Torres Collects Four Safeties, Cubs & D'backs Split a Pair at T-Stick
Gleyber Torres drilled four singles, stole a base, and scored three runs as the Cubs edged the Diamondbacks 5-4 on Whirlwind Field, and Fernery Ozuna (RBI single), Jordan Parr (two-run single), Jacob Mayers (two-run double), and Jose Herrera (RBI double) rapped run-scoring hits to highlight an eight-run 3rd and Eric Brooks and five relievers combined to toss a three-hitter, helping the D'backs throttle the Cubs 11-3 on Quail Field, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at Salt Rivers Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
This was the 8th multi-hit game for Torres and his second four-hit game, and he is now hitting 311/388/398 with four doubles and two triples, 14/18 BB/K, one HBP, and four SB (two CS and two PO) in 30 Cactus League EXST games (118 PA). He has committed 13 errors (11 fielding and two throwing) in his 30 games, however his errors tend to come in bunches and seem to result from carelessness, and then he'll play immaculate defense for several games in a row. He has also made a number of highlight-reel plays at SS, and his throws are always plus-strong & almost always accurate.
Eloy Jimenez returned to game action after a week's absence during which he was supposedly en route to the Cubs Dominican Academy. (He was a spectator at yesterday's game). Jimenez served as DH for Squad "B" (he has only played eight games in RF) and went 1-5 in the game on Whirlwind Field, collecting two RBI (one with a 1st inning single, and the other on a 4-3 GO in the 9th that ultimately proved to be the game-winner). While Jimenez is hitting a mediocre 236/266/348 (with 4/22 BB/K) in 25 Cactus Legue EXST games (94 PA), he is hitting a robust 333/355/567 with one HR, two doubles, and a triple, and ten RBI over his last eight games (31 PA) going back to 5/14, and he leads the EXST Cubs team in RBI with 18. (I know it's not a skill, but Jimenez does seem to have a knack for collecting RBI). Though I suspect they won't, I truly hope the Cubs will give Eloy a chance to remain in Mesa (with Gleyber Torres) and play for the AZL Cubs this summer. He does have defensive issues in RF and he did struggle offensively for a while (though certainly not lately), but so do a lot of players in the AZL.
RHP Ben Wells (sent back to Extended Spring Training from Daytona a couple of weeks ago to try and "right the ship") made his 2014 Cactus League EXST game debut today and got rocked, allowing seven runs (all earned) on six hits (two doubles and four singles) and three walks in just 2.0 IP. Extended Spring Training is almost over, so it's difficult to predict what the Rx will be for Wells.
RHP Scott Frazier (who has been unable to throw strikes going back to Minor League Camp) made his Cactus League EXST game debut as well, and threw a shutout inning with one strikeout, although he did walk two batters and threw two WP. There are some in the Cub organization who believe Frazier has the best (and nastiest) stuff in the system, but he just has all kinds of trouble finding the strike zone with it. He got by today, but just barely. Frazier would be the closer at Boise (heck, he'd probably be the closer at Daytona) if he could just throw strikes.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Brown, LF: 0-4 (3-1, P-3, P-1, L-9)
2. Erick Castillo, C: 0-4 (3-U, 1-3, K, F-9)
3. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 0-4 (5-3, 6-3, K, 3-1)
4. Danny Canela, 1B: 1-4 (1B, 3-U, K, K, R)
5. Rony Rodriguez, DH #1: 0-3 (BB, P-4, K, K, R)
6. Alberto Mineo, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, E-4)
7. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-3 (K, BB, 1B, 4-6-3 DP)
8. Giuseppe Papaccio, SS: 0-3 (E-6, P-6, F-7, R)
9. Zak Blair, 2B: 0-2 (BB, 6-U FC, P-5, RBI)
10. Oliver Zapata, CF: 1-2 (1B, K, BB, 2 RBI)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Ben Wells: 2.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R (7 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 4/1 GO/FO, 51 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Hector Perez: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 2 WP, 2/2 GO/FO, 40 pitches (27 strikes)
NOTE: Perez's second inning was stopped with one out and runners at 1st & 3rd
3. Trey Lang: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 GIDP, 3/0 GO/FO, 28 pitches (18 strikes)
4. Alberto Diaz: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (15 strikes)
5. Francisco Carrillo: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 18 pitches (15 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: NONE
CUBS SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Gleyber Torres, SS: 4-5 (1B, F-8, 1B, 1B, 1B, 3 R, SB)
2. Bryant Flete, 2B: 1-4 (SH-E1, F-8, 1B, 5-3, E-6)
3. Shamil Ubiera, RF: 1-5 (F-8, 2B, K, 5-3, 6-4 FC)
4. Eloy Jimenez, DH: 1-5 (1B, 1-3, 4-3, 6-3, 6-3, 2 RBI)
5a. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 0-2 (4-6 FC, F-9)
5b. Roney Alcala, 1B: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, F-8, RBI)
6a. Antonio Valerio, C: 1-3 (P-6, 1B, K, R)
6b. Eufran Vargas, C: 1-1 (2B)
7. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-4 (6-3, 3B, 5-3, K, R, RBI)
8. Ricardo Marcano, LF: 0-2 (K, F-8 SF, K, BB, RBI)
9. Charcer Burks, CF: 0-4 (6-3, K, L-9, 6-4 FC)
CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Tyler Ihrig: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 8/4 GO/FO, 53 pitches (35 strikes)
2. David Garner: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Yomar Morel: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 11 pitches (7 strikes)
4. Scott Frazier: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 1/1 GO/FO, 24 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Carlos Llano: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/FO, 12 pitches (5 strikes)
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 3
2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and unearned run to score)
SS Gleyber Torres - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
2B Bryant Flete - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
CUBS OUTFIELD ASSISTS:
RF Shamil Ubiera - threw out baserunner 9-2 trying to score from 2nd base on a single to RF
WEATHER: Mostly sunny & hot with temperatures 100+
Dolorous Jon Lester 18 hours 51 min ago (view)
I think, in relation to the higher profile guys like Javy or Contreras, they're trying to put some pressure on to sign extensions.
