Oscar de la Cruz

Cedeno Sophisticated Slop Too Much for Young Giants

Yonathan Perlaza drilled an RBI double and an RBI single, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Edmond Americaan laced an RBI single and a double, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs. Jacob Hannemann collected three singles, stole a base, and scored two runs, Josue Huma belted a two-run double, drew a walk, and scored a run, Fernando Kelli knocked in two runs with a triple and a GO, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Dalton Hurd smacked an inside-the-park HR (line-drive bounded past centerfielder after diving catch attempt and rolled to the base of the Batter's Eye), and Oscar de la Cruz hurled 4.1 IP of one run ball with six strikeouts, leading the Cubs "A" Team to a 12-6 thrashing of the Giants Black squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day game action Friday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.   

Addison Russell played SS for four innings and batted once in each of the first four innings, going 1-3 (single and a run scored and an RBI on a sac fly). As things stand right now, Russell is eligible to be reinstated from the Restricted List on May 2nd (which is an off day) and make his 2019 MLB regular season debut on Friday May 3rd at Wrigley Field vs STL.     

LHP Xavier Cedeno (on the Cubs MLB 10-day Injured List with left wrist inflammation) made his first game appearance of 2019 and easily struck out the side in the top of the 1st inning, mixing a filthy CV with a straight-CH and maybe one FB. The young Giants had no chance against him.      

Prior to the game on Field #6, RHRP Tony Barnette threw "live" BP on Field #5, facing hitters for the first time since being shut-down with right shoulder inflammation following an MLB Cactus League game appearance on March 3rd. (Barnette is a few days behind Cedeno).  

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

Smokies Hurlers Cloud Drillers Vision at Riverview

Robel Garcia (RBI single), P. J. Higgins (RBI single), Roberto Caro (two-run single), Nico Hoerner (sacrifice fly), and Connor Myers (solo HR) contributed RBI and Oscar de la Cruz and three relievers combined to hurl a five-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) blanked the Tulsa Drillers (Los Angeles Dodgers AA affiliate) 6-0 in Cactus League Minor League Spring Training game action Wednesday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

Prior to the game, C-1B Ian Rice and INF Vimael Machin were moved-down to AA Tennessee from AAA Iowa. 

Also, C Rafelin Lorenzo, 1B Tyler Alamo, INF Jhonny Bethencourt, INF Yeiler Peguero, 2B Carlos Sepulveda, OF Luis Ayala, and OF D. J. Wilson were not on the Smokies bench, so they may have been moved-down to Myrtle Beach from Tennessee at the same time that Machin and Rice were moved down to Tennessee from Iowa.  

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

Oscar de la Cruz Goes Six Strong at Riverview

Oscar de la Cruz hurled six innings (78 pitches - 72% strikes) of one-run/three-hit ball (run was unearned) with five strikeouts and no walks, Cam Balego drilled an RBI single and an RBI double and drew a walk, Delvin Zinn singled, doubled, stole a base, and scored three runs, Jonathan Soto belted a two-run HR and a single, and Alexander Guerra smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

Alec Mills (Iowa) and Oscar de la Cruz (Tennessee) were the starting pitchers in the game. Both were left behind in Mesa by their respective full-season clubs so that they could pitch in a game on what was their normal day to pitch, with both scheduled to make regular-season starts for their teams this coming Sunday or Monday. So it was a matter of them getting both their normal-scheduled work and increasing their pitch counts closer to regular-season levels.  

Enrique de los Rios and Brendan King followed de la Cruz and Mills to the mound, getting stretched-out in preparation for being Cubs EXST SP.  
 
Here is the box score from the game:      

Pierce Johnson Completes Rehab at Sloan Park

Roberto Caro belted a two-run triple in the first and doubled and scored in the fourth and Robert Garcia doubled twice, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run for the Cubs, and Yan Sanchez hammered a game-tying two-out RBI triple in the 8th for the Diamondbacks, as the two teams played to a 4-4 tie at Sloan Park, and Jazz Chisholm laced a two-run triple and an RBI single and Gerard Hernandez drilled an RBI triple and an RBI single. leading the D'backs to an 8-4 victory over the Cubs on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.     

Wladmiir Galindo ripped an RBI double and a single in a losing cause for the Cubs on Field #1. 

The game at Sloan Park was called by mutual agreement after 8-1/2 innings of play.  

RHSP Pierce Johnson (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL with a lat strain) completed his EXST rehab, throwing five innings (72 pitches - 74% strikes) in the game at Sloan Park. Johnson allowed two runs on six hits (two doubles and four singles), struck out six, did not issue any walks (although he did hit a batter), and he retired the last seven men he faced in dominating fashion (K, K, K, 4-3, K, K, F-7). So he's ready to return to the Iowa Cubs, and his next start will very likely be this coming Sunday versus Round Rock in Des Moines or next Monday at Colorado Springs.    

LHSP Bryan Hudson started the game for the Cubs on Field #1 and had another poor outing, surrendering six runs on seven hits (five singles and two triples) and three walks in four innings of work. Coupled with his last start versus the Angels in Tempe last week, Hudson has allowed 13 hits and seven walks in his last 6.0 IP.  

RHSP Oscar de la Cruz (out of action since Minor League Camp with a right elbow injury) threw an early-morning bullpen side-session, but it was cut-short after only about a half-dozen pitches.

RHRP Jordan Brink (post-2015 right shoulder surgery) did complete his bullpen side-session (he threw at the same time as de la Cruz), and it went well, so he should be returning to game action soon (probably with the AZL Cubs).  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only), followed :by the updated Cubs Extended Spring Training roster: 

Late Rally Helps Emeralds Sparkle at Riverview

Kevonte Mitchell smashed a solo HR to lead-off the inning and Frandy de la Rosa belted a two-run triple and scored on a WP to highlight a four-run 8th, as the Eugene Emeralds rallied to defeat the Mesa Cubs 5-3 in Extended Spring Training intrasquad action this morning on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Eloy Jimenez reached base four times (two singles and two walks) for Eugene, Yohan Matos slugged a solo HR and singled twice for the Mesa Cubs, and the two starting pitchers (LHP Justin Steele and RHP Oscar de la Cruz) combined to hurl six innings of shutout ball.

Mesa Cubs LF Jose Paniagua left the game after being hit on the helmet by a Daniel Bard fastball in the top of the 4th. (Bard was pulled out of the game after throwing only eight pitches).

Mike Olt (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - broken right wrist) took pre-game BP but did not play in the game.

In EXST Cubs roster news, OF Shawon Dunston (on Myrtle Beach 7-day since April 23rd with a right shoulder injury) has completed his rehab and has returned to the Pelicans, and C-1B Alberto Mineo has been moved-up to Myrtle Beach.

Mineo will be inactive at MB (technically he's on the Eugene Reserve List) and will serve as a bullpen catcher for the Pelicans, but he can be activated if necessary.

Here is the abridged box score from today's game, followed by the updated Cubs Extended Spring Training roster: 

Angels Take Down Cubs in Diablo Park

Alex Abbott drilled a triple and a single and scored twice and Jose Antonio Rodriguez reached base three times (two singles and an HBP) and scored a run, helping the Angels to a 7-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe. 

Eloy Jimenez belted a two-run triple, walked, and scored a run, Kevonte Mitchell singled twice, stole two bases, and scored a run, and Andrew Ely reached base three times (two singles and an HBP) for the Cubs in a losing cause.

Mitchell leads the EXST Cubs in stolen bases with eight (no CS) in 16 Cactus League EXST games, and E. Jimenez has been an "RBI machine," with 13 ribbies in just 15 Cactus League EXST games (leads team).

ELOY JIMENEZ in 15 Cactus League EXST games (55 PA):
265/309/511, with three doubles, three triples, and one HR, three walks, eight strikeouts, and one HBP, and two SB (no CS).  

