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) :
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)
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
Charlie 3 hours 44 sec ago (view)
Honestly, Urias guessed wrong on that one. But he stilled managed to make contact despite being way out in front, so that breaker must have rolled.
Charlie 3 hours 2 min ago (view)
KB having a perfectly adequate KB stretch and it's a highlight. Sigh.
Chafin may be reconsidering that jalopie after being the man on the mound when the wheels fell off in this one.
crunch 4 hours 1 min ago (view)
i know we're only 10 games in and you can't get good numbers on that, but this is a full-team hitting slump aside from marisnick and his 12 PA.
no one on this team is this bad, but all of them doing it at once is crazy. bad ABs, tons of swings and misses, crap contact...
upon reflection (and another hit in the 9th) i need to give props to k.bryant...he's a 1-man show right now for the regulars.
Eric S 4 hours 49 min ago (view)
I can pause it for pinch hitting - otherwise I'm locked in as there's nothing else to see here
Dolorous Jon Lester 4 hours 53 min ago (view)
Me too, Eric Sogard
Eric S 4 hours 59 min ago (view)
Well, Chafin ... not your night I guess ... looks like its time to catch up on the latest installment of Falcon and the Winter Soldier
Dolorous Jon Lester 5 hours 2 min ago (view)
It's kinda starting to feel like this team sucks? But yes this game definitely sucks.
crunch 5 hours 5 min ago (view)
justin steele warming...seems like his debut is on tap.
also, this game sucks.
Eric S 5 hours 7 min ago (view)
Luis Urias is not impressed 😩
crunch 7 hours 44 min ago (view)
steele, wieck, and strop called up.
btw, strop is a "replacement player" in this move and isn't subject to 40-man roster waiver rules
crunch 8 hours 11 min ago (view)
cubs covid...chris young tested positive. j.adam, d.winkler, and b.workman are now on the "injured list"
Charlie 8 hours 36 min ago (view)
Sorry that I couldn't access things for opening day and then got busy for the next couple series. Glad to have a baseball routine to share with you all again!
Sonicwind75 9 hours 7 min ago (view)
Guessing I'm a little late to the game on this; but just read Chafin's twitter about wanting to buy a cheap car to drive around Chicago. He seems like a good dude.
Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
RHSP Duncan Robinson (June 2019 TJS) has retired.
Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)
Rex Brothers and Tony Wolters reached five years of MLB Service Time this weekend, so Brothers now cannot be sent outright to the minors without his consent (he is out of minor league options) and Wolters (who has a minor league option left) now cannot be optioned or outrighted to the minors without his consent.
Arizona Phil 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
It's not good to play bad teams early because they have the confidence and energy they won't have later in the season after they realize they suck and all is lost.