That said I do think they're listening on everyone with the only name I haven't seen being Rizzo.
crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
i wonder where the cubs will go with things.
there's a lot pointing to the cubs being expected to listen to offers on almost anyone. as it is, on paper, the cubs could roll right into 2020 with no changes whatsoever and still field a very competitive team. the whole "shakeup" thing seems to be a very hot topic from a variety of sources, though.
bryant, contreras, schwarber have all been linked to "cubs may be listening" rumors...probably listening to anything on happ, bote, almora, russell, too...
Hagsag 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
Even the Cubs should be able to out bid the Marlins!
crunch 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
"According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins are "believed" to have interest in free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos."
by interest, i assume they mean they'd like to have some baseball rookie cards or his or maybe a hug from him. i can't imagine they actually want to spend money on someone they could use to make their team better because that makes no sense.
Arizona Phil 2 days 4 hours ago (view)
Prior to joining the Cubs in 2012 Scott Harris was Director of Baseball Operations in the MLB office, which means he received, reviewed, and approved all major league and minor league contracts and transactions, as well as providing MLB clubs with schedules, rules updates, and draft information.
Cubster 2 days 12 hours ago (view)
Giants hire Scott Harris, from Cubs front office, as GM
Charlie 3 days 14 hours ago (view)
For anyone else who immediately wonders but is not invested enough to look it up, this is not Chris (Ryan) Young, former Padres starter and fisticuffs partner of Derrek Lee, but rather the two-years younger Chris Matthew Young.
crunch 4 days 1 hour ago (view)
rev up those off-season rumor fryers...
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Multiple teams in search of catching help believe Cubs catcher Willson Contreras will be available this winter. The Cubs will get creative this winter, and with a deep catching free agent market, they could trade Contreras and begin retooling under new manager David Ross.
crunch 4 days 6 hours ago (view)
former padres manager andy green is gonna be ross's bench coach.
green was c.rea's manager in SD, btw.
Arizona Phil 4 days 12 hours ago (view)
Last year the Cubs signed four free-agents to minor league contracts prior to the Rule 5 Draft: LHP Alberto Baldonado, OF Wynton Bernard, RHP Corey Black, and RHP Jose Rosario. All four were members of the Cubs organization in 2018 but declined to sign a 2019 minor league successor contract prior to being declared a free-agent, but then came back to the Cubs after briefly testing the free-agent waters.
crunch 4 days 16 hours ago (view)
chris young to be named new bullpen coach (former phillies pitching coach)
mixed messages on whether lester strode will have a new cubs role or leaving the cubs...
crunch 5 days 10 hours ago (view)
t.clifton straight up falling off a cliff sucked to watch happen last year.
i had a lot of faith in the guy to at least hold his own in AAA, even if he needed another season or 2 after to get ready for prime time.
he ended up giving out homers like candy on halloween while retaining his high walk and injury rate.
that said, his career is far from done. most likely many other teams willing to give him a minor league deal.
Arizona Phil 5 days 14 hours ago (view)
Keep in mind that most free-agents who sign a 2020 minor league contract prior to the Rule 5 Draft are eligible for selection. (The only exception would be a free-agent who is not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, such as a player whose only previous pro experience was in a foreign major league or in an independent minor league, or a player who was released by another MLB organization but is still not yet eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft).
Arizona Phil 5 days 15 hours ago (view)
If you're wondering if players who sign minor league successor contracts ever get taken in the Rule 5 Draft, the answer is most definitely - YES -.
The Cubs selected RHP Hector Rondon in the 2012 Rule 5 Draft after the Indians signed him to a minor league successor contract, and the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Pedro Araujo in the 2017 Rule 5 Draft after the Cubs signed him to a minor league successor contract.
Hagsag 5 days 15 hours ago (view)
Got to get Taylor Davis back.
Arizona Phil 5 days 15 hours ago (view)
So the Cubs were ultimately able to retain five of their seven most-valuable post-2019 minor league free-agent eligibles (Rea, Pereda, de la Cruz, Lugo, and Burks), losing only Clifton and Leal (both of whom are probably looking for a fresh start in another organization after maybe feeling stalled in the Cubs system).