Cubs & D'backs Split Two at Talking Stick

Josh Conway, Erick Leal, and Carlos Martinez combined to throw a three-hitter, retiring the last ten men a row, and David Bote drilled an RBI single to tie the game and Jacob Rogers followed one out later with a sacrifice fly to give the Cubs the lead, as one squad of Cubs rallied for two runs in the 5th and held on to edge one squad of Diamondbacks 2-1 on Whirlwind Field, and Carter Bell blasted a three-run home run to cap a five-run 3rd and Josh Parr singled and tripled and scored two runs, leading the other squad of D'backs to a 7-1 victory over the other squad of Cubs on Jackrabbit Field, as the two squads split a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.   

Former Cubs minor leaguer Michael Brenly (released during Minor League Camp) was the catcher for the Diamondbacks squad on Whirlwind Field, and he went 0-3 (K, F-7, K).

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):


1. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 1-3 (4-3, 3-U, 3B)
2. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-3 (F-8, 6-3, K)
3. Jesse Hodges, DH #1: 0-3 (F-9, 5-3, P-3)
4. Jose Dore, 1B: 1-3 (K, 1B, L-8, SB)
5. Trevor Gretzky, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, P-2)
6. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, K)
7a. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (6-3, 6-3)
7b. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Roberto Caro, LF: 1-2 (1-3, 1B, R, SB)
9. Frandy de la Rosa, SS: 1-2 (K, 1B, RBI)
10. Bryant Flete, 2B: 1-2 (1B, K)

1. Jose Rosario: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 39 pitches (29 strikes), 3/3 GO/FO
2. James Pugliese: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 35 pitches (25 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO 
3. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 24 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO

1. P Jose Rosario - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
2. P Jose Rosario - E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner on 3rd base to score)
3. 3B Mark Malave - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
4. SS Frandy de la Rosa - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
5. C Wilfredo Petit - E-2 (Catcher's Interference allowed batter to reach base safely)

Wilfredo Petit: 1 E (see above)


1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF-DH: 2-4 (3-U, 1B, 1B, K)
2. David Bote, 3B-SS: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, 1B, K, RBI)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-4 (F-9, 6-4-3 DP, P-6, 1B)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B-3B: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, F-7 SF, K, RBI)
5. Reggie Golden, LF-CF: 0-2 (P-6, BB, F-8)
6a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-1 (HBP, F-8)
6b. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-1 (F-7)
7. Lance Rymel, DH-1B: 0-3 (5-3, 5-3, K)
8. Justin Marra, C: 0-2 (F-7, BB, K, R)
9a. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-2 (K, 1B, R)
9b. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 1-1 (1B) 

1. Josh Conway: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 5 K, 53 pitches (32 strikes),  2/4 GO/FO 
2. Erick Leal: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 29 pitches (19 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
3. Carlos Martinez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 11 pitches (7 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO


RF Yasiel Balaguert - doubled-runner off 1st base 9-3 after line-out


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's

NOTE: It wasn't a Cactus League game, but there was a 4-1/2 inning intrasquad game played at FITCH PARK FIELD #3 yesterday (Monday) morning.

RHP Dillon Maples threw 3.1 IP of one-hit ball, retiring the last ten men he faced in a row. 

Trevor Gretzky fisted a two-run double down the LF line to spark a four-run 3rd for Squad "A."

LHP Andrew McKirahan (2012 TJS) walked off the mound in obvious pain in the bottom of the 3rd inning after facing one batter (seven-pitch walk). He didn't wait for the trainer or manager to come to the mound, he just headed straight for the clubhouse.

