Mora of the Same for Cubs Hitters at Fitch Park

Sandber Pimentel drilled an RBI double, walked, and scored a run, Jordan Diaz doubled twice and scored a run, and RHP Jose Mora hurled four innings of one-hit ball, leading the Athletics to a 6-2 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Monday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning affair (and since the A's were ahead after 7-1/2 innings they did not have to bat in the bottom of the 8th), but the game was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the A's pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, LHP Manuel Rondon (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL) has completed his EXST rehab and has been assigned to South Bend. 

Here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only):

1. Fernando Kelli, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, K, CS)
2. Luis Vazquez, SS-DH: 1-2 (BB, 1B, L-8, CS, PO)
3. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-3 (K, 3-U, 6-3)
4. Alexander Guerra, DH #1: 1-3 (F-8, K, 1B)
5a. Cam Balego, C: 0-2 (K, F-8)
5b. Raymond Pena, C: 0-1 (6-4-3 DP)
6. Yovanny Cuevas, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, L-8, R, SB)
7. Yonathan Perlaza, 2B: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, 6-3, R, RBI)
8a. Kevin Zamudio, 1B: 0-2 (P-4, L-4)
8b. Fidel Mejia, 1B: 0-0 (BB)
9a. Henrry Pedra, DH #3: 0-1 (K) 
9b. Luis Ubiera, PH: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
9c. Delvin Zinn, 3B: 0-1 (K)
10. Carlos Pacheco, LF: 0-2 (6-3, K)
11. Fabian Pertuz, 3B-SS: 0-2 (P-6, K)

1. Fauris Guerrero: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1/4 GO/AO, 36 pitches (19 strikes)
2. Benjamin Rodriguez: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 11 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Yan de la Cruz: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 29 pitches (15 strikes) 
4. Fernando Calderon: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 26 pitches (16 strikes) 
5. Eugenio Palma: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/AO, 31 pitches (22 strikes) 

1. SS Luis Vazquez: E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. 1B Kevin Zamudio: E-3 (two-base fielding error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely) 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 


"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 


Attendance is really falling.

AVG FB velo for Cubs pitchers in Monday's game:

Guerrero: 91 
B. Rodriguez: 88 
Calderon: 90 
Y. de la Cruz 86 (CT) and 91 (4S) 
Palma: 89  

why are they moving so slow with advancing e.palma?

21 years old and still not making his way to A ball...

sure, he's a low-end lefty reliever, but you'd think he'd be in A- at the very least based on the results of his performace.

CRUNCH: I don't know why the Cubs are moving Eugenio Palma so slowly. There is an obvious dearth of LH relievers throughout the system (AA Tennessee doesn't even have one), but (as things stand right now) it looks like Palma will be the only LHRP at Eugene at the beginning of the NWL season (at least until draft picks are signed and are ready to pitch in games).

Going into Extended Spring Training the only other 2017 AZL Cubs LHRP (besides Palma) was Pablo Ochoa, and he had TJS last month. And I don't think any of the lefties up from the DSL are likely to make the Opening Day Eugene bullpen. 

PHIL: Thanks for that. Have you seen Justin Steele yet in rehabs? Also, did you have a chance to catch Matt Swarber out there early on? Do you think he'll stick as a starter?

E-MAN: Justin Steele threw bullpens last week and pre-game "live" BP (first time since his TJS) yesterday.

There was a change to the minor league rehab rule in the new CBA where a pitcher (or position-player) recovering/rehabing from an elbow UCL transplant (Tommy John Surgery) can have his minor league rehab assignment renewed once, so Steele will be able to spend up to 60 days on a minor league rehab assignmennt this summer, but because he is on a minor league roster the rehab assignment has to be at a short-season affiliate (only). 

So (if there are no medical setbacks) I would expect Steele to spend July & August with one of the two AZL Cubs teams building up his arm strength, innings, and pitch count, and then (if all goes well) get assigned to the Arizona Fall League as a starting pitcher. 

The Cubs need to get a clear read on Steele before the 2018 Rule 5 Draft, because he will be first-time eligible this year and could be a good candidate to get selected. 

I saw a lot of Matt Swarmer in Minor League Camp this year and in previous years with the AZL Cubs (2016) and post-season Instructs etc. He is an intelligent and mature guy (he even got a couple or three "emergency" starts at Tennessee and Iowa last season) with outstanding command and he is very coachable. 

I do think his future is somewhere in the Eddie Butler/Luke Farrell/Brad Markey/Zach Hedges mode, which is to say I can see him getting to AAA without too much difficulty. And while he fits the profile of an MLB "swing-man" (like Butler was before he went on the DL) perfectly, I'm not sure if he will be an MLB rotation-starter. I guess he could be. He does have a "high floor" (meaning he should move up through the pipeline fairly quickly and easily and he is an MLB prospect), but I'm not sure if he can be anything more than another Luke Farrell. 

Thanks PHIL. I guess more than anytime in recent baseball history, the 2-3 inning "specialist" will become more and more valuable. So, maybe there will be a place for people like the dudes you mention. Unless rosters are expanded however, hanging on to them will be an interesting proposition.

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  • QuietMan 7 hours 29 min ago view

    way to break a tie.

    crunch 7 hours 48 min ago view
  • rizzoh!!

    crunch 8 hours 34 min ago view
  • The Cubs have hired Chase Spivey to fill the open hitting coach position with AZL Cubs #1. He was formerly a hitting instructor with Sparta Science in Menlo Park, CA. Sparta specializes in advanced learning technologies used by sports teams, law enforcement agencies, and the military. 

    Arizona Phil 10 hours 36 min ago view
  • The Baltimore Orioles have claimed RHP Chandler Shepherd off waivers from the Cubs, as the Cubs tried (and failed) to outright Shepherd to the minors after claiming him off waivers from the Red Sox last Saturday.  

    Arizona Phil 11 hours 34 min ago view
  • schwarber / bryant(RF) / rizzo / baez / contreras / almora / russell(2nd) / bote(3rd) / ham

    crunch 12 hours 42 min ago view
  • AZ Phil - Close here, but Cedeno to the IL with a “wrist injury“. Instead of Tazawa, the roulette wheel ball falls on righty reliever Rowan Wick being called up from AAA (not sure what he offers against lefties though). 

    Eric S 13 hours 32 min ago view
  • What do you think he will cost?

    Rob Richardson 17 hours 6 min ago view
  • Blue Jays scout following Cubs at EXST so there probably are other Toronto scouts on the other Cubs affiliates as well. If a deal were to happen, Jays closer Ken Giles is probable Cub target. (Giles is under club control via arbitration through 2020). 

    Arizona Phil 18 hours 11 min ago view
  • If the Cubs make any changes in the bullpen this week, I think Junichi Tazawa replacing Xaver Cedeno (likely DFA candidate) would be it.

    It doesn't seem like Maddon has much confidence in Cedeno (and rightfully so), and Tazawa's splitter plays up vs LH hitters (when he's not hanging it). 

    Arizona Phil 18 hours 24 min ago view
  • Not that it's going to happen, but RHRP Tony Barnette is eligible to be reinstated from the Cubs MLB 60-day IL tomorrow (Thursday). 

    Arizona Phil 18 hours 35 min ago view
  • I'm bummed to be blacked out for this one. I'm forecasting a drubbing.

    Charlie 22 hours 46 min ago view
  • I had a good chuckle listening to the espn crew question the decision of pinch hitting a cold off the bench Javy for a veteran left handed hitter like Descalso - that discussion became moot pretty quick!

    So many good things about the bottom of the ninth. Even Willson‘s at bat - though it didn’t result in a run - was a quality, grinding at bat after falling behind 0-2. Didn’t fall for the outside slider cheese as he’d done in similar situations before. 

    Eric S 1 day 6 hours ago view
  • CUBS WIN!!!!

    javy takes the 1st pitch he sees down the 1st base line into the chance.

    crunch 1 day 7 hours ago view
  • javy pinch hitting in the 9th with the bases loaded...welcome back.

    crunch 1 day 7 hours ago view
  • tie game!!!

    crunch 1 day 7 hours ago view