Cubs Rally to Tie Brew Crew in Maryvale

Alberto Mineo (two-run single, RBI triple, and a walk) and Tyler Pearson (two walks and a double) reached base three times a piece for the Cubs, and Gilbert Lara (RBI triple), David Denson (RBI double), and Yerald Martinez (RBI double) stroked run-scoring extra-base hits in a three-run fourth, CF Joantgel Segovia drilled three singles, stole two bases, drove-in two runs, and threw out a runner on the bases, and RHP J. B. Kole threw five innings of two-hit ball for the Brewers, as the Cubs rallied for two runs in the top of the 9th and played the Brewers to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") at Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix, AZ.  

Before Kole entered the game, the Cubs scored two runs on four hits in the top of the 1st inning off 6'9 RHP Johnny Hellweg, who is on the Brewers MLB 60-day DL while rehabbing from 2014 Tommy John Surgery.  

RHP Austyn Willis got the start for the Cubs and retired nine of the first ten men he faced on just 27 pitches, before running into trouble in the fourth when the Brew Crew plated three runs on a single, the Lara triple, and the Denson and Martinez doubles.

RHRP Corbin Hoffner worked the 8th and the 9th for the Cubs and did not allow a run, retiring six of the seven men he faced (three strikeouts and three ground outs) to preserve the tie. His new extreme sidearm (almost submarine) delivery coupled with lots of off-speed stuff (AKA "junk") really kept the Brewers hitters off-stride.

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHRPs Brad Markey and Daniel Lewis have been moved up to Lo-A South Bend, replacing RHPs James Norwood and Jake Stinnett, who were placed on the SB 7-day DL.  

The 23-year old Markey was the Cubs 2014 19th round draft pick out of Virginia Tech, and he worked in 15 games (combined) out of the AZL Cubs and Boise bullpens after signing in June. He was left behind at Extended Spring Training despite spending much of Minor League Camp with the Hi-A Myrtle Beach squad, but he has pitched very well at EXST, and it was just a matter of time before he got his Letter of Transit out of Casablanca.  

Although Daniel Lewis is 24, he has only been pitching for a year. He enlisted in the U. S. Air Force after finishing high school, and enrolled in Pensacola JC after being discharged in 2013. The Cubs signed him as a Non-Drafted Free Agent (NDFA) in July 2014 after scouting him in the Cape Cod League (probably the top collegiate summer league), and he appeared in eight games out of the Boise bullpen after signing. He attended AZ Instructs post-2014 but he did not pitch well there. Lewis features a high-octane 94-MPH fastball, but his command is spotty and his secondary pitches are raw. 

1. 4/17: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
2. 4/21: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 15 pitches (10 strikes)
3. 4/24: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1/3 GO/FO, 30 pitches (18 strikes)
4. 4/29: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 3/1 GO/FO, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
5. 5/5: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 B, 0 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 17 pitches (13 strikes)
6. 5/9: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (16 strikes)
TOTAL: 10.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 6 K, 1 PO, 12/11 GO/FO, 66% strikes, 1.80 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, .172 OppBA

1. 4/17: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1/2 GO/FO, 17 pitches (8 strikes)
2. 4/20: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 23 pitches (14 strikes)
3. 4/24: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
4. 4/28: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER),  0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 5/1 GO/FO, 20 pitches (15 strikes)
5. 5/1: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 0/3 GO/FO, 17 pitches (9 strikes)
6. 5/5: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (12 strikes)
7. 5/8: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 1 K, 2 GIDP, 2/1 GO/FO, 44 pitches (19 strikes)
8. 5/13: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 4/2 GO/FO, 36 pitches (19 strikes)
TOTAL: 12.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (5 ER), 9 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 3 WP, 2 GIDP, 17/11 GO/FO, 56% strikes, 3.75 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .150 OppBA     

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only): 

1. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 0-4 (E-6, 4-3, 5-4 FC, BB, 6-3, 2 RBI, 2 SB)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, DH-SS: 0-5 (6-4 FC, F-7, F-7, L-8, E-4, R)
3. Kevin Encarnacion, RF: 0-5 (K, L-6, 4-3, F-9, 4-3)
4. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 1-3 (1B, K, BB, F-9, 2 R) 
5. Eloy Jimenez, LF: 1-4 (1B, 6-3, 5-3, 5-3) 
6. Alberto Mineo, C-1B: 2-3 (1B, K, 3B, BB, 3 RBI)
7. Tyler Alamo, 1B-C: 1-4 (1B, 5-3, F-9, 5-4 FC)
8. Adonis Paula, 3B; 1-3 (E-6, 2B, BB, 5-3, CS)
9. Ho-Young Son, SS-DH: 0-2 (5-4 FC, BB, 6-4 FC, HBP, 2 R, 2 SB)
10a. Tyler Pearson, DH #2: 1-2 (K, BB, BB, 2B) 
10b. Danny Gutierrez, PR: NO AB (R) 

1. Austyn Willis: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 4/4 GO/FO, 49 pitches (33 strikes) 
2. Daniel Bard: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 3/0 GO/FO, 21 pitches (11 strikes) 
3. Sam Wilson: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 PO, 0/3 GO/FO, 36 pitches (23 strikes) 
4. Corbin Hoffner: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 26 pitches (18 strikes) 

1. P Daniel Bard: E-1 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely) 
2. SS Ho-Young Son: E-6 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely) 

1. Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS 
2. Tyler Alamo: 0-2 CS 


WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80's 


Bruce Miles ‏@BruceMiles2112 20m20 minutes ago Chicago, IL Can confirm #Cubs DFA Coke and send Schlitter to Iowa. Lake and Wada up. Pen has 3 lefties now. @CarrieMuskat reported

cubs get rid of 2 relievers, adds a starter, and the pen gets better. that's some of that new, it's most likely true.

Pen gets better, yes, but the rotation is still one Marine short of a Pentagon.

The Cubs may be able to option Phil Coke to the minors (if they wish to do so), if Coke signed a 45-day waiver when he was promoted to the MLB 40-man roster at the conclusion of Spring Training. (Same goes for James Russell).

There is a provision in the CBA where a player who has to give his consent before he can be optioned (players with at least five years of MLB Service Time or vested NPB players) can sign a 45-day waiver at the time they are added to an MLB 40-man roster that gives the club the right to option the player to the minors within 45 days of the waiver being signed. (Tsuyoshi Wada signed one last year when he was added to the Cubs 40-man roster in June).

The only players who sign this kind of waiver are players with at least five years of MLB Service Time (or vested NPB players) who are signed to minor league contracts, and it's sometimes used by the club as part of the agreement to add the player to the club's MLB 40-man roster.   

If a 45-day waiver was signed by the player, Optional Assignment Waivers would have to be secured before the player could be optioned, but Optional Assignhment Waivers are usually just a formality. 


For those not paying attention to my every post for some strange reason, that's a follow up to my original reaction to Schlitter being called up again.

Is the Lake/Szczur shuffle a timing thing (i.e. does Matt have to stay down for a given period of time)? Otherwise -- WTF?

BILLY B: Szczur has to stay in the minors at least ten days after being optioned unless he is recalled to replace a player on the 25-man roster who is placed on the 7-day (concussion), 15-day, or 60-day DL or other MLB Inactive List (Bereavement List, Paternity Leave List, etc), or he can be recalled as the 26th man in a doubleheader (if the Cubs had a doubleheader during the ten-day waiting period). 

I think the Cubs probably intended to reactivate Tom LaStella in San Diego, but then he apperarently reinjured his rib cage in a rehab game at AA Tennessee over the weekend. . 

Thanks Phil -- thought it had to be something like that.

Kluber vs. Sale

*grabs popcorn

Kluber strikes out side, 21 K's over last 9 innings pitched.

2.2ip and 5 Ks...i'm grabbing some popcorn, too.

AZ Phil: Who among the Cubs do you currently project to be first-time arbitration eligible this winter?

wouldn't it just be players with 2 or more years service time entering the season?

