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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  • crunch 1 hour 19 min ago (view)

    i haven't heard anything beyond speculation.  i don't even know if it was even addressed in the mlbpa/owners agreement, but i imagine it is in some way.

     

  • Sonicwind75 1 hour 23 min ago (view)

    Has there been any indication on how much effort will be made to make up the games lost to a team Covid shutdown? 

     

  • crunch 1 hour 29 min ago (view)

    cubs gave d.bote a highlight reel tweet from his 3 notable plays last night.

    https://twitter.com/Cubs/status/1290489953730719744

     

  • crunch 3 hours 7 min ago (view)

    so if the marlins keep covid'ing it up and finish with a 2-1 record do they make the playoffs with their kickass .667% winning percentage?

    how does this circus work?

    j/k...we're not gonna get to the playoffs.

     

  • Cubster 5 hours 4 min ago (view)

    No new positives for either Marlins or Cards today. The Marlins are OK'd to play at Baltimore tonight (so far).

     

  • Cubster 5 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Cardinal Coronavirus positives include: Yadi Molina, Paul DeJong.  Relievers Jr Fernandez, Kodi Whitley. Inf Edmundo Sosa and Rangel Ravelo. 6 members of staff not yet disclosed.

    Yadi posted on Instagram (in Spanish). DeJong also released a statement. The team is to fly to StL on Wednesday but need two consecutive days of testing negative before they can travel.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 5 min ago (view)

    pen manages to string 2 good innings together...in a row!

    the cubs are 8-2.

    the cards are 2-3.  the marlins are 2-1.

    we're 1/6th of the way into this and who knows how much longer it will last...

     

  • crunch 19 hours 21 min ago (view)

    "what i wouldn't give to have a man bun and a 99mph fastball" - JD on staumont

     

  • crunch 19 hours 26 min ago (view)

    torn achilles

     

  • Eric S 19 hours 34 min ago (view)

    The Adjunct Professor was dealing tonite 

     

  • crunch 19 hours 51 min ago (view)

    a.mills is good for 140+ pitches, right?

    *looks at pen*  uh...right?

    he was shakey through the first 2ip and stellar since.

     

  • Cubster 19 hours 52 min ago (view)

    The Cardinals have to test negative for the next two days for the Cub-Cardinal series to happen this weekend (per Len Kasper) 

     

  • crunch 22 hours 13 min ago (view)

    game time delayed 30m

     

  • crunch 22 hours 22 min ago (view)

    m.soroka (ATL) is having to be helped off the field unable to put weight on his right leg.

    it looks like he really screwed something in his calf/foot area that's not specifically the ankle.

     

  • crunch 1 day 12 min ago (view)

    bryant(LF) / rizzo / baez / contreras / schwarber(DH) / bote(3rd) / heyward / hoerner / happ

     

  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    "take off your mask while you eat/drink" indoor venues has been one of the stupidest missteps in this whole thing.  i can safely say if i've been hearing this in covid briefings at work for months that government leaders have, too.

    it's one of the most disasterous missteps we've taken during re-opening and there is little american appetite for ending it on a government or "personal responsibility" level.