Chris Denorfia & Pierce Johnson Rehabbin' at Riverview

Marcos Derkes belted a bases-loaded triple and RHSP Taylor Black tossed three innings of no-hit ball, leading the Rockies to a 6-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.  

The Cubs Cactus League EXST record dropped to 16-15-5 with today's loss. 

Jose Paniagua drilled an RBI triple and a single and Ho-Young Son ripped an RBI double, singled, reached base on an HBP, and stole a base for the Cubs in a losing cause.

Son is now hitting a robust 417/520/561 (and the .417 batting average leads the EXST Cubs for players with at least one PA per Cactus League EXST game), with four doubles and a triple, five walks and four HBP (so he is the Anthony Rizzo of the EXST Cubs), only three strikeouts (none in his last 33 PA), and five SB (albeit with two CS and four PO) in 18 Cactus League EXST games (50 PA). He also leads the EXST Cubs in multi-hit games with six (Frandy de la Rosa and Kevonte Mitchell have five a piece), and he made just his second error of the Cactus League EXST season today. Son will very likely be the starting shortstop for the Eugene Emeralds once the Northwest League season begins play next month. 

OF Chris Denorfia (on Cubs MLB 15-day with a hamstring strain) was a DH in today;s game and batted four times, once in each of the first four innings.

He struck out (swinging) on three pitches his first time up (and looked bad doing it), then grounded out 6-3 on the first pitch he saw the second time up, walked on four pitches in his third AB, and roped a line-single to left on the first pitch of the AB in his fourth and final Plate Appearance.

Denorfia jogged to 1st base when he ran (that's called "fuck 90 when I'm rehabbing my hamstring"), and Kevonte Mitchell was inserted into the game as a Designated Pinch-Runner the two times Denorfia reached base. Mitchell took advantage of the two opportunities by stealing a base and scoring two runs (Herb Washington, eat your heart out!).

RHP Pierce Johnson (on AA Tennessee DL with a lat strain) got the start on the mound for the Cubs today and looked a lot better today than he did in last Thursday's intrasquad game, working two innings of no-run/no hit ball (25 pitches - 19 strikes), and allowing just one baserunner (he hit the first man he faced) before easily retiring the last six in a row (4-3, P-4, K, K, F-8, 3-1).

His fastball velocity was better than last time, too, as he was working mostly at 92 MPH, and he touched 94 (the very first pitch of the game). He threw 12 consecutive strikes at the end of his outing (including all ten pitches he threw in the top of the 2nd), and was able to command all of his pitches (something he was not able to do last time out).

RHP Jesus Castillo (one of two pitchers acquired from the Diamondbacks in the Tony Campana deal a couple of years ago) followed Johnson to the hill and had a very poor outing, allowing three runs on two walks and two hits (one of which was the Derkes bases-loaded triple) in just one-third of an inning.

Usually a starting pitcher, LHP Jose Paulino had his outing pushed-back to the middle innings to accomodate Johnson and Castillo, and although he did allow three runs (two earned) on three hits, four walks, an HBP, and a balk in 3.2 IP, he was throwing his two-seamer harder than usual, working at 91-93 and touching 94-95 while getting a ton of ground balls (8/0 GO).  

LHRP Andin Diaz had his fastball gas consistently up to 94-95 MPH over the last two innings of the game (no runs/no hits allowed) 

Prior to the Cactus League EXST game on Field #6, RHP Marcelo Carreno (post-2013 right shoulder surgery) and RHRP Corbin Hoffner threw a one-inning "sim" game on Field #4. This was the first time Carreno (acquired as the PTBNL from the Tigers in the August 2012 deal that sent IF-OF Jeff Baker to Detroit) has faced hitters this year, while Hoffner is trying to perfect his new exteme sidearm (almost "submarine") delivery by getting extra work throwing against hitters on days he would normally just throw a bullpen side-session.  

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

X-1. Chris Denorfia, DH #1: 1-3 (K, 6-3, BB, 1B) 
NOTE: Denorfia led-off the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
X-2. Kevonte Mitchell, PR (2 R, SB)
NOTE: Mitchell pinch-ran for Denorfia in the bottom of the 3rd & 4th innings
1. Ho-Young Son, SS: 2-3 (HBP, F-8 DP, 1B, 2B, RBI, SB)
2. Kevin Encarnacion, CF: 0-3 (4-3, K, F-8 SF, F-9, RBI)
3. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 1-3: (5-3, 2B, F-9)
4. Joey Martarano, 1B: 1-3 (K, 1B, K)
5a. Alberto Mineo, C: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC) 
5b. Erick Castillo, C: 0-1 (3-1) 
6. Roberto Caro, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, 1-3, F-8)
7. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 0-3 (6-3, K, 3-U, RBI)
8. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 0-3 (3-U, K, L-4)
9. Calvin Graves, LF: 0-1 (5-3, BB, BB, 2 R)
10. Jose Paniagua, DH #3: 2-3 (3B, 1B, K, RBI)

