Cubs No-Hit D'backs at Riverview

Cristian Hernandez singled twice, stole two bases, scored the first run of the game, and drove-in the last one, Raino Coran singled twice and knocked-in a run, and Michael Arias, Yovanny Cruz, Dominic Hambley, Elian Almanzar, Yovanny Cabrera, and Alfredo Zarraga combined to hurl a no-run / no-hit game with 15 strikeouts, as the Cubs blanked the Diamondbacks Black squad 2-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

Cabrera and Zarraga combined to strike out eight of the last ten men they faced. 

EXST Cubs top pitching prospect Michael Arias saw his first game action in more than three weeks, and threw a 1-2-3 nine-pitch 1st inning to get things started. Arias suffered a lower-body injury in a game at Sloan Park on May 10th when he attempted to cover home plate on a bases loaded wild pitch and stepped awkwardly coming off the mound.  

Cubs catcher Dilan Granadillo replaced starting catcher Moises Ballesteros behind the plate in the top of the 7th inning, but had to leave the game in the 8th after getting hit on the hand with a foul tip.    

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):  

Luke Weaver & Associates Stymie Cub Bats at Salt River Fields

Johan Benitez drilled a single in the third, belted an RBI triple and scored in the fifth, and collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and SP Luke Weaver (on Arizona Diamondbacks MLB 60-day IL with right elbow inflammation) threw two shutout innings and combined with three relievers on a five-hitter, as the Diamondbacks Red squad defeated the Cubs 5-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

RHP Yovanny Cruz (on Hi-A South Bend 7-day IL) made his first game appearance since undergoing TJS a year ago, and worked a nine-pitch 1-2-3 inning (4-3, K-swinging, 4-3). Because it was such a short, easy inning, Cruz went out to the bullpen and threw an additional 15 pitches after the inning was over. All set to be in the South Bend starting rotation at the end of Minor League Camp 2021, his season was sidetracked less than a week before Opening Day.  

RHP Zac Leigh (on South Bend 7-day IL since Minor League Camp with a right shoulder issue) blasted his 95-98 MPH FB past D'back hitters, this time mixing it with a slurvy breaking ball that he can throw for strikes (he threw only FB in his last outing).   

RHP Joel Sierra had a 1-2-3 inning, finishing it up with an ascending 98-99-100 MPH FB trilogy (strikeout - swinging) that sucked the air right out of the park.  

Casey Opitz (on Myrtle Beach 7-day IL since Opening Day) is back to switch-hitting again, going 2-2 with two singles and a walk in the game. He caught all nine innings in extreme heat, and looks to be about ready to go to Myrtle Beach. He is considered to be the best defensive catcher in the Cubs organization. Casey is the younger brother of ex-Cubs minor league infielder Jake Opitz (who was a manager in the Rockies system for a few years after he retired).   

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

Cubs @ White Sox: Series Thread (Games 45 & 46)

The Cubs passed the quarter-way mark in their last series against the Reds, a series they opened with two wins and closed with two losses, including Thursday's 20-earned-runs-allowed blowout. A day off on Friday and a night sleeping in their hometown beds might help to press the reset button. They take on the Sox for two games this long weekend. See below for the matchups.

Ballesteros and Morfa Launch Cub Comeback at Riverview

Moises Ballesteros drilled an RBI single in the bottom of the first, singled and scored in the fourth, and belted a game-tying HR over the RF fence in the seventh, Carlos Morfa slugged a solo HR over the LF fence in the seventh and roped a double and scored in the eighth, Reivaj Garcia singled twice, walked, scored two runs, and drove-in three, and the bullpen retired nine of the last ten batters faced, as the Cubs raliied to score eight runs in the final two innings while holding the opposition scoreless, en route to a hard-fought 13-10 victory over the Diamondbacks Red squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

This was the third HR hit by Ballesteros in the last eight days, as he is now second on the EXST Cubs in HR with three (Cristian Hernandez has four, plus two more in intrasquad games). Over his last nine Cactus League EXST games (29 PA), Ballesteros is hitting a robust 480/552/960, with three HR, three doubles, four walks, and seven RBI.  

