Barnette Throws in EXST Intrasquad Game at Riverview

Danny Zardon and Marcus Mastrobuoni walloped back-to-back solo HR over the LF fence in the bottom of the 1st inning, Luis Diaz tripled, singled, and scored a run, and Herson Perez singled, stole a base. scored a run, and drove-in another with a sacrfice fly for the "A" team, and Widimer Joaquin ripped an RBI double, walked twice, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Raymond Pena (RBI double) and Richard Nunez (RBI single) drilled run-scoring hits to cap a four run 3rd inning for the "B" team, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Thursday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after six innings of play with the score tied 5-5.

RHRP Tony Barnette (on Cubs MLB 10-day IL - right shoulder inflammation) started the game for the "A" team and threw 14 pitches (8 strikes), recorded four outs (2/2 GO/AO), and allowed a walk before being relieved after he reached his pre-planned pitch limit. 

RHSP Erick Leal got the start for the "B" team and was struck on the left leg just below the knee with a high-velocity line-drive off the bat of Luis Diaz in the bottom of the 1st inning and had to be carried off the field. Leal surrendered the back-to-back homers to Zardon and Mastrobuoni just prior to getting hit by the Diaz liner, so needless-to-say it wasn't exactly the best of outings for the right-hander. 

Here is the box score from the game: 

CUBS "B" TEAM LINEUP:
1. Raymond Pena, C: 1-3 (L-4, 2B, K, R, RBI)
2. Richard Nunez, 1B: 1-2 (F-9, 1B, BB, 2 RBI, CS)
3. Ricardo Verenzuela,CF: 1-2 (BB, 1B, K)
4. Caleb Knight, DH #2: 1-3 (5-3, 1B, F-7)
5. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 0-3 (4-3, 3-6-3 DP, F-7)
6. Ervis Marchan, RF: 1-3 (1B, 6-3, F-9, R, SB)
7. Widimer Joaquin, SS: 1-1 (2B, BB, BB, 2 R, RBI, SB)
8. Rochest Cruz, 3B: 0-1 (F-7, F-7 SF, BB, RBI)
9. Kevin Moreno, LF: 1-2 (BB, 1B, P-4, R)
10. Jose Gutierrez, DH #2: 0-2 (L-5, F-9) 
NOTE: Slot was skipped first time thru batting order

CUBS "A" TEAM LINEUP:
1. Orian Nunez, C: 0-3 (K, 4-3, F-8)
2. Danny Zardon, 1B: 1-3 (HR, 6-3, K, R, 2 RBI)
3. Marcus Mastrobuoni, DH #1: 2-3 (HR, 3-U, 1B, R, RBI)
4. Luis Diaz, 3B: 2-3 (1B, 3B, F-9, R)
5. Ezequiel Pagan, CF: 0-2 (4-3 DP, K)
6. Herson Perez, 2B: 1-1 (1B, L-9 SF, R, RBI, SB)
7. Carlos Pacheco: RF: 1-3 (1B, K, RBI)
8. Oswaldo Pina, SS: 0-2 (L-8 DP, F-7)
9. Albert Hinirio, LF: 0-2 (K, K)
10. Henderson Perez, DH #2: 1-2 (2B, K, R)

CUBS "B" TEAM PITCHERS:  
1. Erick Leal: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 18 pitches (11 strikes) 
2. Niels Stone: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 4/3 GO/AO, 47 pitches (29 strikes) 
3. Chris Allen: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, 0/2 GO/AO, 32 pitches (21 strikes) 

CUBS "A" TEAM PITCHERS
1. Tony Barnette: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/2 GO/AO, 14 pitches (8 strikes) 
2. Jeremiah Estrada: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 2/4 GO/AO, 55 pitches (31 strikes)
3. Fauris Guerrero: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 0/4 GO/AO, 40 pitches (19 strikes)

CUBS "B" TEAM ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS "A" TEAM ERRORS: NONE 

CUBS "B" TEAM CATCHERS DEFENSE
Raymond Pena: 0-1 CS 

CUBS "A" TEAM CATCHERS DEFENSE
Orian Nunez: 1-3 CS, 1 PB

ATTENDANCE: 4 

WEATHER: Partly cloudy & breezy with temperatures in the 90's 

Arizona 
Scoring
Service 

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

Comments

Phil, who is standing out among all of Team A and B?

