Denorfia Continues Rehab at Riverview Park

Robert Garcia slugged a solo HR and RHSP Austyn Willis hurled four innings of shutout ball for the Cubs, and RHSP Chris Johnson tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball for the Giants, as the Cubs & Giants played to a 1-1 tie on Field #6, and 1B Nick Jones belted an RBI double and singled twice and Byron Murray drilled an RBI double, walked twice, and scored two runs, leading the Giants to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs on Field #5, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.

Frandy de la Rosa slugged a two-run HR for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #5.

The game on Field #5 was called after eight innings of play, and the game on Field #6 was called after seven innings.

Chris Denorfia (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - hamstring strain) played LF for four innings and batted four times for the Cubs squad on Field #6. He walked on a 3-1 pitch his first time up, struck out swinging on three pitches in his second Plate Appearance, lined a double into the LF corner on a 3-0 pitch his third time up, and flied out to right in his fourth and final AB.

Shawon Dunston Jr (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL - right shoulder injury) saw his first game action in more than a month, serving as a DH for the Cubs on Field #6. He went 0-3, striking out twice (both times swinging) and grounding back to the pitcher 1-3.

Prior to the Cactus League EXST doubleheader, RHP Marcelo Carreno (post-2013 shoulder surgery) and RHP Jesus Castillo squared-off in a two-inning "sim" game on Field #3.

In EXST Cubs medical news, RHP Yomar Morel has been diagnosed with a torn elbow UCL, and will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery next week. The 21-year old Morel will be the third Cub minor leaguer to undergo TJS this season, the other two being catcher Will Remillard (in March) and RHP Jose Rosario (in April).  

Here are the abridged box scores from today's two Cactus League EXST games (Cubs players only):



1a. Kevonte Mitchell, CF-DH: 1-3 (1B, K, 6-3, R, SB)
1b. Adonis Paula, PH: 1-1 (1B)
2. Ho-Young Son, SS: 0-4 (K, K, 6-3, 6-3 DP)
3. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 1-4 (F-9, L-8, 6-3, 1B) 
4. Joey Martarano, 1B: 2-3 (HBP, 1B, K, 1B, R)
5. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 1-4 (HR, F-8, K, F-9, R, 2 RBI)
6. Tyler Alamo, C: 2-3 (6-3, 1B, 1B) 
7. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-3 (1-3, 3-1, 6-4 FC)
8. Jose Paniagua, DH-CF: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K)
9. Carlos Sepulveda, 3B: 1-3 (1B, K, 3-1)

1. Justin Steele: 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 6/5 GO/FO, 62 pitches (44 strikes) 
2. Jordan Brink: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 3 WP, 2/2 GO/FO, 37 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Corbin Hoffner: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1/2 GO/FO, 14 pitches (6 strikes) 

1. SS Ho-Young Son: E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
2. C Tyler Alamo: E-2 (overthrow at 2nd base on stolen base attempt allowed runner to advance to 3rd)
3. 1B Joey Martarano: E-3 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 
4. CF Kevonte Mitchell: E-8 (dropped pop fly allowing batter to reach base safely) 

Tyler Alamo:  0-2 CS, 1 E (see above)


X. Chris Denorfia, LF: 1-3 (BB, K, 2B, F-9)
NOTE: Denorfia batted 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Robert Garcia, CF: 1-3 (K+WP, 6-3, HR, R, RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH #1: 0-3 (K, K, 1-3)
3. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-2 (BB, 6-3, 1B)
4. Roney Alcala, 1B: 0-3 (1-2-3 DP 3-U, F-7)
5. Jenner Emeterio, RF: 1-3 (F-9, 1B, K)
6. Varonex Cuevas, 3B: 0-2 (3-U, F-9)
7. Carlos Jimenez, 2B: 0-2 (5-3, 6-3)
8. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 1-2 (5-3, 1B, CS)
9. Calvin Graves, DH-LF: 0-2 (4-3, K)

1. Austyn Willis: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP, 4/3 GO/FO, 49 pitches (31 strikes)
2. Alexander Santana: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP, 3/1 GO/FO, 51 pitches (30 strikes) 


Alberto Mineo: 0-1 CS 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's 



Phil...kind of a generic question but based on your observations of recently drafted pitchers, do any of these have TOR ceilings (or where are they likely to end up if they stay healthy)? Underwood, Tseng, Stinnett, Steele, Cease, Sands, and P. Johnson Thanks!

GEORGE A: It's too early to tell with Cease, Sands, Steele, and Stinnett, but I would say Duane Underwood Jr has definite TOR potential, with Jen-Ho Tseng and Pierce Johnson more likely MOR. Or Johnson could end up being a late-inning reliever if starting is too much of a physical strain for him because of high per-inning and per-game pitch counts (this also applies tio Carl Edwards Jr and Corey Black).  

