Luis Ayala

Giants Orange Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Cubs Expense

Cody Brickhouse and John Polonius drilled back-to-back RBI doubles to spark a four-run 4th inning and Robinson Medrano belted a solo HR in the 6th, leading the Giants orange squad to a 6-3 victory over the Cubs in Cinco de Mayo Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Field #2 (AKA "Jim Davenpost Field") at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ. 

Luis Ayala tripled, singled, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Fernando Kelli drove-in Ayala with a sacrifice fly in the top of the 1st, laced a two-run inside-the-park HR into the right-centerfield gap in the 3rd (he did a face-burger pratfall rounding 3rd base but still scored standing-up anyway), and singled and stole a base in the 6th, to provide what there was of Cub offense. 

In EXST Cubs medical news, RHRP Chad Hockin (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL with a right elbow sprain) underwent TJS earlier this week and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season while rehabbing at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa. Hockin is the second Cubs pitcher to undergo TJS in the last month (AZL Cubs LHRP Pablo Ochoa was the other one). 

Hockin was the Cubs 6th round draft pick (Cal State - Fullerton) in 2016, and he is the brother of Cleveland Indians minor league RHP Grant Hockin. And the Hockin brothers are the grandsons of Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew.  

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

Team Banks Rallies to Edge Team Santo at Riverview

Fernando Kelli laced a game-tying two-run triple into the right-centerfield alley and Luis Ayala followed with a line-drive walk-off RBI single to right that plated Kelli with the winning run, as Team Banks rallied for three runs in the bottom of the 8th and edged Team Santo 5-4 in Cubs Arizona Instructional League intrasquad game action Saturday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

The game was pre-planned as an eight-inning affair. 

RHSP Alfredo Colorado tossed three innings of one-hit shutout ball (7/2 GO/AO) for Team Santo, and Miguel Amaya tripled, singled, and scored the tying run for Team Banks. 

Cubs minor league C-INF Ben Carhart (Cubs 2012 35th round draft pick - Stetson University) has joined the instructs coaching staff, so he may be filing retirement papers (as a player) in the near future. The 26-year old Carhart has spent five seasons in the Cubs organization as a player, and has seen action at five levels, playing five different positions (3B-1B-2B-C-RHP) and hitting a combined 270/329/382 in 372 games (1518 PA), He went through the catcher conversion program in 2013-14.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

Thomas Hatch Perfect in Pro Game Debut at Riverview

Yeiler Peguero drilled a two-run double, singled twice, and scored a run, Luis Ayala ripped an RBI double, singled, walked, scored two runs, and threw out a runner at the plate, Wladimir Galindo belted a double and a triple and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and RHSP Thomas Hatch (Cubs 2016 3rd round pick making his pro game debut) hurled two perfect innings and combined with five relievers to toss a four-hitter, as Team Banks defeated Team Santo 6-1 in Cubs Arizona Instructional League intrasquad game action this morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after eight innings of play. 

Christian Villanueva (on Cubs MLB 60-day DL) played third base for Team Santo and went 0-2 with a walk. This was Villanueva's first game action since breaking his leg seven months ago in Spring Training. 

As was the case last year, the Cubs "basic" (traditional) instructs squad will not be playing AZIL league games against other organizations, but they will be playing several intrasquad games over the course of the next three weeks.  

Here is the box score from today's game: 

AZL Cubs Five-Run 8th Tops AZL Brewers at Riverview

18-year old power-hitting C-1B Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Tijuana, Mexico) slugged a two-run home run over the LF fence to put the Cubs on the scoreboard and speedy Luis Ayala belted a three-run inside-the-park home run into the right-centerfield alley two outs later, as the AZL Cubs rallied to score five runs in the bottom of the 8th and defeat the AZL Brewers 5-3 in Arizona League (AZL) Opening Day action Monday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

AZL Cubs LHP Yapson Gomez hurled three innings of perfect baseball in relief and picked-up the win. 

Ex-KC RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) pitched the first inning for the AZL Cubs (14 pitches - 10 strikes), allowing no runs and a single, with a strikeout and 1/1 GO/AO. 

