Ryan Dent

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): 

 

Bryant & Lopez Go Deep and Arrieta & Wada Look Sharp at Riverview Park

Kris Bryant slugged a solo home run over the CF fence, lined an RBI single, walked twice, and scored three runs, Rafael Lopez belted a three-run HR and collected another RBI on a bases loaded walk, Addison Russell hammered an RBI triple, walked, and scored two runs, and Miguel Montero ripped two RBI singles and scored a run, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) lambasted the Sacramento RiverCats (San Francisco Giants AAA affiliate) 14-4 on Field #6, and Ryan Dent and Cael Brockmeyer drilled back-to-back RBI doubles in the bottom of the 2nd as the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) and the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA affiliate) played to a 2-2 tie on Field #5, in Cactus League minor league game action this afternoon at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park. 

Ex-Cubs Ronny Cedeno and Brett Jackson each doubled and scored a run for Sacramento.  

With the Chicago Cubs idle, Jake Arrieta got his scheduled work in with Iowa in the AAA game, throwing five innings (58 pitches - 43 strikes) and allowing two runs (both earned) on five hits (four singles and a double) and no walks (but two WP), with six strikeouts (including five in a row at one point - the first four swinging), and a 4/4 GO/FO. 

LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (groin & hamstring rehab) got the start for Tennessee in the AA game and threw 3.1 IP of shutout ball (47 pitches - 30 strikes), allowing two hits (a single and a double) and no walks, with four strikeouts, and a 2/4 GO/FO.  

CF Albert Almora left the Tennessee game with a right knee injury, but he was able to walk (limp) to the clubhouse. 

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):   

Lester Throws in Intrasquad Game at Riverview

John Andreoli and Ryan Dent slugged solo home runs and Rubi Silva drilled a two-run single, leading the Iowa Cubs to a 4-3 victory over the Tennessee Smokies in a five-inning Spring Training minor league intrasquad game played on Field #1 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park this morning. 

Victor Caratini belted a two-run double and drew a walk and Kevin Brown singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Smokies. 

Jon Lester got the start for the I-Cubs, and threw 84 pitches (62 strikes) while facing 20 hitters. He allowed eight hits (two doubles, a triple, and five singles) and no walks (but two wild pitches), and he struck out four (two looking and two swinging), with a 1/6 GO/FO. Lester threw 81 pitches through four innings and and it looked like his day might be over, but then he went back out to the mound and faced one batter (Jeffrey Baez) in the top of the 5th, who rifled a triple on an 0-2 pitch. At that point, Lester was relieved.  

Lester looked VERY hittable today as the young Smokies hitters consistently squared his offerings up and made lots of hard contact. If the Cubs want to get Lester another minor league start before he faces MLB hitters, they could put him on the 15-day DL retroactive to last Friday (nine days prior to MLB Opening Day being the furthest back a DL stint can be backdated during Spring Training), and maybe have him start a minor league game this coming Sunday (the last day of Cactus League Minor League Spring Training games), and then he would be eligible to be reinstated from the DL on Saturday April 11th. (NOTE: MLB Cactus League and Grapefruit League Spring Training games are considered "official" games, so players on the DL cannot play in these games, and a DL stint cannot be backdated past the last time the player appeared in an official MLB Spring Training game; but pitching or playing in a minor league Spring Training game or in an intrasquad game does not affect DL eligiblity as far as backdating the DL stint is concerned, and a player on the DL can play in a minor league Spring Training game and/or in an intrasquad game without restriction). 

Despite being sent down by the Cubs on Monday, Javy Baez, Kris Bryant, and Addison Russell have yet to take the field at Minor League Camp. None of the three played in the Futures Game last night at Sloan Park (and the Cubs sure could have used them, too), none of the three participated in work-outs (fielding practice, baserunning drills, and BP) with the Iowa squad this morning, and none of the three played in the Lester intrasquad game (and they were not on the bench, either). So it's very possible that Baez, Bryant, and Russell are still with the big club, despite being technically on the Iowa roster.   

The game was called with two outs in the top of the 5th inning. 

Here is the box score from this morning's intrasquad game: