Archive - Mar 2019

Kevin Moreno Carries the Day at Riverview

Kevin Moreno knocked in four runs with a two-run HR, an RBI single, and a sacrifice fly, stole a base, and scored two runs, Brennen Davis doubled twice, stole a base, and drove-in a run, Clayton Daniel tripled, walked, scored two runs, and collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly, Christopher Morel singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored two runs, and SP Javier Assad hurled 4.2 IP of one-run ball, leading the Eugene/Mesa Cubs (soon to be the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad) to 9-3 thrashing of the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) in Minor League Spring Training game action Sunday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Javier Assad was left behind when his Myrtle Beach teammates left town today so that he could get his scheduled work (he will likely start for the Pelicans next Saturday or Sunday). 

Kevin Moreno is from Cuba and is in the U. S. on a work visa (he is - NOT - a defector). The 18 year old's favorite MLB player is Kris Bryant and his father's favorite MLB team is the Cubs (and that was the case before Kevin signed with the Cubs a little over a year ago), and just by observing his batting stance, his mannerisms on the field, and the way he carries himself, it is clear that he has been studying KB very closely.      

Here is the box score from the game: 

March 30th

Hudson Dominates South Bend at Riverview

SP Bryan Hudson hurled five innings of shutout ball with seven strikeouts and Josue Huma singled twice, doubled, scored a run, and drove-in another, as the Eugene/Mesa Cubs (soon to be the Cubs Extended Spring Training squad) blanked the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) 4-0 in Minor League Spring Training game action Saturday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The game was pre-planned as a seven-inning contest. 

The majority of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans were excused from having to play in the game so that they could prepare for their trip Sunday to South Carolina (the Pelicans open their season Tuesday night in an exhibition game versus Charleston Southern University), but the three MB pitchers who were scheduled to throw on Saturday (Hudson, Peyton, and King) did pitch in the game, albeit with the youngsters from the Eugene/Mesa squad playing behind them (and it turned out to be a winning combination, too!). 

Meanwhile the South Bend Cubs continue to struggle at the plate, striking out nine more times for a total of 29 strikeouts and only one run scored in their last 18 innings over the past two days.  

In South Bend Cubs roster news, RHSP Yovanny Cruz has been moved-down to Eugene/Mesa from the South Bend squad.     

And so this is the South Bend Cubs provisional Opening Day roster (27 players - two players over the 25 man Opening Day roster limit):   

STARTING PITCHERS: Faustino Carrera, Derek Casey, Eury Ramos, Cam Sanders, and Riley Thompson   
PIGGY-BACK STARTER: Brailyn Marquez
BULLPEN: Dalton Geekie, Ryan Lawlor, Riley McCauley, Zach Mort, Eugenio Palma, Jeffrey Passantino, Peyton Remy, and Ethan Roberts 
CATCHERS: Eric Gonzalez, Rafelin Lorenzo, and Gustavo Polanco
INFIELDERS: Tyler Durna, Levi Jordan, Fidel Mejia, Rafael Narea, Andy Weber, and Delvin Zinn 
OUTFIELDERS: D. J. Artis, Cole Roederer, Jonathan Sierra, and Nelson Velazquez 

One pitcher and one position player will need to be taken off the roster prior to Opening Day.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

2019 Cubs Minor League Camp Rosters (Updated 3/30)

3/30 UPDATE

IOWA to TENNESSEE: OF Charcer Burks 

TENNESSEE to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Ryan Williams

SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Yovanny Cruz

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3/29 UPDATE


The Cubs released what was described as the Myrtle Beach Opening Day roster on Friday, but as you will note it's exactly the same as the current Myrtle Beach Minor League Camp roster below, and it is three players over the Opening Day roster limit.  

So three of the Cubs four full season affiliates are getting close to the Opening Day 25-man limit but none of them are quite there yet, and Iowa keeps adding players! 

SIGNED: INF Dixon Machado (assigned to IOWA)

GOING DOWN: 

TENNESSEE to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Tyler Peyton 

MYRTLE BEACH to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Casey Bloomquist (going back to the Rehab Throwing Program) and OF Brandon Hughes (is being converted to LHP)   

SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Sean Barry and OF Jose Gutierrez 

GOING UP: 

SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Jesus Camargo (replaces Bloomquist) and OF Grant Fennell (replaces Hughes) 

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3/28 UPDATE


MLB CAMP to IOWA: LHP Brian Duensing 

RELEASED: C-1B Michael Cruz, 1B Tyler Alamo, INF Austin Upshaw, and OF Luis Ayala 

MOVING DOWN: 

IOWA to TENNESSEE: RHP Craig Brooks, RHP Tom Hatch, and RHP Michael Rucker

IOWA to MYRTLE BEACH: C Tyler Payne 

TENNESSEE to MYRTLE BEACH: RHP Alex Lange, LHP Luis Lugo, INF Jhonny Bethencourt, INF Yeiler Peguero, 2B Carlos Sepulveda, and OF D. J. Wilson

TENNESSEE to SOUTH BEND: C Rafelin Lorenzo 

MYRTLE BEACH to SOUTH BEND: LHP Eugenio Palma, RHP Jeffrey Passantino, LHP Ryan Lawlor, INF Levi Jordan, INF Rafael Narea, INF Andy Weber, OF Jose Gutierrez, and OF Nelson Velazquez    

MYRTLE BEACH to EUGENE/MESA: C Jonathan Soto 

SOUTH BEND to EUGENE/MESA: RHP Ivan Medina, LHP Jack Patterson, RHP Jake Reindl, RHP Carlos Vega, C Alexander Guerra, C Caleb Knight, INF Jake Slaughter, SS Luis Vazquez, and OF Dalton Hurd

MOVING UP: 

EUGENE/MESA to MYRTLE BEACH: C-INF Cam Balego (replaces M. Cruz as #3 catcher at MB) 


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3/27 UPDATE
:

IOWA to TENNESSEE:  C-1B Ian Rice and INF Vimael Machin

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3/26 UPDATE


The Cubs have optioned LHP Kyle Ryan to Iowa, signed RHP Junichi Tazawa (who was released by the Cubs on Saturday) to a new (different) 2019 minor league contract, and assigned Tazawa and MLB NRI RHP Allen Webster to Minor League Camp. 

