Manuel Espinoza

Espinoza Sharp at Sloan

After hurling three perfect innings in his previous start, Manuel Espinoza fired three innings of one-hit shutout ball (and threw 75% strikes), and Pablo Aliendo singled twice and drove-in a run and Cam Balego tripled and scored, in Cubs AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Wednesday afternoon at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.   

The Giants at Cubs AZIL game was canceled, so the Cubs played an intrasquad game instead.   

The five pitchers who were scheduled to pitch in the AZIL game threw in the intrasquad game, and the game was called after 3-1/2 innings of play after all of the pitchers got their scheduled work. 

It wasn't possible to field two full teams because only the players who were set to play in the AZIL game played in the intrasquad game (the other position players retired to the clubhouse after early BP), so there was no DH used in the game and Alfonso Rivas (who is already an accomplished hitter and really doesn't need any more game ABs) played LF for both squads and did not take an AB (he stood out in LF for the entire game -- that's 90 minutes straight defense in 90-degree heat without a break, folks).  

Also, Ethan Hearn played 1B and Yonathan Perlaza (ex-infielder now playing outfield) temporarily moved back to the infield and played 2B. 

Fireballin' RHP Danis Correa labored through one inning of work while throwing almost all secondary stuff (only a couple of high velo FB) after throwing almost all FB in his previous outing, while RHRP Eduarniel Nunez threw almost 100% FB (only two off-speed pitches) and was sitting 95-96 (T-97). Both Corraa and E. Nunez are 21-year old Dominican power bullpen arms who could advance quickly if they can improve their secondaries and FB command (easier said than done, obviously).    

Here is the box score from the game: 

Nwolverine Nwogu Nwonderful at Talking Stick

Jordan Nwogu, singled, doubled, tripled, scored two runs, drove-in another, and made a diving catch in LF, Yonathan Perlaza singled twice and scored a run, and Manuel Espinoza hurled three innings of perfect baseball, as the Cubs cruised past the Diamondbacks 6-2 in AZ Instructional League game action Wednesday afternoon on Whirlwind Field at Salt Rivers Fields at Talking Stick east of Scottsdale, AZ.   

Kristian Robinson drilled an RBI double for the D'backs in a losing cause. 

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

Barnette, Tazawa, Gallardo, Machado, and Espinoza Throw at Riverview

Ricardo Verenzuela tripled, singled, scored two runs, and threw out a runner on the bases, and Carlos Morfa and Ervis Marchan drilled consecutive RBI singles to highlight a four-run 4th inning, leading the Cubs "B" team to a 5-1 victory over the Cubs "A"  team in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Thursday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a five-inning contest. 

RHRP Tony Barnette (on Cubs MLB 10-day IL with right shoulder inflammation) hurled a 1-2-3 ten-pitch 2nd inning (K, P-3, F-8), and RHRP Junichi Tazawa tossed a scoreless 3rd (allowed a single, runner erased by a CS) for the "A" team. 

RHP Manuel Espinoza made his pro debut for the Cubs "A" team, allowing a run on one hit (a triple) with one strikeout in one inning of work. The 18-year old Mexican was signed by the Cubs in July 2017, but he did not pitch in 2018 while his signing was under investigation by MLB. (He signed the same day as fellow Mexican RHP Florencio Serrano Jr, whose contract was voided by MLB last June).   

Prior to the game on Field #6, three of the four youngest Cubs pitchers at EXST (Manuel Espinoza is the other one) threw "live" BP on Field #5 (two "innings" - 30 pitches each). 17-year old Venezuelan RHP Richard Gallardo (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the current ISP) got swings & misses with a 91-93 MPH FB and a plus-CV, and he also threw a couple of decent CH; 17-year old Venezuelan LHP Joel Machado was sitting 85-86 with his FB, but he had a solid CV and so-so CH that he was able to mix & match with his FB; and 18-year old 6'3 210 Dominican RHP Willy Cabrera's FB was impressive at 92-94 MPH (T-95) in addition to an 88-90 MPH CH and a sharp-breaking CV, but he had difficulty commanding his stuff (not too surprising considering he walked 50 in just 25.2 IP in the DSL in 2018!).

Here is the box score from the game: