D. J. Wilson clubbed a home run off Koji Uehara leading off the game and Andruw Monasterio belted an RBI triple and a single and scored two runs, leading Team Banks to a 4-1 victory over Team Santo in AZ Instructional League intrasquad action Thursday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.
LHSP Bryan Hudson hurled six innings of two-hit shutout ball with six strikeouts, no walks, and a 10/0 GO/AO, Michael Cruz drilled a triple and two singles and scored two runs, Andruw Monasterio doubled twice and scored a run, and Jacob Hannemann (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL - knee injury) reached base four times (two singles and two walks), as the Cubs edged the Athletics 3-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day game action this morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The game was called after eight innings of play.
The 6'8 Hudson (Cubs 2015 3rd round draft pick - Alton HS - Alton, IL) was an absolute ground-ball machine, mixing an 87-89 MPH sinker, a plus-curve, and an occasional change-up to keep the A's hitters off-balance and constantly beating pitches into the ground. He also threw 70% strikes and averaged only 11.5 pitches-per-inning. Hudson's outing was simply one of the best performances by a starting pitcher in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game I have ever witnessed (and I have seen many good ones over the last 40 years). There were three or four scouts from other MLB clubs in attendance at the game watching Hudson work, and I would think they probably came away favorably impressed as well.
Prior to the game, the six newly-arrived pitchers from the Cubs Dominican Academy (LHP Faustino Carrera, RHP Hector Garcia, RHP Fauris Guerrero, LHP Brailyn Marquez, RHP Yunior Perez, and RHP Eury Ramos) threw "live" BP on Field #5. Each pitcher threw one inning (20 pitches). All six were at post-2016 AZ Instructs, so they have been at the Cubs Mesa facility before. Two other pitchers who attended post-2016 AZ Instructs (RHP Alfredo Colorado and Carlos Ocampo) were supposedly going to be at Extended Spring Training, too, but both will be remaining at the Cubs Dominican Academy.
Also, Eloy Jimenez (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL - right shoulder bruise) began taking BP this morning, as he gets himself into playing shape prior to playing in EXST games and (eventually) re-joining the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. However, he still is not throwing. Prior to today, Eloy had been participating in baserunning and outfield drills (without throwing), and he was "tracking" pitches in BP but not taking swings. So at least now he is able to swing the bat. Because the DH is used in the Carolina League, it's possible that Eloy could move-up to Myrtle Beach and be the DH even if he is unable to throw, although the Cubs will probably want him to complete the Rehab Throwing Program before he departs.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
Andruw Monasterio drilled a two-run home run and a single, walked, and stole two bases, and Yapson Gomez and two relievers combined to hurl a three-hit shutout, as the Eugene Emeralds blanked the Mesa Cubs 7-0 in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Wednesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The game was extended an extra half-inning so that all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game could get their work.
Jacob Hannemann (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL - knee injury) played CF for Mesa and batted five times (once in each of the first five innings), collecting all three Mesa hits (two doubles and a single).
LHP Jose Paulino was notified during the game that he is being moved-up from Extended Spring Training, but he doesn't know if he is going to South Bend or to Myrtle Beach. (Players who started the season on a minor league 7-day DL cannot be reinstated until tomorrow). Paulino threw a "live" BP session on Field #6 last week and looked very good, so it's not surprising that he will be moving up.
And based on how he looked today, I would say Jacob Hannemann probably won't be down here much lomger, either.
Meanwhile, OF Eloy Jimenez (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL - right shoulder bruise) is bunting in the cages and catching fly balls in outfield drills, but he is not hitting or throwing at this point. In "live" BP he's been standing in the box tracking pitches, but he doesn't swing. Hopefully he will be able to do more soon.
INF Chris Dominguez (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL) is taking BP and is fielding grounders at 3B and 1B, but he hasn't played in any games yet. Dominguez hit 282/317/538 with two HR and four doubles in 22 MLB Cactus League Spring Training games, and is projected to play the infield corners (1B-3B) at Iowa in 2017.
The Cubs are trying Kevin Zamudio (2015 IFA - Mexico) at catcher again in pre-game drills (he hasn't caught in a game yet). He was a catcher when he first reported to Mesa last year, but then he was moved to corner infield (1B-3B) after he struggled behind the plate. The 19-year old Zamudio has plus raw power, and so it would be good for his career going forward if he can maybe be a C-1B-3B.
