Bianco Blast the Difference-Maker at Talking Stick
Justin Bianco hammered a solo home run leading off the bottom of the 5th to break a 1-1 tie, and it was just enough as the Diamondbacks edged the Cubs 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Whirlwind Field at Salt River River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Junior Lake continued his rehab, batting six times (once in each of the first six innings) and playing shortstop for seven innings.
Lake grounded a single through the box leading off the top of the 1st and scored the Cubs only run of the game on a wild pitch later in the inning, struck out (swinging) in the top of the 2nd and then again in the top of the 3rd, grounded out to shortstop in the 4th, struck out swinging in the 5th, and hit into a 6-4 FC in the 6th. He also handled seven chances flawlessly in the field, and was the “middle-man” in two 4-6-3 double plays.
Lake is scheduled to play in one more EXST game (at Fitch Park tomorrow), before rejoining the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday or Friday.
RHP Rob Whitenack (June 2011 TJS) got the start for the Cubs and threw three innings (40 pitches) of no-hit shutout ball, allowing one walk while striking out two (5/2 GO/FO).
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
X. Junior Lake, SS: 1-6 (1B, K, K, 6-3, K, 6-4 FC, R, CS)
NOTE: Lake batted six times, once in each of the first six innings
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-3 (1B, F-8, 1B, SB)
2. Javier Baez, DH-SS: 0-3 (K, K, 4-6 FC, SB)
3. Rock Shoulders, 1B: 0-3 (K, F-8, 4-3)
4. Xavier Batista, RF: 0-2 (BB, 6-3, 4-3)
5. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-3 (K, F-8, K)
6. Dan Vogelbach, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, P-6)
7a. Anthony Giansanti, C: 0-1 (F-9)
7b. Neftali Rosario, C: 0-2 (K, K)
8. Yasiel Balaguert, LF: 1-2 (1B, 5-3)
9a. Jair Bogaerts, 3B: 0-1 (L-9 DP)
9b. Danny Lockhart, 3B: 0-1 (3-1)
1. Rob Whitenack: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 40 pitches (23 strikes), 5/2 GO/FO
2. Carlos Martinez: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 33 pitches (16 strikes), 4/2 GO/FO
3. Alvido Jimenez: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 26 pitches (15 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Luis Villalba: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 12 pitches (9 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
5. Roderik Pichardo: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 10 pitches (7 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 0-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 80’s
crunch 10 hours 1 min ago (view)
* except for playing 1st base
crunch 2 days 6 hours ago (view)
a lot of people were all-in on it being a 2022 thing, but given how MLB has held the DH over the player's heads like it's some kind of extremely valuable chip worth more than the players seem to think it's worth...who knows...
Cubster 2 days 7 hours ago (view)
any estimates on the chances of the DH in the NL anytime soon?
crunch 2 days 8 hours ago (view)
k.schwarber is hella good at post-season baseball.
crunch 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
e.castillo and t.payne off the 40man in 100% totally expected moves.
both are/were catcher organizational depth.
crunch 2 days 11 hours ago (view)
for those keeping track of the heating-up Mets head of baseball operations search, theo has already ruled himself out.
mets want(ed) some heavy hitters (including b.beane and d.stearns), but none of them are on board...well, MIL took stearns off the board before he could chime in because he has a year left on his contract.
Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)
Something to keep in mind about clearing MLB 40-man roster slots for players eligible for selection in this year's Rule 5 Draft is that you can't non-tender players to create 40-man roster space for Rule 5 Draft eligibles. That's because players can only be non-tendered on 12/2, and the pre-Rule 5 Draft roster filing deadline is 11/19 (almost two weeks - PRIOR TO -the contract tender date). NOTE: Normally the roster filing deadline is 11/20, but it's moved up to 11/19 this year because 11/20 falls on a Saturday in 2021
Arizona Phil 2 days 15 hours ago (view)
BRADSBEARD: Just one game, some BP, infield practice, and baserunning drills. So not much to glean from that so far.
crunch 3 days 7 hours ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 3 days 11 hours ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 3 days 16 hours ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 3 days 22 hours ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 4 days 5 hours ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 4 days 8 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 4 days 11 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).