R. Mejia Big Fly and Timely Walk Help Cubs Edge Snakes

Rafael Mejia belted a three-run HR to cap a five-run 4th and drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 8th to force-in what proved to be the winning run, Luis Diaz drilled an RBI double to put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 1st and later walked twice and scored a run, and Luis Vazquez singled twice and scored a run, helping the Cubs edge the Diamondbacks 8-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

RHPs Fernando Calderon, Yan de la Cruz, Jose M. Gonzalez, Junior Marte, and Benjamin Rodriguez (all five recent arrivals from the Cubs Dominican Academy) threw "live" BP on Field #4 prior to the start of the Cactus League game on Field #6. Marte has pitched in both the AZL and the Northwest League in prior seasons (2015-17), but the other four are making their U. S. debut this year at Extended Spring Training.

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):

1a. Luis Vazquez, SS: 2-3 (1B, 1B, 5-3, R, PO)
1b. Luis Verdugo, SS: 1-1 (1B, CS)
2. Chris Coghlan, DH #1: 0-4 (L-4, 4-3, K, K)
3a. Luis Diaz, 2B: 1-1 (2B, BB, BB, R, RBI)
3b. Orian Nunez, 2B: 0-1 (6-3)
4a. Jonathan Soto, C: 0-3 (4-3, K, L-4)
4b. Richard Nunez, C: 0-0 (BB, R)
5. Alexander Guerra, DH #2: 0-2 (K, E-6, BB, BB, 2 R)
6a. Kwangmin Kwon, RF: 1-3 (K, 1B, 1-6 FC, R)
6b. Abraham Rodriguez, RF: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
7. Delvin Zinn, 3B: 1-4 (F-8, 1B, F-8, L-8, R, RBI)
8. Jose A, Gonzalez, LF: 0-1 (K, L-9 SF, HBP, HBP, RBI)
9. Rafael Mejia, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, HR, K, BB, R, 4 RBI)
10a. Jose Gutierrez, CF: 0-3 (E-4, K, K)
10b. Tolly Filotei, PH-CF: 0-1 (K)

1. Faustino Carrera: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 25 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Manuel Rondon: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 2/0 GO/AO, 25 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Ivan Medina: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 6/0 GO/AO, 48 pitches (31 strikes)
4. Sean Barry: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/1 GO/AO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
5. Jeffrey Passantino: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 41 pitches (25 strikes)

1. 2B Luis Diaz: E-4 (errant thrown on attempted 4-6 FC allowed runner to reach 2nd base safely)
2. CF Luis Gutierrez: E-8 (dropped fly ball allowing batter to reach 3rd base safely and unearned run to score)  

Richard Nunez: 0-1 CS

LF Jose A. Gonzalez - batter thrown out 7-4 attempting to stretch single into double

WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 70's


"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"


But wait! There's more...

It wasn't a Cactus League game, but the Cubs did play a brief intrasquad game on on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex Wednesday morning, and then had a full-squad workout (but no game) yesterday (Thursday). 

RHP Chi-Feng Lee tossed 2.1 IP of shutout ball in the intrasquad game, retiring the last seven men he faced after surrendering a lead-off single. Lee was signed as an 18-year old IFA out of Taiwan in 2016 but missed the last two seasons with a right elbow injury, so he will be making his debut in the AZL this summer.

All 11 of the position-players who arrived at the Cubs Mesa facility this week played in the intrasquad game, including infielders Reivaj Garcia ("Reivaj" is Javier spelled backwards), Josue Huma, Orian Nunez, Henrry Pedra (and that is indeed Henrry with two "r's"), Herson Perez (Henderson's older brother), Fabian Pertuz, and Luis Verdugo, and outfielders Jose Alonso Gaitan, Carlos Pacheco, Ruben Reyes, and Luis Ubiera.

