Aramis Ademan

Lester Goes Six on the Backfields and Ademan Belts Solo HR

Tyler Durna singled twice, doubled, scored a run, knocked-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and stole a base, D. J. Artis reached base three times (a single and two walks) and scored a run, Dalton Hurd smacked an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, Josue Huma ripped a two-run triple, and SP Cam Sanders tossed three innings of no run/no hit ball, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) to a 4-1 victory over the Asheville Tourists (Colorado Rockies Lo-A affiliate) on Field #5, and Aramis Ademan belted a HR leading off the bottom of the 1st inning, singled, walked and scored, Miguel Amaya roped an RBI double into the LF corner and scored, Jimmy Herron drilled an RBI single, reached base on an HBP, and stole a base, and Jon Lester hurled six innings (87 pitches) of two-run ball (five hits, two walks, seven strikeouts, and a wild pitch) and combined with Bryan Hudson to fan 13, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) edged the Lancaster JetHawks (Rockies Hi-A affiliate) 3-2 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Monday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

The rest of the Cubs MLB squad had the day off, but Victor Caratini came over to the Riverview backfields to catch Lester, and he had one AB in each of the first six innings (while he and Lester were in the game), going 1-5 with a double and a walk.  

In Cubs Minor League Camp news, OF Jamie Galazin (Cubs 2018 22nd round draft pick - St. John's) is being converted to a RHP. He was drafted by the Cubs as an outfielder, but he did pitch a bit in college (10 games), so he is at least somewhat familiar with the pitching thing. Whether Galazin will be used strictly as a pitcher or possibly as the now popular "two-way player" remains to be seen, but in either case he will be remaining at Extended Spring Training while he proceeds forward with the mound conversion.  

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

Little and Lange Dominate at Riverview

LLHP Brendon Little (Cubs 2017 1st round draft pick) hurled five innings of one-hit ball (a solo HR by Austin Beck with two outs in the 4th), retired fifteen of the sixteen men he faced (including six via strikeout), and threw 76% strikes, Jared Young belted a solo HR and an RBI double, and Jhonny Bethencourt knocked-in three runs with two RBI doubles, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 10-3 victory over the Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics Lo-A affiliate) on Field #5, and RHSP Alex Lange (the Cubs other 2017 1st round draft pick) hurled five innings of one-run two-hit ball and retired the last eleven batters he faced, Chesny Young, Ryan Court, and Tyler Alamo clubbed back-to-back-to-back home runs to highlight a four-run 2nd inning, and Aramis Ademan capped the scoring with a solo HR in the 8th, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) drubbed the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) 9-2 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Wednesday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.      

Brendon Little was absolutely mesmerizing, working very fast and throwing strikes, and effectively mixing his FB, CV, and CH to maximum degree (F-7, K, K, 5-3, 4-3, F-9, K, 5-3, F-7, F-7, K, HR, F-8, P-4, K, K).

Alex Lange was almost as good as Little over his five innings, flashing both his plus-CV and a CH in addition to his solid FB (BB, P-4, 3B, K, F-7, K, 1B, K, F-8, 6-3, K, 4-3, F-8, F-7, 4-3, 6-3, F-8, 3-U).

So it was a really good day for two of the Cubs top pitching prospects.

Not to be outdone, RHP Bailey Clark (Cubs 2016 5th round draft pick) "piggy-backed" with Little and brought 97 MPH FB gas and a hard slider to Field #5, racking up three innings of one-hit one-run ball. Clark retired the side easily 1-2-3 in his first two innings of work (K, 3-U, K, 4-3, 5-3, P-3), before losing his command a bit in his 3rd inning. The A's loaded the bases on a single and two walks with no outs, but then Clark induced a 4-6-3 DP on a 1-2 pitch and struck out the next hitter to get out of the jam. Clark opted to return to college (Duke) to get his degree after being drafted and signed by the Cubs in 2016, and he lost some valuable developmental time as a result, but the 6'4 220 righthander has all the earmarks of a stud power-pitcher.  

RHRP Shae Simmons got an inning of work, producing a 1-2-3 inning (K, K, 4-3). He was pounding the lower part of the strike zone with a 95 MPH FB mixed-with an occasional hard SL. (Simmons missed much of Spring Training with a sore shoulder, and was optioned to AAA Iowa just prior to the games at Riverview).

Just back from Fort  Myers, FL, where they traveled with the big club for a two-game pre-season set with the Red Sox, Iowa Cubs infielders Ryan Court and Chesny Young served as "roving designated hitters" in the two games, moving back & forth between the two fields in order to get maximum AB in as short a time as possible. Iowa C-1B Taylor Davis got somewhat less-intense DH work in with South Bend, taking all of his AB on Field #5.

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

Bolt from the Skye Turns I-Cubs Blue at Riverview

Aramis Ademan and Nelson Velazquez each ripped an RBI triple, singled, walked, and scored two runs, Miguel Amaya drilled a two-run double and a single and scored a run, and Fidel Mejia slugged a three-run HR, helping the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) trounce the Midland Rockhounds (AA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) 10-3 on Field #5, and Luke Persico and Collin Theroux roped RBI doubles, Luis Barrera hammered an RBI triple, Skye Bolt clubbed a solo HR, and RHSP Ben Bracewell tossed 2-1/3 innings of one-hit ball, helping the Nashville Sounds (A's AAA affiliate) defeat the Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate 6-4 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Tuesday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Both games were eight-inning affairs.  