 Jacob Turner, Brian Schlitter and Hector Rondon and Schlitter is on the Iowa Express, so he probably won't reach the full 3 seasons this year to be eligible. Rizzo would be eligible but already signed an extension.


Thanks for the link. Wada, Olt, Lake, and Germen all look like they're in Super-2 range as well, though Germen is highly unlikely to accrue enough time.

forgot about Super 2, cutoff is around 2.128 I believe (top 22% technically) I just get

Grimm and  Wada?

Most Olt can get is 2.030, Lake is 2.073 and German is 2.041 and the last 2 have spent time in minors already.

JOHN B: Check this one.... 


I don't have Wada listed as a potential "Super Two" arbitration eligible player post-2015 because as an NPB vested player (where NPB Service Time counts toward MLB Service Time for purposes of free-agency), he is eligible to be an Article XX-B free-agent when his contract expires post-2015, and so salary arbitration shouldn't be a factor for him, unless he wants it that way  

The difference between Turner and Schlitter is that Turner doesn't have any minor league options left and Schlitter does, so if Turner remains on the Cubs MLB 40-man roster (and/or 60-day DL) through the rest of the 2015 MLB regular season, he would automatically qualify for salary arbitration, because he can't be optioned to the minors.

For Schlitter, being arbitration-eligible depends on how much MLB Service Time he accrues in 2015 between Optional Assignments (142 days accrued and he qualifies automatically), keeping in mind that to qualify as a "Super Two" he must meet the "Super Two" cut-off (which is TBD until after the MLB regular season, but probably won't be less than 2+125) AND he must accrue at least 86 days of MLB Service Time in 2015 to qualify as a "Super Two" even if he were to exceed the "Super Two" cut-off.

But I would think that if Schlitter were to qualify for salary arbitation post-2015 (either automatically or by "Super Two"), he will just be non-tendered. 


look over there

NYM beats STL in 14...STL up by 3.5 games on the cubs.

Jeff tweets that the Mariners have traded for Welly.

Interesting to see what the details are.

Woo hoo! Hopefully that ends the stupid 3 catcher experiment. Unfortunately, we got rid of our second best catcher.

They traded for a catcher

Haha! Now that would be funny.

Actually, the Cubs could be getting a catcher back in the deal, one that can be sent to the minors (Welington Castillo is out of minor league options). 

Seattle's "third catcher" John Hicks is on the Mariners MLB 40-man roster and is presently on Optional Assignment to AAA Tacoma (PCL), so he could be the return. He was rated one of the Mariners Top 15 prospects by Baseball America pre-2015 (he is an outstanding defensive catcher), but he has had a poor season at the plate at AAA so far. FWIW, Hicks was a teammate of AA Tennessee's 2B Stephen Bruno at UVA.  

The Mariners also have a 2015 Competitive Balance pick between the 2nd & 3rd rounds (#72 overall) in the 2015 MLB First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) that can be traded.  


finally...the team can now operate a proper bench with more flexibility for defensive slotting. also, i wonder if they're going to add d.ackley to the mix...which would be an interesting roster crunch (no pun)...

the amount of welly-for-felix jokes is too damn high... it was mildly clever an hour and 1000 other people ago.

Cubs get Funky Cold Madina AAA reliever

Tribune report notes that the Cubs will "receive a prospect"

he was a lot more exciting before he lost a few mph off his stuff. fastball, slider, control questions...another arm for the dice-roll scrap heap. ...still more useful than a redundant backup catcher who's strugging to get ABs.

As long as his name isn't Schlitter, I will take him. We can't expect much from Castillo as the Cubs have been shopping him for months. I was hoping for some kind of bullpen help, so we will see.

Cubs get Yoervis Medina: Looks like a decent bullpen arm. Nice success the last few years. Career 2.82 ERA in 137 IP in the bigs and still just 26.

Reporting to AAA Iowa.

Seems like fair value and a better fit.

...except for the loss of 2-3mph off his stuff in 2015. hopefully it's not injury related, but it's a bit concerning he never found it in spring or so far this season.

