Cease Fires Cubs to Victory at Sloan Park

Chris Pieters drilled a two-run single and a double, Kevonte Mitchell ripped an RBI single, walked three times, and scored a run, Yeiler Peguero doubled twice and drew a walk, and Dylan Cease tossed three innings of one-hit ball with six strikeouts and combined with five relievers to fan 14, leading the Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Wednesday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as an eleven-inning affair so that all of the A's and Cubs pitchers scheduled to throw could get their work. 

John Arguello has some excellent game notes from the game at Cubs Den 

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

1a. Shane Victorino, DH #1: 2-2 (1B, 1B) 
1b. Michael Foster, PH-DH: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, K, R, SB)
2. Robert Garcia, RF: 1-4 (5-3 SH, F-8, K, 4-3, 1B, R, RBI, SB)
3. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 1-2 (K, BB, BB, 1B, BB, R, RBI, CS)
4. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: 0-3 (HBP, P-5, K, F-9, HBP, RBI) 
5. Chris Pieters, 1B: 2-5 (P-6, 2B, F-8, FC, 1B, 2 RBI)
6a. Jhonny Pereda, C-DH: 0-3 (K, F-7, K)
6b. Vimael Machin, PH-DH  0-1 (BB. K)
7. Yeiler Peguero, 2B-SS: 2-3 (2B, BB, 2B, 1-3, PO)
8a. Kevin Zamudio, DH-C: 0-3 (L-4, K, L-6)
8b. Eric Gonzalez, PH-C: 0-1 (HBP, L-8, R)
9a. Yonathan Perlaza, SS: 0-2 (4-3, K, BB)
9b. Edgar Rondon, 2B: 0-1 (BB, F-7)
10a. Luis Ayala, LF: 1-3 (6-3, 1B, K, CS)
10b. Jonathan Sierra, LF: 0-2 (6-4 FC, 4-3, R)

1. Dylan Cease: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 6 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 51 pitches (31 strikes) 
2. Aaron Crow: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 18 pitches (9 strikes) 
3. Erling Moreno: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 25 pitches (17 strikes) 
4. Mark Malave: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 20 pitches (15 strikes) 
5. Enrique de los Rios: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 27 pitches (21 strikes) 
6. John Michael Knighton: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/3 GO/AO, 22 pitches (17 strikes) 


Jhonny Pereda: 2-2 CS, 1 PO 


WEATHER: Partly cloudy and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 80's 


Thanks, Phil. Any word on how Moreno was throwing? Velocity? I'm assuming Cease was his normal 97-98. Did he have command of his curve? Having your ever vigilant eyes down in Mesa is a great resource. Thanks again!

K-DUB: Erling Moreno was at his usual 89-91 MPH for his fastball, featuring a plus-curve (definitely his best pitch), and a promising change-up. In fact, it was his  "secondary" stuff and advanced command (for a pitcher his age) that attracted the Cubs to him in the first place, and while his fastball velocity is OK, it hasn't increased in the three years since he signed (minus about a year lost to TJS). But at 6'7 and only 19 years old, he will carry the "projectability" tag for a while.  

Dylan Cease was throwing his "usual" 95-98 MPH  and he mostly overpowered the A's hitters with his plus-fastball. He had trouble throwing his curve, although he finally snapped off a couple of good ones in his third inning of work. The change-up is more of a work-in-progress but it's coming along. But he really needs to be more consistent with commanding his fastball. He was yesterday, but that has not always been the case.  

Thanks, Phil

Montero to DL; Federwicz called up

Oof. Forgot that this roster is thin at C behind Montero now that Schwarber is out. I wonder why no Contreras. He's already on the 40-man.

Theo just said on the Kap show that they wanted Contreras to have more development time before coming up and that he might be a 2nd half call up. Madden said too that Contreras would be a call up if a catcher injury happens later in the season and he would only get called up now to cover a single game and not to fill a DL need.

Tim Federowicz is out of minor league options, so Outright Assignment Waivers would be needed before he can be sent back to Iowa. He also has the right to elect free-agency if outrighted, but he probably wouldn't elect to be a FA if outrighted unless the Cubs shit on him somehow while he's up with the big club (not likely). 

But it is possible that another MLB club could claim Federowicz if the Cubs place him on waivers, which would leave Willson Contreras as pretty much the only other option if a catcher goes on the DL again later in the season. 

The Cubs view Federowicz the same way they did  Tayler Teragarden in 2015 and Eli Whiteside in 2014, which is to say as a veteran defensive-oriented catcher with MLB experience  who can handle a veteran MLB pitching staff. That's why Federowicz was kept with the big club throughout Spring Training up until Opening Day. so as to maximize his familiarity with the Cubs MLB pitchers.

Willson Contreras is still matriculating. He especially needs to learn to control his emotions on the field, and not give umpires a hard time. I can remember seeing him getting into pissing matches with home plate umpires in the AFL post-2015 and at Minor League Camp this season. For example, he was a DH in a Minor League Camp game the last week of Spring Training, and after being called out on strikes, he threw his helmet and his bat, and continued to yell at the umpire from the bench. CATCHERS CANNOT DO THAT, even when they are serving as a DH that day.  

Part of pitch-framing is mechanical, but it also involves schmoozing the umpire and not getting him on your bad side. Miguel Montero is one of the most popular players in baseball, and David Ross makes it a point to have a good rerlationship with the home plate umpire when he is working a game. That is actually part of the pitch-framing process. Contreras is a fiery, emotional player, but he has to remember that he's not a third-baseman anymore, and so he needs to bite his tongue and stuff his emotions in his back pocket. 

even if the cubs lose feder, he's easily replaceable with a cash/low-end-ptbnl trade...plus, taylor davis is wasting time down in AA and he could pop up to AAA to back up w.conteras.

Phil, DJ Wilson seems to mostly have 0-for-X box-scores, from those I've seen and remember. 1. What do you have for his XST record thus far; 2. Is he hitting in bad luck? Or just not hitting the ball very hard very often? 3. Is he having trouble with everything, or does it seem mostly like breaking stuff is what's giving him trouble? He turns 20 in less than 6 months.

CRAIG: D. J. Wilson is hitting 083/115/167 in six Cactus League EXST games (26 PA), but his K-rate is only 11.5% and he has somehow managed to drive-in five runs along the way (he's tied for second on the team in RBI), so it's not like he's swinging & missing a lot. He does seem to be feeling for the ball a bit, however, which has resulted in too much weak contact and not enough line drives.  

His outfield defense in CF continues to be A+ (he has the team's only two outfield assists and he gets to just about everything hit his way), and he is a good baserunner, too. I think once a few of his BABIP fall in for hits he will gain more confidence at the plate, and hopefully start to drive the ball more consistently. 

He is a dead-red fastball hitter, although he generally handles off-speed stuff OK (not great). He does have problems with harder breaking balls from left-handed pitchers (as most young LH hitters do), but it really doesn't translate into strikeouts because there aren't many LHPs who throw hard breaking stuff at EXST (except maybe the occasional rehab guy). Most of the quality breaking balls you see here are 80 MPH curve balls. 

"Some of the most racist things I've ever heard have come out of people that are on the air at ESPN," Schilling said Wednesday on "Breitbart News Patriot Forum." He was fired by ESPN last week. “In the end for me it felt like that rule applied to me and me alone because I was conservative … Bigots are calling me a bigot. A bigot is someone who refuses to accept a different opinion. I will accept anyone’s opinion.” --- it's amazing the bubble he lives in. he's a constant self-professed victim who not only does nothing wrong, but he's got a laundry list of ready-made conspiracy about why he's being oppressed...along with some interesting mental gymnastics leading him to believe he's the open minded one. it's probably lost on him that if he was working in a place with such horrible bigotry in the workplace that he's picking a hell of a time to out this great injustice. for some reason this wasn't a big deal while he was employed. *eye rolling out of my skull* we don't have enough wood to build enough crosses for people like this. also, im sure keith "suspended multiple times by ESPN" olbermann would be interested to learn that only conservatives with conservative views get suspended from ESPN.

Watching the NFL Draft on ESPN with the mute on is one of the greatest joys in my small life. Being able to not hear Roger Goodell, Chris Berman, Jon Gruden, and Mel Kiper in quick order is just somehow immensely satisfying. I hope by the time the Bears pick they have Steven AAAAAAAAAAAAA Smith and Skip Bayless on so I can not hear them too.

