Cubs Send Bullpen to Riverview to Stabilize Isotopes

Cubs MLB bullpen members Brandon Morrow, Justin Wilson, and Brian Duensing combined to hurl 3.1 IP of shutout ball to get things started, Charcer Burks (RBI single) and David Bote (RBI double) drove-in what proved to be the winning runs in the bottom of the 1st, and Dillon Maples earned an easy save with a 1-2-3 14-pitch 9th, as the Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate edged the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate) 2-1 on Field #6, and RHSP Ryan Castellani hurled four innings of shutout ball and the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies AA affiliate) banged-out 15 hits en route to an 8-1 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader action Thursday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The game on Field #5 was called after eight innings of play.

Morrow (4-3, K, 3B, BB), Wilson (5-4 FC, F-8, 1B, L-4 DP, K), and Duensing (F-7, F-8, 2B, K) were sent to the Cubs backfields to get work in the AAA game, and Chris Gimenez was their catcher, going 1-5 at the plate (F-8, 2B, K, 6-3, K) while hitting once in each of the first five innings.
 
Luis Hidalgo was hit in the helmet with a pitch in the bottom of the 8th inning on Field #5 and had to leave the game (although he left the field under his own power).   

As usual several position-players were moved-up to the Tennessee and Iowa squads to get some playing time with the more-advanced players. 

A number of Cubs minor leaguers have been (or currently are) sick, apparently with the same bug that sidelined Kyle Hendricks this week.

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

 
FIELD #5:

TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-4 (L-7, K, 6-3, F-8)
2. Rafael Narea, SS: 2-3 (1B, 5-3, 1B, BB)
3a. Zack Short, DH: 0-3 (6-4 FC, K, F-9)
3b. Luis Hidalgo, PH: 0-0 (HBP)
3c. Robert Garcia, PR (NO AB)
4a. Eddy Julio Martinez, RF: 0-2 (4-3, P-6)
4b. Yovanny Cuevas, RF: 0-2 (K, F-8)
5a. Trent Giambrone, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 2B, R)
5b. Luis Diaz, 2B: 1-1 (1B, BB, SB)
6a. Daniel Spingola, LF: 1-2 (L-4, 3B, RBI)
6b. Chris Pieters, LF: 0-0 (BB, BB)
7. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-4 (K, 5-3, 5-3 DP, 5-4-3 DP)
8a. Kevin Cornelius, 1B: 0-2 (K, K)
8b. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 0-1 (L-9, K)
9a. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-2 (1B, K)
9b. Tyler Payne, C: 1-2 (1B, L-8)

TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Duncan Robinson: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/AO, 59 pitches (35 strikes)
2. Jake Stinnett: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 40 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Steve Perakslis: 1.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R (7 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 PO, 1/2 GO/AO, 40 pitches (28 strikes)
4. Dakota Mekkes: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 8 pitches (6 strikes)

TENNESSEE ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Jesse Hodges: E-5 (two-base fielding error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely)
2. 3B Jesse Hodges: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 1-4 CS

TENNESSEE OUTFIELD ASSIST:
LF Daniel Spingola - runner thrown out 7-2 attempting to score from 2nd on two-base E-5

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

FIELD #6:

IOWA LINEUP:
X. Chris Gimenez, C-DH: 1-5 (F-8, 2B, K, 6-3 DP, K)
NOTE: Gimenez batted 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings)
1. Wynton Bernard, CF: 1-3 (2B, P-4, 5-3, R)
2. Charcer Burks, RF: 1-2 (1B, K, BB, CS, RBI)
3a. David Bote, SS-DH: 2-2 (2B, 1B, RBI)
3b. Erick Castillo, PH: 0-1 (4-3) 
4. Mark Zagunis, LF: 0-3 (4-3, F-8, 4-3)
5a. Chesny Young, 2B-SS: 0-2 (K, K)
5b. Jose A. Gonzalez, PH: 0-1 (5-3)
6a. Jason Vosler, 1B: 0-2 (F-7, K)
6b. Jonathan Soto, PH: 0-1 (K)
7a. Ian Rice, DH-C: 0-1 (HBP, L-9)
7b. Raymond Pena, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
8. Stephen Bruno, 3B: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)
9. P. J. Higgins, DH #2: 0-2 (K, K)
10. Christian Donahue, DH-2B: 0-2 (L-7, K)

IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Brandon Morrow: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
2. Justin Wilson: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Brian Duensing: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
4. Luke Farrell: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1/6 GO/AO, 58 pitches (35 strikes)
5. Daury Torrez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (12 strikes)
6. Dillon Maples: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)

IOWA ERRORS: NONE

IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Ian Rice: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 44

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with temperatures in the 80's

Arizona
Scoring
Service

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"

Comments

nice ass, phil.

d.maples throwing 10 strikes out of 14 pitches sounds great.  consistency would be nice.  it would be nice to see him look like early-career carlos marmol rather than late-career carlos marmol.

