Preston Morrison

Eloy, Happ, Freitas, and Carhart Go Yard at Minor League Camp

Eloy Jimenez belted a two-run 1st inning home run, P. J. Higgins collected four hits (three singles and a triple), scored a run, and drove-in another, and SP Preston Morrison tossed five innings of shutout ball, leading the South Bend Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Field #4, and David Freitas clubbed a two-run 1st inning HR (his second round-tripper in two days) and Billy McKinney drilled a tie-breaking RBI single in the 6th, as the Tennessee Smokies edged the Iowa Cubs 3-2 on Field #6, in Minor League Camp game action Friday morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Ian Happ smacked a solo HR for Myrtle Beach in a losing cause on Field #4, and Ben Carhart hammered a solo home run in a losing cause for Iowa on Field #6. (Carhart was temporarily moved-up to the Iowa squad from Tennessee because the three catchers assigned to Iowa are in Las Vegas with the parent club). 

The game on Field #6 was called after seven innings of play. 

There were a number of roster moves made at Minor League Camp prior to the two games, with the Opening Day rosters of the four full-season clubs (particularly regarding position players and starting pitchers) becoming a bit more clear. There are still a few more moves/cuts to be made, however, especially involving the AAA Iowa and Hi-A Myrtle Beach bullpens and the Iowa outfield, and it's always possible that some of the assignments could be changed at the last minute due to injuries or other factors.     

(both updated daily) 

Also, 18 players who are assigned to the Cubs Dominican Acdemy but who were not invited to Minor League Camp will be attending Extended Spring Training and will be arriving over the next several days. The first three (LHP Pablo Ochoa, LHP Eugenio Palma, and RHP Andri Rondon) arrived today. Ochoa and A. Rondon attended Instructs in Mesa last Fall, but Palma is making his U. S. debut. 

Here are the box scores from the two games: 

Smokies Crack Nuts with Bombs at Riverview

Jake Hannemann crushed a three-run homer, Juan Paniagua and Matt Rose each smacked a two-run HR, Victor Caratini drilled an RBI single, doubled, walked, and scored a run, Ryan Dent singled twice, walked, scored twice, and collected an RBI, Chesny Young drove-in three runs with a FC and a two-run single, and SP Preston Morrison hurled four innings of shutout ball, as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) crushed the Modesto Nuts (Colorado Rockies Hi-A affiliate) 13-5 on Field #6, and Sam Hilliard tripled, singled twice, and scored two runs, Brian Mundell slugged a solo HR and singled and scored, and Jonathan Piron belted an RBI triple, singled, walked, and stole a base, helping the Asheville Tourists (Rockies low-A affiliate) edge the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 9-8 on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Sunday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.

P. J. Higgins blasted a two-run HR for South Bend in a losing cause on Field #3, and Ryan Stephens contributed a solo HR and a two-run single in a losing cause for Modesto on Field #6. 

LHSP Justin Steele had a rough outing for South Bend, surrendering seven runs on 11 hits (including two doubles, a triple, and a home run) and a walk in five innings of work. 

As usual, several players were temporarily moved-up from a lower level just for the day. 

The game on Field #6 was unusual in that the Cubs AA squad played the Rockies Hi-A squad. Normally AAA plays AAA, AA plays AA, etc, but the members of last season's Myrtle Beach Pelicans received their 2015 Carolina League Champion rings in a ceremony prior to the games, and because most of the 2015 Pelicans are presently assigned to the AA Tennessee squad at Minor League Camp, the Cubs Hi-A group was dispatched to Salt River Fields to play the Rockies AA squad in place of the Smokies, leaving the Cubs AA group behind at Riverview to collect their rings and destroy the Rockies Hi-A group.

John Arguello at Cubs Den has some great pictures and game reports from Saturday's games at Riveview Park. 

 

And here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Riverview on Sunday (Cubs players only): 

 

Lester Goes One-for-Four at Minor League Camp

Cubs #1 prospect Gleyber Torres belted an RBI double and a single and scored a run, and side-armin' RHP Preston Morrison (Cubs 2015 8th round draft pick - TCU) tossed 3.2 IP of no-hit/no-run relief, helping the iowa Cubs edge the Tennessee Smokies 2-1 in Minor League Camp game action this morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after six innings of play. 

Jon Lester got the start for the Smokies (pitching against Iowa) and threw five innings (68 pitches - 78% strikes), allowing two runs (both earned) on six hits (five singles and a double) and no walks, with five strikeouts (two swinging) and 8/0 GO/AO. He made three errant pick-off attempts at 1st base (with the baserunner advancing to 2nd each time), but he did pick-off Dan Vogelbach. Lester also one-hopped SS Carlos Penalver on a 1-6 FC, and Penalver made a nice play just to keep the ball from bounding into CF. 

Matt Murton saw his first game action of the Spring after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on February 26th, working as a DH for the Iowa squad and batting four times. He went 2-4 with a single, a double, a 6-3 GO, and a called third strike (all four PA versus Lester). He was running the bases full-tilt, and looks to be very close to 100%.      

David Ross was Lester's catcher (natch), and he went 0-4 (three fly outs and a 6-4-3 DP), batting once in each of the first four innings. He also threw out a runner trying to steal 3rd. Ross left the game when Lester did. 

The game also featured the first game action for RHRP Jose Rosario since 2014 (he missed the 2015 season after undergoing TJS last April), and he worked a scoreless inning. The 25-year old Rosario was signed by the Cubs as a 17-year old IFA out of the Dominican Republic in 2008, and although he was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2015, he opted to return to the Cubs organization in 2016. Rosario shares a similar background with Cubs 3B prospect Jeimer Candelario, in that both were born in New York City, but moved to the Dominican Republic when they were children.  

Four players were added to the Iowa roster for the game, with RHP Preston Morrison moving up from the Tennessee group, SS Gleyber Torres and 2B Ian Happ moving up from the Myrtle Beach squad, and 3B Wladimir Galindo moving up from the South Bend group.


 (updated daily)

Here is the box score frrom the game: