Cubs Use Three-Run Third to Edge Angels at Diablo

Jonathan Soto drilled a triple and an RBI single and six pitchers combined to hurl a four-hitter, helping the Cubs edge the Angels 3-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning on Field #3 at the Diablo Stadium Complex in Tempe, AZ.  

The Cubs scored all three of their runs in the top of the third inning against Angels RHSP Jose Soriano, loading the bases on three singles (Verdugo, J. Gutierrez, and L. Diaz) before eventually scoring all three of the runners on the Soto RBI single (bases remained loaded), a Morel sacrifice fly to the warning track in LF, and a Soriano wild pitch. 
 
Connor Fitzsimons belted a solo HR off RHP Jesus Tejada to give the Angels a brief 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second.

In EXST Cubs roster news, C-1B-3B Cam Balego (Cubs 2017 30th round draft pick - Mercyhurst) has completed the "Catcher Conversion Program" and has been moved-up to South Bend. Balego began learning the catcher trade at AZ Instructs post-2017, and continued the process this year at Minor League Camp and then at Extended Spring Training. However, Balego is - NOT - becoming a full-time catcher, he is just adding "catcher" to his utility tool-box to increase his player-value going forward.   
 
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):

CUBS LINEUP:
1. Luis Diaz, 2B: 1-4 (P-2, 1B, L-7, K, R)
2a. Jonathan Soto, C: 2-3 (F-8, 1B, 3B, RBI)
2b. Richard Nunez, C: 0-1 (K)
3. Christopher Morel, SS: 1-3 (K, F-7 SF, 6-2 FC, 1B, RBI, CS)
4. Abraham Rodriguez, LF: 1-4 (5-3, L-9, L-8, 1B)
5. Josue Huma, 3B: 0-2 (L-5, BB, 3-U, CS)
6. Henderson Perez, DH #1: 0-3 (E-6, K, F-9)
7. Kwangmin Kwon, RF: 0-3 (L-7, K, 6-3)
8. Luis Verdugo, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, F-9, BB, R, SB)
9. Rafael Mejia, 1B: 0-3 (F-9, K, P-3)
10. Jose Gutierrez, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, F-9, R)
 
CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Emilio Ferrebus: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
2. Jesus Tejada: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 1/3 GO/AO, 27 pitches (16 strikes)
3. Jose M. Gonzalez: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1/3 GO/AO, 30 pitches (15 strikes)
4. Fernando Calderon: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 31 pitches (20 strikes)
5. Yan de la Cruz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 17 pitches (8 strikes)
6. Jake Steffens: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 12 pitches (8 strikes)

CUBS ERRORS: 1
SS Chrisopher Morel: E-6 (dropped pop fly in short LF allowing batter to reach 2nd base safely)

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jonathan Soto: 1-3 CS, 1 PB

ATTENDANCE: 7

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70's

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  • crunch 1 day 18 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 1 day 20 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 37 min 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 1 hour 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 3 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Replacing someone like David DeJesus?

     

  • crunch 4 days 2 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 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Increasing levels of smoke concerning a possible Arenado/KB trade

    https://www.bleachernation.com/cubs/2020/02/13/cubs-reportedly-are-absolutely-motivated-to-try-to-acquire-nolan-arenado/

    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 4 days 20 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 4 days 20 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 4 days 22 hours ago (view)

    Q could be subbed in for any of those too

     

  • crunch 5 days 13 min ago (view)

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

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 33 min 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.

     

  • crunch 5 days 2 hours ago (view)

    M's sign him 1/2m

     

  • crunch 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    walker throwing for the M's today...hopefully they see something they like and can outbid the cubs.  it should be easy since the cubs seem to be hiring guys with camel cash and canadian tire money.

     

  • Cubster 5 days 4 hours ago (view)

    BA ranks Cubs system @22.

    LHP Brailyn Marquez (37), SS/OF Nico Hoerner (40), OF Brennen Davis (94)

    Skinny: Towering lefty Brailyn Marquez took as big of a jump as any pitcher in the minors and has drawn comparisons to both Aroldis Chapman and David Price. Nico Hoerner got a taste of the big leagues, too. The system still has a ways to go to return to prominence, however.

     

  • Charlie 5 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Probably an upgrade over Descalso, but not clearing that very low bar by very much.