Javier Assad

Reynolds, Fennell, and Durna Go Deep, Riley Thompson is Perfect, and Clarkin & Company Fan 16 at Diablo

Tyler Durna stroked a three-run HR and Ian Clarkin, Ryan Kellogg, Javier Assad, amd Scott Effross combined to strike out 16, leading the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) to a 4-2 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) an Field #3, and Luke Reynolds and Grant Fennell each belted a two-run HR, Christopher Morel singled, doubled, stole two bases, and scored two runs, Yonathan Perlaza drilled an RBI triple, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, and Riley Thompson hurled three perfect innings and combined with three other pitchers to toss a four-hit shutout, as the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Cubs) blanked the Burlington Bees (Angels Lo-A affiliate) 9-0 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Thursday afternoon at Diablo Stadium Fields in Tempe, AZ.  

The two Cubs affiliates combined to walk 15 times in the two games (ten by South Bend) and the SB-Cubs also stole seven bases.  

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. 

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

Jared Young Has Rake, Will Travel

Jared Young drilled an RBI double and a two-run HR, Cam Balego mashed a two-run HR, singled, walked, and scored three runs, Tyler Payne slugged a two-run HR and singled twice, and RHSP Javier Assad hurled five inings of one-run ball, leading the South Bend Cubs to a 6-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Field #5, and LHSP Jose Paulino tossed five innings of shutout ball and Carlos Penalver belted a solo HR to help the Tennessee Smokies whitewash the Iowa Cubs 3-0 on Field #6, in Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Saturday morning on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Jared Young has been the hottest hitter in Cubs Minor League Camp this month, leading all Cubs minor leaguers in home runs with four. He went 5-5 at Fitch Park versus Beloit yesterday (four singles and a double), and continued to rake today with the RBI double and two-run HR. He is a hitting-machine. (A natural second-baseman, Young has been playing 1B-2B-3B-LF at Minor League Camp to help increase his player-value going forward).   

RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng threw six innings (80 pitches) and allowed two runs on four hits (one HR) and a walk with five strikeouts for the I-Cubs on Field #6, in preparation for his Opening Day start next Thursday in Des Moines against Oklahoma City.

The Defensive Gem of the Game (on Field #6) was turned in by an unexpected source, one Stephen Bruno (normally an infielder, and not known for his defense). Bruno made a spectacular leaping catch over the top of the LF fence and pulled back a near-certain HR-ball off the bat of Jesse Hodges that left the other players and the coaches in near hysterics.
 
Yeiler Peguero had an interesting day, playing 3B for South Bend on Field #5 for six innings before carrying his bat and glove across the walkway to Field #6 and playing 2B for Tennessee for the final two innings of the Iowa-Tennessee game (the two games were played simultaneously and started and ended at about the same time). 

Several pitchers were inserted into the lineups on Field #6 so that they could practice bunting in game situations.  

Although the games were ostensibly Iowa vs Tennessee and Myrtle Beach vs South Bend, the Eugene/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad actually contributed the lion's share of the position-players (22 to be exact) to the two games, as a number of players from the four "full-season" squads got the day off. The main purpose of the games was to get innings for pitchers who were scheduled to throw in a game today (the Cactus League minor league season concluded yesterday, so intrasquad games are the only option right now), and to allow the starting pitchers to increase their pitch-counts to where they will need to be once the minor league regular-season begins next week.  

The Opening Day rosters for the four Cubs "full-season" affiliates should be announced within the next couple of days. Collectively the four teams are 17 over the Opening Day active roster limit, but most of the trimming will involve players going onto the 7-day DL and/or being assigned to  Extended Spring Training.