Pelicans Fit to Be Tied with Giants at Riverview

Jhonny Bethencourt went 3-3 (two singles and a double), stole two bases, and scored two runs, and RHP Keegan Thompson (Cubs 2017 3rd round pick - Auburn) hurled four innings of shutout ball for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affliliate), and Wander Franco drilled an RBI double and Ryan Kirby followed with a two-run HR to spark a three-run 4th for the Giants San Jose Hi-A affiliate, as the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie on Field #6, and RHSP Jose Marte hurled three innings of shutout ball to lead the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants 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 Friday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.     

Kwangmin Kwon belted a solo HR and Austin Filiere collected three hits (two singles and an RBI double) for the South Bend Cubs in a losing cause.

RHP Tyson Miler (Cubs 2016 4th round draft pick - California Baptist) got the start for Myrtle Beach and retired nine of the first ten men he faced (including five on strikeouts) before allowing back-to-back doubles and a two-run HR to the first three batters he faced in the top of the 4th (he then retired the side in order).  

RHP Bailey Clark (Cubs 2016 5th round draft pick - Duke) piggy-backed with South Bend SP Rollie Lacy (Cubs 2017 11th round draft pick - Creighton), and while Clark's FB velo was an impressive 96-97 and his SL had good break, he had terrible command (he needed 57 pitches to get eight outs, he couldn't finish his third inning, he committed a throwing error on a pick-off attempt at 2nd base, and he threw only 47% strikes).

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


1a. Rafael Narea, 2B: 1-3 (1B, P-4, 6-3)
1b. Chris Singleton, RF: 0-2 (F-7, P-6)
2. Yeiler Peguero, SS: 2-5 (6-3, 1B, 1B, K, P-5, PO)
3. Christopher Morel, 3B: 1-3 (1B, 5-U FC, BB, K, CS)
4a. Kevonte Mitchell, RF: 0-3 (F-7, F-8, K)
4b. Delvin Zinn, 2B: 0-1 (K)
5a. Chris Carrier, LF: 0-2 (3-U, K)
5b. Kwangmin Kwon, LF: 1-2 (HR, K, R, RBI)
6a. Will Remillard, C: 1-2 (F-7, 2B, R)
6b. Henderson Perez, C:  0-2 (P-6, K)
7. Austin Filiere, 1B: 3-4 (1-3, 2B, 1B, 1B, RBI)
8. Connor Myers, CF: 1-4 (5-3, 4-3, 2B, 5-3)
9. Tyler Alamo, DH: 0-3 (E-6, K, P-3, BB)

1. Rollie Lacy: 3.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 3/3 GO/AO, 59 pitches (43 strikes)
2. Mark Malave: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Bailey Clark: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 5/2 GO/AO, 57 pitches (27 strikes)
4. Jhon Romero: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 43 pitches (22 strikes)

1. CF Connor Myers: E-8 (overthrow to 3rd base after single to CF allowed runner to score)
2. P Bailey Clark: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
3. 3B Christopher Morel: E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)

1. Will Remillard: 1-2 CS
2. Henderson Perez: 1-3 CS



1a. Jhonny Bethencourt, SS: 3-3 (1B, 2B, 1B, 2 R, 2 SB)
1b. Luis Vazquez, SS: 0-1 (K)
2. Robert Garcia, RF: 0-2 (BB, 5-3 SH, K, 4-3)
3a. Austin Upshaw, 2B: 1-2: 1B, F-8 SF, K, RBI)
3b. Ramsey Romano, 3B: 0-1 (P-6)
4. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 0-4 (5-3 DP, K, 6-3, K)
5. Miguel Amaya, C-1B: 1-3 (F-7, 2B, BB, L-4, R)
6. Brandon Hughes, CF: 1-4 (2B, F-8, F-7, 4-3)
7a. Gustavo Polanco, 1B: 1-3 (3-U, 3B, 5-4-3 DP, RBI)
7b. Jonathan Sierra, LF: 0-1 (F-7)
8. Daniel Spingola, LF-DH: 0-3 (K, K, L-7)
9. Jhonny Pereda, DH-C: 0-3 (F-7, 6-3, K)

1. Tyson Miller: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 3/3 GO/AO, 63 pitches (42 strikes)
2. Keegan Thompson: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 2/7 GO/AO, 39 pitches (28 strikes)
3. Elvis Diaz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 11 pitches (7 strikes)

C Miguel Amaya: E-2 (errant pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)

1. Miguel Amaya: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
2. Jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS


WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 80's


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


Phil, what are your thoughts on Austin Upshaw?

HAGSAG: Austin Upshaw is a left-handed hitter who plays 1B-2B-3B. He is an advanced college bat with some HR power who should move quickly through the system. (He will almost certainly begin the 2018 season at Myrtle Beach). He is a legit prospect.

Joining David Bote, PJ Higgins, Jason Vosler, Chesny Young, and others as third day selections the Cubs find that are getting it done in the pipeline.

Roto says Straily and Realmuto will start the year on the DL. Means they should miss the Cub series.

Among ex-Cubs and ex-Cub minor leaguers playing in the Mexican League this season are C-1B Sergio Burruel, OF Tony Campana, RHP Sergio Mitre, OF Felix Pie, INF Elliot Soto, and INF Jemile Weeks.

I wonder if the Cubs loan a few to the Mexican League.

v.caratini makes the roster.

gimenez going to iowa.  slight shocker there.

