Aaron Crow

AZL Cubs Five-Run 8th Tops AZL Brewers at Riverview

18-year old power-hitting C-1B Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Tijuana, Mexico) slugged a two-run home run over the LF fence to put the Cubs on the scoreboard and speedy Luis Ayala belted a three-run inside-the-park home run into the right-centerfield alley two outs later, as the AZL Cubs rallied to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th and defeat the AZL Brewers 5-3 in Arizona League (AZL) Opening Day action Monday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

AZL Cubs LHP Yapson Gomez hurled three innings of perfect baseball in relief and picked-up the win. 

Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) pitched the first inning for the AZL Cubs (14 pitches - 10 strikes), allowing no runs and a single, with a strikeout and 1/1 GO/AO. 

19-year old RHP Erling Moreno (2013 IFA - Colombia - $650K signing bonus) was the scheduled starter for the AZL Cubs, but he ended-up piggy-backing the rehabber (Crow). Moreno worked five innings (77 pitches) and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits (five singles and a double), no walks, and an HBP, with three strikeouts and an 8/3 GO/AO.  

Brew Crew SP Nash Walters (Brewers 2015 3rd round pick - Lindale HS - Lindale, TX) threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts and Nicolas Pierre drove-in all three AZL Brewers runs with a third-inning sacrifice fly and a fifth-inning two-run double.  

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

Joe Nathan Back in Action at Riverview Park

Luis Ayala tripled, walked twice. stole a base, and scored three runs, Jose Gonzalez belted a two-run triple, and Isaac Paredes smacked an RBI double for the AZL Cubs, and Kal Simmons singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another, Mark Karaviotis (2016 19th round draft pick - U. of Oregon) collected three singles and an RBI, and RHP Jhoan Duran hurled four innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts for the AZL Diamondbacks, as the two teams played to a 4-4 tie in AZL mini-camp pre-season game action Friday evening on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Veteran RHRP Joe Nathan (on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL - April 2015 TJS) saw his first game action in 14 months, throwing a shutout inning (15 pitches) for the AZL Cubs (6-3, 1-3, 1B-CS).  Nathan is eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day DL on July 16th, and barring a medical setback, he should be ready to join the Cubs bullpen by that date. 

Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (on the AAA Iowa Cubs 7-day DL - April 2015 TJS) returned to action after being shut-down on May 10th while warming up for an EXST rehab appearance versus the Giants in Scottsdale, and he also threw a shutout inning (18 pitches) for the AZL Cubs (K, F-9, 1B-CS).   

RHSP Tyler Wagner (on AAA Reno 7-day DL) got the start for the AZL Diamondbacks and worked three innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits (a single, a double, and a triple) and a walk (and two WP).

RHRP Evan Marshall (also on AAA Reno 7-day DL) followed Wagner to the hill and tossed a 1-2-3 4th inning (5-3, 6-3, 4-3), before Duran came into the game and shut the AZL Cubs down (retiring the last eight men he faced in a row, five on punch-outs).  

Besides Karaviotis at DH, LF Myles Babitt (2016 25th round pick - Cal State East Bay) and 2016 NDFA SS Adam Walton (U. of Illinois) were in the AZL Diamondbacks starting lineup. (The Diamondbacks have already signed 25 of their 40 2016 draft picks plus two NDFA, and nine of them have reported to Salt River Fields and the other 18 are on the active rosters at Hillsboro and Missoula). But a week after the draft, there are no Cubs 2016 draft picks (or NDFA) on the field at Riverview Park or at Eugene, and only one (7th round pick C Michael Cruz) has reportedly signed (and it isn't even official yet).  

AZL Opening Day is this coming Monday (6/20), and RHP Erling Moreno will get the start for the AZL Cubs versus the AZL Brewers. It is supposed to be somewhere near 120 degrees in the Valley of the Sun over the next couple of days, so I'm expecting a hot time in the old ballpark Monday night.

Here is the abridged box score from Friday night's game (AZL Cubs players only), followed by the updated AZL Cubs roster: 


Underwood Sharp in Final Rehab Tune-Up at Sloan Park

Five pitchers combined to toss a one-hit shutout and Didimo Bracho belted a two-run home run and an RBI single to account for all of his team's runs, helping the Diamondbacks blank the Cubs 3-0 at Sloan Park, and D. J. Wilson (two-run triple), Luis Ayala (RBI double), Gustavo Polanco (RBI double), and Jesse Hodges (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run Cub 3rd, as the Cubs and D'backs played to a 7-7 tie on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.   

Michael Foster broke up the D'backs no-hit bid in Sloan Park with a one-out single in the bottom of the 9th. 

RHSP Duane Underwood (right ebow stiffness) made his final rehab start in the game at Sloan Park and threw 5.1 IP (78 pitches) of one-run ball, retiring 13 of the first 16 men he faced before running into trouble in the top of the 6th when he allowed three singles and a HBP and surrendered his only run. But he was outstanding through the first five innings, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts.  

