Christian Villanueva

Rangers Late Long Ball Rally Procures Tie at Riverview

Jonah McReynolds and Yeyson Yrizarri drilled run-scoring doubles to highlight a four-run 7th, Willy Diaz belted a three-run home run with two outs in the 8th, and Jairo Beras crushed a two-run HR to cap a three-run 9th, as the Rangers rallied for ten runs over the final three innings to tie the Angels/Cubs co-op team 11-11 in AZ Advanced Instructional League game action Friday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Christian Villanueva (acquired by the Cubs along with Kyle Hendricks from the Texas Rangers for Ryan Dempster in 2012) knocked-in five runs with an RBI double off the LF fence in the 3rd and a monster grand slam HR over the left-centerfield fence in the 8th and Angels 2016 1st round draft pick Matt Thaiss (sacrifice fly in the 1st and RBI single in the 3rd) and Brendon Sanger (two-out two-run single in the 5th) drove-in two runs a piece to provide the lion's share of run production for the Angels/Cubs squad.

Ex-Cub minor league INF Frandy de la Rosa (traded to Texas for RHRP Spencer Patton last November) entered the game at 3B in the bottom of the 6th and reached base all three times he batted (two walks and a single) and scored two runs for the Rangers.

The Rangers scored five unearned runs in the game thanks to five costly errors by the Angels/Cubs (including three errors by first-baseman Alberto Mineo in the top of the 9th). 

Here is the box score from the game (Cubs players highlighted in bold and underlined):


Thomas Hatch Perfect in Pro Game Debut at Riverview

Yeiler Peguero drilled a two-run double, singled twice, and scored a run, Luis Ayala ripped an RBI double, singled, walked, scored two runs, and threw out a runner at the plate, Wladimir Galindo belted a double and a triple and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and RHSP Thomas Hatch (Cubs 2016 3rd round pick making his pro game debut) hurled two perfect innings and combined with five relievers to toss a four-hitter, as Team Banks defeated Team Santo 6-1 in Cubs Arizona Instructional League intrasquad game action this morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

Christian Villanueva (on Cubs MLB 60-day DL) played third base for Team Santo and went 0-2 with a walk. This was Villanueva's first game action since breaking his leg seven months ago in Spring Training. 

As was the case last year, the Cubs "basic" (traditional) instructs squad will not be playing AZIL league games against other organizations, but they will be playing several intrasquad games over the course of the next three weeks.  

Here is the box score from today's game: 

Cubs Ding Long Dongers to Christen Cubs Park in Mesa

Justin Ruggiano, Welington Castillo, and Christian Villanueva blasted solo home runs, and Kyle Hendricks threw 2.2 IP of no-run/no-hit ball, as the Cubs "White" team defeated the Cubs "Blue" team 5-3 in a six-inning Cactus League Intrasquad game played this afternoon in what was the first Cubs game played at Cubs Park in Mesa.

Cub Power and Wood Arm Fry Padres

Alfonso Soriano laced a two-out line-drive two-run double down the LF line and Dioner Navarro followed with a towering two-run HR over the RF bullpens to rally the Cubs to a 4-2 lead in the 6th, and then Jorge Soler slugged a solo home run to the top of the berm over the LF fence and Christian Villanueva drilled two-run HR over the left-center fence to key a five-run 8th, as the Cubs defeated the San Diego Padres 9-3 in Cactus League action this afternoon at Dwight Paterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.


LHP Travis Wood contributed with both his arm and his bat, throwing four innings of one-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts, and roping a line-drive lead-off single and then scoring on the Soriano double to ignite the four-run 6th. On the negative side, Wood did walk three over the course of the 4.0 IP (63 pitches - 35 strikes).


The Curious Case of Benjamin Wells

By outrighting eight players and losing two more off waivers over the past couple of days, the Cubs are beginning to clear some space on their MLB Reserve List (40-man roster).

The Cubs MLB Reserve List now stands at 33 players, but three more players (RHP Matt Garza, 3B Ian Stewart, and RHP Arodys Vizcaino) are still on the 60-day Disabled List and they will need to be reinstated no later than the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series. So the Cubs essentially have a 36-man MLB Reserve List right now.