17-year old Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Hermosillo, Mexico - $850K signing bonus) drilled a pinch-hit walk-off RBI single into the right-centerfield alley on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the bottom of the 10th, as the AZL Cubs edged the AZL Mariners 8-7 in AZL action Thursday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
18-year old Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Tijuana, Mexico) belted a two-run HR, a two-run single, and a double, and drew a walk and Yohan Matos tripled, singled, and walked and scored the game-winning run in the 10th to aid the Cubs cause. (Zamudio leads the AZL Cubs in HR, RBI, and SLG).
The game featured a rare (for the AZL) bench-clearing skirmish at 2nd base in the bottom of the 7th inning. The bases were loaded with one out with the Cubs having already scored three times to take a 7-6 lead, when Ruben Reyes bounced into an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP. But Cubs baserunner Yohan Matos slid hard into Mariners SS Joseph Rosa while attempting to break-up the DP, and the two players came close to exchanging blows before other players pulled them apart. There was only one ejection resulting from the tete-a-tete, that being Mariners 1st base coach James Lofton. (Cubs Manager Carmelo Martinez was also ejected later in the game, but he got his while arguing balls & strikes in the bottom of the 9th).
The last three innings of the game were somewhat tense as both benches alternately chanted, yelled, and jeered with every pitch (VERY unusual for an AZL game, which normally has the ambience of a public library), and the Mariners bench erupted with loud cheers of joy after Joseph Rizzo (Mariners 2016 2nd round draft pick - Oakton HS - Vienna, VA) laced a game-tying RBI triple into the RF corner on an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the top of the 9th to drive-in Anthony Jimenez (who had reached base after being hit by a pitch with two outs and nobody on base). But the Cubs were not to be outdone, as the entire team mobbed Paredes (who struck out five times in five AB versus the Mariners Wednesday night in Peoria) between 1st & 2nd after he delivered his game-winning hit... just before it started to rain.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (AZL Cubs players only):
Luis Ayala tripled, walked twice. stole a base, and scored three runs, Jose Gonzalez belted a two-run triple, and Isaac Paredes smacked an RBI double for the AZL Cubs, and Kal Simmons singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another, Mark Karaviotis (2016 19th round draft pick - U. of Oregon) collected three singles and an RBI, and RHP Jhoan Duran hurled four innings of one-hit ball with five strikeouts for the AZL Diamondbacks, as the two teams played to a 4-4 tie in AZL mini-camp pre-season game action Friday evening on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Veteran RHRP Joe Nathan (on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL - April 2015 TJS) saw his first game action in 14 months, throwing a shutout inning (15 pitches) for the AZL Cubs (6-3, 1-3, 1B-CS). Nathan is eligible to be reinstated from the 60-day DL on July 16th, and barring a medical setback, he should be ready to join the Cubs bullpen by that date.
Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (on the AAA Iowa Cubs 7-day DL - April 2015 TJS) returned to action after being shut-down on May 10th while warming up for an EXST rehab appearance versus the Giants in Scottsdale, and he also threw a shutout inning (18 pitches) for the AZL Cubs (K, F-9, 1B-CS).
RHSP Tyler Wagner (on AAA Reno 7-day DL) got the start for the AZL Diamondbacks and worked three innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on three hits (a single, a double, and a triple) and a walk (and two WP).
RHRP Evan Marshall (also on AAA Reno 7-day DL) followed Wagner to the hill and tossed a 1-2-3 4th inning (5-3, 6-3, 4-3), before Duran came into the game and shut the AZL Cubs down (retiring the last eight men he faced in a row, five on punch-outs).
Besides Karaviotis at DH, LF Myles Babitt (2016 25th round pick - Cal State East Bay) and 2016 NDFA SS Adam Walton (U. of Illinois) were in the AZL Diamondbacks starting lineup. (The Diamondbacks have already signed 25 of their 40 2016 draft picks plus two NDFA, and nine of them have reported to Salt River Fields and the other 18 are on the active rosters at Hillsboro and Missoula). But a week after the draft, there are no Cubs 2016 draft picks (or NDFA) on the field at Riverview Park or at Eugene, and only one (7th round pick C Michael Cruz) has reportedly signed (and it isn't even official yet).
