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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  • Arizona Phil 4 min 24 sec ago (view)

    KKvG: Just from watching Ronnier Quintero take BP, offensively he reminds me a bit of a very young Carlos Delgado, who started at catcher and then was moved to 1B / DH. Quintero clearly has plus-power in BP, but I don't know yet if it will play in games. That is the $2.9M question.  


  • KingKongvsGodzilla 36 min 6 sec ago (view)

    AZPhil! Any impressions of Ronnier Quintero?


  • Arizona Phil 39 min 52 sec ago (view)

    From talking to people in the know out here, the missing level (short-season advanced -- what had been Eugene for the Cubs in the recent past) has messed up things, especially for position players.

    It's like there is a gap in the player development pipeline, with players (especially position players) who are clearly too advanced for the AZL (now ACL) but also not quite ready for full-season Lo-A in a kind of development limbo, either in over their heads at full-season Lo-A, or else dominating younger and/or inferior competition in the short-season complex leagues  


  • Wrigley Rat 41 min 30 sec ago (view)

    Some injuries that have been announced one way or another include Ben Hecht's TJS on 5/11 and Yovanny Cruz' "arm surgery" due to "forearm discomfort" in early May. Jack Patterson announced that he would miss all of 2021, but be back next year. Jonathan Holder was cleared to begin a throwing program last week, but was not ready for mound work at that time. On June 16th, a Rowan Wick update was "every time he ramped back up, he kept feeling something. he's throwing off a mound again, but it's gonna be a while."


  • crunch 1 hour 23 min ago (view)

    baseball as we know it is under heavy management shifts in every aspect of the minors and even the indie leagues with a common string being pulled by upper MLB leaders.

    it's kinda concerning to some people.


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 42 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: For the first time ever the AZL (now the ACL) is being operated / supervised from outside Arizona, and so there has been some confusion on the ground. A lot of last-minute planning. Lots of TBA / TBD, both within the individual organizations and within the league itself. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 48 min ago (view)

    K-DUB: It's just a procedural move to open up slots on the 180-man Domestic Reserve List.

    Any player who was placed on the 60-day IL on Minor League Opening Day (5/3) or placed on the 7-day IL on Minor League Opening Day (5/3) and then subsequently was transferred to the 60-day IL is eligible to be reinstated a week from tomorrow (7/2).

    As for the type of injuries sustained by the guys who are on the 60-day IL, I would rather not say. I will leave it to the individual player and/or to the Cubs to divulge specific injury information as it relates to a particulart player.


  • K Dub 6 hours 1 min ago (view)

    Can't wait for ACL games to get started on the 28th! (Really wish they'd change the name of the league, though. Bad injury vibes...)


  • K Dub 6 hours 3 min ago (view)

    PHIL: Are you able to provide any clarifying info on the nature of Kohl Franklin's injury/rehab? I saw you moved him from the 7-day to the 60-day IL. Was that just a procedural move because enough time has passed or is that a sign that he's out for the season? Also, of the guys on the 60-day IL, can you clarify who is definitely out for the season/having surgery and those who might return?



  • Eric S 11 hours 38 min ago (view)

    Great stuff, Charlie - Thanks!


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have purchased the contract of 25-year old 6'5 260 RHP Adam Heidenfelder from Gary (American Association) and he has been assigned to the ACL Cubs.  


  • Hagsag 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Does anyone know what type of injury Amaya has?


  • Hagsag 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    I can not believe what a good 3b he has been playing.


  • Wrigley Rat 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Robert Stock was claimed off waivers by the Mets.


  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    HR in the 8th.  dope.


  • crunch 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    he's back out in the field in the top 3rd...must be okay, but he sure doesn't look confidently healthy.  *shrug*  off-day tomorrow...