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.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • crunch 5 hours 48 min ago (view)

    at least...


  • Charlie 6 hours 43 min ago (view)

    Lester pitched 35 innings today.


  • crunch 9 hours 22 min ago (view)

    2019...cubs fan...being thankful heyward and chatwood are


  • Eric S 10 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Like having a 5-1 lead going into the ninth?


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 11 hours 5 min ago (view)

    With our vaunted late inning tandem of Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick!

    Who would have thought?


  • Jackstraw 11 hours 5 min ago (view)

    Cubs 1-10 with RISP in the series.  Left lots of ducks on the pond.  Could take some of the pressure off the pen.


  • Jackstraw 11 hours 7 min ago (view)

    You could hit your thumb with a hammer.  Or take a big bite of wayyyy too hot pizza.  Just sayin.


  • Eric S 11 hours 10 min ago (view)

    I’m a little surprised and confused that Bote wasn’t in the infield in the ninth? Wth - need that one out boot to complete my day


  • crunch 11 hours 12 min ago (view)

    cubs win!  about time.


  • Eric S 11 hours 20 min ago (view)

    Cubs have to scratch mightily to get two runs against the mighty second half buccos


  • crunch 11 hours 52 min ago (view)

    K, diving catch by happ for an out, HBP to load the bases, ground out


    PIT has loaded the bases 3 times in this game.


  • crunch 12 hours 1 min ago (view)

    ...and we're doing more 0 out, men on base stuff...

    2 on, 0 outs...up to 103 pitches and lester's day is done.

    bullpen time.  oh. boy.  neat.

    chatwood in.


  • crunch 12 hours 13 min ago (view)

    bryant has not forgotten how to hit homers.



  • crunch 12 hours 16 min ago (view)

    2 on, 0 out, and also gets out of that.

    btw, bryant has forgotten how to play 3rd base the past 2 innings...da hell...


  • crunch 12 hours 30 min ago (view)

    no one scores!  hell yeah.  phew.


  • crunch 12 hours 36 min ago (view)

    walking the pitcher to load the bases with 0 outs.

    this cubbery is thicker than the humidity.