Two-Out 9th Inning Magic Saves the Day for I-Cubs at Fitch

Jason Vosler hammered an opposite-field game-tying two-run double off the LF fence with two out in the top of the 9th and Ian Rice followed with a two-run home run over the left-centerfield fence to give the Cubs a two-run lead, and then Ryan McNeil converted the save (albeit allowing a run and stranding the potential game-tying run on base in the bottom of the 9th), as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) rallied to edge the Nashville Sounds (AAA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) 6-5 on Field #4, and Jesse Hodges belted a two-run HR over the LF fence onto Center Street to give the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd, but Skye Bolt belted an RBI triple and scored, singled, and walked, as the Midland RockHounds (A's AA affiliate) plated four runs over the next seven innings en route to a 4-2 victory on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Monday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fiitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

As usual, several players were moved-up from lower-levels for the day to replace Iowa and Tennessee players assigned to the Cubs MLB game roster at Goodyear. 

It was a "bullpen day" for the Smokies, as five relievers vying for pen jobs at Tennessee got work. There were no stand-out eve-opening performances among the five (Pugliese, Skulina, Thorpe, Minch, and Norwood). 

Meanwhile, RHSP Jordan Pries (acquired from the Seattle Mariners along with LHP Mike Montgomery for 1B Dan Vogelbach and RHSP Paul Blackburn last June) got the start for the I-Cubs, in what might be his final opportinity to win a job at AAA. It will be tough for Pries to crack the Iowa starting rotation in 2017, and his 87-88 MPH fastball and OK (but not great) off-speed stuff probably don't have a whole lot of value out of the bullpen. However, he might find a job as a SP/RP "swing-man" at Iowa if he can beat-out Casey Kelly, Seth Frankoff, Williams Perez, and/or Dallas Beeler for a AAA "utility pitcher" slot. 

Veteran minor league RHRP Frank Batista saw his first game action since undergoing an elbow UCL transplant (TJS) last April, and retired the side 1-2-3 (5-3, K, F-9). The 27-year old (soon to be 28) diminutive (5'10) Batista has been around a while (he signed with the Cubs as an IFA out of the Dominican Republic in January 2009), but you could see he was stoked about his outing.    

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

FIELD 3

TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1a. Charcer Burks, LF-DH: 1-4 (5-3, 5-3, 1B, P-6)
1b. Richard Nunez, PH: 0-1 (F-9)
2a. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-3 (E-6, 1B, 4-3, SB, CS)
2b. Adonis Paula, 3B: 0-1 (K+WP)
3. Eddy Julio Martinez, RF: 1-3 (F-8, BB, 1B, K, CS)
4. Alberto Mineo, 1B: 1-4 (1B, K, K, P-6, R)
5a. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 1-2 (HR, F-8, BB, R, 2 RBI)
5b. Rafael Narea, SS: 0-1 (P-6)
6. Brandon Cummins, DH-LF: 0-4 (K, K, 4-3, 4-3)
7. Tolly Filotei, CF: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K, BB)
8a. Erick Castillo, C: 1-3 (P-4, 1B, 5-3)
8b. Tyler Pearson, C: 1-1 (1B)
9. Andrew Ely, 2B: 1-4 (K, 4-6-3 DP, 1B, F-9)

TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. James Pugliese: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 3/1 GO/AO, 33 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Tyler Skulina: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 31 pitches (22 strikes)
3. Tommy Thorpe: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 36 pitches (23 strikes)
4. Jordan Minch: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 22 pitches (13 strikes)
5. James Norwood: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 27 pitches (14 strikes)

TENNESSEE ERRORS: 1
3B Jesse Hodges: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Erick Castillo: 0-2 CS

