Miguel Montero

Arrieta Leads Cubs to Doubleheader Sweep

Jake Arrieta and four relievers combined to hurl a three-hit shutout, Tommy LaStella drilled three singles, and Kelly Dugan and Ryan Kalish each belted a two-run home run, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) blanked the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate) 5-0 on Field #6, and Cael Brockmeyer ripped a double and a two-run single, David Bote collected an RBI double and a single, and four relievers combined to toss five innings of one-hit shutout relief, helping the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) edge the New Britain Rock Cats (Rockies AA affiliate) 5-4 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader played in front of a standing-room-only crowd Saturday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Arrieta was sharp throughout his five innings (57 pitches - 72% strikes), allowing just two singles and a walk (1B, 6-4-3 DP, F-8, 4-3, P-4, F-7, 1B+E5, K, 4-3, K, 4-3, K, 4-1, BB, F-9, K, 5-3). In addition to his work on the mound, the Cubs also had Arrieta bat twice, and he struck out both times (once bunting foul for strike three while attempting a sac-bunt).  

Miguel Montero served as Arrieta's catcher, and went 0-2 with two deep F-8 fly-outs. 

Tommy LaStella (calf strain) made his second start in two days at Minor League Camp, serving as a DH for the Iowa squad. Once again, a pinch-runner ran for him when he reached base, but at the plate he was roping balls all over the yard, from foul line to foul line. I guess he's the kind of hitter who can roll out of bed anytime and anyplace and hammer line-drive after line-drive. He could probably turn around a 100 MPH fastball from a wheelchair.  

Matt Szczur (oblique strain) got the start in CF for Iowa and looked very good at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. He went 1-3 with a single, an infield pop out, and a fly out, and appeared to have no lingering issues with the oblique.  

As per usual, several players were called up to the Iowa and Tennessee squads for the day. RHRP Scott Effross was moved up from the Myrtle Beach squad and worked a scoreless 9th while picking-up the save for Tennessee on Field #5, and OF (ex-C) Yohan Matos was moved up to the Tennessee squad from the South Bend group and made a late appearance in LF. Also, 3B Wladimir Galindo, OF Michael Foster, 3B Adonis Paula, C Tyler Payne, and INF Edgar Rondon were moved-up to the Iowa squad from the South Bend group, and each saw some action in the game on Field #6 (Paula got the start at 3B for the I-Cubs). 

It would appear that C-1B Cael Brockmeyer, RHSP Brad Markey, and RHRP Juan Carlos Paniagua have been moved-down to the Tennessee squad from the Iowa group (not confirmed yet).  


 (updated daily)

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

Bryant & Lopez Go Deep and Arrieta & Wada Look Sharp at Riverview Park

Kris Bryant slugged a solo home run over the CF fence, lined an RBI single, walked twice, and scored three runs, Rafael Lopez belted a three-run HR and collected another RBI on a bases loaded walk, Addison Russell hammered an RBI triple, walked, and scored two runs, and Miguel Montero ripped two RBI singles and scored a run, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) lambasted the Sacramento RiverCats (San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate) 14-4 on Field #6, and Ryan Dent and Cael Brockmeyer drilled back-to-back RBI doubles in the bottom of the 2nd as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) and the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA affiliate) played to a 2-2 tie on Field #5, in Cactus League minor league game action this afternoon at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Ex-Cubs Ronny Cedeno and Brett Jackson each doubled and scored a run for Sacramento.  

With the Chicago Cubs idle, Jake Arrieta got his scheduled work in with Iowa in the AAA game, throwing five innings (58 pitches - 43 strikes) and allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits (four singles and a double) and no walks (but two WP), with six strikeouts (including five in a row at one point - the first four swinging), and a 4/4 GO/FO. 

LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (groin & hamstring rehab) got the start for Tennessee in the AA game and threw 3.1 IP of shutout ball (47 pitches - 30 strikes), allowing two hits (a single and a double) and no walks, with four strikeouts, and a 2/4 GO/FO.  

CF Albert Almora left the Tennessee game with a right knee injury, but he was able to walk (limp) to the clubhouse. 

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

2014 Winter Meetings Day 2

8:51 PM CST: Gordo, unsurprisingly, couldn't have been more off as Lester has called the Giants and let them know he won't be signing there. All indications are as earlier, it's between the Red Sox and Cubs. MLB Network had a report that Lester's agents had a meeting scheduled with Lester again tonight. However... w

If Cubs lose out on Lester, Morosi is reporting that Boras is seeking $200M guaranteed contract.

7:35 PM CST: , Gordo has a source saying Lester is leaning towards Giants now. ~shrug~

6:30 PM CST: Theo and that Montero will be a good compliment to him. "We're not shopping (Castillo) at all. The second that the Montero news came out, we got calls from a number of teams about Wely." Of course, just cause they're not shopping him, doesn't mean they won't move him if one of those calls bears fruit.

5:00 PM CST: Oy vey!

4:15 PM CST: On that Ross note,

3:36 PM CST: will indeed look to move Welington Castillo. Well, 38-year old David Ross was pretty good against lefties last year as well (.809 OPS in 67 PA's, .770 for his career). Of course, if he's Lester's personal catcher, won't be able to take advantage of the offensive split.

3:06 PM CST: D'Backs get and That seems absurdly reasonable. Neat. The 20-year old Mejia can certainly end up being quite good, but you have to give up something to get something. And he wasn't anyone, nor was Godley that was anywhere near a top 20 prospect list at this point. The 25-year old Godley has a real nice K rate, but was a bit old for the Hi-A league last year (ages are what their baseball playing age will be next season using the July 1st cutoff).

2:52 PM CST: . Sounds like a reunion with the Red Sox, unless there's more to his relationship with Theo and Jed that we don't know about it. AZ Phil nailed it in the comments,

1:43 PM CST: The Cubs and a deal seems close.


The big rumor last night was that the Cubs were well along on a deal for Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and Bob Nightengale of USA Today says the deal should be done by the end of the day. The Cubs would take on Montero's contract (3/40M) and DBacks would get 2 low level pitchers, presumably of good quality, but not CJ Edwards quality. The debate rages on if the Cubs should bother with Montero, afterall he's owed some money, he'll be playing his age 31 season next year and his OPS has been south of .700 the last 2 seasons. But we do know the Cubs want some vet leadership on the team and the catching position is where they want it, add in that Montero hits from the left side and has good on-base skills and you can see some of the interest. One other thing to note, his splits versus lefties and righties. He had a .719 OPS in 2013 .735 in 2014 versus righties, but just a .492 in 2013 and .563 in 2014 versus lefties. On the other side, Welington is a .684 vs. righties for his career and .845 versus lefties. Let's say I'd like that a platoon if it works out. Maybe the Cubs go with a Montero/Ross platoon if this all happens, but I don't know if they need 2 vet catchers.

Also of note, DBacks ownership already nixed a deal of Andre Ethier for Montero, although no reasons were given. Did they not want to trade Montero within the division, did they want to just shave payroll in a Montero deal or do they just not want to move him? I doubt it's the latter, otherwise their GM would stop shopping him in deals, but regardless, there's probably a final obstacle even if they do agree on a deal.