Here is the box score from that game:

1. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-3 (2B, K, 4-3)
2. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K)
3. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-2 (6-3, BB, 1-3, R, SB)
4. Jose Dore, 1B: 0-1 (F-8, BB, BB, R)
5. Garrett Schlecht, DH: 0-2 (F-8, BB, K, R)
6. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 1-3 (6-3, 2B, K, R, 2 RBI)
7. Erick Castillo, C: 1-2 (4-3, 1B)
8. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-2 (K, K)
9. Bryant Flete, 2B: 1-2 (1-3, 2B) 

1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 0-1 (5-3, 1-3 SH)
2. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-2 (F-9, K)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, DH: 0-1 (6-3, BB)
4. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 1-2 (1B, 6-3, SB)
5. David Bote, 3B: 0-1 (P-2, BB)
6. Carlos Penalver, SS: 0-2 (P-2, F-8)
7. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (K, E-5)
8. Dong-Yub Kim, LF: 0-1 (BB, F-8) 
9. Lance Rymel, C: 0-1 (BB, 1-3)

1. Kyler Burke: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/FO, 34 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Andrew McKirahan: 0.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 7 pitches (3 strikes)
3. Dayan Diaz: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 19 pitches (8 strikes)
4. Hunter Ackerman: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 14 pitches (8 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO

1. Dillon Maples: 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 48 pitches (30 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO 
2. Jasvir Rakkar: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 41 pitches (24 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
3. Anthony Prieto: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 22 pitches (13 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO 
NOTE: Top of the 5th inning was continued for one extra out to allow Prieto to throw more pitches, then game was stopped

3B Jesse Hodges - E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

C Lance Rymel - E-2 (errant throw on attempted pick-off at 3rd base allowed runner to score)

Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS

Lance Rymel: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)



From the Muskat: “We’re all in this together,” Hoyer said Tuesday. Epstein, meanwhile, was quoted as saying, "F*** those guys. They're on their own." Sveum's comments may have raised some alarms in the front office regarding his level of frustration with the task in front of him. Certainly, if he feels he's supposed to win games with the roster handed to him, that task must appear impossible.

t.cingrani...12 pitches, 3 Ks. sigh.

heh, Cingrani gets Miami and then Cubs to start off his career...way to ease into the league...faced tougher lineups in the minors.

and Cody Ransom immediately homers off him...good times.

all setting up the bullpen implosion...

a.soriano steals 2nd...then 3rd... "it's turn back the clock night." - len

...then scores on a sac fly. unf...making runs happen.

six years after signing his contract sori shows his past potential

cody ransom HR! hahahah...welcome to the cubs.

...and follows it up with a double.

Cody Rasmus with the bomb! Oh. Wait.

travis wood and vanillawafers...staff aces. once garza + baker show up it should be awesome...with a full pen replacement and 2-3 impact bats =p

since the soriano single to lead off the 7th there's been 6 tosses to 1st to "check/hold" him. soriano, the SB threat...awesome.

Cody Ransom with an error...perfect.

and then starts a double play to get out of the inning...Ransom saved the Cubs season

Ransom saved the cubs season? Yeah, but at what price?

1 throwing error aside, he's been busy + effective there all night.

obscure Neifi reference...

Not THAT obscure. Dusty would approve.

pretty much... ...though if the job market continues to pass on me out here i'll have new issues with missing a ton of games all-together if i take up hawaii as an option (6 hours time difference from the east coast, 3 from the west...aka, missing a lot of games no matter if they're east or west coast games).

Ace Villanueva at 92 pitches, LET HIM FINISH!!!

1 pitch from the pen. tie game AWESOME.



well that was predictable....


D.BARNEY HR! (first away game HR in his career)

borbon reaches on error + takes 2nd on the error...then steals 3rd. ...then scores on a single to RF. cubs up by 2...marmol in line for the win...if the pen can hold it (lulz sigh etc).

kevin gregg in for the least dale has a sense of humor.

he gets the save! ...gave up a couple of singles on the way, but whatever.

something is wrong with votto

a near-.500 ob% sure doesn't impress like it used to.

I was thinking something's different about him, too. He just has some kind of perpetual scowl on his face the last two nights that he's never had before. He looks like he did personality training classes with Milton Bradley and Kenny Rogers this offseason.

Arizona Phil, How has Frandy de la Rosa looked? It's pretty rare for the Cubs to send an under-18 Latin American prospect who signed the previous summer straight to the U.S. so he's definitely caught my eye.


Frandy de la Rosa is indeed unusually young to be at Extended Spring Training (he just turned 17 in January), but he did not attend AZ Instructs last year, and I think the Cubs (at the very least) probably want him to get acclimated a bit to the U. S.

No question de la Rosa is a talented kid. A "natural" SS with a plus-arm and plus-range, and a switch-hitter with a line-drive stroke, he reminds me a bit of Marco Hernandez. 

I think what is also interesting about de la Rosa being at EXST is that Francisco Sanchez is here, too. Sanchez is more of a Junior Lake clone (HR & XBH power, struggles to hit breaking balls, somewhat erratic defensively), but he is a SS (for now) and appears to be competing with de la Rosa for the AZL Cubs starting SS job (although they could share the position if necessary, with one player being the DH and the other playing SS on any given day). They both have gotten some reps at 2B, too, so it might be like 2008 when Castro and Lake were both at EXST together. (Bryant Flete will probably the #1 2B for AZL Cubs).

I know you have followed Extended Spring Training for a number of years, and so you probably have noticed that there is a very clear division (among position players) this year between the two squads when the Cubs play a doubleheader. One squad is clearly "Boise," and the other is obviously "AZL Cubs". The Cubs never used to do that. The players were always mixed together in an EXST DH. So now you can get a pretty clear indication who is probably (at least tentatively) ticketed for Boise, and who will likely remain in Mesa for the summer. I don't know if this a "Cubs Way" thing, or something Director of Player Development Brandon Hyde devised on his own, but it's just like Minor League Camp, where the four squads are clearly delineated, but with the pitchers mixed up.

One thing it does seem to do is provide additional incentive for the players assigned to Squad "A" to remain there, and for the players assigned to Squad "B" to challenge for a spot on Squad "A." And it lets the players know where they stand.

One other thing of note this year is the quality of the starting pitching. There are clearly five starters being groomed for Boise (Conway, Maples, McNeil, Blackburn, and Underwood), and I can't remember a Cubs EXST team that was dominated by starting pitchers. For example, last year's team was an offensive juggernaut (Javier Baez, Jeimer Candelario, Dan Vogelbach, Rock Shoulders, Willson Contreras, Trey Martin, et al) with spotty starting pitching, and this year's squad is exactly the opposite.

The only position player who looks like he could get moved up before the end of EXST (not including players who could get moved up to cover an injury) is Shawon Dunston Jr, who is probably the most improved position player from 2012 to 2013 (he is presently hitting 391/481/462 in 27 PA). In fact, I would not be surprised if Dunston and Trey Martin switch places before too long.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Reggie Golden, who is presently hitting 050/259/100 in 27 PA, going hitlless in his last 25 PA (although he did draw seven walks during the hitless skid). He has also struck out seven times. His one hit was a double in the Cubs first EXST game a week ago last Monday.

And Albert Almora is really a trip. He is limited to some baserunning drills and shagging fly balls in BP, but he takes what he can do very seriously and almost pushes the pitchers away in the outfield to make a spectacular catch. Once he even ran up the side of the fence (a la Bo Jackson) to snare a long fly. You can see he is absolutely going crazy while waiting to get back into the lineup.

Wow. Thanks, as always!

PHIL: That is a riot about Almora. I remember when we were kids we did this funny thing while playing pick-up games and someone in practice would deliberately hit (or throw) a ball so the player could make a "spectacular' catch. Of course,our version of Brickhouse would be involved with play-by-play as well, making it more spectacular.

rosscup (AA) 1ip 1h 0bb 3k last night... 9ip 6h 1bb 16k (1er) on the season. it's about time to move him up...the age/skills/results are getting a bit "post-AA" 90-92mph fastball, sharp curve...deception (a lot of late swings on his stuff)...AAA him already...

Pinch-hitting a cold Soriano against a hard-throwin RHP, when all that is needed is contact to tie the game? Bad decision, predictable result.

i liked the SP travis wood pinch runner as the lead runner move...a play at the plate would have been interesting. i understand using a pinch runner for slow-as-hell navarro, but using a SP in the lead runner position where his running/scoring may need to be aggressive (a tie, or in this case the tieing run) makes me cringe a little bit.

I think Frazier wins a steak for this shot...

Nice play by Cozart on the only real Cub rally...

If I have trouble sleeping tonight, I'll just watch replays of Cubs hitters trying to hit the ball.

On a more positive note, Pete Schrager is projecting the Bears to pick FSU's Menelik Watson in the draft. I was watching him against NIU (my alma mater) and I was saying to myself, Go Bears. Take a chance if he goes pro. He's a damn beast. Go Cubs.

I know nothing of the draft other than I hope they don't take Manti Te'o as a few have predicted.

some other names I've seen in mock drafts

LB Alec Ogletree (Georgia), CB Xavier Rhodes (Florida St.), CB Jamar Taylor (Boise St.), WR Cordarrrell Patterson (Tennessee), DT Sylvester Williams (North Carolina St), TE Tyler Eifart (Notre Dame), OT DJ Fluker (Alabama)

Trib guy suggested trading down with the 49ers who apparently have a bunch of picks. Bears have no 3rd or 7th round pick.

Unless they are confident they can get Ogletree, and I doubt he will still be there, I would drop. They don't need a star outside of MLB or OL (and neither will be had that late), they need a bunch of pieces.

I don't know anything either, to be honest. I just remember seeing the guy, huge, really amazingly quick feet, and a clear mean streak, and thinking, Bears.

"Manti Te'o as a few have predicted" Lazy national press. Nd is close to Chicago, good fit. Noooo!

I don't see why the Bears would draft OL early. They spent on Bushrod, added competition with Slauson and uh, Britton?. Well, if they wanted to replace Garza or add a guard, I could perhaps see it, but feels like Carimi will be given a shot at guard. I like Menelik a lot, but I just don't see a Bears team whose window is basically the next 2-4 years (while the defense still has enough juice, you hope the offense takes big leaps). That said, there isn't a position that the Bears are absolutely pressed to take, so I guess that makes a lot of things possible. Still, drafting an OT prospect high would surprise me, unless said player was light years ahead on their board (and I'm not sure you draft Menelik to stick him inside for a year ... he's so raw in general (hard to imagine he'd beat out J'Marcus Webb for the RT job). I tend to think they need to go LB and/or CB fairly early in the draft. Take the best value (and there should be good value mid-round 1 to maybe round 3/4 at those spots). That said, if the Bears can trade back, that'd be nice. I think you'll be able to find similar values from maybe mid-1st to mid-late 2nd, so if you can add another pick (and a future pick could be a consideration), it makes sense. This draft is bleh. Not a huge fan of it. I tend to think the tackles (all three) have been over-hyped a touch (relatively speaking ... it's not that I don't think Joeckel/Fisher/Johnson are good ... just over-hyped). Actually, the guy I really love in this draft might be Sharrif Floyd. Looks like a potential monster with positional versatility. Granted, same was said about Glenn Dorsey once upon a time, so you never know.

To me, the absolute priority of any football team should be the linemen, both offensive and defensive, because teams that dominate there will usually win a lot more games than they lose. The glamor positions can wait until the offensive line and defensive line are the best they can be, especially in this draft, where the Bears won't have access to any true studs at the glamor positions. A fantastic offensive and defensive line can make even ordinary playmakers look a lot better than they are. A good offensive line creates gaps, and gives the QB time to throw, and receivers to get open. A good defensive line puts pressure on the QB, puts a wall up on runners, and gives more options to a defensive coach, depending of course on the type of linemen you have. Each part of the offensive line has specific ways you need to defend against it - Henry Melton was a good example of a project pick who had tremendous athleticism and not a lot of experience but he's turned into a killer 3 technique B gap guy, right? Projects are perfectly fine in the draft, ESPECIALLY when you have a draft like this with no marquee studs likely to be available.

