Kevin Zamudio slugged a solo hone run to put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 2nd, Luis Ayala belted a two-out two-run triple in the bottom of the 7th to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead, and Dylan Cease fired 4.2 IP (71 pitches) of one-hit ball with six strikeouts, as the Cubs rallied to edge the Diamondbacks 4-3 on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, and Zach Bowers blasted a solo HR, singled twice, reached base on an HBP, scored two runs, and drove-in two more, and SP Jeff Burke and five relievers combined to toss a five-hitter, leading the Giants to a 7-2 victory over the Cubs at Sloan Park, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Memorial Day split squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.
Cease was cruising along about to complete five innings of shutout ball, but he hit a batter and walked the next two hitters on nine pitches with two outs in the top of the 5th, and then reliever Tommy Nance immediately gave up a two-run double that scored two inherited runners (both runs charged to Cease).
Pedro Marquez drilled a two-run double, singled, and walked for the Diamondbacks in a losing cause in the game on Field #1. Ex-Cub RHP Jeferson Mejia (one of two pitchers sent to the Diamondbacks in the Miguel Montero trade in December 2014) was the starting pitcher for the D'backs and worked five innings, allowing two runs on three hits (including the Zamudio HR) and four walks, with two strikeouts, 1 GIDP, and 4/6 GO/AO,
RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL since May 9th with right shoulder inflammation) and RHSP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL since Spring Training with right shoulder inflammation) worked in the game versus the Giants at Sloan Park. Both were hit fairly hard (Tseng surrendered four well-struck hits in 2.2 IP including three singles and a double plus a HBP, and Beeler gave-up four hits including the Bowers HR in just two innings of work).
The game with Diamondbacks on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex was called by mutual-consent after 7-1/2 innings of play. This was supposed to have been a split-squad doubleheader versus the Giants (only), but the D'backs and Giants play each other in a split-squad doubleheader tomorrow, and while the Giants don't have enough pitchers available to play two doubleheaders in a row, the Diamondbacks do (sort of). So the D'backs sent a squad of players to Mesa to play the Cubs "B" squad, and left a second squad back home at Salt River Fields to play their regularly scheduled Cactus League EXST game against the A's, but they only brought enough pitchers to Mesa to play seven innings.
The following position-players have been sent from Extended Spring Training to the Cubs Dominican Academy and will be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2: SS Aramis Ademan, C Miguel Amaya, SS Christopher Morel, INF Rafael Narea, 2B Yonathan Perlaza, OF Abraham Rodriguez, and OF Jonathan Sierra. Three or four pitchers who have been at EXST will also be assigned to the DSL, presumably including some combination of RHP (ex-INF) Francisco Garay, RHP (ex-OF) Wander Feliz, and LHP Eugenio Palma. It is possible that there will be some additional roster adjustments made prior to the start of the DSL season on Saturday, so all assignments are subject to change depending on the needs of the organization. I can't even absolutely, positively confirm that the players named above have actually physically left Arizona yet, but I would say there is a good chance that they have.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Kevonte Mitchell (RBI single), Michael Foster (RBI double), and Vimael Machin (RBI single) stroked run-scoring hits and RHP Jesus Castillo tossed four innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts, helping the Cubs edge the Diamondbacks 3-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Ramada Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Joel Novas belted an RBI triple and a double for the Diamondbacks in a losing cause.
The game was called by mutual consent after7-1/2 innings of play.
On the Cubs MLB 15-day DL since Spring Training with right shoulder inflammation, RHSP Dallas Beeler saw his first Cactus League EXST game action since being shut-down mid-AB in a rehab start at Riverview Park on April 30th. Beeler threw a 1-2-3 inning (14 pitches) with two strikeouts today, and is scheduled to make his next start (where the number of innings and pitches will be increased) early next week
Prior to the Cactus League EXST game, RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng (on AA Tennessee DL since May 9th with right shoulder inflammation) threw a two-inning 40-pitch "live" BP session at Riverview Park and looked very good. Whether he will return directly to Tennessee or make a rehab start or two at EXST is TBD.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHRP Daniel Lewis has been moved-up to Myrtle Beach. Lewis was one of the last pitchers cut from the South Bend roster at the end of Minor League Camp, so it is not surpising that he got the call. Lewis served four years in the U. S. Air Force after graduating from high school, and was discovered by a Cubs scout pitching at Pensacola JC in Florida in 2014. He's 25, but because of the years lost to military service he still has a "young arm" (he's only been pitching for two years). He throws hard (a 94-96 MPH fastball that touches 97 and a mid-80's slider), and is a fierce competitor.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
Aramis Ademan (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic - $2M bonus) blasted a three-run home run high over the RF fence and onto the south bank of the Red Mountain Freeway to cap a four-run sixth inning, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the Diamondbacks 5-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Acquired by the Cubs from the Oakland A's for OF Chris Coghlan after the Cubs re-signed CF Dexter Fowler in February, RHSP Aaron Brooks (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL since Spring Training with a hip contusion) made his first Cactus League EXST game appearance, throwing one inning (12 pitches - 8 strikes), and allowing no runs on two hits (a single and a double). His fastball velocity was 91-92 MPH, and he displayed a hard breaking ball.