Pertuz (from Colombia) and R. Garcia and Verdugo (both from Mexico) were signed by the Cubs as 16-year old IFAs last Summer and are attending Extended Spring Training without having played in the DSL (although Pertuz and Verdugo did attend AZ Instructs post-2017), Gaitan, Huma, O. Nunez, Pacheco, Pedra, Herson Perez, and Ubiera have all played in the DSL (Gaitan, Huma, and Pacheco attended AZ Instructs post-2017 and O. Nunez attended AZ Instructs post-2016 and post-2017 as well as Extended Spring Training last year but he will be making his debut in the AZL in 2018, but the other three are making their U. S. debut at EXST), and Reyes has spent two seasons in the AZL (he did not play in the DSL) but he was not invited to Minor League Camo this year, instead reporting directly to EXST.  

LHPs Riger Fernandez and Didier Vargas (both just arrived from the Cubs Dominican Academy) threw "live" BP on Field #4 Wednesday morning prior to the intrasquad game. Both Fernandez and Vargas attended post-2017 AZ Instructs last Fall but did not pitch in any games there, so when they appear in an EXST game, it will be their U. S. game debut. 

Also, AZL Cubs LHRP Pablo Ochoa underwent TJS earlier this month and will miss the 2018 season.

Here is the box score from Wednesday's intrasquad game:  

1. Jose Gutierrez, CF: 0-3 (K, 6-3, K)
2. Luis Verdugo, SS: 0-2 (5-3, F-9)
3. Alexander Guerra, C: 1-2 (2B, K)
4. Rafael Mejia, 1B: 0-2 (6-3, P-2)
5. Orian Nunez, 3B: 0-2 (5-3, P-3)
6. Roberto Caro, LF: 0-1 (BB, K, R)
7. Luis Ubiera, RF: 1-1 (HBP, 1B, R)
8. Herson Perez, 2B: 1-1 (1B, BB, RBI)
9. Eric Gonzalez, DH #1:  0-2 (P-4, P-6)
10. Tolly Filotei, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI, SB)
11. Gustavo Polanco, DH #3: 0-1 (5-3)
NOTE: Slot was skipped second time thru batting order

1. Jose A. Gonzalez, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, 4-6 FC)
2. Josue Huma, 3B: 0-2 (F-8, 4-3)
3. Carlos Pacheco, CF: 0-2 (K, F-8)
4. Kevin Zamudio, 1B: 0-2 (P-3, K)
5. Fabian Pertuz, SS: 0-2 (5-3, K)
6. Richard Nunez, C: 0-1 (5-3)
7. Jose Alonso Gaitan, RF: 0-1 (4-3)
8. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 0-1 (K)
9. Henrry Pedra, DH #2: 0-0 (BB, R, SB)
10. Ruben Reyes, LF: 1-1 (1B, RBI)

1. Chi-Feng Lee; 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/2 GO/AO, 32 pitches (18 strikes)
2. Casey Ryan: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 17 pitches (12 strikes)
3. Fauris Guerrero: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 14 pitches (9 strikes)

1. Danis Correa: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP, 4/1 GO/AP, 34 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Eury Ramos: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/3 GO/AO, 27 pitches (17 strikes)
3. M. T. Minacci: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 0/1 GO/AO, 21 pitches (10 strikes)



Richard Nunez: 0-1 CS


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's


"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"


OF Chris Carrier plunked with a FB in the earflap. Probably a roster move will be due.

TIM: Although INF Christian Donahue is on the Eugene roster, he has been with the South Bend Cubs since they left Arizona, so if Chris Carrier (or any other South Bend position player) goes on the DL, don't be surprised if Donahue is "called-up" (so to speak) to South Bend from Eugene.

The Eugene reserve list has 35 slots but only 24 players are on the Eugene reserve list right now and there are no service time restrictions on short-season reserve lists until July 1st, so the Cubs can assign a player like Donahue, Camargo, E. Diaz, and Y. Gomez to Eugene without the player actually leaving his full-season club and going to Extended Spring Training. The Cubs did the same thing with Spingola (Myrtle Beach), D. Torrez and Nance (Tennessee), and Markey (Iowa), assigning them to the Eugene roster while they physically remained with their club until needed to replace a teammate who went on the 7-day DL. (Nance is still assigned to Eugene, but the other three have been "called-up").  

Sounds likely.

Something to keep in mind about Cubs Extended Spring Training this year is that for the first time there are two Cubs EXST teams playing independent schedules, with one team home and one team on the road most every day (no more "doubleheaders" with two games played simultaneously against the same opponent at the same place).

