Fernando Kelli reached base four times (three singles and an HBP), stole a base, collected two RBI, and scored a run, Fidel Mejia ripped an RBI triple and two singles, and Jose A. Gonzalez drilled an RBI double, walked twice, and scored a run, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Monday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
RHSP Jose Albertos continues to struggle with command (mostly by spiking his FB in front of home plate or throwing it over the batter's head), allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits (four singles and a double), four walks, a HBP, and two wild pitches in 3.1 IP (73 pitches), while throwing only 48% strikes. He was, however, also occasionally brilliant, striking out six and getting batters to repeatedly hit his pitches into the ground when he was not recording a punch-out, issuing a walk, hitting a batter, or throwing a WP (4/0 GO/AO).
Here is the box score from the game:
D. J. LeMahieu (on Rockies 10-day DL - right hamstring strain) singled twice and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, Daniel Jipping doubled and scored and collected an RBI with a sacrifice fly, and SP Jeffri Ocando hurled three innings of perfect baseball, leading the Rockies to a 3-1 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
The game was called with one out in the bottom of the 8th.
RHP Jose Albertos walked five and threw five wild pitches in 2.1 IP (56 pitches - only 25 strikes) for the Cubs.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
Gustavo Polanco belted an RBI triple, a double, and a single, and scored two runs, Christopher Morel clobbered a three-run HR, and Jose A. Gonzalez singled, doubled, and scored two runs, leading a Cubs 14-hit attack (including five XBH) en route to a 10-6 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The game was called after seven innings of play.
Jordan Diaz singled twice and doubled and scored a run for the A's in a losing cause.
In EXST roster news, RHP Jose Albertos has been sent to Extended Spring Training from South Bend.
Prior to the Cactus League game, RHP Luis Aquino, LHP Jonathan Bruzual, RHP Hector Alonso Garcia, and RHP Yunior Perez squared-off in a multi-inning "sim" game on Field #4. H. Garcia and Y. Perez have been in the Rehab Throwing Program since the start of Minor League Camp in March, and Aquino and Bruzual have been throwing bullpen side-sessions only for the last month.
Here is the abridged box score from the Cactus League EXST game (Cubs players only):
Jared Young (Cubs 2017 15th round draft pick - Old Dominion) collected five hits (four singles and a double), stole a base, and scored a run, Brandon Hughes (Cubs 2017 16th round draft pick - Michigan State) belted an RBI double and a single, stole a base, and scored a run, Chris Carrier (Cubs 2017 9th round draft pick - U. of Memphis) doubled, singled, reached base on an HBP, and scored a run, and Roberto Caro smacked an RBI double, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, leading the Cubs South Bend Lo-A affiliate to a 6-1 victory over the Beloit Snappers (Oakland Athletics Lo-A affiliate) on Field #3, and Luke Persico (two-run triple) and Luis Barrera (RBI single) drilled consecutive run-scoring hits to cap a five-run 6th, Will Toffey drove-in three runs with a two-run single and a FC, and SP Brendan Butler hurled four innings of shutout ball, as the Stockton Ports (A's Hi-A affiliate) drubbed the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) 11-1 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader game action Friday morning at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
The game on Field #3 was called after eight innings of play.
Austin Upshaw (Cubs 2017 13th round draft pick - Kennesaw State) singled twice and doubled and scored the Pelicans lone run (Chris Pieters RBI single) on Field #6.
RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico) is considered by most observers to be one of the Cubs top two or three pitching prospects, and he got the start for South Bend on Field #3. Albertos did not allow any runs (maybe I should just leave it at that...), but he did permit eight batters to reach base (three singles, a double, three walks, and an HBP) in just 3.2 IP. His main problem was inability to command any of his pitches (75 pitches - only 51% strikes), especially his CV, which he kept spiking into the ground in front of home plate (giving catcher Michael Cruz quite a work-out in the process). RHRP Manuel Rodriguez had a "mid-game save" in relief, stranding two runners inherited from Albertos in the 4th and retiring the side 1-2-3 in the 5th (F-8, K, K) to preserve the shutout. (The Snappers would later score their one and only run of the game with two outs in the bottom of the 8th).
