Cubs & Pelicans Pitchers Give Bees & 66ers That Sinking Feeling
Chesny Young belted a two-run triple, singled, and walked, Jason Vosler doubled twice, singled, and scored a run, Jesse Hodges ripped an RBI double and a single, Rashad Crawford roped a line-drive RBI single, drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a run, and Jeremy Null threw five innings of two-run ball with an amazing 12/1 GO/FO, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) rallied from a 3-0 deficit to edge the Burlington Bees (Lo-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels) 4-3 on Field #5, and Daury Torrez threw six shutout innings with four strikeouts and an 11/2 GO/FO, Kevin Brown belted a two-run triple, singled twice, and scored a run, Varonex Cuevas doubled twice, singled, and scored a run, and Danny Lockhart roped a two-run single, walked, and scored a run, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (the Cubs Hi-A affiliate) rallied for four runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the Inland Empire 66ers (Angels Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.
The 66ers had just scored four runs in the top of the 9th off Myrtle Beach lefty reliever Gerardo Concepcion to take a 6-2 lead, but the Pelicans came right back with four of their own.
Both Daury Torrez and Jeremy Null had the sinker working to perfection, combining to produce a 23/3 GO/FO ratio over 11 innings of work, one of the most extraordinary groundball heavy minor league doubleheaders I have seen in some time. Torrez will join Duane Underwood, Tyler Skulina, Paul Blackburn, and Jen-Ho Tseng in the Myrtle Beach starting rotation, and Null will be part of a South Bend rotation that will also feature Jake Stinnett, Erick Leal, Trevor Clifton, James Norwood, and/or Zach Hedges (last slot still TBD)
The defensive play of the day was turned-in by South Bend CF Trey Martin, who made a spectacular diving catch in right-centerfield after a long run at full speed. Martin is a "long-strider" who can make long distances seem shorter than they really are, but what was especially impressive about Martin's play was that he dived onto his left (non-throwing) shoulder to complete the catch, the same shoulder that was surgically repaired about a year ago.
With the exception of Travis Wood and Kyle Hendricks, the Chicago Cubs left town after last night's Cactus League game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in anticipation of their MLB Opening Day game tomorrow night at Wrigley Field, leaving minor league players behind to be presented as the "Chicago Cubs" for this afternoon's MLB Cactus League finale. Most of the players assigned to the MLB game at Chase were pulled from the AAA Iowa Cubs roster, but a few came from the Tennessee and Myrtle Beach squads as well. Also, several members of the Myrtle Beach squad were moved up to the Iowa Cubs for this afternoon's Cactus League minor league game in Tempe against the Angels AAA Salt Lake City affiliate, and a number of players from the Cubs Extended Spring Training contingent filled in for the missing Pelicans at Riverview, as well as providing roster depth in the South Bend, Tennessee, and Iowa games.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played today at Riverview Park (Cubs players only):
SOUTH BEND LINEUP:
1a. Chesny Young, 2B: 2-3 (3-U, BB, 1B, 3B, 2 RBI)
1b. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 0-1 (3-1)
2. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (K, 1B, K, 6-3)
3a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-3 (1B, F-9, 2B, RBI)
3b. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-1 (F-9)
4. Yasiel Balaguert, DH: 0-4 (K, L-9, 5-2 FC, 5-3)
5. Cael Brockmeyer, 1B: 0-4 (L-4, 5-3, K, K)
6. Jason Vosler, SS: 3-4 (1B, 2B, F-8, 2B, R)
7. Trey Martin, CF: 0-4 (F-8, K, F-8, K)
8. Rashad Crawford, LF: 1-3 (4-3, 4-3, BB, 1B, R, RBI, SB)
9. Gioskar Amaya, C: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, 4-3, 2 R)
SOUTH BEND PITCHERS:
1. Jeremy Null: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER). 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 12/1 GO/FO, 62 pitches (46 strikes)
2. Jordan Minch: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GO/FO, 30 pitches (22 strikes)
3. Tommy Thorpe: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Yomar Morel: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
SOUTH BEND ERRORS: 1
SS Jason Vosler - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
SOUTH BEND CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Gioskar Amaya: 1-1 CS
MYRTLE BEACH LINEUP:
1a. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-3 (5-3, L-6, 6-4-3 DP, BB)
1b. Miguel Rico, PH: 1-1 (2B, R)
2. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-3 (BB, K, 5-3, F-9 SF, 2B, R, RBI, SB)
3. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-4 (BB, F-8, 4-3, P-6, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
4. Kevin Brown, CF: 3-5 (F-7, 1B, 1B, F-9, 3B, 2 RBI, CS)
5. Ben Carhart, 1B: 1-4 (6-3, 1B, F-8, L-8, F-8 SF, RBI)
6. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 0-5 (F-9, F-8, 1-3, K, 3-1)
7. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 3-4: (2B, K, 2B, 1B, R)
8. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-3 (BB, 3-1, K, K)
9. Roberto Vahlis, DH: 1-2 (1B, BB, HBP, 6-3, R)
MYRTLE BEACH PITCHERS:
1. Daury Torrez: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP, 11/2 GO/FO, 75 pitches (58 strikes)
2. Tayler Scott: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 6/0 GO/FO, 35 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Gerardo Concepcion: 1.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 PO, 28 pitches (17 strikes)
MYRTLE BEACH ERRORS: NONE
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's
Dolorous Jon Lester 2 min 22 sec ago (view)
I'm a little surprised Ildemaro Vargas was tendered, given that he's out of options. He has value and isn't expensive as he is pre-arb this year, but still a bit surprised. Have to think he's got an inside track to an Opening Day spot at this point
waveland 8 hours 47 min ago (view)
really appreciate the years and years of your updates
Arizona Phil 10 hours 42 min ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Strumpf was wearing a cast on his hand in Minor League Camp before everything got shut-down in March so his not being at South Bend might have had something to do with that. I don't know why Rivas wasn't at the ATS.
bradsbeard 11 hours 26 min ago (view)
Do you have any idea why Rivas and Strumpf weren't at the alternate site in South Bend? I thought Rivas especially showed enough in ST games to be viewed as a legitimate depth option, especially with the DH.
