Elliot Soto

The Rehab Gang Leads Cubs to Victory at Riverview Park

Jemile Weeks tripled, singled, and scored, Elliot Soto reached base four tines (solo HR, HBP, and two walks). Kevin Cornelius belted a solo HR, and Kwangmin Kwon ripped an RBI triple and walked, leading the Cubs to a 4-1 victory over the Giants "orange" squad in Cactus League Extended SpringTraining game action Tuesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

The game was called after eight innings of play.

RHRP Conor Mullee (on Iowa 7-day DL - August 2016 right elbow surgery) saw his first game action since undergoing right elbow ulnar nerve decompression surgery last July. The 29-year old Mullee was claimed off waivers by the Cubs from the New York Yankees on November 2nd (later that day -- actually early the next morning -- the Cubs would win Game 7 of the World Series), then he was non-tendered and signed to a 2017 minor league contract in December. Prior to the injury, Mullee was a member of the Yankees MLB bullpen, so once he has completed his rehab at EXST, he should slide right into the AAA Iowa bullpen and be available for a possible call-up to Chicago later this season, should his services be required.      

And Jemile Weeks (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL - February 2017 left knee injury) saw his first game action since suffering a sprained ACL after being upended while attempting to turn a DP in an MLB Cactus League game versus the White Sox at Sloan Park on February 27th. He showed no signs of any problem with the knee today, busting out of the batter's box and motoring around the bases at full speed after belting a triple off the CF Batter's Eye leading off the bottom of the 1st inning. He did commit an error in field, however. Barring any medical set-backs in the meantime, Weeks could get called up to Chicago at some point in 2017, providing a veteran utility player who can play 2B-SS-CF, switch hit, and steal bases.  
 
Meanwhile, SS Elliot Soto (on Iowa 7-day DL - March 2017 left foot injury) has reached base in all seven of his Plate Appearances (a HR, a single, three walks, and two HBP) since returning to game action yesterday at Fitch Park. So within a week or so, Iowa Cubs fans should be seeing Weeks and Soto manning the 2B-SS slots in Des Moines.    

Not to be outdone, 1B Kevin Cornelius (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL - March 2017 broken left hand) hit a monster solo HR over the LF fence and onto Field #2 in the bottom of the 3rd. Cornelius was selected by the Cubs off the New York Yankees AA Trenton roster in the AAA Phase of the December 2016 Rule 5 Draft.  
 
In EXST Cubs roster news, 1B Chris Dominguez has completed his rehab assignment and has rejoined the Iowa Cubs.

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

Cubs Sign Five More Players to 2017 Minor League Contracts

1/6 UPDATE #2: Baseball America is reporting that the Cubs have signed 32-year old switch-hitting catcher to a 2017 minor league contract. He will almost certainly get an NRI to Spring Training.

Corporan has considerable MLB experience (232 games and 780 PA over the course of six seasons with MIL, HOU, and TEX), and he will battle Ali Solis (signed by the Cubs to a 2017 minor league contract last month) for the veteran catcher slot at AAA Iowa and for the Chicago Cubs unofficial #3 catcher gig (would be called up to Chicago if anything happens to Willson Contreras or Miguel Montero). Corporan has hit 218/280/342 over the course of his MLB career (4+019 MLB Service Time).

A native of Puerto Rico, Corporan was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers out of Lake City CC in the 12th round of the 2003 draft. He is a solid defensive catcher, but he struggled mightily at the plate in 2016 (hitting just 197/246/323 in 57 AAA games), first at Durham (TB) and then at New Orleans (MIA), getting released both times. However, Corporan is currently hitting a robust 321/379/425 for Carolina in Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente (the Puerto Rican winter league), and is 3rd in the PWL in hitting, 5th in OBP, and 6th in doubles.

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1/6 UPDATE #1
: Baseball America is reporting that the Cubs have signed 3B-1B to a 2017 minor league contract. I would think that he will probably get an NRI to Spring Training, and then will provide depth at AAA Iowa.

Now 30 years old, Dominguez was selected by the San Francisco in the 3rd round of the 2009 draft out of the U. of Louisville. He hit 21 HR and drove in 101 runs in his first full season (Lo-A Augusta) in 2010 and was ranked one of the Giants Top 10 prospects by Baseball America and was rated as having the organization's top infield arm going into the 2011 season, but he never reached his potential, spending the past five seasons in AAA with San Franicisco (2012-14), Cincinnati (2015), and Boston (2016).

Dominguez hit 241/275/439 at Pawtucket in 2016 with 13 HR in 77 games (298 PA), missing considerable time with an oblique strain. He has hit just .175 with two HR in two "cups of coffee" in the big leagues (eight games with the Giants in 2014, and 14 games with the Reds in 2015).   


