Rockies Belt Malave Offerings Around Salt River Fields & Beeler to I-Cubs

Cesar Galvez drilled a two-run double and singled, Luis Castro belted a solo home run and singled, Wesley Jones ripped two RBI singles, and Max George hammered an RBI triple, walked twice, and scored a run, as the Rockies cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.  

Frandy de la Rosa doubled twice and scored two runs for the Cubs. 

RHP (ex-C) Mark Malave made his second Cactus League Extended Spring Training game appearance and his first start, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits (four singles, a double, and a home run) and a walk (and a WP) in just 1.1 IP.

Malave is one of three former position players being converted to pitcher by the Cubs at Extended Spring Training, with RHP (ex-OF) Jae-Hoon Ha and LHP (ex-OF) Ariel Ovando being the other two.

Ha has yet to pitch in a Cactus League EXST game, but he did throw in an intrasquad game a couple of days ago and allowed a run on three hits (all singles) with no walks or strikeouts in one inning of work, and Ovando (selected by the Cubs from the Houston Astros in the AAA Phase of the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft) has yet to throw in a game. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) has completed his Extended Spring Training work and has been assigned to the AAA Iowa Cubs on an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment. He did not pitch in any Cactus League MLB Spring Training games last month, and just recently began throwing in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games.

Beeler threw poorly in his first EXST game on 4/15, but his fastball velocity upticked to 94 MPH and touched 95 in his second EXST start last Monday as he got his pitch count up to near 70.

1. WED 4/15: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 1/4 GO/FO, 61 pitches (39 strikes)
2. MON 4/20: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 6/5 GO/FO, 69 pitches (43 strikes)
TOTAL: 7.1 IP, 12 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 7/9 GO/FO, 63% strikes, 7.36 ERA, 2.45 WHIP

Beeler will likely be optioned to Iowa when his rehab assignment is completed (which could be up to 30 days from now), but keeping him on the DL and sending him to Iowa on a Minor League Rehab Assignment rather than reinstating him from the DL now and optioning him to Iowa immediately will give the Cubs the option to transfer Beeler to the 60-day DL if a 40-man roster slot is needed sometime over the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, RHP Justin Grimm (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right forearm inflammation since April 2nd) threw two bullpen sessions this week, and so he will probably begin pitching in Extended Spring Training games early next week.

I saw RHP Neil Ramirez (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation since 4/16) playing catch on the Agility Field on Thursday, but he has not started throwing bullpens yet, so he is a few days behind Grimm. 

Because getting "stretched-out" and building up pitch counts isn't that important for relief pitchers, Grimm and Ramirez will not need a whole lot of rehab games to get back into MLB game shape. The main thing to be concerned about with Grimm and Ramirez are medical setbacks during the course of the rehab that could send the pitcher back to "square-one" (or worse).  

And here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):

1a. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 0-2 (F-9, 4-3, HBP) 
1b. Varonex Cuevas, LF: 0-2 (3-1, 6-3) 
2a. Carlos Sepulveda, SS: 0-3 (4-3, 6-3, 6-3) 
2b. Ho-Young Son, SS: 0-2 (F-7, 6-3) 
3. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B-DH: 2-4 (2B, 2B, F-7, K, 2 R) 
4. Eloy Jimenez, RF-CF: 1-4 (1B, F-7, 6-3, P-4, RBI)
5. Jordan Hankins, 1B-C: 1-4 (P-1, 1B, E-5, 4-3, R, RBI) 
6. Tyler Alamo, C-DH: 0-1 (BB, 5-4-3 DP)
7. Ricardo Marcano, LF-RF: 1-3 (BB, 6-3, 1B, 6-3, RBI) 
8. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-4 (6-4-3 DP, 6-3, 5-3, F-8)
9. Bryant Flete, DH-2B: 0-2 (BB, P-5, 3-1) 
10. Tyler Pearson, DH-1B: 0-3 (K, K, F-7)  

