Little and Lange Dominate at Riverview

LLHP Brendon Little (Cubs 2017 1st round draft pick) hurled five innings of one-hit ball (a solo HR by Austin Beck with two outs in the 4th), retired fifteen of the sixteen men he faced (including six via strikeout), and threw 76% strikes, Jared Young belted a solo HR and an RBI double, and Jhonny Bethencourt knocked-in three runs with two RBI doubles, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 10-3 victory over the Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics Lo-A affiliate) on Field #5, and RHSP Alex Lange (the Cubs other 2017 1st round draft pick) hurled five innings of one-run two-hit ball and retired the last eleven batters he faced, Chesny Young, Ryan Court, and Tyler Alamo clubbed back-to-back-to-back home runs to highlight a four-run 2nd inning, and Aramis Ademan capped the scoring with a solo HR in the 8th, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) drubbed the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) 9-2 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Wednesday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.      

Brendon Little was absolutely mesmerizing, working very fast and throwing strikes, and effectively mixing his FB, CV, and CH to maximum degree (F-7, K, K, 5-3, 4-3, F-9, K, 5-3, F-7, F-7, K, HR, F-8, P-4, K, K).

Alex Lange was almost as good as Little over his five innings, flashing both his plus-CV and a CH in addition to his solid FB (BB, P-4, 3B, K, F-7, K, 1B, K, F-8, 6-3, K, 4-3, F-8, F-7, 4-3, 6-3, F-8, 3-U).

So it was a really good day for two of the Cubs top pitching prospects.

Not to be outdone, RHP Bailey Clark (Cubs 2016 5th round draft pick) "piggy-backed" with Little and brought 97 MPH FB gas and a hard slider to Field #5, racking up three innings of one-hit one-run ball. Clark retired the side easily 1-2-3 in his first two innings of work (K, 3-U, K, 4-3, 5-3, P-3), before losing his command a bit in his 3rd inning. The A's loaded the bases on a single and two walks with no outs, but then Clark induced a 4-6-3 DP on a 1-2 pitch and struck out the next hitter to get out of the jam. Clark opted to return to college (Duke) to get his degree after being drafted and signed by the Cubs in 2016, and he lost some valuable developmental time as a result, but the 6'4 220 righthander has all the earmarks of a stud power-pitcher.  

RHRP Shae Simmons got an inning of work, producing a 1-2-3 inning (K, K, 4-3). He was pounding the lower part of the strike zone with a 95 MPH FB mixed-with an occasional hard SL. (Simmons missed much of Spring Training with a sore shoulder, and was optioned to AAA Iowa just prior to the games at Riverview).

Just back from Fort  Myers, FL, where they traveled with the big club for a two-game pre-season set with the Red Sox, Iowa Cubs infielders Ryan Court and Chesny Young served as "roving designated hitters" in the two games, moving back & forth between the two fields in order to get maximum AB in as short a time as possible. Iowa C-1B Taylor Davis got somewhat less-intense DH work in with South Bend, taking all of his AB on Field #5.

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


X-1 Ryan Court, DH #3: 1-3 (F-8, K, 1B, R)
NOTE: Court batted 3rd in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
X-2 Chesny Young, DH #4: 0-1 (3-U)
NOTE: C. Young batted 3rd in the 5th inning
1. Zach Davis, CF: 1-2 (BB, P-5, 1B, R, RBI, CS)
2. Rafael Narea, 2B: 1-3 (5-3, FC, 1B+E5, R, RBI)
3. Jared Young, 1B: 2-3 (HR, 2B, 6-3, R, 2 RBI)
4. Austin Filiere, 3B: 0-2 (BB, K, 5-3)
5. Michael Cruz, DH-C: 1-2 (1B, BB, 3-1, R)
6. Brandon Hughes, RF: F-8, BB, 6-3, R)
7. Taylor Davis, DH #2: 0-2 (BB, K, 5-3, R)
8. Jhonny Bethencourt, SS: 2-2 (2B, 2B, R, 3 RBI)
9. Tyler Payne, C-DH: 1-2 (F-7, 2B, R, RBI)
10. Chris Singleton, LF: 1-1 (3B, F-7 SF, R, RBI)
1. Brendon Little: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 3/6 GO/AO, 50 pitches (38 strikes)
2. Bailey Clark; 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 4/1 GO/AO, 43 pitches (28 strikes)
3. Ben Hecht: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/AO, 23 pitches (11 strikes)

