Delvin Zinn

Cubs & A's Spend Saturday in the (Fitch) Park

Delvin Zinn singled, doubled, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Andy Weber singled twice, walked, and scored a run, and Miguel Amaya ripped a bases-loaded RBI single (Wladimir Galindo was thrown out at home on the play or it would have been two RBI), as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) edged the Stockton Ports (Hi-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics) 2-1 on Field #4, and SP Wyatt Marks hurled three innings of no run/no hit ball, Max Schuemann drilled an RBI single and a double and scored a run, and Jesus Lopez belted a solo HR, leading the Beloit Snappers (A's Lo-A affiliate) to a 5-3 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Saturday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

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: 

Cubs Trip(le) Up Angels at Riverview

Kevin Zamudio tripled, doubled, and scored a run, Delvin Zinn tripled, singled, and scored a run, Fernando Kelli belted a two-run triple, and four pitchers combined to hurl one-hit ball with eleven strikeouts over the first 6-2/3 innings, as the Cubs withstood a late rally and edged the Angels 5-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

RHP Eury Ramos got the start for the Cubs and was outstanding, retiring the first six Angels hitters in a row (1-3, K, K, F-7, 3-U, K - all three strikeouts swinging, including Dustin Ackley on a 3-2 pitch) while mixing a high-octane 95-97 MPH FB with a plus-CV and a swing & miss CH. The Cubs still have six weeks left to decide, but it is pretty clear that Ramos has joined Brailyn Marquez, Jeremiah Estrada, Faustino Carrera, and Danis Correa as the front-runners for the five Eugene Opening Week SP slots. The 6'3 Ramos is starting to fill-out (he weighed only 150 pounds when he signed with the Cubs in 2014) and that could be at least one of the reasons behind his rather sudden and startling uptick in FB velo. 

RHP Ryan McNeil (elbow, back, hip) followed Ramos to the mound and continued his EXST rehab with two perfect innings, striking out the last four men he faced (all four swinging - including Dustin Ackley again). Although he has been used as a reliever over the four seasons since 2013 TJS, McNeil still has a four-pitch SP-type repertoire that includes a 90-92 MPH FB, a mid-80's hard-slider, a CV, and a plus-CH. The 3rd round draft pick of the Cubs in 2012 out of Nipomo HS (Nipomo, CA), McNeil is eligible to be an MLB Rule 55 minor league 6YFA post-2018, so the Cubs will need to decide sometime over the next few months whether to add McNeil to the MLB 40-man roster post-World Series, or offer him a 2019 Minor League Successsor Contract and hope that he accepts it (in which case he would be eligible for selection in next December's Rule 5 Draft), or let him walk away as a minor league FA.

Prior to the game, LHP Danny Hultzen (2016 shoulder surgery) threw "live" BP (one inning - 15 pitches) on Field #4. This was the first time the 28-year old Hultzen has faced "live" hitters in more than two years. Hultzen was the second overall pick (by the Seattle Mariners) in the 2011 MLB First-Year Player Draft ($6.35M signing bonus and a major league contract) out of UVA, but his career was derailed by shoulder woes and he retired after the 2016 season. But then he decided to give it one more try, signing a minor league contract with the Cubs this past February. He has been in the Rehab Throwing Program at the UAPC in Mesa for the last two months. Once he has completed the "live" BP phase and if all is proceeding according to plan, he will likely throw in an EXST intrasquad game and then perhaps in a Cactus League EXST game.    
 
In EXST Cubs roster news, C-1B-3B Cam Balego and OF Chris Carrier have been sent to EXST from South Bend, and RHSP Carlos Paula has been sent back to the Cubs Dominican Academy in Boca Chica, so he will almost certainly begin the 2018 season back in the DSL. Paula did not pitch in any Cactus League or intrasquad games while at EXST. 

Also, RHRP Aneuris Rosario was placed on the Disqualified List last week. I don't know why the Cubs did this, but the move had to be approved by the MLB Commissioner. (The Disqualified List is used when a player violates the terms of his contract, such as using a false identity, submitting fraudulent documents, circumventing a drug test, or signing with another professional baseball club before being released). Because A. Rosario has spent four seasons in the DSL he is ineligible to return there in 2018, and so he would have had to make the Opening Day roster of Eugene or one of the Cubs two AZL teams.  

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

Oscar de la Cruz Goes Six Strong at Riverview

Oscar de la Cruz hurled six innings (78 pitches - 72% strikes) of one-run/three-hit ball (run was unearned) with five strikeouts and no walks, Cam Balego drilled an RBI single and an RBI double and drew a walk, Delvin Zinn singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jonathan Soto belted a two-run HR and a single, and Alexander Guerra smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Alec Mills (Iowa) and Oscar de la Cruz (Tennessee) were the starting pitchers in the game. Both were left behind in Mesa by their respective full-season clubs so that they could pitch in a game on what was their normal day to pitch, with both scheduled to make regular-season starts for their teams this coming Sunday or Monday. So it was a matter of them getting both their normal-scheduled work and increasing their pitch counts closer to regular-season levels.  

Enrique de los Rios and Brendan King followed de la Cruz and Mills to the mound, getting stretched-out in preparation for being Cubs EXST SP.  
 
Here is the box score from the game:      

D'backs Flurry of Extra-Base Hits Sink Cubs at Riverview

Jazz Chisholm and Endy Ramos belted back-to-back doubles and Joey Rose followed with a two-run HR to fuel a four-run 8th, as the Kane County Cougars (Arizona Diamondbacks Lo-A affiliate) rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to ambush the Cubs Lo-A South Bend affiliate 7-4 on Field #5, and Ramon Hernandez doubled twice, singled twice, and drove-in six runs, Daulton Varsho reached base four times (two singles and two walks), stole a base, and scored three runs, Raymel Flores ripped a single, a double and an RBI triple, Drew Ellis collected three hits, stole a base, and scored twice, and RHSP Connor Grey hurled five innings of two-hit shutout ball, as the Visalia Rawhide (D'backs Hi-A affiliate) whitewashed the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 8-0 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Monday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

Austin Filiere (RBI triple), Luis Diaz (RBI double), and Delvin Zinn (RBI double) each collected a two-out run-scoring extra-base hit to highlight a three-run 1st inning and RHSP Erich Uelmen tossed five innings of one-run ball for South Bend on Field #5.  

Several Iowa Cubs position-players traveled to Florida with the MLB squad for the two-game pre-season set versus the Red Sox in Ft. Myers, so a number of position-players on the Tennessee, Myrtle Beach, and South Bend squads have been temporarily promoted to higher levels for a few days (until the I-Cubs return from Florida).  

Here are the abdriged box scores from the two games played on Monday at Riverview Park:

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):