Cubs Minor League Spring Training Game Recap

Smokies & I-Cubs get Swept at Riverview

Jared Walsh drilled two RBI singles and scored a run, as the Mobile BayBears (Los Angeles Angels AA affiliate) edged the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs AA affiliate) 5-4 on Field #5, and Luis Tejada ripped an RBI single, walked twice, and scored a run, helping the Salt Lake Bees (Angels AAA affiliate) slip past the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 3-2 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Tuesday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Bijan Rademacher belted a two-run home run and Victor Caratini hammered two doubles and scored a run for Iowa, and Ian Rice singled, doubled, and scored a run and RHRP Dillon Maples threw two innings of perfect relief (K, 5-3, 6-3, 5-3, 5-3, 4-3) for Tennessee. 

As usual, several players were moved-up from lower-levels for the day to replace Iowa and Tennessee players assigned to the Cubs MLB game at Sloan Park.

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

Two-Out 9th Inning Magic Saves the Day for I-Cubs at Fitch

Jason Vosler hammered an opposite-field game-tying two-run double off the LF fence with two out in the top of the 9th and Ian Rice followed with a two-run home run over the left-centerfield fence to give the Cubs a two-run lead, and then Ryan McNeil converted the save (albeit allowing a run and stranding the potential game-tying run on base in the bottom of the 9th), as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) rallied to edge the Nashville Sounds (AAA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) 6-5 on Field #4, and Jesse Hodges belted a two-run HR over the LF fence onto Center Street to give the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) a 2-0 lead in the top of the 2nd, but Skye Bolt belted an RBI triple and scored, singled, and walked, as the Midland RockHounds (A's AA affiliate) plated four runs over the next seven innings en route to a 4-2 victory on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Monday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fiitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

As usual, several players were moved-up from lower-levels for the day to replace Iowa and Tennessee players assigned to the Cubs MLB game roster at Goodyear. 

It was a "bullpen day" for the Smokies, as five relievers vying for pen jobs at Tennessee got work. There were no stand-out eve-opening performances among the five (Pugliese, Skulina, Thorpe, Minch, and Norwood). 

Meanwhile, RHSP Jordan Pries (acquired from the Seattle Mariners along with LHP Mike Montgomery for 1B Dan Vogelbach and RHSP Paul Blackburn last June) got the start for the I-Cubs, in what might be his final opportinity to win a job at AAA. It will be tough for Pries to crack the Iowa starting rotation in 2017, and his 87-88 MPH fastball and OK (but not great) off-speed stuff probably don't have a whole lot of value out of the bullpen. However, he might find a job as a SP/RP "swing-man" at Iowa if he can beat-out Casey Kelly, Seth Frankoff, Williams Perez, and/or Dallas Beeler for a AAA "utility pitcher" slot. 

Veteran minor league RHRP Frank Batista saw his first game action since undergoing an elbow UCL transplant (TJS) last April, and retired the side 1-2-3 (5-3, K, F-9). The 27-year old (soon to be 28) diminutive (5'10) Batista has been around a while (he signed with the Cubs as an IFA out of the Dominican Republic in January 2009), but you could see he was stoked about his outing.    

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

Cease Fires Blanks at Greenjackets

Cubs top pitching prospect Dylan Cease tossed 3-1/3 innings of two-hit shutout ball (while issuing one walk and striking out six), Marcus Mastrobuoni (RBI double), Roberto Caro (RBI triple), and Luis Ayala (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits in a three-run 5th as the Cubs took a 3-0 lead, and then after the Greenjackets replied with one run in the 5th, one in the 7th, and three more in the 8th to take a 5-3 lead, Jhonny Pereda slugged a two-run home run over the LF fence in the top of the 9th to tie the game, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) and the Augusta Greenjackets (Lo-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) played to a 5-5 tie on Field #2, and LHP Conner Menez hurled four innings of no-run no-hit ball and combined with four relievers to spin a four-hitter and Jalen Miller drilled an RBI triple and a double and scored two runs, leading the San Jose Giants (Hi-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) to a 7-2 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) on Field #1, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Thursday morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.  

Michael Cruz broke-up the San Jose no-hitter with a one-out line-drive single to right in the top of the 5th, and Connor Myers belted an opposite-field solo HR to put Myrtle Beach on the board in the top of the 6th, but otherwise the Pelicans didn't produce much offense. 

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

It's a One-Run Win/Loss Two-Game Split for I-Cubs & Smokies at Fitch Park

Todd Glaesmann cracked a two-run triple and a single and scored a run, Stephen Bruno tripled, singled, and scored a run, Jason Vosler belted a solo home run ovr the RF fence, and Jeffrey Baez singled, walked, stole two bases, and scored a run, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) edged the Nashville Sounds (AAA affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) 5-4 on Field #4, and Trevor Clifton tossed 3.2 IP of one-run ball with four strikeouts and Trey Martin doubled, singled, stole a base, and scored a run, but a 9th inning rally fell one run short as the Midland RockHounds (A's AA affiliate) hung-on to edge the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 4-3 on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Wednesday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

The Cubs temporarily moved-up about a dozen players from lower levels for the two games.