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With less than a week remaining before the Cubs four full-season minor league affiliates (Iowa, Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend) leave Arizona in their rear-view mirrors, the rosters of the four full-season affiliates are becoming a bit more clear, although considerable adjustments and pruning are still needed (see updated 2019 CUBS MINOR LEAGUE CAMP ROSTERS below):    

Pelicans Pitchers Turn Up the Heat at Riverview Park

Kevonte Mitchell walloped a two-run HR (off Brailyn Marquez), D. J. Wilson singled twice, doubled, walked, stole two bases, and scored two runs, and SP Paul Richan hurled six innings of shutout ball with nine stikeouts (also 6/2 GO/AO, all three hits he allowed were singles, he issued no walks, and he threw 80% strikes) and combined with five relievers to fan 20, helping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) cruise past the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) 6-1 in Minor League Camp Spring Training game action Friday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as an eleven inning contest so that all of the pitchers who needed to throw could get their work, and while the twenty strikeouts racked up by Myrtle Beach pitchers was certainly aided by playing two additional innings, Pelicans pitchers did punch-out 16 SB-Cubs hitters through nine innings.    

Also, three of the pitchers who threw for Myrtle Beach (Ian Clarkin, Jordan Minch, and Wyatt Short) were actually Tennessee relievers who needed work (the Minch FB was sitting 94-95 and touched 97, BTW), and another (LHP Ryan Lawlor) was recently moved-down to South Bend from Myrtle Beach but (like the Tennessee trio) he needed work and the South Bend bullpen dance card was full.   

As is typical this time of year, several players from the Eugene/Mesa squad (Vicens, K. Moreno, L. Diaz, O. Nunez, Hurd, Zardon, and Daniel) served as late-inning replacements for the MB and SB starters, and the ones who played for South Bend combined to go 1-7 with six strikeouts (which also contributed to the prodigious Pelicans pitchers' strikeout total).     

In Minor League Camp news, OF Brandon Hughes (Cubs 2017 16th round draft pick - Michigan State) is being converted to a LHP. Hughes is the second Cubs outfielder to be converted to pitcher this month (Jamie Galazin was the other one). Like Galazin, Hughes does have some prior experience as a pitcher in college (he appeared in seven games as a reliever in his freshman season at MSU). 

Here is the box score from the game:  

March 28th

Cubs Are the Real Power at Riverview

Rafelin Lorenzo drilled an RBI triple and a double and scored two runs, Fidel Mejia belted an RBI triple and a double and scored one run, Levi Jordan cracked an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, and six pitchers combined on a two-hitter, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 6-1 victory over the West Virginia Power (Seattle Mariners Lo-A affiliate) in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Thursday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Although they were pitching for South Bend, it was actually a Eugene/Mesa "bullpen day" on Field #1, with six relievers from the Eugene/Mesa squad called upon to provide some "two-hit relief" for the SB-Cubs pen.  

Meanwhile, Thursday night's offensive heroes Rafelin Lorenzo and Fidel Mejia have been two of the pleasant surprises at Cubs Minor League Camp.

Lorenzo was selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of last December's Rule 5 Draft from the Pittsburgh Pirates in what appeared to be just an organizational depth transaction, but it turns out he is a really good receiver with a plus-arm and he has some XBH power at the plate as well. He showed enough at Minor League Camp that he beat-out Alexander Guerra, Jonathan Soto, and Henderson Perez for the #1 catching job at South Bend, and he actually probably could have been the #1 catcher at Myrtle Beach or maybe even at Tennessee if it wasn't for a guy named Miguel Amaya at Myrtle Beach and P. J. Higgins and Jhonny Pereda at Tennessee. Kudos to the Cubs Pro Scouting Dept. 

Fidel Mejia was leading (and may still be leading, I don't know) Cubs Minor League Camp in HR and XBH and (apparently) has won the starting 3B job at South Bend, even though he spent the last two seasons in the AZL and has yet to see Eugene. The 20-year old switch-hitter obviously put on some muscle during the off-season and now has pop from both sides of the plate (he hit a HR over the CF Batter's Eye on Riverview Field #5 last week), and he has worked hard to make himself into a decent-enough third-baseman that he should be able to stay at the hot corner as he advances through the Cubs system, although he can also play 1B and even a bit of 2B as well. 

Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether Cole Roederer will open the 2019 season at South Bend or at Extended Spring Training. Sometimes he looks great, and other times (like in Thursday night's game) he doesn't. So he is squarely "on the bubble," and it could go either way. (I guess we'll find out shortly). 

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

Cubs Release Four from Minor League Camp

The Cubs released four players from Minor League Camp this morning: 

Tyler Alamo, 1B (Cubs 2013 24th round draft pick - Cypress HS - Cypress, CA)  
Luis Ayala, OF (Cubs 2013 IFA - Venezuela) 
Michael Cruz, C-1B (Cubs 2016 7th round draft pick - Bethune Cookman)
Austin Upshaw, INF (Cubs 2017 13th round draft pick - Kennesaw State) 

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