Jake Slaughter

D'backs Black Blank the Cubs at Sloan Park

Deivi Estrada belted a solo HR, Luis Rubio singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Jose Fernandez singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another, Grayson Greiner drilled a single and a double, and Sean Poppen, Ricardo Yan, and Miguel Gil combined to toss a four-hit shutout with nine strikeouts, as the Diamondbacks Black squad blanked the Cubs 4-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a seven inning affair.  

EXST Cubs top pitching prospect RHP Michael Arias (ex-SS) got the start for the Cubs, but had to leave the game after recording only one out when he suffered a lower body injury while covering home plate after a bases-loaded wild pitch. He also had a blister issue earlier in the inning, which may be why his usual upper 90's FB velo was down a couple of clicks (94-97 MPH instead of 96-99).      

RHP Dakota Mekkes (on AAA Iowa 7-day IL) made his first game appearance of the season, working 2.1 IP (30 pitches - 18 strikes) in relief. He allowed a run on two hits (the Estrada HR and the Greiner double), walked one, and struck out three (all swinging). He  displayed his usual 89-92 MPH FB, 85-88 CH, and 76-79 MPH CV in the game, had decent command of all of his pitches, and threw 60% strikes. Mekkes will be an MLB Rule 9 minor league 6YFA post-2022 if he isn't added to an MLB Reserve List (40-man roster) or signs a 2023 minor league successor contract. He would appear to profile as a "once-through-the order / multi-inning" reliever at this point, and that's exactly how he was used in the game today.  

The best EXST Cub pitching performance of the day was by RHRP Angel Gonzalez, who mixed his high velo 96-98 MPH FB with a 86-87 MPH SL  - AND - with much better FB command than seen previously. His FB velo and command seem to be better when he can focus on throwing just one inning, instead of working two innings as he sometimes has been used in EXST games. Known as "Angel Gonzalez-Martinez" when he was signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old NDFA out of Puerto Rico in 2020, he now just goes by the name Angel Gonzalez. If he can command his hard stuff going forward and stay healthy, he will move quickly through the system, with a ceiling of a high-leverage one-inning reliever.   

In EXST roster news, INF Jake Slaughter has been moved-up to Hi-A South Bend. He was left behind in Mesa when the four full season affiliates left town last month and appeared to be a potential release candidate sooner rather than later, but he didn't pout, and has hit the ball very well while providing stellar defense at 3rd base in Cactus League EXST games over the past three weeks. If anybody "deserved" another chance, it was Jake Slaughter.   

Also, LHRP Wyatt Short has been assigned to AA Tennessee. Like Jake Slaughter, Short was left behind at EXST when the four Cubs full-season affiliates left town last month.Short is scheduled to be an MLB Rule 9 minor leaguer 6YFA post-2022. 

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

Cubs Tie D'backs Red Squad at Salt River Fields

Cristian More hammered a solo HR and Jake Slaughter rapped an RBI double and a single and scored a run for the Cubs, and SP Jose Cabrera hurled three innngs of one-run ball for the Diamondbacks "Red" squad, as the two teams played to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

Cubs pitchers issued 11 walks (seven by SP Marino Santy), hit a batter, committed a balk, and uncorked four wild pitches. 

The game was called after six innings of play. 

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

Roederer Unloads Again at Sloan Park

Cole Roederer clobbered a solo HR, Jake Slaughter laced a double and a single, drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a run, and SP Marino Santy hurled three innings of one-run ball and combined with six relievers on a one-hitter, as the Cubs defeated the Athletics 4-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Friday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Roederer's bomb was his second in two days, and this one landed half-way up the right-centerfield berm.    

Three more Cubs pitchers who spent the 2021 season in the DSL made their stateside game debut in the game. 

The A's lone hit was an Jose Escorche double that led-off the game. Escorche then took third on an F-8 and scored on a 5-3 GO. The only other baserunner reached via a walk with one out in the 7th inning, and that runner was erased on a spectacular inning ending 6-4-3 DP started by SS Josue Huma, who made a no look / back-flip to 2nd basseman Carlos Sepuveda, who then completed the turn with a solid throw to 1st base.   

Although they only fanned four, Cubs pitchers collectively recorded 16 ground ball outs in the game. 

Marino Santy was dominiant in his three innings, allowing just the one hit and the one run, while issuing no walks and striking out three. The little lefty has a true starting pitcher's repertoire, featuring a 93-96 MPH FB, an 84-85 MPH CH, and a 78-81 MPH CV that he mixes with good effect.

Not counting pitchers at EXST for rehab & conditioning, Santy is the Cubs top LHSP prospect at EXST. He and RHSP Michael Arias should provide the ACL Cubs with a formidable 1-2 SP punch once the ACL season starts in June. Santy and Arias were two of the four DSL Cubs pitchers who were brought up to Minor League Camp in March and made their stateside debuts in Minor League Spring Training games prior to the start of EXST (the other two were RHPs Kenyi Perez and Joel Sierra, and like Santy and Arias, K. Perez is being primed to be a SP).     

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

Cubs Pitching Causes Offensive Black Out at Salt River Fields

Brayan Altuve laced three singles, scored two runs, and drove-in another, Christian Olivo drilled an RBI double and a single, Jake Slaughter belted a solo HR, and Luke Farrell and four relievers combined to toss a two-hit shutout with 16 strikeouts, as the Cubs blanked the Diamondbacks Black squad 6-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

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

Cubs Use Slaughter Rule to Tie Snappers at Riverview

Nelson Velazquez laced an RBI double and a single and Jake Slaughter belted a game-tying two-run double as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) rallied to tie the Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics Lo-A affiliate) 4-4 on Field #5, and Jeremy Eierman collected four RBI (by way of a two-run double and a two-run single), Lizaro Armenteros clubbed a solo HR, and RHSP Brady Feigl hurled three innings of one-run ball and combined with four relievers on a five-hitter with nine strikeouts, helping the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) cruise past the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 7-1 on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Friday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

As is typical for Cubs Minor League Spring Training games, several players assigned to the bloated South Bend roster were moved-up to higher levels for the day. 

And MLB NRI catcher Francisco Arcia wandered into the backfields in about the 4th inning and was invited to be a DH in the South Bend game. He went 1-2 with a double into the right-centerfield alley and an F-9 (near-HR) to the warning track. 

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