1. Pierce Johnson: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/FO, 25 pitches (19 strikes)
2. Jesus Castillo: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 22 pitches (9 strikes) 
3. Jose Paulino: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 BALK, 1 GIDP, 8/0 GO/FO, 69 pitches (37 strikes) 
4. Andin Diaz: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 2/3 GO/FO, 35 pitches (19 strikes) 

1. P Jose Paulino: E-1 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 1st base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
2. C Erick Castillo: E-2 (errant throw on pick-off attempt at 2nd base allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
3. SS Ho-Young Son: E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to rrach base safely)  

1. Alberto Mineo: 0-1 CS 
2. Erick Castillo: 1 E (see above)

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 



tonight's game vs WAS on ESPN, btw.

Haha! Somehow I don't think #fuck90 is likely to catch on Twitter. It sounds like he had some shitty ABs today despite the decent results, hopefully he turns it around.

#fuck90 #yolo #swag #kony2012

ugg...ESPN the game so far... - hendricks takes the mound "Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux. Greg Maddux." - every ESPN announcer - bryce harper makes his way to the plate "Gosh, Bryce is swell. He's God's gift to the game. He's young! BRYCE!" - every ESPN announcer

Just be glad Zobrist Alcantara is down in Iowa right now.

I thought I heard on ESPN... A1: Jordan Zimmerman is from Univ Wisconsin, Steven's Point A2: Now that's good scouting

Nats pitch around Rizzo to get to pitch later, they are out of the inning. Better get used to it....I think we will be seeing this a lot.

especially lately, it's a bit weird not seeing cog in the 4 slot more often when he plays.

The Cubs' number four hitter is still baking in the oven. He should be ready in a couple months.

Maddux Hendricks with another well timed DP.

/pen'd WAS takes a 2-1 lead in the 8th.


NASA still currently attempting to track that one.

The sound coming off the bat. /dear God

Bryant Is pretty, pretty, pretty good

I forgot how stupid Escobar is. /step below Cedeno

WAS decides to pay back the cubs earlier baserunning stupidity with some of their own in the top of the 9th. awesome.

That pickoff move will rarely work. Good time for it to work tho

helps the base runner is a moron

woooooooooooo! scrubs win.

Why were the outfielders so shallow? Dumb

Runner on second, you have to play to stop a single from winning the game.

No, I get that, but they were in really far.

That was pretty sweet. Cubs and all their growing pains are still a pretty fun team to watch. Harper will be in a bad mood tomorrow, and will yell at umps. Good stuff.

"Scrubs"? The team you speak of is cir. 2012, 2013, and half the season last year. The 2015 Cubs with several top 30 MLB prospects, plus the top "framer", Lester, Arietta, Hamels, Castro and Rizzo cannot be considered "scrubs" unless you have to press your weird nicknaming fetish.

i'll take this out of place post. scrubs because...umm...force of habit or something. i pretty much did it because i called them that when they lost yesterday.

here's a stat from the ESPN broadcast, Bryant ranks 3rd for most 3-2 counts. I like.

he knows what's in/out of the zone and what he wants to offer at, yet he'll swing and whiff on stuff in the zone more often that one would expect. he could be a rather badass hitter who also K's 150+ least until (if) he turns a corner on that issue.

he could be a rather badass hitter who also K's 150+ least until (if) he turns a corner on that issue. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I think both of those first two will turn out to be correct. Don't see Bryant having a shorter 2-strike swing in there. Very repeatable, in control, long swing. I'm wondering if he's already decided that over the long haul he'll be more successful/helpful to the cause putting that swing on some fraction of balls (while missing others) rather than upping his contact rate a bit with a shorter swing???? Leave the OBP to Rizzo and he'll do the SLG.

He honestly seems to me like a guy studying, observing, trying to figure it all out. If I'm a pitcher, that's a pretty scary thought. A lot of guys, their second time around the league, pitchers start to exploit their flaws. I have a suspicion that with Bryant it's gonna be the other way around.

Sounds like a velociraptor in "Jurassic Park"

Bryant's Babip is .378. Yes, he has done very well, but I don't think he is one of the top players yet. The praise would be more muted if you shave 40 points each off his avg, obp and slg.

Home runs will elevate BABIP. :)

Home runs aren't in play, but they generally help compensate for depressed BABIP. Home runs + a high BABIP = hot streak.

Cubs Minor League games to be broadcast Want to watch the Cubs Minor Leaguers but can’t go to the games? Comcast SportsNet will carry 15 live Minor League games this season, beginning Sunday with the Iowa Cubs vs. the Padres’ El Paso Chihuahuas at 6 p.m. CT. Additional games featuring young Cubs will be June 7 at 5 p.m. CT on CSN+ when Myrtle Beach plays hosts to Carolina. Please note that Sunday’s game will be on the main Comcast SportsNet channel location while the remaining 14 telecasts will air on CSN+. Please check’s channel finder to locate the games.

