Bard Totally Wild at Talking Stick

Jenner Emeterio singled, doubled, and tripled, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Varonex Cuevas singled and scored in the 3rd and belted a two-run home run in the 6th, and Carlos Jimenez singled, doubled, reached base on an HBP, and scored a run. as the Cubs edged the Diamondbacks 6-5 on Whirlwind Field, and Raymel Flores drilled a two-run single with two outs and the bases loaded to key a four-run 3rd, as the D'backs shutout the Cubs 6-0 on Jackrabbit Field, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split squad doubleheader played this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.

Both games were called after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

Veteran MLB RHRP Daniel Bard had a very odd/unusual day. Working one inning in the game on Whirlwind Field, Bard issued three walks, struck out two (both swinging), and uncorked six wild pitches. That's six wild pitches In one inning!

In EXST Cubs roster news, catcher Eric Gonzalez has been assigned to the DSL Cubs, and catcher Tyler Pearson has been moved-up to AA Tennessee.  

The 18-year old Gonzalez got into eight Cactus League EXST games (14 PA), going 0-13 with one walk and five strikeouts. He threw out one of three baserunners attempting to steal against him (33% CS). Gonzalez was signed by the Cubs last June, and he hit 254/297/322 in 19 DSL games last season.

The DSL Cubs begin play a week from tomorrow (Saturday May 30th), and it's possible that additional players who are presently at Extended Spring Training will get assigned to the DSL Cubs prior to DSL Opening Day.

The 23-year old Pearson was the Cubs 25th round pick in the 2014 MLB Fiirst-Year Player Draft out of Texas State (by way of Rice). He hit 235/322/431 in 21 games with AZL Cubs last season, and 250/333/458 in 14 Cactus League EXST games (30 PA) this season (with three doubles and a triple, three walks and an HBP, eight strikeouts, a SH, a SF, and two GIDP). He had a 14% CS, with one passed ball in Cactus League EXST games.

While he was assigned to Tennessee and will physically report to the Smokies, he will not be activated until he is needed. The Cubs have been doing that quite a bit this season, which is to say a a player will be placed on a minor league affiliate's 7-day DL or assigned to Eugene or AZL Cubs (but only on paper), without the player actually leaving the club or reporting to Extended Spring Teaining. Then other times, the player does report to EXST.

One player on a Cubs minor league affiliate's 7-day DL who is definitely at Extended Spring Training is OF Shawon Dunston Jr, who is rehabbing a right arm injury (I believe it's the right shoulder) sustained about a month go at Hi-A Myrtle Beach. Dunston is just now beginning a throwing program and to take BP at EXST, so he probably won't be ready to return to the Pelicans for a while.

Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):


1. Kevonte Mitchell, CF: 0-2 (BB, K, K)
2. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 0-3 (4-6 FC, F-7, K, CS)
3. Eloy Jimenez, RF-DH: 0-1 (BB, BB, K)
4. Tyler Alamo, C-DH: 1-3 (F-8, 4-6-3 DP, 1B)
5. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-3 (F-7, 3-U, 6-4 FC) 
6. Kevin Encarnacion, DH #1: 0-3 (L-7, L-8, 4-6 FC) 
7. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-2 (K, BB, K) 
8. Ho-Young Son, SS: 0-2 (K, 5-4 FC) 
9. Yohan Matos, DH-C: 0-1 (BB, K)
10. Roney Alcala, 1B: 0-2 (K, F-8)
11. Danny Gutierrez, DH-RF: 1-2 (1B, P-3, SB)

1. Justin Steele: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 6 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 4/0 GO/FO, 65 pitches (37 strikes) 
2. Dillon Maples: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 3/2 GO/FO, 39 pitches (22 strikes) 
3. John Michael Knighton: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/4 GO/FO, 14 pitches (12 strikes) 

LF Ricardo Marcano: E-7 (dropped fly ball allowing batter to reach base safely)

