Cubs Extended Spring Training game report

Russell & Alzolay Lookin' Good at Riverview


Addison Russell singled twice, stole two bases, and scored a run, Jonathan Soto collected three singles and drove-in a run, Carlos Morfa singled twice, scored a run, and knocked-in another, and Rafael Mejia belted a two-run HR, leading the Cubs "B" team to a 6-3 victory over the Athletics Green squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

The Cubs stole six bases in the game. 

RHP Adbert Alzolay (on AAA Iowa 7-day IL with a lat strain) saw his first game action of 2019, getting the start and working 1.2 IP. He allowed one run on two hits (a double and a single) and no walks, with four strikeouts. He got eleven swings & misses among his 34 pitches, mixing a 95-96 MPH FB with an effective CV.   

The game was pre-planned as a seven-inning contest but was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Cubs pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

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

Jarrett Parker leads Angels Past Cubs at Diablo

Jarrett Parker laced a double and an RBI single and drew a walk, Cristian Gomez drilled a two-run double, and Kevin Arias smacked an RBI triple, leading the Angels to a 6-4 victory over the Cubs "A" team, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning at Diablo Stadium in Tempe, AZ.   

Orian Nunez (RBI double), Fernando Kelli (RBI single), and Edmond Americaan (RBI single) stroked run-scoring hits to highlight a three-run Cub 8th. 

Cubs pitchers issued a combined ten walks in the game, plus one HBP and four WP (SP Jose Albertos threw only 50% strikes in his 1.2 IP of work). 

RHP Omar Ventura and LHP Luis Rodriguez made their U. S. game debuts (both pitched in the DSL last season). 

The Cubs were greeted by an old friend prior to the start of the game as they walked from the visitors entrance in the RF corner to their 3rd base dugout, passing C-1B Michael Cruz (released by the Cubs in March and recently signed by the Angels) who was standing in front of the home team's bench on the 1st base side. There were lots of hugs and warm greetings between the ex-Cub and his former teammates and coaches, although the warmth cooled just a bit after Cruz was plunked on the upper right arm by a Didier Vargas fastball in the bottom of the 7th. 

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

Rockies Morgan Has Hitting Shoes On at Salt River Fields

Luke Morgan collected four hits (three singles and a triple) and drove-in two runs, leading the Rockies to a 6-3 victory over the Cubs "B" team, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Monday morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Luis Verdugo clubbed a two-run HR for the Cubs in a losing cause.  

Cubs pitchers Misael Garcia, Jorge Remon, and Luis Ramos made their U. S. game debut. All three pitched in the DSL in 2018 and are competing for spots on the Cubs AZL teams. (RHP Benjamin Rodriguez made his 2019 game debut and like the other three pitched in the DSL in 2018, but he attended Extended Spring Training last year before being returned to the DSL in May, so this was not his first game in the U. S.). 

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

Cubs Walk, Run, and Throw A's Out of Fitch Park

Dalton Hurd singled twice, stole a base, and scored two runs, Luis Vazquez drilled an RBI single, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Albert Hinirio (making his U. S. game debut) smacked an RBI triple, and SP Danis Correa and four relievers combined to toss a five-hit shutout, as the Cubs "A" team blanked the Athletics Green squad 6-0, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The Cubs drew eight walks and stole five bases in the game. 

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

Cedeno Sophisticated Slop Too Much for Young Giants

Yonathan Perlaza drilled an RBI double and an RBI single, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Edmond Americaan laced an RBI single and a double, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs. Jacob Hannemann collected three singles, stole a base, and scored two runs, Josue Huma belted a two-run double, drew a walk, and scored a run, Fernando Kelli knocked in two runs with a triple and a GO, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Dalton Hurd smacked an inside-the-park HR (line-drive bounded past centerfielder after diving catch attempt and rolled to the base of the Batter's Eye), and Oscar de la Cruz hurled 4.1 IP of one run ball with six strikeouts, leading the Cubs "A" Team to a 12-6 thrashing of the Giants Black squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day game action Friday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.   

Addison Russell played SS for four innings and batted once in each of the first four innings, going 1-3 (single and a run scored and an RBI on a sac fly). As things stand right now, Russell is eligible to be reinstated from the Restricted List on May 2nd (which is an off day) and make his 2019 MLB regular season debut on Friday May 3rd at Wrigley Field vs STL.     

LHP Xavier Cedeno (on the Cubs MLB 10-day Injured List with left wrist inflammation) made his first game appearance of 2019 and easily struck out the side in the top of the 1st inning, mixing a filthy CV with a straight-CH and maybe one FB. The young Giants had no chance against him.      

Prior to the game on Field #6, RHRP Tony Barnette threw "live" BP on Field #5, facing hitters for the first time since being shut-down with right shoulder inflammation following an MLB Cactus League game appearance on March 3rd. (Barnette is a few days behind Cedeno).  

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

Pertuz Celebrates Return to Mesa

Fabian Pertuz belted a solo HR and an RBI single, Rafael Mejia drilled a solo HR and a double, Edmond Americaan smacked an RBI triple and scored a run, Yonathan Perlaza singled twice, walked, and scored a run, and Clayton Daniel roped a two-run single, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.   

The game was pre-planned as a seven-inning contest. 

Pertuz was signed by the Cubs ($300K signing bonus) as a 16-year old shortstop in August 2017 out of Orlando Cabrera's Prospect Sport baseball academy in Colombia, and he attended both AZ Instructs post-2017 and Extended Spring Training in 2018 and appeared to be on a fast track to bypass the DSL and go directly to the AZL, only to be sent to the DSL last May after struggling both offensively and defensively in EXST game action. Despite the (slight) setback last year, Pertuz should be one of the Cubs top prospects in the AZL in 2019. 

Here is the box score from today's game:  

Ryan Williams Keeps Rollin' at Riverview as Extended Spring Training Comes to an End

D. J. Wilson singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored a run, Franklin Tineo belted a solo HR, and SP Ryan Williams (2017 right shoulder surgery) hurled five innings of one-run ball, in a Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played Tuesday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after 4-1/2 innings of play (only two pitchers were scheduled to throw in the game, both with a pre-determined 75-pitch limit). 

Tuesday marked the official end of Cubs Extended Spring Training. AZL mini-camp begins on Thursday, and the first AZL games are next Monday.

Meanwhile, the Eugene Emeralds (the Cubs short-season "A" affiliate) flew up to Oregon earlier in the afternoon, leaving AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2 behind in Mesa to play the final EXST intrasquad game. The first Eugene game will be this coming Friday. 

Based upon who did and did not play in the intrasquad game and who I did not see on the bench (and we will have to wait for the Eugene roster to be released before this can be confirmed), it would appear that a number of the Cubs best EXST prospects have been assigned to Eugene (at least initially, pending the eventual arrival of some of this year's college draft picks), including SS-3B Christopher Morel, C Jonathan Soto, LHSP Brailyn Marquez, CF Fernando Kelli, SS Luis Vazquez, LHSP Faustino Carrera, RF Jonathan Sierra, 2B Luis Diaz, RHSP Eury Ramos, and 3B-2B Orian Nunez. (OF Nelson Velazquez -- who was moved up to South Bend from EXST last month -- has also been assigned to Eugene, so the Emeralds could be a fun team to watch).

Converseely, some of the older and more experienced players who were expecting to go to Eugene (C Alexander Guerra, OF Luis Gutierrez, OF Jose A. Gonzalez, 3B-1B Fidel Mejia, OF Yovanny Cuevas, and INF Yonathan Perlaza) as well as the youngsters making their pro debuts (SS Luis Verdugo, 2B Reivaj Garcia, and OF Kevin Moreno) were left behind to play in the AZL. (As most of you know by now, the Cubs Player Development Department likes to employ aggressive "challenge-promotions" for their best prospects). 

On the EXST medical front, Cubs 2017 6th round draft pick RHSP Jeremiah Estrada (who was a virtual lock for the Eugene starting rotation) was left behind in Mesa after suffering a right elbow injury in a Cactus League EXST game versus Angels at Diablo Park about ten days ago. RHSP Jose M. Gonzalez (who was not in contention for a Eugene SP slot but was expected to be a SP for one of the two Cubs AZL teams) has been shut-down indefinitely with a right elbow/forearm injury that ocurred in a Cactus League EXST game at Giants about two or three weeks ago (but no TJS for either Estrada or Gonzalez... yet). RHSP Danis Correa and RHRP Junior Marte have also been shut-down indefinitely (and I don't know why). And still no confirmation on the exact nature of DSL Cubs #2 LHSP Andres Bonalde's season-ending left elbow surgery (probably was TJS, but I'm not 100% sure). NOTE: Bonalde was called up from the Cubs Dominican Academy and was assigned to Cubs Extended Spring Training only - AFTER - he had the surgery. Myrtle Beach OF Chris Pieters was last seen a couple of weeks ago at the UAPC wearing a TJS-type contraption on his right (non-throwing) arm, but his injury could be any one of a number of different types of elbow/biceps type-injury (although whatever it is, it didn't look good). South Bend catcher Marcus Mastrobuoni had season-ending knee surgery last month. And no update yet on OF Carlos Pacheco, who suffered a leg injury while tripping over 1st base (and had to be carried from the field) in an intrasquad game last weekend (Pacheco -- who was tied for 2nd in the DSL in HR in 2017 -- was expected to play LF and provide a power-bat for one of the two AZL Cubs teams).   

Here is the box score from the game: 

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