RHP Dylan Cease followed Brooks to the hill and worked three innings (63 pitches - 63% strikes), allowing three runs (all three earned) on five hits (two doubles and three singles) and two walks, with four strikeouts, and a 2/3 GO/AO. He also committed a two-base throwing error attempting to pick a runner off 1st base.
Cease's fastball velocity sat consistently at 96-98 MPH, but he touched 99 twice and 100 once in the top of the third when he struck out the side (his only 1-2-3 inning). He also threw about a dozen curves (79-81 MPH) and about a half-dozen change-ups (82-84 MPH). He had trouble commanding his change-up (he bounced most of them), he hung a couple of curves that were hammered for line-drive hits, and he had trouble keeping his fastball at knee level (which is when it's virtually unhittable), leaving too many of his high-velocity offerings belt-high.
Dylan Cease combined 2016 Cactus League EXST line (thru 5/23):
2.95 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, .246 OppBA
18.1 IP, 16 H, 6 R (6 ER), 9 BB, 25 K, 1 HBP, 0 HR, 2 WP, 2 PO, 1 BALK, 2 GIDP, 17/7 GO/AO, 307 pitches (61% strikes), 16.7 PITCHES-PER-INNING
Prior to the EXST game on Field #5, RHSP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL since Spring Training with right shoulder inflammation) and RHRP P. J. Francescon threw "live" BP on Field #4 (one inning and 25 pitches each).
Beeler was throwing in Cactus League EXST games last month and appeared to be close to moving-up to AAA Iowa, but then he was shut-down (mid-AB) in what was supposed to be his next-to-last rehab start on April 30th. So now it's back to square-one, with today's "live" BP outing his first step to get back to where he was last month. Barring any further medical setbacks, Beeler and Brooks should be in the Iowa starting rotation within about three weeks.
Francescon was the closer at AA Tennessee last year and it looked like he would get a shot at advancing to AAA Iowa in 2016, but then he received a 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension from MLB last January that has left him throwing "live" BP, "sim" games, and intrasquad games at Extended Spring Training while he completes his "sentence." Francescon reminds me a bit of Rod Beck, with a pedestrian 88-90 MPH fastball used to set-up a dive-bomb splitter (his "swing & miss" pitch).
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
Alexis Rivera hammered a two-run home run to key a five-run 3rd inning that turned a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 lead, and the Angels held-on to edge the Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
17-year old SS Aramis Ademan (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic - $2M bonus) ripped a double and a bases-loaded bases-clearing three-run triple, 17-year old 2B Yonathan Perlaza (2015 IFA - Venezuela - $1M bonus) drilled an RBI triple and a single, walked, and scored a run, and 19-year old CF D. J. Wilson (Cubs 2015 4th round draft pick - Canton South HS - Canton, OH) singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored three runs for the Cubs in a losing cause.
Ademan also made a nice play in the field on an L-6 that he turned into an inning-ending DP in the top of the 1st. (This was Ademan's first Cactus League EXST game action since April 16th, although he did play in yesterday's intrasquad game).
RHSP Pedro Silverio got the start for the Cubs and threw ten straight balls to start the game, before settling down and retiring eight of the last nine men he faced (K, L-6 DP, 6-3, BB, K, F-7, K, F-9, 4-3).
