Cubs Continue to Dominate Canadian Amateur Baseball

Eloy Jimenez ripped an RBI single, walked twice, and stole two bases, Shane Kennedy walked twice and knocked-in two runs with a double and an RBI GO, Frandy de la Rosa singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Carson Sands and eight relievers combined to toss a four-hitter with eleven strikeouts, as the Cubs defeated the Ontario Nationals 8-2 in Minor League Camp game action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa Cubtown at Riverview Park.


A member of the Premier Baseball League of Ontario, the Nationals are one of the top amateur baseball clubs in Canada, and are presently on an Arizona Spring Training Trip where they are playing minor league teams, college and high school teams, and another Canadian amateur club (the Langley Blaze, who played the Cubs last week).

The Cubs Eugene/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad provided the competition for the Canadian youngsters, whose next stop will be Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport for a late afternoon flight back to Toronto.

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

1a. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 2-4 (2B, 3-U, 1B, K, 2 R, SB)
1b. Eric Castillo, C: 0-1 (L-6)
2a. Shamil Ubiera, CF: 0-3 (F-7, F-8, F-7)
2b. Calvin Graves, CF: 1-1 (BB, 1B, RBI, 2 SB, CS)
3. Shane Kennedy, LF: 1-3 (6-3, P-6, 2B+E7, BB, BB, 2 RBI, PO)
4. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 1-3 (6-3, BB, BB, 5-3, 1B, RBI, 2 SB) 
5. Alex Tomasovich, DH #1: 0-4 (L-5, BB, L-5 DP, K, 5-3)
6. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 0-3 (K+WP, F-9, BB, P-3, 2 R, 2 SB)
7a. Carlos Jimenez, SS: 0-0 (BB, R)
7b. Bryant Flete, SS: 0-3 (F-9, L-9, E-7, R)
8a. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 1-3 (E-9, F-8, 1B, RBI)
8b, Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
9a. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-2 (F-7 SF, F-7, 4-6 FC, RBI) 
9b, Tanner Witt, 2B: 1-1 (2B, R, SB)
10b. Roberto Vahlis, DH #2: 0-1 (6-3) 
10c. Miguel Rico, PH: 0-0 (BB, R, SB) 

1. Carson Sands: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes) 
2. Justin Steele: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (6 strikes) 
3. Oscar de la Cruz: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1/1 GO/FO, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Brad Renner: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 10 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Anthony Prieto: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 29 pitches (14 strikes)
6. Adbert Alzolay: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (10 strikes)
7. Pedro Araujo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/FO, 21 pitches (12 strikes)  
8. Luis Hernandez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 11 pitches (8 strikes) 
9. Hector Perez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)

1. 3B Varonex Cuevas - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. 3B Varonex Cuevas - E-5 (throwing error on attempted 5-4 FC allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely)

Jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's 



Was wondering if there was anywhere to find a schedule for the minor league spring training games? Or do they kinda schedule them a couple days in advance like the B games?

Hey, AZ, care to provide us an early scouting report on young Eloy? Also, any idea if other AZ squads are beating up on the Canadians or is it just the Cubs?

O&B: Eloy Jimenez is a man-child beast-menace. He has plus-power, as much power as any 18-year old I have seen.

He runs well for a big guy, gets good jumps on stolen base attempts, and he will not swing at pitches out of the strike zone (although he does swing & miss pitches in the strike zone).  

On the negative side, he needs a LOT of work in RF (his defense can be kind of brutal at times), and while he has enough arm to play RF, he had a sore elbow for much of last season, so that's a bit of a "yellow flag" going forward. I would say he probably projects as a 1B down the line.  

As far as how the Langley Blaze and Ontario Nationals fared in games against minor league teams from other organizations or the college & HS teams that they played down here, we didn't talk about that. But I do know that the kids from both teams were amazed by Eloy Jimenez. It was like a Sasquatch sighting for some of them. 

Sasquatch sighting Then he probably belongs at Eugene (Northwest League)

Boy, reading the comments about Baez from Maddon - Maddon really loves the way the kid fields. I wonder if, assuming he can at least stop swinging at the stuff Maddon is pointing at (he's agreeing with those who say it is more pitch selection than mechanics), he may just stay up. I can almost see him batting 8th and being an all field no hit guy until/if he figures it out. Problem is, that would work maybe at shortstop but at second it seems like it wouldn't. Just kinda wondering aloud.

How much it would work at 2B will depend at least in part on whether any of the other potential 2B (La Stella, Alcantara, Herrera I suppose?) are providing value.

The best place for Baez to learn better control of the strike zone is Iowa where he will get to play everyday without the harsh spotlight of the Chicago media.

Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine · Cubs have done a 180 on Javier Baez . He now seems in good shape to open on the 25 man roster .

well better than Herrera....let's try this

C: Montero, Ross, Castillo

INF: Rizzo, LaStella, Alcantara, Castro, Olt or Bryant, Baez

OF: Soler, Fowler, Coghlan/Denorfia

Olt does have an option left. Would give them a better backup SS and I imagine they'd move him around. LaStella has options as well. And I do think it would be wise to option Hendricks until they need a 5th starter, could carry an extra bat for a bit.

i dont think a lot of people are buying welly sticking around...even welly...even with the recent maddon/theo noise. it'll be interesting to see how his tone changes (if it does) if he sticks around. lately he's been talking about the cubs as if he's already been traded. i think he's kinda expecting it. it's been nothing but class so far, but will it remain so when he's looking at a 200-300 PA season? that said, who wants welly? it's ARZ (need) and DET (kinda need) as the only 2 teams actually expected to attempt to compete who could use a C. d.navarro has been very publically demanding a trade since r.martin was signed and he's still with TOR...and still not happy about it.

Tin Foil hat on Why does it seem Bryant is not in the lineup for televised games? /Cub's Sasquatch

you're not the only one who's noticed, though it's not big chatter. it's kinda lame even if it is a coincidence. spring training means so little that it's nice to see the future as much as it is to see the guys the team is counting on right now.

Tomorrows game on in Chcago / lets see

televised in Chicago or somewhere? Because I feel like I've seen most of his HR's this spring...

He hasn't been on in Chicago (WGN/CSN) since they were in Vegas. The Mariner homers are video with Len making the call WBBM Radio. (this shit runs deep) Of course I'm half kidding but will be interesting if he's not in lineup tomorrow (CSN).

...but will be interesting if he's not in lineup tomorrow (CSN).

not really.

I'm bored, let's have some fun!

LaStella at 3b tonight.

apparently they don't want fans to see Soler or Russell either :) 2nd time I've seen the Fowler/Coghlan 1-2 punch to start game...If they can get both get on at a .350 clip, this offense will be ridiculous good. ...seems to really like Alcantara at #9 as well.

follow-up: teams with OBP of .345 or higher out of leadoff spot last year: Cards, Astros, Nationals, Marlins, Rangers teams with OBP of .345 or higher out of #2 spot last year: Dodgers, Angels, Astros, Twins, Orioles (Nats at .344 btw and 6th). So Nats finished 9th in run scoring last year (3rd in NL and Rockies were one of the teams ahead of them). Astros finished 21st in runs scored, 16th in slugging, 21st in OBP overall. So despite Astros having nearly a perfect top of the order, they were 2nd in K's (can't bring anyone in if you swing and miss...Cubs were 1st btw), and the rest of their lineup was an OBP suckfest. Cubs with Rizzo, Soler, Montero, even Castro's paltry .325 career OBP would be better than most of the other regulars Astros had. A long way of saying, I like the path the Cubs are on and hope they're more Nats than Astros in the middle of the order this year.


the thing that bugs me is they are obviously shooting/filming games that are not being televised because i see the highlights on MLB Network...either that or doesn't have rights on some of the stations showing some spring games.

fwiw, like today, it appears to be just a single camera shooting game and synced with a radio call, probably just a stadium camera and no affiliate or regional network  is gonna put that on the air. The cost to pay a crew, have a TV truck, multiple cameras, replay probably outweighs the revenue of a middle of the week, middle of the day spring training least to do it everyday.

Bears sign this incredible human...

Dodgers get 2B H. Olivera for 6/62.5M...he'll be 30 this year.

Not every team is lucky enough to be the Cubs! :)

Today's 3-4-5: 3. Soler 4. Rizzo 5. Bryant. I absolutely love this.

2016 2. Russell 3. Schwarber 4.Byrant 5. Rizzo 6. Soler /faints

Almora-CF Russell-SS Schwarzenegger-c Bryant-LF Rizzo-1b Soler-rf Castro-2b Baez-3b /ejaculates

Edwin Jackson will start second inning, late to game stuck in traffic Blake Parker will start /not cool Edwin

@DidKrisBryantHomerToday? Yes

I see Edwin Jackson is in mid-season form...

1.2ip 9h 0bb 0k, 7 r/er. ...and 2 men left on base when he got pulled. ...and 1 of those runs scores on a wild pitch...make that 8 r/er. he should have called in sick today.

Like I said, mid-season form :)  Seriously though, this sucks. He was doing fairly well so far in Spring Training and seemed like he could be usable or maybe more tradeable. This hurts. 

hey, ever get stuck in an unexpected bad traffic jam, it can fuck with your day. #EdwinExcuses

HoHoKam Park is only about 2-3/4 miles from Riverview Park, so E-Jax could have traveled by golf cart or rickshaw to the game.  

"Remember that place you had spring training the last two years?"

I put "Oakland Athletics spring training" in Google Maps and it went directly to Ho Ho Kam Stadium. So either Edwin was using something else but calling it Google Maps or they fixed it as soon as the news hit.

I was thinking that was fools gold. And, I'm not a scout. The best hope is for him to get thrown in as part of a greater deal and maybe they can get an 8th grader or grounds crew for him.