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

Eddie Butler Gets a Start at Minor League Camp

Isaac Paredes drilled an RBI double and two singles and scored a run, Rafael Mejia blasted a three-run home run, and SP Duncan Robinson hurled three innings of one-hit ball and combined with four relievers to toss a six-hitter with 13 strikeouts, leading the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 6-1 victory over the Kane County Cougars (Lo-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks) on Field #5, and Luis Alejandro Basabe belted a three-run HR, Ramon Hernandez singled and doubled and scored two runs, Kyle Smith stroked an RBI double and a single and scored a run, and SP Mack Lemieux threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball (albeit allowing four walks, an HBP, and two WP along the way), as the Visalia Rawhide (D'backs Hi-A affiliate) defeated the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 7-3 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Tuesday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.     

The MLB squad had the day off, so recently acquired RHSP Eddie Butler was sent to Minor League Camp to get his scheduled game work versus the Diamondbacks Hi-A affiiate (Visalia) on Field #6. Butler allowed four runs (all earned) on six hits (three singles, two doubles, and a triple) in 4.2 IP (69 pitches - 65% strikes), allowing no walks while striking out five with a 3/5 GO/AO. He retired the last five hitters he faced (K, F-9, K, 4-3, L-8). Butler's FB sat at 93-94 and he was able to throw his secondary pitches for strikes, but D'backs (Rawhide) hitters consistently squared-up his pitches and made hard contact up until the last five outs. 
   
Cubs 2016 3rd round draft pick RHSP Thomas Hatch (Oklahoma State) followed Butler to the mound on Field #6 and worked 3.2 IP, allowing the Basabe three-run homer, but he got stronger as he got deeper into the outing, eventually retiring the last eight men he faced in a row (four of the last five by strikeout). Hatch had all of his pitches working (92-93 MPH two-seam FB, slider, and CH) over the last eight outs. 

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

Cubs Extinguish Blaze at Riverview

Catcher Michael Cruz belted a two-run home run and singled, drove-in another run with a sacrifice fly, picked two runners off base (one at 2nd and one at 3rd), and threw out another baserunner attempting to steal, speedy lead-off man Zach Davis (learning to switch-hit after being a RH hitter-only previously) singled, walked, stole three bases, and scored three runs, DH Ruben Reyes tripled and singled and scored two runs, CF Jose Gonzalez belted an inside-the-park HR (thanks to an ill-advised attempted diving catch by the left-fielder), and six pitchers combined to toss a four-hitter, helping the Eugene/Mesa Cubs to a 10-3 victory over the Langley Blaze in Minor League Camp game action Monday morning on Field #4 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ, and then Monday afternoon, Aramis Ademan tripled and singled and scored a run and LHSP Manny Rondon hurled four innings of shutout ball, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) and the Beloit Snappers (Lo-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) played to a 3-3 tie on Field #3, and Sandber Pimentel drilled an RBI single, doubled, reached base on an HBP, and scored two runs, and RHSP Evan Manarino fired four innings of two-hit shutout ball with four strikeouts, leading the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) to a 6-2 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate), in a Cactus League Minor League doubleheader played at the Lew Wolff Training Center at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.

A member of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League (BCPBL), the Langley Blaze are one of the top amateur baseball clubs in Canada. Notable alumni include Brett Lawrie and Scott Mathieson, as well as ex-Cub minor leaguer Wes Darvill. 

The Blaze are on a ten-day Arizona Spring Training Trip, where they are playing minor league teams, and college and high school teams. The Blaze are scheduled to play one or two (and sometimes even three!) games per day, including morning games, afternoon games, night games, doubleheaders, and split squad games, so the Canadian lads (age 15-18) are playing a LOT of baseball in the Valley of the Sun.
 
Here are the abridged box scores from the three games (Cubs players only):

Cubs Unleash Six-Run 2nd & Coast to Victory at Riverview

Roberto Caro (RBI single), Yeiler Peguero (RBI double), Jhonny Pereda (RBI single), Zack Short (two-run double), and Jose Paniagua (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a six-run second inning and SP Erling Moreno (back from the WBC) threw three strong innings (76% strikes, two infield singles, one unearned run), as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) defeated the Asheville Tourists (Lo-A Affiliate of the Colorado Rockies) 10-6 on Field #5, and Mylz Jones drilled four hits (two singles, a double, and an RBI triple) and scored two runs, leading the Modesto Nuts (Rockies Hi-A affiliate) to a 7-4 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League game action Sunday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.    

South Bend RHRP M. T. Minacci grabbed his right arm after his final pitch (an F-8 FO) in the top of the 8th inning and went directly to the Cubs UAPC clubhouse (no usual post-outing stretching). 

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

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