LF Ricardo Marcano - threw out batter 7-4 trying to stretch single into double


1a. Roberto Caro, RF: 1-3 (BB, K, 1B, 3-U, R, RBI, SB, CS)
1b. Andruw Monasterio, PH-SS: 0-1 (L-7)
2. Robert Garcia, CF:1-4 (6-3, 2B, K, 4-3, RBI) 
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 0-1 (BB, BB, F-7 SF, K, RBI, CS)
4. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 0-3 (F-9, K, K, BB)
5. Jose Paniagua, LF: 2-4 (1B, P-3, F-8, 2B)
6a. Erick Castillo, C: 1-2 (5-4-3 DP, 2B)
6b. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-2 (P-4, F-9)
7. Carlos Jimenez, SS-DH: 2-3 (P-3, 1B, 2B, HBP, R, CS)
8. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 2-4 (1B, F-8, HR, K, 2 R, 2 RBI)
9. Jenner Emeterio, DH-RF: 3-4 (3B, 1B+E5, 2B, K, 2 R, RBI)

1. Oscar de la Cruz: 3.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 65 pitches (45 strikes) 
2. Enrique de los Rios: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 2/1 GO/FO, 27 pitches (16 strikes) 
3. Daniel Bard: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 6 WP, 30 pitches (13 strikes) 
4. Jae-Hoon Ha: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 15 pitches (7 strikes) 


Jhonny Pereda: 1-1 CS, 1 PO

WEATHER: Mostly sunny & VERY breezy with temperatures in the 80's



30 pitches...6 wild...that's impressive for all the wrong reasons. maybe someone will give him a coaching/instructor job if he's looking...dunno how much longer he can play "comeback." hate it for him...

Here is the details of the I-Cubs 7 spot in the 2nd tonight:
Iowa Bottom of the 2nd Christian Villanueva singles on a line drive to right fielder James Jones. Taylor Davis singles on a line drive to center fielder Austin Jackson. Christian Villanueva to 2nd. Rafael Lopez doubles (5) on a fly ball to right fielder James Jones. Christian Villanueva scores. Taylor Davis to 3rd. Taylor Teagarden singles on a ground ball to left fielder Leon Landry. Taylor Davis scores. Rafael Lopez to 3rd. John Andreoli singles on a bunt ground ball to first baseman Stefen Romero. Rafael Lopez scores. Taylor Teagarden to 2nd. Rubi Silva doubles (6) on a fly ball to left fielder Leon Landry. Taylor Teagarden scores. John Andreoli scores. Arismendy Alcantara flies out to center fielder Austin Jackson. Rubi Silva to 3rd. Matt Szczur grounds out, shortstop Ketel Marte to first baseman Stefen Romero. Rubi Silva scores. Javier Baez doubles (4) on a line drive to left fielder Leon Landry. Pitching Change: Andrew Kittredge replaces Stephen Landazuri. Christian Villanueva singles on a ground ball to center fielder Austin Jackson. Javier Baez scores. Taylor Davis singles on a line drive to center fielder Austin Jackson. Christian Villanueva to 3rd.

Wow...what a terrible AB by Ross. First and third, no outs, DBacks conceding a run, and he can't make contact against a guy throwing 84 mph. Just awful.

Very frustrating game -- Lester gets taken deep by a guy who cannot hit (.194 w/0 HR before tonight), and the Cubs offense has been shut down by 2 bums (both w/ERAs 5+)so far. Bleh.

montero comes in to pinch hit and the crowd gives him a good pop. classy.

BRYANT DOUBLE! 3-2 in the 10th

well, so much for that 2 run lead in the 10th...tie game.


dat pen, though. ARZ wins 4-5 in 13. DFA everyone. "this one stings." - len ← truth

I saw a lot of the game but managed to miss the Goldschmidt homer. I was surprised they didn't walk him. Wasn't second base open or was the guy on first?

This isn't my mother's Junior Lake. He keeps working that count, and working it pretty nicely. Occasionally you'll see him slip into that chase mode but it is sure a lot rarer than it used to be. This is a guy I thought had no chance of being that kind of hitter when he first came up. Throw a few sliders at the ankles and you could pretty much ring him up every time.

Really glad I didn't stay up to watch that. Rondon had 2 strikes on the last 2 hitters, but couldn't put them away. I realize Goldschmidt is a really good hitter, but, damn, that one hurts.

