Chris Carrier

Cubs Pitchers Spin Intrasquad Shutout at Riverview

James Norwood, Cory Abbott, Yovanny Cruz, and Scott Effross combined to toss a four-hit shutout, Kevin Zamudio drilled a two-run HR, a single, and a double, Nelson Velazquez singled, doubled, and walked, and Chris Carrier smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Sunday morning on John Arguello Way at the Rivervierw Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Donnie Dewees (acquired in a trade with KC Friday evening) played LF for four innings and collected a single and a SB. 

RHRP James Norwood came over from MLB Camp and threw an easy 1-2-3 1st inning for the winning squad. Taylor Davis also came over to Minor League Camp to serve as Norwood's "personal" catcher, and as is the case when a pitcher on an MLB 40-man roster pitches in a Minor League game, Norwood gets to use the higher-quality MLB baseball (manufactured in Costa Rica) instead of the cheaper minor league model (which is manufactured in China).  

RHSP Matt Swarmer left the game with a finger blister after warming up in the top of the 2nd (he had a 1-2-3 eleven-pitch 1st inning with two strikeouts). He was scheduled to work three innings or throw 45 pitches (whichever came first), but (as it turned out) that didn't happen.   

Here is the box score from the game: 

Carrier Gets Carried Away and Pacheco Gets Carted Off, Leaving Remaining Cubs in the Dark

Chris Carrier drove-in two runs with a solo HR and two singles and scored twice, Fernando Kelli tripled, singled, walked, and scored a run. and Jonathan Sierra and Reivaj Garcia each drilled an RBI double and a single and scored a run, in an eight-inning Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played Saturday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Carrier hit his HR in the bottom of the 6th right after being informed that he was being called-up to one of the Cubs full-season affiliates (presumably South Bend, but it could have been one of the others), so after blasting the bomb far over the LF fence, Carrier gathered his gear, hugged his teammates, and made a bee-line for the UAPC (slip-sliding on the concrete in the process) and then to Sky Harbor Airport. (It's always a trip when a player at Extended Spring Training gets called-up during a game). 

On a more somber note, Carlos Pacheco was carried off the field after suffering what appeared to be a serious leg injury in the top of the 7th after tripping over 1st base while attempting to beat-out an infield hit. 

The game was called with a score of 8-6 prior to the start of the 9th inning after the lights suddenly switched themselves off. (Unbeknownst to Carmelo Martinez and the rest of the EXST Cubs, the lights were pre-set to turn off automatically at 10 PM so that the Riverview Park ground crew and City of Mesa personnel could go home without having to wait around for the game to end, but none of the Cubs knew how to over-ride the timer and turn them back on). Dalton Geekie and Yan de la Cruz were warmed-up and ready to throw one inning each, but obviously they were unable to get their scheduled game-work. (The Field #1 sprinklers also turned themselves on automatically a few minutes prior to start of the game).  

The Cubs will be playing AZL home games at both Sloan Park (the Cubs Spring Training stadium) and across the street at Riverview Park Field #1 (the only Riverview back-field with lights) on nights when both AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2 are scheduled to play home games, so it's probably good to be aware of potential problems and get the glitches worked-out now rather than after the AZL season starts.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

Lucky Number Seven for Cubs and Giants

Chris Carrier (three-run shot) and Abraham Rodriguez (solo blast) hammered back-to-back HR to key a four-run 1st inning and Josue Huma, Orian Nunez, and Herson Perez drilled RBI singles to highlight a three-run 8th for the Cubs, and Raiber Gutierrez ripped a double and an RBI single, stole a base, and scored a run, Will Albertson smacked an RBI double and an RBI single and scored a run, and Dalton Combs laced a double and an RBI single and scored a run for the Giants black squad, as the two teams played to a 7-7 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The game was called after 8-1/2 innings of play.

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

Young Quintet of Hits Highlights SB Cubs Win at Fitch Park

Jared Young (Cubs 2017 15th round draft pick - Old Dominion) collected five hits (four singles and a double), stole a base, and scored a run, Brandon Hughes (Cubs 2017 16th round draft pick - Michigan State) belted an RBI double and a single, stole a base, and scored a run, Chris Carrier (Cubs 2017 9th round draft pick - U. of Memphis) doubled, singled, reached base on an HBP, and scored a run, and Roberto Caro smacked an RBI double, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, leading the Cubs South Bend Lo-A affiliate to a 6-1 victory over the Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics Lo-A affiliate) on Field #3, and Luke Persico (two-run triple) and Luis Barrera (RBI single) drilled consecutive run-scoring hits to cap a five-run 6th, Will Toffey drove-in three runs with a two-run single and a FC, and SP Brendan Butler hurled four innings of shutout ball, as the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) drubbed the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 11-1 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Friday morning at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The game on Field #3 was called after eight innings of play.

Austin Upshaw (Cubs 2017 13th round draft pick - Kennesaw State) singled twice and doubled and scored the Pelicans lone run (Chris Pieters RBI single) on Field #6.

RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico) is considered by most observers to be one of the Cubs top two or three pitching prospects, and he got the start for South Bend on Field #3. Albertos did not allow any runs (maybe I should just leave it at that...), but he did permit eight batters to reach base (three singles, a double, three walks, and an HBP) in just 3.2 IP. His main problem was inability to command any of his pitches (75 pitches - only 51% strikes), especially his CV, which he kept spiking into the ground in front of home plate (giving catcher Michael Cruz quite a work-out in the process). RHRP Manuel Rodriguez had a "mid-game save" in relief, stranding two runners inherited from Albertos in the 4th and retiring the side 1-2-3 in the 5th (F-8, K, K) to preserve the shutout. (The Snappers would later score their one and only run of the game with two outs in the bottom of the 8th).  

RHP Keegan Thompson (Cubs 2017 3rd round draft pick - Auburn) got the start for Myrtle Beach on Field #4 and easily retired the first eleven men he faced (4-3, 5-3, 3-U, L-8, K, 4-3, 6-3, F-8, P-6, 6-3, K) before allowing a double, a walk, an HBP, and a two-run single with two outs in the 4th. But he recovered and retired the next four batters to complete his pre-planned five innings of work (73 pitches - 68% strikes). RHP Kyle Miller followed Thompson and had a nightmare outing, walking all four men he faced (all four eventually scored). K. Miller had a similar outing a couple of weeks ago for AA Tennessee (prior to being moved-down to Myrtle Beach) when he walked six in two innings, so don't be too surprised if he is left behind at Extended Spring Training to work on his pitching mechanics/command/control a bit when his Pelican teammates leave town in the next couple or three days.    

CF Connor Myers suffered a left leg injury in the top of the 6th on Field #4 after colliding with RF Chris Pieters in right-centerfield while chasing what turned out to be a two-run triple. Myers left the game under his own power (albeit with a noticeable limp), but if you're looking for a candidate to start the season on the Myrtle Beach 7-day DL, Myers just might be your man.    
 
RHP M. T. Minacci (March 2017 non-TJS elbow injury) threw a shutout inning for South Bend in relief. He allowed a single to the first man he faced before inducing a 1-6-3 DP ball and striking out the next batter to retire the side. Minacci has been in the Rehab Throwing Program at Minor League Camp and prior to today hadn't thrown in a game in more than a year, so he will almost certainly be spending the next couple of months at Extended Spring Training while continuing his rehab and competing for a spot in the Eugene bullpen.   

As usual, several players (Caro, Donahue, Pena, and Romano) were moved-up from the Eugene/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad for the day to provide late-inning position-player reinforcements for South Bend and Myrtle Beach.  

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