Clifton & Albertos in Shut-Down Mode at Riverview

Caleb Knight drilled an RBI single and a two-run HR, Luis Vazquez belted a two-run HR, Fernando Kelli doubled twice, stole a base, and scored a run, Edmond Americaan singled, walked twice, stole a base, and scored two runs, Brennen Davis collected three hits, and Trevor Clifton and Jose Albertos each hurled three innngs of shutout ball (Clifton allowing just a single and Albertos allowing just a walk), in Cubs Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Thursday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

Although he will eventually join the Iowa starting rotation, Clifton has been assigned to the Eugene roster from AAA iowa while he gets stretched-out as a SP at Minor League Camp and (starting next week) Extended Spring Training. (Clifton was moved to the Iowa bullpen when Minor League Camp opened last month). 

Besides Clifton, other players who were assigned to the Eugene roster today are RHRP Brad Markey and C Erick Castillo (from Iowa), RHRP Ryan Williams and 3B Jesse Hodges (from Tennessee), RHP Garrett Kelly, C-INF Cam Balego, and OF Zach Davis (from Myrtle Beach), and RHRP Dalton Geekie and C-1B Gustavo Polanco (from South Bend). However, only Clifton and Hodges are actually at Minor League Camp. The others are physically remaining with their previously-assigned club and can be "called-up" to the club's active roster at literally a moment's notice if needed (the players "assigned" to Eugene won't have to wait the seven days they would have had to wait if they had been placed on the 7-day Injured List on Opening Day).  

Also, a number of Cubs minor league players were placed on the 7-day and 60-day injured lists today (minor league players cannot be placed onto an injured list until minor league Opening Day):

IOWA: RHSP Adbert Alzolay, LHRP Alberto Baldonado, RHSP Alec Mills, RHRP Junichi Tazawa, RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng, OF Wynton Bernard, and OF Jacob Hannemann were placed on the Iowa 7-day Injured List, and RHRP Casey Bloomquist, LHRP Luke Hagerty, LHRP Danny Hultzen, and LHRP Jerry Vasto were placed on the I-Cubs 60-day Injured List.   

TENNESSEE: RHRP Zach Hedges, RHSP Erick Leal, LHRP Conor Lillis-White, RHRP Tommy Nance, RHRP Jake Stinnett, RHRP Alexander Vargas, INF Gioskar Amaya, and OF Jose Cardona have been placed onto the Tennessee 7-day Injured List, and RHRP Corey Black, C Will Remillard, 1B-OF Yasiel Balaguert, and OF Chris Pieters were placed onto the Smokies 60-day Injured List (however, Remillard, Balaguert, and Pieters will actually be serving as coaches in 2019, Remillard with Tennessee, Balaguert with AZL Cubs #1, and Pieters with AZL Cubs #2). 

MYRTLE BEACH: RHRP Enrique de los Rios, RHRP Chad Hockin, and RHSP Erich Uelmen have been placed onto the Pelicans 7-day Injured List. 

SOUTH BEND: LHSP Andres Bonalde, LHSP Brendon Little, C Marcus Mastrobuoni, and OF Jose Gutierrez have been placed onto the South Bend 7-day Injured List  

Today is Minor League Opening Day, and it also marks the official conclusion of Minor League Camp. Extended Spring Training starts next week. 

