Ryan Williams Keeps Rollin' at Riverview as Extended Spring Training Comes to an End

D. J. Wilson singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run, Franklin Tineo belted a solo HR, and SP Ryan Williams (2017 right shoulder surgery) hurled five innings of one-run ball, in a Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played Tuesday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after 4-1/2 innings of play (only two pitchers were scheduled to throw in the game, both with a pre-determined 75-pitch limit). 

Tuesday marked the official end of Cubs Extended Spring Training. AZL mini-camp begins on Thursday, and the first AZL games are next Monday.

Meanwhile, the Eugene Emeralds (the Cubs short-season "A" affiliate) flew up to Oregon earlier in the afternoon, leaving AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2 behind in Mesa to play the final EXST intrasquad game. The first Eugene game will be this coming Friday. 

Based upon who did and did not play in the intrasquad game and who I did not see on the bench (and we will have to wait for the Eugene roster to be released before this can be confirmed), it would appear that a number of the Cubs best EXST prospects have been assigned to Eugene (at least initially, pending the eventual arrival of some of this year's college draft picks), including SS-3B Christopher Morel, C Jonathan Soto, LHSP Brailyn Marquez, CF Fernando Kelli, SS Luis Vazquez, LHSP Faustino Carrera, RF Jonathan Sierra, 2B Luis Diaz, RHSP Eury Ramos, and 3B-2B Orian Nunez. (OF Nelson Velazquez -- who was moved up to South Bend from EXST last month -- has also been assigned to Eugene, so the Emeralds could be a fun team to watch).

Converseely, some of the older and more experienced players who were expecting to go to Eugene (C Alexander Guerra, OF Luis Gutierrez, OF Jose A. Gonzalez, 3B-1B Fidel Mejia, OF Yovanny Cuevas, and INF Yonathan Perlaza) as well as the youngsters making their pro debuts (SS Luis Verdugo, 2B Reivaj Garcia, and OF Kevin Moreno) were left behind to play in the AZL. (As most of you know by now, the Cubs Player Development Department likes to employ aggressive "challenge-promotions" for their best prospects). 

On the EXST medical front, Cubs 2017 6th round draft pick RHSP Jeremiah Estrada (who was a virtual lock for the Eugene starting rotation) was left behind in Mesa after suffering a right elbow injury in a Cactus League EXST game versus Angels at Diablo Park about ten days ago. RHSP Jose M. Gonzalez (who was not in contention for a Eugene SP slot but was expected to be a SP for one of the two Cubs AZL teams) has been shut-down indefinitely with a right elbow/forearm injury that ocurred in a Cactus League EXST game at Giants about two or three weeks ago (but no TJS for either Estrada or Gonzalez... yet). RHSP Danis Correa and RHRP Junior Marte have also been shut-down indefinitely (and I don't know why). And still no confirmation on the exact nature of DSL Cubs #2 LHSP Andres Bonalde's season-ending left elbow surgery (probably was TJS, but I'm not 100% sure). NOTE: Bonalde was called up from the Cubs Dominican Academy and was assigned to Cubs Extended Spring Training only - AFTER - he had the surgery. Myrtle Beach OF Chris Pieters was last seen a couple of weeks ago at the UAPC wearing a TJS-type contraption on his right (non-throwing) arm, but his injury could be any one of a number of different types of elbow/biceps type-injury (although whatever it is, it didn't look good). South Bend catcher Marcus Mastrobuoni had season-ending knee surgery last month. And no update yet on OF Carlos Pacheco, who suffered a leg injury while tripping over 1st base (and had to be carried from the field) in an intrasquad game last weekend (Pacheco -- who was tied for 2nd in the DSL in HR in 2017 -- was expected to play LF and provide a power-bat for one of the two AZL Cubs teams).   

Here is the box score from the game: 

CUBS SQUAD "B" LINEUP:
1. Tolly Filotei, LF: 1-3 (1B, K, 3-U) 
2. Jose Gutierrez, RF: 0-3 (K, F-8, K)
3. Luis Verdugo, SS: 0-2 (F-9, F-9)
4. Franklin Tineo, C: 1-2 (F-7, HR, R, RBI)
5. Josue Huma, 3B: 0-2 (L-7, 4-3)
6. Herson Perez, 2B: 2-2 (1B, 1B)
7. Richard Nunez, 1B: 0-2 (K, K)
8. Jose A. Gonzalez, CF: 0-1 (6-3, BB)
9. Eric Gonzalez, DH:  0-2 (6-3, L-7)

CUBS SQUAD "A" LINEUP
1. D. J. Wilson, CF: 2-2 (1B, 2B, R, SB)
2. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 1-2 (1B, K, RBI)
3. Yonathan Perlaza, 3B: 0-2 (P-3 DP, 5-3)
4. Alexander Guerra, C: 0-2 (F-8, 6-3)
5. Fidel Mejia, 1B: 1-2 (K, 1B)
6. Yovanny Cuevas, RF: 0-1 (K, BB)
7. Raymond Pena, DH #1: 1-2 (E-4, 1B)
8. Kevin Moreno, DH #2: 1-1 (BB, 1B)
9. Henrry Pedra, 2B: 0-2 (K, 5-3 DP)
10. Luis Ubiera, LF: 0-1 (K) 

