Cain Good, but Giants UnAbel to defeat Mota-vated Pelicans in Scottsdale

Ian Rice drilled a bases-loaded two-run single to spark a three-run 7th and SP Trevor Clifton retired ten of the first eleven men he faced, helping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) edge the San Jose Giants (Hi-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) 5-4 on Field #2, and Byron Murray hammered an RBI triple and a single and scored two runs and Lucius Fox (2015 IFA - Bahamas - $6M signing bonus) smacked an RBI double, walked, and scored a run, leading the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants Lo-A affiliate) to an 8-3 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs), in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Monday afternoon at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.    

Skyler Ewing and Dillon Dobson each belted a two-run home run in a losing cause for San Jose on Field #2, and Eddy Julio Martinez (2015 IFA - Cuba - $3M signing bonus) singled twice, walked, and drove-in a run in a losing cause for the Cubs on Field #1. (EJM has served mostly as the South Bend DH in games so far, but he played RF today). 

San Francisco Giants RHSP Matt Cain made the start for San Jose on Field #2 and worked 5.1 IP (92 pitches - 66 strikes), allowing one run on four hits (all four singles) and a walk with five strikeouts and a 5/6 GO/AO.  

In Minor League Camp roster news, long-time Cubs minor league INF Jonathan Mota has retired as a player, although he has been working exclusively as a coach with the Myrtle Beach (Hi-A) squad since Minor League Camp opened earlier this month, and will continue to do so going forward.

Now 28, Mota was originally signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old shortstop out of Venezuela in 2003, and over the years he has played in more than 1,000 minor league games for the Cubs, playing at every level (rookie ball through AAA) and every position, but he never made it to The Show. (The closest he got was an NRI to Spring Training with the big club in 2012). He was a minor league 6YFA in each of the last six off-seasons, but each time he re-signed with the Cubs. 

Mota was the ultimate "organizational player," a quiet, loyal guy who did whatever he was asked to do without bitching or moaning, moving from one level to another when needed (often without much advance notice), mentoring his younger teammates, and when not needed as a player, he would serve as a 1st base coach, bullpen catcher, batting practice pitcher, and probably the bus driver, as well, all the while staying in playing shape in case he was called to action. He volunteered for the Catcher Conversion Program at Extended Spring Training in 2010 to increase his versatility, and he even had the opportunity to pitch (in a pinch) in seven games over the course of his long career to help save his club's bullpen.

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

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

FIELD #1

SOUTH BEND LINEUP
1. Robert Garcia, CF: 0-3 (4-3, 4-6-3 DP, BB, K)
2a. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 0-0 (BB, HBP, BB, R, RBI)
2b. Vimael Machin, 2B: 0-1 (4-3)
3. Eddy Julio Martinez, RF: 2-3 (1B, BB, 1B, F-9, RBI)
4. Eloy Jimenez, LF: 1-4 (5-3, 1B, F-8, K, RBI) 
5. Matt Rose, 3B: 0-3 (6-3, BB, L-7, 6-3)
6. P. J. Higgins, DH #1: 1-4 (1B, K, 6-3, 5-3, PO)
7. Daniel Spingola, DH #2: 2-3 (L-9, 2B, 1B, CS)
8. Blake Headley, 1B: 1-2 (1B, L-4 DP, BB)
9a. Marcus Mastrobuoni, C: 0-2 (5-3, BB, P-4 DP, R)
9b. Tyler Payne, C: NO AB
10. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 2-3 (1B, 1B, F-8, R)

SOUTH BEND PITCHERS:
1. Adbert Alzolay: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 3 WP, 3/3 GO/AO, 59 pitches (39 strikes) 
2. Kyle Twomey: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 4/6 GO/AO, 66 pitches (40 strikes)
3. Scott Frazier: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 1 GIDP, 1/1 GO/AO, 15 pitches (9 strikes) 

SOUTH BEND ERRORS: 2 
1. P Adbert Alzolay: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd)
2. P Kyle Twomey: E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd)

SOUTH BEND CATCHERS DEFENSE
Marcus Mastrobuoni: 1-1 CS 


FIELD #2

MYRTLE BEACH LINEUP
1. Charcer Burks, DH #1: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, BB, 6-3, R)
2. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-4 (1B, K, 3-6 FC, K, SB)
3. Ian Happ, 2B: 1-4 (6-3, 4-3, K, 1B, R, RBI)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, 1B:1-4 (K, F-9, 1B, E-6, R)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (K, F-9, 2B, F-9, R)
6. Shawon Dunston Jr, LF: 0-3 (P-5, 3-1, BB, 3-U, R, RBI)
7a. Ian Rice, C: 2-3 (F-9, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI)
7b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-1 (L-7)
8. Andrew Ely, SS: 0-2 (K, 5-3 SH, 6-4-3 DP) 
9. Tyler Alamo, DH #2: 0-3 (F-7, K, F-8)
10. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (1B, L-6, K) 

MYRTLE BEACH PITCHERS:
1. Trevor Clifton: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 5/6 GO/AO, 75 pitches (43 strikes)
2. James Farris: 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 2/1 GO/AO, 34 pitches (25 strikes)
3. Michael Wagner: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Jasvir Rakkar:  1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 12 pitches (8 strikes)

MYRTLE BEACH ERRORS: NONE 

MYRTLE BEACH CATCHERS DEFENSE
1. Ian Rice: 0-1 CS 
2. Alberto Mineo: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 27

WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 80's  

Comments

Thanks to Jonathon Mota for his great work throughout his career with the Cubs. Every team needs a few players like him. I hope this is a the start of a new career with the Cubs.

If Mota wants a job somewhere with the Cubs, they'll find him one at some level, afterall they just did give John Baker a job.

Why is Dallas Beeler still in camp?

HAGSAG: Dallas Beeler and Christian Villanueva are presently assigned to the Under Armour Performance Center and will be placed on the DL prior to the start of the season, retroactive to last Friday (3/25). Javy Baez could start the season on the 15-day DL, too (also retro to 3/25). 

Villanueva will be placed on the 60-day DL only if his slot on the 40-man roster is needed right away (at present the Cubs have one slot open on the 40). Otherwise, he will initially be placed in the 15-day DL, and he could eventually be transferred to the 60 (with time spent on the 15 applied to the 60-days) if his slot on the 40 is needed at a later point in time.   

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  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...

     

  • Cubster 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?

     

  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.

     

  • Cubster 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...

    https://youtu.be/X9RV6bAIIfw

     

  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.

     

  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 

     

  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.

     

  • bradsbeard 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 13 hours ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.

     

  • Hagsag 2 days 20 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 

     

  • azbobbop 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.

     

  • tim815 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF). 

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 8 hours ago (view)

    KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.

    I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.

    Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.