Shawon Dunston Jr ripped a solo home run and Pierre LePage reached base three times, but the Cubs left six runners stranded over the final three innings, allowing the Rockies to escape with a 4-2 victory in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
The game was extended an extra inning so that all of the Cubs and Rockies pitchers who were scheduled to throw today could get their work.
Starling Peralta got the start for the Cubs and had another strong outing, retiring nine of the first 11 men he faced (including four on strikeouts). He should be close to being ready to move up to Peoria.
With a number of pitchers having arrived over the past week or two from the Cubs Dominican Academy, there are hardly enough innings available for all of the pitchers at Extended Spring Training to get enough game work. Besides Peralta, RHRPs Roderik Pichardo and Pete Levitt and LHRP Sheldon McDonald appear to be ready to move up to Peoria (or possibly even Daytona), so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Cubs release some pitchers from their four full-season affiliates over the next week, if nothing else to relieve some of the congestion at EXST.
2B Pierre LePage (hamstring rehab) has been playing very well and appears to be 100%, and so he could be moved up at any time. But where would he go? He really doesn’t have the versatility to play multiple positions, and there is no opening for an everyday 2nd baseman (or even part-time 2B) at Peoria or Daytona at this time, unless the Cubs want to give Zeke DeVoss some OF reps at Peoria.
OF Xavier Batista probably should be at Peoria, too.
Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):
1. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF: 2-4 (L-6, HR, 1B, 4-3, R, RBI)
2. Pierre LePage, 2B: 2-3 (1B, 1B, F-9, HBP, R, PO)
3a. Javier Baez, DH #1: 1-3 (FC+E4, 1B, F-9, SB)
3b. Wilfredo Petit, PH: 1-1 (1B)
4a. Xavier Batista, LF: 0-3 (F-8, K, 6-3)
4b. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-0 (1-4 SH)
5a. Dan Vogelbach, DH #2: 0-3 (6-3, 3-U, 4-3)
5b. Anthony Giansanti, PH: 0-0 (BB)
6. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 1-4 (F-8, K, 3B, K)
7. Jeimer Candelario, 3B-DH: 0-4 (K, 3-U, 3-U, K)
8. Ryan Durrence, 1B: 1-4 (4-3, P-6, 1B, L-7)
9. Neftali Rosario, C: 1-4 (K, K, 3-6 FC, 1B)
10. Danny Lockhart, SS: 0-4 (5-3, F-8, 5-4 FC, K)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Mark Malave, 3B: 0-2 (E-4, K)
1. Starling Peralta: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 45 pitches (34 strikes), 3/4 GO/FO
2. Hunter Ackerman: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 34 pitches (21 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
3. Sheldon McDonald: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 36 pitches (25 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
4. Brian Smith: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 22 pitches (12 strikes), 1/1 GO/FO
5. Pete Levitt: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 12 pitches (7 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
CUBS ERRORS: NONE
CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Neftali Rosario: 2-3 CS
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 80’s