Christopher Morel and Jonathan Soto stroked two-run home runs in Cubs Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Tuesday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.
Addison Russell (who is serving a 40-game suspension for violation of the MLB-MLBPA joint DV policy) played SS for three innings and went 2-3 with two singles and a strikeout (swinging).
Jen-Ho Tseng started the game for SQUAD "B" but was removed from the game in the 3rd inning. Colin Rea (who had started the game and pitched the first two innings for "SQUAD "A") relieved Tseng and pitched the 3rd inning for SQUAD "B." Tseng had been left behind in Mesa when his Iowa teammates left town so that he could stay in his rotation slot and get his scheduled work (he was not projected to make his first start for Iowa until next Sunday or Monday), but based upon his performance today (three runs on five hits -- three singles and two doubles, three walks, a HBP, and a WP, and only 50% strikes, in just two innings of work), that might now be in doubt.
The game was called in the middle of the 6th inning after all of the pitchers who were scheduled to throw in the game got their work.
Here is the box score from the game:
Jared Young drilled an RBI double and a two-run HR, Cam Balego mashed a two-run HR, singled, walked, and scored three runs, Tyler Payne slugged a two-run HR and singled twice, and RHSP Javier Assad hurled five inings of one-run ball, leading the South Bend Cubs to a 6-1 victory over the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Field #5, and LHSP Jose Paulino tossed five innings of shutout ball and Carlos Penalver belted a solo HR to help the Tennessee Smokies whitewash the Iowa Cubs 3-0 on Field #6, in Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Saturday morning on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Jared Young has been the hottest hitter in Cubs Minor League Camp this month, leading all Cubs minor leaguers in home runs with four. He went 5-5 at Fitch Park versus Beloit yesterday (four singles and a double), and continued to rake today with the RBI double and two-run HR. He is a hitting-machine. (A natural second-baseman, Young has been playing 1B-2B-3B-LF at Minor League Camp to help increase his player-value going forward).
RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng threw six innings (80 pitches) and allowed two runs on four hits (one HR) and a walk with five strikeouts for the I-Cubs on Field #6, in preparation for his Opening Day start next Thursday in Des Moines against Oklahoma City.
The Defensive Gem of the Game (on Field #6) was turned in by an unexpected source, one Stephen Bruno (normally an infielder, and not known for his defense). Bruno made a spectacular leaping catch over the top of the LF fence and pulled back a near-certain HR-ball off the bat of Jesse Hodges that left the other players and the coaches in near hysterics.
Yeiler Peguero had an interesting day, playing 3B for South Bend on Field #5 for six innings before carrying his bat and glove across the walkway to Field #6 and playing 2B for Tennessee for the final two innings of the Iowa-Tennessee game (the two games were played simultaneously and started and ended at about the same time).
Several pitchers were inserted into the lineups on Field #6 so that they could practice bunting in game situations.
Although the games were ostensibly Iowa vs Tennessee and Myrtle Beach vs South Bend, the Eugene/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad actually contributed the lion's share of the position-players (22 to be exact) to the two games, as a number of players from the four "full-season" squads got the day off. The main purpose of the games was to get innings for pitchers who were scheduled to throw in a game today (the Cactus League minor league season concluded yesterday, so intrasquad games are the only option right now), and to allow the starting pitchers to increase their pitch-counts to where they will need to be once the minor league regular-season begins next week.
The Opening Day rosters for the four Cubs "full-season" affiliates should be announced within the next couple of days. Collectively the four teams are 17 over the Opening Day active roster limit, but most of the trimming will involve players going onto the 7-day DL and/or being assigned to Extended Spring Training.
