The Amazing Criswell (from Plan 9 from Outer Space): Greetings, my friend. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future. You are interested in the unknown... the mysterious. The unexplainable. That is why you are here. And now, for the first time, we are bringing to you, the full story of what happened on that fateful day. We are bringing you all the evidence, based only on the secret testimony, of the miserable souls, who survived this terrifying ordeal. The incidents, the places. My friend, we cannot keep this a secret any longer. Let us punish the guilty. Let us reward the innocent. My friend, can your heart stand the shocking facts...
Lewis Brinson and Kellin Deglan hammered two-run doubles and nine pitchers (including six of their Top 10 pitching prospects--Alex "Chi Chi" Gonzalez, Andrew Faulkner, Jake Thompson, Luke Jackson, Luis Ortiz, and Jose LeClerc) combined to toss a five-hitter with 13 strikeouts, helping the Rangers Prospects defeat the Cubs Prospects 5-1 in the 2015 Cubs-Rangers Spring Training Futures Game played Monday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
Apparently the Cubs didn't get ALL of the Rangers best prospects in trades over the past three years (at least not yet), because they obviously have a few left in their system (and Rangers #1 prospect Joey Gallo didn't even play in the game).
Willson Contreras knocked-in the lone Cub run with an RBI double, but probably the best overall performance by a Cub position player was turned-in by 2014 #1 draft pick catcher Kyle Schwarber, who walked in both of his At Bats (both times on 3-2 pitches), and also helped Corey Black get out of jams in two different innings by throwing out Ranger baserunners trying to steal (one at 2nd and one at 3rd).
And the best Cub pitching performance was by #1 pitching prospect C. J. Edwards (acquired from the Rangers in the Mattt Garza trade back in 2013), who retired all six men he faced (K, L-4, K, 4-3, F-9, K - all strikeouts were swinging).
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only)
Jake Hannemann ripped an RBI triple and a single, walked, and scored a run, and Jeimer Candelario stroked a single and a solo home run and drove-in another run with a 3-1 GO, leading the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) to a 6-4 victory over the Mobile BayBears (Arizona Diamondbacks AA affiliate) on Field #5, and Justin Marks tossed four shutout innings with six strikeouts, and Danny Worth and Peter O'Brien blasted solo home runs, as the Reno Aces (D'backs AAA affiliate) rallied to edge the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 5-4 on Field #6, in Cactus League minor league game action this afternoon at Mesa Cubtown at Riverview Park.
Brandon Drury belted an RBI double and a two-run inside-the-park HR for Mobile in a losing cause.
In Cubs Spring Training roster news, NRI catcher (and 2014 #1 draft pick) Kyle Schwarber has been sent to Minor League Camp. He has been initially assigned to the Iowa squad (subject to change) and in fact was in the I-Cubs starting lineup as a DH this afternoon (he went 2-4 with two singles).
Also, Cubs 2012 5th round draft pick LHP Anthony Prieto (Americas HS - El Paso, TX) has retired. The 21-year old Prieto underwent Tommy John Surgery last season, and he was far enough along in his rehab that he was able to throw an inning against the Ontario Nationals (Canadian amateur team) this past Monday. But he needed 29 pitches to get through the inning, throwing more balls than strikes and walking the bases loaded, before evenually retiring the side.
Prieto is the second Cub draft pick from the 2012 class to retire in the last couple of months, with 2012 6th round pick RHP Trey Lang (Gateway CC) having retired prior to the start of Minor League Camp. Lang had major command issues throughout his pro career and had been unable to escape Extended Spring Training and short-season ball.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played today at Riverview Park (Cubs players only):
Kyle Schwarber ripped a double and an RBI single and scored a run, Charlie White belted an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, and Mark Zagunis singled twice, scored a run, drove-in another, and stole a base, in a seven-inning AZ Instructional League Cubs intrasquad game played this morning on Field #1 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Trevor Clifton and three relievers combined to toss a three-hit shut out, as Team Johnson blanked Team Gonzalez 7-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the "Cubs World Series."
For some reason, Cubs coaches wanted Scott Frazier to face only LH hitters in his one inning of work, so the lineup was adjusted to accomodate the plan. Frazier has what some in the Cub organization believe to be the best pure stuff in the system, but the big right-hander from Pepperdine has struggled to throw strikes going all the way back to Minor League Camp in March. The Cubs have tried almost everything to try and fix the problem, with facing only LH hitters being the latest attempt.
Here is the box score from today's game:
Kyle Schwarber singled, doubled, and scored a run, Mark Zagunis ripped an RBI double and scored and drove-in another run with a sacrifice fly, and Charcer Burks singled twice and walked, in a seven-inning AZ Instructional League Cubs intrasquad game played this morning on Field #1 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
The contest was game one in a five game intrasquad "Cubs World Series" to be played at Riverview Park this week, between the "Northside Rooftops" and the "Wrigley Field Ivy," each team chosen by draft by the two managers (Jimmy Gonzalez and Mark Johnson). Team Johnson won today's game by a score of 3-1.
Gioskar Amaya got the start at catcher for Team Gonzalez, and handled himself well behind the plate for the four innings he spent there. (Amaya is in the Catcher Conversion Program at Instructs). He then moved to 3rd base for the final three innings and made the defensive play of the game, a run-saving stop & throw to end the top of the 5th. Amaya had a fine day offensively, too, with a line-drive double into the LF corner, a walk, and a stolen base.
Kevin Encarnacion played RF for Team Johnson, his first game action since suffering a near career-ending shoulder injury and 3rd degree burns in a car crash in the Dominican Republic last December. He (understandably) looked rusty both in the field and at the plate, committing an error on a ground single to right (he bobbled the ball, allowing a baserunner to advance from 2nd to 3rd), and he went 0-3 at the plate with two strikeouts (both swinging) and a weak infield pop out. Probably because of the injuries he sustained in the car crash, Encarnacion is now hitting only left-handed (he previously had been a switch-hitter). In his one AB batting LH against a LH pitcher (Jordan Minch), Encarnacion struck out on three pitches.
The Cubs are not playing games against other MLB organizations at Instructs this year, instead opting to spend more time on morning field instruction & afternoon classroom training. Players attending Instructs are also spending some of their off hours researching the history of the Cubs, and presenting the information they learn to the the other players.
Most of the Cub brass are in attendance at Instructs this week, including Team President Theo Epstein, Executive VP & GM Jed Hoyer, and Senior VP & Scoutng/Player Development Director Jason McLeod.
Here is the box score from today's game: