Not Everybody Can Go to Boise
Kevin Encarnacion belted a bases-loaded three-run triple and a double and scored three runs, Yasiel Balaguert singled three times, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Xavier Batista collected three hits including a solo home run and an RBI single, helping one squad of Cubs defeat another squad of Cubs 12-6 in an Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.
Squad "B" pitchers retired 19 of the last 20 men they faced, as Squad "B" rallied from an early 6-1 deficit to win the game.
The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that more pitchers could get work.
The players had three days off during the First-Year Player Draft, and the team reconvened in Mesa yesterday. The players came into today's intrasquad game unaware of who would be going to Boise and who will be staying in Mesa. The Boise roster was to be announced by Hawks Manager Gary Van Tol at a team meeting at 2:00 (MST) this afternoon at the Fitch Park clubhouse, and supposedly one or two of the roster slots were still up for grabs going into the game.
Boise's first game is this Friday night at Eugene (first home game is next Monday night), and the AZL Cubs will begin league play on June 20th. All AZL Cubs home games will be night games played at HoHoKam Park (Dwight Patterson Field).
Not related to the battle for Boise roster slots, AA Tennessee OF Jae-Hoon Ha (lower back strain rehab) played CF for five innings and batted five times in the game, going 1-5 with two strikeouts (one swinging & one looking), a FC, a F-9 fly out, and a line-drive opposite-field single. He also stole a base. Ha suffered the back strain during batting practice prior to a Smokies game on May 3rd, and this was his first game action since suffering the injury.
Also, Iowa Cubs RHP Carlos Gutierrez (2012 shoulder surgery rehab) threw one inning and allowed the solo HR to Batista, and switch-hitting ex-Minnesota Twins C-1B-3B Jose Morales (strained hamstring rehab) was the starting catcher for Squad "A" and was behind the dish for seven innings.
The Cubs claimed Gutierrez off waivers from Minnesota last October, and then outrighted him to Iowa in November. He was assigned to the Iowa squad at Minor League Camp, but was left behind at Extended Spring Training to continue his rehab. He got into one Cactus League Extended Spring Training game on April 10th, and then was shut-down for about six weeks. He has been pitching in "sim" games for the past couple of weeks.
Gutierrez was a former Twins 1st round draft pick out of the University of Miami, where he was the Hurricanes closer. He was throwing mostly cutters & sinkers today, topping out at 92 MPH.
The Cubs signed Morales to a minor league contract in April, and he suffered the hamstring injury in his very first Cactus League EXST game on April 19th. He returned to game action on May 30th, and should be about ready to move up to Iowa.
Here is the box score from today's intrasquad game:
CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP:
X. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 1-5 (K, FC, K, 1B, F-9, R, SB)
NOTE: Ha batted five times, hitting 3rd in the top of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings
1. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-4 (F-8, 4-3, 4-3, L-8, RBI)
2. Jose Morales, C-DH: 1-4 (2B, 3-U, F-7, K, R, RBI)
3. Jacob Rogers, 1B: 0-3 (BB, K, K, K, R)
4. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (2B, F-8, 1B, K, R, RBI)
5. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-4 (2B, F-9, 5-3, L-5, 2 RBI)
6. Trevor Gretzky, LF: 0-4 (F-7, F-7, K, K)
7a. Garrett Schlecht, DH #1: 1-1 (BB, 1B, R, SB)
7b. Neftali Rosario, PH-DH: 0-2 (K, 5-3)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST THREE TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-1 (K)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 1-3 (3B, K, K, R, RBI)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Kevin Encarnacion, LF: 2-6 (P-4, 3B+E4, F-8, K, 2B, E-4, 3 R, 3 RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 1-5 (K, 1B, K, L-8, FC, BB, RBI, SB)
3. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 3-6 (L-4, 1B, 1B+E7, F-9, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI, SB)
4. Xavier Batista, DH: 3-5 (HR, K, 1B, K, 1B, R, 2 RBI)
5. Jose Dore, 1B: 1-4 (HBP, P-4, 4-3, 2B, R, RBI)
6. Brad Zapenas, 2B: 1-5 (E-6, 1B, 6-3, L-8, F-9, R)
7. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-3 (BB, 4-6-3 DP, BB, K, 1B, 2 R)
8a. Alberto Mineo, C: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI)
8b. Wilfredo Petit, C: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
8c, Erick Castillo, C: 1-1 (1B)
9. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-5 (K, K, K, 1B, 6-U FC, 2 R)
CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHERS:
1. Carlos Gutierrez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 20 pitches (14 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
2. Erick Leal: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 68 pitches (42 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
NOTE: Bottom of 5th inning was stopped with two outs when Leal reached his pre-planned max pitch limit for the game
3. Armando Rivero: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 35 pitches (24 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 31 pitches (20 strikes), 1/3 GO/FO
5. David Villegas: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 25 pitches (13 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
NOTE: Game was called with one out in bottom of 10th inning after all pitchers completed their scheduled work
SQUAD "B" PITCHERS:
1. Loiger Padron: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 78 pitches (48 strikes), 2/5 GO/FO
2. Corbin Hoffner: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
3. Matt Iannazzo: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 22 pitches (15 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Tyler Bremer: 2.0 IP: 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 26 pitches (18 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
SQUAD "A" ERRORS: 5
1. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (error on relay throw to third base on triple allowed batter to score)
3. LF Trevor Gretzky - E-7 (fielding error allowed batter to take an extra base on single)
4. SS Francisco Sanchez - E-6 (throwing error while attempting complete 6-3 DP allowed runner at 3rd base to score)
5. 2B Danny Lockhart - E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
SQUAD "B" ERRORS: NONE
SQUAD "A" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jose Morales: 0-2 CS
SQUAD "B" CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Alberto Mineo: 0-2 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures 105+
bradsbeard 27 min 19 sec ago (view)
Arizona Phil, some folks (mostly me!) were wondering if you had any thoughts/info on Luis Devers, who seems to be having a nice ACL season despite being a bit old for the level. Got touched for a HR last night but hadn't given up multiple runs in a start before then and has struck out a healthy number of batters while limiting walks. Many thanks in advance!
