Pelicans Don't Know the Way to Beat San Jose

Michael Santos tossed three innings of shutout ball and Rodney Price blasted a two run HR, as the Augusta GreenJackets (SF Giants Lo-A affiliate) edged the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 4-3 on Field #5, and Randy Ortiz and Steven Neff (ex-LHP) belted two run triples and Ryder Jones hammered a two-run double, leading the San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants Hi-A affiliate) to an 8-5 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Mesa Cubtown at Riverview Park.   

21-year old RHP James Norwood (Cubs 2014 7th round draft pick - Saint Louis University) got the start for South Bend and threw four innings of two-hit shutout ball, retiring the last eleven men he faced. Justin Marra drilled a two-run triple and a single for the South Bend squad, and Jacob Rogers drove-in three runs with an RBI double and two-run HR for the Myrtle Beach squad. 

Prior to the games on Fields 5 & 6, RHPs Austin Reed (2014 TJS) and Jesus Castillo squared-off in a two-inning "sim" game on Field #4. 

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


1. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-4 (5-3, 3-6 FC, L-7, 6-3)
2a. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 0-3 (6-3, 3-U, K) 
2b. Tanner Witt, 2B: 0-0 (BB, SB) 
3. Kevonte Mitchell, LF: 1-4 (F-9, 1B, 6-3, K, R, 2 SB) 
4a. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 0-1 (5-3, BB, SB, CS)
4b. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 0-1 (BB, 4-3, R) 
5a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, F-8, SB) 
5b. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-1 (F-9) 
6. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 0-3 (K, 6-3, L-8, BB) 
7. Ho-Young Son, SS: 0-3 (K, K, BB, 4-3, R)
8. Justin Marra, DH: 2-4 (1B, 3-U, 3B, 4-3, 2 RBI)
9a. Tyler Pearson, C: 0-2 (K, 4-3) 
9b. Miguel Rico, C: 0-1 (6-3) 

1. James Norwood: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 5/3 GO/FO, 62 pitches (39 strikes) 
2. Brad Markey: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 1 1/0 GO/FO, 23 pitches (17 strikes) 
3. Dillon Maples: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 22 pitches (9 strikes) 
4. Daniel Lewis: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 16 pitches (8 strikes) 
5. Tanner Griggs: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GO/FO, 

1B Tyler Alamo - E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

1. Tyler Pearson: 0-1 CS 
2. Miguel Rico: 2-3 CS 

LF Kevonte Mitchell - threw out baserunner 7-2 trying score on ground single to left 


1a. Gioskar Amaya, C:1-3 (2B, E-4, K, R, SB)
1a. Varonex Cuevas, SS: 0-2 (K, 4-3) 
2a.  Gleyber Torres, SS: 0-2  (BB, 4-3, 1-3)  
2b. Eric Gonzalez: 0-1 (K, 1B)
3. Chesny Young, 2B: 0-5 (6-4 FC, 4-3, E-4, 6-3, L-9, SB)
4a. Mark Zagunis, LF: 1-2 (K, 1B, R) 
4b. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-2 (1-3, BB, 4-3, R) 
5. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 2-4 (K, 2B, K, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) 
6. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH: 0-4 (K, 4-3, K, 5-3) 
7. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-2 (HBP, BB, 1B, F-9) 
8. Rashad Crawford, CF: 2-4 (6-3 DP, 1B, F-9, 2B, RBI)
9. David Bote, 3B: 1-4 (K, F-9, K, 1B)

1. Jake Stinnett: 4 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 2 HBP, 1/4 GO/FO, 63 pitches (40 strikes) 
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 23 pitches (17 strikes) 
3. Jordan Minch: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 0/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (7 strikes) 
4. Trevor Graham: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes) 
5. Tommy Thorpe: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 24 pitches (16 strikes) 

CF Rashad Crawford - E-8 (dropped pop fly in CF allowed batter to reach base safely) 

1. Gioskar Amaya: 1-1 CS, 1 PB
2. Eric Gonzalez: 0-1 CS, 1 PB 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 



I don't know if this is the article O&B or others were talking about, but Maddon seems to like everything about Baez except his swing and Baez has allegedly been told he's already made team. Sure would help defense a lot.


