Brian Duensing

Chatwood to the DL Sure Sounds Like a Good Idea...

Every now & then I see someone suggest the Cubs should just put on the DL so that he doesn't take-up a spot on the 25-man roster from a pitcher who would be more-useful to Maddon and the Cubs. The problem is,

Cubs Send Bullpen to Riverview to Stabilize Isotopes

Cubs MLB bullpen members Brandon Morrow, Justin Wilson, and Brian Duensing combined to hurl 3.1 IP of shutout ball to get things started, Charcer Burks (RBI single) and David Bote (RBI double) drove-in what proved to be the winning runs in the bottom of the 1st, and Dillon Maples earned an easy save with a 1-2-3 14-pitch 9th, as the Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate edged the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate) 2-1 on Field #6, and RHSP Ryan Castellani hurled four innings of shutout ball and the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies AA affiliate) banged-out 15 hits en route to an 8-1 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader action Thursday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The game on Field #5 was called after eight innings of play.

Morrow (4-3, K, 3B, BB), Wilson (5-4 FC, F-8, 1B, L-4 DP, K), and Duensing (F-7, F-8, 2B, K) were sent to the Cubs backfields to get work in the AAA game, and Chris Gimenez was their catcher, going 1-5 at the plate (F-8, 2B, K, 6-3, K) while hitting once in each of the first five innings.
 
Luis Hidalgo was hit in the helmet with a pitch in the bottom of the 8th inning on Field #5 and had to leave the game (although he left the field under his own power).   

As usual several position-players were moved-up to the Tennessee and Iowa squads to get some playing time with the more-advanced players. 

A number of Cubs minor leaguers have been (or currently are) sick, apparently with the same bug that sidelined Kyle Hendricks this week.

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

Strop Sharp in 2018 Debut at Riverview

Dairon Blanco ripped a bases-loaded triple with two outs in the top of the 9th as the Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics Hi-A affiliate) rallied to edge the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Hi-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 4-3 on Field #6, and Anthony Churlin went 4-4 with a solo HR (off an MLB pitcher) and three singles to lead the Beloit Snappers (A's Lo-A affiliate) to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs Lo-A South Bend affiliate on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Monday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Wladimir Galindo collected three hits (two singles and a double), drove-in a run, and scored a run, and RHSP Oscar de la Cruz hurled three shutout innings for Myrtle Beach, and Christopher Morel drilled two doubles (both pulled sharply into the LF corner) for South Bend (the SB Cubs managed only three hits, and Morel had two of them).

South Bend 1B Austin Filiere left the game after being hit on the helmet with a pitch in the bottom of the 5th.  

Both games were called after 8-1/2 innings of play.  
 
Cubs RHRP Pedro Strop (calf strain) made his 2018 debut in the game on Field #5, and he was outstanding, working 1.1 IP (18 pitches - 89% strikes) and allowing a single while striking out four (all four swinging, all four on hard sliders). Most of the Beloit kids probably have never seen a slider like Strop's so it was a true education for the youngsters, but no question Strop was on his game. Cubs closer Brandon Morrow and LHRP Brian Duensing also saw action in the South Bend game, with Morrow allowing an unearned run on a single and a walk with two strikeouts, and Duensing surrendering a solo HR in his one inning of work (and he also two recorded a couple of punch-outs). 

NRI catcher Ali Solis was sent to the Riverview backfields from the Cubs MLB squad, and he caught Strop, Morrow, and Duensing. AAA Iowa catcher Cael Brockmeyer was also assigned to the South Bend game to warm up the MLB guys in the bullpen, and he got a couple of token AB as a DH as part of the deal. 

Will Remillard (2015 & 2016 TJS) saw his first game action of 2018 on Field #6. He looked healthy and in great shape, throwing out a Stockton baserunner who was attempting to steal 2nd with a strong pinpoint throw, and he also reached base on an opposite-field double that bounced off the warning track and over the fence in RF.  

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