AZL Opening Day is this coming Monday (6/20), and RHP Erling Moreno will get the start for the AZL Cubs versus the AZL Brewers. It is supposed to be somewhere near 120 degrees in the Valley of the Sun over the next couple of days, so I'm expecting a hot time in the old ballpark Monday night.
Here is the abridged box score from Friday night's game (AZL Cubs players only), followed by the updated AZL Cubs roster:
Gerard Hernandez belted an RBI triple and an RBI single and scored two runs, Ramon Hernandez tripled twice, scored a run, and drove-in two more, and Jazz Chisholm drilled an RBI single and an RBI double, leading the Diamondbacks to an 11-6 victory over the Cubs on Field #1, and Wladimir Galindo singled and tripled, reached base on an HBP, and scored both Cub runs, as the Cubs and D'backs played to a 2-2 tie on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Jose Paniagua went 4-4 (all four hits were singles) and drove-in two runs and Isaac Paredes doubled, singled, walked, and scored a run for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1.
RHSP Pierce Johnson (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL since May 5th--retro to May 3rd--with a lat strain) got the start on Field #1 and did not fare well, allowing seven runs (five earned) on seven hits (including a triple and a double) and three walks in 3.1 IP (61 pitches). He did strike out five, however. One more EXST rehab start in which he pitches five innings and gets his pitch count up to 75-80, and Johnson should be ready to return to the I-Cubs starting rotation.
RHSP Jesus Castillo (one of two pitchers acquired from Arizona in the Tony Campana trade in February 2013) had a far better outing on Field #2 than did Johnson on Field #1, working five innings (71 pitches) and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits. He struck out four and did not issue any walks, although he did hit a batter. So Castillo becomes the first of the Eugene starters to go five innings (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, and Jose Paulino fell short earlier in the week, with Pedro Silverio and Manny Rondon yet to try). Castillo got through the first four innings on only 44 pitches while facing just ten batters, but he needed 27 pitches to get through the 5th (just barely), successfully working out of a runners at 2nd & 3rd and no outs jam (with Enrique de los Rios warmed-up & ready to go in the pen).
Here are the abridged box scores from the games (Cubs players only):
Jose Paniagua belted a solo home run, singled twice, walked, and scored three runs, Isaac Paredes doubled twice, singled, drove-in two runs, and scored three more, Marcus Mastrobuoni belted an RBI triple and a single, walked, and scored three runs, Yeiler Peguero drilled an RBI single and a two-run double, Vimael Machin collected three singles, a walk, and an RBI, Roberto Garcia ripped two doubles, scored a run, and drove-in another, and four pitchers combined to fan 17 opposing batters, helping the Cubs demolish the Brewers 15-4 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 (AKA "Paul Molitor Field") at the Maryvale Baseball Park Complex in Phoenix, AZ.
Nicolas Pierre (RBI triple), Gilbert Lara (RBI double), and Yeraldy Martinez (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run 3rd that gave the Brew Crew a short-lived 4-1 lead, before the Cubs scored the final 14 runs of the game.
Isaac Paredes rifled a two-run single into LF with two outs in the bottom of the 9th as the Cubs rallied to tie the Diamondbacks 2-2 on Field #4, and LHSP Jose Paulino and four relievers combined to toss a two-hit shutout as the Cubs blanked the D'backs 2-0 on Field #5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The 17-year old Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K bonus) is hitting 306/390/583 (7% BB-rate / 10% K-rate) in 13 games (41 PA), and leads the EXST Cubs in RBI with 14 (in just 13 games) and is second in HR with two (Jose Paniagua has four). He has made one error (it was a fielding error) in 13 games played at SS.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Ramon Hernandez doubled twice, singled, and scored a run and Luis Silverio belted a two-run triple and scored a run, leading the Diamondbacks to a 4-2 victory over the Cubs on Whirlwind Field. and RHSP Chester Pimentel hurled five innings of shutout ball and combined with two relievers on a four-hitter, as the D'backs edged the Cubs 2-1 on Jackrabbit Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Both games were called by mutual-consent after seven innings of play.