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

FIELD #4

IOWA LINEUP:
1. Robert Garcia, RF: 1-4 (1B, 4-3, F-8, 4-6 FC, 2 R, SB)
2a. Zack Short, SS: 0-2 (K, K)
2b. Andruw Monasterio, SS: 0-1 (K, BB, R)
3. Jason Vosler, 1B: 1-2 (F-9 SF, BB, K, 2B, R, 3 RBI)
4a. Cael Brockmeyer, DH #1: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC)
4b. Ian Rice, C: 1-2 (P-4, HR, R, 2 RBI)
5. Ali Solis, C-DH: 0-4 (6-3, K, P-3, 5-3)
6a. Mark Zagunis, DH #2: 0-3 (F-9, 5-3, K)
6b. Jose Gonzalez, CF: 0-1 (4-3)
7a. Trent Giambrone, 2B: 0-2 (F-8, P-2)
7b. Jhonny Bethencourt, 2B: 1-1 (2B)
8. Stephen Bruno, 3B: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, F-9, R)
9. Daniel Spingola, LF: 2-3 (1B, 1B, K, CS)
10. Trey Martin, CF-DH: 0-1 (K, F-7 SF, BB, RBI)

IOWA PITCHERS
1. Jordan Pries: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 3/3 GO/AO, 53 pitches (31 strikes)
2. Miguel Mejia: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 0/4 GO/AO, 37 pitches (21 strikes)
3. Frank Batista: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 15 pitches (9 strikes)
4. Zac Rosscup: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
5. Andury Acevedo: 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, (2 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 22 pitches (11 strikes)
6. Ryan McNeil: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/AO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)

IOWA ERRORS: 1
3B Stephen Bruno: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Ian Rice: 0-2 CS

ATTENDANCE: 31

WEATHER: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 80's

Comments

AZ Phil, thanks as always. When will the four minor league teams break camp?

HAGSAG: The four full-season affiliates break camp and leave town on Sunday, but the #3, #4, and #5 starters for each of the four affiliates will likely remain at Minor League Camp and stay stretched-out by pitching in a Eugene/Mesa intrasquad game next week.

Kawasaki was waived today. Damn!

If an Article XX-B MLB free-agent signs a minor league contract at least ten days prior to MLB Opening Day, and then is either not released by 12 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day prior to MLB Opening Day or added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or MLB Disabled List by 3 PM (Eastern) on MLB Opening Day, the player automatically receives a $100,000 retention bonus, and the player can unilaterally opt-out of the minor league contract on June 1st if he has not been added to an MLB Active List (25-man roster) or an MLB Disabled List by that date. CUBS ARTICLE XX-B MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS SPRING TRAINING 2017: (last updated 3-28-2017) Munenori Kawasaki, INF (released 3-28-2017) This time last year, Kawasaki, Shane Victorino, and Manny Parra were Article XX-B free-agents post-2015 who signed minor league contracts during the off-season, and all three were released five days prior to 2016 MLB Opening Day so that the Cubs would not have to pay the $100K retention bonus and so that they could avoid the automatic 6/1 opt-out. But after they were released, all three signed new (different) 2016 minor league contracts with the Cubs. And because the new contracts were signed within ten days of MLB Opening Day, the $100K retention bonus and automatic opt-out on 6/1 were not required. So the same thing could very well happen again this year with Kawasaki. He could be back at Iowa on Opening Day.

Nick Piecoro‏ @nickpiecoro Zack Greinke today: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 0 K. Mostly 88-89 mph, per Gameday, which had 90 mph-plus three times, topping at 90.4 mph.

Happ, hitting right handed, with a bases loaded ground rule double to RF ... seems to like hitting in Arizona. Diamondbacks should be making a call to Jedstein for this guy - what's a reasonable return?

On a different note, I've been watching Grandpa Rossy on Dancing With The Stars -- and seeing Charo is truly frightening. I literally recoil in horror when I see her.

it's scary she's 66...she's looked 60+ for the past 20-30 years thanks to some extremely questionable plastic surgery. that said, she can still play the hell out of a guitar.

She's lying about her age

i find that totally believable.

She's at least 72

She can play guitar well -- or at least she did years ago when I saw her. But she is craaaaaaaazy. Constantly screaming at the top of her lungs and grabbing the microphone out of the host Tom Bergeron's hands. She is entirely out of control. And gets very bad dancing scores from the judges. It's a really sad freak show. She looks and acts like a demented rooster hopped up on speed.