Recently signed RHRP Nick Sarianides (ex-AZ) was the victim of the five-run explosion in the top of the 3rd, allowing all five runs on two hits (including the Rivera HR), two walks, a HBP, and two WP (he threw only 39% srikes and he could not complete the inning). The strikeout and save leader in the California League in 2015, Sarianides was released by the D'backs earlier this month because he could not throw strikes at AA Mobile. He posted a 1-2-3 nine-pitch inning in his first EXST outing on Tuesday.
RF Michael Foster fouled a ball off his left ankle mid-AB in the bottom of the 7th and had to be carted off the field (Yohan Matos finished the AB), the third Cub outfielder to leave a game due to a leg, ankle, or foot injury in three days (Jose Gonzalez and Robert Garcia were injured in Wednesday's SS-DH versus the Rockies).
Prior to the game on Field #5, RHSP Aaron Brooks (March 2016 hip contusion) and LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) threw "live" BP on Field #6 (one inning - 25 pitches each), so if there are no medical setbacks, both pitchers should be ready for Cactus League EXST or intrasquad game action within a week or so. This was Leathersich's first time throwing from a mound on a field since his TJS, but Brooks threw in an intrasquad game at Riverview on April 26th (he was shut-down after just two innings, and he hadn't thrown on a field since).
Among Cubs 40-man roster pitchers who are on the DL, LHRP Zac Rosscup has had season-ending left shoulder-surgery, RHRP Andury Acevedo has had season-ending knee surgery (torn ACL), and RHSP Dallas Beeler (right shoulder inflammation) was shut-down mid-AB while throwing in a Cactus League EXST game on April 30th, and he hasn't pitched since. RHSP Pierce Johnson (lat strain) is at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa, but he is not throwing "live" yet. And I have not seen Joe Nathan.
RHSP Stephen Fife (oblique strain) is not on the Cubs 40-man roster but he was an NRI to Spring Training, and he has completed his EXST rehab assignment (he threw 81 pitches in a Cactus League EXST game on Wednesday) and he will be re-joining the Iowa Cubs when they return home on Monday.
RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) is also not on the Cubs 40-man roster but (like Fife) he was an NRI to Spring Training, and he was active and pitching in Cactus League EXST games regularly (one inning every two or three days) up until ten days ago (5/10), when he was shut-down while warming up to come into a game versus the Giants in Scottsdale, and he hasn't pitched since.
And as I've mentioned here before, but in case you missed it, LHRP Manny Parra (another NRI to Cubs MLB Spring Training) had TJS last month and is out for the year.
John Arguello has notes from the game at Cubs Den:
And here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only) :
Five pitchers combined to toss a one-hit shutout and Didimo Bracho belted a two-run home run and an RBI single to account for all of his team's runs, helping the Diamondbacks blank the Cubs 3-0 at Sloan Park, and D. J. Wilson (two-run triple), Luis Ayala (RBI double), Gustavo Polanco (RBI double), and Jesse Hodges (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run Cub 3rd, as the Cubs and D'backs played to a 7-7 tie on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.
Michael Foster broke up the D'backs no-hit bid in Sloan Park with a one-out single in the bottom of the 9th.
RHSP Duane Underwood (right ebow stiffness) made his final rehab start in the game at Sloan Park and threw 5.1 IP (78 pitches) of one-run ball, retiring 13 of the first 16 men he faced before running into trouble in the top of the 6th when he allowed three singles and a HBP and surrendered his only run. But he was outstanding through the first five innings, allowing no runs on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts.
RHRP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs 15-day DL - right shoulder inflammation) made a rehab start in the game played on Field #1 and was hit hard, allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits (two singles, a double, a triple, and a home run) and a walk (plus a throwing error) in 3.1 IP (50 pitches).
RHRP Aaron Crow (ex-KC - April 2015 TJS rehab) threw in the game on Field #1, but was unable to complete his inning, allowing a single, a double, and a triple and two runs while retiring only one batter. I couldn't tell if he was lifted because of pitch count or performance issues, but his stuff was subpar today and obviously didn't fool any of the young D'backs hitters.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
With Donn Roach getting the start for the Iowa Cubs today, it would appear likely that Dallas Beeler will get the call-up to be the "26th man" and start one of the games of the day-night doubleheader for the Cubs versus the Cardinals on Tuesday.
Beeler last started for Iowa against Round Rock in Des Moines last Tuesday and Roach last pitched a week ago yesterday for the Cubs in St. Louis, so unless the Cubs intend to start Edwin Jackson or Travis Wood on Tuesday, the choice was probably between Beeler and Roach.
Here is the how the "26th Man" rule works....
Cesar Galvez drilled a two-run double and singled, Luis Castro belted a solo home run and singled, Wesley Jones ripped two RBI singles, and Max George hammered an RBI triple, walked twice, and scored a run, as the Rockies cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Frandy de la Rosa doubled twice and scored two runs for the Cubs.
RHP (ex-C) Mark Malave made his second Cactus League Extended Spring Training game appearance and his first start, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits (four singles, a double, and a home run) and a walk (and a WP) in just 1.1 IP.
Malave is one of three former position players being converted to pitcher by the Cubs at Extended Spring Training, with RHP (ex-OF) Jae-Hoon Ha and LHP (ex-OF) Ariel Ovando being the other two.
Ha has yet to pitch in a Cactus League EXST game, but he did throw in an intrasquad game a couple of days ago and allowed a run on three hits (all singles) with no walks or strikeouts in one inning of work, and Ovando (selected by the Cubs from the Houston Astros in the AAA Phase of the December 2014 Rule 5 Draft) has yet to throw in a game.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHP Dallas Beeler (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) has completed his Extended Spring Training work and has been assigned to the AAA Iowa Cubs on an Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment. He did not pitch in any Cactus League MLB Spring Training games last month, and just recently began throwing in Cactus League Extended Spring Training games.
Beeler threw poorly in his first EXST game on 4/15, but his fastball velocity upticked to 94 MPH and touched 95 in his second EXST start last Monday as he got his pitch count up to near 70.
DALLAS BEELER - 2015 EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING GAMES:
1. WED 4/15: 3.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 1/4 GO/FO, 61 pitches (39 strikes)
2. MON 4/20: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 6/5 GO/FO, 69 pitches (43 strikes)
TOTAL: 7.1 IP, 12 H, 6 R (6 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 1 PO, 7/9 GO/FO, 63% strikes, 7.36 ERA, 2.45 WHIP
Beeler will likely be optioned to Iowa when his rehab assignment is completed (which could be up to 30 days from now), but keeping him on the DL and sending him to Iowa on a Minor League Rehab Assignment rather than reinstating him from the DL now and optioning him to Iowa immediately will give the Cubs the option to transfer Beeler to the 60-day DL if a 40-man roster slot is needed sometime over the next 30 days.
Meanwhile, RHP Justin Grimm (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right forearm inflammation since April 2nd) threw two bullpen sessions this week, and so he will probably begin pitching in Extended Spring Training games early next week.
I saw RHP Neil Ramirez (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation since 4/16) playing catch on the Agility Field on Thursday, but he has not started throwing bullpens yet, so he is a few days behind Grimm.
Because getting "stretched-out" and building up pitch counts isn't that important for relief pitchers, Grimm and Ramirez will not need a whole lot of rehab games to get back into MLB game shape. The main thing to be concerned about with Grimm and Ramirez are medical setbacks during the course of the rehab that could send the pitcher back to "square-one" (or worse).
And here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
Roney Alcala (RBI single), Jhonny Pereda (RBI double), and Jose Paniagua (RBI double) drilled run-scoring hits to highlight a three-run 2nd inning and Jose Paulino and three relievers combined to hurl a two-hitter, leading the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Giants on Field #5, and Jordan Hankins ripped a double and an RBI single and Frandy de la Rosa doubled, singled, and scored a run, as the Cubs edged the Giants 3-2 on Field #6, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.
The Cubs scored three runs on six hits (four singles, a double, and a triple), two walks, and a HBP off veteran RHP Kevin Correia in four innings on Field #6.
On the Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation, RHP Dallas Beeler got a rehab start for the Cubs on Field #6, allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits and two walks in 4.1 IP (69 pitches). He struck out two (both swinging) with a 6/5 GO/FO.
Beeler looked better today than he did in his first EXST rehab start versus the Rockies at Salt River Fields last Wednesday when he allowed four runs on eight hits (five singles, a double, a triple, and a two-run home run) in just three innings of work (61 pitches), retiring the first seven Giants he faced (K, 4-3, F-7, 3-1, 5-3, F-9, P-6) before allowing a walk and a single in the top of the 3rd, and two singles, a double, and a walk in the top of the 4th. His fastball velocity sat consistently at 93-94 MPH and topped out at 95, but he had trouble commanding his secondary stuff (breaking ball and change-up) the second time through the batting order.
