Lester Throws in Intrasquad Game at Riverview
John Andreoli and Ryan Dent slugged solo home runs and Rubi Silva drilled a two-run single, leading the Iowa Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the Tennessee Smokies in a five-inning Spring Training minor league intrasquad game played on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park this morning.
Victor Caratini belted a two-run double and drew a walk and Kevin Brown singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Smokies.
Jon Lester got the start for the I-Cubs, and threw 84 pitches (62 strikes) while facing 20 hitters. He allowed eight hits (two doubles, a triple, and five singles) and no walks (but two wild pitches), and he struck out four (two looking and two swinging), with a 1/6 GO/FO. Lester threw 81 pitches through four innings and and it looked like his day might be over, but then he went back out to the mound and faced one batter (Jeffrey Baez) in the top of the 5th, who rifled a triple on an 0-2 pitch. At that point, Lester was relieved.
Lester looked VERY hittable today as the young Smokies hitters consistently squared his offerings up and made lots of hard contact. If the Cubs want to get Lester another minor league start before he faces MLB hitters, they could put him on the 15-day DL retroactive to last Friday (nine days prior to MLB Opening Day being the furthest back a DL stint can be backdated during Spring Training), and maybe have him start a minor league game this coming Sunday (the last day of Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games), and then he would be eligible to be reinstated from the DL on Saturday April 11th. (NOTE: MLB Cactus League and Grapefruit League Spring Training games are considered "official" games, so players on the DL cannot play in these games, and a DL stint cannot be backdated past the last time the player appeared in an official MLB Spring Training game; but pitching or playing in a minor league Spring Training game or in an intrasquad game does not affect DL eligiblity as far as backdating the DL stint is concerned, and a player on the DL can play in a minor league Spring Training game and/or in an intrasquad game without restriction).
Despite being sent down by the Cubs on Monday, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, and Addison Russell have yet to take the field at Minor League Camp. None of the three played in the Futures Game last night at Sloan Park (and the Cubs sure could have used them, too), none of the three participated in work-outs (fielding practice, baserunning drills, and BP) with the Iowa squad this morning, and none of the three played in the Lester intrasquad game (and they were not on the bench, either). So it's very possible that Baez, Bryant, and Russell are still with the big club, despite being technically on the Iowa roster.
The game was called with two outs in the top of the 5th inning.
Here is the box score from this morning's intrasquad game:
1. Albert Almora, DH: 2-3 (1B, 1B, L-5, R)
2. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 1-3 (K, P-3, 3B, R)
3. Victor Caratini, C: 1-2 (E-5, 2B, BB, 2 RBI)
4. Jeimer Candelario, 3B: 0-3 (F-8, K, 4-6-3 DP)
5. Bijan Rademacher, RF: 0-2 (4-3, F-7)
6. Ben Carhart, 2B: 0-2 (F-9, K)
7, Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (L-8, 1B)
8. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
9. Kevin Brown, LF: 2-2 (2B, 1B, R)
X. David Ross, C: 1-4 (5-3, K, P-5, 1B, R)
NOTE: Ross batted 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. John Andreoli, CF: 2-2 (HR, 2B, R, RBI)
2. Mike Baxter, 1B: 0-2 (4-3, K)
3. Kyle Schwarber, DH #1: 0-2 (3-U, K)
4. Dan Vogelbach, DH #2: 0-2 (K, K)
5. Jae-Hoon Ha, LF: 2-2 (1B, 2B, R)
6. Rubi Silva, RF: 1-2 (6-3 FC, 1B, 2 RBI)
7. Chris Valaika, SS: 0-1 (BB, F-8)
8. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 0-1 (6-3)
9. Ryan Dent, 3B: 1-1 (HR, R, RBI)
Felix Pena; 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR, 5/2 GO/FO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
1. Jon Lester: 4.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 1/6 GO/FO, 84 pitches (62 strikes)
2. Michael Wagner: 0.2, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/FO, 7 pitches (5 strikes)
TENNESSEE ERRORS: NONE
IOWA ERRORS: 1
3B Ryan Dent - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's