19-year old RHP Erling Moreno (2013 IFA - Colombia - $650K signing bonus) was the scheduled starter for the AZL Cubs, but he ended-up piggy-backing the rehabber (Crow). Moreno worked five innings (77 pitches) and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits (five singles and a double), no walks, and an HBP, with three strikeouts and an 8/3 GO/AO.  

Brew Crew SP Nash Walters (Brewers 2015 3rd round pick - Lindale HS - Lindale, TX) threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts and Nicolas Pierre drove-in all three AZL Brewers runs with a third-inning sacrifice fly and a fifth-inning two-run double.  

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

Joe Nathan Back in Action at Riverview Park

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: 


Cubs, D'backs, and Giants Play Three-Way in Mesa

Kevin Zamudio slugged a solo hone run to put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 2nd, Luis Ayala belted a two-out two-run triple in the bottom of the 7th to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead, and Dylan Cease fired 4.2 IP (71 pitches) of one-hit ball with six strikeouts, as the Cubs rallied to edge the Diamondbacks 4-3 on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, and Zach Bowers blasted a solo HR, singled twice, reached base on an HBP, scored two runs, and drove-in two more, and SP Jeff Burke and five relievers combined to toss a five-hitter, leading the Giants to a 7-2 victory over the Cubs at Sloan Park, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Memorial Day split squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.  

Cease was cruising along about to complete five innings of shutout ball, but he hit a batter and walked the next two hitters on nine pitches with two outs in the top of the 5th, and then reliever Tommy Nance immediately gave up a two-run double that scored two inherited runners (both runs charged to Cease).  

Pedro Marquez drilled a two-run double, singled, and walked for the Diamondbacks in a losing cause in the game on Field #1. Ex-Cub RHP Jeferson Mejia (one of two pitchers sent to the Diamondbacks in the Miguel Montero trade in December 2014) was the starting pitcher for the D'backs and worked five innings, allowing two runs on three hits (including the Zamudio HR) and four walks, with two strikeouts, 1 GIDP, and 4/6 GO/AO,  

RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL since May 9th with right shoulder inflammation) and RHSP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL since Spring Training with right shoulder inflammation) worked in the game versus the Giants at Sloan Park. Both were hit fairly hard (Tseng surrendered four well-struck hits in 2.2 IP including three singles and a double plus a HBP, and Beeler gave-up four hits including the Bowers HR in just two innings of work). 

The game with Diamondbacks on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex was called by mutual-consent after 7-1/2 innings of play. This was supposed to have been a split-squad doubleheader versus the Giants (only), but the D'backs and Giants play each other in a split-squad doubleheader tomorrow, and while the Giants don't have enough pitchers available to play two doubleheaders in a row, the Diamondbacks do (sort of). So the D'backs sent a squad of players to Mesa to play the Cubs "B" squad, and left a second squad back home at Salt River Fields to play their regularly scheduled Cactus League EXST game against the A's, but they only brought enough pitchers to Mesa to play seven innings.  

The following position-players have been sent from Extended Spring Training to the Cubs Dominican Academy and will be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2: SS Aramis Ademan, C Miguel Amaya, SS Christopher Morel, INF Rafael Narea, 2B Yonathan Perlaza, OF Abraham Rodriguez, and OF Jonathan Sierra. Three or four pitchers who have been at EXST will also be assigned to the DSL, presumably including some combination of RHP (ex-INF) Francisco Garay, RHP (ex-OF) Wander Feliz, and LHP Eugenio Palma. It is possible that there will be some additional roster adjustments made prior to the start of the DSL season on Saturday, so all assignments are subject to change depending on the needs of the organization. I can't even absolutely, positively confirm that the players named above have actually physically left Arizona yet, but I would say there is a good chance that they have.    

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

King Kwon Helps Cubs Best Rockies in 10 at Sloan Park

Kwang-Min Kwon drilled an RBI single with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to plate Tyler Pearson with the winning run, lifting the Cubs to a 7-6 victory over the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Saturday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.

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