They must know something we (I) don't.

Really just rubbing it in Bryant's face.

Verbal gymnastics. If baseball doesn't work out, he can always find work in politics: "When it comes down to evaluation at this time of year, for the most part, very superficially, people go right to the batting average. You can't do that. You can, but if you're going to be successful, you cannot."

he says that about a guy with a .190 ob% in 42 PA in spring and still gets away with it without a media/fan riot calling for his head or overanalyzing it. sweet.

Not sure if that was it - there were a few beat writers collecting those quotes and I was reading on Flipboard. It makes some sense to me if Maddon really likes the guy. He knows a lot more about baseball than I do. My untrained eye says he'll never hit major leaguers - Maddon's experience says he at least might and that he is already a good enough fielder to help the team. I'll go with Maddon's experience over mine any day. I will say that his fielding was noticeable when I saw it live. He has this one weird and cool thing where his glove hand sort of snaps quickly to the runner on a tag and always seems to "snap" to the right place. That's just instinct, or something, and is fun to watch up close.

whatever the case ends up being, lineups are gonna be like Christmas morning every day :)

I heard JD a couple days ago extrapolate some data and he pointed out that Bryant would have 168 homers in 2015 if he can just keep up this spring training pace.

Well hopefully no one looks at Baez's OBP or SLG either., because .128/.190/.205 is hideous, no matter who is pitching, or what time of year it is, or how amazing his glove is. I hope Maddon knows what we all don't, and that Baez flips a switch and gets it going in the regular season.

they need to get welly some reps at 2nd and SS...problem solved.

I'm almost willing to wager that the Ross acquisition was a bit hasty and that if Maddon knew what he knows now he'd probably say, "don't bother" to TheoCrew. Luckily, I'm not a betting man.

O&B: I don't think the David Ross signing was hasty, and I doubt that Maddon would have been able to keep it from happening. I think Ross was signed specifically because he has been Jon Lester's personal catcher, and Lester just feels more comfortable and confident when Ross is behind the plate when Lester is pitching.

That's why carrying three catchers in this particular case actualy makes some sense. 

On days when Lester starts, Ross is the catcher no matter whether a LHP or RHP is starting. Once Lester leaves the game, Montero can PH for Ross whenever appropriate, and you still have Castillo on the bench as a 3rd catcher.

On days someone other than Lester is starting, Montero and Castillo would platoon (with Montero starting vs RHP, ansd Castillo startng vs LHP), with the one who doesn't starts available to PH without reservation, because Ross is still available on the bench. 

If Maddon wants to send in a pinch-runner for a catcher late in a game (all three of the catchers are slow runners), no problem, because there will be another catcher available on the bench. 

And then of course if any of the three catchers goes down with an injury, it won't be necessary to call up Rafael Lopez or Taylor Teagarden. You just go with two catchers until the third guy returns. 

Now if the Cubs get a drop-dead unbelievably great offer for Castillo, they will very likely trade him. But it's not like they HAVE to trade him.

Carrying three catchers and 12 pitchers is essentially no different that carrying two catchers and 13 pitchers (which the Cubs did last season), in that it requires at least one multi-positional IF-OF "super-sub" (Bonifacio for most of last year, and Alcantara this year), plus no more than one OF back-up (the Denofia/Coghlan platoon) and no more than one INF back-up (LaStella). 

Thanks, Phil, good points all. I remember when Ross first came up - with the Dodgers if my sketchy memory serves, and I thought he was gonna be a much bigger deal than he ended up being. Ended up being a good receiver but I thought he was going to hit a bit more. He came up and hit some, and he actually did have a couple really good years at the plate, but I thought he was gonna rake.

i'm still getting over welly's better arm, better contact, slightly better power, 3 years of club control, and cheaper 2015 price tag was overpowered by a desire to give a 38 year old a 2-year deal because he can frame some pitches better. they also "lost" r.martin to the wrong team. another team in need of getting rid of a relatively affordable mlb-ready catcher emerged with that signing in an already crowded market with few buyers.

Still don't understand all the love for a career 256/324/400 (237/296/389 last season) hitter.

Beefy is a spare part on a good team or a hope-he-figures-it-out on a bad team. Cubs now have the luxury of not having to wait around for it.

But I would have preferred they kept him as back-up rather than signing Ross. They're a Montero injury away from a disaster at that spot if they trade Beefy. Unless someone really believes in Rafael Lopez. Schwarber is a good year at least from the majors with his glove.

Agreed, but assuming you can trade him for something of like value, Ross just isn't much of a drop off.

Nice....way to think outside the box!

"way to think outside the box" The catcher's box?

The stats wouldn't freak me out so much if it wasn't for just how lost he looks up there. But Maddon must see something, or he's seen enough tape of when Baez did better, that he wants to develop him. It's ok on this team to have a light hitting infielder early on. With Russell nipping at his heels it'll be interesting to watch, at least. And I'll say this. Just about every Baez AB is an adventure.

I'm guessing Baez would get most of his starts versus lefties btw if he does make team, avoid some of his breaking ball problems. I'm guessing Maddon will be quite liberal with the pinch-hitting and days off to get him some consistent AB's.

Just a guess...

O's have called about Beefy...allegedly. They are trying to move Brian Matusz fwiw, but Cubs don't have room for him either. Hot 3-way action?

That Grantland article in the Twitter feed is thorough and inspiring. It's optimistic of course, but fairly knowledgable compared to most articles on the Cubs.

Also Maddon got to see some epic but representative E-Jax Cub performance yesterday with 1.2 IP and 8 ER yielded. Hopefully that's enough to just cut the fucker loose. I'm probably 3/44 on this but geez. So bad.

You GO, PHIL! ... (although he does swing & miss pitches in the strike zone). Haha! Classic PHIL. Thank you for your ST reports.

Blasphemy!!! Comment From Kris I’m not saying Kris Bryant is going to turn into Pedro Alvarez, but doesn’t it concern anyone that he has put up Alvarezian strikeout percentages in the minors? This seems to get brushed to the side by a lot of folks but I think there is a real chance Bryant will be a good player, rather than an elite player. 12:12 Dave Cameron: I think he’ll be better than Alvarez, but I do agree he’s more of a high floor top prospect than a super high ceiling. I don’t see him putting up too many +6 WAR seasons, but I’d expect a lot of +3 to +5 years.

So a better Pedro Alvarez? Hmm. Alvarez minors slash: .278/.372/.516 Bryant minors slash: .327/.428/.666 Maybe Bryant's D comes around a little more....maybe?

Got a PA issue there with those slash line comps...

Bryant seems to adjust pretty well, but he'll have the disadvantage of being a righty. 

i think his floor would be Alvarez, ceiling is Goldschmidt or Stanton. Likely in-between....

Unless that K rate becomes manageable though, there will be some .250 or less BA seasons in there.

I agree that he most likely won't be putting up those numbers in MLB, unless more contact is made. I do think he'll be better than .235/.307/.435, which is Alvarez' MLB averages The PA issue, of course, is more about last year being Bryant's only full season, split between AA/AAA. Alvarez played 60 more games in the minors. I'd hope that Bryant's bat lies closer to what...Pat Burrell than Alvarez?

Dave Cameron also weighs in on Bryant and the value between 10 games now and a 162 games in the future.

Again, we're totally ignoring the relationship and good will in the 5 years Bryant will be under club control. We're talking about people, not stocks & bonds.

If goodwill was a possibility in negotiation, Bryant would not have hired Boras as his agent. I'm not blaming him for maximizing his value, not at all, but Boras is what he is, and people who hire Boras do it because they want to maximize their value. Here's a picture of Scott Boras cutting the Cubs some goodwill on the extension because Bryant gets to play on Opening Night this year:

Well if that mattered, and I don't think it does much, then it also would apply in the other direction: Theo did not sound pleased about how Boras has been calling him out in the media without talking to him and without a decision even having been made yet.

That's what the $6.7 million was for.

