Cubs Extended Spring Training game report

The Bryan Hudson Ground Ball Machine Chews Up A's at Extended Spring Training

LHSP Bryan Hudson hurled six innings of two-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts, no walks, and a 10/0 GO/AO, Michael Cruz drilled a triple and two singles and scored two runs, Andruw Monasterio doubled twice and scored a run, and Jacob Hannemann (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL - knee injury) reached base four times (two singles and two walks), as the Cubs edged the Athletics 3-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day game action this morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

The 6'8 Hudson (Cubs 2015 3rd round draft pick - Alton HS - Alton, IL) was an absolute ground-ball machine, mixing an 87-89 MPH sinker, a plus-curve, and an occasional change-up to keep the A's hitters off-balance and constantly beating pitches into the ground. He also threw 70% strikes and averaged only 11.5 pitches-per-inning. Hudson's outing was simply one of the best performances by a starting pitcher in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game I have ever witnessed (and I have seen many good ones over the last 40 years). There were three or four scouts from other MLB clubs in attendance at the game watching Hudson work, and I would think they probably came away favorably impressed as well. 

Prior to the game, the six newly-arrived pitchers from the Cubs Dominican Academy (LHP Faustino Carrera, RHP Hector Garcia, RHP Fauris Guerrero, LHP Brailyn Marquez, RHP Yunior Perez, and RHP Eury Ramos) threw "live" BP on Field #5. Each pitcher threw one inning (20 pitches). All six were at post-2016 AZ Instructs, so they have been at the Cubs Mesa facility before. Two other pitchers who attended post-2016 AZ Instructs (RHP Alfredo Colorado and Carlos Ocampo) were supposedly going to be at Extended Spring Training, too, but both will be remaining at the Cubs Dominican Academy.  

Also, Eloy Jimenez (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL - right shoulder bruise) began taking BP this morning, as he gets himself into playing shape prior to playing in EXST games and (eventually) re-joining the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. However, he still is not throwing. Prior to today, Eloy had been participating in baserunning and outfield drills (without throwing), and he was "tracking" pitches in BP but not taking swings. So at least now he is able to swing the bat. Because the DH is used in the Carolina League, it's possible that Eloy could move-up to Myrtle Beach and be the DH even if he is unable to throw, although the Cubs will probably want him to complete the Rehab Throwing Program before he departs.

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only): 

Hannemann Back in Action at Extended Spring Training

Andruw Monasterio drilled a two-run home run and a single, walked, and stole two bases, and Yapson Gomez and two relievers combined to hurl a three-hit shutout, as the Eugene Emeralds blanked the Mesa Cubs 7-0 in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Wednesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game could get their work. 

Jacob Hannemann (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL - knee injury) played CF for Mesa and batted five times (once in each of the first five innings), collecting all three Mesa hits (two doubles and a single).

LHP Jose Paulino was notified during the game that he is being moved-up from Extended Spring Training, but he doesn't know if he is going to South Bend or to Myrtle Beach. (Players who started the season on a minor league 7-day DL cannot be reinstated until tomorrow). Paulino threw a "live" BP session on Field #6 last week and looked very good, so it's not surprising that he will be moving up.  

And based on how he looked today, I would say Jacob Hannemann probably won't be down here much lomger, either. 

Meanwhile, OF Eloy Jimenez (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL - right shoulder bruise) is bunting in the cages and catching fly balls in outfield drills, but he is not hitting or throwing at this point. In "live" BP he's been standing in the box tracking pitches, but he doesn't swing. Hopefully he will be able to do more soon. 

INF Chris Dominguez (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL) is taking BP and is fielding grounders at 3B and 1B, but he hasn't played in any games yet.  Dominguez hit 282/317/538 with two HR and four doubles in 22 MLB Cactus League Spring Training games, and is projected to play the infield corners (1B-3B) at Iowa in 2017.    

The Cubs are trying Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Mexico) at catcher again in pre-game drills (he hasn't caught in a game yet). He was a catcher when he first reported to Mesa last year, but then he was moved to corner infield (1B-3B) after he struggled behind the plate. The 19-year old Zamudio has plus raw power, and so it would be good for his career going forward if he can maybe be a C-1B-3B.    

Joe Martarano took pre-game BP again today but did not play in the game, and he is playing 1B in infield practice (one of the reasons Zamudio was moved back to catcher). Martarano was a third-baseman in HS and in his first year in pro ball (2014), but then was moved to 1B in 2015 and he hasn't played 3B since. However, it is expected that he will play both 1B and corner OF in Extended Spring Training (although he hasn't taken any fly balls yet), and if he proves he can handle OF (he is an athletic 6'4 240 with a third-baseman's arm), he conceivably could eventually morph into a "four-corner" player (1B-3B-LF-RF), or at least a 1B-LF-RF if 3B is too much of a problem for him defensively.  

Here is the box score from today's game: 

Williams Perez Cruises at Extended Spring Training

RHSP Williams Perez hurled 6.2 IP of two-hit shut-out ball with seven strikeouts and a 10/3 GO/AO and Edgar Rondon singled, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, leading the Eugene Emeralds to a 6-2 victory over the Mesa Cubs in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Monday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Aramis Ademan drilled an RBI triple and a double for Mesa in a losing cause.

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair, but was called with one out in the top of the 10th once all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game got their work.  

Ex-Boise State LB (and now full-time Cubs 1B) Joe Martarano took pre-game BP on Field #3 and looked pretty good, but he did not play in the game. Six recently-arrived position-players from the Cubs Dominican Academy (Yovanny Cuevas, Fernando Kelli, Fidel Mejia, Christopher Morel, Orian Nunez, and Yonathan Perlaza) did play in the game, however. (Henderson Perez has also arrived at EXST from the Dominican Academy, but he made his U. S. debut serving as one of the bullpen catchers). 

Here is the box score from the game:

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