Olt & Ramirez Ready to Rumble at Riverview

Ho-Young Son tripled, singled twice, stole two bases, scored three runs, and drove-in two more, Kevonte Mitchell belted a bases-loaded triple, singled, and walked, and Joey Martarano drilled a double and an RBI single and scored a run, helping the Eugene Emeralds thrash the Mesa Cubs 10-2 in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Neil Ramirez (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - right shoulder inflammation) saw his first game action since April 16th, and Mike Olt (on Cubs MLB 60-day DL - fractured right wrist) saw his first game action since April 20th,

Getting the start for Eugene, Ramirez allowed singles to the first two men he faced (an infield single followed by a line-drive single to right) and then the runners pulled off a double-steal. Ramirez then struck out the next two hitters, one swinging and one looking. He threw 17 pitches (11 strikes), and was pulled from the game when he reached his pre-planned pitch limit.

Mike Olt played 3rd base for three innings for the Mesa Cubs and got four Plate Appearances, one in each of the first four innings. He struck out (swinging) on three pitches against Neil Ramirez in the top of the 1st, was called out on strikes on a 1-2 pitch in the 2nd, drew a walk and scored a run in the 3rd, and grounded out 6-3 in his fourth and final PA in the 4th (with the last three AB coming against LHP Jose Paulino). He did not handle any chances in the field.

Here is the abridged box score from today's game: 

X. Mike Olt, 3B: 0-3 (K, K, BB, 6-3, R)
NOTE: Olt batted third in the top of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th innings, and led off the top of the 3rd
1. Roberto Caro, CF: 1-3 (1B, K, BB, 6-3, R, SB)
2. Andruw Monasterio, DH-SS: 0-2 (5-U FC+E5, 3-1)
3. Carlos Sepulveda, 2B: 1-4 (1B, 6-3, F-9, F-7, SB)
4. Jose Paniagua, 1B: 0-2 (K, 4-3)
5. Carlos Jimenez,  SS-3B: 0-3 (1-3, 4-3, 4-3) 
6. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-2 (1B, 6-3, BB) 
7. Jenner Emeterio, RF: 0-2 (K, K, HBP)
8. Calvin Graves, LF: 1-3 (1B, F-8, P-3)
9. Roney Alcala, DH #2: 0-3 (6-4 FC, 5-3, P-4) 
10. Danny Gutierrez, CF: 2-3 (2B, 1B, K, RBI)

X. Shawon Dunston Jr, DH #1: 0-3 (4-6 FC, K, 1-3 SH, F-8)
NOTE: Dunston batted third in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, and 5th innings 
1. Robert Garcia, CF: 2-4 (P-6, 3-U, 1B, 1B, R)
2. Kevonte Mitchell, LF: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 3B, F-8, R, 3 RBI)
3. Joey Martarano, 1B: 2-4 (3-1, K, 1B, 2B, R, RBI)
4. Eloy Jimenez, RF: 0-4 (F-8, P-3, 5-3, 6-3)
5. Frandy de la Rosa, 2B: 1-4 (F-8, K, 2B, 3-1, R, RBI)
6. Ricardo Marcano, DH #2: 0-2 (F-8, 3-1, F-8 SF, RBI)
7. Varonex Cuevas, SS-DH: 1-2 (K, 2B, BB, 2 R)
8. Ho-Young Son, DH-SS: 3-3 (1B, 1B, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 SB)
9. Adonis Paula, 3B: 1-2 (1B, K, F-8 SF, 2 RBI)
10. Erick Castillo, C: 1-2 (4-6 FC, BB, 1B, R)

1. Carson Sands: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 2/4 GO/FO, 40 pitches (25 strikes)
2. Alexander Santana: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R (6 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 5/2 GO/FO, 58 pitches (37 strikes)
3. Jesus Castillo: 1.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 2/3 GO/FO, 30 pitches (17 strikes) 
NOTE: Game was called with two outs in bottom of the 8th

1. Neil Ramirez: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (11 strikes)
2. Jose Paulino: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 4/0 GO/FO, 34 pitches (23 strikes) 
3. Enrique de los Rios: 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 7/1 GO/FO, 54 pitches (29 strikes) 
4. Scott Frazier: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 0/2 GO/FO, 17 pitches (9 strikes)
5. Dillon Maples: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)


3B Adonis Paula - E-5 (two-base throwing error allowed batter to reach 2nd base and runner to score from 2nd) 

Jhonny Pereda: 0-2 CS

Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS 

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures 100+ 



Mike Olt was wearing a Cubbie blue t-shirt with a large backward "K" on the front, the backward "K" being the universal scoring symbol for "called out on strikes."
He actually was wearing the t-shirt in the game for a half-inning before somebody gave him a regulation Cubs jersey (#17) to wear. Apparently he does not have his #20 jersey at Riverview (or maybe he can't find it, or maybe it's in the laundry), although the other Cubs MLB rehabbers who are now at--or have been at--Extended Spring Training this season (Ramirez, Denorfia, Grimm, Turner, LaStella, et al ) do wear their own jerseys in EXST games.

