Cubs Extended Spring Training game report

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: 

Another Albertos Mystery Ride on the Bump at Riverview

Fernando Kelli reached base four times (three singles and an HBP), stole a base, collected two RBI, and scored a run, Fidel Mejia ripped an RBI triple and two singles, and Jose A. Gonzalez drilled an RBI double, walked twice, and scored a run, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Monday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

RHSP Jose Albertos continues to struggle with command (mostly by spiking his FB in front of home plate or throwing it over the batter's head), allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits (four singles and a double), four walks, a HBP, and two wild pitches in 3.1 IP (73 pitches), while throwing only 48% strikes. He was, however, also occasionally brilliant, striking out six and getting batters to repeatedly hit his pitches into the ground when he was not recording a punch-out, issuing a walk, hitting a batter, or throwing a WP (4/0 GO/AO).  

Here is the box score from the game: 

More of Morel with Some Cuevas

Christopher Morel drilled a two-run double in the 1st, doubled and scored in the 6th, reached base on an HBP in the 8th, and stole a base, Yovanny Cuevas belted a two-run triple, doubled and scored, walked, and stole a base, and Eduarniel Nunez hurled three innings of one-hit shutout ball, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Sunday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning affair. 

Here is the box score from the game:  

Carrier Gets Carried Away and Pacheco Gets Carted Off, Leaving Remaining Cubs in the Dark

Chris Carrier drove-in two runs with a solo HR and two singles and scored twice, Fernando Kelli tripled, singled, walked, and scored a run. and Jonathan Sierra and Reivaj Garcia each drilled an RBI double and a single and scored a run, in an eight-inning Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game played Saturday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Carrier hit his HR in the bottom of the 6th right after being informed that he was being called-up to one of the Cubs full-season affiliates (presumably South Bend, but it could have been one of the others), so after blasting the bomb far over the LF fence, Carrier gathered his gear, hugged his teammates, and made a bee-line for the UAPC (slip-sliding on the concrete in the process) and then to Sky Harbor Airport. (It's always a trip when a player at Extended Spring Training gets called-up during a game). 

On a more somber note, Carlos Pacheco was carried off the field after suffering what appeared to be a serious leg injury in the top of the 7th after tripping over 1st base while attempting to beat-out an infield hit. 

The game was called with a score of 8-6 prior to the start of the 9th inning after the lights suddenly switched themselves off. (Unbeknownst to Carmelo Martinez and the rest of the EXST Cubs, the lights were pre-set to turn off automatically at 10 PM so that the Riverview Park ground crew and City of Mesa personnel could go home without having to wait around for the game to end, but none of the Cubs knew how to over-ride the timer and turn them back on). Dalton Geekie and Yan de la Cruz were warmed-up and ready to throw one inning each, but obviously they were unable to get their scheduled game-work. (The Field #1 sprinklers also turned themselves on automatically a few minutes prior to start of the game).  

The Cubs will be playing AZL home games at both Sloan Park (the Cubs Spring Training stadium) and across the street at Riverview Park Field #1 (the only Riverview back-field with lights) on nights when both AZL Cubs #1 and AZL Cubs #2 are scheduled to play home games, so it's probably good to be aware of potential problems and get the glitches worked-out now rather than after the AZL season starts.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

Young Cubs Pitchers Stingy with Hits but Not with Strikeouts at Riverview

RHP Jesus Tejada hurled four innings of two-hit shutout ball and combined with four relievers on a four-hitter and SP Yovanny Cruz and four relievers combined to toss a four-hitter with 13 strikeouts, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Friday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Both Tejada and Cruz are projected to be starting pitchers in the AZL, although there is still a remote chance that one of them could go directly to Eugene. The Cubs will announce the Eugene Opening Day roster next week.     

Chris Coghlan is back in action at Extended Spring Training after a lengthy absence, and he struck out twice (both times swinging) in two PA before heading for the UAPC. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, INF Delvin Zinn has been moved-up to South Bend. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game: 

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