Cubs vs. Diamondbacks: Hendricks vs. Kelly (Game 18)

CHC (8-9): RHP Kyle Hendricks (0-3, 5.40 ERA)
ARZ (10-9): RHP Merrill Kelly (1-1, 3.79 ERA)
First pitch at 1:20pmCDT

Kyle Hendricks will take the mound to open the six-game homestand. Nothing has looked right for the changeup artist in the early going. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up, he’s not getting enough groundballs, and the results have been what you’d expect with those peripherals. The current Diamondbacks roster has struggled against him to the tune of 11 hits, 2 walks, and no homeruns in 55 ABs. So far, the Diamondbacks have a middle-of-the-pack team offense. They are 9th in the NL in wRC+ and 7th in wOBA.

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:

Russell & Alzolay Lookin' Good at Riverview


Addison Russell singled twice, stole two bases, and scored a run, Jonathan Soto collected three singles and drove-in a run, Carlos Morfa singled twice, scored a run, and knocked-in another, and Rafael Mejia belted a two-run HR, leading the Cubs "B" team to a 6-3 victory over the Athletics Green squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

The Cubs stole six bases in the game. 

RHP Adbert Alzolay (on AAA Iowa 7-day IL with a lat strain) saw his first game action of 2019, getting the start and working 1.2 IP. He allowed one run on two hits (a double and a single) and no walks, with four strikeouts. He got eleven swings & misses among his 34 pitches, mixing a 95-96 MPH FB with an effective CV.   

The game was pre-planned as a seven-inning contest but was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the Cubs pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work. 

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

Cubs @ Miami: Hamels vs. Alcantara (Game 17)

CHC (7-9): LHP Cole Hamels (2-0, 3.79 ERA)
MIA (4-14): RHP Sandy Alcantara (1-1, 4.24 ERA)
First pitch 6:10pmCDT

Hamels takes the mound as the Cubs go for the sweep in Miami. The lefty pitched 8 innings in his last start allowing a solo HR as the only scoring. He’s done a good job keeping guys off the bases, and his 50% GB rate bodes well for his season. It would be encouraging to see him suppress HRs a bit more. Watch out for Martin Prado, who has slashed .319/.347/.478 against Hamels in 69 ABs.

Jarrett Parker leads Angels Past Cubs at Diablo

Jarrett Parker laced a double and an RBI single and drew a walk, Cristian Gomez drilled a two-run double, and Kevin Arias smacked an RBI triple, leading the Angels to a 6-4 victory over the Cubs "A" team, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning at Diablo Stadium in Tempe, AZ.   

Orian Nunez (RBI double), Fernando Kelli (RBI single), and Edmond Americaan (RBI single) stroked run-scoring hits to highlight a three-run Cub 8th. 

Cubs pitchers issued a combined ten walks in the game, plus one HBP and four WP (SP Jose Albertos threw only 50% strikes in his 1.2 IP of work). 

RHP Omar Ventura and LHP Luis Rodriguez made their U. S. game debuts (both pitched in the DSL last season). 

The Cubs were greeted by an old friend prior to the start of the game as they walked from the visitors entrance in the RF corner to their 3rd base dugout, passing C-1B Michael Cruz (released by the Cubs in March and recently signed by the Angels) who was standing in front of the home team's bench on the 1st base side. There were lots of hugs and warm greetings between the ex-Cub and his former teammates and coaches, although the warmth cooled just a bit after Cruz was plunked on the upper right arm by a Didier Vargas fastball in the bottom of the 7th. 

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

Cubs @ Marlins: Quintana vs. López (Game 16)

CHC (6-9): LHP José Quintana (1-1, 5.14 ERA)
MIA (4-13): RHP Pablo López (1-2, 6.60 ERA)
First pitch 6:10pmCDT

Quintana is coming off a win against the angels in which he pitched 7 innings and struck out 11. He'll try to continue the stretch of decent starting pitching that the Cubs have sorely needed. The strikeouts in his last start stand out, but he also collected 8 SOs in 4 innings in his relief appearance on March 30. He sports a 14.14 K/9 and 4.50 BB/9. The Marlins have collectively slashed a paltry .200/.328/.382 against him in 55 at bats, with Starlin Castro contributing an 0-18 and 3 walks.

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