Moreno & Cease Piggy-Back Their Way to Fitch Park

Trace Loehr singled twice, walked, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Jean Carlo Rodriguez drilled a bases-loaded three-run double, Vicmal de la Cruz belted a solo home run, walked, and drove-in another run with a GO, Andy Paz slugged a two-run HR, and RHSP Jon Massad tossed four innings of no run/no hit ball, leading the Athletics to an 11-5 victory over the Cubs in Memorial Day Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

Kevin Encarnacion hammered a solo home run and an RBI single, Kevonte Mitchell drilled an RBI single, a double, drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a run, and Ricardo Marcano roped an RBI triple, walked, and scored a run for the Cubs in a losing cause.

In 22 Cactus League EXST games, Kevonte Mitchell leads the EXST Cubs in stolen bases with 12 (one CS and one PO). Also, he is hitting 239/345/310, with three doubles and a triple, eleven walks, 15 K, and one HBP, ten runs scored, and seven RBI, in the 22 games (84 PA). The 19-year old 6'4 185 Mitchell (Cubs 2014 13th round draft pick - Kennett HS - Kennett, Mo) is a virtual lock to play CF and hit lead-off for the Eugene Emeralds, once the Northwest League (NWL) commences play next month. 

RHP Erling Moreno (2013 IFA - Colombia) got the start for the Cubs today and retired six of the seven men he faced (1B, 5-3, 4-3, K, F-8, K, 4-3). He allowed one run on one hit (a single leading off the bottom of the 1st inning that came around to score on a couple of ground outs and a WP) and no walks, with two strikeouts (both swinging). Moreno rolled easily through his two innings, throwing a good percentage of strikes (27 pitches - 18 strikes - 67% K), and mixing his 91-92 MPH fastball, plus-curve, and change-up to keep the A's hitters mostly off-balance.

The 18-year old 6'3 200 Moreno was signed by the Cubs ($650K bonus) out of the same 2013-14 International Signing Period class that produced OF Eloy Jimenez, SS Gleyber Torres, RHP Jen-Ho Tseng, 3B-1B Wladmir Galindo, C Yohan Matos, and RHP Jeferson Mejia (since traded to AZ in the Miguel Montero deal), but he underwent an elbow UCL transplant (Tommy John Surgery) midway through the 2014 season that has slowed his development, and so this was his first game action in almost a year.

Moreno will likely join RHP Dylan Cease, ex-Mexico City Red Devils RHP Jesus Camargo, RHP (ex-C) Mark Malave, and probably either Adbert Alzolay or Santiago Rodriguez in the AZL Cubs starting rotation (at least at the outset of the AZL season, until the 2015 draft picks begin to arrive).     

Speaking of Dylan Cease, he also saw action in today's game, "piggy-backing" with Moreno. Although he threw just 1.0 IP, Cease actually pitched in parts of two different innings (facing eight hitters total), hence the high pitch count (37 pitches) in just one inning (three outs). 

Cease was working his fastball at 95-97 MPH to the first four batters he faced, but then elevated the FB velocity up to 98-99 when facing the next four. He continues to struggle with command, however, walking two and going to three-ball counts on two other hitters, bouncing his breaking ball (which is a really a plus-pitch when he throws it over the plate instead of bouncing it in front of the plate), and throwing only 56% strikes.

After throwing an amazing six wild pitches in just one inning of work last Friday versus the Diamondbacks at Talking Stick, RHRP Daniel Bard had another nightmare inning (actually just one-third of an inning), allowing four runs on one hit (the Rodriguez bases-loaded double) after walking three and hitting a batter. And he threw three more WP today, too, for a total of nine in his last 1.1 IP.       

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

CUBS LINEUP:
1. Kevonte Mitchell, CF 2-4 (BB, E-6, L-7, 2B, 1B, R, RBI, SB)
2. Carlos Sepulveda, SS: 0-3 (F-8, 5-3, BB, BB, F-7)
3. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 0-4 (P-6, 3-U, F-9, 6-3)
4. Tyler Alamo, C: 1-3 (5-3, P-5, 2B, F-7 SF, R, RBI)
5. Alberto Mineo, 1B-DH: 1-3 (K, BB, 1B, K)
6. Kevin Encarnacion, DH #1: 2-3 (BB, P-4, 1B, HR, R, 2 RBI)
7. Joey Martarano, DH-1B: 1-3 (BB, 4-3, 1B, F-8)
8. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-4 (L-4, F-9, F-8, 2B, R)
9. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 1-3 (K, BB, P-5, 3B, R, RBI)
10. Robert Garcia, RF: 0-3 (4-3, HBP, K, K)

CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Erling Moreno: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 3/1 GO/FO, 27 pitches (18 strikes) 
2. Dylan Cease: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 37 pitches (21 strikes) 
3. Daniel Bard: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 3 WP, 21 pitches (6 strikes) 
4. Santiago Rodriguez: 2.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 3/2 GO/FO, 56 pitches (37 strikes)
5. John Michael Knighton: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 12 pitches (11 strikes)

CUBS ERRORS: 1
1B Alberto Mineo: E-3 (missed catch at 1st base allowed batter to reach base safely)

CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE;
Tyler Alamo: 1-3 CS, 1 PB

WEATHER: Sunny and a bit breezy with temperatures in the 90's

ATTENDANCE: 9

 

Comments

what else does k.mitchell have to do to get promoted? seems like he should have made it out of ARZ by this point in his career going by performance stats alone. holes in his game or blocked at upper levels?

CRUNCH: Like Eloy Jimenez, Kevonte Mitchell almost made the South Bend Opening Day roster out of Minor League Camp.

I think part of the reason he was left behind at EXST is because he was moved to CF from 3B after he signed last season, while Rashad Crawford and Charcer Burks were drafted a year (Burks) or two (Crawford) ahead of him, are a year or two older,and they both played OF in HS.  

Also, Mitchell does strike out a bit more than the Cubs would probably like, so he is working on trying to make better contact. 

Tommy Birch interviews Jaron Madison, who updates several prospects including Schwarber, Edwards, Baez, Almora, McKinney and Rivero http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports...

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  • Arizona Phil 10 hours 19 min ago (view)

    RHP Kelvin Abreu (April 2019 IFA - Venezuela) had his contract voided and he has been released. He spent his entire pro career (four months) on the Restricted List.  

     

  • Charlie 14 hours 29 min ago (view)

    I didn't watch the game, but I see that Lester got knocked around despite a significant headwind from CF. That's a rare feat.

     

  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 2 min ago (view)

    I think it's becoming increasingly likely that the Cubs will not exercise Lester's 2021 $25M option after next season (paying the $10M buy-out instead and direct the remaining $15M elsewhere). The 2021 $25M option automatically vests if Lester throws at least 400 IP over the course of 2019-20, but that isn't going to happen.

     

  • Arizona Phil 16 hours 23 min ago (view)

    It's the Polar Bear in an Arctic Snowstorm all white uniforms. Burn 'em! Bring back the unis from the Little League Classic. They actually looked sharp.  

     

  • Eric S 16 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Thru seven innings, Cubs have one hit (by Nick C, of course) - this after somehow winning yesterday’s game with a total of two hits. Clearly it’s time to fire Chili Davis again

     

  • Eric S 17 hours 15 min ago (view)

    Feel bad for the patrons at Wrigley this afternoon - seeing Strop in the fifth inning is a bad sign. At least the weather is nice

     

  • JustSayin' 19 hours 5 min ago (view)

    The buzz on Riley Thompson is that he did what many pitchers do, just way too blatantly.  The opposing manager asked the umpire to check Thompson's glove because he was "going there every time" and the ball was "snapping" when it came out of his hand.  It was a ten-day suspension.  That is supposed to cost you two starts but South Bend uses a six-man rotation so Thompson only missed one.  Kudos to Buddy Bailey and the SB staff for navigating Thompson's absence effectively, with a lot of pitchers being asked to change or expand their roles over these two weeks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    South Bend RHSP Riley Thompson has been reinstated from his suspension. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 10 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have released DSL Cubs #2 RHRPs Keiber Arredondo and Kleiber Carreno (both IFA signed post-2016 DSL season out of Venezuela). 

     

  • crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)

    cubs sweep!

     

  • Eric S 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Woo Hoo!!! Cubs win a crazy one!  KB with another late inning, game winning homer - good stuff!

     

  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    schwarb set the cubs team record for fastest to 100 by a cub a bit less than a week ago.  bryant would have won a couple MVP awards in a row the past couple years.

     

  • Eric S 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    That was a good send by the butterman - great throw by Yaz Jr

    Try as he might, Eddie Vedder can’t find da butterman

    Thanks. I’ll show myself out now

     

  • Eric S 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    200th home run of the season by KB probably would have set some kind of record too

     

  • crunch 2 days 9 hours ago (view)

    the inital graphic was KB #200, but i was like...hold on...

    it was technically true in the loosest sense of the phrase.

     

  • Eric S 2 days 10 hours ago (view)

    That would have been pretty cool if it had been KB’s 200th home run in less than five full seasons!