RHSP Jen-Ho Tseng hurled three innings of perfect baseball, Kevin Cornelius laced two RBI doubles (one in the 2nd inning and another in the 8th), Eddy Julio Martinez singled and doubled and scored a run, and Gioskar Amaya drilled a bases-loaded two-run walk-off double off the LF fence in the bottom of the 9th to overcome a 4-3 deficit, as the AAA Iowa Cubs rallied to edge the Reno Aces (AAA affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks) 5-4 on Field #6, and Anfernee Grier smacked a two-run HR in the 1st inning and Marcus Wilson hammered a solo HR in the 3rd, and LHSP Alex Young hurled three innings of shutout ball, as the Jackson Generals (D'backs AA affiliate) edged the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 4-3 on Field #5, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Friday afternoon on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Diamondbacks RHSP Taijuan Walker was sent to Mesa from D'backs MLB camp and got the start for Reno on Field #6, working 4.2 IP and allowing one run (earned) on three hits (a double and two singles) and a walk, with seven strikeouts and a 4/2 GO/AO. Kevin Cron belted two tape-measure home runs (a solo blast off Zach Hedges in the 5th and a two-run bomb off Preston Morrison in the 7th) to give the Aces a temporary 3-2 lead (later expanded to 4-2), before the Cubs came back with a run in the 8th on the second RBI double by Cornelius and then the two runs in the bottom of the 9th on the G. Amaya clutch two-bagger (the culmination of a magnificent ten-pitch AB).
Down 4-0 going into the 9th on Field #5, Zack Short blasted a three-run HR to pull the Smokies within a run, but the potential tying and winning runs were subsequently left-stranded.
Tennessee pitchers allowed only three hits on Field #5, but eight walks (including six by Smokies SP Kyle Miller) and two HBP combined with the two early HR helped give the Generals just enough runs and the eventual victory.
Because the Cubs MLB squad has split in two for the weekend (the Cubs will be playing a two-game set versus the Cleveland Indians in Las Vegas on Saturday and Sunday while the other squad remains in Mesa to face an Indians split-squad on Saturday and the Kansas City Royals on Sunday), a number of players (mostly from AAA Iowa) were called up to the MLB squad from Minor League Camp just for the weekend, and so there were also a number of temporary promotions at Minor League Camp as well.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games played at Riverview Park on Friday (Cubs players only):
RHSP Shelby Miller (on Arizona Diamondbacks MLB 15-day DL retro to May 25th with a sprained/bruised right index finger) hurled five innings of shutout ball and Max Brown (RBI double) and Gerard Hernandez (RBI single) stroked run-scoring hits to highlight a two-run first inning, as the Diamondbacks made the two runs stand and edged the Cubs 2-1 at Sloan Park, and Joey Armstrong laced a two-run single to cap a three-run second-inning and Marcus Wilson walked twice, singled, stole a base, and scored two runs, leading the D'backs over the Cubs 5-2 on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.
With local Phoenix TV crews recording every pitch, Miller breezed-through his five innings (55 pitches), allowing just three singles and no walks, with two strikeouts and an 8/5 GO/AO.
D. J. Wilson belted an RBI double and a single and Wladimir Galindo singled twice and drove-in a run for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1.
RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (on AA Tennessee 7-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) and LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) continued their EXST rehab, working in the game played at Sloan Park.
Tseng started the game and worked four innings (48 pitches - 73% strikes) and allowed two runs on four hits (three singles and a double), but he struck out five, did not issue any walks, and he retired the last eight hitters he faced (K, 4-3, 4-3, 3-1, K, L-9. K, 6-3).
Leathersich followed Tseng to the hill and worked a 1-2-3 5th inning (4-3, F-9, K). While he's still in "rehab mode," Leathersich is increasing his velocity & command with each EXST outing, and he could ultimately replace Clayton Richard as the Cubs second LHRP option (perhaps sooner rather than later).
