Cubs Celebrate AARP Day at Riverview Park

Four pitchers combined to hurl one-hit shut-out ball and Yeiler Peguero drilled an RBI single with one out in the top of the 2nd, took second on the throw to the plate, advanced to 3rd on a GO, and then scored on a two-out WP, accounting for both of his team's runs, as Team Banks blanked Team Santo 2-0 in Cubs AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Thursday morning on Field #3 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The game was called after 4-1/2 innings of play. 

Jake Hannemann (on AA Tennessee DL since July 7th) played for both squads, handling CF for three innings and getting three Plate Appearances with Team Santo before serving as a DH for Team Banks, going a combined 1-4 (K, 2B, K, 3-U). He will likely play winter ball somewhere in Latin America.

The game featured dramatic comeback attempts by 43-year old Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator (ex- MLB RHP) Jim Brower, 46-year old Cubs AZ Advanced Instructional League Pitching Coach (ex-MLB LHP) Ron Villone, 37-year old Mental Skills Program Coordinator (ex-MLB OF) Darnell McDonald, and Rehab Coach (ex-Cubs minor league catcher) Lance Rymel, much to the delight of the Cubs players. Rymel served as the catcher for both Brower and Villone, and McDonald batted once each for both squads, facing Brower once and Villone once.

McDonald's walk-up music lasted about five minutes, Brower received an animated pep-talk at the mound from Coach Ty Wright with two outs in the bottom of the 4th before summoning the courage to strike out McDonald on 82 MPH gas, and Villone had to be helped off the field by Rymel after nearly having a heart-attack waiting for RF Jonathan Sierra to make a spectacuilar stumbling game-ending catch (an L-9 line-drive by McDonald).

While all four of the geezers look to be maybe (somewhat) in something close to near-playing shape, McDonald hasn't played in the big leagues since getting released by the Cubs in Spring Training 2014, Brower last pitched professionally in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2009-10, Villone retired after the 2010 season (but he IS a lefty, so I guess he still has a chance), and Rymel hasn't played since getting released by the Rockies during Spring Training 2015. I will say that Villone still has a nifty Houdini pick-off move. He absolutely nailed Carlos Diaz cold at 1st base, and for all I know, Diaz may still be standing there wondering what just happened.

Here is the box score from the game:

1. Fernando Kelli, CF: 1-2 (2B, F-8)
2. Rafael Narea, SS: 1-2 (F-7, 1B)
3. Delvin Zinn, 2B: 0-3 (K, 3-U)
4. Carlos Diaz, C-DH: 1-2 (1B, E-5, PO)
5. Kwang-Min Kwon, LF: 0-2 (3-U, P-6)
6a. Luis Ayala, RF: 0-0 (BB, R)
6b. Darnell McDonald, PH: 0-1 (L-9)
7. Chris Pieters, 1B: 0-1 (4-3)
8. Yeiler Peguero, SS: 1-1 (1B, R, RBI)
9. Aramis Ademan, DH #1: 0-1 (4-3)
10. Zack Short, DH #2: 1-1 (1B)
11. Wladimir Galindo, DH #3: 0-1 (6-3)
12. Miguel Amaya, DH #4: 0-1 (1-U)
13. Sam Tidaback, DH #5: 0-1 (5-3)
14a. Jake Hannemann, DH #6: 0-1 (K)
14b. Lance Rymel, C: NO AB

X. Jake Hannemann, CF-DH: 1-3 (K, 2B, 3-U)
NOTE: Hannemann batted 2nd in the bottom of the 1st, 3rd, and 4th innings
1. Connor Myers, LF: 0-1 (6-3)
2a. Jhonny Pereda, C: 0-1 (E-6)
2b. Lance Rymel, C: NO AB
3. Michael Cruz, DH #1: 0-1 (3-U)
4. Rafael Mejia, 1B: 0-1 (K)
5. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-1 (K)
6. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 0-1 (K)
7. Yonathan Perlaza, 2B: 0-1 (3-U)
8, Christopher Morel, 3B: 0-1 (K)
9. Jose Gutierrez, DH-CF: 0-1 (1-3)
10. Luis Diaz, DH #3: 0-1 (1-3)
11. Darnell McDonald, DH #4: 0-1 (K)

1. Tyson Miller: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
2. Dakota Mekkes: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 15 pitches (10 strikes)
3. Nathan Sweeney: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 15 pitches (12 strikes)
4. Jim Brower: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 17 pitches (10 strikes)

1. Fauris Guerrero: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
2. Tyler Peyton: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 13 pitches (7 strikes)
3. Jed Carter: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 2/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (5 strikes)
4. Duncan Robinson: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 2/1 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Ron Villone: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 PO, 0/2 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)

SS Yeiler Peguero: E-6 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

3B Christopher Morel: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

ATTENDANCE: 9 (mostly scouts)

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 90's


Huh -- I didn't know that Dusty was still using Wendell Kim as his 3rd base coach... Werth was thrown out at the plate by 40 feet.

Glad to see Hannemann back in action. Do you think he is still on the bubble to be added to the 40 man before the Rule 5, or do you think he did enough in AA before he got hurt to earn a spot?

BRADSBEARD: I think Jake Hannemann is still "on the bubble" as far as getting added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster by the 11/20 deadline, because he is a potential Rule 5 Draft pick and I doubt that the Cubs would want to lose him that way. 

That said, Hannemann is competing for 40-man rosters slots with Jose Paulino, Jose Rosario, Jack Leathersich, Bijan Rademacher, and Ryan McNeil, and I don't think he is ahead of those guys right now. (Barring a career-limiting injury in the AFL Victor Caratini and Duane Underwood Jr are virtual locks to get added to the 40, and presuming Armando Rivero doesn't break down in the Venezuelan Winter League, he is likely to be added to the 40 as well).

BTW, the only minor leaguer the Cubs might add to the MLB 40-man roster early is Jose Rosario, because he is a post-2016 minor league Rule 55 free-agent and he hasn't signed a 2017 Minor League Successor Contract (yet) and might not. If Rosario does sign a successor contract (like Leathersich already has), then he becomes eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft, but if he declines, then the only way the Cubs can keep him from walking away as a minor league 6YFA is by adding him to the MLB 40-man roster by 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the last game of the World Series. So Rosario's situation is different from the others (see above) who are merely Rule 5 Draft eligible. 

I might also add that the Cubs minor leaguers most-likely to get selected in the Major League Phase of the Rule 5 Draft might be OF John Andreoli and C-1B Taylor Davis, because they are MLB-ready and could help a team looking for cheap bench help. That doesn't mean that they will get added to the Cubs MLB 40-man roster to keep them from being selected, however, because their value to the Cubs is not what it could be to a lesser team, and they don't really have trade value, either.   

Do you think Rivero is still in the plan? I was surprised he didn't get added in September, and I'm wondering if they do when they have guys like Rosario, Leathersich, and Paulino who maybe have a bit more upside to add (not to mention Felix Pena and Spencer Patton already on the 40 man).

BRADSBEARD: Armando Rivero was virtually unhittable at Iowa in 2016, but had difficulty throwing strikes consistently, and I think that's why Felix Pena got called up in August instead of Rivero. Also, Pena (a former starter) can throw multiple innings, which is what you would want and need from an MLB middle-reliever, and that is what the Cubs were looking for when Pena got called-up.

With a number of MLB relievers hitting free-agency after the World Series (Chapman, Cahill, Smith, and Wood), the Cubs will have several openings in the bullpen in 2017. And with a $3M+ signing bonus investment, I don't think the Cubs want to lose Rivero in the Rule 5 Draft for $50,000, and he is a virtual lock to be selected if he is not added to the 40. I would say a more-likely scenario would be that the Cubs will add Rivero to the 40 and then trade him, but I also would not count him out of the Cubs bullpen in 2017.

Rivero is essentially a Cuban version of Justin Grimm, with a 94-95 MPH four-seam fastball and a swing & miss drop pitch (Grimm has a hard 12-6 hammer curve and Rivero throws a slider that acts like a splitter, a lot like Michael Wuertz's strikeout pitch). Because of his swing & miss stuff & inability to consistently throw strikes, Rivero profiles as a mid-inning emergency fireman who can strand runners or maybe a 7th inning guy (just like Michael Wuertz back in the day).  

Not related to Rivero, but here are some things to keep in mind about outrighting players to the minors during the off-season:

1. A Draft-Excluded Player (Jake Buchanan, Tim Federowicz, Felix Pena, and Rob Zastryzny) is any minor league player eligible for selection in the next Rule 5 Draft who has his contract selected and is added to an MLB 40-man roster after August 15th. A Draft Excluded player cannot be sent outright to the minors unless Outright Assignment Waivers are requested no later than 5 PM (Eastern) on the 4th day after the last game of the World Series. Otherwise, the player cannot be optioned or outrighted to the minors any earlier than 20 days prior to 2017 MLB Opening Day. The player can be non-tendered on 12/2 or traded or released at any time, but he cannot be sent to the minors. So the Cubs will have to make decisions regarding their Draft-Excluded players almost immediately after the conclusion of the World Series.

2. A player on an MLB 40-man roster who has been outrighted previously in his career (Jake Buchanan, Gerardo Concepcion, and Tim Federowicz) and/or has accrued at least three years but less than five years of MLB Service Time (Justin Grimm, Munenori Kawasaki, Anthony Rizzo, and Hector Rondon) has Article XX-D rights and can elect free-agency if outrighted. (Players with five or more years of MLB Service Time have Article XIX-A rights and cannot be sent outright to the minors without their consent). However, an unsigned player with Article XX-D rights can be non-tendered on December 2nd (and thus would not be exposed to Outright Assignment Waivers) and then subsequently signed to a 2017 minor league contract (if the player and the club mutually agree).

3. A player on an MLB 40-man roster who has spent all or part of seven separate seasons on a minor league active list or DL (Andury Acevedo, Jake Buchanan, Jeimer Candelario, Willson Contreras, Tim Federowicz, Mike Montgomery, Felix Pena, Zac Rosscup, Giovanni Soto, and Christian Villanueva) or who has been released or non-tendered previously in his career (Matt Szczur) cannot be sent outright to the minors after 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the conclusion of the World Series unless the player has signed a 2017 Major League Contract or agrees (in advance) to sign a 2017 minor league contract. (2017 Major League contracts are tendered to players on December 2nd, and a player cannot have his 2016 contract unilaterally renewed until March 1st). The player can be non-tendered on 12/2 and then re-signed to a 2017 minor league contract, however, if the player and club agree. So Buchanan, Federowicz, Rosscup, Soto, and Villanueva could be non-tender candidates if they are not outrighted to the minors prior to 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day after the last game of the World Series, and if non-tendered, the player could sign a 2017 minor league contract (and this is exactly what happened with Jack Leathersich last year).

4. If Outright Assignment Waivers can be secured, Albert Almora Jr, Javy Baez, Dallas Beeler, Aaron Brooks, Carl Edwards Jr, Kyle Hendricks, Pierce Johnson, Tommy LaStella, Spencer Patton, Addison Russell, Kyle Schwarber, Jorge Soler, and Rob Zastryzny can be sent outright to the minors and the player would NOT have the right to elect free-agency and would NOT have accrued enough minor league seasons to be a minor league six-year free-agent. Obviously this is not an issue for most of the players in this class (Baez, Bryant, Russell, Schwarber, et al), but it could very well apply to Beeler, Brooks, and Patton. If outrighted, Beeler and Patton would remain under club control through the 2017 season, and Brooks would remain under club control through the 2018 season (subject to selection in the Rule 5 Draft) - IF - the player is placed on Outright Assignment Waivers and is not claimed by another MLB club. Also, most of these players (the lone exception being Rob Zastryzny, who has Draft-Excluded status) can be sent outright to the minors at any time during the off-season, so the Cubs would have more flexibility with these guys than with others on the MLB 40-man roster where there are restrictions on when and/or if the player can be outrighted. NOTE: The Cubs tried to outright R. J. Alvarez to the minors last month (Alvarez does not have the right to elect free-agency if outrighted and has not accrued enough seasons to be a minor league 6YFA) but he was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers, and then the Rangers immediately put Alvarez back on waivers and were able to outright him to AAA Round Rock, and so now Alvarez will remain under club control (with Texas) through the 2018 season.

Brutal Nats inning.

2 runs without an out to start WAS bottom 7th...only down by 1 now. lot of excellent games in the early playoffs so far this year. fighting sleep has been rewarding. -edit- 1 hour, 6 minute 7th inning...crazy...4-3 LAD/WAS

Bringing in the closer in the 7th inning! Playoff baseball is awesome!

What an awesome baseball game! Cards, no Mets, no Dusty.

After throwing 51 pitches tonight, perhaps no Kenley Jansen (at least on Saturday) Cards, no Mets, no Dusty. --- No Daniel Murphy. Also lays to rest the Maddon intentional walking of Harper rehash (thankfully).

ah look, Dusty out-managed again...

I really don't get taking Scherzer out after the HR...99 pitches and it was an opposite field shot. Can't say I was paying that close attention to game to nit-pick the other moves but gotta love Roberts going to Jansen so early and fooling everyone on Kershaw.

gonna say it would be real bad if Cubs lose Game 1. Probably no Jansen for Dodgers and they've hit poorly vs. lefties all year. Maeda hasn't been lights out by any means lately either.

Kershaw said it was his bullpen day anyway today and he still plans to pitch Game 2.

I agree, but I also know how strange baseball is sometimes.

Kershaw coming in to face Murphy with the game on the line. That was awesome.

Ty Wright, I remember him.

Almora would have caught the ball hit by J. Turner to the (padded) wall in the 7th or risked injury trying. T. Turner jogged back and played the carom, allowing runs 3 and 4 to cross the plate. I only mention it because I love the kid's toolset but he's missing one that a CF should have. edit: "kid" refers to Turner, not Almora

Daren Willman Verified account ‏@darenw [email protected] prospect Eloy Jimenez hit a ball 112.7 MPH & 119.4 MPH yesterday in the AFL. Only 4 balls hit harder than 119.4 MPH in @mlb last year

so in all fairness, a pretty good defense of Dusty's moves last night

still 9 straight losses :)

Not a big Harold Reynolds fan, for a lot of reasons, but I thought he made a good point last night: in the Moneyball era, nobody bunts all season...until the playoffs. Not surprisingly, nobody can get a good bunt down in the playoffs.

This is also the same reason so few people bunt on Lester. So few knew how to actually do effectively. To be honest too I dislike the bunt 90% of the time it's done.

Based on small sample size in 7 game series for the Cubs in my life. Game 1 1989: L Game 1 2003: L Game 1 2015: L I'd find it ideal to win game 1 this time.

Another random fact that would be nice to change. Playoff losing streaks to end Cubs season. 1984: 3 straight losses (2-0 to 2-3) 1989: 3 straight losses (1-1 to 1-4) 1998: 3 straight losses (0-3) 2003: 3 straight losses (3-1 to 3-4) 2007: 3 straight losses (0-3) 2008: 3 straight losses (0-3) 2015: 4 straight losses (0-4)