Arizona Phil's Archives

Ryan Williams and Erling Moreno Throw in Game at Riverview

Carlos Pacheco singled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, Delvin Zinn doubled, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, and Reivaj Garcia contributed two RBI (a run-scoring double and an RBI GO), leading the Cubs to a 7-5 victory over the Angels Saturday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Johan Sala singled, walked, and belted a solo HR and Kevin Maitan singled twice and drove-in a run for the Angels in a losing cause. 

RHP Ryan Williams (2017 shoulder surgery) got the start for the Cubs and threw 3.2 IP (46 pitches), retiring the first six men he faced (6-3, 3-U, 4-3, P-6, 4-3, K-swinging) on only 20 pitches before allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits (both singles) and a walk in a 19-pitch third inning of work. The Williams FB sat at 81-83, but he featured a plus-CV and plus-CH that kept Angels hitters off-balance. 

RHP David Garner (on Restricted List and at Extended Spring Training while serving a 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension) relieved Williams and easily retired four of the five men he faced (he walked the first hitter and then retired four in a row - K-swinging, 6-3, 5-3, 4-3). Garner will be getting out of the "penalty box" next week, and he looks like he is ready to roll. 

RHP Erling Moreno worked two innings (32 pitches) in relief, and while his line wasn't great (he allowed two runs on three hits, including a HR), he was pumping his FB consistently at 96-98 MPH and mixing it with a hard slider. E. Moreno has been at EXST for the past couple of months throwing bullpen sessions and working on his mechanics, and from what he showed today, he could maybe fit a reliever profile (perhaps a two-inning reliever in the Archie Bradley/Josh Hader/Amir Garrett mold?).      

LHP Jonathan Bruzual (up from the Cubs Dominican Academy) made his U. S. game debut, throwing a shutout inning. Bruzual's FB sits at 84-86, but he has a solid CV and is working on a CH. He reported to EXST with the other DSL pitchers about two months ago, but he had been throwing only bullpen sessions up until today. 

Here is the unabridged box score (Cubs players only): 

A's Rumble Past Cubs at Fitch Park

JaVon Shelby collected four RBI (bases-loaded walk, two-run triple, and RBI GO) and Liam Hendriks and Jose Mora combined to hurl 5.1 IP of one-run ball with nine strikeouts, helping the Athletics thump the Cubs 8-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.   

The game was pre-planned as a seven-inning affair, but it was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the A's pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

Cam Balego was removed from the game after being hit in the head (helmet) with a pitch. He left the field under his own power, but appeared to be a bit woozy. Balego is the second Cub in two days to be hit in the head or face with a pitch.  

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

Snakes Slither Past Cubs at Riverview

Jorge Perez belted an RBI single and a two-run HR and RHSP Luis Frias and three relievers combined to hurl a four-hitter, as the Diamondbacks thrashed the Cubs 7-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Thursday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called with two outs in the bottom of the 8th after Richard Nunez was hit in the head/face with a pitch from D'backs RHP Jake Winston. Nunez was attended by Cubs and D'backs athletic trainers and then was removed from the field and transported to the UAPC clubhouse aboard a Cubs medical crash-cart. Nunez was struck in the small of the back with a bat in the top of the 7th after a D'backs batter followed-through on a swing a little bit too aggressively, but Nunez refused to come out of the game at that time despite being offered the opportunity.  

Not counting Jose Gutierrez (who is rehabbing from a mild ankle sprain suffered in a game last week), Orian Nunez (who the Cubs wanted to try at shortstop), and the three pitchers, today's Cubs lineup (plus the bullpen catcher) featured ten (shall we say) "low ceiling" older position players who are competing for back-up jobs with Eugene or with one of the two AZL Cubs teams. It wasn't necessarily a final chance "make-it-or-break-it" opportunity to show something, but the ten (including bullpen catcher Raymond Pena) are the guys who have been getting the least playing time in Cactus League EXST games and who are usually assigned to the "sim" games and "live" BP sessions (sort of like an NRI at MLB Spring Training).   

While 15 Cubs played the Diamondbacks on Field #5, the other 70+ Cubs position players and pitchers participated in full "Camp Day" activities on the other Riverview backfields, including baserunning & run-down drills, PFP, infield and outfield practice, defensive strategy simulations, BP (with players rotating between FB and CV machines), and bunting practice.  

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

Nic, Bug, and Mac Are a Rockie Concoction for Cubs at Riverview

Nic Motley doubled twice, walked, and collected two RBI, Tyler Bugner singled twice, stole two bases, and scored twice, and RHSP Pearson McMahan hurled five innings of two-hit/one-run ball (retiring the first nine men and the last six men he faced), helping the Rockies edge the Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Luis Hidalgo smacked a three-run HR, Luis Vazquez drilled a single and an RBI double and scored a run, Reivaj Garcia singled, doubled, and scored a run, and Yovanny Cuevas belted an RBI triple and drove-in another run with an RBI GO for the Cubs in a losing cause. 

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning affair, but was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Rockies pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

Prior to the game, LHSP Justin Steele (July 2017 TJS) threw "live" BP (two innings - 35 pitches) on Field #4 and it went very well (FB velo good and flashed a plus-CH). Next step is three innings (45 pitches), and then he will begin to throw a breaking ball.  

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHSP Erick Leal (missed 2017 season with a non-TJS elbow injury) has completed his rehab and has rejoined Myrtle Beach, replacing RHRP Elvis Diaz on the Pelicans roster (E. Diaz was released). In addition, RHP Kyle Miller (Cubs 2015 19th round draft pick - Florida Atlantic) has been released from Extended Spring Training. (K. Miller had a lot of difficulty throwing strikes at Minor League Camp and was left behind in Mesa to work on his mechanics when Myrtle Beach departed Arizona at the end of March, but he was unable to overcome the problem). 

