Cubs Bore-nstein A's to Tears with Grand Slam and One-Hitter at Fitch Park
SP Justin Steele and five relievers combined to hurl a one-hit shutout, Robel Garcia belted a solo HR and an RBI single, Eddy Julio Martinez drilled two RBI singles, walked, and scored, and Jhonny Bethencourt hammered a single and a double, stole a base, and scored two runs, as the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs AA affiliate) blanked the Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics AA afffiliate) 8-0 on Field #3, and Zach Borenstein walloped a monster grand slam HR over the CF batter's eye, Zack Short ripped a solo HR and an RBI single and scored two runs, Fernando Arcia singled twice, walked, stole a base, and drove-in a run, and SP Duncan Robinson hurled 4.2 IP of one-run ball (he gave up his only run on a sac fly on his 71st and final pitch), propelling the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Cubs) to a 7-1 victory over the Las Vegas Aviators (AAA affiliate of the A's) on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Saturday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Of the ten Cubs minor league pitchers who threw in the games at Fitch Park on Saturday, only two (Duncan Robinson and George Kontos) are actually assigned to the AAA Iowa squad at Minor League Camp. The other eight who threw (including two who pitched in the AAA game) are assigned to the AA Tennessee squad.
Speaking of the AA Tennessee pitching staff, with Bailey Clark throwing three innings for Tennessee in Friday's intrasquad game at Riverview and Ian Clarkin and Tyson Miller working out of the Smokies bullpen Saturday at Fitch Park (each threw only 19 pitches), it would appear that the Cubs may be prepping Clark to be a SP and Clarkin and T. Miller to be bullpen guys at Tennessee (which is the exact opposite of how things looked just a week ago).
Here are the abridged box scores from Saturday's games (Cubs players only):
1a. Roberto Caro, LF: 1-3 (1B, K, FC, SB, CS)
1b. Jared Young, LF: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R)
2. Eddy Julio Martinez, RF: 2-4 (F-8, 1B, 1B, BB, P-6, R, 2 RBI)
3. Nico Hoerner, SS-DH: 0-3 (BB, 2-3, 4-3, F-9 SF, E-9, RBI)
4. Robel Garcia, 3B: 2-4 (6-3 DP, HR, 6-3, 1B, L-3 DP, R, 2 RBI)
5a. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 0-3 (5-3, E-3, L-6)
5b. P. J. Higgins, 2B: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
6. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 2-3 (BB, 4-6-3 DP, 1B, 2B, R)
7. Jhonny Pereda, C-DH: 0-4 (6-4-3 DP, 6-3, 5-4 FC, K)
8. Luis Ayala, CF: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, F-9, 1B, R, RBI)
9. Jhonny Bethencourt, DH-SS: 2-4 (1B, 4-3, 2B, K, 2 R, SB)
10. Cam Balego, DH-C: 1-2 (1B, F-8, R, RBI)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
1. Justin Steele: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GO/AO, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
2. Ian Clarkin: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/AO, 19 pitches (9 strikes)
3. Tyson Miller: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/AO, 19 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Oscar de la Cruz: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 27 pitches (19 strikes)
5. Tyler Peyton: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1/1 GO/AO, 15 pitches (8 strikes)
6. Scott Effross: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 10 pitches (7 strikes)
TENNESSEE ERRORS: NONE
TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Cam Balego: 0-1 CS
1a. Donnie Dewees, CF: 0-3 (F-7, F-8, F-9)
1b. Connor Myers, CF: 1-1 (3B, R)
2. Fernando Arcia, DH #1: 2-3 (4-3, 1B, BB, 1B, RBI, SB)
3. Jacob Hannemann, RF-CF: 0-4 (F-8, K, K, K)
4a. Phillip Evans, 3B-DH: 1-3 (2B, 5-3, K, R)
4b. Raymond Pena, PH: 1-1 (1B)
5. Jim Adduci, 1B: 1-4 (1B, F-9, L-4, F-7, R)
6. Charcer Burks, LF: 1-3 (HBP, 1B, K, K, R, PO)
7a. Zach Short, SS: 2-3 (1B, P-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI)
7b. Luis Diaz, 3B: 0-1 (6-3)
8a. Zack Borenstein, DH #2: 1-3 (HR, K, 4-3, R, 4 RBI)
8b. Aramis Ademan, SS: NO AB
9a. Ian Rice, C: 0-2 (K, F-8)
9b. Tyler Payne, C: 1-1 (1B)
10. Yeiler Peguero, 2B: 3-3 (1B, 1B, 1B, 2 SB, CS)
1. Duncan Robinson: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 6/3 GO/AO, 71 pitches (47 strikes)
2. George Kontos: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 2/2 GO/AO, 18 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Zach Hedges: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 3/2 GO/AO, 29 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Jordan Minch: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 3/0 GO/AO, 29 pitches (17 strikes)
IOWA ERRORS: 1
SS Zach Short: E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
Tyler Payne thrown out 8-5 attempting to advance from 1st to 3rd on single to CF
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70's
"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"
crunch 1 hour 22 min ago (view)
cubs game totally not a delay broadcast for ESPN...thanks for that gem heyward.
