I-Cubs and Smokies Pound RockHounds and Sounds at Fitch Park

Ian Rice hammered an RBI double and a single and scored a run, Jesse Hodges belted an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, Tyler Pearson slugged a solo home run, and five pitchers combined to toss a shutout, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) blanked the Midland RockHounds (AA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) 5-0 on Field #3, and David Bote ripped an RBI triple and two singles, stole a base, and scored two runs, Charcer Burks drilled a triple and an RBI single, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Jason Vosler singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Brandon Cummins (recently acquired from the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League) singled twice, stole two bases, scored a run, and drove-in another, leading the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 9-5 victory over the Nashville Sounds (A's AAA affiliate) on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League game action Wednesday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The game on Field #4 was called after eight innings of play.

The A's started two of their top pitching prospects in the games, with RHSP Jharel Cotton getting the start for Nashville and RHSP Daniel Gossett the SP for Midland. Both pitchers were sent down to Minor League Camp by the A's specifically to pitch in the two games against the Cubs AA/AAA affiliates, and they are the type of high-end MLB-ready (or near-ready) arms the Cubs might target in a potential trade involving Cubs excess position-player prospects somewhere down the line. Cotton was acquired from the Dodgers as part of the Rich Hill trade last July and led the PCL in strikeouts, WHIP, and OppBA in 2016, and Gossett was the A's 2nd round draft pick out of Clemson in 2014.

As is typical for minor league Spring Training games, a few Cubs position-players were moved up to higher levels for the two games. 

Also, while Zach Hedges is assigned to the Tennessee squad at Minor League Camp, he was the starting pitcher for Iowa, and Adbert Alzolay is assigned to the Myrtle Beach squad at Minor League Camp, but he was the starting pitcher for Tennessee. (Alzolay's fastball was sitting at 95, BTW). All of the other Cubs pitchers who worked in the games pitched for their assigned squads (levels), including Jake Stinnett, who "piggy-backed" with Alzolay in the AA game but actually threw more innings and six less pitches than Alzolay.

Cubs pitchers being stretched out as starters (Alzolay, Stinnett, and Hedges) were limited to three innings or 45-50 pitches (whichever came first).  

RHP Tyler Skulina (Cubs 2013 4th round draft pick - Kent State) is being moved to the bullpen in 2017. (He was a SP at AA Tennessee last season). He threw a scoreless inning in the AAA game on Field #4 (but only 50% strikes).

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


FIELD #3

TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1a. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (6-3,  2B, K, R)
1b. Robert Garcia, RF: 0-2 (K, K)  
2a. Daniel Spingola, DH #1: 1-4 (1-3, E-3, 1B, F-8, R, SB)
2b. Sam Tidaback, PH: 0-1 (K)
3. Eddy Julio Martinez, LF: 0-3 (F-8, L-9, F-9, BB, CS)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
4a. Ian Rice, C: 2-3 (1B, 2B, F-9, R, RBI)
4b. Tyler Pearson, C: 1-2 (HR, P-3, R, RBI)
5. Andrew Ely, SS: 0-4 (F-8, P-5, F-7, K)
6. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 2-4 (3B, L-4, K, 1B, R, RBI)
7a. Franklin Tineo, DH #2: 0-1 (BB, F-7)
7b. Rafael Narea, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 1B, PO)
8. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-3 (3-U, F-8, 2B, RBI)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
9. Vimael Machin, 2B-DH: 2-3 (1B, 1B, K)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10. Roberto Caro, CF: 0-3 (L-7, K, F-8)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FOURTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER

TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Adbert Alzolay: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 2/2 GO/AO, 46 pitches (28 strikes)
2. Jake Stinnett: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 4/4 GO/AO, 40 pitches (24 strikes)
3. Jeremy Null: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Craig Brooks: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 27 pitches (17 strikes)
5. Ryan McNeil: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 16 pitches (12 strikes)

TENNESSEE ERRORS: 2
1. LF Eddy Julio Martinez : E-7 (dropped fly ball allowing batter to reach base safely)
2. 3B Jesse Hodges: E-5 (errant throw allowed batter to reach base safely) 

TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Ian Rice: 1-1 CS

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FIELD #4

IOWA LINEUP:
1. David Bote, DH-SS: 3-5 (6-3, 1B, F-9, 3B, 1B, 2 R, RBI)
2a. Stephen Bruno, 2B: 0-3 (F-9, F-8, K)
2b. Trent Giambrone, 2B: 1-2 (1B, K, R, RBI, SB)
3. Trey Martin, CF-RF: 2-5 (P-3, 3-1, 1B, 1B, F-8, RBI, CS)
4. Charcer Burks, LF: 2-3 (3B, 1B, 5-4-3 DP, BB, R, RBI, 2 SB)
NOTE: SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIFTH TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
5a. Yasiel Balaguert, 1B: 0-3 (P-3, F-7, 6-3)
5b. Kevin Zamudio, 1B-3B: 0-2 (K, K)
6a. Jason Vosler, 3B: 2-4 (1B, P-4, F-9, 2B, 2 R, SB)
6b. Marcus Mastrobuoni, PH-1B: 0-1 (E-5, R)
7a. Kwang-Min Kwon, RF: 0-3 (K, 1-3, F-7)
7b. Brandon Cummins, CF: 2-2 (1B, 1B, R, RBI, 2 SB)
8a. Erick Castillo, C: 2-2 (1B, 1B, RBI)
8b. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-2 (K, 1B)
9a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-2 (4-3, 1B)
9b. Richard Nunez, PH-DH: 0-2 (E-5, K, F-9 SF-DP, R, RBI)

IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Zach Hedges: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 BALK, 1 PO, 1/3 GO/AO, 48 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Andury Acevedo: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 29 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Tyler Skulina: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 22 pitches (11 strikes)
4. David Garner: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 16 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Gerardo Concepcion: 2.0 IP. 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 2/3 GO/AO, 40 pitches (18 strikes)
6. Nick Sarianides: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 20 pitches (10 strikes)

IOWA ERRORS: NONE

IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 48

WEATHER: Mostly sunny with temperatures in the 80's 

Comments

Phil, when do you think the minor league cuts will occur?

HAGSAG: I wouldn't expect the big cut (batch release) at Minor League Camp until the last week of March, although there will probably be one cut here or a couple there in the interim.

seattle jumps out to an early lead in the "baseball is back" weird humor commercials for 2017... https://streamable.com/2iipp

Is Zach Hedges going by Trey now?

BRADSBEARD: Right after they were drafted, for some unknown reason I periodically would confuse the names "Zach Hedges" and "Trey Masek" (even though they don't look alike or even have similar pitching styles). Masek is long-gone, but still every now & then I will write "Trey Hedges" when I mean "Zach Hedges." It's a programming glitch in my brain, and our Admin here at TCR is working on fixing it if it doesn't cost too much. Personally, I blame Drupal.

Ha! It's understandable when you are trying to keep a few hundred or so players straight. I sometimes struggle with Zach Hedges and Jesse Hodges myself.

It's trumps fault.

j.fernandez has been confirmed as the driver of the boat...he was intoxicated and piloting at 65mph at the time of the crash

Sigh. Young men do stupid things. Very sad.

182.1ip - 149h - 55bb - 253K ...as a 23 year old animated personality. great backstory. crazy that chapter has closed on baseball history.

White Sox fans lone highlight for 2017 http://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/ken-harrel...

I look forward to hearing, "He gone."

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