CUBS SQUAD "B" PITCHER:
Didier Vargas: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 GIDP, 3/2 GO/AO, 72 pitches (39 strikes) 

CUBS SQUAD "A" PITCHER:
Ryan Williams: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 4/6 GO/AO, 75 pitches (53 strikes) 
 
CUBS SQUAD "B" ERRORS: 1 
2B Herson Perez: E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely) 

CUBS SQUAD "A" ERRORS: NONE 

ATTENDANCE: 1 

WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures 100+ 

Arizona 
Scoring 
Service 

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"  

Comments

The Cubs have been toying with the idea of calling the two Cubs AZL teams "AZL Cubs Blue" and "AZL Cubs Red" instead of "AZL Cubs #1" and "AZL Cubs #2," although I don't think any final decision (one way or the other) has been made yet. (Some of the players assigned to Jonathan Mota's EXST Cubs squad have been wearing red arm sleeves and wristbands). 

FWIW, the Giants (like the Cubs, Indians, and Padres) are fielding two AZL teams this season, and they call their two AZL teams "AZL Giants Orange" and "AZL Giants Black."

Thanks for the great update Phil.

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  • udbrky 19 min 9 sec ago (view)

    Wow, it's so awesome to see someone re-evaluate like that, you made my day! He's also just a fun guy. Seems like a great teammate!

     

  • Hagsag 1 hour 40 min ago (view)

    Norwood back down and Maples and Tim Collins back up. A nine man bullpen for today at least.

     

  • Charlie 2 hours 3 min ago (view)

    You know, this gave me reason to second guess my feeling about Strop, and he is clearly very consistent. His ERA, peripherals, and even velocity have been really consistent during his time as a Cub. Good call, udbrky!

     

  • Hagsag 2 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Thanks Phil, oh I mean Tim.

     

  • tim815 2 hours 45 min ago (view)

    Not Phil, but, the DSL guys not ready to regularly get out AZL hitters will return to Boca Chica as better pitchers than they were.

     

  • Hagsag 6 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Mark Zagunis optioned to Iowa.

     

  • Hagsag 7 hours 7 min ago (view)

    Phil, I have been looking at the DSL pitching staffs. It doesn't look like there are enough pitchers down in the DR to field two teams. Will some pitchers be going back to the DR shortly? Thanks.

     

  • crunch 9 hours 49 min ago (view)

    it's a bit of a stretch to say the cubs have had 5 relievers worth bothering ranking unless you count some random guys only around for 1 or 2 seasons...sadly...and oddly considering how old the team is...

    sutter, lee, strop...r.myers, h.rondon, dempster, marmol, d.elston...late career charlie root... *shrug*...joe borowski had 2 great seasons and 3 bad ones (1 full, 2 partial) during his cubs tenure...

     

  • udbrky 11 hours 15 min ago (view)

    Not always consistent is a weird way to describe one of the best 5 relievers the Cubs have ever had.

     

  • crunch 13 hours 31 min ago (view)

    cubs lose, brewers lose, cardinals lose, pirates lose...

     

  • Charlie 16 hours 36 min ago (view)

    They need to do something (or multiple somethings) if they want to guard against bullpen-related crashes going forward. I get the sense there's a real chance Morrow doesn't contribute this season, and Strop is not always consistent even when he's healthy.

     

  • crunch 19 hours 40 min ago (view)

    it's not the worst pen in baseball, but like...this pen sucks.  boo.  fire everyone.  etc.

    at least it's not the WAS pen.  that pen is hot garbage.

     

  • crunch 22 hours 6 min ago (view)

    miguel amaya...bat and D at the C position both very promising.

    a lot of people like aramis ademan, though i dunno if anyone would consider him an "impact" type player even as a middle IF'r.

    jury is still out on how to gauge brennen davis's possible impact.  high ceiling, but everyone's still waiting to see what he can actually do while he has his tools tweaked in ARZ.

     

  • Karl Pagel Blues 23 hours 13 min ago (view)

    Outside of Nico Hoerner, who is on the fast track to Wrigley, Nelson Velazquez, Jonathan Sierra and Cole Roederer are the three hitters in the lower minors that have the most potential to be impact bats down the road, in my opinion. Otherwise, I don't see much that impresses me. Am I missing someone?

    Not so for pitching. 

    Barring injury, unexpected regression and/or trades, there are a number of Cubs MiLB pitchers who I think will make it to the majors.

     

  • Karl Pagel Blues 23 hours 34 min ago (view)

    Norwood doesn't have the electric stuff of Maples but is able to put the ball over the plate.

    Cubs sure seem to have their share of righty relief pitchers in Iowa who can help out during the summer.

     

  • Arizona Phil 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    Cubs recall RHRP James Norwood from AAA Iowa, and option RHRP Rowan Wick back to the I-Cubs.