This would have been more fun last year, but still it's pretty cool.

Huh? Coughlan leading off, Fowler batting 4th, Lake in right

Recent comments

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  • BobbyD 3 hours 27 min ago (view)

    Cubster: I agree with your comments, save one. That the president is "leading" America. He couldn't lead a pack of rats to a NYC dumpster on an August afternoon. The "man" is a f'ing disgrace. 


  • crunch 5 hours 46 min ago (view)

    though the team cheaped out on this offseason (still an overall top-tier payroll), i was at least looking forward to seeing the beginning of the david ross era...and who was going to win the 2nd base job...

    nothing about 2020 baseball feels legit anymore.  just hearing the players talk about it, you'd think they were organizing a casual pickup game for charity at an inconvient time and place...doesn't seem like they're really stoked about it.


  • Cubster 6 hours 55 min ago (view)

    June 1st is a week from tomorrow. Given 5 weeks of spring training before starting (July 4th?), the season is on the brink of going bye-bye. It's bad enough in 2020 to be losing prime career years for Javy Baez and Kris Bryant, let alone Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Schwarber, Kyle Hendricks, and Willson Contreras. If one of them gets coronavirus, loses lung capacity, and alters their career arc, Cub fans will for a long time have a bitter taste in their mouths. All for, at best,  a bizarre half-season without fans watching in the ballparks.


  • Alexander Dimm 12 hours 4 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: I've been following this all spring and I fully agree.  Let's not risk the health of these ballplayers.  Let's plan for 2021 an be done with 2020.  I know that whole game will be changed next year but it's already morphing now.  Just start with a clean slate.  I don't want scientists watching baseball when they should be working on a vaccine.


  • Hagsag 16 hours 41 min ago (view)

    I love baseball as much as anyone, but I cant see this working. Put the 2020 season on the shelf and plan for 2021. 


  • crunch 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    i still don't understand how any of this retains momentum if a team has an outbreak...

    it seems like that would put a pause on things not only effecting the team with the outbreak, but the schedule and future opponents...and past opponents who recently played the team with an outbreak...

    if it gets started, hopefully it can roll to end without going off the rails.  it all seems so fragile with a lot of moving pieces.


  • CubbyBlue 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    I wish I felt better about the possibility of baseball this year. All those details - it just seems like something's not going to work. And to me the worst thing that could happen is they get started and 2 weeks later have to shut it down, then try to start it up again. 
    Baseball's role this summer is meant to uplift, and that scenario feels soul-crushing.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    add the bjays to the list...

    whatever works to get people paid.


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    "Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Brewers will keep their baseball operations staff intact for all of 2020.

    There will be no furloughs and only top executives in the organization will take pay cuts."

    2020 has officially crossed the line now...making me like the brewers...

    seriously though, it's about time some of these 100s-millionaire to billionaire owners acted like this.

    brewers, wsox, cards, and twins have all promised full pay for employees through june+ (and maybe longer when revisited)


  • crunch 4 days 3 hours ago (view)

    the "slow opening" seems to be starting up this weekend and into next week for a variety of clubs...whether it's the ballpark or training facitlies.  most all of the player access seems to be limited to those on the 40-man and nothing mandatory.

    nothing for the cubs yet (that i've heard about).  chicago is still a bit "hot" but AZ is open for sports...


  • crunch 1 week 7 hours ago (view)

    i can't speak for this or all of the US, but my state govt level safety committee reports kinda shape up like this...and this aggregated view stated below is my own...

    we're still technically short for how all pieces of the testing scheme interact with each other on whole, but it's catching up and should be rolling smoothly for a task like this (seems to be a dedicated lab for all MLB) by the time the season is proposed to start.


  • Hagsag 1 week 15 hours ago (view)

    They plan on testing 10.000 per week? I thought we were short of tests. 


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    i would be surprised to see this go start-to-finish without some kind of stupid drama.  it's not that covid is gonna kill a gazillion people while they bleed from their eyes or's that it's so easy to pass it others.  if you find one guy positive, chances are pretty high he's taking down a handful of others with him even if they're all good to go in a couple weeks and feel fine during that downtime.


  • Craig A. 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    This is going to be full of surprises. Young players who don't feel that bad may be angry that they can't  play.  A team may loose several players at once. They'll need a taxi squad that doesn't practice with the main team. Even the best plan can't prepare teams for every possibility. 


  • crunch 1 week 1 day ago (view)

    "Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that MLB plans to process upward of 10,000 COVID-19 tests per week, according to a draft of the league's health-and-safety manual.


  • crunch 1 week 2 days ago (view)

    some audio from him describing his symptoms...