He's been giving up runs at too frequent a pace for a closer lately. Bullpen still pretty shaky, even though Grimm is not living up to his name.

Thought it was in the bag with a 2-run lead and Rondon coming in, so I went to bed. My mistake. Earlier in the evening I did a little statistics search on the Cubs website. Cubs current cleanup hitter ranks #8 among starters in slugging percentage. Also ranks #8 among starters in OPS. Might be time for a lineup shuffle.

Last night was a good display of what makes this team a .500 team, maybe a tad better. Castro isn't a clean up hitter, but I think Maddon likes that he often gets wood on the ball. Last night he really had a beautiful hit late in the game where he really squared up on - if I remember right, an inside slider and roped it to left field. But he's still not a clean up hitter, and never really will be. I'm not one of the many Castro haters, in fact I'm one of his few defenders, but he's just not a cleanup hitter. I don't know who on this team is right now. Maybe Bryant is ready. I was really hoping Soler could do that, but he's not there yet. Next year, maybe. Another weakness is their strength, rookies. Addison Russell striking out in extra innings with the bases loaded. Who in their right mind would want him out of the lineup, but there you go. He's gonna do that this year. He'll start doing it less as time goes on. The other obvious weakness right now is their bullpen. You really just don't know what you're getting - although Maddon's fascination with Rosscup makes me think he read too many of Crunch's comments from a year or two ago. Yeah, he's got good stuff, but he doesn't know how to pitch yet. More growing pains for a young team. Now, Rondon is sucking, too. Mostly because he, too, doesn't seem to know *how* to pitch. Great stuff, just doesn't seem to know when to throw what pitch. I would expect Montero to take more control there like he did that one game a few weeks back where he practically yelled at the pitcher to do things his way. Maybe he did last night. I wasn't watching those two at bats but I read they were a disaster pitching location-wise. My hope overall is that they can just hang in there until 3/4 of the season is over and Soler starts to come around, and they can drop Castro down a bit in the order, and Russell keeps getting more experience. He's going to be awesome but he's still a bit raw. No matter how you slice it, if you don't have Castro batting cleanup, then it's a rookie, Soler or Bryant, most likely. That's the strength and weakness of this team. Next year, these guys will pretty much be the strength of the team. And I don't think it's a wait till next year team. They're so talented that they could make things interesting, and maybe even sneak into the playoffs and do some damage. It's exciting, but frustrating.

but he's just not a cleanup hitter. I don't know who on this team is right now --- Michael Freakin' Olt, where are you when we need you? Commissioner Gordon... Send out the Bat signal.

Looking for Olt? I think this is him trying to break into the Cubs Clubhouse.

Rondon: 13 Hits and 4 BB in his last 10 innings. Definitely doesn't look confident. Very different coming into the year as closer for a team expected to challenge for a playoff spot versus being handed the job during the season for a team not trying to win. The pressure seems to have gotten to him a bit. If he continues to be inconsistent, it will be interesting to see how Maddon handles it. Right now, Grimm seems to be the only reliable guy in the pen, and that's a very small sample size.

Unfortunately, other than Motte, they have no one else with experience. Barring a trade its gonna be waiting for Neil Ramirez to get back to form - which wohld help a lot.

as long as the cubs keep advanced hitters in the 2/3 slots the 4 slot is gonna suffer compared to other's traditional lineups until soler/montero/?? step up to be a legit option there. many teams still treat that 2 slot as contact-heavy or "2nd speed guy" slot. i think this whole pitcher 8th thing is eye rolling, but if it mentally "allows" maddon to use the 2/3 roster spot like he's doing now, that tradeoff seems nice.

as long as the cubs keep advanced hitters in the 2/3 slots the 4 slot is gonna suffer compared to other's traditional lineups until soler/montero/?? step up to be a legit option there. many teams still treat that 2 slot as contact-heavy or "2nd speed guy" slot. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm not tracking here....unless you're saying less RBIs to be had since Bryant and Rizzo already got them. Castro is 2nd on the team in RBIs, so if that's the main job of the cleanup hitter then he's in the right spot. My thinking is since he's 8th on the team in SLG and OPS somebody else (and if you just go by the numbers anybody else) should be there.

i thought you were comparing him to other team's 4-slot bad

All good.

When does extended spring training end? Is there a schedule anywhere? thanks!

close-to-trade-season news blurb...(i can't believe i'm about to type a close-to-trade-season blurb about who the cubs might pick up rather than who's going to scalp the club dry)... j.cueto (CIN) is going to miss his next start due to "elbow tightness" who's ready to get ninja from the whitesox for vogelbomb? :D <--- baseless humor(less) speculation

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  • crunch 8 hours 31 min ago (view)

    don't worry, i'm sure even though he was spared from cuts there's some hardship he's being tortured with that he has to unfairly overcome.  #coreystrong #onthecross #yolo #swag #kony2012


  • crunch 8 hours 33 min ago (view)

    there's no way a system like that or something similar to that would work.

    "oh hi." - green bay packers

    *shoves out of way*

    like i said, there's no way that would work.


  • Hagsag 11 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Corey Black still has a job.


  • Charlie 11 hours 36 min ago (view)

    I am ready for MLB owners to give it a f***ing rest. I don't have any outrage to spare on them.

    If they can't afford this crisis, maybe they can surrender franchise rights to the players, grounds crew, concession employees, etc., and MLB teams can be employee owned.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 15 hours 50 min ago (view)

    Couldn't have said it better myself, unfortunately.


  • JustSayin' 1 day 18 min ago (view)

    These players weren't cut/released; laid off is more like it. Fifty-two minor leaguers let go before any real games played, in two waves. The draft will be five rounds this year, not forty.  This is industrial downsizing, anticipating no traditional season this year and capitulation to MLB demands for a much smaller minor league system in 2021.  Next year or 2022 could also see a labor stoppage in the big leagues, over what promises to be a very tough CBA negotiation.  The game will not be what it used to be after this.


  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    i don't blame the ownership/font office for doing what they did with bryant.  it was just kinda bad timing that bryant was the client that boras was finally "i'm sick of this" over.  the cubs were warned that boras was going to make a stand and it dragged on so long there has to be some kind of toll on the boras/cubs relationship.


  • bigsky33 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    Hi Phil, yes, hoping for an extended AZ Fall League.  Do you think there will be more cuts?  De La Cruz was the only big sureprise to me. I thought he had some upside. 


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    It'll be more over when Kris leaves. Or whenever the same thing happens to another of his clients.

    He isn't wrong though...


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Presuming there is no traditional minor league season in 2020, expect an expanded Arizona Fall League (with potentially a new "Florida Fall League" as well) for the best prospects and expanded post-season instructs for other minor leaguers (all TBA). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    My understanding is that the other two Cubs minor leaguers who are to be released are the two post-2019 Article XX-B MLB free-agents who signed 2020 minor league contracts, Brandon Morrow and Jason Kipnis. The Cubs will then supposedly re-sign them to new minor league contracts without the $100K retention bonus and 6/1 opt-out. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    CRUNCH: Agreed. Not counting the "4-A" guys, Oscar de la Cruz is the one legit MLB prospect on the list.  


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view) la cruz had some decent looking spring outings (though late inning spring work isn't exactly challenging).  the years of injuries insanely slowed his progression.  totally wouldn't mind seeing him return in 2021 if the team would still be on his radar after getting cut at a time like this.


  • crunch 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    that whole "kris bryant thing" is over...but it's never going to be over as long as this ownership group and boras is around.

    boras could have focused this on 29 other teams, especially the more vocal ones because the cubs have been mostly silent.  the cubs aren't the only team out there paying off "creatively financed" loans, either.

    he chose the cubs.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Not looking forward to seeing that list. Hate to see it when a guy you've invested any sort of energy in is given up on.


  • Cubster 1 day 13 hours ago (view)

    Chi Tribune today. Boras picks, and focused on the Ricketts. 

    Headline writer, fun job: Agent won’t let Cubs get away Scott-free Matt York/AP and Paul Sullivan.

    Boras told his players “the game can not be played without you” and asked them to share the concept with teammates and opposing players when “MLB requests further concessions or deferral of salaries” during negotiations.