1. Mark Malave: 1.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 1/2 GO/FO, 40 pitches (24 strikes)
2. Austin Reed: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 35 pitches (21 strikes)
3. Jose Paulino: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 25 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Hector Perez: 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 BALK, 1 GIDP, 3/1 GO/FO, 28 pitches (18 strikes)
5. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 11 pitcbes (7 strikes)  
6. Sam Wilson: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (12 strikes) 

1. CF Kevonte Mitchell - E-8 (missed catch allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. 1B Tyler Pearson - E-3 (dropped pop fly in foul territory allowed AB to continue)

Tyler Alamo: 1-1 CS, 3 PB

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with temperatures in the 70's



Hey Arizona Phil, I know Baez was expected to report EXST, any sign of him yet? Maybe I missed an update previously. Thanks for all your hard work.

sbwilliams: Javy Baez is at Riverview Park, but it rained yesterday so he couldn't do anything except hit in the enclosed batting cages, and he didn't make the trip to Salt River Fields today. 

Bruno with the grannie... Stephen Bruno goes yard with the bags juiced. Of course, NO TV shown tonight - only radio. Their one camera must have broken and is in the shop.

PHIL: Did you get to see Stephen Bruno this fall at EXST or anywhere out there? You always said he could hit - but needs work in the field. Does he project as a DJ LeMahieu kinda player?

Any chance at all that Vogelbomb could learn to play LF? My goodness, he is absolutely destroying AA pitching so far.

currently, a lot of people think he's not much of a 1st baseman. his speed/1st-step are knocked, though he was supposedly much better last year compared to years before. at least he has ever-growing trade value...someone might want to stick him at 1st and more than a few AL teams would probably enjoy having him DH/1st.

B-BUCKS: I once thought that if Adam Dunn could play LF, then anybody could. Until I saw Dan Vogelbach. Not only do I not think he can play LF, he is also one of the worst defensive 1st basemen I have ever seen. And it's not because he doesn't work hard or something like that, because he does work hard. He simply has no defensive aptitude whatsoever

If there ever was a DH, it's Dan Vogelbach. 

As I have said before, I firmly believe that the N. L. will adopt the DH as part of the new CBA in 2017. And once that happens, Vogelbach will have a position he can play in the National League.  

He is a DH. Period. 


AZ Phil -- Yeah, I was afraid of that....thanks for the reality check.

When I saw him in spring training I was thinking of your earlier reports and I thought, "well, he actually looks pretty good out there." Your scouting reports are spot on, always, and I rely on them a lot to gauge my expectations, so I'm wondering, did I just see him on a good day? Or is it possible he's improved and you just haven't seen him within the scope of that improvement? I assume I just saw him on a good day. Anyway, your prognosis on the CBA explains why he hasn't been traded yet, but the whole DH thing makes him a very possible trade piece when Manny gets his wish and the Cubs trade Castro.

O&B: I saw Vogelbach quite a bit at Minor League Camp last month and watched fielding drills every day, and he still has the same problems he had when he first signed in 2011. He doesn't make an error on every play, but he has stone hands, he can't shift his feet, he has trouble tracking pop-ups, and he has a rag arm when making throws around the infield. 

It's not that he doesn't try, because he most definitely works very hard trying to improve. But just like some people can't dance no matter how hard they try, Vogelbach can't play defense.  

I think Cubs fans are getting a bit spoiled with Anthony Rizzo, because he actually CAN play 1st base, and he makes it look simple & easy. He makes the routine plays without effort and (most importantly) he saves errors by scooping short-hops and shifting his feet and catching off-line throws from Cub infielders (and occasionally a glove thrown at him with a ball inside). 

E-MAN: I saw a lot of Stephen Bruno at Minor League Camp last month, in BP, fielding drills, baserunning drills, and games. He was with the Iowa squad until the last week, and then he was moved down to AA. But he easily could have started the season in AAA, and in a lot of other organizations, he would have. 

As far as his skillset is concerned, he's OK defensively at 2nd base, but nothing special. I wouldn't compare him to D. J. Lemahieu. More like a younger version of Aaron Hill. Somebody like that. Bruno also doesn't have the skills required to play multiple-positions (he has a second-baseman's arm for one thing), and he has (at best) average speed, so I don't see him projected as a bench guy, either. His bat will have to carry him to big leagues because he will need to be an everyday 2nd baseman to play in MLB, and his glove isn't what will get him there.

So far so good, because he has been hitting like a maniac at AA.

I do believe Bruno will be an MLB second-baseman, I just don't think it will be with the Cubs. In fact, Bruno will probably be one of many current Cubs minor leaguers who will likely get traded, claimed off waivers, or selected in the Rule 5 Draft over the next couple or three years.

I would go further than that and predict that within five years the big leagues will be crawling with players drafted and signed by the Cubs, but most of them will be playing for other teams. The Cubs should be in a great position in July to package prospects for the "mssing link" (whatever that might be), even if they "overpay" to get that piece. But it won't matter if they overpay because for every player they trade, there are more coming along behind them. 

The main thing is to correctly identify the players who will form the nucleus of the Cubs team over the next six years, and not trade any of them. In other words, you don't want to trade the next Lou Brock or Bill Madlock, but otherwise, everybody else should be available in a trade, because everybody else can be replaced by somebody else who is already in the system. The Cubs are that deep right now. 

Thanks PHIL: That is remarkable coming from you considering I have read many informative (and depressing) reports on many of the middling - or worse - Cubs prospects cir. 2005-2011. It bodes well for the vision of "sustained success", should they make these aforementioned solid calls of keeping the core players.

Right - the MLB isn't expanding to 60 man rosters. It almost seems like the Cubs have too much position talent - I expect a small adjustment to get more arms.

For those of you who might glance at the Extended Spring Training box scores I present and wonder which pitchers matter most (like who the projected Eugene starters are), Carson Sands, Justin Steele, Austyn Willis, Jose Paulino, and Alexander Santana right now project as the five starters at Eugene. So even though a rehab guy or a conversion guy might start the game, those are the five pitchers who matter most, and you might notice that while they actually do pitch in rotation, that pitcher might not actually literally start the game. 

For example, Santana didn't actually start the game, but he pitched two innings (which is the current game innings limit for all Cubs pitchers at Extended who are not AA or AAA rehab guys) last Tuesday at Oakland (Jesus Camargo and Adbert Alzolay pitched 1-2, but they are projected as starters at AZL Cubs, not at Eugene), Carson Sands followed Austin Reed (TJS rehab) Wednesday at home versus Colorado, Justin Steele was one of the starting pitchers in the intrasquad game on Thursday even though the Cubs weren't playing another team that day (just so he could stay in rotation), Austyn Willis did start yesterday at Milwaukee, and Jose Paulino followed Malave and Reed today at Colorado, but Paulino is actually projected as the true Eugene starter of the ones who threw today.

Dylan Cease had TJS just after he signed with the Cubs last June, and he is throwing only "live" BP right now. However, he is the best of the bunch. Nobody can hit him. He has absolutely filthy stuff. But he will probably be at AZL Cubs this summer (at least at the start of the short-season) so he can be a starter but where the Cubs can keep more control over and limit his outings (AZL Cubs usually carry at least 20 pitchers, while Eugene might carry 15).

There are other pitchers of note still down here (lefty reliever Sam Wilson is looking VERY good and he should be moving up to South Bend or Myrtle Beach any day), but the Big Five (Sands, Steele, Willis, Paulino, and Santana) plus Cease (when he is cleared to pitch in games) are the ones to keep an eye one.  

So when checking out the daily Cactus League Extended Spring Training box score, remember to look for the Ones Who Matter Most. They are there, but sometimes you have to look a little bit "Beyond the Box Score" to find them.  