However, a number of players who did not attend Minor League Camp but who have been invited to attend Extended Spring Training have already arrived in Mesa, including RHSP Willy Cabrera (pitched in DSL in 2018), LHSP Riger Fernandez (pitched in AZL in 2018), RHSP Emilio Ferrebus (pitched in AZL in 2018), RHSP Richard Gallardo (2018-19 IFA making his pro debut in 2019), RHRP Julio Guante (pitched in DSL in 2019 - DSL eligibility has expired), RHRP Elias Herrera (pitched in AZL in 2018), RHSP Chi-Feng Lee (pitched in AZL in 2018), RHSP Luis Ramos (pitched in DSL in 2018), LHRP (ex-OF) Ruben Reyes (played OF and pitched in AZL in 2018), RHSP Benjamin Rodriguez (attended EXST last year and then pitched in the DSL), LHSP Luis Rodriguez (pitched in DSL in 2018), LHRP Luis Silva (pitched in AZL in 2018), RHRP Jesus Tejada (pitched in AZL in 2018), LHSP Didier Vargas (pitched in AZL in 2018), RHRP Omar Ventura (pitched in DSL in 2018 - DSL eligibility has expired), C Daniel Diaz (played in DSL in 2018 - DSL eligibility has expired), 2B Revaj Garcia (played in AZL in 2018), INF Ignacio Otano (played in DSL in 2018 - DSL eligibility has expired), SS Luis Verdugo (played in AZL in 2018), and OF Carlos Morfa (played in DSL in 2018 and was the only DSL Cubs player to get invited to AZ Instructs in January). 

About a dozen more players are expected to arrive from the Cubs Dominican Academy later today.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

Cubs @ Atlanta: Darvish vs. Fried (Game 6)

CHC (1-4): RHP Yu Darvish (0-1)

ATL (2-3): LHP Max Fried (0-0)

First pitch 6:20pmCST

 

The first two games of my tenure as gameday poster haven't . So, in lieu of writing the post myself, I forced a bot to watch what has felt like 1000 hours of Cubs baseball and had it script out a game. Here's a sample:

R. Mejia Triple Provides the Spark at Riverview

Rafael Mejia belted an RBI triple and scored on a Caleb Knight RBI single and Luis Vazquez singled, walked and scored, and collected an RBI on a GO, in Cubs Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Wednesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

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

Here is the box score from the game: 

Cubs @ Atlanta: Lester vs. Teheran (Game 5)

CHC (1-3): LHP Jon Lester
ATL (1-3): RHP Julio Teheran 
First pitch: 6:20pmCST 

We are only four games into the season. Yet, three painful losses in a row have emphasized some questions about the team: Who will step up in the bullpen? How much of the starting rotation is on the decline? Why do I even watch baseball?

Russell & Tseng in Action but Morel & Soto Go Deep at Riverview

Christopher Morel and Jonathan Soto stroked two-run home runs in Cubs Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.  

Addison Russell (who is serving a 40-game suspension for violation of the MLB-MLBPA joint DV policy) played SS for three innings and went 2-3 with two singles and a strikeout (swinging). 

Jen-Ho Tseng started the game for SQUAD "B" but was removed from the game in the 3rd inning. Colin Rea (who had started the game and pitched the first two innings for "SQUAD "A") relieved Tseng and pitched the 3rd inning for SQUAD "B." Tseng had been left behind in Mesa when his Iowa teammates left town so that he could stay in his rotation slot and get his scheduled work (he was not projected to make his first start for Iowa until next Sunday or Monday), but based upon his performance today (three runs on five hits  -- three singles and two doubles, three walks, a HBP, and a WP, and only 50% strikes, in just two innings of work), that might now be in doubt.    

The game was called in the middle of the 6th inning after all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game got their work.  

Here is the box score from the game: 

Carrera Fires Five Blanks at Riverview

SP Faustino Carrera tossed five shutout innings, Kevin Moreno belted a solo HR (his second round-tripper in two days), Dalton Hurd doubled twice, walked, scored two runs, and threw out a runner on the bases, and Orian Nunez smacked a two-run triple, in Cubs Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Monday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.   

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw could get their work.  

Faustino Carrera was left behind at Minor League Camp to make his scheduled start for Squad "B" while his teammates were en route to South Bend. (Carrera isn't scheduled to make his first regular season start for the SB-Cubs until next Sunday). 

Oscar de la Cruz made the start for Squad "A" and pitched four innings (45 pitches), allowing one run on two hits and no walks, with six strikeouts. The Cubs are keeping ODLC simmering slowly on the back-burner for the time being, but he will get his innings and pitch count ramped up to five innings and 70-80 pitches later this month as he gets closer to the end of his 80-game PED suspension. 

Here is the box score from the game: 

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