Victorino Lifts Cubs over Giants at Indian School Park

Shane Victorino drilled an RBI single and a double, Kelly Dugan walked five times (including one BB with the bases loaded that forced-in a run), and SP Jeremy Null and two relievers combined to toss a four-hitter, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Giants in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #2 at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Null threw 86% of his 51 pitches for strikes. 

The Cubs banged-out nine hits, drew twelve walks and one reached base on an E-3 (so 22 baserunners total). 

Through their first ten Cactus League Extended Spring Training games, the Cubs are 6-2-2. 

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

1a. Shane Victorino, LF: 2-4 (P-4, 2B, 1B, 1-3, RBI)
1b. Roberto Caro, PH-LF: 0-1 (3-U)
2. D. J. Wilson, CF: 1-4 (E-3, BB, 1B, 4-3, 4-3, RBI, CS)
3. Kevonte Mitchell, RF: 0-5 (3-U, K, 4-3, K, F-9)
4. Kelly Dugan, 1B: 0-0 (BB, BB, BB, BB, BB, RBI)
5. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 1-5 (K, K, 6-4 FC, 1B, 5-3, R)
6. Chris Pieters, DH #1: 1-3 (1-3, 1B, BB, L-3 DP, CS)
7a. Marcus Mastrobuoni, C: 1-1 (BB, 1B, BB, R)
7b. Tyler Payne, C: 1-1 (1B)
8a. Alberto Mineo, DH #2: 0-1 (K, BB, BB, R, RBI)
8b. Ricardo Marcano, PH: 1-1 (2B)
9. Yeiler Peguero, SS: 0-4 (3-U, F-8, 3-2 DP, 3-2 FC, SB)
10. Andruw Monasterio, 2B: 1-3 (BB, 1B, 6-3, F-9, R)

1. Jeremy Null: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 7/6 GO/AO, 51 pitches (44 strikes) 
2. Manny Rondon: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/AO, 30 pitches (18 strikes) 
3. Junior Marte: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/AO, 30 pitches (18 strikes) 

3B Wladimir Galindo: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

CF D. J. Wilson -  batter thrown out 8-6 attempting to stretch single into double 


WEATHER: Sunny and VERY breezy with temperatures in the 70's


That's a family of hits the last few days for Victorino. Don't you expect he'll be at Iowa any day now?

AZ Phil -- how long does Extended ST go? I hope to get to a few South Bend games this year, but was wondering when everyone would be there. Also, while I've got you....thoughts on Chesny Young? The guy seems to be a hitting and OBP machine, but with very little pop or speed. in 191 minor league games, he is slashing .323/.396/.399., with more BB than K in 2015/16. Thanks!

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In reply to by billybucks

BILLY B: Extended Spring Training ends the week of the Rule 4 Draft (First-Year Player Draft) in June. 

Chesny Young was batting champion in the Carolina League last year and he could very well be the batting champion in the Southern League this year. He is what I would call a very "precise" hitter, in that he is able to hit the ball in any direction and with whatever stroke is needed. He is an extreme contact hitter, very hard to strike out, and to do that he tends to drive the ball to the opposite field a lot.

Young played SS quite a bit in Advanced Instructs last fall, but he really doesn't have the arm to play there. 2B is definitely his best position. I think the best comp would be D. J. LeMahieu, and like LeMahieu, I believe Young will be an everyday 2B in MLB (but probably not with the Cubs).  

The Victorino stuff is heartening. Got to think he goes to Iowa soon and by mid-May should be ripe for a call up when-if he is needed. I was talking to another old timer who has grown impatient with Soler's lack of advancement despite a hot October. It is not so much the slow start but the eye test that he has fallen back to being beaten mentally. My guess is then the FO will re-entertain moving him for a value piece like a package for a stud mid rotation starter to complete the rotation. If Bryant becomes a regular LF'er and Baez & La Stella split time on the IF this would move the roster nearer to a completed WS roster.

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In reply to by RWN

Shane Victorinio is hitting 421/500/474 with only one K in 22 PA in his first six Cactus League Extended Spring Training games. 

The only other thing I would mention is that during the games (between innings, right after he comes off the field) Victorino lies face down on a training table and the trainer massages his left calf with a roller. So either it's a preventive thing, or else the calf may still be an issue (although he is running just fine, he's even stealing bases). 

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In reply to by RWN

RWN: Something to keep in mind about Jorge Soler is that he does have one minor league option left, and it's a 4th minor league option, so Optional Assignment Waivers do not need to be secured before he can be optioned to the minors. 

Also, if Soler spends at least 45 days on Optiional Assignment, the Cubs gain another year of club control (through 2021 instead of through 2020), but it won't impact Soler's ability to become arbitration-eligible post-2017 as a "Super Two." (Soler can opt-out of his contract once he becomes arbitration-eligible, but he cannot be a free-agent until the conclusion of the season in which he reaches six years of MLB Service Time).  And adding an extra year of club control would make Soler more attractive in a trade, if the Cubs eventually go that route with him.

So IF Soler continues to struggle at the plate and in the field, he could very well get optioned to AAA Iowa for at least 45 days (probably longer to make it look kosher), and perhaps be replaced on the 25-man roster by Shane Victorino, with Bryant pl;aying mainly LF and Baez/LaStella playing mainly 3B. an aside -- for the 17th consecutive year, the defending Stanley Cup champs will not repeat.

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