Erick Leal

Nic, Bug, and Mac Are a Rockie Concoction for Cubs at Riverview

Nic Motley doubled twice, walked, and collected two RBI, Tyler Bugner singled twice, stole two bases, and scored twice, and RHSP Pearson McMahan hurled five innings of two-hit/one-run ball (retiring the first nine men and the last six men he faced), helping the Rockies edge the Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Luis Hidalgo smacked a three-run HR, Luis Vazquez drilled a single and an RBI double and scored a run, Reivaj Garcia singled, doubled, and scored a run, and Yovanny Cuevas belted an RBI triple and drove-in another run with an RBI GO for the Cubs in a losing cause. 

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning affair, but was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Rockies pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

Prior to the game, LHSP Justin Steele (July 2017 TJS) threw "live" BP (two innings - 35 pitches) on Field #4 and it went very well (FB velo good and flashed a plus-CH). Next step is three innings (45 pitches), and then he will begin to throw a breaking ball.  

In EXST Cubs roster news, RHSP Erick Leal (missed 2017 season with a non-TJS elbow injury) has completed his rehab and has rejoined Myrtle Beach, replacing RHRP Elvis Diaz on the Pelicans roster (E. Diaz was released). In addition, RHP Kyle Miller (Cubs 2015 19th round draft pick - Florida Atlantic) has been released from Extended Spring Training. (K. Miller had a lot of difficulty throwing strikes at Minor League Camp and was left behind in Mesa to work on his mechanics when Myrtle Beach departed Arizona at the end of March, but he was unable to overcome the problem). 

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

Dunderwood Just Plain Dealin' at Riverview Park

Iowa Cubs RHSP Duane Underwood Jr hurled 6.2 IP of two-hit shutout baseball, Henderson Perez belted a two-run HR, and Christopher Morel smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Wednesday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The Morel HR was hit halfway to Scottsdale.

The game was pre-planned as an eleven-inning affair so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.

So it looks like Underwood is ready for his first start with the I-Cubs (probably next Tuesday).

LHRP Kyle Ryan (who was an NRI to MLB Spring Training) followed Underwood to the mound and retired seven of the eight men he faced. (K. Ryan was assigned to Extended Spring Training to get work and stay ready in case he is needed at Iowa).  

LHP Manuel Rondon and RHP Erick Leal also threw in the game (this was the second game appearance for both of them after spending most of Minor League Camp in the Rehab Throwing Program).
 
Here is the box score from the game:

Pelicans Fly the Coop While Bote Bomb Leaves Smokies in the Dark

David Bote (solo HR), Christopher Morel (RBI double), Fernando Kelli (RBI single), and Luis Vazquez (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits and LHP Bryan Hudson hurled 4.2 IP of one-run ball, leading the Iowa Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the Tennessee Smokies in Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Sunday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

Kevin Zamudio (RBI double) and Joe Martarano (RBI single) drove-in the two Tennessee runs.   

Iowa relievers Randy Rosario, Rob Zastryzny, and Daury Torrez (combined) retired nine in a row.   

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans left town today, so the South Bend Cubs had a full workout (baserunning drills, fielding practice, and BP) on Field #3 but did not play a game. As a result, Myrtle Beach LHSP Bryan Hudson (who remained behind in Mesa) and South Bend RHSP Erich Uelmen pitched the latter innings of the Iowa-Tennessee game, which was extended an extra inning so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work.   

Also, two pitchers who have been in the Rehab Throwing Program (RHP Erick Leal and LHP Manuel Rondon) got some work in the game as well. (Leal hadn't piched in a game since 2016).

The game was really two different games, because position players from the Eugene/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad replaced the Iowa and Tennessee position players after each of the I-Cubs and Smokies starters got two AB. (Christopher Morel -- who began the game as the Iowa DH and then moved to 3B in the 5th -- was the only player to play the entire game). So Uelmen faced the EXST Cubs rather than AAA hitters during his five innings of work, while Hudson faced the AA starting lineup first time through the order and then EXST guys the next time.    
 
Here is the box score from the game:

Pelicans Brief South Bend on Way to Succeed in Intrasquad Business

Shawon Dunston Jr stroked an RBI double, reached base on a bunt single, and scored two runs, Trey Martin clubbed an RBI triple, stole two bases, and scored two runs, and Gioskar Amaya reached base three times on two walks and a single, helping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to an 8-5 victory over the South Bend Cubs in Minor League Camp intrasquad action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Frandy de la Rosa roped a triple and an RBI single and scored a run for South Bend in a losing cause. 

Four pitchers threw in the game, with two starting pitchers "piggy-backing" for each squad. Of the four, Erick Leal had the worst outing, allowing five runs on eight hits (including two doubles and a triple) and a walk (plus a throwing error and a wild pitch) in just 3.2 IP.  

