Chris Pieters

Cubs Overcome One-Hitter to Gain Split with Giants

Mikey Edie (two RBI singles), Beicker Mendoza (RBI double), Zack Bowers (RBI double), and Julio Pena (go-ahead two-run single) contributed run-scoring hits to help the Giants rally and defeat the Cubs 7-5 on Field #1, and Marcus Mastrobuoni belted a solo home run with two outs in the top of the 6th to tie the game (and break-up a no-hitter), and what proved to be the winning run scored in the top of the 7th without the benefit of a hit (lead-off walk, WP, GO, and an E-6), as the Cubs (held to just the one hit) edged the Giants 2-1 on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Both games were called by mutual consent after 7-1/2 innings of play. 

Stephen Bruno (RBI single), Chris Pieters (two-run triple), and Abraham Rodriguez (RBI single) collected run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run third inning for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1, and RHSP Melvin Adon hurled four innings of no-run/no-hit ball for the Giants in their loss on Field #2.

RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) was shut-down after waming up (unknown if related to the TJS rehab). 

Cubs Latin American Field Coordinator Dave Keller and Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator Jim Brower are in town this week, and both were at today's EXST games in Scottsdale. Keller is helping to decide which of the Cubs Latin American players at EXST will stay in Arizona and play in the AZL and which will be sent to the DSL (the DSL begins play in three weeks), and Brower is evaluating the Cubs pitchers at EXST to determine which ones are candidates to be moved up to a full-season affiliate, which ones will be assigned to Eugene, which ones will remain in Arizona and play in the AZL, and which will be sent to the DSL. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHSP Jeremy Null has been moved-up to Myrtle Beach. Null was left behind at Extended Spring Training because he was slowed a bit with arm fatigue during Minor League Camp and could not get stretched-out in time for the start of the Carolina League regular season, but he got his pitch count up to 75 in an EXST intrasquad game in Mesa last week and so he is ready to roll.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only), followed by the updated Cubs Extended Spring Training roster: 

Hudson Leads Cubs Past A's at Fitch Park

Bryan Hudson hurled three innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts, Shane Victorino singled twice and walked, and Chris Pieters singled twice and scored two runs, as the Cubs defeated the Athletics 7-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

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

Cease Fires Cubs to Victory at Sloan Park

Chris Pieters drilled a two-run single and a double, Kevonte Mitchell ripped an RBI single, walked three times, and scored a run, Yeiler Peguero doubled twice and drew a walk, and Dylan Cease tossed three innings of one-hit ball with six strikeouts and combined with five relievers to fan 14, leading the Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Wednesday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Victorino Helps Cubs Blank A's at Fitch Park

Shane Victorino (two-run single), Trey Martin (RBI double), and Chris Pieters (RBI single) stroked run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run 2nd and four pitchers combined to toss a four-hit shutout, as the Cubs scored eight runs over the first four innings and blanked the Athletics 8-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action this morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Shane Victirino (calf strain rehab) served as a DH and singled twice, walked, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in two more.  

Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) threw a perfect 1-2-3 twelve-pitch inning to get things started, RHP Jeremy Null followed with four innings of shutout ball, and then RHP Pedro Silverio tossed three innings of perfect baseball, as Cubs pitchers completely throttled the A's hitters.  

The Cubs stole five more bases today, making it 17 SB in their last four games (only one CS). 

In a display of good sportsmanship, A's first-baseman Miguel Mercedes let Cubs first baseman Gustavo Polanco use his glove when playing defense the last three innings of the game, with the two first-basemen laying the glove on top of the 1st base bag at the end of each half-inning for the other to pick-up when he arrived at his defensive position. (We used to do that in my old neighborhood, too). Although Polanco is primarliy a catcher, he also plays 1B, but he forgot to bring his first-baseman's glove to the game, and Chris Pieters (the only other Cubs player at the game with a first-baseman's mitt) is left-handed. 

Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only), followed by the updated Cubs Extended Spring Training roster: 

South Bend & Myrtle Beach Get Swept at Fitch Park

The Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics Lo-A affiliate) defeated the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 5-2 on Field #3, and the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) edged the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 5-4 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Wednesday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

Miguel Guzman belted a solo HR for Beloit and Chris Pieters smacked a solo HR for the SB Cubs on Field #3.   

