Cubs Minor League Spring Training Game Recap

Pelicans Fit to Be Tied with Giants at Riverview

Jhonny Bethencourt went 3-3 (two singles and a double), stole two bases, and scored two runs, and RHP Keegan Thompson (Cubs 2017 3rd round pick - Auburn) hurled four innings of shutout ball for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affliliate), and Wander Franco drilled an RBI double and Ryan Kirby followed with a two-run HR to spark a three-run 4th for the Giants San Jose Hi-A affiliate, as the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie on Field #6, and RHSP Jose Marte hurled three innings of shutout ball to lead the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants Lo-A affiliate) to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs Lo-A South Bend affiliate on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Friday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.     

Kwangmin Kwon belted a solo HR and Austin Filiere collected three hits (two singles and an RBI double) for the South Bend Cubs in a losing cause.

RHP Tyson Miler (Cubs 2016 4th round draft pick - California Baptist) got the start for Myrtle Beach and retired nine of the first ten men he faced (including five on strikeouts) before allowing back-to-back doubles and a two-run HR to the first three batters he faced in the top of the 4th (he then retired the side in order).  

RHP Bailey Clark (Cubs 2016 5th round draft pick - Duke) piggy-backed with South Bend SP Rollie Lacy (Cubs 2017 11th round draft pick - Creighton), and while Clark's FB velo was an impressive 96-97 and his SL had good break, he had terrible command (he needed 57 pitches to get eight outs, he couldn't finish his third inning, he committed a throwing error on a pick-off attempt at 2nd base, and he threw only 47% strikes).

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

Cubs Send Bullpen to Riverview to Stabilize Isotopes

Cubs MLB bullpen members Brandon Morrow, Justin Wilson, and Brian Duensing combined to hurl 3.1 IP of shutout ball to get things started, Charcer Burks (RBI single) and David Bote (RBI double) drove-in what proved to be the winning runs in the bottom of the 1st, and Dillon Maples earned an easy save with a 1-2-3 14-pitch 9th, as the Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate edged the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate) 2-1 on Field #6, and RHSP Ryan Castellani hurled four innings of shutout ball and the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies AA affiliate) banged-out 15 hits en route to an 8-1 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader action Thursday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The game on Field #5 was called after eight innings of play.

Morrow (4-3, K, 3B, BB), Wilson (5-4 FC, F-8, 1B, L-4 DP, K), and Duensing (F-7, F-8, 2B, K) were sent to the Cubs backfields to get work in the AAA game, and Chris Gimenez was their catcher, going 1-5 at the plate (F-8, 2B, K, 6-3, K) while hitting once in each of the first five innings.
 
Luis Hidalgo was hit in the helmet with a pitch in the bottom of the 8th inning on Field #5 and had to leave the game (although he left the field under his own power).   

As usual several position-players were moved-up to the Tennessee and Iowa squads to get some playing time with the more-advanced players. 

A number of Cubs minor leaguers have been (or currently are) sick, apparently with the same bug that sidelined Kyle Hendricks this week.

Here are the box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

Shark Visits Riverview

RHSP Tyler Beede hurled three innings of shutout ball and combined with four relievers to toss a four-hitter and Dillon Dobson drove-in five runs with a three-run HR and a two-run double, leading the Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants AA affiliate) to an 8-1 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #5, and Chris Shaw ripped a two-run triple and Mac Williamson drilled a two-run single to highlight a seven-run 4th inning as the Sacramento River Cats (Giants AAA affiliate) cruised past the Cubs AAA Iowa affiliate 9-3 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Wednesday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Bijan Rademacher (two-run blast) and P. J. Higgins (solo shot) clubbed back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning for Iowa, but that was the extent of the I-Cubs offense. 

As usual several players were moved up to the Iowa and Tennessee squads for the day to get some playing time in the late innings.  

Ex-Cub RHSP Jeff Samardzija was sent to Riverview from the Giants MLB camp to get some work with the AAA Sacramento squad, and he allowed three runs on seven hits (two HR, a triple, and four singles), a walk, and an HBP, plus six strikeouts, in 3.1 IP.

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):   

Mitchell Grand Salami Gives Angels Indigestion at Riverview

Kevonte Mitchell blasted a grand slam over the LF fence and onto the south bank of the Loop 202 Red Mountain Freeway to cap a nine-run explosion in the bottom of the 5th inning as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-affiliate) turned a 5-0 deficit into a 9-5 lead and then hung-on for dear life to edge the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) 9-8 on Field #6, and RHSP Erich Uelmen (Cubs 2017 4th round draft pick - Cal Poly SLO) hurled four innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts, no walks (72% strikes), and 6/0 GO/AO, and Cam Balego (RBI triple), Alexander Guerra (RBI double), and Luis Hidalgo (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to stake the Cubs Lo-A South Bend affiliate to a 4-1 lead, but the Burlington Bees (Angels Lo-A affiliate) came-back in the late innings to tie the game at four and then the potential winning run was picked-off 2nd base with no outs in the bottom of the 9th to thwart a Cub plan to plate the winning run with a sac bunt and maybe a sac fly, as Burlington and South Bend played to a 4-4 tie on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Tuesday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The MLB Cubs had the day off so Kyle Hendricks was supposed to have started the Myrtle Beach game on Field #6, but he was scratched due to illness (strep throat). 