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

Polanco Leads Cub Offense over A's at Riverview

Gustavo Polanco belted an RBI triple, a double, and a single, and scored two runs, Christopher Morel clobbered a three-run HR, and Jose A. Gonzalez singled, doubled, and scored two runs, leading a Cubs 14-hit attack (including five XBH) en route to a 10-6 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after seven innings of play. 

Jordan Diaz singled twice and doubled and scored a run for the A's in a losing cause. 

In EXST roster news, RHP Jose Albertos has been sent to Extended Spring Training from South Bend. 

Prior to the Cactus League game, RHP Luis Aquino, LHP Jonathan Bruzual, RHP Hector Alonso Garcia, and RHP Yunior Perez squared-off in a multi-inning "sim" game on Field #4. H. Garcia and Y. Perez have been in the Rehab Throwing Program since the start of Minor League Camp in March, and Aquino and Bruzual have been throwing bullpen side-sessions only for the last month. 

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

Cubs Win Pitchers Duel at Diablo

Alexander Guerra drilled an RBI single and a double and LHSP Brailyn Marquez and three relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout with eleven strikeouts, as the Cubs blanked the Angels 1-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Monday morning on Field #3 at the Diablo Stadium Complex in Tempe, AZ.   

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, OF Lane Adams has been moved-up to AAA Iowa. 

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

Huma Saves Cubs (from) No-Hitter at Salt River Fields

Liover Peguero (July 2017 IFA - $475K signing bonus) smacked a three-run HR and RHSP Jayson McKinley hurled five innings of one-run/two-hit ball and combined with two relievers on a three-hitter with ten strikeouts, leading the Diamondbacks to a 6-1 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Liover Peguero would leave the game after being hit on the left hand with a pitch in the bottom of the 7th, and it did not look good. 

Josue Huma was the Cubs offense, collecting all three Cub hits (a single, a double, and a triple) and scoring the lone Cub run. 

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

Cubs Provide No High Life for Brew Crew at Riverview

Gustavo Polanco and Orian Nunez laced RBI doubles and SP Eury Ramos hurled three innings of one-run ball and combined with three relievers on a five-hitter with ten strikeouts, as the Cubs edged the Brewers 2-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

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

Cubs Double Their Pleasure, Triple Their Fun, and Hit a Home Run, Before They are Done

Henderson Perez collected four hits (two singles and two doubles) and two RBI, scored three runs, and threw out two baserunners attempting to steal, Orian Nunez clubbed a two-run HR, walked, and knocked-in another run with a sacrifice fly, Christopher Morel belted an RBI double and an RBI triple and scored a run, Luis Diaz drilled a double and a triple and scored a run, and Kwangmin Kwon doubled twice, drove-in two runs, and scored another, as the Cubs banged-out 15 hits (including ten XBH) en route to a 12-3 drubbing of the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.   

The game was called after seven innings of play.  

Cubs pitchers allowed only five hits but they walked ten (including five by Mitch Stophel in just 1.2 IP). However, the A's ran themselves out of some innings and/or left multiple runners stranded in other innings.

Cubs RHSP Jeremiah Estrada continues to struggle with command, laboring through two innings before being relieved. Also, his normal 94 MPH FB velocity was down a tick. But RHP Eduarniel Nunez had his FB cranked-up to 95 today and broke a couple of bats with it when he wasn't bouncing it in front of the plate or throwing it over the batter's head, but he apparently had a good feel for his curve, dropping about a half-dozen benders in for a called-strike when he really needed one. E. Nunez may be raw but he sure does have a "live" arm.   

Cubs shortstop Christopher Morel made two outstanding stops & throws that wowed the scouts in attendance (both times going deep into the 5.5 hole and backhanding a grounder before throwing a laser-strike to 1st base to retire the batter). But the defensive play of the day was turned-in by RF Chris Carrier (not known for his defense), who came out of nowhere to make a spectacular diving catch in short rightfield.    

While Miguel Amaya is clearly the Cubs #1 catching prospect (some of you will probably recall that he was MVP at Cubs Extended Spring Training last year), the Cubs #2 and #3 catching prospects are Jonathan Soto and Henderson Perez, and they are both at Extended Spring Training right now. And it is possible that one of them could (like M. Amaya did last year) jump over AZL and go directly to Eugene.     

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

Bumpy Rockie Road at Salt River Fields for Cubs

RHSP Javier Medina fired five innings of two-hit shutout ball and Jeff Bohling and Jeff Moberg laced back-to-back RBI doubles to highlight a four-run 2nd inning, as the Rockies blanked the Cubs 4-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games action Tuesday morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.  

Cubs CF Jose Gutierrez suffered a left knee or ankle injury while running the bases in the top of the 3rd inning, but he was able to leave the field under his own power (albeit with a slight limp). 

Recently-signed FA outfielder Lane Adams continues to get reps at Extended Spring Training while waiting for a roster slot to open up at AAA Iowa, and he started today's game in LF and then moved to CF after Gutierrez left the game. Adams went 2-4 at the plate, including a double, a single, and a stolen base, and he also flied out to deep left with two runners on base in the 3rd (the Rockies LF caught the ball with his back against the wall). Adams was one of the better "4th outfielders" in MLB last season.   

Speaking of "4th outfielders," Jose A. Gonzalez (not to be confused with Jose M. Gonzalez, a RHP at Cubs EXST) is competing for the "4th OF" gig at Eugene, and he did nothing to hurt his cause today, making the defensive play of the game (an inning-ending run-saving full-extension back-handed diving catch in right-centerield). He isn't much of a hitter, but Gonzalez is a polished outfield defender and is fundamentally-sound in all phases of the game.

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

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