Overheard on the radio...

"3-run home run by Ronny Cedeno..."

almost swerved off the road

HOU has a better record than the cubs. brb, buying suicide stationary.

Please, no joking/teasing about that. Cubs march to 1st pick in 2014 MLB draft is simply gaining steam. Turn off the TV and Gameday. Learn to crochet. Try scrapbooking.

As of right now, 9 teams have an equal or worse run differential to the Cubs, including playoff possibles Washington, Philadelphia, Toronto, and 2x L.A., but only San Diego and Miami have worse winning percentages. #cubbery

Two ways to look at all this. 1 - It's really early, but if the starting pitching holds, things could still get interesting. As bad as the Cubs' hitting is, even a bad hitting team can play competitively when the starting pitching is outstanding. The other way to look at this is that the starting pitching will simply not hold up. Villanueva and Travis Wood could both falter. Garza is starting to go Prior on us. I'm always suspicious of Samardzija, if only because he has only recently turned into a decent pitcher (on the other hand, it's also possible he hasn't reached his ceiling). One thing that really bugs me is the quality of at bats the Cubs get from their number 4 hitter. I'm not happy with the approaches of our 2 and 3 hitters but I at least have some hope because they are young and can still grow, but number 4, that's just an abomination. As long as Soriano is the clean up hitter, the Cubs will not be clearing the bases any time soon early in ball games. Hell, I'd probably put W Castillo in that slot before I'd have Soriano in there.

Starting pitchers tend to look good in April because it's too cold to hit in a lot of places (particularly Wrigley). Usually, Cub pitchers look good in April and Cub hitters look bad. Real bad, this year. Agree that Garza seems to be on the injury track, which is too bad. I think the reality is that this team is built to lose -- you cannot win today with a lousy bullpen. Not sure who Theo will flip at the deadline, but there's nobody who will bring a lot in return. Theo seems wedded to his strategy of being competitive starting 2015 (thus the need for more high draft picks) -- and why not? If it works, he looks like a genius and the ugly years of 2010-2014 will be a distant memory. He's a young guy; he's got time. If it doesn't work -- well, what was the alternative?

"the ugly years of 2010-2014 " And Theo didn't start until end of 2011.

Good point -- it's more of a "Ricketts era" thing, which I think a lot of people equate with Theo, which is the "expect to lose" feeling that lingers over the team. The Ricketts' unfortunate "Year 1" slogan gave everyone a starting point to focus on -- do they have the worst winning percentage of any owner in baseball?

Rotoworld blurb...meh

Both Ian Rapoport and Stacey Dales of NFL Network report the Bears will take Notre Dame ILB Manti Te'o if he's available at the No. 20 pick.

We have a bit of information on this same topic and would insist vehemently that the Bears aren't drafting Te'o at No. 20 overall, but there isn't a more uncertain time of year. At least based on game tape and upside, Kansas State's Arthur Brown and Georgia's Alec Ogletree are both superior prospects to Te'o. Most signs do point toward Chicago selecting a linebacker in round 1

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  • crunch 6 hours 48 min ago (view)

    * except for playing 1st base


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...


  • Cubster 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.


  • Cubster 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Carter Hawkins introduced to the press...


  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.

    both are/were catcher organizational depth.


  • crunch 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.

    mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far. 


  • crunch 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs).  this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living.  for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.

    activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen.  good work.


  • bradsbeard 3 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in). 


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.


  • Hagsag 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November. 


  • azbobbop 4 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.


  • tim815 4 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 7 hours ago (view)

    TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).