I'd hold out for a used infield rake and a can of Simoniz

"paul hoynes @hoynsie Kris Bryant has hit 9 homers this spring. Albert Belle hit 11 in 1990. He did not make the big league club that year." this twitter comment has already produced a slew of cubs-based posts and message board discussion. while technically true, albert already put in a 1/2 season of work in the bigs in 89 and his "demotion" was believed to be part of a failed attitude adjustment attempt. he took it as a personal insult after a down/up/down rather than a wake up call before spending 3-4 months in an alcohol and anger managment program. i miss milton bradley joey belle.

Sports Illustrated ‏@SInow 3m3 minutes ago The Astros' Triple A affiliate is giving away 2017 World Series rings on August 15

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  • Arizona Phil 1 hour 22 min ago (view)

    The fact hat the Cubs have not run him through waivers by now tells me the Cubs know Duane Underwood Jr is a lock to get claimed and so they are hoping to find a club that would be willing to give the Cubs something more than the $50,000 waiver price in return for Dunderwood (either more $$$ and/or a player). 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 4 min ago (view)

    Today's pitchers, most of them the same guys who threw last Tuesday: 

    Alec Mills:
    FB: 89-91 
    SL: 81 
    CH: 81-82 
    CV: 67-70 
    COMMENT: This just in: Mills heater now sitting at 91!!!!... had two easy innings and looked very good... threw only a handful of his "Bugs Bunny curves" but they are fun to watch because hitters don't know how to deal with it... ... 

    Craig Kimbrel: 
    FB: 93-96 
    CT: 87-88 
    SL: 82-84 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 38 min ago (view)

    DJL: Jason Adam sustained a right elbow fracture a few years ago and missed two full seasons, and when he returned to action he started using a "short-arm" delivery. 


  • crunch 2 hours 39 min ago (view)

    baez "soft tissue injury"'s spring.  he'll be back in a day or 2.


  • crunch 4 hours 48 min ago (view)

    kimbrel...K, single, HBP, 3 more hits...inning called due to pitch count.  4 earned.

    also, baez removed after being HBP on the hand.



  • First.Pitch.120 11 hours 46 sec ago (view)

    Cotton McKnight: In 23 years of broadcasting I thought I'd seen it all, folks. But it looks like Peter La Fleur has actually blindfolded himself.

    Pepper Brooks: He will not be able to see very well, Cotton. 


  • First.Pitch.120 11 hours 2 min ago (view)

    Yes! Exactly... I'd love to be able to watch coverages in football or just key-in on a great WR to watch them work.


  • First.Pitch.120 11 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Wow... this is the most engagement I have ever received on any topic on social media platform. Please stay tuned for my opinions on the Oxford Comma, the APA Style Manual for Academic Writing, and the auto-correct on my iPhone.  

    I am an awesome guy at parties.... 


  • bradsbeard 21 hours 29 min ago (view)

    I watched some of the Puerto Rican Winter League games that Miguel Amaya played in this winter. At least one broadcast had a super wide shot for balls in play that let you see the OF and the baserunners at the same time. It was awesome. 


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 35 min ago (view)

    3 dots on this evening's Cubs-Dodgers game - makes sense & they do color in the 3rd dot as they're going to commericals (Spectrum Sportsnet).


  • crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    3 dot crew represent.  i didn't have an opinion, but now i'm 100% on board.


  • Charlie 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    I agree on most of this, but I especially support three fillable dots for the outs--and fill in the third before cutting to a commercial!

    Not doing homework on the players in a Spring Training broadcast is pretty forgiveable, but ESPN is really bad about it pretty much all year. It would be nice if they made a habit of picking up a local color commentator and sort of interviewing them throughout games.


  • George Altman 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    The single thing I want in a sports broadcast is to become smarter about the sport,  to learn something from the broadcast crew.

    Stone does that, Romo does that, Eddie O on hockey, and that's about it. I watch sporting events with the sound down very low or off. I forgot more about baseball than most broadcasters will ever know, and I'm always shocked when I see something in a football game that the crew doesn't,  and I know about NOTHING about football. 


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Also... what is with only having 2 dots as the outs counter? I know that you don't really need the 3rd dot, but I find it counter-intuitive. If the dots fill in, then only having 2 throws me off b/c it's natural to subitize "3" associated with outs. You quickly see 0/3, 1/3, 2/3.  If the graphic does not have fill-in dots, then just put the #.  eg - OUTS: 1  It's minimalism for the sake of minimalism, not graphic design for effective communication.


  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    tight shots + insane amount of screen real estate being taken up with graphics is a bit of a plague...especially the ones with a non-stop bottom news ticker.


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    General comment on baseball broadcasting... I think that the color comentator (CC) needs to talk about 30% more & the PBP about 30% less. I would love a more stream of consciousness from the CC outlining what they would be looking for in a given situation. To that end, why not have 2 CC for national broadcasts - one a pitcher & one a position player. Would love for them to banter back & forth on micro strategy from their perspectives. I think this would turn the game's pauses between action into more of an asset.