Cubs Send Bullpen to Riverview to Stabilize Isotopes

Cubs MLB bullpen members Brandon Morrow, Justin Wilson, and Brian Duensing combined to hurl 3.1 IP of shutout ball to get things started, Charcer Burks (RBI single) and David Bote (RBI double) drove-in what proved to be the winning runs in the bottom of the 1st, and Dillon Maples earned an easy save with a 1-2-3 14-pitch 9th, as the Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate edged the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate) 2-1 on Field #6, and RHSP Ryan Castellani hurled four innings of shutout ball and the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies AA affiliate) banged-out 15 hits en route to an 8-1 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader action Thursday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The game on Field #5 was called after eight innings of play.

Morrow (4-3, K, 3B, BB), Wilson (5-4 FC, F-8, 1B, L-4 DP, K), and Duensing (F-7, F-8, 2B, K) were sent to the Cubs backfields to get work in the AAA game, and Chris Gimenez was their catcher, going 1-5 at the plate (F-8, 2B, K, 6-3, K) while hitting once in each of the first five innings.
 
Luis Hidalgo was hit in the helmet with a pitch in the bottom of the 8th inning on Field #5 and had to leave the game (although he left the field under his own power).   

As usual several position-players were moved-up to the Tennessee and Iowa squads to get some playing time with the more-advanced players. 

A number of Cubs minor leaguers have been (or currently are) sick, apparently with the same bug that sidelined Kyle Hendricks this week.

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

 
FIELD #5:

TENNESSEE LINEUP:
1. Jeffrey Baez, CF: 0-4 (L-7, K, 6-3, F-8)
2. Rafael Narea, SS: 2-3 (1B, 5-3, 1B, BB)
3a. Zack Short, DH: 0-3 (6-4 FC, K, F-9)
3b. Luis Hidalgo, PH: 0-0 (HBP)
3c. Robert Garcia, PR (NO AB)
4a. Eddy Julio Martinez, RF: 0-2 (4-3, P-6)
4b. Yovanny Cuevas, RF: 0-2 (K, F-8)
5a. Trent Giambrone, 2B: 1-1 (BB, 2B, R)
5b. Luis Diaz, 2B: 1-1 (1B, BB, SB)
6a. Daniel Spingola, LF: 1-2 (L-4, 3B, RBI)
6b. Chris Pieters, LF: 0-0 (BB, BB)
7. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 0-4 (K, 5-3, 5-3 DP, 5-4-3 DP)
8a. Kevin Cornelius, 1B: 0-2 (K, K)
8b. Tyler Alamo, 1B: 0-1 (L-9, K)
9a. Jhonny Pereda, C: 1-2 (1B, K)
9b. Tyler Payne, C: 1-2 (1B, L-8)

TENNESSEE PITCHERS:
1. Duncan Robinson: 3.1 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 2/2 GO/AO, 59 pitches (35 strikes)
2. Jake Stinnett: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 40 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Steve Perakslis: 1.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R (7 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 PO, 1/2 GO/AO, 40 pitches (28 strikes)
4. Dakota Mekkes: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 1/0 GO/AO, 8 pitches (6 strikes)

TENNESSEE ERRORS: 2
1. 3B Jesse Hodges: E-5 (two-base fielding error allowed batter to reach 2nd base safely)
2. 3B Jesse Hodges: E-5 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

TENNESSEE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jhonny Pereda: 1-4 CS

TENNESSEE OUTFIELD ASSIST:
LF Daniel Spingola - runner thrown out 7-2 attempting to score from 2nd on two-base E-5

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

FIELD #6:

IOWA LINEUP:
X. Chris Gimenez, C-DH: 1-5 (F-8, 2B, K, 6-3 DP, K)
NOTE: Gimenez batted 3rd in the bottom of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings)
1. Wynton Bernard, CF: 1-3 (2B, P-4, 5-3, R)
2. Charcer Burks, RF: 1-2 (1B, K, BB, CS, RBI)
3a. David Bote, SS-DH: 2-2 (2B, 1B, RBI)
3b. Erick Castillo, PH: 0-1 (4-3) 
4. Mark Zagunis, LF: 0-3 (4-3, F-8, 4-3)
5a. Chesny Young, 2B-SS: 0-2 (K, K)
5b. Jose A. Gonzalez, PH: 0-1 (5-3)
6a. Jason Vosler, 1B: 0-2 (F-7, K)
6b. Jonathan Soto, PH: 0-1 (K)
7a. Ian Rice, DH-C: 0-1 (HBP, L-9)
7b. Raymond Pena, PH: 0-1 (6-3)
8. Stephen Bruno, 3B: 0-2 (F-9, 6-3)
9. P. J. Higgins, DH #2: 0-2 (K, K)
10. Christian Donahue, DH-2B: 0-2 (L-7, K)

IOWA PITCHERS:
1. Brandon Morrow: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 16 pitches (11 strikes)
2. Justin Wilson: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/2 GO/AO, 13 pitches (8 strikes)
3. Brian Duensing: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
4. Luke Farrell: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 1/6 GO/AO, 58 pitches (35 strikes)
5. Daury Torrez: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (12 strikes)
6. Dillon Maples: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 0/1 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)

IOWA ERRORS: NONE

IOWA CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Ian Rice: 0-1 CS

ATTENDANCE: 44

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy with temperatures in the 80's

Arizona
Scoring
Service

"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"

Comments

nice ass, phil.

d.maples throwing 10 strikes out of 14 pitches sounds great.  consistency would be nice.  it would be nice to see him look like early-career carlos marmol rather than late-career carlos marmol.

Interesting battle in progress for Opening Day starting rotations at the Cubs four full-season affiliates: IOWA: Tseng, Mills, Farrell, Zastryzny, and Underwood have the inside track right now, with Roth and/or Camarena (and perhaps eventually Bass) in the mix as piggy-backers or swing-men. Hedges, Pugliese, and Markey have been used only as relievers so far. Webster, Hultzen, and R. Williams are in the Rehab Throwing Program and almost certainly will be left behind at EXST. TENNESSEE: Alzolay, Clifton, Hatch, and Robinson virtual locks, with Rucker, Kellogg, and/or K. Miller competing for the 5th slot (the other two could be piggy-backers/swing-men). Morrison, Bloomquist, and Perakslis have been used only as relievers so far but could possibly be piggybackers/swing-man (but not rotation starters). MYRTLE BEACH: de la Cruz and Paulino are virtual locks, with Hudson, Moreno, Lange, Thomas, Thompson, T. Miller, and/or Swarmer competing for the other three slots and probably two piggy-back/swing-men slots. A couple could get moved-down to South Bend by the end of Minor League Camp. Leal and M. Rondon are in the Rehab Throwing Program and will almost certainly be left behind at EXST. SOUTH BEND: Albertos, Little, Uelmen, Abbott, Assad, Camargo, and/or B. Clark are competing for five slots, with the additional possibility that a couple of the Myrtle Beach SP candidates could move down to South Bend by the end of Minor League Camp.

Thanks Phil, that's really helpful and interesting. Interesting that Underwood got moved up to Iowa, and has a chance to start there. I'd guessed he'd start at Tennessee again. I hope that Rucker can beat out Kellogg and Miller. May have been mirage, but last year results suggest that perhaps he pitches better than his stuff would suggest. I'd kinda like to see him keep starting until/unless he finally struggles. Will be interesting to see if Hatch steps up this year, and if Clifton rebounds. Seems like some good big-league prospects at Tenn, and perhaps a pretty effective minor-league staff. Myrtle: Interesting that for the moment, you see Lange still fighting for a spot there. May change, or course. I'd guessed he'd start at South Bend, and work on using his change and 4-seam-up at a lower level where fewer hitters will punish mistakes. Hard to imagine Thomas or T Miller beating out two of those other six guys..... That could be a really good staff, and perhaps look even better given that Carolina League is pretty pitching-friendly and anti-HR. South Bend: That too could be a really, really good and interesting staff, even more so if Lange drops back there. Obviously it might not perform that great if Little is wild most of the time. But five really interesting big-league prospects. I'm curious about Abbott? Cubs used 2nd round pick on him, ahead of Thompson and Uelmann, and didn't subslot him particularly or anything. I wonder what his agenda is at South Bend. Also change and 4-seam-up? I'd thought given his scouting as a control artist, that perhaps he'd be a candidate to skip straight to Myrtle? Haven't heard much about him, though; and the Callis/BA scouting reports actually seemed to have less buzz than the Thompson or Uelmann reports. BA had kinda weird scouting notes, suggested fastball was 89-93, with slider 86-88. If so, that would seem an unusually fast slider, particularly for a guy whose fastball is only slightly faster. Wouldn't seem the velocity separation usually associated with slider/fastball? Anyway, thanks Phil. Fun to think about. Seem like a lot of pitcher who are already interesting, and have a chance to become more so. Obviously won't work for a lot of them, but a nice pool of guys who might step up pretty favorably and be really interesting by trade deadline.

sandoval is straight up standing about 30-40ft from home plate taking swings while Q pitches, timing his stuff.

spring training is weird.  cubs 1st round draft picks have permanently blinded people for similar antics.

hey, alright...it seems the "save america's pasttime act" finally found a new home in the new budget proposal. this pretty much kills any labor/pay discussion involving these 1000s of players that may come up in the future. good going billionaire team owners. that's some classy stuff right there.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2765933-minor-league-baseball-players-to-lose-minimum-wage-rights-under-spending-bill

Zobrist is hitting .192.  Heyward's at .205.  Last year, they were both terrible.  Heyward has been terrible for two years.  Nothing indicates anything has changed with either of them. It will be interesting to see if Theo's "playing time will be based on merit" is a real thing.  I guess the best case is maybe Joe won't play them at the same time. 

given what's happened this off-season with the "market crash" on player pay, it is looking really likely the cubs are gonna have this heyward contract for the duration. he would really have to turn it on and then some to walk away from 5 years at 21+ million per year left on his deal (78m paid out 2016-2018).

The Cubs have been giving David Bote reps at SS this week at Minor League Camp, as they obviously intend to use him all over the infield.

Bote played SS in HS, JC, and in his first couple of seasons in pro ball, so he knows how to play the position. It's just that he is a bit stiff to be a full-time SS (he's sort of out-grown the position). But at least he can play there in a pinch, although he is clearly much better at 2B and 3B (and 1B).

Bote got really bad reviews on his defense in the AFL, but he’s looked impressive to me at both 2B and 3B. I think his size has a lot to do with the reports. But he seems to have quick reaction and decent range (and a solid arm). Probably doesn’t have the range or hands for SS, but I think he’ll be a good defensive 2B and maybe even better as a 3B.

Glad to see Underwood and Torrez moved up to Iowa. I think both have made a bunch of progress. Do you agree Phil?

Recent comments

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  • crunch 46 min 6 sec ago (view)

    we want kyle schwarber to not be mark trumbo so badly...

    either way, the NL having or not having the DH needs to be figured out pretty quickly for a lot of off-season sanity.

     

  • crunch 1 day 4 hours ago (view)

    minor league hitting coordinator chris valaika moves up assistant hitting instructor for the big league team.

    looks like a.iapoce's job is safe.

     

  • Cubster 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Jed Hoyer gets a new 5 yr contract that runs through 2025 season. 

     

  • Cubster 1 day 8 hours ago (view)

    https://www.baseballamerica.com/stories/19-mlb-pro...

    BA's list of 19 prospects who impressed at Instructs. One Cub:

    Chase Strumpf, 2B, Cubs

     

  • Jackstraw 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Waiting for Ryan Pace to be available.  He should be a week from tomorrow.

     

  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    i haven't even heard a rumor...which is interesting since "virtual" winter meetings start in a couple weeks.

    surprised dan kantrovitz hasn't been named "interim GM" or something...which makes me wonder how wide of a net they're casting to fill the position.  he was snagged from the A's and was an assistant GM there (and director of scouting for STL).

     

  • Cubster 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    As Jed is promoted to President of Baseball Ops, then when will be expect a formal announcement of who the "official" GM is?

     

  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    there are currently 0 signed...so it's an untapped market ripe for picking the best of the best.

    well, bill 'spaceman' lee is probably out there pitching for a low-level Cuban team being paid in weed or something similar.

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    1970s pitchers are a market inefficiency

     

  • Arizona Phil 2 days 22 hours ago (view)

    The "Big Three" Cubs first-time Rule 5 Draft-eligibles post-2021 will be RHSP Riley Thompson, 1B-LF Alfonso Rivas, and LHSP Jack Patterson (at least as far as things stand right now), so they will need to be scrutinized as much as possible during the course of the 2021 season (including at MLB Spring Training); That's why those three (in particular) need to get an NRI.  

     

  • crunch 3 days 44 min ago (view)

    no, joe patterson.

    cubs 27th round pick from 1972 found a little something extra in his arm and he's making a comeback as a pitcher at age 70.  this is how you do moneyball 2021...we don't need theo...he's irrelevant now.

     

  • tim815 3 days 3 hours ago (view)

    Jack Patterson, yes.

    Cool concept.

     

  • Arizona Phil 3 days 6 hours ago (view)

    While Rule 5 Draft-eligible RPs (Rucker, Megill, Mekkes, Hudson, Suiter, W. Short, Gamez, Lugo, Lawlor, and Hecht) are the most-likely to get selected, they are also the easiest to replace via waiver claim if they are lost. So while relievers are not necessarily "a dime a dozen," it's something like that when it comes to deciding who to protect in Rule 5. So unless the reliever is an exceptional MLB prospect with electric stuff, it's usually best to just take your chances.  

     

  • Arizona Phil 4 days 2 hours ago (view)

    I fully expect the Cubs to make one or two waiver claims and/or a minor trade or two over the next few days, what with a number of players getting DFA'd today by clubs looking to open up slots on their MLB 40-man roster.  

     

  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 2 hours ago (view)

    Rucker is definitely surprising considering he was picked last year. 

     

  • crunch 4 days 2 hours ago (view)

    glad we don't have to worry about c.morel in the rule5...

    little worried about michael rucker and wyatt short, but it's not like they would be sure-thing to be MLB-ready for anyone.