The Cubs have lost seven of their last ten Cactus League EXST games, and so their record now stands at 16-9-3 after a 13-2-3 start.
Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K bonus) provided the lone EXST Cub offensive highlight of the day, smacking a two-run HR high over the LF fence and into the parking lot (just missed hitting my ride) to put the Cubs on the board in the top of the 1st inning on Whirlwind Field. In eleven Cactus League EXST games (36 PA), Paredes is hitting 323/417/645 (11% K-rate), leads the team in RBI with twelve, and is second in HR with two (Jose Paniagua has hit three). Of the eleven Cubs 2015-16 IFA at Extended Spring Training, Paredes is the one who could skip AZL and go directly to Eugene. The one knock on Paredes is that he is definitely a below-average runner (especially for a middle-infielder), so I would not be surprised if he is moved to 3B at some point in the future.
The game on Whirlwind Field featured the somewhat unusual (at least for Extended Spring Training) "our former guy versus your former guy" match-up on the mound, as ex-Cub RHP Jeferson Mejia (sent to AZ in the Miguel Montero deal) started for the Diamondbacks, and ex-D'back Jesus Castillo (acquired by the Cubs in the Tony Campana trade) started for the Cubs. Mejia threw 3.2 IP, walked three, hit a batter, allowed two hits (including the two-run HR to Paredes in the first), and struck out two, with a 3/6 GO/AO, and Castillo surrendered four runs in three innings on four hits (two singles and two triples) and two WP, striking out two with a 3/4 GO/AO.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K signing bonus) drilled an RBI single and an RBI double, Kelly Dugan singled, doubled, walked, and scored a run, and LHSP Jose Paulino tossed three innings of perfect baseball (24 pitches - 83% strikes - 6/1 GO/AO) for the Cubs, and Scott Burcham singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Rockies, as the two teams played to a 3-3 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action this morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Shane Victorino (calf strain rehab) played LF for six innings and went 0-3 (K, L-7, E-1) at the plate. I don't know how much longer he will be down here, but he is about as ripe as a rehabber can get, and has been for several days now. Hang loose, bruddah.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K bonus) tripled, stole a base, scored two runs, and drove-in two more, Vimael Machin (Cubs 2015 10th round draft pick - VCU) knocked-in two runs with an RBI single and a sacrifice fly, and LHP Manny Rondon (acquired from LAA for C-1B Rafael Lopez last July) tossed three perfect innings with five strikeouts, leading the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Giants in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action this morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
The Cubs stole six bases in the game.
Ben Turner and John Riley drilled consecutive two-out RBI singles to highlight a two-run first inning for the Giants.
RHSP Duane Underwood got the start for the Cubs and worked five innings (62 pitches - 43 strikes), allowing the two first-inning runs mentioned above, five hits (a double and four singles), no walks, four strikeouts (all four swinging), and 5/4 GO/AO, and he retired ten of the last eleven men he faced.
Shane Victorino (calf strain rehab) played LF for seven innings and went 0-3 (5-3, L-5 DP, F-9).
John Arguello has game notes at Cubs Den.
And here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
Dylan Cease struck out six in two innings and combined with five other Cubs pitchers to fan 17 batters, Jose Paniagua belted a three-run home run and a triple, Isaac Paredes slammed a solo home run and walked twice, Yohan Matos drilled an RBI double, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, and Adonis Paula hammered a two-run HR, helping Eugene/Mesa (the Cubs Extended Spring Training group) to a 9-3 victory over the Langley Blaze in Minor League Camp game action Tuesday morning on Field #3 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The game was extended an extra inning to allow all the Cubs pitchers who were scheduled to throw to get their work.
A member of the British Columbia Premier Baseball League (BCPBL), the 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 is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):