RHP Keegan Thompson (Cubs 2017 3rd round draft pick - Auburn) got the start for Myrtle Beach on Field #4 and easily retired the first eleven men he faced (4-3, 5-3, 3-U, L-8, K, 4-3, 6-3, F-8, P-6, 6-3, K) before allowing a double, a walk, an HBP, and a two-run single with two outs in the 4th. But he recovered and retired the next four batters to complete his pre-planned five innings of work (73 pitches - 68% strikes). RHP Kyle Miller followed Thompson and had a nightmare outing, walking all four men he faced (all four eventually scored). K. Miller had a similar outing a couple of weeks ago for AA Tennessee (prior to being moved-down to Myrtle Beach) when he walked six in two innings, so don't be too surprised if he is left behind at Extended Spring Training to work on his pitching mechanics/command/control a bit when his Pelican teammates leave town in the next couple or three days.
CF Connor Myers suffered a left leg injury in the top of the 6th on Field #4 after colliding with RF Chris Pieters in right-centerfield while chasing what turned out to be a two-run triple. Myers left the game under his own power (albeit with a noticeable limp), but if you're looking for a candidate to start the season on the Myrtle Beach 7-day DL, Myers just might be your man.
RHP M. T. Minacci (March 2017 non-TJS elbow injury) threw a shutout inning for South Bend in relief. He allowed a single to the first man he faced before inducing a 1-6-3 DP ball and striking out the next batter to retire the side. Minacci has been in the Rehab Throwing Program at Minor League Camp and prior to today hadn't thrown in a game in more than a year, so he will almost certainly be spending the next couple of months at Extended Spring Training while continuing his rehab and competing for a spot in the Eugene bullpen.
As usual, several players (Caro, Donahue, Pena, and Romano) were moved-up from the Eugene/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) squad for the day to provide late-inning position-player reinforcements for South Bend and Myrtle Beach.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
RHSP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M signing bonus) hurled four innings of one-hit shutout ball with seven strikeouts and Cubs 2016 7th round draft pick Michael Cruz (making his pro debut) belted an RBI double off the top of the right-centerfield fence (near HR) with two outs in the top of the 8th that drove-in the run that ultimately proved to be the difference in the game, as the AZL Cubs withstood a four-run 9th inning rally and edged the AZL Diamondbacks 5-4 in Arizona League action Wednesday night on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Strick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Besides the 8th inning RBI double, Cruz also was hit by a pitch (right shoulder) in his first pro AB, fouled a ball off his right instep in his second AB, and took a foul-tip off his right shoulder in the bottom of the 4th while working behind the plate (he caught all nine innings in 105+ degree heat). Welcome to pro ball.
The 17-year old Albertos was masterful beyond his years in his four innings of work, staying ahead in the count (69% of his pitches were strikes) and mixing a 96-98 MPH fastball with a plus-change and an occasional curve to keep the opposing hitters off-balance. In fact, the Albertos change-up was so deceptive that one D'backs hitter injured his right knee (and had to leave the game) screwing himself into the ground on a swinging third strike trying in vain to hit one. The only hit off Albertos was a broken-bat line drive single over the third-baseman's head with two outs in the top of the 1st.
The AZL Diamondbacks were held to one hit (the first-inning broken-bat single) through the first eight innings of the game, but Kyle Smith (two-run double), Juan Araujo (RBI double), and Michael Branigan (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to the four-run 9th inning rally that fell a run short, as the potential tying and winning runs were left-stranded on the bases.
LHRP Jack Leathersich (ex-NYM) had another clean 1-2-3 inning (K, K, 6-3), as he continues to impress in his rehab from July 2015 TJS.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (AZL Cubs players only):
Jose Paniagua hammered a three-run HR, Shane Victorino belted a solo home run, Alex Bautista knocked in three runs with an RBI single, a solo home run, and a sacrifice fly, Wladimir Galindo doubled twice, singled, scored a run, and drove-in another, Yeiler Peguero tripled and scored and drilled an RBI single, and Erling Moreno hurled three innings of shutout ball, as the Cubs outslugged the Diamondbacks 12-7 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Francis Martinez blasted a grand slam home run, Kal Simmons cranked a two run HR, Jazz Chisholm ripped an RBI double and a triple and scored a run, and Jacy Cave doubled twice for the D'backs in a losing cause.
17-year old RHP Jose Albertos (2015 IFA - Mexico - $1.5M bonus) struck out the side in a 1-2-3 5th inning for the Cubs, mixing a mid-90's fastball with a plus-curve to blow the D'backs away.
John Arguello has game notes from Riverview Park at Cubs Den.
And here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):