Christopher Morel

Reynolds, Fennell, and Durna Go Deep, Riley Thompson is Perfect, and Clarkin & Company Fan 16 at Diablo

Tyler Durna stroked a three-run HR and Ian Clarkin, Ryan Kellogg, Javier Assad, amd Scott Effross combined to strike out 16, leading the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) to a 4-2 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) an Field #3, and Luke Reynolds and Grant Fennell each belted a two-run HR, Christopher Morel singled, doubled, stole two bases, and scored two runs, Yonathan Perlaza drilled an RBI triple, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, and Riley Thompson hurled three perfect innings and combined with three other pitchers to toss a four-hit shutout, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) blanked the Burlington Bees (Angels Lo-A affiliate) 9-0 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Thursday afternoon at Diablo Stadium Fields in Tempe, AZ.  

The two Cubs affiliates combined to walk 15 times in the two games (ten by South Bend) and the SB-Cubs also stole seven bases.  

As is typical for Cubs Minor League Spring Training games, several players assigned to the bloated South Bend roster were moved-up to higher levels for the day. 

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

More of Morel with Some Cuevas

Christopher Morel drilled a two-run double in the 1st, doubled and scored in the 6th, reached base on an HBP in the 8th, and stole a base, Yovanny Cuevas belted a two-run triple, doubled and scored, walked, and stole a base, and Eduarniel Nunez hurled three innings of one-hit shutout ball, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Sunday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning affair. 

Here is the box score from the game:  

Brailyn Marquez Goes Five-Strong at Riverview Park

LHSP Brailyn Marquez fired five innings of three-hit/one-run ball with seven strikeouts (and threw 73% strikes), Luis Hidalgo belted an RBI triple, singled, walked, and scored two runs, Christopher Morel drilled a solo HR, Kevin Zamudio slugged a two-run HR, and Carlos Pacheco doubled twice, walked, and scored a run, in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Thursday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The EXST Cubs had a few days off during the MLB First-Year Player Draft, before returning to the field to prepare for the start of the short-season leagues.  

In EXST Cubs roster news, AAA Iowa Cubs RHRP David Garner (who has been at Extended Spring Training since the end of Minor League Camp) has received a 100 game "Drug of Abuse" suspension and has returned home. This is his second "Drug of Abuse" suspension this season (the first one was for 50 games and it expired last week). So Garner will have to wait until Iowa plays another 100 regular season games before he can be reinstated (which will take the suspension well into April 2019, because the I-Cubs have only 83 games left in the 2018 season). And Garner was throwing the ball really well at Extended Spring Training, too...   

Here is the box score from the game: 

Brady & Maitan Lift Angels over Cubs at Diablo

RHSP Denny Brady (LAA 7th round draft pick - Mercer County CC) fired four innings of one-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts and Kevin Maitan (2016 IFA - Venezuela - $6.45M combined signing bonuses between ATL and LAA) belted a solo HR, helping the Angels defeat the Cubs 3-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #3 at the Diablo Stadium Complex in Tempe, AZ. 

Christopher Morel drilled an RBI single and a double for the Cubs. 

The game was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Angels pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

Cubs 2017 6th round draft pick RHP Jeremiah Estrada (Palm Desert HS - Palm Desert, CA) got the start for the Cubs and continued to struggle with command (bouncing pitches in front of home plate and nearly hitting batters), throwing just 51% strikes and walking four in three innings of work. Then he left the game with a right elbow issue while warming up for the bottom of the 4th. 

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

Cubs Evict Dem Bums & Flatbush Refugees from Riverview Park

Henderson Perez collected four singles and an RBI and scored a run (his second four-hit game in the last two weeks), Gustavo Polanco belted an RBI triple and two singles, Kwangmin Kwon singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run, Jose A. Gonzalez clubbed a game-tying opposite-field solo HR, and Christopher Morel laced two RBI singles (second one proved to be the game-winner), as the Cubs scored four runs over the final three innings to edge the Dodgers 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Memorial Day game action on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Jacob Amaya drilled a solo HR and an RBI single and Jeremy Arocho singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored a run for the Dodgers in a losing cause. 

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

Prior to the game on Field #5, LHP Justin Steele (three innings - 45 pitches), RHP Yunior Perez (two innings - 30 pitches), and RHP Hector Alonso Garcia (one inning - 20 pitches) squared-off in a three-inning "sim" game on Field #4. Steele threw a breaking ball for the first time since his July 2017 TJS.   

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

Polanco Leads Cub Offense over A's at Riverview

Gustavo Polanco belted an RBI triple, a double, and a single, and scored two runs, Christopher Morel clobbered a three-run HR, and Jose A. Gonzalez singled, doubled, and scored two runs, leading a Cubs 14-hit attack (including five XBH) en route to a 10-6 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after seven innings of play. 

Jordan Diaz singled twice and doubled and scored a run for the A's in a losing cause. 

In EXST roster news, RHP Jose Albertos has been sent to Extended Spring Training from South Bend. 

Prior to the Cactus League game, RHP Luis Aquino, LHP Jonathan Bruzual, RHP Hector Alonso Garcia, and RHP Yunior Perez squared-off in a multi-inning "sim" game on Field #4. H. Garcia and Y. Perez have been in the Rehab Throwing Program since the start of Minor League Camp in March, and Aquino and Bruzual have been throwing bullpen side-sessions only for the last month. 

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

Cubs Double Their Pleasure, Triple Their Fun, and Hit a Home Run, Before They are Done

Henderson Perez collected four hits (two singles and two doubles) and two RBI, scored three runs, and threw out two baserunners attempting to steal, Orian Nunez clubbed a two-run HR, walked, and knocked-in another run with a sacrifice fly, Christopher Morel belted an RBI double and an RBI triple and scored a run, Luis Diaz drilled a double and a triple and scored a run, and Kwangmin Kwon doubled twice, drove-in two runs, and scored another, as the Cubs banged-out 15 hits (including ten XBH) en route to a 12-3 drubbing of the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.   

The game was called after seven innings of play.  

Cubs pitchers allowed only five hits but they walked ten (including five by Mitch Stophel in just 1.2 IP). However, the A's ran themselves out of some innings and/or left multiple runners stranded in other innings.

Cubs RHSP Jeremiah Estrada continues to struggle with command, laboring through two innings before being relieved. Also, his normal 94 MPH FB velocity was down a tick. But RHP Eduarniel Nunez had his FB cranked-up to 95 today and broke a couple of bats with it when he wasn't bouncing it in front of the plate or throwing it over the batter's head, but he apparently had a good feel for his curve, dropping about a half-dozen benders in for a called-strike when he really needed one. E. Nunez may be raw but he sure does have a "live" arm.   

Cubs shortstop Christopher Morel made two outstanding stops & throws that wowed the scouts in attendance (both times going deep into the 5.5 hole and backhanding a grounder before throwing a laser-strike to 1st base to retire the batter). But the defensive play of the day was turned-in by RF Chris Carrier (not known for his defense), who came out of nowhere to make a spectacular diving catch in short rightfield.    

While Miguel Amaya is clearly the Cubs #1 catching prospect (some of you will probably recall that he was MVP at Cubs Extended Spring Training last year), the Cubs #2 and #3 catching prospects are Jonathan Soto and Henderson Perez, and they are both at Extended Spring Training right now. And it is possible that one of them could (like M. Amaya did last year) jump over AZL and go directly to Eugene.     

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

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