Dan Vogelbach drove-in five runs with a grand slam home run and a bases-loaded walk and Matt Murton doubled, walked twice, and scored two runs, leading the Iowa Cubs (the AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 7-3 victory over the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) on Field #6, Shawon Dunston Jr clubbed a two-run HR and Billy McKinney and Jacob Rogers singled and doubled, but it wasn't anywhere near enough as the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) belted out 14 hits (including three triples, a double, and a home run) en route to a 9-4 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #5, and Gleyber Torres drilled a single and an RBI double, scored a run, and stole two bases, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) cruised to an 8-4 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) in Minor League Camp game action this afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The three games were played simultaneously.
As usual, several players were moved up to higher levels just for the day.
John Arguello from Cubs Den was at the game, and (as usual) he has some great pics & commentary posted over there
Here are the abridged box scores (Cubs players only) from the games played on Field 5 & 6, and the box score from the game played on Field #4:
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:
Jacob Rogers blasted a grand slam home run (off the roof of the Angels clubhouse) and a triple, Billy McKinney belted a solo HR, singled twice, and scored two runs, Mark Zagunis singled twice, walked, and scored a run, and Paul Blackburn threw 5.2 IP of two-hit shutout ball (no-hitter thru 4.2 IP), leading the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) to a 7-1 victory over the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) on Field #7, and Mike Bolaski (ex-3B) and four relievers combined to toss a six-hit shutout with 10 strikeouts, as the Burlington Bees (Angels Lo-A affiliate) blanked the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 5-0 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League game action this morning at Diablo Park in Tempe, AZ.
Somewhat appropriately, the Burlington Bees - South Bend Cubs game on Field #4 was delayed for several minutes while a swarm of bees hovered overhead, apparently looking for a landing spot. The players who were on the field at the time hit the ground the way soldiers do when a hand grenade is thrown into their vicinity. This is the second time in two years that bees have descended upon Diablo Park when I've been there (a hive had to be removed from a tractor that was situated in the bullpen at Field #7 last year). Naturally, the Angels have not one but two affiliates (Lo-A Burlington and AAA Salt Lake City) with the "Bees" nickname.
The game on Field #7 was pre-planned as a ten-inning affair so that all of the pitchers scheduled to throw today could get their scheduled work.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Michael Santos tossed three innings of shutout ball and Rodney Price blasted a two run HR, as the Augusta GreenJackets (SF Giants Lo-A affiliate) edged the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 4-3 on Field #5, and Randy Ortiz and Steven Neff (ex-LHP) belted two run triples and Ryder Jones hammered a two-run double, leading the San Jose Giants (San Francisco Giants Hi-A affiliate) to an 8-5 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) on Field #6, in Cactus League Minor League game action this afternoon at Mesa Cubtown at Riverview Park.
21-year old RHP James Norwood (Cubs 2014 7th round draft pick - Saint Louis University) got the start for South Bend and threw four innings of two-hit shutout ball, retiring the last eleven men he faced. Justin Marra drilled a two-run triple and a single for the South Bend squad, and Jacob Rogers drove-in three runs with an RBI double and two-run HR for the Myrtle Beach squad.
Prior to the games on Fields 5 & 6, RHPs Austin Reed (2014 TJS) and Jesus Castillo squared-off in a two-inning "sim" game on Field #4.
Here is the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Steve Clevenger laced an RBI double and a single and scored two runs, Jesse Hodges belted an RBI double and a triple and scored three times, Dong-Yub Kim doubled, singled twice, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Jacob Rogers drove-in three runs with an RBI 6-3 GO, a triple, and a bases-loaded walk, as the Cubs drubbed the Angels 16-3 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Diablo Park Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.
This was the final Cactus League Extended Spring Training game for Albert Almora (broken hand rehab), as he will be leaving Arizona tomorrow morning, en route to join the Kane County Cougars. In six Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (28 PA), Almora hit 259/286/444, with four singles, one double, and two triples, one walk and four strikeouts, five runs scored. and two RBI. He also stole a base.
The Cubs 2012 1st round pick (6th overall), Almora sustained a broken hamate bone at Minor League Camp on March 14th.
Steve Clevenger (strained oblique rehab) was a DH in today's game, and got four AB. He batted once in each of the first four innings, getting called out on strikes in his first PA, rifling a line-drive single over the pitcher's head his second time up and then scoring later that inning, roping an RBI double off the CF fence in his third AB before scoring another run later in that inning, and finally grounding into a DP his final turn at the bat.
Because Clevenger was placed on the Cubs MLB 60-day DL on April 14th, he won't be eligible to be reinstated until June 13th. So once Clevenger completes his work at Extended Spring Training, look for him to spend a few more days on a 20-day minor league rehab assignment at Tennessee and/or Iowa.
Cubs 2012 6th round pick RHP Trey Lang got the start for the Cubs and had a poor outing, allowing three runs on three hits, four walks, and a HBP (plus a WP) in just 2.1 IP (63 pitches - only 29 strikes). Four Angel runners were cut-down on the bases in the first two innings of the game (two CS, one catcher PO, and one pitcher PO), or Lang's line could have been even uglier than it was.
17-year old Venezuelan LHP Carlos Rodriguez followed Lang to the mound and threw 2.2 IP of no-run/no-hit ball, allowing a walk to the the first man he faced before retiring the last eight batters in a row (4-3, F-8, K, 4-3, 3-U, L-6, P-3, L-1). Rodriguez will likely be one of the AZL Cubs starting pitchers this summer.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
17-year old Panamanian LHP Anfernee Benitez tossed four innings of no run/no hit ball with eight strikeouts, 16-year old Dominican SS Sergio Alcantara singled twice, tripled, and scored two runs, and Tyler Linton cracked a two-run double to cap a four run 8th inning rally, as the Diamondbacks outlasted the Cubs 8-6 on Field #4, and Wagner Mateo belted an RBI double to put the D'backs on the board in the top of the 1st, and Andrew Velasquez laced an RBI triple to plate the Diamondbacks final run in the top of the 4th, as the D'backs withstood a Cub rally in the bottom of the 9th (Cubs scored twice and left the bases loaded) and defeated the Cubs 5-3 on Field #2, sweeping a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Jose Rosario got the start for the Cubs on Field #4 and had a rough 1st inning, surrendering four runs on four hits (three singles and a double) and a walk. But then he found his rhythm and retired 12 of the last 13 men he faced (five on strikes) before reaching his pre-planned pitch limit (67).
Rony Rodriguez whacked a two-run HR in the bottom of the 5th and Justin Marra followed an inning later with a two-run double to help the Cubs tie the game on Field #4, and then the Cubs took a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the 7th, before the D'backs erupted for four runs off reliever Chad Martin (capped by the Tyler Linton two-run two-bagger) in the top of the 8th. Martin had a really poor outing, allowing four runs on six hits (three singles, two doubles, and a triple) in just two innngs of work
Albert Almora was in the lineup on Field #4 and played CF for six innings, getting four AB and going 1-4. He struck out (swinging) twice against Anfernee Benitez, then he broke up the no-hitter by rifling a single off RHRP Bobby Hillier and past the D'backs third-baseman leading off the bottom of the 5th (before scoring on the Rony Rodriguez HR), and popped up to the second-baseman in short RF in his final PA (also versus Hillier).
Prior to the doubleheader, RHP Chang-Yong Lim (July 2012 TJS rehab) threw a 25-pitch "live" BP inning on Field #1, facing Jose Morales (strained hamstring rehab), Lance Rymel, and Justin Marra. The 36-year old side-armin' Korean and one-time closer for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows (NPB) was signed by the Cubs post-2012, and has been rehabbing at Fitch Park for the past couple of months. Barring a medical setback, I would think he will probably see some EXST game action soon. (Fellow South Korean Dong-Yub Kim bowed to Lim in "we are not worthy" style as he passed behind the batting cage on Field #1 on his way to Field #4).
In EXST Cubs roster news, INF Bryant Flete has been moved down to the VSL Cubs. Flete had an interesting weekend, playing in the EXST game at Talking Stick last Friday, flying to Venezuela on Saturday, and then playing in the VSL Cubs inaugural yesterday morning (Flete hit lead-off and played SS for the VSL Cubs).
Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):
Jacob Rogers blasted a three-run home run over the right-centerfield fence to put the Cubs on the board in the bottom of the 1st inning, Dong-Yub Kim belted a solo HR over the LF fence and off the roof of a house on the north side of 8th Street, singled, and walked, and Shawon Dunston Jr laced an RBI triple, singled, and scored two runs, leading the Cubs to an 8-1 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.