Joe Martarano took pre-game BP again today but did not play in the game, and he is playing 1B in infield practice (one of the reasons Zamudio was moved back to catcher). Martarano was a third-baseman in HS and in his first year in pro ball (2014), but then was moved to 1B in 2015 and he hasn't played 3B since. However, it is expected that he will play both 1B and corner OF in Extended Spring Training (although he hasn't taken any fly balls yet), and if he proves he can handle OF (he is an athletic 6'4 240 with a third-baseman's arm), he conceivably could eventually morph into a "four-corner" player (1B-3B-LF-RF), or at least a 1B-LF-RF if 3B is too much of a problem for him defensively.
Here is the box score from today's game:
RHSP Pierce Johnson (on AAA Iowa 7-day DL since May 5th retro to 5/3 with a lat strain) hurled three innings (30 pitches - 83% strikes) of one-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts, Jose Paniagua belted an RBI double and two singles and scored a run, and Marcus Mastrobuoni hammered a triple and a single and scored two runs, leading the Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Rockies at Sloan Park, and LHSP Manny Rondon (acquired from LAA last July for C Rafael Lopez) tossed four innings of one-hit shutout ball with ten strikeouts, Chris Pieters (ex-LHP) ripped two two-run doubles (four RBI total), and Andruw Monasterio drilled an RBI single, walked twice, and scored two runs, helping the Cubs defeat the Rockies 5-2 on Field #1 at the Riverview Park Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.
Alex Castellanos (ex-LAD) slugged a solo HR for the Rockies at Sloan Park.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only)
Andruw Monasterio (two doubles and a single) and Kevonte Mitchell (two singles and a sacrifice fly) knocked-in three runs a piece and every player in the lineup (including four late-inning replacements) collected at least one hit as part of a 19-hit attack, helping the Cubs maul the Diamondbacks 15-6 on Whirlwind Field, and 6'8 LHSP Bryan Hudson hurled three innings of no run/no hit ball with no walks and four strikeouts and Yonathan Perlaza drilled a two-run single with two outs in the top of the 8th to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the D'backs 4-2 on Quail Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
On the negative side, Cubs Squad "A" committed six errors in the game on Whirlwinfd Field, despite winning the game by nine runs.
For the D'backs, Ramon Hernandez slugged a two-run home run on Quail Field and Luis Silverio belted an RBI triple and a single and scored two runs on Whirlwind Field.
John Arguello (Cubs Den) has game notes and a photo slide-shoiw from Salt River Fields
And here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Jacob Rogers drilled a two-run single to cap a three-run 6th, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, and Billy McKinney ripped an RBI single to open the scoring in the top of the 4th and doubled and scored a run in the 6th, leading the Iowa Cubs to 5-2 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in Minor League Camp game action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Andruw Monasterio hammered a double and an RBI single, walked, stole two bases, and scored a run, and Cubs 2015 2nd round draft pick Donnie Dewees (U. of North Florida) collected three singles and stole a base for the Pelicans in a losing cause.
18-year old 6'8 LHP Bryan Hudson (Cubs 2015 3rd round draft pick - Alton HS -Alton IL) threw two innings of hitless/shutout ball for Iowa, walking two, and striking out two.
The game was called after seven innings of play.
Because a number of players were called up to play in the Cubs MLB Cactus League split squad games, several players were temporarily moved to different squads for the game at Riverview. Starting pitcher Jonathan Martinez, catchers Erick Castillo, Gioskar Amaya, and Tyler Pearson, and infielder Chesny Young were moved down to Myrtle Beach from Tennessee, SS Andruw Monasterio was moved up to Tennessee from South Bend, CF Trey Martin, DH Billy McKinney, and 1B Jacob Rogers were moved up to Iowa from Tennessee, 3B Andrew Ely, LF Charcer Burks, and C Tyler Alamo were moved up to Iowa from Myrtle Beach, and pitchers Justin Steele and Bryan Hudson were moved up to Iowa from South Bend.
This was the first game action for catcher Will Remillard since undergoing TJS last March. Prior to his elbow injury, Remillard was considered a rising star (at least defensively) among the Cubs catching prospects, so highly regarded by the Cubs that he received an NRI to Spring Training in 2014 less than a year after being drafted out of Coastal Carolina U. (where he was a teammate of Cubs minor league RHP Josh Conway). Although he is presently assigned to the Iowa squad at Minor League Camp, Remillard will will likely be the #1 catcher at Myrtle Beach come Opening Day.