Hagsag 5 hours 26 min ago (view)
Rizzo wasn't a cancer, he HAD cancer!
Arizona Phil 8 hours 56 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released AAA Iowa C-INF Tony Wolters so that he can sign a minor league deal with a contending club (if the opportunity presents itself).
Because he was outrighted earlier this season he was not eligible to be traded after 7/30, even though he was on a minor league reserve list and (generally speaking) a player on a minor league reserve list can be traded up until one week prior to the scheduled conclusion of the MLB regular season.
Arizona Phil 9 hours 28 min ago (view)
So #11 (Ziehl), #12 (Banks), and #19 (Avitia) were the only three 2021 Cubs draft picks who did not sign.
crunch 13 hours 6 min ago (view)
similar story, similar quotes, different site/author
QuietMan 13 hours 27 min ago (view)
Cubs: Jed Hoyer clarifies comments about extension talks with former core players - Marquee Sports Network
Sorry I'm having trouble posting the link.
@TonyAndracki23 with the story.
Wrigley Rat 14 hours 40 min ago (view)
Second contract player Michael Arias, a former infielder-turned-pitcher, made his Cubs system debut today in relief. 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB for DSL Cubs Blue.
Charlie 18 hours 54 min ago (view)
A GM or owner saying a player "didn't want to sign" or "didn't want to negotiate" should always be read as "we didn't want to pay them."
That said, a GM or owner can always show more finesse by saying, "I hope we can have productive talks this offseason" or something along those lines. Seems like Jed is trying to burn those bridges.
crunch 19 hours 7 min ago (view)
while not known as a clubhouse cancer, there's more than a few stories about his "leadership qualities" lacking or otherwise being a bit of a jerk at points in time. they're mostly rumor, and none of the rumors are awful...
reminded a bit of this justin wilson/rizzo exchange back in 2018...
videographer 19 hours 41 min ago (view)
/With all the player movement in the last week, I wonder if the Cubs are now 85% compliant for vaccinated players. We know Sogard and Rizzo were not vaccinated and I can assume the players taking their place of the 40 man roster are vaccinated. It will be an interesting story going forward when all trade noise settles down.
Dolorous Jon Lester 21 hours 35 min ago (view)
Agreed on every point. I think Jed is trying to create "his" team, a fully separate entity than Theo. Probably targeting 2023 or 2024 to return to actual contention.
He absolutely shouldn't have aired that out. He ends up looking like the bad guy. This is a good way to burn those bridges.
crunch 22 hours 4 min ago (view)
jed shouldn't have aired things out so blatently, even if true.
"I don't know why guys didn't want to sign. I don't know why guys didn't want to even counteroffer, oftentimes. Every one of these guys would say they wanted to stay in Chicago, 'we wanted to be a Cub,' but then we would sit down and do negotiations, that wasn't how they acted."
...dude, no. keep that to yourself.
Dolorous Jon Lester 22 hours 16 min ago (view)
After the feel-good videos and goodbyes, Jed decided to say the players didn't seem to want to negotiate and place blame at their feet. Rizzo responded today, basically saying "wtf man, shut up, that's a lie."
I haven't really blamed Jed for much of this as I feel mgmt forced his hand but this... definitely a misstep Jed. And it also makes me wonder, the next core, if they don't want to sign below market extensions, are we gonna see a similar tear down?
crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)
yeah. i think it would have worked better if they weren't local boys. better sell on having a built in "friend" in a new, far away place. still not a bad move for an incentive, though...
Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 16 hours ago (view)
Was clearly just a signing as an incentive to sign his brother
crunch 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
david can go ahead and not sign with the cubs if he wishes.
there is absolutely nothing about his game that looks like he could even play A-ball. his low-division college game is weak and his summer league wood bat game is abysmal.