So (for example) today Cubs #1 was at Rockies and Cubs #2 was at home versus the D'backs, so I cannot provide any information about the game at Rockies because I wasn't there. And as a result, I will not be able to provide comprehensive EXST stats as I have in year's past, either. So I will provide info about the games I see and leave it at that (a lot like Minor League Camp).  

Triple Phil's budget.

so you're saying you're half ASS'ing this? seriously, though...it's nice hearing about these guys and having something to work with mentally when it comes to guys we normally don't hear about until they get to AA/AAA.

Chi-Feng Lee is pitching . Wow

Hey Phil,

I was wondering if you saw had any takes on Faustino Carrera and Jose Gutierrez? I'd ask about Verdugo, Huma, Reivaj Garcia, or maybe Gaitan but possibly it's too soon.

As usual, thanks for all your stuff!

PHIL: Any radar readings on Danis Correa that you noticed?

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  • crunch 6 hours 59 min ago (view)

    kevin rizzo is in camp with the cubs and is in workouts with the team.

    very tiny guy, no power, but he can run down a ball in the field and he's almost impossible to pitch to.  time to give him a contract and put him in the OF.



  • crunch 7 hours 40 min ago (view)

    Marquee has added a tuesday game, so now the first televised cubs game is March 2nd (3pm EST)


  • Arizona Phil 17 hours 30 min ago (view)

    The DFA of Robert Stock to make room for Kyle Ryan coming off the CoViD-related IL wil need to be followed by removing another player on the 40 to make room for Ryan Tepera. 

    It's possible somebody (like a pitcher) is injured to the extent that he might be placed on the 60-day IL, or else maybe somebody else will go on the CoViD-related IL (which is 40-man roster exempt) in the coming days to make room for Tepera.


  • Arizona Phil 18 hours 4 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed LHSP Ben Holmes (ex-LAD) and RHRP Jose Moreno (ex-NYM) to 2021 minor league contracts. Both were post-2020 minor league 6YFA and neither has been on an MLB 40-man roster.

    Holmes pitched collegiately at Oregon State and has some AAA experience, but Moreno hasn't pitched above Lo-A over the course of seven seasons in the Mets organization.  


  • crunch 1 day 3 hours ago (view)

    side note...k.wong is on 1st putting on one of those "baserunning mitts" (hand protection for sliding) that's extending past the length of his hand/fingers by at least 2-3 inches.

    they're going to have to start regulating this piece of equipment if this keeps up...


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    Q with LAA in his debut for them...HBP, a wild pitch, and BB through 7 pitches...then 3 pop-outs to follow.

    blah blah spring training...

    baseball on TV...neat.


  • First.Pitch.120 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    We just traded for Maddux!!!   ......... nope, the other one.


  • crunch 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    yeah, i'm just saying i did consider piling onto it with a troll-level post about the trade...it's practically asking to be written that way.

    jeff passan did it quite well... https://twitter.com/jeffpassan/status/136577746706...

    that said, i had no idea zach bryant existed before today, but his early numbers looked oddly good (which means nothing without context that early in his career).


  • Charlie 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Oh, I mean the trade. You were quite diligent in posting!


  • crunch 2 days 52 min ago (view)

    i contemplated writing the post totally trolled out as hell with "zach" coming after a wall of text.

    i decided the cubs being cheap was enough pre-season punishment without piling on.


  • Charlie 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    This is a straight up troll 


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    rsox aquiring ZACH bryant from the cubs.


    ptbn from the josh osich deal.

    totally useless trade...hopefully not a terrible loss.


  • Hagsag 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber invited to the ML camp.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Ryan Tepera returns. Major League deal


  • crunch 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    spring training TV is usually fluid...adding and subtracting broadcast games...

    first cubs TV (as of now) is March 3 (wednesday) on ESPN at 3pm EST.

    radio broadcasts available for almost every game that's not televised.  the cubs get going on monday and some other teams will start the day before.


  • crunch 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    dj snelton's left elbow is screwed up...6 weeks rest then re-evaluate.

    looks like he's going to try to avoid having surgery.