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ORIGINAL POST (12/24): Baseball America is reporting that the Cubs have signed five more free-agents to 2017 minor league contracts.

All five will likely receive an NRI to Spring Training with the big club.

One of the players is a former Cubs minor leaguer, and the other four have varying degrees of big league experience with other MLB clubs.   

Rockies Rallies Result in a Win and a Tie at Riverview Park

Dillon Thomas blooped a two-out two-run double between three Cub defenders in short right-field in the top of the 5th as the Rockies edged the Cubs 3-2 on Field #5, and Denzel Richardson belted an RBI triple and a single and scored a run to help the Rockies rally from a 4-1 deficit to tie the Cubs 4-4 on Field #6, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.

In EXST Cubs roster news, Elliot Soto has completed his 50-game "Drug of Abuse" suspension and has been assigned to AA Tennessee. In 18 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (68 PA), Soto hit 333/397/417 with 6/9 BB/K, one double, two triples, 3 SB (0 CS), 12 RUNS, and 5 RBI, while playing outstanding defense at SS. 

Also, INF Giuseppe Papaccio has been sent back to Cubs Extended Spring Training from Daytona, and 1B Danny Canela has been sent to Cubs Extended Spring Training from Kane County. Both players were assigned to Squad "A" in the split squad doubleheader, with INF Varonex Cuevas and OF Shamil Ubiera moving from Squad "A" to Squad "B."    

And LHP Andin Diaz (hasn't pitched in a Cactus League EXST game since April 23rd) has been assigned to the DSL Cubs, who will begin their 2014 season tomorrow morning versus the DSL Marlins. The 21-year old Diaz spent the previous two seasons pitching in the DSL, but had his career sidetracked for a while by a 50-game PED suspension in August 2012 that carried over into 2013.

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

Cubs Top Angels at Diablo Park

Elliot Soto tripled, singled, walked, and scored a run, and Eloy Jimenez singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another, leading the Cubs to a 9-5 victory over the Angels in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ. 

Raul Linares reached base four times (RBI triple, two singles, and a walk) for the Angels.

In 18 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (72 PA), Eloy Jimenez is hitting 221/250/279, with a team-leading nine RBI, plus four doubles and 3/19 BB/K. He has yet to homer in a Cactus League EXST game, although he has in Intrasquad games. 

Unlike the other top international prospect signed by the Cubs in 2013 (SS Gleyber Torres), Jimenez has no chance to make the Boise Hawks Opening Day roster, but he does stand a good chance to be in the AZL Cubs Opening Day lineup next month. 

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

Cubs & Giants Play Even Par at Indian School Park

Jeffrey Baez led-off the game with a home run and then laced an RBI single and stole a base in his next AB, Jesse Hodges belted an RBI triple and scored a run, Gleyber Torres singled twice, knocked-in two runs, and scored another, and Tyler Ihrig fired four innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts and combined with three relievers to help the Cubs whitewash the Giants 6-0 on Field #2, and Craig Massoni drove-in three runs with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly and Carlos Valdez hammered a solo home run, leading the Giants to a 6-1 victory on Field #1, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.  

Slick-fielding AA Tennessee shortstop Elliot Soto (at Extended Spring Training while serving a 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension) reached base four times (three singles and a walk) and stole a base in a losing cause on Field #1. 

OF Casper Wells (on AAA Iowa Cubs 7-day DL - back spasms) continued his EXST rehab, playing RF for six innings and getting three Plate Appearances (he was in the clean-up slot in the batting order on Field #2 and he batted only when his spot in the order was due to hit). Wells walked twice and grounded out 6-3.

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

Soto Shuts Up Talking Stick at Salt River Fields

Elliot Soto belted a bases-loaded triple in the 2nd, walked in the 4th, and singled and scored in the 6th, Varonex Cuevas drilled three singles and scored two runs, Rashad Crawford drove-in three runs with a two-run single and a sacrifice fly, and Jeffrey Baez singled and tripled and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 7-3 victory over the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.   

Cubs & Snakes Split a Pair at Riverview Park

Rony Rodriguez and Eloy Jimenez belted back-to-back RBI doubles, Ricardo Marcano followed with an RBI single, and Tyler Alamo capped the inning with a two-run home run over the LF fence, as the Cubs plated five runs in the 5th en route to a 7-3 victory over the Diamondbacks on Field #5, and Cesar Carrasco doubled twice and reached base on an error and scored three runs, and Dane McFarland and Sergio Alcantara laced two RBI singles a piece to drive-in a combined four runs, as the D'backs defeated the Cubs 5-1 on Field #6, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.