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40 players are on the MLB RESERVE LIST (roster is full) 

Last updated 2-6-2024
 
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PITCHERS: 22
Yency Almonte
Adbert Alzolay 
Michael Arias
Javier Assad
Ben Brown
Jose Cuas
Kyle Hendricks
Porter Hodge
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Caleb Kilian
Mark Leiter Jr
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Julian Merryweather
Hector Neris 
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Jameson Taillon
Keegan Thompson
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Miguel Amaya
Yan Gomes

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Nick Madrigal
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Christopher Morel
Dansby Swanson
Luis Vazquez
Patrick Wisdom

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Kevin Alcantara
Alexander Canario
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Brennen Davis
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Seiya Suzuki
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Javier Baez Leaves Team Japan Lost In Translation

Javier Baez homered in consecutive at bats, crushing a solo home run in the 7th and a walk-off two-run bomb in the 9th, helping to rally the Cubs to a 7-5 victory over Team Japan this afternoon at Dwight Patterson Field at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Team Japan is in Phoenix preparing for the World Baseball Classic Championship Round that will be played in San Francisco next week.

box score

The Cubs scored first, plating three runs in the bottom of the 1st inning against Team Japan lefty junkballer Tetsuya Utsumi.

Javier Baez worked a one-out walk on a 3-2 pitch, and advanced to third base on a Welington Castillo ground-rule (book rule) double that bounced off the right-centerfield warning track and over the fence. Alfonso Soriano lofted a sacrifice fly to right-center to score Baez, and Dave Sappelt drove-in Castillo with a rocket two-out double down the line and into the LF corner. Josh Vitters then ripped an RBI line-drive single to center to score Sappelt.

But Team Japan came back against Cub starter LHP Travis Wood, scoring two runs in the top of the 2nd inning and three more in the 3rd. 

Sho Nakata hammered a two-run HR over the LF fence with one out in the 2nd, and then after Kazuo Matsui reached base on a Javier Baez E-6 throwing error to open the 3rd, Shinnosuke Abe clubbed an RBI double into the left-center alley (Abe had two rope-doubles in the game), and Hayato Sakamoto followed with a monster two-run homer that hugged the LF foul line and  landed in the parking lot.   

Wood threw 4.2 IP (78 pitches - 53 strikes, 4/5 GO/FO), allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits (four singles, a double, and two HR), but he did throw strikes and did not issue any walks, and he struck out four (three swinging). He also picked a runner of 1st base.

Cory Wade relieved Wood and got four outs (the last out in the 5th and all three outs in 6th), doing it on just eight pitches (seven strikes). Wade has been ultra-efficient in his Cactus League outings, making it look ridiculously easy at times (F-8, K, 1B, 6-4-3 DP today).  

Rafael Dolis followed Wade and threw a nine-pitch 1-2-3 7th (F-8, 6-3, 3-U), and Casey Coleman worked a scoreless 8th (allowing a one-out double). 

While the Cub bullpen was throwing goose-eggs at Team Japan, the Cubs offense began to claw its way back from a 5-3 deficit.

Javier Baez hit his first home run (a solo moonshot bomb over the LF scoreboard and into the parking lot) off LHP Kenji Otanari with one out in the 7th. Then Dave Sappelt led off the bottom of the 8th with an infield single (his third hit of the game), and after Rubi Silva laid down a sacrifice bunt and Jorge Soler popped out, Dan Vogelbach lined an opposite-field two-out RBI single to left to score Sappelt from 2nd base with the tying run (terrible throw by the Team Japan LF, which allowed Vogelbach to take 2nd base). Alberto Gonzalez followed the Vogelbach RBI hit with an opposite-field line-drive single to right, but Vogelbach was thrown out 9-2 trying to score the go-ahead run from 2nd.  

RHP Jensen Lewis entered the game for the Cubs in the top of the 9th, and Team Japan parlayed a couple of singles to put runners at 1st & 3rd with only one out. But Jensen induced two ground outs (the first one a FC where the potential go-ahead run was thrown out at the plate by third-baseman Christian Villanueva) to get out of the inning unscathed, although he did labor a bit (18 pitches - only 10 strikes).

With the score tied 5-5 and one out in the bottom of the 9th, Christian Villanueva smacked a double into the left-center gap off RHP Takeru Imamura, and that set-up Javier Baez to be the hero, as the youngster displayed his incredible bat speed by drilling a two-run line-drive walk-off HR over the left-centerfield fence to give the Cubs the hard-fought victory. (You know it's an unusually hard-hit line-drive HR when the hitter shakes hands with his 1st base coach AND the opposing team's third-baseman shakes the hitter's hand while he's circling the bases).

New Cubs RHRP Kyuji Fujikawa delivered the Cubs lineup to home plate prior to the game, and had a good time interacting with some of the Japanese players and coaches. There were lots & lots of photos taken of the scene (including Fujikawa posing with the Team Japan manager and the umpires) by the dozens of Japanese photographers at the game.    

A musician dressed in traditional Japanese warrior garb serenaded the crowd on the third-base side of the field (where Team Japan's bench and most of the Japanese fans were located), beating a Tzusami drum and playing a Hayashi flute throughout the game (Team Japan's version of Ronnie Woo Woo). I think my headache is almost gone.

 

Comments

CarrieMuskat: #CubsJavier Baez told Welington Castillo, who was on deck: "You're not hitting" and then hit walkoff 2R HR for win over Japan

Side notes (baseball and not), as I wanted to post something somewhere: - This Japanese team isn't that good. Yet ... right now, they might win the WBC again. If former Cubs farmhand Hung-Wen Chen gets one more strike against them, they would've been in the losers bracket in round 2, going up against a Cuba team that smashed them. Of course, that didn't happen, but it's a team that doesn't have a ton of power, and has a bunch of soft-tossers on the back-end of the pen. Tanaka is supposed to be the big arm, but out of the pen, he looked ... beatable. - I haven't really been paying attention to football, but boy this Elvis Dumervil situation is funny ... and shady. Sure feels (to me) like the agent pulled a fast one on them, either hoping they kept him at 12 mil, or believing that he could get more than 8 mil on the open market (considering what Avril got, I wouldn't be so certain). As a side note to a side note, I really like the Bears off-season so far, but a lot of resources invested in the offense. I really like Lance Louis, but sure feels like he's gone. Draft feels like it could have a defensive focus (LB, CB).

Recent comments

  • crunch (view)

    it looks like rich hill may not find a 2024 contract even though he wanted to pitch in 2024.

    being a guy turning 44 during spring training coming off a bad season isn't a good look if you don't have a contract by the time spring games start.

    he's played 19 seasons for 13 teams.  his 337.2ip for the cubs is his 2nd highest for any team (361.1ip for the dodgers).  he's the last man standing still playing out of the 2005 cubs crew.  geo soto last played in 2017.

  • crunch (view)

    SD fans are just trying to concentrate on yuki matsui right now.  the rest was terrible all-around.

    matsui K'd 3 with 12 pitches, 1 of them gavin lux.

  • Cubster (view)

    Pads gave up 14 runs using 11 pitchers. 3 pitchers gave up all 14 runs during their ***checks notes*** 0.1 IP. Yep, spring training.

    Only thing missing was a position player pitching.

  • crunch (view)

    boras is holding onto 4 "top level" FAs and ST games have officially begun.  montgomery, snell, chapman, and bellinger.

    there seems to be a bunch of teams not willing to blink, but there also seems to be a slew of teams willing to snap up any of these dudes if the price is right.

    at some point it may pivot to front-loaded deals with very early (and probably multiple) opt-outs.

    it's still "cubs advantage" on bellinger because there's a QO hanging over him and none of the teams with money are in heavy need of a CF or 1st.

  • crunch (view)

    ahhh...spring baseball.  put that shit right in my veins.  

    the dodgers are up 8-0 after 2 innings.  joe musgrove pitched to 4 batters and didn't retire any of them...all 4 scored.

    cubs tomorrow afternoon.

  • videographer (view)

    Here is an interesting thought about Boras's negotiation strategy:   Going into the off-season, Boras knew MLB GMs were not convinced of Bellinger's success enough to offer a long-term and large AVV contract.  His strategy was to convince the one team that experienced Bellinger's success that a market was there to take away a beloved player and make the Cubs bid against themselves.  So far, that has not worked and Boras has to scramble to not be embarrassed by a contract much lower than promised. 

    The question is:   What is a scenario in which Boras and Bellinger look good signing a bad contract?  Until that plays out, I suspect Bellinger could go into the season without being signed. 

  • crunch (view)

    it's pretty damn stupid.  don't they realize how much stadium-adjacent real estate they could buy for 77m?

    no one cares about baseball talent on the field, it's all about the baseball experience around the field!

    YOU HAVE TO 'C' IT (tm)

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Could be Boras smoke. Could be a team trying to actually improve and win.

  • Childersb3 (view)

    Chicago radio reports that the Yankees are "going after" Snell and Belli.
    They've already made an offer for Snell.
    They want Bellinger for CF if Judge's foot isn't right and at 1B if Rizzo starts to fall off.
    Verdugo/Stanton in LF
    Bellinger/Judge in CF
    Soto/Stanton in RF
    Rizzo/Bellinger at 1B
    Any of them at DH
    That means one of those five guys isn't in the lineup every game.
    If everyone were healthy, I'd imagine Rizzo would be traded eventually.
    Boras' dream scenario right there !!!

  • Dolorous Jon Lester (view)

    Pirates extend Mitch Keller for 5 years 77 mil. Wow extending your best pitchers for 5 years? What are they, stupid or something?!

    Note: sarcasm