Because the Cubs MLB squad was playing a split-squad doubleheader, most of the Iowa position players were called-up for those games, and as a result the Iowa game featured a number of position-players from the Tennessee squad, and the Tennessee game featured a number of players from the Myrtle Beach and South Bend squads (and in fact it was some of the Cubs top prospects from the lower levels -- Ademan, Velazquez, and M. Amaya -- who had the best performances).   

Iowa Cubs reliever Corey Black (February 2017 TJS) saw his first game action since 2016 in the contest on Field #6, but it did not go too well for the righthander. Black faced three batters and threw 14 pitches (but only three strikes) and left the game with what appeared to be a right arm injury (unknown if it's related to the TJS). 

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

Hudson Continues to Thrive in the Arizona Sun

LHSP Bryan Hudson hurled five innings of one-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts, Jacob Hannemann drove-in three runs with a squeeze-bunt and a two-run line-drive single, and Chris Dominguez doubled twice and scored two runs, helping the Cubs whitewash the Diamondbacks 6-0 on Quail Field, and Rafael Mejia belted a three-run HR, Aramis Ademan singled, tripled, and scored a run, and six pitchers combined to toss a five-hitter, as the Cubs edged the Diamondbacks 3-2 on Whirlwind Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader action Tuesday morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Both games were pre-planned as seven-inning affairs. 

Bryan Hudson has thrown eleven innings over the course of his first two Cactus League Extended Spring Training starts, allowing no runs on three hits and one walk, with twelve strikeouts and a 15/3 GO/AO. 

Eloy Jimenez (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL - right shoulder) was a DH in the game on Whirlwind Field, going 1-5 (1B, P-6, F-8, 6-3, K) while batting once in each of the first five innings.  

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

Williams Perez Cruises at Extended Spring Training

RHSP Williams Perez hurled 6.2 IP of two-hit shut-out ball with seven strikeouts and a 10/3 GO/AO and Edgar Rondon singled, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, leading the Eugene Emeralds to a 6-2 victory over the Mesa Cubs in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Monday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Aramis Ademan drilled an RBI triple and a double for Mesa in a losing cause.

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair, but was called with one out in the top of the 10th once all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game got their work.  

Ex-Boise State LB (and now full-time Cubs 1B) Joe Martarano took pre-game BP on Field #3 and looked pretty good, but he did not play in the game. Six recently-arrived position-players from the Cubs Dominican Academy (Yovanny Cuevas, Fernando Kelli, Fidel Mejia, Christopher Morel, Orian Nunez, and Yonathan Perlaza) did play in the game, however. (Henderson Perez has also arrived at EXST from the Dominican Academy, but he made his U. S. debut serving as one of the bullpen catchers). 

Here is the box score from the game:

Break-Up Team Banks!

Chris Pieters tripled, singled twice, scored three runs, and knocked-in another, Gustavo Polanco belted a two-run double and a single and scored a run, Sam Tidaback drilled a two-run double, singled, and walked, Aramis Ademan doubled twice and scored two runs and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and Zack Short tripled and singled and scored two runs, as Team Banks hammered out 16 hits (including seven XBH) en route to an 11-3 drubbing of Team Santo in Cubs Arizona Instructional League intrasquad game action Saturday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The two teams combined to commit nine errors, including three by Team Santo third-baseman Christopher Morel. 

Here is the box score from the game: 

A's Feel the Payne as Cubs Score Late & Often

Tyler Payne belted a two-run double and scored in a three-run 6th and Aramis Ademan and Wladimir Galindo stroked two singles a piece and each scored a run in a three-run 7th, leading the Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Friday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Miguel Mercedes drilled two RBI singles to account for both of the A's runs. 

The game was called by mutual consent after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

LHRP (July 2015 TJS) saw his first game action of 2016 but had difficulty locating home plate (17 pitches - only 6 strikes), walking two while recording two outs (F-8 and 4-3) before being relieved. Leathersich was claimed off waivers from the Mets in November and then was non-tendered by the Cubs on December 2nd, before signing a 2016 minor league contract with the Cubs. Leathersich has been rehabbing at the Cubs UAPC at Riverview Park since February, and the Cubs hope he will be able to help the big club's bullpen sometime later in the year (once his rehab is complete).    

RHSP (2014 IFA - Mexico) also saw his first game action of 2016, relieving Leathersich and retiring all three hitters he faced on an F-7 and two strikeouts (both swinging). Camargo probably has the best change-up in the Cubs system and was the workhorse of the AZL Cubs starting rotation in 2015, and he would have been a strong contender for a starting gig at Eugene in 2016, too, if he had been able to compete with the others (Cease, Hudson, Paulino, Silverio, J. Castillo, Moreno, and M. Rondon) from the gitgo. Camargo still might eventually win a slot in the Eugene starting rotation, but time is short and he is far behind the other candidates. I would think he will probably begin the short-season back at AZL Cubs and work his innings and pitch count up to where it needs to be for a starting pitcher. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHRP has been moved-up to South Bend (Araujo was one of the last three pitchers cut from the South Bend roster at the end of Minor League Camp).

Pedro Araujo combined 2016 Cactus League EXST line (thru 5/26): 
8 games
1.93 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, .226 OppBA 
14.0 IP, 12 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 21 K, 9/11 GO/AO, 181 pitches (73% strikes), 12.9 PITCHES-PER-INNING

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

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