Gloomy Skies Produce Sunny Result for Cubs at Riverview Park
LHP Jose Paulino tossed three innings of no-run/no-hit ball, Ho-Young Son belted an RBI triple, an RBI double, and a single, Tim Saunders reached base three times (a walk, an RBI single, and a triple) and scored two runs, Ricardo Marcano hammered a solo home run and an RBI single and scored twice, and Andrew Ely stroked an RBI double and a single, stole a base, and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 6-3 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.
In EXST Cubs roster news, Jordan Hankins has completed the Catcher Conversion Program course at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park and has been assigned to Hi-A Myrtle Beach. Hankins takes the place of C-1B Alberto Mineo, who moves down to Extended Spring Training from Myrtle Beach.
The left-handed swinging Hankins was drafted by the Cubs as an infielder in the 11th round of the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) out of Austin Peay University, and after playing 3B-2B with the AZL Cubs and Boise his first year of pro ball, he received initial catcher training at Instructs post-2013, and then again at Minor League Camp in 2014. But he was moved back to 3B once the 2014 minor league regular season started, and was good enough to be selected to the Midwest League All-Star game as a third-baseman while assigned to Kane County (he hit 322/361/461 in 50 MWL games). That earned Hankins a June promotion to Daytona (he and a struggling Jeimer Candelario changed places), but he was unable to find the same success at Daytona that he had found at KC (218/323/318 in 33 games at Daytona). He got a second opportunity to try catching at Instructs last fall, continuing the process into this season, first at Minor League Camp, and then at Extended Spring Training.
The 23-year old Hankins has been the best hitter on the 2015 EXST Cubs squad, putting up a 462/481/654 line (plus an eight-game hitting streak) with three doubles and a triple, four RBI, five runs scored, and only one strikeout in nine Cactus League EXST games (27 PA), while simultaneously learning the finer points of the receiving arts. (He also hit two home runs in EXST intrasquad games). Hankins likely projects as an "offense-first" left-handed hitting 3B-2B-1B-C bench guy at the higher levels (sort of a left-handed hitting version of Ben Carhart), but adding catcher to his "tool box" should make him more valuable as he moves up through the pipeline.
Also, 24-year old RHP Jose Rosario underwent an elbow UCL transplant ("Tommy John surgery") last month and will miss the 2015 season. Rosario is the second Cub minor leaguer to undergo TJS since the start of Spring Training (catcher Will Remillard was other one).
Born in New York City, Rosario was signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old international free-agent out of the Dominican Republic in April 2008. He was eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league free-agent (so-called "six-year minor league free-agent") after the 2014 World Series, but he signed a 2015 minor league successor contract with the Cubs before being declared a free-agent. In 115 career minor league games 2008-14, Rosario has compiled a rather ugly 5.06 ERA and 1.56 WHIP, while allowing 489 hits (including 32 HR) and 192 walks in 437.2 IP, with 378 strikeouts.
Although he has plus-stuff, Rosario has been unable to harness it and has battled command issues throughout his career, He failed to reach AA in seven minor league seasons, and yet the Cubs saw enough in him to offer him a 2015 contract rather than allowing him to walk away as a free-agent. But he continued to struggle with his control at Minor League Camp this season, before being shut-down with a sore elbow the last week of Spring Training. Rosario is eligible to be a minor league 6YFA again post-2015, but since the TJS rehab process takes at least a year, I would not be surprised if he signs another minor league successor contract for 2016 so that he can continue his rehab with the same training staff.
It wasn't a Cactus League EXST game, but the Cubs did play an EXST intrasquad game on Field #5 yesterday (Thursday). 29-year old veteran MLB and ex-Red Sox RHRP Daniel Bard threw an inning in the game, and while he continues to have difficulty throwing strikes (24 pitches - only 9 strikes, with one walk and two WP in the one IP), he did manage to retire the side without allowing a hit or a run. Known as a hard-throwing late-inning reliever, Bard didn't show it yesterday. His fastball consistently sat at 91-92 MPH, and touched 93 only once.
Cubs Minor League Infield Coordinator Jose Flores is at Extended Spring Training this week, working with the young Cub infielders on the finer points of infield play. (He also throws a mean BP).
Here is the abridged box score from today's Cactus League EXST game (Cubs players only), followed by the box score from yesterday's EXST Cubs intrasquad game.
1. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 0-3 (BB, 5-3, F-7, 4-3, SB)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
2. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 0-5 (P-4, L-4, K, K, 4-3)
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-3 (BB, 6-3, 1B, K, 2 SB)
4. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 1-4 (P-4, F-8, K, 1B)
5a. Tyler Alamo, C: 0-3 (F-9, 6-3, F-8)
5b. Tyler Pearson, C: 1-1 (2B, R)
6. Andrew Ely, 3B: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, P-4, 2B, R, RBI, SB)
7. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 2-4 (4-3, 1B, HR, 3-U, 2 R, 2 RBI)
8. Tim Saunders, DH #1: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 3B, F-9, 2 R, RBI, CS)
9. Ho-Young Son, SS: 3-3 (3B, 1B, 2B, 2 RBI, CS)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10. Varonex Cuevas, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, K, K)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
1. Jose Paulino: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 4/4 GO/FO, 43 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Scott Frazier: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (7 strikes)
3. John Michael Knighton:1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 9 pitches (5 strikes)
4. Dillon Maples: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Andin Diaz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 2/0 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
6. Daniel Lewis: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 2 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 44 pitches (19 strikes)
CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Andrew Ely - E-5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2. 1B Alberto Mineo - E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Tyler Alamo: 1-2 CS
2. Tyler Pearson: 1 PB
WEATHER: Mostly cloudy and very breezy with temperatures in the 70's
THURSDAY (5-7-2015) - INTRASQUAD GAME ON FIELD #5
Adonis Paula belted a solo HR and Kevin Encarnacion drilled a double and an RBI single.
The game was called after 6-1/2 innings.
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Roberto Caro, CF:1-2 (4-3, 1B, BB, R, SB)
2. Andrew Ely, 2B: 0-1 (F-9, BB, BB, R, RBI)
3. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 2-3 (2B, 1B, 4-3 DP, RBI, CS)
4. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-3 (K, HR, 6-3, R, RBI)
5. Yohan Matos, C: 0-3 (K, F-9, K)
6. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-3 (6-3, 6-3, K)
7. Carlos Jimenez, DH: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, F-8, PO)
8. Miguel Rico, 1B; 0-2 (F-8, BB, F-8, R)
9. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 1-3 (F-8, 2B, F-9, R)
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 1-2 (2B, 4-3, R)
2. Frandy de la Rosa, DH #1: 1-2 (1B, 4-3, RBI, CS)
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 2B, 2 SB)
4. Eloy Jimenez, LF: 0-2 (4-3, F-8)
5. Tyler Alamo, 1B-DH: 0-2 (6-3, 5-3)
6. Jose Paniagua, DH #2: 0-2 (F-9, K)
7. Tyler Pearson, C: 1-2 (1B, K)
8. Ho-Young Son, SS: 0-2 (K, L-9)
9a. Tim Saunders, DH #3: 0-1 (F-9)
9b. Wladimir Galindo, 3B: NO AB
10. Roney Alcala, DH-1B: 0-1 (BB, 5-3)
11. Robert Garcia, DH #5: 0-1 (4-3)
12. Varonex Cuevas, 3B-DH: 0-1 (6-2 FC)
13. Jenner Emeterio, RF: 0-1 (K)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Mark Malave: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 41 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Daniel Bard: 1.0 IP, 0H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 2/0 GO/FO, 24 pitches (9 strikes)
3. Santiago Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
4. Yomar Morel: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Adbert Alzolay: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 BALK, 2/4 GO/FO, 45 pitches (28 strikes)
2. Enrique de los Rios: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (14 strikes)
3. Sam Wilson: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (10 strikes)
4. Greyfer Eregua: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 0/3 GO/FO, 10 pitches (6 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 1
P Adbert Alzolay - E-1 (errant pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 2nd and a runner to score from 3rd)
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yohan Matos: 1-4 CS
CUBS SQUAD "A: CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Tyler Pearson: 1-2 CS
BobbyD 2 hours 16 min ago (view)
Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace.
crunch 4 hours 34 min ago (view)
though the team cheaped out on this offseason (still an overall top-tier payroll), i was at least looking forward to seeing the beginning of the david ross era...and who was going to win the 2nd base job...
nothing about 2020 baseball feels legit anymore. just hearing the players talk about it, you'd think they were organizing a casual pickup game for charity at an inconvient time and place...doesn't seem like they're really stoked about it.
Cubster 5 hours 43 min ago (view)
June 1st is a week from tomorrow. Given 5 weeks of spring training before starting (July 4th?), the season is on the brink of going bye-bye. It's bad enough in 2020 to be losing prime career years for Javy Baez and Kris Bryant, let alone Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Hendricks, and Willson Contreras. If one of them gets coronavirus, loses lung capacity, and alters their career arc, Cub fans will for a long time have a bitter taste in their mouths. All for, at best, a bizarre half-season without fans watching in the ballparks.
Alexander Dimm 10 hours 52 min ago (view)
HAGSAG: I've been following this all spring and I fully agree. Let's not risk the health of these ballplayers. Let's plan for 2021 an be done with 2020. I know that whole game will be changed next year but it's already morphing now. Just start with a clean slate. I don't want scientists watching baseball when they should be working on a vaccine.
Hagsag 15 hours 30 min ago (view)
I love baseball as much as anyone, but I cant see this working. Put the 2020 season on the shelf and plan for 2021.
crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
i still don't understand how any of this retains momentum if a team has an outbreak...
it seems like that would put a pause on things not only effecting the team with the outbreak, but the schedule and future opponents...and past opponents who recently played the team with an outbreak...
if it gets started, hopefully it can roll to end without going off the rails. it all seems so fragile with a lot of moving pieces.
CubbyBlue 1 day 5 hours ago (view)
I wish I felt better about the possibility of baseball this year. All those details - it just seems like something's not going to work. And to me the worst thing that could happen is they get started and 2 weeks later have to shut it down, then try to start it up again.
Baseball's role this summer is meant to uplift, and that scenario feels soul-crushing.
crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
add the bjays to the list...
whatever works to get people paid.
crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)
"Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Brewers will keep their baseball operations staff intact for all of 2020.
There will be no furloughs and only top executives in the organization will take pay cuts."
2020 has officially crossed the line now...making me like the brewers...
seriously though, it's about time some of these 100s-millionaire to billionaire owners acted like this.
brewers, wsox, cards, and twins have all promised full pay for employees through june+ (and maybe longer when revisited)
crunch 4 days 2 hours ago (view)
the "slow opening" seems to be starting up this weekend and into next week for a variety of clubs...whether it's the ballpark or training facitlies. most all of the player access seems to be limited to those on the 40-man and nothing mandatory.
nothing for the cubs yet (that i've heard about). chicago is still a bit "hot" but AZ is open for sports...
crunch 1 week 6 hours ago (view)
i can't speak for this or all of the US, but my state govt level safety committee reports kinda shape up like this...and this aggregated view stated below is my own...
we're still technically short for how all pieces of the testing scheme interact with each other on whole, but it's catching up and should be rolling smoothly for a task like this (seems to be a dedicated lab for all MLB) by the time the season is proposed to start.
Hagsag 1 week 14 hours ago (view)
They plan on testing 10.000 per week? I thought we were short of tests.
crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)
i would be surprised to see this go start-to-finish without some kind of stupid drama. it's not that covid is gonna kill a gazillion people while they bleed from their eyes or something...it's that it's so easy to pass it others. if you find one guy positive, chances are pretty high he's taking down a handful of others with him even if they're all good to go in a couple weeks and feel fine during that downtime.
Craig A. 1 week 1 day ago (view)
This is going to be full of surprises. Young players who don't feel that bad may be angry that they can't play. A team may loose several players at once. They'll need a taxi squad that doesn't practice with the main team. Even the best plan can't prepare teams for every possibility.
crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)
"Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that MLB plans to process upward of 10,000 COVID-19 tests per week, according to a draft of the league's health-and-safety manual.
crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)
some audio from him describing his symptoms...