CHC (1-6): LHP Cole Hamels (0-0)
MIL (7-1): RHP Corbin Burnes (0-0)
First pitch 6:10pmCDT
Hamels and the Cubs will try to end a 6-game skid and take a nibble out of the Brewer's division lead. That will probably require length from the veteran lefty.
Struggling relievers Carl Edwards Jr. and Mike Mongtomery head to Iowa and the Injured List, respectively, and Allen Webster and Kyle Ryan come up to fill the gap. Normally, replacing two mainstays with minor league veterans would not be cause for hope. But any change is welcome at this point. (DJL called the Montgomery injury.)
CHC (1-6): LHP Cole Hamels (0-0)
The Baltimore Orioles secured Outright Assignment Waivers on RHP Pedro Araujo (who was Designated for Assignment by the Orioles on Wednesday) this afternoon, then he was re-claimed by the Cubs for $50,000 (half the Rule 5 Draft price) and was outrighted back to AAA Iowa (the minor league club from which he was selected by Baltimore in the Major League Phase of the December 2017 Rule 5 Draft), and then the Cubs traded Araujo back to the Orioles for $750K in 2018-19 International Signing Bonus Pool (ISBP) space.
So the Orioles get $50,000 and they get to keep Araujo (but don't need to keep him on their MLB 40-man roster -- he was assigned to AAA Norfolk), and the Cubs get to spend $750K more ISBP money (if they so choose).
However, it's very unlikely that the Cubs would have paid the Orioles $50,000 to re-claim Araujo and then traded him back to Baltimore just for ISBP space (in other words, the right to spend $750K more money on international free-agents) unless there is a particular international player (like maybe Cuban SS Yolbert Sanchez?) or possibly multiple players (like perhaps two or three of the Mexican IFAs recently declared eligible to sign by MLB, like RHP Jaime Melendez, RHP Jose Angel Valenzuela, and/or C Fernando Villalobos) the Cubs wish to sign prior to the 2018-19 ISP signing deadline on June 15th, and the $750K in ISBP space acquired from the Orioles in the Araujo deal (added to whatever remains from their 2018-19 ISBP space) is the only way they can get it done.
CHC (1-5): LHP Jose Qunitana (0-0)
MIL (6-1): RHP Brandon Woodruff (1-0)
First pitch 7:10pmCDT
Last night, the Cubs lost their fifth game in a row, matching their longest losing streak of the previous year on only the 6th game of the season. This series against the division-leading Brewers would be a great time to turn things around.
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, and LHRP Danny Hultzen 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:
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 gone well. 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:
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:
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?