It is unknown at this time if Beeler will get another rehab start in Arizona, or if he will make his next start at AAA Iowa.
In EXST Cubs roster news, Cubs 2013 15th round draft pick RHRP Michael Wagner has been moved up to AAA Iowa. Wagner was the closer at the University of San Diego prior to getting drafted and signing with the Cubs in 2013, and he was a teammate of Kris Bryant at USD.
Also, 20-year old Dominican RHP Santiago Rodriguez and 17-year old Venezuelan switch-hitting SS Andruw Monasterio have been added to the Cubs Extended Spring Training roster. Rodriguez was at Instructs last fall, while Monasterio will be making his U. S. debut.
Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only)
Taylor Teagarden drilled three singles and slammed a two-run home run, Eloy Jimenez ripped an RBI double and an RBI triple and scored a run, Tyler Alamo doubled, singled, walked, scored three runs, and knocked-in another, and Adonis Paula singled, tripled, walked, and drove-in two runs, leading the Cubs to a 13-7 drubbing of the Rockies in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day action this morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Josh Fuentes slugged a two-run HR and Ryan Stephens hammered a two-run triple for the Rockies in a losing cause.
The Cubs belted out 22 hits today (including five doubles, four triples, and a HR), and with a 4-4 day, Taylor Teagarden was the leading trouble maker. On the Iowa Cubs 7-day DL rehabbing a sore shoulder, Teagarden batted once each inning in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th, and was the Cubs catcher for the first four innings. If today was any indication of his present state of rehabilitation, he will likely be rejoining the Iowa Cubs sooner rather later.
RHP Dallas Beeler (on the Cubs MLB 15-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) got the start for the Cubs, making his first game appearance of the 2015 season. But things did not go well for the big right-hander, as he allowed four runs (all earned) on eight hits (five singles, a double, a triple, and a two-run home run) in just three innings of work (61 pitches - 39 strikes). On the positive side, he did not issue any walks, and he struck out three (one swinging and two looking). There is a spot waiting for Beeler in the I-Cubs starting rotation, but he may need a bit more work (like getting his pitch count up to about 80) before he is ready to be reinstated from the DL.
RHRP Austin Reed (on the Hi-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans 7-day DL - 2014 TJS rehab) also saw his first game action of 2015 and his first game action since undergoing elbow UCL transplant surgery last year, throwing one inning (18 pitches) and allowing one run on two hits (a double and a single) and a WP. He struck out one (looking).
The best pitching outing of the day by a Cub hurler was turned-in by RHP David Garner, who struck out the side in the 7th (two swinging and one looking). Garner also struck out the side 1-2-3 in an intrasquad game last week, so he may be the first call-up to a full-season affiliate when the need arises.
Cubs SS Ho-Young Son had an odd day, singling twice, but then getting immediately picked-off 1st base both times (once by the pitcher and once by the catcher).
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
Nataniel Delgado belted an RBI triple and a double and scored a run, Brandon Bayardi stroked two RBI singles, and veteran MLB LHP Sean Burnett (2013 elbow surgery rehab) and five relievers combined to toss a three-hitter with ten strikeouts, as the Angels defeated the Cubs 4-2 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
Jorge Soler (hamstring injury rehab) played RF for five innings (first time he has played in the outfield in about a month) and batted once in each of the first five innings, going 0-5 with five ground outs.
RHP Dallas Beeler continued his EXST rehab assignment, throwing 6.1 IP (60 pitches - 44 strikes) and allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits (five singles and a triple) and a walk, while striking out two and (once again) getting a ton of ground balls (12/3 GO/FO, plus another grounder that turned into an error).
THE PITCHING LINES FROM DALLAS BEELER'S FOUR EXST OUTINGS:
4/14 - 2.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 41 pitches (31 strikes)
4/19 - 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 7/1 GO/FO, 63 pitches (44 strikes)
4/25 - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 PO, 9/2 GO/FO, 68 pitches (45 strikes)
4/30 - 6.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 12/3 GO/FO, 60 pitches (44 strikes)
TOTAL: 18.0 IP, 21 H, 9 R (9 ER), 4 BB, 11 K, 1 PO, 30/6 GO/FO, 71% strikes, 4.50 ERA, 1.39 WHIP