Cubs Are the Real Power at Riverview
Rafelin Lorenzo drilled an RBI triple and a double and scored two runs, Fidel Mejia belted an RBI triple and a double and scored one run, Levi Jordan cracked an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, and six pitchers combined on a two-hitter, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 6-1 victory over the West Virginia Power (Seattle Mariners Lo-A affiliate) in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Thursday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Although they were pitching for South Bend, it was actually a Eugene/Mesa "bullpen day" on Field #1, with six relievers from the Eugene/Mesa squad called upon to provide some "two-hit relief" for the SB-Cubs pen.
Meanwhile, Thursday night's offensive heroes Rafelin Lorenzo and Fidel Mejia have been two of the pleasant surprises at Cubs Minor League Camp.
Lorenzo was selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of last December's Rule 5 Draft from the Pittsburgh Pirates in what appeared to be just an organizational depth transaction, but it turns out he is a really good receiver with a plus-arm and he has some XBH power at the plate as well. He showed enough at Minor League Camp that he beat-out Alexander Guerra, Jonathan Soto, and Henderson Perez for the #1 catching job at South Bend, and he actually probably could have been the #1 catcher at Myrtle Beach or maybe even at Tennessee if it wasn't for a guy named Miguel Amaya at Myrtle Beach and P. J. Higgins and Jhonny Pereda at Tennessee. Kudos to the Cubs Pro Scouting Dept.
Fidel Mejia was leading (and may still be leading, I don't know) Cubs Minor League Camp in HR and XBH and (apparently) has won the starting 3B job at South Bend, even though he spent the last two seasons in the AZL and has yet to see Eugene. The 20-year old switch-hitter obviously put on some muscle during the off-season and now has pop from both sides of the plate (he hit a HR over the CF Batter's Eye on Riverview Field #5 last week), and he has worked hard to make himself into a decent-enough third-baseman that he should be able to stay at the hot corner as he advances through the Cubs system, although he can also play 1B and even a bit of 2B as well.
Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether Cole Roederer will open the 2019 season at South Bend or at Extended Spring Training. Sometimes he looks great, and other times (like in Thursday night's game) he doesn't. So he is squarely "on the bubble," and it could go either way. (I guess we'll find out shortly).
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
SOUTH BEND LINEUP:
1. D. J. Artis, LF: 1-3 (1-U, K, BB, 1B, R, SB)
2. Levi Jordan, 2B: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, 4-3 DP, 3B, R, RBI)
3. Fidel Mejia, 3B: 2-4 (2B, K, 4-3, 3B, R, RBI)
4. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-4 (K, F-9, F-7, K)
5. Nelson Velazquez, CF: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, K, F-8 SF, R, RBI)
6. Cole Roederer, DH #1: 0-3 (F-9, 1-3 SH, K, K)
7. Rafelin Lorenzo, C: 2-3 (4-3, 3B, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
8. Andy Weber, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, F-7 SF, 3-1, RBI)
9. Gustavo Polanco, 1B: 0-1 (L-4, HBP, F-8 SF, RBI)
10. Delvin Zinn, SS: 0-3 (4-3 DP, 6-3, K)
SOUTH BEND PITCHERS:
1. Jack Patterson: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 4/0 GO/AO, 30 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Casey Ryan: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 23 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Ivan Medina: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Blake Whitney: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
5. Jake Reindl: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (5 strikes)
6. Fauris Guerrero: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
SOUTH BEND ERRORS: 1
2B Levi Jordan: E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
WEATHER: Clear skies with temperatures in the 70's
"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"
bradsbeard 1 hour 47 min ago (view)
Since the deal isn't official, I wonder if the Cubs will wait until camp opens to finalize the deal and then put him on the 60 day IL as soon as it's available (assuming it's a major league deal). That doesn't really make sense in light of their luxury tax maneuvering though. If he's gonna miss a third of the season they'd probably only offer a minor league deal I guess.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 50 min ago (view)
Cory Abbott, Ben Hecht, Ryan Lawlor, and Brailyn Marquez were in a separate group on Field #3, so they may be prepping for NRIs to MLB Spring Training.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 50 min ago (view)
And Max Bain threw (long toss) at Instructs this morning, too.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 50 min ago (view)
I can positively confirm that Jerrick Suiter (1B-OF selected by Cubs from Pirates in Minor League Phase of last month';s Rule 5 Draft) is indeed being converted to a RHP. I saw him throw long-toss this morning at Instructs.