NOTE: Through 23 Cactus League EXST games so far, the Cubs have hit only five home runs as a team... one each by Frandy de la Rosa, Eloy Jimenez, Ricardo Marcano, Yohan Matos, and Taylor Teagarden,  

19-year old lanky lefty Justin Steele (Cubs 2014 5th round draft pick - George County HS - Lucedale, MS) got the start for the Cubs and quickly and easily retired the first seven men he faced (6-3, 4-3, 3-U, 5-3, K, F-7, K) on just 20 pitches, before running into trouble with one out in the bottom of the third, when he allowed four consecutive batters to reach base (1B, 1B, BB, BB). The 2014 Mississippi High School Player of the Year, Steele was cruising along, working his two-seam fastball in the low 90's and getting a ton of ground balls with it, before he began to lose command in his third inning of work once he had to start pitching out of the stretch. 

JUSTIN STEELE in his four Cactus League EXST games : 
9.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 4 BB, 9 K, 13/7 GO/FO, 63% strikes (4 games) 
2.79 ERA - 1.03 WHIP 

RHP Oscar de la Cruz "piggy-backed" with Steele, working 3.2 IP (65 pitches) and allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits (all singles), two walks, and an HBP. He struck out three (all swinging), with a 5/3 GO/FO. Along with RHRP Scott Frazier (whose fastball velocity has reached 99 MPH this spring) and Alexander Santana (mid-90's fastball that sits at 94 and touches 95), the 20-year old 6'6 de la Cruz is one of the hardest throwers among Cub pitchers at EXST, with a 94 MPH fastball that can touch 95. Like a lot of young pitchers, de la Cruz's fastball command and secondary stuff (breaking ball and change-up) need work, but he was the ace of the staff at DSL Cubs last season, and he is in the mix for one of the rotation starter jobs at Eugene this year. (Carson Sands, Justin Steele, and Austyn Willis are virtual locks to make the Eugene rotation, with de la Cruz, Santana, and Jose Paulino likely competing for the remaining two slots). 

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

Cubs Use Their Bats & Their Heads to Sweep D'backs

Adonis Paula ripped a two-run double and Tyler Alamo belted a two-out RBI double to highlight a three-run 1st, Oscar de la Cruz tossed three innings of shutout ball, and Tim Saunders drove-in the winning run by getting hit on the top of the helmet with a two-strike pitch with the bases loaded, the score tied, and two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, as the Cubs edged the Diamondbacks 4-3 on Field #5, and Eloy Jimenez thumped a solo home run and an RBI triple, Yohan Matos belted a three-run inside-the-park HR, and Bryant Flete singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs, helping the Cubs defeat the D'backs 8-4 on Field #6, as the Cubs swept a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader this morning at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.  

Trevor Mitsui bashed a double and a two-run HR, Sergio Alcantara laced a single and a double and scored a run, Luis Veras singled, doubled, and scored two runs, and Didimo Bracho collected three singles for the Diamondbacks in a losing cause.   

LHP Patrick Corbin (on the Arizona Diamondbacks MLB 60-day DL - 2014 TJS) got the start for the D'backs on Field #6 and hurled three innings of shutout ball, allowing two singles and no walks, while striking out five (four swinging), and a 2/1 GO/FO.    

The EXST Cubs returned to action today after a weekend of rain wiped out two games. 

Prior to the Cactus League EXST game, RHPs Dylan Cease (2014 TJS), Erling Moreno (2014 TJS), Jose Zapata (post-2013 cervical fracture), and Trey Masek (2014 shoulder surgery) pitched in a five-inning "sim" game on Field #3. Cease and Moreno worked three innings (45 pitches each), Zapata pitched two innings (30 pitches), and Masek threw one inning (15 pitches).    

In roster news, 21-year old switch-hitting Dominican OF Robert Garcia has been added to the Cubs Extended Spring Training roster. Garcia signed with the Cubs in July 2013 and spent two seasons with the DSL Cubs, hitting 301/394/369 with 33 stolen bases (8 CS) in 77 games combined 2013-14.     

Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):