chicago GMs.

This whimsical ode to Syndergaard by Jeff Sullivan is worth a Cubs fan read for the arrival at the final gif: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/noah-syndergaa...

radar pictures has bought the film rights to david ross's uncompleted book (due out this summer). that said, things like this don't always lead to a project being done.

I got a kick out of the Grandpa Rossy stuff last year, but....it's getting kind of old.

It seems like 18 YO CF Jose Gutierrez has been doing really during these minor league ST games go. As a potential switch hitting speed/defense CF who showed some pop and refinement last year I am really rooting for this guy to be a thing as a prospect. Right now I'm still relatively excited about Isaac Paredes' potential despite the age and distance. He just needs to do what he did last year a few more times, adding some more HRs along the way. Of the many guys with talent in this system I think he is one of the extremely few who might just have the right blend of tools and skills to one day break into the Cubs lineup. I'm liking 2B as a long term destination right now, but not ruling him out as a SS. I continue to like Hatch as a potential Tanner Roarkish addition to the ML staff. The idea of Butler is intriguing to me - basically signalling the Cubs will look at cheap, young, unproven pre-injured pitchers to maybe get a Jake DeGrom out of it. The guy I like is Mike Clevinger on the Indians, but Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs fall into this pool. Not really big on Butler, but I like what I imagine they're shooting for.

KKvG: There are four Cubs position players moving up to the AZL from the DSL this season who are legit prospects: SS Aramis Ademan, C Miguel Amaya, CF Jose Gutierrez, and RF Jonathan Sierra. Others may emerge as well, but right now those four are looking good. 

As I've mentioned here before, I don't see Isaac Paredes remaining at shortstop long-term, although the Cubs are leaving him there for now because he feels comfortable playing the position and he has the actions of a SS. It's possible he could end up at 2B, but his body-type best fits the profile of a third-baseman. Maybe he'll eventually play all over the infield. BTW, one scout (from another organization) told me last year that he thinks Paredes will end up at catcher (like Willson Contreras).

I really think that 2015 IFA crop is going to be studly. I believe one or even two of these guys might become serious enough talents to make the Cubs one day: Paredes Amaya Gutierrez Sierra Ademan Marquez Carrera Ocampo What's your take on Amaya and Gutierrez in camp? Gutierrez is my deeeeep sleeper in the system, he was surprisingly good last year. The way Paredes gets talked about on defense reminds me of both Baez and Russell. Baez actually played catcher in HS, both were sentenced to 3B with 2B not mentioned enough, meanwhile their actions, hands, arms, and feet all got praised. What's your take on Gutierrez so far? Is he over 6'? Just curious about that one

KKvG: Miguel Amaya is probably the Cubs top catching prospect right now, although he is several years away from MLB. It takes time to develop a catcher and there is so much to learn. Amaya has a quiet confidence about him, he has natural leadership qualities, he shows promise as a hitter, he has a strong arm, and he is athletic behind the plate. At this point that's all you can reasonably expect from a young catching prospect. It will be fun watching him develop. Jose Gutierrez is a hyper-aggressive player in the field and on the bases (sometimes too aggressive), but he has above-average speed, he is a good flyhawk with a plus-arm (he can already play all three OF positions), he's a slash hitter with gap power, and he's chaos on the bases. At this point he profiles as the protypical lead-off hitter, but as with Amaya, he will have to continually develop all phases of his game (especially his hitting, pitch recognition, and patience) beyond where they are now. As I've mentioned here previously, the AZL Cubs should be very interesting in 2017 and in the years ahead at higher classifications, with Amaya, Gutierrez, Sierra, and Ademan (plus about a half-dozen pitching prospects with upside) together as a group. However, I would say none of the four position players are in the class of Gleyber Torres and Eloy Jimenez. The closest would be Amaya.

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  • crunch 1 hour 16 min ago (view)

    he -really- needs to cue into this is a cubs broadcast and not a national/neutral broadcast.

    dude...don't get excited about marlins 3-run homers.


  • crunch 2 hours 43 min ago (view)

    lot of people wanted him when len left.  he's got a long game calling history, but not too much for baseball.  he did host "baseball tonight" for ESPN for a quite a while, so the game isn't a mystery to him.

    i find him a bit boring/dry.  some people like that he has that oldschool "announcer voice" thing going on.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 hours 1 min ago (view)

    He's uhhh.. not very good at it. Glad he wasn't the hire for the main role.


  • crunch 3 hours 15 min ago (view)

    wow...chris myers calling the cubs game for some reason (boog out for the MIA series).

    he is a marquee talent, but he's not been used to call a game as far as i know.

    also, zach davies looks like a kid in pajamas in those dark blue "wrigleyville" uniforms.


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    t.williams threw a 25 pitch pen thursday


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    tonight's game (thursday) is mlb.tv free game, btw.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have optioned RHP Robert Stock back to AAA Iowa, and recalled LHP Brad Wieck. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of RHSP Mike Hauschild (ex-TOR) from Lexington (Atlantic League) and he has been asigned to AAA Iowa. 

    The Cubs are clearly beating the bushes of indepenent league baseball. Hauschild is the sixth player acquired by the Cubs from independent league teams in the last month (Jose Almonte, Tyler Ladendorf, Tim Susnara, Matt Warkentin, and Jarod Wright are the other five). 


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    (c) hendricks gives up at least 60 homers in the regular season

    seriously, though...wisdom has "slowed down" the past 10 days or so, but he still managed a couple homers.  he's got a damn good shot at 20+ even if bote+duffy come back to steal a little time from him.


  • Charlie 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    This Mets series is going poorly, so... off-topic question. Which of these outcomes do you currently think is more likely in 2021: (a) Javy hits at least 40 homeruns in the regular season, (b) Patrick Wisdom hits at least 20 homeruns in the regular season.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    wow...and he's done for the night.  that's not good...well, for mets fans.

    "right shoulder soreness"


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    meanwhile...degrom with 8 Ks through 3 perfect innings.  he's also got a RBI single.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    and d.smith gets HBP.

    this is high end next level strategy.  you beat degrom by injuring everyone until they have to forfeit the game.  moneyballs.


  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    ow...villar got nailed in the ear and the back of the head by a throw from lobaton on a stolen base.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    CHARLIE: You are absolutely right.

    Granted there are existing rules prohibiting pitchers from using foreign substances, but you don't change enforcement protocols suddenly in the middle of the season. Pitchers should be given an opportunity to make adjustments during the course of Spring Training before any new enforcement policy is implememted.

    This can and should be addressed in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not now. 


  • Charlie 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    That was definitely my position prior to this year. But I am starting to buy into the claim that almost all pitchers are using something, even if it is rosin and sunscreen in many cases.