In Minor League Camp roster news, Francisco Garay and Wander Feliz have arrived from the Cubs Dominican Academy, and both are being converted from position player to pitcher.
A 17-year old 6'2 Panamanian, Garay hit just 126/190/146 with a whopping 96 K in 220 PA while playing both 3B and SS for the VSL Cubs in his debut pro season last year, and the 18-year old 6'2 Feliz hit 235/375/333 in 202 PA and 54 games (mostly in RF) for the DSL Cubs in 2015 (his rookie season). Garay received a $200K signing bonus in July 2014, so his failure as a position player is especially noteworthy.
Garay and Feliz have been assigned to the South Bend group, but both will very likely be assigned to the Extended Spring Training squad, once it is formed in the coming days.
Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)
Here is the box score from today's game at Minor League Camp:
Daniel Spingola belted an opposite-field RBI double into the LF corner (first pro hit) to give the Cubs the lead and next batter 18-year old Andruw Monasterio followed with a towering two-run home run off the LF foul pole (first pro HR) to highlight a four-run 7th, as the AZL Cubs rallied to overwhelm the AZL Rangers 11-5 in Arizona League action Tuesday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
P. J. Higgins belted a two-run HR, a double, and a single, Roberto Caro reached base six times (a double, an RBI single, three walks, and an E-6), stole a base, and scored a run, Andruw Monasterio singled twice, walked, and scored three runs, and Enrique de los Rios tossed 4.2 IP of two-hit shutout ball, as the AZL Cubs pounded the AZL Diamondbacks 12-1 in the completion of a game suspended on July 5th, and Angelo Amendolare doubled, singled, and drove-in two runs and Jose Paniagua clubbed a two-run home run to lead the AZL Cubs to an 8-4 victory over the AZL Diamondbacks in the regularly-scheduled game that followed, in Arizona League action Tuesday night on Whilrlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Sciottsdale, AZ.
The Cubs - Diamonbacks AZL game on July 5th at Whirlwind Field was suspended in the top of the 1st inning with one out and the Cubs leaduing 3-0 due to a medical enmergency. A person attending the game suffered a heart attack and went into cardiac arrest, and the game was halted while the Cubs & D'backs trainers performed emergency CPR until Salt River Fire Dept paramedics arrived. Unfortunately, the person could not be resuscitated, and so AZL Cubs Manager Carmelo Martinez, AZL Diamondbacks Manager Mike Benjamin, and the two umpires met at home plate and decided it would be best to just suspend the game and send everybody home. The players, managers, coaches, umpires, scouts, and many of the spectators who were there that night knew the person who very suddenly passed away in front of their eyes, and so it really wasn't possible to continue playing the game that night.
Even the completion of the suspended game once it got going again last night was further delayed another 25 minutes in the fourth inning after the home plate umpire took a foul tip off his mask and had to leave the game with concussion symptoms. So while the players, managers and coaches were basically just standing around, the base umpire hurried back to his car to retrieve his home plate umpire gear, and then he disappeared into the Diamondbacks clubhouse to change into the outfit (which took even more time), after-which he umpired the game by himself (from behind home plate) for the final five innings (and nobody gave him any shit, either). .
Here is the abridged box score from the suspended game from July 5th that was completed last night (Cubs players only)
Joey Martarano belted three doubles, knocked in two runs, and scored another, Andruw Monasterio drilled a line-drive RBI triple and a single and walked, and Dylan Cease tossed three innings of perfect baseball (6-3, K, F-8, K, 1-3, K, L-9, F-7, 4-3) and combined with three relievers to hurl a four-hitter, as the AZL Cubs defeated the AZL Giants 6-1 in Arizona League action Friday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
Alex Bautista reached base four times (a triple, two singles, and a walk) and scored four runs, Waldimir Galindo reached base five times (three singles, an HBP, and an E-2 catcher's interference), stole a base, scored three runs, and drove-in another, Joey Martarano collected four RBI (two RBI GO, a sacrifice fly, and a ringing RBI double into the LF corner), and Andruw Monasterio knocked-in three runs with two run-scoring singles, drew a walk, stole a base, and scored a run, as the AZL Cubs belted out 15 hits, drew six walks, and received one HBP, and scored three runs in the 5th, four in the 6th, and three more in the 8th, en route to a 12-8 thrashing of the AZL Athletics in Arizona League action Wednesday might on Field #4 at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. .