Kevonte Mitchell left the game on Field #3 after being hit in the head by a fly ball in foul territory in the bottom of the 4th inning. 

Both Cubs starting pitchers (South Bend LHSP Carson Sands on Field #3 and Myrtle Beach RHSP Erick Leal on Field #4) fared poorly, allowing a combined seven runs on twelve hits (including five doubles and a triple), five walks, and a HBP (and a WP) in just 5.1 IP. 

Because of the Cubs-Rangers Futures Game in Surprise, more than the usual number of position players from the Eugene/Mesa squad (Extended Spring Training group) were temporarily added to the South Bend and Myrtle Beach rosters on Wednesday to replace absent players.    

John Arguello has posted pics & observations from Tuesday's AA and AAA games at Riverview at Cubs Den:



Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played Wednesday at Fitch Park (Cubs players only): 

Bryan Hudson Makes Pro Debut at Sloan Park

Tyler Brown singled, doubled, tripled, and scored a run, and Byron Murray belted a solo home run with one-out in the top of the 8th inning to break a 2-2 tie, as the AZL Giants edged the AZL Cubs 3-2 in Arizona League action Thursday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.  

P. J. Higgins (who collected two singles, a double, and a triple Wednesday night) clubbed a two-run HR in his first AB Thursday night to account for both AZL Cubs runs.

2015 Eugene & AZL Cubs Opening Day Rosters (Updated 6/18)

The Eugene Emeralds (the Cubs affiliate in the SS-A Northwest League) begin play tonight at Everett (Seattle Mariners affiliate in NWL) with a four-game series that extends through Monday, and the AZL Cubs begin play Saturday night at Sloan Park in Mesa with a single game versus the AZL Brewers. After a day off on Sunday, the AZL Cubs will play four days in a row and then have a day off every 5th day for the balance of the AZL schedule (barring rain-out make-up games).  

Eugene has a 35-man reserve list limit and a 30-man active list limit, of which 25 players may be designated as "active" for each game, and 10 of the 25 players designated as active must be pitchers. In effect, this means that one starting pitcher and nine relief pitchers are active for each game, so Eugene will begin the season with a 14-man pitching staff (five starters and nine relievers) and 11 position players (three catchers, five infielders, and three outfieldes).

The AZL Cubs have a 35-man reserve list limit and a 35-man active list limit, of which 30 players may be designated as "active" for each game, and ten of the 30 players designated as active must be pitchers.

2015 Cubs draft picks who sign do not have to be added to a minor league reserve list for up to 15 days after signing, or until the player is placed on a minor league active list (whichever comes first). So at least five of the Cubs 2015 Draft picks (the more-advanced ones) will be assigned to Eugene as soon as they complete their orientation at the Cubs Training Complex (Under Armour Performance Center) at Riverview Park, at which point the Eugene 30-man active roster will be full. As more draft picks are gradually moved-up to Eugene, some of the players who were on the Eugene Opening Day roster could be either promoted to South Bend, sent back to the AZL Cubs in Mesa, or released. Other 2015 draft picks will begin their pro career with the AZL Cubs and remain in Mesa for the rest of the summer.

In AZL Cubs roster news, RHP Pedro Silverio and OF-1B (ex-LHP) Chris Pieters have been moved up to the AZL Cubs from the DSL Cubs, and RHPs Francisco Carrillo and John Michael Knighton were temporarily assigned to the AZL Cubs Reserve List, although they will remain with the South Bend Cubs. (Knighton was moved up to South Bend from Extended Spring Training last Sunday).

The 21-year old Silverio was signed by the Cubs as an 18-year old out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, and he has been the ace of the 2015 DSL Cubs (so far), with a 0.00 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. He has allowed no runs, 11 hits, two walks, and an HBP, with 17 strikeouts, in 17 IP (three GS).

Pieters (signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old out of Curacao in 2011 - $350K bonus) is making the unusual conversion of LHP to outfielder in 2015, after posting an ugly 9.31 ERA and issuing 119 walks in 77.1 IP over three seasons 2012-14. The 20-year old has put up equally bizarre numbers as a position player, hitting 238/484/262 with only one XBH in 58 PA for the DSL Cubs this season, but he has drawn 16 walks and has eight stolen bases (1 CS) in just 15 games.

Here are the updated rosters for the two teams, plus the Mesa Pitchers Rehab Group:

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