Interesting battle in progress for Opening Day starting rotations at the Cubs four full-season affiliates: IOWA: Tseng, Mills, Farrell, Zastryzny, and Underwood have the inside track right now, with Roth and/or Camarena (and perhaps eventually Bass) in the mix as piggy-backers or swing-men. Hedges, Pugliese, and Markey have been used only as relievers so far. Webster, Hultzen, and R. Williams are in the Rehab Throwing Program and almost certainly will be left behind at EXST. TENNESSEE: Alzolay, Clifton, Hatch, and Robinson virtual locks, with Rucker, Kellogg, and/or K. Miller competing for the 5th slot (the other two could be piggy-backers/swing-men). Morrison, Bloomquist, and Perakslis have been used only as relievers so far but could possibly be piggybackers/swing-man (but not rotation starters). MYRTLE BEACH: de la Cruz and Paulino are virtual locks, with Hudson, Moreno, Lange, Thomas, Thompson, T. Miller, and/or Swarmer competing for the other three slots and probably two piggy-back/swing-men slots. A couple could get moved-down to South Bend by the end of Minor League Camp. Leal and M. Rondon are in the Rehab Throwing Program and will almost certainly be left behind at EXST. SOUTH BEND: Albertos, Little, Uelmen, Abbott, Assad, Camargo, and/or B. Clark are competing for five slots, with the additional possibility that a couple of the Myrtle Beach SP candidates could move down to South Bend by the end of Minor League Camp.

Thanks Phil, that's really helpful and interesting. Interesting that Underwood got moved up to Iowa, and has a chance to start there. I'd guessed he'd start at Tennessee again. I hope that Rucker can beat out Kellogg and Miller. May have been mirage, but last year results suggest that perhaps he pitches better than his stuff would suggest. I'd kinda like to see him keep starting until/unless he finally struggles. Will be interesting to see if Hatch steps up this year, and if Clifton rebounds. Seems like some good big-league prospects at Tenn, and perhaps a pretty effective minor-league staff. Myrtle: Interesting that for the moment, you see Lange still fighting for a spot there. May change, or course. I'd guessed he'd start at South Bend, and work on using his change and 4-seam-up at a lower level where fewer hitters will punish mistakes. Hard to imagine Thomas or T Miller beating out two of those other six guys..... That could be a really good staff, and perhaps look even better given that Carolina League is pretty pitching-friendly and anti-HR. South Bend: That too could be a really, really good and interesting staff, even more so if Lange drops back there. Obviously it might not perform that great if Little is wild most of the time. But five really interesting big-league prospects. I'm curious about Abbott? Cubs used 2nd round pick on him, ahead of Thompson and Uelmann, and didn't subslot him particularly or anything. I wonder what his agenda is at South Bend. Also change and 4-seam-up? I'd thought given his scouting as a control artist, that perhaps he'd be a candidate to skip straight to Myrtle? Haven't heard much about him, though; and the Callis/BA scouting reports actually seemed to have less buzz than the Thompson or Uelmann reports. BA had kinda weird scouting notes, suggested fastball was 89-93, with slider 86-88. If so, that would seem an unusually fast slider, particularly for a guy whose fastball is only slightly faster. Wouldn't seem the velocity separation usually associated with slider/fastball? Anyway, thanks Phil. Fun to think about. Seem like a lot of pitcher who are already interesting, and have a chance to become more so. Obviously won't work for a lot of them, but a nice pool of guys who might step up pretty favorably and be really interesting by trade deadline.

sandoval is straight up standing about 30-40ft from home plate taking swings while Q pitches, timing his stuff.

spring training is weird.  cubs 1st round draft picks have permanently blinded people for similar antics.

hey, alright...it seems the "save america's pasttime act" finally found a new home in the new budget proposal. this pretty much kills any labor/pay discussion involving these 1000s of players that may come up in the future. good going billionaire team owners. that's some classy stuff right there.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2765933-minor-league-baseball-players-to-lose-minimum-wage-rights-under-spending-bill

Zobrist is hitting .192.  Heyward's at .205.  Last year, they were both terrible.  Heyward has been terrible for two years.  Nothing indicates anything has changed with either of them. It will be interesting to see if Theo's "playing time will be based on merit" is a real thing.  I guess the best case is maybe Joe won't play them at the same time. 

given what's happened this off-season with the "market crash" on player pay, it is looking really likely the cubs are gonna have this heyward contract for the duration. he would really have to turn it on and then some to walk away from 5 years at 21+ million per year left on his deal (78m paid out 2016-2018).

The Cubs have been giving David Bote reps at SS this week at Minor League Camp, as they obviously intend to use him all over the infield.

Bote played SS in HS, JC, and in his first couple of seasons in pro ball, so he knows how to play the position. It's just that he is a bit stiff to be a full-time SS (he's sort of out-grown the position). But at least he can play there in a pinch, although he is clearly much better at 2B and 3B (and 1B).

Bote got really bad reviews on his defense in the AFL, but he’s looked impressive to me at both 2B and 3B. I think his size has a lot to do with the reports. But he seems to have quick reaction and decent range (and a solid arm). Probably doesn’t have the range or hands for SS, but I think he’ll be a good defensive 2B and maybe even better as a 3B.

Glad to see Underwood and Torrez moved up to Iowa. I think both have made a bunch of progress. Do you agree Phil?

Recent comments

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  • jdrnym 4 hours 14 min ago (view)

    Hey AZPhil, when a player is released with money/years still remaining on his contract, does his next team *have* to give him the prorated major league minimum or can they offer more (meaning the original club owes less) to "outbid" other teams that may have had interest? I'm assuming that's what happened with Brad Brach, where the Mets signed him for 2020 at $850,000.

     

  • crunch 4 hours 57 min ago (view)

    jeremy jeffress agrees.

     

  • Rob Richardson 8 hours 39 min ago (view)

    It's high time if you ask me.

     

  • crunch 8 hours 55 min ago (view)

    as awesome as bryant is, it would probably be good for the cubs to find him a new home before his play at 3rd turns him into a corner OF'r...which seems inevitable sooner than later.

    i'm still impressed how much his D improved since he was drafted, but he's already losing a step at the position early in his career.

     

  • crunch 9 hours 1 min ago (view)

    minor league ballplayers will no longer have to worry about getting suspended for testing positive for weed...it's off the prohibited substances list.

    about time.

     

  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 13 min ago (view)

    3B Alec Bohm and RHSP Spencer Howard would likely be the Cubs asking price and the Phils probably say no, but if they don't say no, that could be a deal. 

     

  • crunch 22 hours 36 min ago (view)

    Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine
    Cubs have had talks with Phils on Bryant. Nothing there at the moment. Service time grievance still an issue.

     

  • bradsbeard 23 hours 11 min ago (view)

    Humerous 30 minutes this morning when both Mark Gonzalez and Gordon Wittenmyer tweeted out that the Cubs would be receiving Conor Lillis-White as the PTBNL in the Tommy La Stella trade as if it were just now happening. 

     

  • crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    marvin miller and ted simmons are part of the next HOF class.

    long time coming for miller.

     

  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    things that are important to good on-field play like buying up all the property around wrigley field, from rooftops to acerage, isn't going to monetize itself.

    i know some people would love to have a top tier pitcher, but i'm looking forward to more control of rooftop advertising and an open air beer garden near the team owned hotel and resturant complexes.

    i know some people want a solid leadoff man, but i'm looking forward to seeing 10-20 concerts on off-days destroying the playing field so that extra revenue can help a polician in Nebraska or Iowa get some ad buys.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Their friend Donald will come through for them.

     

  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    remember when the billionaire owners got a huge double digit tax cut?

    maybe the city should do them a favor and give them more tax savings help to let them buy and build another 2-3 revenue projects outside of the park.  that might help these struggling heroes find some extra loot.

    i know this rant isn't fair, but my "dan winkler got a MLB contract fever" is dying down a bit.

     

  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    f'real.  i don't even know why they're going to bother playing games.  i'm over here printing Cubs 2020 World Series Champs banners while others are sleeping on reality.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Just saw a fun report that the Cubs are telling even budget type free agents they can't currently negotiate until they clear some payroll. So that's a fun start to the winter meetings.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I'm with you 100% on that. Minor league retreads are fine and all but we don't need to be paying premiums for middle relief.

     

  • JustSayin' 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have 15-20 extra pitchers in their minor league system due to unbalanced drafting over the last few years.  I am ready to see them err on the side of giving the internal guys too many chances as compared to signing AAA players who had short stints in the big leagues which didn't go too well.  We don't know it the Cubs organization is just that bad at developing pitching, or has too many guys trying to prove themselves in a fixed number of minor league innings.  Bad scouting/development or self-inflicted bottleneck?