I'm not a big fan of how these bullpen arms are used these days. Turn the amplifier up to 11 and have them throw a few years until their arm explodes.

By the way, I ran this trade through the TLFCSC trade analysis program and it told me that the Mariners came out on top on this trade, but only slightly.

i don't dislike the trade. we are talking about a backup-catcher/fringe-starter type guy who wasn't going to fetch a ton in this market...his biggest upsides being his club control, arm, and above-average power. the cubs need what they got more than they need what they gave up in a C market so crowded that values are depressed.

I think the trade is fine, but was disappointed back when the team added Ross to the hypothetical Montero-Castillo tandem. But I'm currently under the presumption that I am in no position to measure the value of Ross as a clubhouse presence.

Yoervis Medina- That's fun to say.

who's coming up?

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  • Cubster 18 hours 18 min ago (view)


    then said quietly by his elves: although it can take up to 1-2 days (or two tanks of gas) to get through test lines and then 7-14 days to get results.


  • crunch 18 hours 41 min ago (view)

    5 cubs players + d.ross didn't work out with the team today because their tests were dealyed.  4 players + d.ross later came back negative and 1 test will have to be done again because it was compromised during transport and invalidated.

    ...turns out the compromised test was not a player, but a non-player/non-ross Tier 1 employee.  neat.


  • crunch 21 hours 2 min ago (view)

    v.caratini will continue to be darvish's preferred catcher this season.


  • crunch 21 hours 3 min ago (view)

    j.hicks (STL) opts out.  he's a T1 diabetic currently rehabbing from TJ.  he was expected to return in august.


  • JustSayin' 1 day 18 hours ago (view)

    I think what your saying applies to all franchises in all big-time team sports.  The virus is asymptomatic in many carriers.  The national positive test % rate is mid/high single digits.  If your pro sports franchise does 3-4 x better than that, it still means some players and coaches will test positive and things will grind to a partial or complete halt.  At least baseball didn't try to "bubble" in AZ and FL, which are looking like two of the worst (and worst-led) states in which to be located at the currrent stage of the pandemic.


  • crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    rizzo took BP and did some field work today.  also, almora is good to go...he ran into a wall on friday and got a little banged up.


  • Cubster 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Aroldis Chapman is now Covid positive with mild symptoms


  • crunch 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    the COVID-Division should be fun.

    teams from TX, AZ, CA, WA, and CO exclusively playing each other...  CO is all "wtf, really?"


  • Cubster 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    ...and so it goes (per Roto): Astros general manager James Click wrote in a statement that a member of the staff "was potentially exposed to a COVID-positive individual outside the organization.” The team is working with MLB and team doctors on testing protocol and cleaning before resuming workouts. 

    Does the visiting team bring a Covid positive bio-weapon to the player's parking lot?


  • Charlie 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    I've been wondering how this would proceed. Since teams will have to figure out how existing contracts will be paid, I thought there was a *chance* they would proceed with free agency as usual and plan for payment under potential shortened seasons would just be figured out in negotiations with the MLBPA. But that was probably an overly optimistic thought.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Meanwhile Theo shoots down any potential of extension talks. I get that it's a crazy time financially in baseball, but it's really gonna suck when all these players leave after 21 and 22.


  • Cubster 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    WSox Michael Kopech has opted out of 2020. I didn't see a disclosed reason yet but he is recovering from TJ S 


  • crunch 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    buster posey (SF) opting out of 2020...recently adopted twin daughters who were born premature.


  • Cubster 5 days 3 hours ago (view)

    per Tribune: Kimbrel's OK, just working on his changeup (formerly his fastball).


  • Arizona Phil 5 days 15 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released RHRP (and their erstwhile closer) Brandon Morrow. There is no indication that they plan to re-sign him to another (different) 2020 minor league contract without the Article XX-B $100K retention bonus provision (as happened with Jason Kipnis last week).  


  • crunch 5 days 19 hours ago (view)

    rizzo takes another day off (lower back).  ross says the club is "exercising caution."

    klye ryan is expected to join the team tomorrow after some mysterious holdup.