Thanks, Phil.

Phil: Was the attendance number another Ernie Banks tribute?

Thanks AZ PHIL: keep the sunscreen flowing...

Royals. They are a very good team. For 2015, the Cubs at least with the bullpen they have currently plus the overall youth - is plainly overmatched.

Youth had a pretty good day -- Bryant, Soler and Russell drove in 4 runs, all with XBH. Problem was Fowler's defense, and, as you say, the pen, which I had though would be a strength this year.

Fowler is in a contract year? Not a good idea to hit .240 and botch a routine play that turns a one-run game into a rout. Just awful.

Really liked JD's (correct!) thinking on turning Soler loose on 3-0. Power hitter up, bottom third of the lineup to follow, Cubs need runs, and he will probably get a straight fastball over the middle of the plate. Boom.

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  • cubbies.4ever 7 hours 28 min ago (view)

    Just to continue my conspiracy theory that Theo has a requirement you have TJS to pitch for the Cubs Trevor Megill had it in 2013.  The Cubs must have a support group for pitchers who have had TJS.


  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 4 min ago (view)

    After losing two players off the Iowa reserve list in the Major League Phase and selecting four players in the AAA Phase, the Iowa reserve list has one slot open, so now would be an excellent time to try and outright C. D. Pelham to AAA.

    Keep in mind that he can't elect free-agency if he's outrighted, and if he is outrighted, he won't be a minor league free-agent until post-2021.

    And if he gets claimed off waivers? No big deal.  


  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 26 min ago (view)

    LHSP Faustino Carrera and 2B Carlos Sepulveda were among the first players signed by the Cubs out of Mexico in 2014-15. The Cubs ended up signing more than two dozen more Mexican players over the next three years. 


  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 29 min ago (view)

    Vimael Machin can play anywhere in the infield & outfield, but he also went through the catcher conversion program at post-2015 Instructs so he can even catch in a pinch, too. He could be a very useful 26th man.

    Machin is bi-lingual (he is from Puerto Rico and went to college at Old Dominion), and was projected by the Cubs as a future coach or manager. He's a savvy & astute baseball guy. 


  • Arizona Phil 9 hours 42 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Every year the Cubs convert two or three position players to pitcher (it was Galazin, Hughes, and Zardon in 2019), so it's very possible that Suiter will be given a chance to pitch. 


  • bradsbeard 10 hours 38 min ago (view)

    Suiter, who pitched in HS and briefly in college and who doesn't appear to be much of a hitter, seems to me to be a good pitcher conversion candidate.


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 20 min ago (view)

    BTW, three of the four players selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of the Rule 5 Draft (Stewart, Suiter, and Masters) will be minor league free-agents post-2020, and the fourth one (Vance Vizcaino) is a second-contract player (he was previously released by KC) so he could be a post-2020 minor league free-agent, too (TBD).

    Incidentally, David Masters was selected by the Cubs after signing a minor league successor contract with the Nationals. 


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 27 min ago (view)

    So LHSP Brailyn Marquez, INF Christopher Morel, RHSP Cory Abbott, SS Aramis Ademan, RHSP Erich Uelmen, RHSP Keegan Thompson, and LHSP Brendon Little stand-out among the Cubs 2020 first-time Rule 5 Draft eligibles, and RHRP Oscar de la Cruz, LHSP Luis Lugo, and LHRP Jordan Minch are probably the ones to watch  among the Cubs post-2020 free-agent eligibles.    


  • Arizona Phil 11 hours 27 min ago (view)

    For those of you who like to plan ahead, AS THINGS STAND NOW here is how the Rule 5 Draft and minor league free-agency shape up for the Cubs post-2020: 


  • bradsbeard 18 hours 9 min ago (view)

    You say that in jest, but just from the 2016 draft, which did not feature a first or second round pick, the Cubs drafted 4 players who were added to 40 man rosters this winter (Hatch, Miller, Rucker, Short) with Mekkes, Giambrone, and several others being potential mid-season additions.  


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 26 min ago (view)

    So I guess he's the first guy since Rondon we've taken in rule 5 with a shot at making the roster. That's kinda cool


  • crunch 18 hours 32 min ago (view)

    "Megill is a guy we tried to trade for, actually, prior to the Rule 5." - hoyer


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 41 min ago (view)

    That's a bummer. He does what few on the big league club do: put the bat on the ball.

    Also hate to lose Rucker. He's a perfect type to be on AAA shuttle and cheap middle relief at minimum.


  • QuietMan 18 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Good stuff indeed.  


  • crunch 18 hours 44 min ago (view)

    A's trade for machin...probably not getting him back.


  • crunch 18 hours 55 min ago (view)

    cubs seem to be using the minor league phase of the rule5 to attempt to build a farm system...better than their recent non-1st-round draft record so far, i guess.