Brendon Little

Brendon Little Throws "Live" BP & Danny Hultzen gets Game Work at EXST

Jorge Barrosa belted a two-run triple and singled twice, Jose Corpa drilled a two-run triple and scored a run, and Luvin Valbuena doubled, walked, and scored two runs, leading the Diamondbacks past the Cubs "A" team 6-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

Jake Slaughter laced an RBI double and a single, Edmond Americaan singled, doubled, walked, and scored a run, and Marcus Mastrobuoni drove-in two runs with an RBI single and an RBI FC, stole a base, and threw out a runner attempting to steal a base, to aid the Cubs in a losing cause. 

LHP Danny Hultzen (on AAA Iowa 60-day IL - 2016 shoulder surgery rehab) saw his first game action of 2019, getting the start and striking out the side (all three swinging, and he threw 83% strikes) in the top of the 1st inning, and RHRP Chad Hockin (on Myrtle Beach 7-day IL - May 2018 TJS) threw a 1-2-3 2nd inning (4-3, 6-3, K-swinging) as he continues to look sharp while rehabbing from May 2018 TJS.

Once one of the top pitching prospects in baseball (he was the Seattle Mariners 1st round pick and the 2nd overall pick in the 2011 draft out of UVA), the 29-year old Hultzen still has a plus-CH and a very solid breaking ball and he runs his cutter at a respectable 88-90 MPH, and he has outstanding command of all of his pitches, too, but the problem he had last year (and it remains to be seen if the issue has been resolved) was that he was unable to throw more than one inning per appearance and he was also unable to throw two days in a row. If he is going to be an MLB lefty reliever he will need to be able to either throw multiple innings or pitch at least two days in a row.    

Prior to the game on Field #5, LHP Brendon Little (Cubs 2017 1st round draft pick) and RHP John Pomeroy (ex-PIT) threw "live" BP on Field #6. This was the first time Little has faced hitters since straining his lat in his first "live" BP session of Minor League Camp the first week of March.   
 
Here is the abridged box score from the game (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)