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: 

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) 

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)

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) 

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) 


C Yohan Matos: E-2 (overthrow at 3rd base on WP allowed runner to score)  

Erick Castillo: 1-3 CS 

Yohan Matos: 1-4 CS, 1 E (see above) 

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 90's 



hendricks complete game...107 pitches. 3-0 win. awesome. quick game, 2hr 20m-ish.

Len and JD defined "A Maddux"...a complete game pitched in under 100 pitches. Hendricks was close at 108.

Baby Maddux Mother fuckin Hrndricks Hshahajaha morning edit- Sorry for the language I was drunk at Hawks game last night

Oh my. That's funny.

Does he have two different changeups? It looks like he has a Maddux-style circle change and what looks like a straight change which has a lot of downward break to it. I'm wondering because you see some REALLY awkward swings on that straight change off the outside corner. Edit: On second thought, it might just be a slow slider.

ESPN stats said Padres went 0-7 on his changeup as last pitch, including 5 of 7 of the strikeouts. He should try to develop a knuckle ball. That could be fun.


One quarter of the season gone! So far, so good! On pace for 92 wins.

The nice thing is we've been winning games despite Soler and Castro in a slump and Rizzo slumping the past week. If we can get all three going at the same time could be very nice indeed.

They haven't gotten a hit with a man on base since last Friday, I believe. The two home runs were very welcome.

‏@CubWin 6 minutes ago Addison Russell and Kris Bryant are the first pair of Cubs rookie infielders to homer in the same game since 1974.

‏@JamesSmyth621 1 hour ago Last night in San Diego, Kyle Hendricks threw the 20,000th complete game shutout in major league history (since 1876)

Hey all, I've been an avid reader for years and just created a profile. I have been closely following the Cubs prospects for over 25 years now and greatly appreciate AZPhil's contributions and all the commenters on this site. Thanks for having me.

who says we're having you? Haha, just wanted to give you a taste of our lovely surliness. On the behalf of only myself, welcome aboard!

Thanks O&B! As a long time reader, I appreciate the surliness. Makes me feel right at home... :-)

I guess he's been called up.

Phil, where in the world is Wladimir Galindo? He seems to have disappeared from recaps in late April, and isn't listed on the VSL roster. Can you shed any light?

CICERO G: Wladimir Galindo is injured, but I don't know the nature of the injury. He was taking fielding practice (only) but not batting practice for a couple of days last week, and now he's not even taking fielding practice. 

Also, Miguel Rico (3B-1B who is being converted to catcher) suffered a left knee injury and is not able to participate in field activity. I don't know the severity of the injury, but he has been out for a few days now. 

And RHP Tanner Griggs has still not returned to the mound after suffering a groin injury in an intrasquad game the first week of Extended Spring Training. 

it seems it's the cubs turn to be in on the r.soriano rumor train. this would make the cubs the 10th or 15th team linked to r.soriano since spring training started...

So in relation to the FIP tweet (Cubs above Cardinals? Insane) $155 million pitcher Jon Lester now has a perfectly respectable FIP of 3.39. Wonder if that will get tweeted. Arrieta, btw, is 3rd in baseball with a 2.20 FIP.

FIP is neat, but BBs/Ks/HRs wasn't much of anyone's knock on the guy's game. that said, his may is kicking the ass of his april so far.

lake in LF batting is business as usual. the current king of crapballers (opinion) goes for ARZ tonight with his 86mph soler should have a fun night trying to pick up something off collmenter's cutters, changeups, and occasional curveball.

Today's Baseball America mock draft Cubs: Jon Harris, rhp, Missouri State A different one from a few days ago with some player details

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  • Charlie 3 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Lol at worrying about a second wave disrupting revenue.


  • Cubster 6 hours 1 min ago (view)

    IN BRIEF (Tribune, from their mini-sports section):    In a letter, MLB rejects players’ plan for 114 gamesNews services Major League Baseball rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game schedule in the pandemic-delayed season with no additional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games is possible and now will discuss even fewer.Players made their proposal Sunday, five days after management’s initial economic plan.


  • Cubster 6 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Pete Ricketts causing some backspin on their serve...Chi Tribune, Thursday AM:


  • Arizona Phil 15 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Here are the last two Cubs minor league releases from this week (for a final total of 30): 

    Conor Lillis-White, LHP (acquired frrom LAA for Tommy LaStella post-2018 - missed 2019 season with hip flexor injury)

    Alberto Mineo, C-1B (has been quarantined in Italy since he re-signed with Cubs in February) 

    Lillis-White was eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, and Mineo was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 


  • Charlie 16 hours 35 min ago (view)

    Great read from players I came of age watching. Really shows how badly MLB needs to empower their players to speak in real time and not just after retiring.


  • crunch 17 hours 28 min ago (view)

    "A conversation: Retired African American MLB players on race, baseball, America"

    d.glanville, j.rollins, r.howard, d.willis, t.hunter, l.hawkins

    unlocked/free article.


  • Jackstraw 19 hours 30 min ago (view)

    I'm trying to come up with scenarios where saying "The problem I have with you people....." really helps the conversation move forward constructively.  None really jump to mind.


  • crunch 19 hours 49 min ago (view)

    i still want proof that tom ricketts and ted cruz aren't the same person


  • Cubster 21 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Tom's older brother is an ass, even with an embarrassing apology.

    Here is the twitter video from Pastor Jarrod Parker:


  • Cubster 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    I agree.  Laura is the real deal. I think she was the major influence that showed Tom R. and Crane Kenney how to show a "human side" and deal realistically and in a non-threatening way, with the local Chicago politicians. Kenney was clearly clueless in his initial attempts regarding the neighborhood, the Rooftop owners, and the Wrigley Field rebuild. 


  • Hagsag 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    I am a Laura Ricketts fan. To hell with the rest of them.


  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    some higher-end high school kids not expected to go very early in the draft are taking themselves out of the draft...including some top-100 ranked talent.


  • crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Dale Murphy @DaleMurphy3

    Last night, my son was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet while peacefully protesting for justice for George Floyd. His story is not unique. Countless others have also experienced this use of excessive police force while trying to have their voices heard.

    Dale Murphy @DaleMurphy3


  • BobbyD 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    But he has vicious dogs ready to kill the nig***. Oh wait, thugs. He's a real man. 


  • Cubster 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    "this idea isn't a proposal at all and may actually be a measure that is forced into action by the league if the two sides can't sort out the financial details for a longer season."

    MLBPA: Over our dead bodies. Followed by Trump sending in the military to force ballplayers and fans to perform like puppets on strings with fans to yell (and cough and sneezing) at the umpires. Ah, baseball before Jackie Robinson. The Trump Republican Party: Bring back the Cheating/Pandemic  1919 White only - White Sox. Say it ain't so, Joe.


  • Hagsag 2 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Trump waiving a bible in front of the church is a total disgrace.