SS Jhonny Bethencourt: E-6 (fielding eror allowed batter to reach base safely)



X-1 Chesny Young, DH #1: 2-2 (HR, 1B, 2 R, 2 RBI)
NOTE: C. Young batted 4th in the 1st inning and 1st in the 2nd)
X-2 Ryan Court, DH #2: 2-2 (HR, 2B, R, 2 RBI, PO)
NOTE: Court batted 5th in the 1st inning and 2nd in the 2nd)   
1a. Andruw Monasterio, 2B: 0-3 (F-8, L-7, 5-3)
1b. Austin Upshaw, 2B: 0-1 (BB, F-8)
2. Chris Pieters, RF: 1-5 (L-8, F-7, 3-U, K, 1B)
3. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 1-4 (BB, 1B, 4-3, 6-3, K, R, RBI)
4. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 2-4 (HR, 1-3, 2B, 6-3, 2 R, RBI)
5. Daniel Spingola, LF: 0-3 (4-3, K, K, BB)
6. Jhonny Pereda, C: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, 1B, K, R, RBI, CS) 
7. Connor Myers, CF: 1-4 (1-3, 2B, F-9, K)
8. Aramis Ademan, SS: 1-3 (HBP, 5-3, E-8, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB)

1. Alex Lange: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 3/5 GO/AO, 58 pitches (39 strikes)
2. Shae Simmons: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 10 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Jordan Minch: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 27 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Tyler Peyton: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 6 pitches (5 strikes) 
5. Chad Hockin: 1.0 IP,2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/AO,  18 pitches (10 strikes)


Jhonny Pereda: 1 PO 


WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80's


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


If Little ends up representing, I'll happily eat the crow on it.

AZ PHIL: Thanks for the Little Lange eyes on the ground. That is very, very encouraging. I hope we can see them both at Wrigley someday.

I’m here for Bailey Clark bringing the 97 MPH fastball and hard slider. 

Wow, sounds like some really good news for the day.  

Obviously L+L is really fun.

But really surprised to have Simmons healthy enough to be pitching again already.  As a chronically injured guy, when he came out because of shoulder, I thought he might easily be done for the year.  Nice for him.  

It'll be interesting if Clark can keep this jump in velocity. If so, he could have the makings of a power reliever down the line. Even more encouraging is the news that Little was mixing in the change up they reportedly had him working on last season which was the apparent reason for his poor numbers in Eugene. 

Also nice to see De La Cruz get moved up to AA. The Smokies should have a pretty decent rotation to start the season with Alzolay, De La Cruz, Hatch, Rucker and Robinson as well as a possible bounce back year for Clifton. 

There will be some interesting cuts and demotions with the Iowa pitching staff. Phil, you got any predictions?

Not Phil, but I imagine about eight or ten players are about to come down with either a strained calf or a sore quad. Nice, vague, and recovers as soon as a real injury happens.

HAGSAG: I don't really have any predictions, but there are 19 pitchers on the Iowa roster right now for 13 slots, so they need to remove six by next week. Some may go on the DL and/or stay behind in Extended Spring Training (at least for a while), but it's also very possible that one or more could get released or possibly even traded. A couple of position players assigned to the Iowa or Tennessee squad could get released or traded as well.

Great work, AZ!

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Arizona Phil 2 min 12 sec ago (view)

    The Cubs have released OF Luis Berrelleza, INF Rochest Cruz, LHP Misael Garcia, OF Orlando Guzman, C-1B Brayan Mancilla, RHP Yander Montero, OF Carlos Pacheco, and OF John Rodriguez. 


  • crunch 2 hours 46 min ago (view)

    it screws up stats.  i know you play for wins/losses, but real money is on the line for players and makes agent/player homework selling their client a bit harder.

    it also makes historical comparisons difficult.

    the amount of time i've seen a fresh inning starting out...bunt guy to 3rd for an out, IBB, IBB is too high.  what would amount to a leadoff single following that can easily turn into 2 runs (1 earned) with guys on the corner...which usually leads to another IBB.


  • Charlie 3 hours 51 min ago (view)

    Jay Jaffe has a timely argument against the runner on second rule over at fangraphs:

    I still don't know why we don't just have ties. Obviously, the Cubs could have dodged most of these situations by simply hitting a little bit during the regulation innings.


  • Arizona Phil 6 hours 35 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed free-agent RHSP Adrian Sampson to a minor league contract and he has been assigned to AAA Iowa, and RHP Michael McAvene, LHP Jack Patterson, and OF Donnie Dewees have been placed on the 60-day IL to open up slots for Sampson, Trayce Thompson, and Kyle Ryan on the Cubs minor league 180-man Domestic Reserve List. 


  • crunch 7 hours 45 sec ago (view)

    well that sucked.

    2-game sweep, 2 games under .500


  • crunch 7 hours 26 min ago (view)

    stumbled onto this today...clip from a 2019 ESPN broadcast game with boog, chipper jones, and david ross in the booth...

    boog used to call games for ATL, btw...


  • tim815 9 hours 56 min ago (view)

    Someone on social media was floating Yoelqui Cespedes to the Cubs in a Bryant trade.

    I was clueless if it was permitted. It is.


  • Wrigley Rat 20 hours 56 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have traded for outfielder Trayce Thompson, who was with the Diamondbacks at Triple-A, but is formerly of the big league White Sox, Dodgers, and A’s. The Diamondbacks are getting cash in the deal, which is a reflection of the reality that Thompson, 30, is a depth outfielder at this point in his career. Thompson is the younger brother of NBA star Klay Thompson.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    i'd like to point out ross feels more comfortable with j.pederson and k.bryant in CF over j.heyward.

    watching heyward not just look human in the OF, but having a bit of a hard time is rough.  he's just not getting to stuff like he used to.


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    bryant out of the game for no apparent reason...that...doesn't seem good...

    he's "under the weather" according the clubhouse.  that's better than screwed up oblique or similar, at least.


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    this shane bieber guy kinda sucks.  1 run in, bases loaded 0 outs.

    i hope 4-5 innings of alzolay and the 5 pen guys after him hold it down.

    ...hey wow, bases loaded 0 out turns into 0 runs...very cubs.


  • George Altman 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Baseball wants more offense, fans want more action -- limit pitching staffs to 12, ideally transition to 11 over a 3 year period. 

    Teams are asking RPs to throw only 45 pitches a week. Think about that.

    SPs who throw 175 IP/Yr will be museum pieces in 5 years.

    It's not shifts. Oh....and electronic Strike zones as soon as possible. 


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    given that the starters are on pace to pitch around 150 innings this year they might need the zillion relievers.

    i'm under the impression that d.ross got a new Fitbit exercise tracker prior to the season and likes to have excuses to walk to the mound for higher step counts.  i'm going with this theory until proved otherwise.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    I get that 40 man rosters are complicated, but now we have 10 GD relievers and 3 bench guys, one of whom is an obviously injured Javy.

    I can't wait until they reinstate the 13 pitchers maximum rule.


  • crunch 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    baez (again) a late scratch because back ouchies.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    OF Jake Marisnick to 10-DAY IL, and Cubs recall LHRP Brad Wieck.