Joey Martarano Reports to Extended Spring Training, Pierce Johnson Gets Rocked
First-baseman Joey Martarano has reported to Cubs Extended Spring Training, after spending the 2014-15 school year attending Boise State University.
Martarano was the Idaho High School Baseball Player of the Year at Fruitland HS in his senior year, and was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 2013 MLB First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft). He was offered a $100K bonus by the Phils but did not sign, instead opting to enroll at Boise State and play football.
The 20-year old 6'4 235 Martarano is a linebacker on the Broncos football team, and he is a promising football player. (He had his best game when it really mattered most, in Boise State's 38-30 victory over the University of Arizona in last January's Fiesta Bowl).
Because Boise State does not have a baseball program, Martarano was the rare "Freshman eligible" in the MLB 2014 First-Year Player Draft, and the Cubs took him in the 22nd round. The Cubs convinced him to sign by offering him a chance to play pro baseball during summer vacation (as sort of a "summer job"), with no restrictions on attending college and playing football the rest of the year.
Although he was drafted as a third-baseman, the Cubs immediately moved him to 1st base when he reported to Riverview Park last July, and it looks like 1st base is where he will stay. He spent one month with the AZL Cubs in Mesa last year after signing, but got into only six games before going back to school. (He hadn't played baseball in more than a year, so it took him a while to get back into shape). He will likely spend the months of June and July playing baseball in the Cubs organization this year (probably with the AZL Cubs again), before going back to Boise for pre-season football camp in August.
It's unfortunate for Maratano that the Cubs moved their Northwest League affiliate from Boise to Eugene this year, because otherwise he might have had a chance to play minor league baseball in his college's hometown.
It wasn't a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game, but the Cubs did play an EXST intrasquad gane this morning on Field #6 at Riverview Park. Joey Martarano did not play in the game (he's taking BP and participating in fielding practice and baseruning drills while he gets into "baseball shape"), but the tilt did feature the first game action since Spring Training for RHP Pierce Johnson (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL with a lat strain).
And Johnson got rocked, too, allowing nine hits (six singles, two doubles, and a triple) and three runs in just 2.1 IP (44 pitches). His fastball was sitting at only 90-91 MPH and topped out at 92, although his breaking ball had some nice bite. He didn't register any strike outs, and if it wasn't for two timely pick-offs, his line surely would have been much worse.
While Pierce Johnson was getting hammered, LHP Carson Sands (Cubs 2014 4th round draft pick - North Florida Christian HS - Tallahassee, FL) was throwing 4.2 IP of shutout ball.
Significant offensive contributions were provided by Jose Paniagua (two doubles), Danny Gutierrez (a solo home run, a single, and a stolen base), Carlos Sepulveda (a triple, a single, and a run scored), Ricardo Marcano (single, double, and a run scored), and Varonex Cuevas (two-run single and a stolen base).
Here is the abridged box score from today's EXST Cubs intrasquad game:
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 2-5 (1-3, 1B, K, F-9, 1B, CS)
2. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 1-4 (1B, K, F-8, BB, F-9, SB)
3. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 2-4 (F-7, 2B, 2B, F-9)
4. Kevin Encarnacion, DH: 1-4 (1B, F-8, 5-3, 4-3, SB)
5. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-3 (BB, F-7, 5-3, L-5)
6. Erick Castillo, C: 0-4 (6-4 FC, F-8, 4-3, 5-3)
7. Carlos Jimenez, 2B: 1-4 (2B, 5-3, F-9, P-4, R)
8. Jenner Emeterio, RF: 0-3 (BB, K, F-8, F-9, R, SB)
9. Calvin Graves, LF: 2-3 (1-3 SH, F-8, 2B, 1B)
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Roberto Caro, RF: 1-3 (4-3, 1B, K, PO)
2. Robert Garcia, CF: 0-3 (3-1, 4-3, K)
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 3B, 1-3, R, CS)
4. Yohan Matos, C: 2-3 (1B, 1B, K, R, RBI)
5. Ricardo Marcano, DH #1: 2-3 (1B, 2B, 4-3, R)
6. Ho-Young Son, SS: 1-3 (1B, 5-U FC, F-9, PO)
7. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 1-3 (1B, 1-3, 2-U, 2 RBI, SB)
8. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (F-8, K, 1B)
9. Danny Gutierrez, LF: 2-3 (1B, HR, 6-4-3 DP, R, RBI, SB)
10. Jhonny Pereda, DH #2: 0-2 (4-3, 5-3)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Jesus Castillo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 18 pitches (12 strikes)
2. Pierce Johnson: 2.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 2 PO, 4/1 GO/FO, 44 pitches (29 strikes)
3. Andin Diaz: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 5/1 GO/FO, 39 pitches (28 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Jesus Camargo: 4.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 3 WP, 4/5 GO/FO, 61 pitches (40 strikes)
2. Carson Sands: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 5/9 GO/FO, 62 pitches (39 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: NONE
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 1
C Yohan Matos: E-2 (overthrow at 3rd base on WP allowed runner to score)
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 1-3 CS
CUBS SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Yohan Matos: 1-4 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 90's
Cubster 17 min 20 sec ago (view)
Just sign Rick Reuschel and lets move on
crunch 59 min 22 sec ago (view)
"Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Scott Kazmir will throw for MLB teams this week.
The 36-year-old Kazmir hasn't thrown in the majors since the 2016 season, but he recently told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that he that he hit 90.9 mph with his fastball during a bullpen session."
someone put another bottle of left-in-the-car warm water under the cubs hot stove and let's get this one done! woo!
crunch 16 hours 1 min ago (view)
bryce harper ruined that bat dragging thing for everyone after his ejection years ago at the junior college world series.
also, hurrah for baseball making it's return.
JustSayin' 16 hours 5 min ago (view)
College ball started Saturday. Umpire egos in D1 baseball are not that much smaller than in the pros, so of course there was a controversy. In the late innings of a game in the weekend's biggest series (Michigan vs.
crunch 2 days 14 hours ago (view)
the news is mostly based on a Baseball America article from the 11th (behind a paywall)...so the gist of it is rather legit rumor-wise, though it's still too far in the future to call it a 100% done deal.
btw, the cubs have been strongly linked to pursuing christian hernandez for quite a while. the BA writer that wrote the article about the cubs links has been following c.hernandez since he was a 14yo talent and is quite familiar with him. that signing probably is in the bag.
Wrigley Rat 2 days 16 hours ago (view)
I don't know much about this website, but they are speculating that the Cubs may sign two of the top International Free Agents available during this signing period: https://www.cubshq.com/print/news.do?id=16441&isNe... Does anyone know if this sounds legit?
Arizona Phil 3 days 20 hours ago (view)
Minnie Minoso was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 47 and Julio Franco was playing in the Mexican League (as a DH) at age 49, so Mexican League teams clearly do not have a problem with signing older players.
And of course the ageless Satchel Paige was still working as a SP in AAA (with the Miami Marlins) into his early 50's (and prior to that he pitched in MLB as late as age 46).
crunch 3 days 21 hours ago (view)
b.colon has signed to a mexican league team. woo old dudes. he turns 47 in may...believed by some to be older.
Cubster 4 days 5 hours ago (view)
Replacing someone like David DeJesus?
crunch 4 days 22 hours ago (view)
mark grace returns to chicago as an analyst/on-air-talent for Marquee.
he won't be part of the main game calling crew, but will be doing support content during games.
Eric S 5 days 1 hour ago (view)
Increasing levels of smoke concerning a possible Arenado/KB trade
Get Arenado to agree to push back his opt out a few years or so down the road and this could work out nicely for the Cubs
Arizona Phil 5 days 16 hours ago (view)
Jason Kipnis (like Brandon Morrow) was a post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agent who signed a 2020 minor league contract, so he gets a $100K retention bonus and an automatic June 1st player opt-out if he is not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB 40-man roster or MLB 60-day IL by 12 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day.
Arizona Phil 5 days 17 hours ago (view)
The Cubs have signed post-2019 second-contract minor league FA catcher Jordan Procyshen to a 2020 minor league contract and he has been assigned to AA Tennessee.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 18 hours ago (view)
Q could be subbed in for any of those too
crunch 5 days 20 hours ago (view)
darvish, lester, and mills could combine to give up 100 homers between the 3 of them.
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 days 20 hours ago (view)
I would have liked to give him a shot. I don't see much more out of a Chatwood and Alec Mills competition for the 5th spot.