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

Strop Sharp in 2018 Debut at Riverview

Dairon Blanco ripped a bases-loaded triple with two outs in the top of the 9th as the Stockton Ports (Oakland Athletics Hi-A affiliate) rallied to edge the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Hi-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 4-3 on Field #6, and Anthony Churlin went 4-4 with a solo HR (off an MLB pitcher) and three singles to lead the Beloit Snappers (A's Lo-A affiliate) to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs Lo-A South Bend affiliate on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Monday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Wladimir Galindo collected three hits (two singles and a double), drove-in a run, and scored a run, and RHSP Oscar de la Cruz hurled three shutout innings for Myrtle Beach, and Christopher Morel drilled two doubles (both pulled sharply into the LF corner) for South Bend (the SB Cubs managed only three hits, and Morel had two of them).

South Bend 1B Austin Filiere left the game after being hit on the helmet with a pitch in the bottom of the 5th.  

Both games were called after 8-1/2 innings of play.  
 
Cubs RHRP Pedro Strop (calf strain) made his 2018 debut in the game on Field #5, and he was outstanding, working 1.1 IP (18 pitches - 89% strikes) and allowing a single while striking out four (all four swinging, all four on hard sliders). Most of the Beloit kids probably have never seen a slider like Strop's so it was a true education for the youngsters, but no question Strop was on his game. Cubs closer Brandon Morrow and LHRP Brian Duensing also saw action in the South Bend game, with Morrow allowing an unearned run on a single and a walk with two strikeouts, and Duensing surrendering a solo HR in his one inning of work (and he also two recorded a couple of punch-outs). 

NRI catcher Ali Solis was sent to the Riverview backfields from the Cubs MLB squad, and he caught Strop, Morrow, and Duensing. AAA Iowa catcher Cael Brockmeyer was also assigned to the South Bend game to warm up the MLB guys in the bullpen, and he got a couple of token AB as a DH as part of the deal. 

Will Remillard (2015 & 2016 TJS) saw his first game action of 2018 on Field #6. He looked healthy and in great shape, throwing out a Stockton baserunner who was attempting to steal 2nd with a strong pinpoint throw, and he also reached base on an opposite-field double that bounced off the warning track and over the fence in RF.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

9th Inning Rally Gains Split for Cubs at Riverview

RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng hurled three innings of perfect baseball, Kevin Cornelius laced two RBI doubles (one in the 2nd inning and another in the 8th), Eddy Julio Martinez singled and doubled and scored a run, and Gioskar Amaya drilled a bases-loaded two-run walk-off double off the LF fence in the bottom of the 9th to overcome a 4-3 deficit, as the AAA Iowa Cubs rallied to edge the Reno Aces (AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks) 5-4 on Field #6, and Anfernee Grier smacked a two-run HR in the 1st inning and Marcus Wilson hammered a solo HR in the 3rd, and LHSP Alex Young hurled three innings of shutout ball, as the Jackson Generals (D'backs AA affiliate) edged the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 4-3 on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Friday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Diamondbacks RHSP Taijuan Walker was sent to Mesa from D'backs MLB camp and got the start for Reno on Field #6, working 4.2 IP and allowing one run (earned) on three hits (a double and two singles) and a walk, with seven strikeouts and a 4/2 GO/AO. Kevin Cron belted two tape-measure home runs (a solo blast off Zach Hedges in the 5th and a two-run bomb off Preston Morrison in the 7th) to give the Aces a temporary 3-2 lead (later expanded to 4-2), before the Cubs came back with a run in the 8th on the second RBI double by Cornelius and then the two runs in the bottom of the 9th on the G. Amaya clutch two-bagger (the culmination of a magnificent ten-pitch AB).

Down 4-0 going into the 9th on Field #5, Zack Short blasted a three-run HR to pull the Smokies within a run, but the potential tying and winning runs were subsequently left-stranded. 

Tennessee pitchers allowed only three hits on Field #5, but eight walks (including six by Smokies SP Kyle Miller) and two HBP combined with the two early HR helped give the Generals just enough runs and the eventual victory.   
 
Because the Cubs MLB squad has split in two for the weekend (the Cubs will be playing a two-game set versus the Cleveland Indians in Las Vegas on Saturday and Sunday while the other squad remains in Mesa to face an Indians split-squad on Saturday and the Kansas City Royals on Sunday), a number of players (mostly from AAA Iowa) were called up to the MLB squad from Minor League Camp just for the weekend, and so there were also a number of temporary promotions at Minor League Camp as well. 

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Riverview Park on Friday (Cubs players only):  

Cubs Wish Yanqui Had Just Stayed Home

Yoel Yanqui (two-run triple), Jose Queliz (two-run double), Eduardo Diaz (solo HR), and Luke Van Rycheghem (RBI double) contributed run-scoring extra base hits to lead the Visalia Rawhide (Arizona Diamondbacks Hi-A affiliate) to a 7-2 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, and Buddy Kennedy collected three hits (two singles and a double) and scored twice and Francis Martinez drilled an RBI double, singled and scored, and reached base on an HBP, helping the Kane County Cougars (D'backs Lo-A affiliate) defeat the Cubs Lo-A South Bend affiliate 4-1 on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Wednesday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.

Diamondbacks relievers retired a combined 30 of the last 33 hitters they faced on the two fields.

Wladimir Galindo stroked a two-run 1st inning HR and SP Jose Paulino hurled three shutout innings with five strikeouts (including the first four men he faced) for the Pelicans in a losing cause on Field #6,.and Christopher Morel doubled and singled and scored a run and Delvin Zinn roped an RBI triple and a single in the South Bend loss on Field #5.  

CF Jose Gutierrez and 1B Rafael Mejia were moved-up from the Eugene/Mesa squad to the Myrtle Beach squad for the day to provide additional late-inning position-player replacements beyond what the Pelicans had available.

Both games were eight inning affairs.

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

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