As outstanding as the bullpen was at the end of the game, two Cubs pitchers -- LHP Marino Santy and RHP Gleiber Morales -- combined to issue twelve walks, hit a batter, uncork five wild pitches, and commit two balks, as the D'backs took an early 9-5 lead. 

The Diamondbacks Red squad manager was thrown out of the game after arguing that an RBI double that drove-in a runner from 1st base was actually a ground-rule double that bounced off the warning track and then off the netting beyond the RF fence (and he was right, by the way). He then sat in the bleachers outside the first base side fence, until he was spotted by the base umpire and told to go sit in the bus. It was 105 degrees, so having to sit in an air-conditioned bus wasn't necessarily the worst punishment imaginable!   

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

In EXST Cubs news, catcher Dilan Granadillo is no longer switch-hitting, He is now batting LH-only.   

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):  

Cristian Hernandez Leads the Blue Charge at Riverview

Cristian Hernandez, Frank Hernandez, and Rafael Morel stroked consecutive RBI singles to highlight a three-run first inning for the Cubs "Blue" squad, and Miguel Pabon belted a solo HR over the left-centerfield fence to account for the lone run posted by the Cubs "Red" squad, as the "Blue" squad defeated the "Red" squad 3-1 in an Extended Spring Training four-inning intrasquad game played Thursday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Because all three pitchers who threw in the game were scheduled to work two innings, the "Red" team got an extra AB over what they ordinarily would have received, but they lost anyway 

Here is the box score frrom the game: 

Rockies Rock Cubs Boat at Riverview

Luis Paredes drilled an RBI double, singled twice, walked,and scored a run, Francisco Garcia doubled and scored, laced an RBI single, and collected another RBI on a bases-loaded walk, Cuba Bess slugged a solo HR, and SP Luis Urena (ex-MIA) and six reiievers combined to hurl a five-hit shutout, as the Rockies blanked the Cubs 9-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

South Bend RHP Zac Leigh continued his EXST rehab with a scoreless 1-2-3 nine-pitch inning, throwing nothing but his high octane 95-98 MPH FB. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHRP Angel Gonzalez (2020 NDFA - Puerto Rico) has been moved up to Myrtle Beach. Gonzalez features a 96-98 MPH FB that was up to 99 in his final EXST outing last week and a 87-89 MPH SL, and was projected to be the EXST Cubs closer if he hadn't been moved-up to the Pelicans.  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):   

Cubs MLB Roster

Cubs Organizational Depth Chart
40-Man Roster Info

+++++++++++
 
40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full)    

Last updated 1-24-2023
 
* bats or throws left
# bats both

PITCHERS: 21
Adbert Alzolay
Javier Assad 
Brad Boxberger
Ben Brown
Jeremiah Estrada
Kyle Hendricks
Codi Heuer 
* Brandon Hughes
Ryan Jensen
Caleb Kilian 
Julian Merryweather
Ethan Roberts 
Michael Rucker
Adrian Sampson
* Drew Smyly
* Justin Steele 
Marcus Stroman
Jameson Taillon 
Keegan Thompson
Hayden Wesneski
Rowan Wick

CATCHERS: 3 
* Tucker Barnhart 
Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

INFIELDERS: 8
Nico Hoerner
* Eric Hosmer
Nick Madrigal
* Miles Mastrobuoni
* Zach McKinstry
Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Patrick Wisdom

OUTFIELDERS: 8 
Kevin Alcantara
* Cody Bellinger 
Alexander Canario
Brennen Davis
# Ian Happ
Trey Mancini 
Seiya Suzuki 
Nelson Velazquez


++++++++++++++++++++++

Minor League Rosters
Rule 5 Draft 
Minor League Free-Agents

 

Recent comments

  • crunch 1 day 23 hours ago (view)

    cubs sign ex-MIN bullpen arm tyler duffey (RHP) to a minor league deal.  he lost velocity and became a bit too hitable last year.