And also remember that while there are some weird rules variances (like multiple designated hitters, fluid batting orders, rehab exceptions, etc) in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (hey, there is a DH in the A. L. but not in the N. L., isn't that a major rules variance?) and that the games are not "official," the games are not company softball games. The games are real and the performance of the players on the field are no different than what you would see at Myrtle Beach, South Bend, Eugene, or AZL Cubs. The players are trying to improve, they play to win, and they give their all every day. A player will make a spectacular diving catch and then on the next play he might make an error; another will make a great defensive stop, and the next inning commit a "little league" baserunning gaffe; you might see a "golden sombrero" one day and then the same player might hit for the cycle the next game. But you see that at South Bend, too. 

Cactus League Extended Spring Training performances may not be "official," but they are legit. The games are the real thing. Don't let anybody tell you otherwise.  

Looks to me like Wainwright's injury is a classic description of an achilles rupture. That would end his season and is usually treated with surgical repair. He was quoted as watching the replay and seeing himself look around because the thought the catcher's mask or the bat had hit him in the left calf. I've heard patient's say they thought they heard a gunshot go off.

Did you talk to Ken Rosenthal? Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 18s19 seconds ago Sources: Expectation is that #STLCards’ Wainwright is done for season with Achilles injury. Has not yet undergone MRI.

Ugh. I want the Cubs to be better than the Cardinals, but I still can't take any real pleasure in parts of people's bodies exploding. That's terrible.

That's some next-level roster management on Beeler. I'm glad these guys are so damn good at this stuff. It's still weird to see Ha is a pitcher now. I thought as recently as last year he'd have a long career as a bench/platoon OF. Except for hit for power, he did a lot of things well.

Phil, can you tell us a little about Frandy de la Rosa? I know he was a J2 guy a few years back but since he's been pretty quiet. He seemed he was gonna be a light bat guy, is he progressing? Thanks!

W FLAG: Frandy de la Rosa has above-average speed (although he still needs to learn how to use it on the bases) and good range defensively, but he was a wash-out at SS (too many bobbles and too erratic with his throwing), so he was moved to 2B. And he has played pretty well at 2B (so far). And if 2B doesn't work-out, he will probably be moved to CF.

FdlR is a switch-hitter with gap power LH but no HR power from either side. He is a much better hitter LH than RH, because he actually drives the ball when hitting left-handed (both of his doubles yesterday were yanked into the RF corner), but he just sort of slaps at the ball when hitting right-handed. He might be a guy who would benefit from giving up switch-hitting (like Rashad Crawford did a couple of years ago, and like Kevin Encarnacion is doing now), and just hit LH. (Crawford did it to take better-advantage of his plus-speed, and Encarnacion can't hit RH because of the injuries he suffered in that car crash post-2013). It would probably take de la Rosa about a year to make the adjustment, but it might be worth it long-term.  

Phil, give us your opinion on who will be the first starting pitcher at Myrtle Beach to get promoted? Thank you.

HAGSAG: Duane Underwood is considered the best prospect among the starters at Myrtle Beach, but both Daury Torrez and Tyler Skulina were assigned to the Tennessee squad for most of Minor Leagie Camp, so I would think those two are probably more-likely to get moved up before the other three. 

Rizzo with his 5th SB. Looking to join 30/30 club!

Ata boy Addison! 5-0

Yeah, thought he was going to get his 1sty HR before Bryant did for a second.

I was staring at the screen and saying over and over again, "clear the bases, kid, clear them. Clear them." Because he's been struggling. And he did!

Well, Arietta is suddenly having a bad game. By his standards.

It seems that whenever JD says something like "One run may be enough the way Arrietta is pitching", things start to go (relatively) bad.

For those of you on MLB.TV and frustrated by its streaming interruptions like I have been, if you are on a Mac, I strongly recommend downloading the DMG for it. It actually works. I can even resize the screen without it coughing so that I can bless TCR with my astounding wit and observations. #sarscasmfont

O&B, What is DMG? I have MLB.TV and a MacBook Air and have the hiccups. Thanks! Choose the mac one, of course, and then you'll get a DMG download. This is basically an install file. When you double click it, you'll see a little window on your computer screen and you then just drag the app to your applications folder. It works great. The browser versions have sucked for years. I never do reviews but I went onto Amazon and gave the Fire version of the MLB.TV app one star. It's awful. HBO works fine, even the PBS app works well. So I don't understand how they have 5-6 years practice and still can't get it to work.

