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!

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  • bradsbeard 3 hours 48 min ago (view)

    Great info. Thanks! 


  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 48 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: What happens on 12/2 is each club submits what's called a "Central Tender Letter" to the MLB LRD listing which unsigned players on the club's MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) are being tendered a contract and which unsigned players are not being tendered a contract. 

    The CTL is sufficient as far as providing proof of contract tender.  

    For players being tendered contracts, the CTL must list the club's MLB salary offer, a minor league split salary offer (if the club so chooses), and performance bonuses (if any) the club is offering to the player.


  • crunch 12 hours 24 min ago (view)

    theo walked away from a big payday for an executive in his last season as a cub without having another job scoped out...and according to him he's not even looking one.

    something tells me this isn't going to be a fun off-season for cubs fans.

    the state of the cubs household aside, i wouldn't exactly be shocked to see theo with the mets, though he's supposedly not on their radar at the moment.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 12 hours 48 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have been at the forefront of tone-deaf owners in terms of financial hardship during the pandemic. "The game isn't as profitable as most people think"


  • tim815 1 day 9 hours ago (view)

    The decision on the amount comes later.


  • bradsbeard 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    At the point when the team makes the initial contract tender, do they have to offer a specific salary, and if so is that the same number the team takes into arbitration? Or does the specific number the teams files at for arbitration happen at a later date?


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    jdrnym: A player who is signed to a contract that does not include a minor league split salary is paid his full MLB salary while optioned or after being outrighted to a minor league club.

    So if a player goes to arbitration and is awarded (let's say) a $2.5M salary by the arb panel, the contract will not include a minor league split salary or performance bonuses, and if the player is sent to the minors he is paid the full $2.5M while in the minors.


  • Hagsag 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    Maybe Trump can give them a loan.


  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    it's not exactly looking good when the cubs brass is complaining about "losing 100m in revenue" when a huge chunk of that seems to include Hotel Zachary.  it looks like the entire "entertainment complex" is the cubs as far as the Ricketts are concerned...and the team might have to suffer a bit because they couldn't fully realize profits last year.  they've publically stated that the big incoming tax credits from the city they're going to realize for stadium work won't help the cubs payroll.


  • jdrnym 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    If a player doesn't have a split salary in his contract, how much is he making when in the minors (or how is that salary determined)?


  • crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)

    we want kyle schwarber to not be mark trumbo so badly...

    either way, the NL having or not having the DH needs to be figured out pretty quickly for a lot of off-season sanity.


  • crunch 3 days 11 hours ago (view)

    minor league hitting coordinator chris valaika moves up assistant hitting instructor for the big league team.

    looks like a.iapoce's job is safe.


  • Cubster 3 days 15 hours ago (view)

    Jed Hoyer gets a new 5 yr contract that runs through 2025 season. 


  • Cubster 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    BA's list of 19 prospects who impressed at Instructs. One Cub:

    Chase Strumpf, 2B, Cubs


  • Jackstraw 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    Waiting for Ryan Pace to be available.  He should be a week from tomorrow.


  • crunch 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    i haven't even heard a rumor...which is interesting since "virtual" winter meetings start in a couple weeks.

    surprised dan kantrovitz hasn't been named "interim GM" or something...which makes me wonder how wide of a net they're casting to fill the position.  he was snagged from the A's and was an assistant GM there (and director of scouting for STL).