I'm surprised that they haven't given Giminez a MLB contract yet given as they have 2 open or are they waiting for a waiver wire or is Taylor Davis making a run for #3???

They don’t need to give him MLB deal; he can go to Iowa. Plus, they can’t give him an MLB contract and send him to Iowa; he’s out of options.

after seeing a slew of heyward ABs this spring, it's ugly, but he's at least seeing the ball.

he's standing in the back of the box and deep in the box, which looks like he's giving away the outside part of the plate, but he's got the reach to get to it if needed.  his back foot is practically a pivot and he steps toward where the pitch is going.  he's seems to be doing a lot of his targeting work with his legs and his upper body seems to be in tune with it. his timing on his swing is rather decent, rarely too late or way too eary.

that said, he's not doing much with this setup.  also, this might be him trying something new this spring and not what he's going to go with as a permanent approach...or whatever...don't know...

meh.  goundout, K, popout tonight...none of the contact impressive.

Solid contact in the air is all I'm looking for from him at this point. As long as he keeps pounding the ball into the ground, there's little else to say about him. I was thinking about the optimal places to bat him and Almora in this lineup. Almora's not showing any signs of taking walks, so he's not going to be a top of the order hitter. He also doesn't have great power and hits the ball on the ground a lot, so I'm not sure I want him batting 5th or 6th. Heyward is a similar deal except he's an even more extreme groundball hitter and has less power at this point. If you bat them 7th and 8th, the guy batting 8th probably grounds into extra double plays. 7th and 9th maybe? Javy probably won't beat either of them in OBP, but he's got power and both strikes out and flies out enough to limit his GDPs. He's probably the 5th or 6th hitter on the days he plays. Ultimately, none of these choices are difference makers. But an optimal batting order for these two isn't clear to me. That gets even more complicated if Happ continues last year's strikeout rates without last year's BABIP or HR/FB.

I agree with the decision to keep Caratini over Gimenez. Caratini is better offensively and can play 1B to rest Rizzo in addition to playing C a bit to give Contreras some rest. Better to not have an offensive liability in the lineup when giving people rest. Switch hitter also helps in pinch hit situations as well. Caratini also doesn't have much to prove in the minors. I think it's worth trying to see how he'll fit in the rotation, but I agree with Joe about reconsidering if he struggles to get playing time. Having an experienced catcher like Gimenez in AAA to help out the young pitchers can also be very beneficial as well. He has much more MLB experience than Davis. What do you all think of the decision?

I think they treat this as a chance to get Caratini some more exposure to the big leagues (competition, coaches, and culture) and that Gimenez will be up some time in May barring some kind of breakout from Caratini. They'll send Caratini down after a while to get him more playing time and continued development, especially if he struggles *at all*. I think it's a smart move.

my only concern is with darvish. it's not a lester situation where someone has to be A+++ great at making up for a shortcoming, but darvish throws a large variety of pitches with different break/movement/etc and whoever catches him needs to be ready for it. passed balls + wild pitches that would be stopped by a better catcher can pile up. he's not an easy guy to catch. that said, it's not a "lester situation" or even on the same level as having a knuckleball pitcher who needs a catcher with very specific high end skills. it's a rather minor concern, especially with "plan B" outside of contreras/caratini sitting around in iowa waiting for a possible callup.

I can definitetly see that happening.

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  • Cubster 53 min 46 sec ago (view)

    Monday Tribune: Conservative Joe Ricketts to launch Omaha-based "unbiased" online news service (called Straight Arrow news). 

    Yeah, right. Making son Pete look like a liberal. 

    Laura when hearing the name hysterically laughed out loud.

    Sinclair media investing?


  • crunch 9 hours 24 min ago (view)


    875K if he makes the team with 600K in performance bonuses possible.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 9 hours 38 min ago (view)

    Shelby Miller...? Really?


  • crunch 16 hours 35 min ago (view)

    i like the cubs odds on this one.


  • Arizona Phil 20 hours 30 min ago (view)

    Ian Happ arbitration figures are $4.1M (player) and $3.25M (club) with hearing date TBD. 


  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    * all figures stated are in a range of +/- 10m

    yeah, that was me not typing info correctly.  my bad.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Bryant got $19.5M 


  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    bryant 9.5m, contreras 6.65m, baez 11.65m, z.davies 8.63m

    looks like happ is going to arbitration.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    RHP Edward Vasquez (2017 IFA - Dominican Republic) has retired.

    E. Vasquez was one of the top SP on DSL Cubs Red in 2019 and was expected to be a SP on one of the Cubs AZL teams in 2020 if the minor league season hadn't been canceled.

    He would have been first-time Rule 5 Draft eligible post-2021. 


  • K Dub 3 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Thanks Phil!


  • crunch 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    danny hultzen retires and joins the cubs as a "pitching development assistant"

    shame the comeback story didn't last longer...but hey, at least he got to taste the bigs after his body failed him for so many years.


  • crunch 3 days 17 hours ago (view)

    theo joining the commish's front office operation as a "consultant reguarding on field matters"...basically weighing in on the possible impact of rules changes.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 20 hours ago (view)


  • K Dub 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Yeah, to my calculation that suspension should be over by now unless he got caught again...


  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    (Not Phil) - Last I saw, he was on the restricted list.


  • K Dub 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    PHIL: Did the Cubs release Saul Vazquez?