dunno if they'll be printing up any "You better have your shit in line" t-shirts, but it's as least as good as "Try not to suck"
Sonicwind75 2 hours 6 min ago (view)
Thanks Phil, these pitching summaries are great!
Eric S 2 hours 49 min ago (view)
Thanks, AZ Phil. Looks like a better use of the off-season by Maples than Carl Jr's hop-in-delivery was a few years ago - and not against the rules either.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 26 min ago (view)
Even though he is signed to a minor lesague contract and is not on the MLB 40-man roster right now, I would think Eric Sogard is a virtual lock to make the Cubs Opening Day Active List 26-man roster.
The Cubs were reportedly looking to sign a left-handed hitting second-baseman, and Sogard certainly fits that description. And unlike Jason Kipnis, Sogard has the versatility to play 3B and SS as well as 2B.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 49 min ago (view)
ERIC: Just as you said, the short-arm technique can improve command, hopefully without impacting the quality of a pitcher's stuff.
Based on what I saw yesterday, Maples' stuff is as good as ever, and his command was better, too. Hopefully it will continue, because he probably has the best pure stuff on the staff. Command has always been the problem.
Arizona Phil 3 hours 57 min ago (view)
CUBSTER: Unless there is a wave of pitcher injuries in Spring Training I would think Shelby Miller will probably begin the season at AAA (or at the ATS, since the start of the AAA season is supposely going to be delayed) where he can get stretched out.
Eric S 4 hours 56 min ago (view)
Ha! I wish that was the case!
Dolorous Jon Lester 6 hours 27 min ago (view)
Eric S.... you wouldn't happen to be new Cubs NRI Eric Sogard would you????
Cubster 6 hours 36 min ago (view)
I read that Shelby Miller is now using a new slider to help out his other pitches (FB, curve). AZ Phil, any thoughts about Miller making the team possibly as a swing guy out of the pen/spot starter?
Eric S 7 hours 34 min ago (view)
AZ Phil - Saw a report that Maples is using a short arm delivery now. I can't recall his prior delivery but perhaps the short arm delivery may be more repeatable and lead to better command (perhaps minus a few mph on the fast ball, etc). Thanks so much for your on-site observations - my favorite part of Cubs spring training.
Hagsag 11 hours 54 min ago (view)
Arizona Phil 23 hours 17 min ago (view)
Neither Robert Stock nor Duane Underwood Jr have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, although both will be minor league 6YFA at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the final game of the 2021 World Series if the player is either not added back to the 40 or signs a 2022 minor league successor contract prior to the deadline.
Arizona Phil 1 day 8 min ago (view)
Here are some pitching info from today's game for those of you who didn't see it:
COMMENT: Threw mostly FB and looked sharp... thought he might go two IP but it was at least a good start..
COMMENT: Lots of FB and he got good results with the limited arsenal he showed today..
COMMENT: Nothing special but got a 1-2-3 inning...
crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
looked sharp as hell today with a groundout to 1st and a couple Ks.
crunch 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
odd with JD in the booth without len...nice to see the cubs back in action.
sciambi is a nice replacement. can't complain.
crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
maples, the unpolished diamond...maybe he'll figure it out in his 5th year of trying...
so far he's dollar store discount bin carlos marmol.