In EXST Cubs roster news, SS Ho-Young Son (2014 IFA - South Korea) is being converted to pitcher, but he is not ready to throw in games yet (just bullpen side-sessions and PFP drills so far). The 21-year old Son hit just 238/310/295 in 65 career minor league games (AZL Cubs & Eugene) 2014-15, but he has a rifle for an arm.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
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):
Ho-Young Son singled twice, tripled, and scored two runs, Roney Alcala belted an RBI double, singled, and reached base on an HBP, Varonex Cuevas smacked an RBI double, singled, and drove-in another run with an RBI GO (E-1), Carlos Jimenez tripled and singled and scored a run, and Eloy Jimenez singled and doubled and scored a run, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action this morning on Field #4 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.
The game was called after 9-1/2 innings with the score tied 4-4.
Chicago Cubs LHP Tsuyoshi Wada (15 -day DL - groin) continued his Mesa rehab, getting the start for Squad "A". He worked four innings (64 pitches) while allowing two runs on four hits (a triple, a double, and two singles), one HBP, and one WP, with no walks and four strikeouts (three swinging), one GIDP, and a 4/3 GO/FO. Wada threw 47 pitches in his first Spring Training Minor League Camp rehab start last Thursday, so barring a setback he should be on target to throw about 80 pitches in his next rehab start (wherever that may be), probably next Sunday or Monday. (Like the other three players on the Cubs 15-day DL, Wada is eligible to reinstated from the DL on Saturday 4/11).
Myrtle Beach Pelicans 5th starter & 2014 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year RHP Jen-Ho Tseng got the start for Squad "B" and threw 6.1 IP (77 pitches), allowing four runs on seven hits (five singles, a double, and a triple) and one HBP, with no walks allowed and seven strikeouts. He seemed to get stronger and more unhittable as the game progressed, striking out five of the last six hitters he faced (four swinging). Like fellow Pelican rotation starter Tyler Skulina (who threw 81 pitches in an Extended Spring Training intrasquad game yesterday), Tseng was left behind when his teammates left town on Sunday so that he could remain on his rotation schedule and stay sharp (Tseng was due to pitch today, and he isn't scheduled to start his first regular season Carolina League game until next Monday).
In Cubs minor league news, catcher Will Remillard (Cubs 2013 19th round pick - Coastal Carolina U.) underwent "Tommy John" elbow UCL transplant surgery (TJS) last month and will miss the 2015 season.
Remillard was considered to be the best defensive catcher in the Cubs system, and in fact he was so highly thought of that he received an NRI to big league camp last season after signing the previous June.
Also, Cubs minor league RHP Pierce Johnson is at Extended Spring Training, although he is not active at this time. He strained a latissimus dorsi muscle (lat) about ten days ago.
Here is the box score from today's intrasquad game:
Cubs 2014 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Jen-Ho Tseng and six relievers combined to toss a four-hit shutout with 17 strikeouts, David Bote singled twice, doubled, walked, stole two bases, scored three runs, and drove-in another, and Shamil Ubiera singled twice, walked twice, and knocked-in three runs, as the Cubs blanked the Langley Blaze 10-0 in Minor League Camp game action today on Field #3 at Mesa Cubtown.
Yairo Munoz blasted a two-run home run, D'Arby Myers, Justin Higley, and Jesus Lopez clubbed RBI doubles, and Josh Miller and B. J. Boyd drilled RBI singles, leading the Athletics to a 6-2 victory over the Cubs in Arizona Instructional League action this morning at the Papago Park Baseball Facility Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix.
Yasiel Balaguert belted a two-run double and a single for the Cubs.
Gioskar Amaya drilled two home runs and an RBI single and collected four RBI, Jesse Hodges doubled twice, singled, and drove-in two runs, and Kelvin Freeman belted a two-run HR, leading the Cubs to a 9-4 victory over the Athletics in Arizona Instructional League action this afternoon at the Papago Park Baseball Facility Field #2 (AKA "Connie Mack Field") in Phoenix.
Amaya also reached base on an HBP, stole a base, and made three diving stops & throws at 2B that resulted in run-saving put-outs (two of the stops made while going to his right, and one made while going to his left).