The game was called with one out in the top of the 8th inning.

Here is the abridged box score from the game:  

Deep-Fried Snakes on Cubs Brunch Menu at Riverview Park

Alberto Mineo (a double and a run scored), Oliver Zapata (an RBI triple and a run scored), Jesse Hodges (an RBI double and a run scored), Kevin Brown (an RBI single and a run scored), and Rashad Crawford (RBI triple) sparked the Cubs to a four-run 2nd inning, Jeffrey Baez belted an RBI triple and a double and scored two runs, and Erick Leal threw five innings of one-run ball, as the Cubs hammered the Diamondbacks 8-2 on Field #5, and Trey Masek and four relievers combined to toss a six-hit shutout and Gleyber Torres singled twice, walked, and drove-in the game's only run, as the Cubs whitewashed the D'backs 1-0 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.     

In EXST Cubs roster news, RF Eloy Jimenez has been assigned to the DSL Cubs. 

The 17-year old Jimenez (last year's top-rated July 2 international free-agent) hit 238/270/357 in 24 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (89 PA), with 4/22 BB/K. one HR, five doubles, a triple, and a team-leading 16 RBI. He had a sore arm in Minor League Camp that limited him to DH duty-only until mid-April, and even then he only started eight EXST games in RF. No question his defense needs a lot of work.

But Jimenez caught fire at the plate on May 14th, hitting 360/385/640 over his final seven games (26 PA). He hit his only Cactus League EXST home run in what turned out to be his last EXST game (versus the Angels in Tempe this past Tuesday), when he drove-in four runs with a three-run HR and an RBI single.   

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

Giant Relentless Attack Too Much for Cubs to Overcome

Shilo McCall drilled a two-run single and a solo home run and scored twice, Jonah Arenado ripped an RBI single and two doubles and scored a run, Carlos Valdez singled twice, doubled, and scored three runs, Tyler Hollick smacked an RBI double, singled, walked, and scored a run, Julio Pena doubled twice and singled, and John Riley hammered a solo HR, as the Giants pounded out 19 hits (including seven doubles and two home runs) en route to a 10-5 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Memorial Day action on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.   

Jeffrey Baez and Varonex Cuevas belted solo home runs for the Cubs.

The EXST Cubs hit only three HR over their first 37 Cactus League games, but they have hit nine HR over their last nine Cactus League Extended Spring Training games.

2014 EXST CUBS HOME RUNS (thru 5/26 - 46 games): 12
Jeffrey Baez - 2
Erick Castillo - 2
Rashad Crawford - 2
Varonex Cuevas - 2
Tyler Alamo - 1
Zak Blair - 1
Kevin Brown - 1
Rony Rodriguez - 1 

RHRP Kyuji Fujikawa (on Cubs MLB 60-day DL - 2013 TJS rehab) started the game for the Cubs and threw a 14-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning (F-8, 6-3, K-looking). Fujikawa has thrown three times in the last six days, working one inning each time (40 pitches total - 23 strikes - 58% K), and he has retired all nine men he has faced in those 3.0 IP (4-3, F-9, P-3, K, F-8, 3-1, F-8, 6-3, K).  

RHP Erick Leal had his second consecutive poor outing, allowing seven runs (all earned) on 11 hits (including four doubles and two HR) and a walk in 5.0 IP (71 pitches). Over his last two games (8.0 IP - 141 pitches) Leal has allowed 13 runs (12 ER), 15 hits, and five walks.

A's Extra Bases Too Much for Cubs to Overcome at Riverview Park

Christhian Perez tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball in relief, Robert Martinez hammered an RBI triple and a double and scored a run, Chris Wolfe drilled two RBI singles, and Brett Vertigan smacked a solo home run, leading the Athletics to a 5-2 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Rashad Crawford belted an RBI triple and a single, stole a base, and scored a run for the Cubs in a losing cause.

RHPs Trevor Graham and Erick Leal "piggy-backed" for the Cubs and threw a combined 7.2 IP, allowing all five runs (four earned), 10 hits (including two doubles, two triples, and a home run), and two walks, with nine strikeouts. 

The way things are playing out so far at EXST, it appears very likely that Graham and Leal will form 2/5 of the Boise starting rotation when the NWL season commences next month, with LHP Tyler Ihrig and RHPs Trevor Clifton and Zak Hermans being other 3/5 (at least until one or two of the better college pitchers selected by the Cubs in next month's First-Year Player Draft get stretched-out to start). 

The Cubs have now lost six straight Cactus League EXST games, and after thirty games (halfway through the Cactus League Extended Spring Training schedule), the Cubs record stands at 11-18-1. 

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

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