And then the Bears pick an undersized linebacker with very few sacks in his college career and very little ability to shed blocks and the draft becomes less of a joy.

Seems like a bizarre pick -- they moved up 2 spots to pick up a guy who was not dominant in college. According to the talking heads, supposedly a great athlete (but an unpolished football player). So was Alonzo Spellman. And the guy who could jump out of a pool. Bears have missed the playoffs 5 straight years and 8 of the last 9. And they made Marc Trestman an NFL head coach. Maybe they can hire Theo in his free time. Sheesh.

So while I'm not happy about this pick and hes going to be a project the positive that can be said is we aren't expected to compete this year and we have a decent LB core so he doesn't have to just go in and dominate. He has some time to develop and he obviously has the athletic ability and speed to build on. It

Ryan Pace has a reputation as a good judge of talent. Head coach is known for the D side of the ball. D coordinator Fangio known for fitting guys in to spots that best utilize their skills. I'm for seeing how it plays out. I assume their had to be some consensus among those 3 about who to take. Also I'm for letting the Cubs catch up to the Hawks in victory parades before Theo takes on outside projects.

dee gordon (MIA) suspended 80 days for PEDs. wow. "excessive testosterone and Clostebol" hell of a late-night news flash.

Cards already whining Cardinals look a little road-weary on getaway day http://espn.go.com/blog/st-louis-cardinals//p...  -via ESPN http://es.pn/app

Going from a first place team to a third place team is a painful process.

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  • Charlie 30 min 17 sec ago (view)

    Maybe he should stick with it for a while.


  • Hagsag 4 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Cardinals have two games left with Detroit, not the Cubs.


  • blockhead25 10 hours 22 min ago (view)

    Ahh, 2 games against the Tigers, but seems to imply they'd only play those games if it will impact which teams make the playoffs.  If the Cardinals win their last 2, I don't believe the other games could impact which Team makes it.  Why would Detroit have any incentive to win those games?  Well, hope the Cubs won one of the next 2 so it doesn't matter.


  • crunch 11 hours 8 min ago (view)

    yeah, it may be another team.  i just know they have a possible monday double header...unless i got that wrong, too.


  • blockhead25 11 hours 39 min ago (view)

    Cubs?  We played the cards the full 10 slate?

    if Cards make playoffs, I would think they'd want nothing to do with having to play a double header Monday to improve playoff seeding.


  • crunch 11 hours 46 min ago (view)

    the cubs may or may not have to play a doubleheader vs STL on monday depending on the next game or 2...i think


  • blockhead25 11 hours 49 min ago (view)

    How did the Cubs not just clinch the division?

    Aren't the Cards only scheduled for 58 games?

    beat Cards can do is 31-27. Worst Cubs can do is 33-27.


  • crunch 12 hours 8 min ago (view)

    j.baez is batting left handed...and hits a double.

    CWS have a position player "pitching"


  • crunch 12 hours 11 min ago (view)

    2nd contreras homer...no bat flip, no staring down the pitcher, quick trip around the bases, into the dugout.

    mature de-escalation.


  • crunch 12 hours 11 min ago (view)

    i wish more non-AFL winter league was televised.  dominican, puerto rico, etc...you can straight up showboat if you've earned it on a play without having to deal with retaliation (most of the time).  bat flips, pitcher celebrations, swagger home run trots, etc...all fair game.  it's you know...fun.


  • Craig A. 12 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Plunking a guy for a bat flip only proves the pitcher has thin skin and short fingers. I'm glad Contreras scored. 


  • Cubster 12 hours 50 min ago (view)

    I goofed wrt Bluejays/Astros. They clinched a WC #2 and 8 seed but Houston has a lock on West div team 2. The Indians will be 7 seed and wild card #1, abd team #3 from the central


  • crunch 12 hours 51 min ago (view)

    hey, guess who just got a fastball in the back.


  • crunch 13 hours 40 min ago (view)

    that contreras bat flip, tho...



  • Cubster 15 hours 9 min ago (view)

    Cards lose game 1 of DH w Brewers


  • crunch 16 hours 18 min ago (view)

    happ / rizzo / contreras(DH) / heyward / baez / schwarber / caratini / kipnis / hoerner(3rd)

    eloy will not start this weekend for CWS and may be unavailable to pinch hit, too (foot injury).