Man it PAYS to be a regular! Thanks O&B! Now - if you can get something to look better for the circa - 1997-looking MiLB streaming, I'd be even MORE impressed.

I've noticed Manny hasn't sent an appreciation. You know why? Because he wants Castro traded. That's why! :-)

Sorry O&B! Just got around to downloading it. It is all set up, unfortunately I can't test it as I am blacked out for the NYY/NYM game since I live in CT and it is on ESPN. Looks good, I am sure it will work better so THANK YOU! Trade Castro (only if you can get a top notch young starting pitcher)!!

Okay, I said this in an earlier thread, but I'm enjoying J.D. a lot more this year than in previous years. He was never bad, always had good baseball stuff in his comments, but for some reason I just didn't like him. He doesn't grate on me, or anything like that. I don't know what it was. But he is fun to listen to now, and is meshing well with Len - a guy I couldn't stand in his first year but now really enjoy. Maybe it's like True Detective - two guys who don't really relate to each other start to connect just by the simple fact they're stuck with each other.

woo hoo! Kevin Gregg in.

Castro being the exception, does it seem to anybody else around here that Cubs batters are using more of their bodies on swings? It seems like I'm seeing a bit more footwork and follow through on the last part of swings.

I've noticed a lot of them wanting to throw their bats into the stands.


Seriously, though, JD and Len right now are talking about the opposite field hits we are seeing today. Watch the footwork on some of these.

I would say that I think that is standard for good oppo hitters and hitters with good balance. Maybe it's just that the Cubs have more of them than we've seen in a while?

That could be it. Castro is still Castro. Not a dig, I love the guy, but he's all wrist.

I like Castro.


Since when do all of the pitchers get to go to their mouths when they're on the mound? Has there been a rule change, or do we just not care about the further decline of Western civilization?

Whenever it is cold, the umps usually tell team before game that they are OKing the pitchers to go to their mouth on the mound. Not sure if that was the case today, but likely.

I've seen the mouth thing a lot, and in the warmer climes.

It's not a rule change, it's at the umpire's discretion, and they've relaxed a bit over the years. Has anybody else noticed how good modern pitchers are with their breaking stuff? #tinfoil

sorry, a bit of politics here, but I'd love to have the national anthem be God Bless America instead of the militaristic and hard to sing O say can you see our bombs lighting up your night sky? I guess there would be screaming from the left about separation of church and state, but I'm a lefty and I'd be ok with it.

GBA is just a better song, all around -- lyrically, musically, thematically. I also like the humility of asking to be blessed, rather than demanding it or just assuming it will be done because we're just so dang AWESOME! I'm not one to get bothered by the church/state thing either, so I'm not a good person to gauge the level of offense it would cause. There's always someone who will complain, I guess -- unless it's Kiki's Delivery Service, which got a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. I'm with you and I would like it to happen -- but I don't see a groundswell of opinion pushing in that direction. Oh well...

Wayne Messmer could try this one next Friday: 


Nah, there will never be a movement to change the national anthem. Hell, we can't get money out of politics. If that doesn't piss people off nothing will. And that's not a Democrat/Republican thing. I'm a lefty, but Obama won the money battle. He signed up joe u and i. The next battle will be between Hillary and Jeb. It's disgusting. We're no better than Communist China or the Soviet Union in the 60s when they got their plenaries together to vote on their leader. Ok, wrong forum. My apologies. Go Cubs. Go Ricketts. Oh. Wait.

"I'm a lefty." A southpaw--bring him up!

To confirm, Kiki is awesome.

What about all of the Americans who are not Christians? Which is nearly a quarter of Americans?

RYNO: Woody Guthrie addressed that, and (IMO) it should be the U. S. national anthem. 



The Crazy Horse years were very good years for N Young.

I'm not really down with most of the tactics of nationalism, but if we must have a national anthem, I would be more in favor of this than either the Star-Spangled Banner or GBA (both of which are catchy and perfectly fine as tunes go). But the true spirit of the U.S. as it currently is would be like a 45-second mashup of the top-40 before every game. And if that's not baseball enough for you, it could be followed immediately by sound-bites for minimum-coverage car insurance and some erectile dysfunction meds. Or, here's a really political suggestion, we could replace the national anthem during the election year with presidential candidates saying absolutely anything substantive about their own platforms.

Christians don't hold a monopoly on God. They just think so.


I would prefer no songs, it's a just a fucking baseball game.

one of the Hansens really wanted to listen to the song

Hey Crunch, your boy Rosscup has turned into one helluva pitcher.

What a huge comeback for him on Votto there.

he's as good as his control/command...especially control. he had a great spring, a short-but-great AAA stint, and so far during his callup he's been stellar. amazing swing-and-miss stuff.

Heyward just left the STL game.

I don't want to see the Cards lose because guys get hurt, as much as I hate the moran fans there. Did he get hit?

Twitter says he tweaked something making a play in the OF. It sucks. I don't like injuries, and as much as I'm a fan of the Cubs, I'm a bigger fan of baseball and want to watch the best players play.

Me too, man. I hate Matt Halliday, but I love watching him play. I have a feeling I'd feel the same way about Heyward now that he's with the morans. I'm like that with Green Bay. Love Rodgers. Hate him more. It's the joy of sports.

Halliday is like baseball's Lambeer. Or AJ. If he's on your team - you love him.

yeah so here's the thing. I thought, losing Pujols but getting Halliday wasn't even a wash. And i was absolutely awed by Pujols during that time. But it pissed me off that the morans picked up Halliday in reaction to losing Pujols. If God is just, he will smite St. Louis, and destroy it, without killing anybody.

Who are you people talking about?

Yeah don't like to see so many injuries to other teams, but we will have our share of injuries too I am sure. Cardinals, not any team, will get pity from me for injuries.

It's not the team I feel sorry for.

Heh, I'll be sure to put an mental asterisk next to this season if Cubs win it all, right after 2004 Red Sox give us their rings.

last time Wainwright missed a whole season they won it all. I think Marco Gonzalez is pretty decent and they'll probaby just trade for Hamels or whatever Ace they can find in June or July.

Hamilton's numbers are still pretty ordinary but he looks like a stud against the Cubs.

Rosscup and German are taking over. Bye bye Shlitterbomb, hello new relievers.

Kinda neat hearing Len ask J.D. a personal question - why are you a color guy? They keep this up, they're gonna have to get a room.

Good tweet in the twit box: "Pretty clear Bryant is having trouble closing off his throws, main reason why a lot of them are tailing across first base." Better than not having an arm, though.

A lot of people think Joe Maddon is a good-time upbeat guy, but he has a serious side, too...  



Not Cubs related, but I wonder how long the Yankees will stick with Carlos Beltran. He hit just 233/301/402 last year and is hitting just .161 to start this year. Age 38 season. Might be time to hang-em up.

They have been talking about that a lot here on NY Sports talk radio. But sadly for the Yankees, they have him under contract for next year too. He is owed $15 million this year and next. So it is either cut him or live with him. There will be no chance to trade him. I think they will live with him for at least another month or two to see if he can get it straightened out, but there really aren't many guys in their farm system who will be able to help out, so it would require a trade of some kind. The Yankees are a couple injuries or bad performances for the year to being non relevant even in that crappy division.

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  • Wrigley Rat 14 hours 50 min ago (view)

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    Sorry for all the delayed and abbreviated posts at season's end, by the way.


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    Cubs Reportedly Sign Powerful Infielder Alejandro Rivero Out of Indy Ball:


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    * except for playing 1st base