Shawon Dunston Jr reached base four times on three singles and a walk, scored twice, and drove-in a run, Yasiel Balaguert singled twice, tripled, and knocked-in four runs, and Jacob Rogers smacked a two-run triple and walked, leading one squad of Cubs to a 7-3 victory over one squad of Diamondbacks on Field #3, and Francisco Sanchez hammered a two-run triple and then scored on a WP in a three-run 5th, and Garrett Schlecht, Erick Castillo, and Wilfredo Petit punched-out consecutive singles with two outs in the bottom of the 7th, rallying the other squad of Cubs to a 4-4 tie with the other squad of D'backs on Field #2, in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
As is usually the case when they play an EXST doubleheader, both games were seven-inning affairs, and the games were played simultaneously on adjoining fields.
RHP Dayan Diaz saw his first 2013 game action today, starting and pitching one inning in the game on Field #3. Signed by the Cubs as a minor league free-agent last November, Diaz got an NRI to Spring Training, but never got to pitch in an MLB Cactus League game because of a sore arm. (In fact, he never even threw "live" BP while with the big club). He has been rehabbing at Fitch Park for the past six weeks.
The Cubs have signed 30-year old veteran switch-hitting C-1B-3B-PH Jose Morales to a minor league contract, and he was a DH in the game on Field #2. He went 2-3, roping two line-drive singles and striking out (swinging). With Steve Clevenger on the DL for at least 60 days with a strained oblique, it's possible that Morales was signed to eventually provide Manager Dale Sveum with the third catcher he seems to covet.
The Cubs have been working out Jose Dore (acquired from SD last month) at 3rd base this week, and he played there in yesterday's intrasquad game and then again in today's EXST game on Field #2. He looks like a "natural" at the hot corner, and although he probably will continue to see action at 1B-LF-RF, it looks like he wil be playing a lot of 3rd base in the coming days. (He also got three innings at 2nd base last week, as the Cubs apparently see him as a bit of a "super-sub").
Conversely, I doubt that 18-year old slugging INF Luis Acosta (signed on July 2, 2011 - $1.1M bonus) will be remaining at 3rd base. His throws have been consistently scatter-gun (in fact, about the worst I have ever seen), and he was worked-out at 2nd base in pre-game infield practice this morning (although he did not play in the game). He was signed as a ahortstop, but was moved to third-base at DSL Instrux post-2012 because of defensive struggles at SS. If second-base doesn't work out, he'll probably be moved to LF. (He also needs to learn how to hit breaking balls, or at least recognize a breaking ball and then not swing at it).
Here are the box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):
Hector Mercedes roped a two-run triple to highlight a three-run 6th and Randy Ortiz tripled and singled, scored two runs, and stole a base, leading one squad of Giants to a 9-3 victory on Field #2, and Cristian Otero smacked a two-run triple, singled twice, and scored three runs, Alberto Robles drove-in two runs with an RBI double and an RBI single, and Ryan Jones doubled twice, stole a base, and scored a run, leading the other squad of Giants to a 9-2 victory on Field #3, as the Cubs were swept in a Cactus League Extended Spring Training doubleheader played this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Garrett Schlecht (two-run triple and a walk), Jacob Rogers (solo HR), Shawon Dunston Jr (single, triple, and a run scored), and Jose Dore (RBI triple and a run scored) provided what Cub offense there was.
Here are the box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
Ian Stewart singled, doubled, drove-in a run, and scored another, Jacob Rogers singled twice and scored twice, Garrett Schlecht hammered an RBI double and walked, and Justin Marra ripped an RBI single, walked, and scored a run, leading the Cubs to a 7-4 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa, AZ.
Continuing his Extended Spring Training rehab assignment, Stewart played 3B for six innings and batted five times (once in each of the first five innings), going 2-5. He grounded out 3-U in his first AB, struck out swinging in his 2nd and 5th PA, roped a line-drive single to right in his 3rd AB, and crushed an RBI double into the RF corner his 4th time up. He didn't handle any chances at 3rd base, but he ran the bases at full tilt, showing no ill effects from the quad strain that sidelined him for most of MLB Spring Training.
The Defensive Play of the Game featured (once again) CF Rashad Crawford, who sprinted at full speed toward the infield and then made a diving catch in short center of what would otherwise have been a bloop single.
Slapped with a five-game suspension following an on-the-field incident in a game at Clearwater a couple of days ago, Daytona Cubs RF Jorge Soler is now at Fitch Park. He took BP on Field #1 with the recent-arrivals from the Dominican Academy (Acosta, Caro, K. Encarnacion, and F. Sanchez) during the EXST game. Whether he will remain in Mesa beyond the five-game FSL suspension remains to be seen...
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):