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?

Recent comments

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  • Cubster 1 hour 1 min ago (view)

    Just sign Rick Reuschel and lets move on


  • crunch 1 hour 43 min ago (view)

    "Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Scott Kazmir will throw for MLB teams this week.

    The 36-year-old Kazmir hasn't thrown in the majors since the 2016 season, but he recently told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he that he hit 90.9 mph with his fastball during a bullpen session."

    someone put another bottle of left-in-the-car warm water under the cubs hot stove and let's get this one done!  woo!



  • crunch 16 hours 45 min ago (view)

    bryce harper ruined that bat dragging thing for everyone after his ejection years ago at the junior college world series.

    also, hurrah for baseball making it's return.


  • JustSayin' 16 hours 49 min ago (view)

    College ball started Saturday.  Umpire egos in D1 baseball are not that much smaller than in the pros, so of course there was a controversy.  In the late innings of a game in the weekend's biggest series (Michigan vs.


  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    the news is mostly based on a Baseball America article from the 11th (behind a paywall)...so the gist of it is rather legit rumor-wise, though it's still too far in the future to call it a 100% done deal.

    btw, the cubs have been strongly linked to pursuing christian hernandez for quite a while.  the BA writer that wrote the article about the cubs links has been following c.hernandez since he was a 14yo talent and is quite familiar with him.  that signing probably is in the bag.


  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 17 hours ago (view)

    I don't know much about this website, but they are speculating that the Cubs may sign two of the top International Free Agents available during this signing period: https://www.cubshq.com/print/news.do?id=16441&isNe... Does anyone know if this sounds legit?


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Minnie Minoso was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 47 and Julio Franco was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 49, so Mexican League teams clearly do not have a problem with signing older players. 

    And of course the ageless Satchel Paige was still working as a SP in AAA (with the Miami Marlins) into his early 50's (and prior to that he pitched in MLB as late as age 46).  


  • crunch 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    b.colon has signed to a mexican league team.  woo old dudes.  he turns 47 in may...believed by some to be older.


  • Cubster 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Replacing someone like David DeJesus?


  • crunch 4 days 23 hours ago (view)

    mark grace returns to chicago as an analyst/on-air-talent for Marquee.

    he won't be part of the main game calling crew, but will be doing support content during games.


  • Eric S 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Increasing levels of smoke concerning a possible Arenado/KB trade


    Get Arenado to agree to push back his opt out a few years or so down the road and this could work out nicely for the Cubs


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Jason Kipnis (like Brandon Morrow) was a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a 2020 minor league contract, so he gets a $100K retention bonus and an automatic June 1st player opt-out if he is not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB 40-man roster or MLB 60-day IL by 12 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day. 


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 17 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed post-2019 second-contract minor league FA catcher Jordan Procyshen to a 2020 minor league contract and he has been assigned to AA Tennessee.  


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 19 hours ago (view)

    Q could be subbed in for any of those too


  • crunch 5 days 20 hours ago (view)

    darvish, lester, and mills could combine to give up 100 homers between the 3 of them.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 21 hours ago (view)

    I would have liked to give him a shot. I don't see much more out of a Chatwood and Alec Mills competition for the 5th spot.