Cubs expected to make some cuts today fwiw.

more batting the pitcher least it's a guy who's at least worthy of it...kinda. welcome to the NL maddon...hope you get this particular thing out of your system pretty quickly and simply focus on making 150+ different lineups this season.

far more importantly, have you got bitching about it out of your system? Spring training is nearly over...not much time left.

that's some fine ass constructive criticism there, hoss. *spits* my ideal lineup involves rizzo hitting 2nd...go figure. there's lots of systems. a very basic system of hitting your batters in descending order of effectiveness produces 1-2 more wins a season on paper rather than being "marginally effective for rare circumstances on paper even though it's marginarly harmful in real-world results so far." we have people dreaming up lineup theories based on rare occurrences with nearly insignificant results both on paper and in the real world...not to mention a lot based on how a pitcher treats an 8 hitter now being applied to a 7 hitter without much of a consideration in a lot of these scenarios. so in conclusion, jose macias got 1200 PA in his 2 years with the cubs, neifi hit 2nd his entire tenure with the team, and dusty baker ruined over a dozen pitchers.

well Dusty Baker was terrible and that's why he's been fired from managing 3 times, twice after winning records.

if you put something in quotes, doesn't that mean you're actually quoting someone?...if you are in this case, we'd appreciate the link and the source or at least describe the source so we can find it.

Rizzo batting 2nd would be great.

You're nearly 10 years removed from most of your material...try some new stuff.

crunch v the brightest mind in baseball I keed, I keed. But really, he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Bryant to start in LF tomorrow, Maddon says no one has told Baez he has made the team.

Guess who's not in lineup tonite for CSN viewers ? /we're through the looking glass people

believe tomorrrow's game is televised on ESPN, at least according to Olney.

Who are you going to believe ? Olney or Cubs ?!?!

Well we can't break tradition...

@thekapman Theo Epstein w/me today was clear that no decision has been made on Bryant. However, he has never had a player make his debut on Opening Day. “I have a lot of respect for Scott and he by and large does a great job for his clients," Epstein said. "The only part about it that bothers me is that he certainly could have picked up the phone before going to the national media about this. He never once called me and asked me if Kris would make the team or anything about his situation. So just from a personal level and professional respect, that would have been something that I would have done if I was in his shoes. "Beyond that, Scott has a forum and obviously people are publishing what he says. He has a job to do and he has a great client who is a fantastic kid. The person who is handling this with the most professionalism and maturity is Kris Bryant. I couldn’t be more proud of how he is handling a very difficult situation. He is getting asked about it every day. He doesn’t get to just go focus on playing the game; he is asked about this from all corners and he is handling himself in a way that makes the Cubs proud. "As far as the issue goes and the bigger picture, we are thrilled to have Kris Bryant. We are glad we chose him with the second pick in the 2013 draft and we are glad he is a Cub. I think he is going to have an incredible career and be a part of some really special things here with the Cubs.”

alright, pretty much copy and pasted the whole article but it's all quotes "We’ve broken in some pretty good young players over the years from Kevin Youkilis to Hanley Ramirez to Dustin Pedroia to Jacoby Ellsbury to Jon Lester to Jonathan Papelbon and we have always given them the benefit of getting into the season in the minor leagues and getting into a good rhythm whether that is on the mound or offensively or defensively and playing in games that count rather than just spring training. We want to let them get into the flow of the season and then we try to pick just the right moment, in our opinion, to have them come up and make their major league debut. "A major league debut is a sense of time and if it doesn’t go quite the right way and if you don’t put them in the right position to succeed, you can get in the way of their whole integration into the major leagues and it’s something we take seriously. I’ve never once done it. I’ve never put a young prospect in a position to make his major league debut on Opening Day. Opening Day, when it is cold out and there is a lot of attention and even veteran players don’t feel like themselves, they’re not quite into the flow of the season yet. "I’ve never done it and it’s always been for baseball reasons. This is not a different situation than we’ve faced in the past, so let’s make the best decision for the Chicago Cubs and for Kris Bryant’s development."