  • crunch 2 days 19 hours ago (view)

    these cubs off-season moves have been neat and all, but why hasn't 3rd base coach willie harris been signed to a 10 year contract extension yet?  get the real work done, cubs...

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 21 hours ago (view)

    DJL: Definitely true for Seiya Suzuki, but I was not aware that Nelson Velazquez was technology averse during games. I hadn't heard that before. 

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 3 days 1 hour ago (view)

    I thought that story was about Seiya? Or I guess both could operate that way?

  • Childersb3 3 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Well he better hit!! 

    Because he's got a lot of young and talented OFs coming right behind him!!

  • Wrigley Rat 3 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Childersb3 - I'm stuck on something that was said about Nelson Velazquez during the season last year (I think by Cubs' broadcasters, but can't remember). Nelson doesn't use any of the technology (iPads) during games to analyze his swing, the way he's pitched, etc. He believes more in basing things on feel and instinct. I WOULD be fine with that if he was having success, but as a rookie who was batting near the Mendoza line all season, he should have taken any and all advice offered to him (in my opinion).

    Not sure if this is all true, if there's more or less to it, or if he's willing to change this year, but something about that really bothers me and makes me think the Cubs don't value him as much as the players right behind him who want to do everything in their power to improve. Since he still has trade value, he is a player I assume will be on the move to a team who values him more than the Cubs do.

  • First.Pitch.120 3 days 17 hours ago (view)

    Thanks, Phil. Wasn’t sure if MM leaned more “not good” or “just bad”. Helpful context. 

  • George Altman 3 days 20 hours ago (view)

    Or maybe, Mervis is a very excellent DH and can be an emergency 1B. And the Cubs sign a Machado, Chapman or trade for a better 3rd Baseman. They've got like $70-80M coming off the 2024 AAV, so it's not there's no money and they have other big spending needs.

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    As I have said here before several times, right now Matt Mervis is a DH. He is a true lug if there ever was one. Hopefully he will improve his agility sufficiently to be able to play defense at the MLB level, but I will believe that when I see it. Fortunately, the National League now has the DH, so an N. L. club can actually develop a player to be a DH.

    All that said, it is very possible that Mervis will eventually be able to play at least a passable 1B at some point. He certainly has the size you would like in a first-baseman. He provides a really good target. Third-base is probably A Bridge Too Far, however. 

    The Cubs have an excellent off-season strength & conditioning program for its minor leaguers, and hopefully Mervis will benefit from that. Agility is the issue with Mervis. 

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 21 hours ago (view)

    Because they signed Article XX-B FA Dansby Swanson, the Cubs will have $500K subtracted from their International Signing Period (ISP) International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) in 2024, so the Swanson signing doesn't affect the Cubs signing international free agents this year, but it will next year. 

    On a positive note, after a two-year moratorium on trading ISBP Signing Bonus Values (SBV), SBV can once again be traded beginning with the start of the 2023 ISP that began ten days ago, so a penalized club can recover some of its lost ISBP via trade. 

    ISBP SBV can be traded only in increments of $250K (including multiples of $250K), unless a club is trading the balance of its ISBP in one transaction. A club can trade 100% of its assigned ISBP during the course of the ISP if it so desires. However, a club can only add 60% of its assigned ISBP via trade or trades.

    ISBP SBV acquired via a trade or trades can be flipped to a third club, but SBV cannot be sold for cash and cannot be substituted for a PTBNL.  

    ISBP SBV can only be traded during the ISP (January 15th through December 15th), and SBV acquired via a trade or trades cannot be used in the next ISP. With one exception, any potion of a club's ISBP not spent goes away at the end of the ISP. 

    The one exception is that a club can carry-over ISBP space from one ISP to the next ISP if a player's contract is voided as the result of the player failing his physical or being unable to obtain a visa to the U. S., or if an investigation by the MLB Commissioner determines the player falsified his age and/or identity prior to signing the contract. It  does not apply to contracts voided by the MLB Commissioner as a result of a rules violation by the club.

    Bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count against a club's ISBP.