And yes, Neil Ramirez did get to use official MLB baseballs (the ones with Rob Manfred's signature stamped on them)  in the game, and then they switched-back to minor league baseballs once Ramirez had left the game. So Olt got to hit against both major league baseballs and minor league baseballs in the game. (Unlike MLB pitchers rehabbing in EXST games, MLB position players like Olt have to play with whatever baseball is being used).  

It's like his Scarlet Letter.

It's a strike out cancer thing. I think Jason Motte has a charity that sells them.

Nice to see Ramirez is throwing the ball again. I'm pretty amazed Olt is already getting playing time. -- Cult of Olt

c.anderson (ARZ) no-hitter through 6... ...and that's done after 6 1/3rd.

PHIL: How has young Eloy J. been looking? Does he take instruction well? Are you projecting he'll be a contributing MLB player within the next 2 years?

E-MAN: Eloy Jimenez is a lot like Jorge Soler, in that he's a nice kid, but he knows he's good so whatever instruction he gets better have cred. 

As for his MLB ETA, that depends on how fast the rough edges (like defense) get polished. I think he will end up in LF, so defense isn't going to be a big concern, but never-the-less he does need to improve his defense, and (especially) get a lot of game reps.  

So barring a career limiting injury or some other unexpected setback, I could see him making his MLB debut (hopefully playing for the Cubs) sometime in 2018, or possibly as soon as late 2017 (but that's only if he keeps hitting like he has at EXST as he moves up through the pipeline).

He will be Rule 5 Draft eligible for the first time post-2017, so he wil likely get added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster no later than 11-20-2017. 

Hi, Phil! Thanks as always for the report. I wondered if you have an opinion on Mark Zagunis's outfield defense. I noticed that he started in CF yesterday, and his offensive toolset would be much more appealing if he can play CF than if he is strictly a LF option. Is CF a position you think he will be able to play, or is that a reach for him?

CHARLIE: I saw Mark Zagunis play RF and LF at Instructs last Fall, and after reporting to Minor League Camp with the Pitchers & Catchers, he switched to OF (full-time) the last two weeks of Minor League Camp and hasn't been catching since. And I doubt very much that he ever will be a catcher again. 

From what I saw of him playing corner OF (but not CF) at Instructs post-2014 and at Minor League Camp this past March (where I did see him play CF only once in a game), he looks like a natural outfielder to me. He has plus-speed and plus-range, and a strong and accurate arm.

I don't know if he can play CF, but he does have the physical tools you look for in a centerfielder. 

Recent comments

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  • Arizona Phil 12 hours 29 min ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 1 day 19 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.


  • Cubster 2 days 23 hours ago (view)

    Barry Foote bobble day! Cool!


  • Mornington Crescent 3 days 49 min ago (view)

    They also gave away Larry Craig bobblefoot dolls as a promotion.


  • crunch 3 days 16 hours ago (view)

    alcantara passes through waivers and is assigned to AAA.

    marisnick contract final, phllip ervin (OF) DFA'd


  • Hagsag 3 days 18 hours ago (view)

    Yes they did.


  • crunch 3 days 19 hours ago (view)

    welcome to the "big time" st paul saints...they built a nice park, the fans showed up, and they go from indies to AAA (with a bit of $ help from the twins for part ownership).

    billy murray is a part owner of the group that owns the saints, btw.


  • Mike Wellman 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Hagsag, the River Bandits made the cut tho, right?


  • Craig A. 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Could have an option year remaining.  Bleacher Nation walked it back, per the link above.


  • Hagsag 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Living in the Quad Cities area, I look forward to hopefully coming to Des Moines to see the I Cubs a few times this summer.


  • CubbyBlue 3 days 23 hours ago (view)



  • CTSteve 3 days 23 hours ago (view)

    It was time. 


  • Hagsag 4 days 6 hours ago (view)

    Love it Jackstraw.


  • Arizona Phil 4 days 13 hours ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed OF Cameron Maybin to a 2021 minor league contract.

    Because he was an Article XX-B MLB free-agent post-2020, he gets the automatic $100K retention bonus and June 1st player opt-out if he is not released or added to the MLB 40-man roster by MLB Opening Day.