Yikes - Not a great way to end spring training for Pierce Johnson - blows a two run ninth inning lead giving up a three run bomb to CF and a follow up solo shot before being yanked by Joe. The follow up act didn't fare much better.

Recent comments

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  • crunch 47 min 34 sec ago (view)

    last thing i wanna hear about a dude who throws 85-88mph is "shoulder issues"

     

  • crunch 55 min 34 sec ago (view)

    schwarber / bryant / rizzo / baez / heyward(CF) / caratini / cargo(RF) / darvish / russell

     

  • Eric S 55 min 35 sec ago (view)

    Was that before or after Hendricks going on the 10 day IL with right shoulder inflammation?

     

  • crunch 57 min 4 sec ago (view)

    k.hendricks to the 10-day IL with "right shoulder inflamation"

    maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan...

    rowan wick up because whatever.

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 8 min ago (view)

    Because they never play more than four days in a row, AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2 will only need four SP each. 

    The pitchers at AZL mini-camp who are (right now) stretched-out to start are Brendon Little (rehab), Carlos Ocampo, Jose Miguel Gonzalez, Chi-Feng Lee, Misael Garcia, Richard Gallardo, and Luis Ramos, and Keegan Thompson may be ready for an AZL SP rehab assignment soon. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 13 min ago (view)

    The Cubs are down to five catchers at AZL mini-camp (draft picks Ethan Hearn, Wyatt Hendrie, and Jake Washer have not yet officially signed), so Mesa Rehab Coach (and ex-minor league catcher) Tyler Pearson has been taking on some extra duties, catching bullpen side-sessions and warming up pitchers in the pen. (He caught Craig Kimbrel the other day). 

    So I would not be surprised if the Cubs sign a NDFA college senior catcher or acquire an experienced catcher from indy ball to help out. 

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 24 min ago (view)

    Not counting 2019 draft picks and rehabbers, the Cubs top prospect in the AZL this season is SS Luis Verdugo (he's one of the Cubs Top 10 position player prospects).  

    Verdugo was supposed to go to Eugene with 2B Reivaj Garcia this past week, but was left behind at Mesa when SS Dixon Machado was reinstated from the Iowa IL last Tuesday and SS Luis Vazquez (who had been playing SS at Iowa) needed to go somewhere where he could play SS every day. (Vazquez was assigned to Eugene).

     

  • Craig A. 2 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Bring him up!

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 58 min ago (view)

    HAGSAG: As far as I know he's still with the Cubs. 

     

  • Hagsag 3 hours 1 min ago (view)

    Phil, has Jim Benedict left the Cubs Organization? Thanks.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Several of the younger pitchers and position-players who were at Extended Spring Training but who were not in contention for Eugene Opening Day roster slots went home for about ten days between the end of the EXST Cactus League season (6/1) and the start of AZL mini-camp this past Tuesday (6/11). 

     

  • crunch 3 hours 14 min ago (view)

    incredible waste of money, honestly.

    you can get almost 2 weeks of chatwood for that kinda loot.  CHATWOOD!!!

     

  • tim815 4 hours 13 min ago (view)

    19 for 1

    I like those odds.

     

  • Arizona Phil 5 hours 14 min ago (view)

    The Cubs have signed 19 J-2 IFA since acquiring $750K in International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) space from the Orioles in the April deal where the Cubs agreed not to re-claim RHRP Pedro Araujo (selected by BAL in the Major League Phase of the December 2017 Rule 5 Draft). 

    There were no big name prospects among the 19 J-2 IFA who were signed, but the average signing bonus (presuming the entire $750K in ISBP space was used) is about $40,000.  

     

  • tim815 11 hours 25 min ago (view)

    Reivaj Garcia apparently pronounces his name RAY-vuh.

     

  • Mike Wellman 12 hours 11 min ago (view)

    AA: 6IP; 0BBs; 9Ks...See the USA in your Alzolay; All the way w/ Alzolay; Lay Lazy Lay; My name is Bert and I’m an Alzoholic...