Well that seems pretty indicative of the decision. Theo is a smooth operator!!

"This is not a new development. I have always been aware of service time rules."

Haha. Yup

Sounds like Baez hasn't really bought into the need to change his swing.

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  • crunch 6 hours 5 min ago (view)

    69 (nice) pitches...goes 4.2ip and leaves with a man on 1st

    4.2ip 3h 1bb 5k, 3r/er (2hr)

    alzolay continues to have the HR screw him over.  12 given up in 62.1ip


  • crunch 6 hours 17 min ago (view)

    d.ross pulls baez for alcantara for what was either a mental mistake forgetting the outs or totally not hustling by baez in the bottom 4th running the bases.

    cubs are down by 1.

    hell of manager power play.  hope this plays out well...expect it will.


  • crunch 6 hours 58 min ago (view)

    nico expected back in early july...duffy had a "setback" and is in limbo...bote has started baseball activities, but nowhere near a return time.


  • crunch 7 hours 14 min ago (view)

    haha.  ump checked alzolay's hat and glove between innings and declared it all clear.

    stuff so nasty they wanna make sure you're not on that "sticky fingers" bandwagon.


  • crunch 7 hours 16 min ago (view)

    11 pitches, 2 Ks and a hard ground out to start things for alzolay.

    i wonder how many pitches he'll be allowed to throw if he can keep the game under control.  velocity and movement looks great.


  • Arizona Phil 8 hours 34 min ago (view)

    CRUNCH: The only way this makes sense is if the Cubs promised Ryan when they outrighted him in May that he would be added back to the MLB 40-man roster within a certain number of days or by a certain date (June 20th). Otherwise, it makes no sense.

    Ryan did have the right to elect free-agency when he was outrighted, but he accepted the assignment. 


  • crunch 9 hours 25 min ago (view)

    alzolay activated, k.ryan down.  ryan was brought up less than 24 hours ago and not used yesterday.  he was already earlier optioned to AAA and the cubs DFA'd r.stock to add ryan to the 40-man yesterday.  odd use of the roster, kinda...


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Exactly what I needed - thanks AZPhil!


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    I doubt that whatever changes are made in the new CBA regarding compensation draft picks for losing a Qualified Player will be implemented in the 2022 draft. They might, however, remove the penalty of losing a draft pick after signing a qualified player, and that could easily be implemented in the 2022 draft. That would seem to be a demand the MLBPA would make that the MLB owners could accept. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    W-RAT: Going over the CBT threshhold in 2020 but not in 2021 will not affect which draft pick a club receives if it loses a player who receives a Qualifying Offer post-2021 World Series and that player subsequently signs a major league contract with another MLB club prior to the 2022 MLB Rule 4 Draft (MLB First-Year Player Draft).


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    w.franco getting called up by TB.  he's amazing.  check him out.  agressive at the plate and on the bases (and gets away with it)...rather decent in the field.  javy baez meets ronald acuna type stuff...


  • tim815 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    With the CBA expiring in the off-season, nobody has any idea what will happen in 2022, if there's an MLB season in 2022.


  • crunch 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    kinda crazy cubs even matter in 2021 this late in june...also, that the cards are barely playing .500 ball.

    cubs were supposed to be "competitive" going into the season, but we were hearing a lot more about who's going to be traded mid-season than how competitive they were/are expected to be.

    also, the dbacks are down by 8 runs on their way to their 17th loss in a row.  they've only won 20 games this year.  AZ games are my go-to late night (east coast over here) preferred viewing and it's been some terrible baseball to watch.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Sorry if this is explained somewhere and I missed it, but who knows the exact compensation the Cubs would get if they made qualifying offers to Rizzo, Bryant, and Baez after the season, all three turned them down and they each signed with different teams? I read that the Cubs exceeded the Luxury Tax in 2020, so apparently that changes the draft pick value. Thanks in advance!


  • Cubster 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    Rockies tie game w 6-spot vs Brewers


  • crunch 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    schwarber has 5HR in the last 2 days (3 games) and 9 homers in his last 10 games.


    also, t.chatwood picked up a spot save for TOR today.