Arizona Phil 12 hours 1 min ago (view)
Alfonso Rivas reminds me a bit of Rafael Palmeiro when Palmeiro first came up to the big leagues and was a "doubles machine" (before he started hitting home runs).
Rivas played D-1 baseball at the University of Arizona, so (just like Nico Hoerner, who also played in the PAC-12) I don't think he needs a lot of additional time at AAA before he's ready for MLB. He's a very advanced hitter, as long as you are OK with lots of doubles & lots of walks but not many HR.
Dolorous Jon Lester 13 hours 3 min ago (view)
I hadn't thought of that but I really like that option
bradsbeard 13 hours 8 min ago (view)
I really hope Rivas has a chance at the LF job. Would ease some of the sting of Schwarber being cut loose.
Arizona Phil 13 hours 9 min ago (view)
CRUNCH: I got the impression that Ross had seen enough of Schwarber in LF, so implementing the universal DH may be necessary before Schwarber returns to the Cubs in 2021. I think the Cubs would be fine with Schwarber as their main DH going forward.
BTW, I strongly suspect that the universal DH will be included in the next CBA, but whether there will be a DH in the National League in 2021 is still TBA (which is really stupid, since clubs need to know right now for sure one way or the other whether or not there will be a DH in the N. L. in 2021).
Arizona Phil 13 hours 20 min ago (view)
Besides the guys on the 40, Cubs 2021 NRI relievers with a legit chance to win a bullpen slot in Spring Training include LHRPs Josh Osich and Rex Brothers, and RHRPs Jake Jewell, Trevor Megill, Dakota Mekkes, Michael Rucker, and Joe Wieland (presuming they are not taken in the Rule 5 Draft).
Brothers and Wieland are out of minor league options, however, so if added to the 40 they could not ride the "Chicago - Des Moines Shuttle" like the others could.
crunch 13 hours 26 min ago (view)
i am rooting for the cubs to retain schwarber.
even though he's average on the best of days in LF (except his above average arm), i would like to see him and his work ethic remain in the cubs system...the homers from the left side of the plate are nice, too.
Arizona Phil 13 hours 48 min ago (view)
At least as things stand right now, Kris Bryant is your Cubs de facto 2021 Opening Day LF! (Of course we know he will be traded before then...).
Otherwise, minor league NRI outfielders Ian Miller, Michael Hermosillo, and Rafael Ortega will be competing for Opening Day OF slots, with a legit shot to win a job.
Even Alfonso Rivas (who was hitting rockets from foul line to foul line at AZ Instructs) and/or Eddy Julio Martinez (who has had a very good winter in the Mexican Pacific League) might have a shot.
Arizona Phil 13 hours 51 min ago (view)
I would think that both Colin Rea and Kyle Ryan must have signed contracts with minor league split salaries, otherwise I doubt very much that they would have been tendered.
Arizona Phil 14 hours 2 min ago (view)
With Tepera non-tendered and Winkler, Ryan, and Rea signed, the Cubs 2021 Opening Day bullpen (right now) would appear to be Kimbrel (clearly not tradeable), Wick (virtual lock), Winkler (can't be optioned without his consent), Underwood (out of minor league options), and Maples (out of minor league options), and then three from amongst Adam, Norwood, Rea, Ryan, Stock, and Wieck (each of whom can be optioned back & forth to AAA as needed).
Arizona Phil 14 hours 22 min ago (view)
The Cubs have signed RHSP Colin Rea, LHRP Kyle Ryan, and RHRP Dan Winkler to 2021 MLB contracts (terms TBD) and tendered 2021 MLB contracts to all other unsigned players on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) except OF Albert Almora, OF-1B Jose Martinez, OF Kyle Schwarber, and RHRP Ryan Tepera.
So Almora, J. Martinez, Schwarber, and Tepera are now unrestricted free-agents, free to sign an MLB or minor league contract with any club (including the Cubs) without any salary restrictions.
The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 34 (six slots are open).
Arizona Phil 14 hours 44 min ago (view)
Keep in mind that as things stand right now the Cubs projected 2021 MLB payroll is almost $50M under the 2021 CBT threshold (which will be $210M), so they don't have to worry about contract AAV if they can sign a player to a multi-year deal with a low 2021 base salary and then substantially higher salaries post-2021 (when they should be able to generate their normal attendance-based revenues --.presuming CoViD-19 is no longer a problem by that time).
Arizona Phil 15 hours 24 min ago (view)
TIME OUT: As I mentioned in the post, the Cubs cannot cut Schwarber's base salary more than 20% without first non-tendering him, so if he is agreeable the Cubs could sign him for a relatively low base 2021 salary (something like $5M) combined with performance bonuses based upon actual PA (not pro-rated PA) maybe totaling $5M (which would cover the Cubs if the 2021 season is truncated), and then maybe an additional year or two (2022-23) for something like $10M per year plus performance bonuses (again, based on PA). Schwarber could get a player opt-out as well post-2021.