Arizona Phil 4 hours 51 min ago (view)
The Cubs have purchased the contract of LHP Adam Choplick from Southern Maryland (Atlantic League) and he has been assigned to AA Tennessee.
Choplick was the 14th round draft pick of the Texas Rangers out of the U. of Oklahoma in 2015, and he was released by the Rangers at the end of Spring Training 2019 (never got higher than AA).
I saw Choplick throw (long-toss) at Instructs this morning and he is one huge dude (6'9 250+).
crunch 5 hours 56 min ago (view)
the entire cubs offseason has been "wow, this guy was good 2-3 years ago, but didn't play or sucked in recent past."
houston finished using their trash can and the cubs are rooting around in it looking for players.
speaking of...it's taken MLB longer to figure out bryant's service time complaint than the entire astros cheating scandal.
crunch 7 hours 34 min ago (view)
"Chicago Cubs selected the contract of LHP Adam Choplick from Southern Maryland Blue Crabs."
okay. sure. congrats and good luck.
Charlie 10 hours 18 min ago (view)
Good for Nick. Good luck to him and the Reds improving his defense. That park should very much play to his offense.
Interest in Gennett is strange. If you are going to pick up a bench infielder at this point, shouldn't it be someone with SS chops?
crunch 11 hours 19 min ago (view)
nick castellanos to the reds, 4/64m...opt out after 1 year.
meanwhile, on the cubs front...
"Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports that the Cubs continue to have interest in free agent Scooter Gennett. "
Sonicwind75 15 hours 40 min ago (view)
There seemed to be a least an tacit understanding between ownership and fans during the rebuild that we as fans should support the organization when it was intentionally underspending and tanking. When it was time to be competitive, you know when the greatest core of Cubs players in my lifetime are in their prime, ownership would make the most of that window. That doesn't appear to be the case with the team shedding around $40 million in salary.
crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
in all honesty, the team is spending a healthy amount that i only jokingly complain about...but...it was not just fans talking about the extra perks the new revenue streams and tv contract would open. it was ownership and front office at points in the past bringing it up.
George Altman 1 day 3 hours ago (view)
What's pretty obvious is that the Cubs 2020 salary budget is $208m AAV. Whatever Theo/Jed can field with that number (existing players, trades, and/or signings). They could generate $100m from Marquee, concerts, Wrigleyville, etc and it's NOT going to translate into more $$$ for players. Very sad, frustrating, and maddening.
crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
maybe if the cubs can squeeze a 5th in-season concert at wrigley they can sign addison russell.
Charlie 1 day 7 hours ago (view)
Morosi reporting that the Reds are favorites for Castellanos. Seems like a good direction for them if they can deal with his defense in LF. They look to have the best sarting rotation in the division (or close to it) as things stand. If they can squeeze more offense out of the OF and skate by with their bullpen, they could hang reasonably close to the Cards-Brewers-Cubs pack. I'll be curious to see how much money they throw at him if they do sign him. Being younger has to get him more money than Ozuna, right?
Charlie 1 day 10 hours ago (view)
Sure would be nice to rehab a player and then have them stick around and help out the team. Fingers crossed for Souza.
Arizona Phil 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Unfortunately the video doesn't show how his knee looked the day after the workout, whether he can run and take BP two days in a row, if he needs to take pain meds before or after he does physical activity, and/or if he has to have his knee drained every couple of weeks.