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
Arizona Phil 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
In addition to 40 players signed to 2020 MLB contracts, after releasing 22 minor leaguers this week the Cubs now have 279 players signed to 2020 minor league contracts (plus one minor leaguer on the Restricted List), for a total of 320 players in the organization (181 pitchers, 30 catchers, 60 infielders, and 49 outfielders).
JustSayin' 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
Years of over-drafting pitching shown here.
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 20 hours ago (view)
Some of the players cut I am not too surprised by. Some of them I think are definitely victims of the minor league pay thing and being squeezed out.
That said, I am very surprised they gave up already on Riley McCauley and Niels Stone.
Hagsag 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
Baseball America is showing a big group of players that have been released.
Arizona Phil 2 days 11 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have released minor league catcher Rafelin Lorenzo. He was selected from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the AAA Phase of the 2018 Rule 5 Draft and spent the 2019 season at South Bend. He was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020.
JustSayin' 3 days 21 hours ago (view)
The organizations will cut rosters down, as if the full-season teams were breaking camp to start the season, THEN pay the remaining minor leaguers $400/week or whatever. That's similar to what costs would have normally been but the "one last chance" players who got spring training invitations this year and didn't have an obvious roster spot won't be getting their last chance.
crunch 3 days 22 hours ago (view)
"According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, all minor league players will be receiving $400 per week from MLB through at least May 31."
so that's where that promise landed. the scary thing is that's still more than some in the low minors make on a weekly basis.
crunch 6 days 15 hours ago (view)
"Jeff Passan of ESPN writes that the players and league agreed that the 2020 season won't start until "there are no bans on mass gatherings that limit the ability to play in front of fans, there are no travel restrictions and medical experts determine games will not pose a risk to health of teams and fans." Passan does add that the two sides "will consider the feasibility of playing in empty stadiums" and also at neutral sites.
crunch 6 days 20 hours ago (view)
i miss baseball. it could happen in june...it may happen in late may...it might not happen either way.
there's so many things getting messed up right now i would get lost making a list. there's some college guys making a serious "okay, we need to look at that guy" push that's dead. former cubs draft pick russell smith (2017, LHP highschool) took last season off for injury (TCU college) and returned with a low 90s fastball, impressive control, and a MLB-quality changeup. his "comeback" was 4 games and done thanks to this current situation...
JustSayin' 6 days 23 hours ago (view)
COVID 19 + a short draft + Manfred's obsessive drive to shrink the minor leagues will change baseball forever. It WAS still America's grass roots sport. Where I live, from June through August, you could see a quality live game any day of the week, within an hour's drive. I believe that era is over. What's going on will have ripple effects, contracting serious college ball, college summer leagues and independent pro ball just as much as the MiLB systems. With those changes, some of the game's charm will also go. I've seen a kid from Cape Cod play in the Ca
crunch 1 week 21 hours ago (view)
fyi for anyone who bought MLB.tv
for "some reason" getting a cancel+refund via phone is like pulling teeth, but if you contact them via a webpage contact request many people are getting a cancel+refund confirmation within an hour or 2...
bradsbeard 1 week 1 day ago (view)
I imagine because the new labor agreement freezes rosters as of whenever the agreement is approved by the owners and it might affect what those guys are paid under the agreement.
Hagsag 1 week 1 day ago (view)
AZ Phil. what was the reason that a whole bunch of teams optioned or assigned players to the minor leagues yesterday on March 26 ? Thanks.
Arizona Phil 1 week 1 day ago (view)
jdrnym: Ordinarily, players on an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) who are on Optional Assignment to the minors do not accrue MLB Service Time, are paid at the minor league rate rather than at the MLB rate if the player has a "split" contract, and if the player gets hurt or becomes sick after being optioned, he can be placed on a minor league IL instead of on an MLB IL (so that he cannot accrue MLB Service Time or be paid at the MLB rate while he is on the IL). Also, a player who is optioned to the minors for at least 20 days will burn an option year.
jdrnym 1 week 1 day ago (view)
AZPhil, what are the technical ramifications of optioning/not optioning guys during this period of no baseball? Seems like some teams are more eager than others to trim their roster down.
crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)
"Major League Baseball has agreed with the MLBPA to grant a full year of service time to players in 2020 regardless of how many games the schedule includes.
Rosenthal adds, however, that the two sides have agreed to "table discussions" on how much service time the players would receive if the worst-case scenario plays out and the 2020 season has to be canceled entirely due to the coronavirus pandemic."