RHRP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs 15-day DL - right shoulder inflammation) made a rehab start in the game played on Field #1 and was hit hard, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits (two singles, a double, a triple, and a home run) and a walk (plus a throwing error) in 3.1 IP (50 pitches).

RHRP Aaron Crow (ex-KC - April 2015 TJS rehab) threw in the game on Field #1, but was unable to complete his inning, allowing a single, a double, and a triple and two runs while retiring only one batter. I couldn't tell if he was lifted because of pitch count or performance issues, but his stuff was subpar today and obviously didn't fool any of the young D'backs hitters.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):     

Victorino Helps Cubs Blank A's at Fitch Park

Shane Victorino (two-run single), Trey Martin (RBI double), and Chris Pieters (RBI single) stroked run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run 2nd and four pitchers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Cubs scored eight runs over the first four innings and blanked the Athletics 8-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action this morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Shane Victirino (calf strain rehab) served as a DH and singled twice, walked, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in two more.  

Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) threw a perfect 1-2-3 twelve-pitch inning to get things started, RHP Jeremy Null followed with four innings of shutout ball, and then RHP Pedro Silverio tossed three innings of perfect baseball, as Cubs pitchers completely throttled the A's hitters.  

The Cubs stole five more bases today, making it 17 SB in their last four games (only one CS). 

In a display of good sportsmanship, A's first-baseman Miguel Mercedes let Cubs first baseman Gustavo Polanco use his glove when playing defense the last three innings of the game, with the two first-basemen laying the glove on top of the 1st base bag at the end of each half-inning for the other to pick-up when he arrived at his defensive position. (We used to do that in my old neighborhood, too). Although Polanco is primarliy a catcher, he also plays 1B, but he forgot to bring his first-baseman's glove to the game, and Chris Pieters (the only other Cubs player at the game with a first-baseman's mitt) is left-handed. 

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only), followed by the updated Cubs Extended Spring Training roster: 

Angels Top Cubs at Sloan Park

Jabari Henry belted a two-run home run and Gleyvin Pineda singled twice, stole a base, and scored twice, leading the Angels to a 3-1 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day game action this morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The Cubs are playing their EXST home games in the stadium (Sloan Park) this year rather than at the Riverview backfields to take advantage of the state-of-the-art Statcast tracking technology that is available at the stadium (only). 

Shane Victorino (calf strain) continued his rehab and played LF for all nine innings, collecting two singles and a walk and a run scored, Cubs top pitching prospect RHP Dylan Cease tossed three innings of shutout ball, and Kelly Dugan walked, singled, and drove-in the lone Cub run with a sacrifice fly.   

RHRP Aaron Crow (ex-KC - April 2015 TJS rehab) threw an inning for the Cubs and was not particularly impressive, allowing the Henry two-run bomb. 

John Arguello has game notes & pictures from the game at Cubs Den...



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

Wilson, Cease, and Hudson Star at Minor League Camp

CF D. J. Wilson (Cubs 2015 4th round draft pick - Canton South HS - Canton, OH) tripled and singled and scored two runs, 6'8 LHP Bryan Hudson (Cubs 2015 3rd round draft pick - Alton HS - Alton, IL) tossed 4.1 IP of one hit shutout ball with a 10/1 GO/AO, and Cubs top pitching prospect fireballin' RHSP Dylan Cease (Cubs 2014 6th round draft pick - Milton HS - Milton, GA) hurled four innings of one-run/one hit ball, in Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Wednesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after 11-1/2 innings of play with the score tied 2-2. 

Shane Victorino (calf strain) continued his rehab, playing LF for six innings and going 0-3 at the plate (4-3, 4-3, 5-3). 

Ex-KC closer RHP Aaron Crow (signed by the Cubs to a minor league contract prior to the start of Spring Training) made his first game appearance since undergoing TJS last April, throwing 1.2 IP (19 pitches - 12 strikes) and allowing one hit and an unearned run with a 4/0 GO/AO.  

Ex-HOU RHRP Jake Buchanan made his first game appearance in a Cub uniform since being signed to a minor league contract last week, throwing 1.2 IP (21 pitches) while surrendering a run (earmed) on two hits (a triple and an RBI single) and a 3/0 GO/AO.

In Minor League Camp roster news, 3B-1B  Blake Headley (Cubs 2015 20th round draft pick - U. of Nebraska) has retired. Also, INF-OF David Bote was assigned to Myrtle Beach (where either he or Erick Castillo will likely initially be inactive, but available to be reinstated when needed), and LHP Jeffry Antigua has been assigned to Extended Spring Training (he was previously with the Iowa squad at Minor League Camp) and will be available to respond whenever needed on a moment's notice to any of the Cubs four full-season afiliates.  

Here is the box score from the game: