Cubs Are the Real Power at Riverview
Rafelin Lorenzo drilled an RBI triple and a double and scored two runs, Fidel Mejia belted an RBI triple and a double and scored one run, Levi Jordan cracked an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, and six pitchers combined on a two-hitter, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 6-1 victory over the West Virginia Power (Seattle Mariners Lo-A affiliate) in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Thursday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Although they were pitching for South Bend, it was actually a Eugene/Mesa "bullpen day" on Field #1, with six relievers from the Eugene/Mesa squad called upon to provide some "two-hit relief" for the SB-Cubs pen.
Meanwhile, Thursday night's offensive heroes Rafelin Lorenzo and Fidel Mejia have been two of the pleasant surprises at Cubs Minor League Camp.
Lorenzo was selected by the Cubs in the AAA Phase of last December's Rule 5 Draft from the Pittsburgh Pirates in what appeared to be just an organizational depth transaction, but it turns out he is a really good receiver with a plus-arm and he has some XBH power at the plate as well. He showed enough at Minor League Camp that he beat-out Alexander Guerra, Jonathan Soto, and Henderson Perez for the #1 catching job at South Bend, and he actually probably could have been the #1 catcher at Myrtle Beach or maybe even at Tennessee if it wasn't for a guy named Miguel Amaya at Myrtle Beach and P. J. Higgins and Jhonny Pereda at Tennessee. Kudos to the Cubs Pro Scouting Dept.
Fidel Mejia was leading (and may still be leading, I don't know) Cubs Minor League Camp in HR and XBH and (apparently) has won the starting 3B job at South Bend, even though he spent the last two seasons in the AZL and has yet to see Eugene. The 20-year old switch-hitter obviously put on some muscle during the off-season and now has pop from both sides of the plate (he hit a HR over the CF Batter's Eye on Riverview Field #5 last week), and he has worked hard to make himself into a decent-enough third-baseman that he should be able to stay at the hot corner as he advances through the Cubs system, although he can also play 1B and even a bit of 2B as well.
Meanwhile, the jury is still out on whether Cole Roederer will open the 2019 season at South Bend or at Extended Spring Training. Sometimes he looks great, and other times (like in Thursday night's game) he doesn't. So he is squarely "on the bubble," and it could go either way. (I guess we'll find out shortly).
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
SOUTH BEND LINEUP:
1. D. J. Artis, LF: 1-3 (1-U, K, BB, 1B, R, SB)
2. Levi Jordan, 2B: 2-4 (6-3, 1B, 4-3 DP, 3B, R, RBI)
3. Fidel Mejia, 3B: 2-4 (2B, K, 4-3, 3B, R, RBI)
4. Jonathan Sierra, RF: 0-4 (K, F-9, F-7, K)
5. Nelson Velazquez, CF: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, K, F-8 SF, R, RBI)
6. Cole Roederer, DH #1: 0-3 (F-9, 1-3 SH, K, K)
7. Rafelin Lorenzo, C: 2-3 (4-3, 3B, 2B, 2 R, RBI)
8. Andy Weber, DH #2: 1-2 (1B, F-7 SF, 3-1, RBI)
9. Gustavo Polanco, 1B: 0-1 (L-4, HBP, F-8 SF, RBI)
10. Delvin Zinn, SS: 0-3 (4-3 DP, 6-3, K)
SOUTH BEND PITCHERS:
1. Jack Patterson: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 4/0 GO/AO, 30 pitches (22 strikes)
2. Casey Ryan: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/AO, 23 pitches (13 strikes)
3. Ivan Medina: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 18 pitches (11 strikes)
4. Blake Whitney: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 24 pitches (16 strikes)
5. Jake Reindl: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 GIDP, 2/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (5 strikes)
6. Fauris Guerrero: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/AO, 12 pitches (9 strikes)
SOUTH BEND ERRORS: 1
2B Levi Jordan: E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)
WEATHER: Clear skies with temperatures in the 70's
"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen"
CubbyBlue 2 hours 6 min ago (view)
Yeah but that person figured out a way to make a profit off of it, so... hey WAIT!
crunch 12 hours 2 min ago (view)
"Cubs' pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Friday that Brandon Morrow (elbow) will be on the same schedule as the rest of the Cubs' pitchers during spring training."
that's cool. no restrictions unless the team chooses to be cautious, evidently.
Arizona Phil 18 hours 17 min ago (view)
The Danny Hultzen and Carlos Asuaje minor league contracts have been filed with MLB, but no Jason Adam or Tyler Olson contract filings (yet).
cubbies.4ever 18 hours 44 min ago (view)
My son's name is Tyler Olsen (obviously spelled different, and only 6 but a future Cub), so I am rooting for Tyler to make the team.
Arizona Phil 18 hours 44 min ago (view)
And Tyler Olson has a similar profile as Casey Sadler (out of minor league options and has Article XX-D rights if he is added to the 40), the only difference being (unlike Sadler) Olson will come to Spring Training not on the 40 so he can be sent to Iowa without restrictions, but if & when he's added to the 40 he isn't a Des Moines - Chicago shuttle-rider candidate.
Arizona Phil 19 hours 5 min ago (view)
Unfortunately (for the Cubs) Casey Sadler doesn't fit as a Des Moines - Chicago shuttle-rider because he is out of minor league options and he can elect free-agency if he is outrighted (he has Article XX-D rights because he been outrighted previously in his career).
cubbies.4ever 19 hours 19 min ago (view)
I agree, this offseason has been a disgrace. If I'm Theo I'm thinking I am in OAK or CHI? This ownership has given him nothing this year. Even the cheap Twins are willing to sign Josh Donaldson and the Cubs biggest transaction this offseason may be adding Miguel Amaya to the 40 man.
tim815 19 hours 23 min ago (view)
The Cubs have a better talent pipeline than on Thursday.
crunch 19 hours 39 min ago (view)
at least they gave up a chunk of nothing for him (clayton daniel, no power (not even doubles power), not notable speed, middle IF/OFr).
it would probably be better appreciated by fans if the entire offseason wasn't stuff like this.
it's obvious the front office is trying to work with what they have...which is little to nothing from the ownership.
cubbies.4ever 20 hours 1 min ago (view)
Cubs acquire Casey Sadler from LA....another Tommy John Surgery pitcher. Theo does it again.
crunch 20 hours 40 min ago (view)
it gets better...
"Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Cubs have "considered/discussed" Jacoby Ellsbury."
sigh. dude hasn't played in 2 seasons and is 36.5 years old.
crunch 21 hours 57 min ago (view)
cubs sign tyler olsen to a minor league contract, 650K if he makes the majors.
evidently the cubs are sourcing 2020 players out of that trash can houston was banging on.
crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)
carlos beltran "steps down" from the mets manager job
Jackstraw 1 day 23 hours ago (view)
Both piggy-backing off of CubbyBlue. Or at least I was.
Hagsag 2 days 5 hours ago (view)
You have done your homework Phil.
Arizona Phil 2 days 10 hours ago (view)
Some possible price tags for Kris Bryant (but only if he loses his grievance and has two years of club control left):