HAGSAG: The best all-around Cubs position-players at EXST are Brennen Davis, Luis Verdugo, Fabian Pertuz, and Edmond Americaan, the best hitters (hard contact rate in games) are Yonathan Perlaza, Luis Diaz, Abraham Rodriguez, Verdugo, and B. Davis, the best HR power (elevated swing angle) are A. Rodriguez, Carlos Morfa, Orian Nunez, Rafael Mejia, and Pertuz, the best catching prospect is Jonathan Soto, the fastest runners are Fernando Kelli, Rochest Cruz, and Americaan, the best defensive infielders are Verdugo, Pertuz, and Pedro Martinez, the best defensive outfielders are B. Davis, Kelli, Americaan, and Ezequiel Pagan, the best pitching prospects are Jose Albertos, Yovanny Cruz, Richard Gallardo, Yunior Perez, and Danis Correa, and the highest FB velo pitchers are Albertos, Y. Perez, Correa, and Willy Cabrera (FB regularly sits at 93-96 for all four of them).     

It's about that time when the prospects who won't get "starters minutes" go back to Boca Chica, I'd figure. I'm starting to work on my tentative opening day Eugene/Mesa looks, knowing draft picks are a large part of the equation.

Me too!

The Cubs underestimated how many pitchers would be needed for their two AZL teams last season (which was the first year they had two AZL teams), and after being forced to use position players to pitch in games that weren't blow-outs during the first week of the AZL season, a 9-1-1 call was made to Boca Chica and three pitchers (Maikel Aguiar, Elias Herrera, and Sucre Valdez) who had not been at EXST were flown up to Phoenix - STAT!!! - from the Dominican Academy. The same won't happen this year. The Cubs will make sure that they have enough pitchers assigned to both AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2 on AZL Opening Day, even if one or two eventually are sent down to the DSL. 

Also, the Cubs are having draft picks spend the first week after they sign in a "Cubs Way Orientation" program in Mesa, and then the pitchers will spend another week beyond that in a special mini-camp for pitchers. And pitchers who threw a lot of innings in 2019 prior to being drafted or who have any type of physical issue (even a minor one) will likely not throw much once they have finished mini-camp.

So don't expect drafted position players to be assigned to Eugene until the last week of June (most drafted position players will probably make their pro game debut in the AZL first and them move-up to Eugene), and drafted pitchers probably won't be seen in Eugene until sometime in July (and some might not go to Eugene at all).  

What the Cubs did last year was they initially assigned about a half-dozen positon players to Eugene who had been at EXST (C. Morel, Soto, Kwon, R. Mejia, Polanco, and Reyes) but who probably weren't ready for the NWL, and then sent them back to the AZL in July once the position-player draft picks arrived at Eugene. So the Emeralds 2019 Opening Day roster could consist of position-players currently at EXST who might eventually be sent back to the AZL, as well as maybe two or three guys who will be moved-down to Eugene from South Bend. 

So the question I have (and I'm not sure the Player Development Dept. has even decided this yet) is whether the Cubs will do what they did last year and send about a half-dozen of the younger position-players who are at EXST to Eugene just for a couple of weeks and then have them return to Mesa once the draft picks arrive, or if they will send older guys to Eugene from EXST to function as "place-holders" until the draft picks arrive and leave the younger guys in Mesa (and not move them back & forth), and then maybe release the "place-holders" in July as drafted position players arrive in Eugene.

Albertos to South Bend.

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