Ryan Kalish launched a lead-off moon-shot pinch-hit home run over the right-centerfield fence and Bijan Rademacher and Willson Contreras contributed RBI singles later in the inning, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) scored three in the 8th to break a 1-1 tie and went on to defeat the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) 4-2 on Field #4, and RHSP Daniel Mengden hurled five innings of one-hit shutout ball with seven strikeouts, Bret Vertigan tripled, singled, walked, and scored three runs, and James Harris drove-in three runs with an RBI double and a two-run single, helping the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) blank the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) 6-0 on Field #4, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Tuesday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
Willson Contreras collected three hits, scored a run, knocked-in a run, and stole a base, Albert Almora Jr singled, doubled, and walked, and SP Drew Rucinski retired 12 of the first 14 men he faced for the I-Cubs on Field #4.
The game on Field #4 was called after 8-1/2 innings of play.
RHSP Brad Markey had a rough outing for Tennessee on Field #3, allowing five runs on seven hits (five singles, a double, and a triple) and two walks (and no strikeouts) in 4.1 IP.
The Smokies were playing short-handed (four of their guys were assigned to the MLB game at Sloan Park), so four players (OF Luis Ayala, SS Andruw Monasterio, 1B Jose Paniagua, and 2B Edgar Rondon) were moved-up to the Tennessee squad for the day from Eugene/Mesa (the Extended Spring Training group).
Ex-Cub LHP Felix Doubront (currently the Oakland A's #5 starter) came down to Fitch Park from HoHoKam and got the start for Nashville. He worked 3.2 IP and did not allow a run, but he surrendered three hits and three walks along the way, and he needed 81 pitches (of which only 54% were strikes) to record the eleven outs.
John Arguello (Cubs Den) was at Riverview Park for the Lo-A/Hi-A games, and he has game notes and some great pics from there:
And here are the abridged box scores from the AA/AAA games played at Fitch Park (Cubs players only):
Employing the long ball (a Ryan Kalish three-run bomb and a John Andreoli solo blast) and six innings of one-run ball from 2015 Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year Ryan Williams, the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) defeated the Nashville Sounds (Oakland Athletics AAA affiliate) 6-2 on Field #4, while on Field #3, Michael Soto, John Nogowski, and J. P. Sportman drilled consecutive RBI singles to highlight a three-run 7th, lifting the Midland Rockhounds (A's AA affiliate) to a 6-3 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate), in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Saturday afternoon at the Lew Wolff Training Complex at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ.
In addition to his HR, Andreoli also walked twice and stole a base.
The I-Cubs bullpen (Peralta-Edwards-Pena) retired the last seven Sounds hitters, striking out six of them.
Iowa 1B Dan Vogelbach left the game on Field #4 after being hit on the foot with a pitch.
Gioskar Amaya reached base four times (three walks and a single), Mike O'Neill collected three singles, and Mark Zagunis drove-in all three Tennessee runs (two-run double and a bases loaded HBP) in a losing cause on Field #3.
Smokies SP Jonathan Martinez and reliever (ex-starter) Daury Torrez had rough outings on Field #3, with Martinez allowing five hits (two doubles and three singles) and four walks in just 3.2 IP (78 pitches - only 60% strikes), and Torrez surrendering three runs on five hits in just one inning of work.
In Minor League Camp roster news, the Cubs have released RHRP Matt Brazis (acquired from SEA for OF Justin Ruggiano post-2014), 1B Matt Clark (ex-MIL), OF Donnie Cimino (2015 37th round draft pick - Weslyan U.), LHRP Heath Dwyer (2015 NDFA - VCU), LHRP Nick Greenwood (ex-STL), C-INF Jordan Hankins (2013 11th round draft pick - Austin Peay), RHRP Santiago Rodriguez (2013 IFA - Dominican Republic), RHSP Austyn Willis (2014 18th round draft pick - Barstow HS - Barstow, CA), and LHRP Sam Wilson (2013 8th round draft pick - Lamar CC).
Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)
Here are the abridged box scores from the two game (Cubs players only):
Jake Arrieta and four relievers combined to hurl a three-hit shutout, Tommy LaStella drilled three singles, and Kelly Dugan and Ryan Kalish each belted a two-run home run, as the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) blanked the Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA affiliate) 5-0 on Field #6, and Cael Brockmeyer ripped a double and a two-run single, David Bote collected an RBI double and a single, and four relievers combined to toss five innings of one-hit shutout relief, helping the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) edge the New Britain Rock Cats (Rockies AA affiliate) 5-4 on Field #5, in a Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader played in front of a standing-room-only crowd Saturday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Arrieta was sharp throughout his five innings (57 pitches - 72% strikes), allowing just two singles and a walk (1B, 6-4-3 DP, F-8, 4-3, P-4, F-7, 1B+E5, K, 4-3, K, 4-3, K, 4-1, BB, F-9, K, 5-3). In addition to his work on the mound, the Cubs also had Arrieta bat twice, and he struck out both times (once bunting foul for strike three while attempting a sac-bunt).
Miguel Montero served as Arrieta's catcher, and went 0-2 with two deep F-8 fly-outs.
Tommy LaStella (calf strain) made his second start in two days at Minor League Camp, serving as a DH for the Iowa squad. Once again, a pinch-runner ran for him when he reached base, but at the plate he was roping balls all over the yard, from foul line to foul line. I guess he's the kind of hitter who can roll out of bed anytime and anyplace and hammer line-drive after line-drive. He could probably turn around a 100 MPH fastball from a wheelchair.
Matt Szczur (oblique strain) got the start in CF for Iowa and looked very good at the plate, on the bases, and in the field. He went 1-3 with a single, an infield pop out, and a fly out, and appeared to have no lingering issues with the oblique.
As per usual, several players were called up to the Iowa and Tennessee squads for the day. RHRP Scott Effross was moved up from the Myrtle Beach squad and worked a scoreless 9th while picking-up the save for Tennessee on Field #5, and OF (ex-C) Yohan Matos was moved up to the Tennessee squad from the South Bend group and made a late appearance in LF. Also, 3B Wladimir Galindo, OF Michael Foster, 3B Adonis Paula, C Tyler Payne, and INF Edgar Rondon were moved-up to the Iowa squad from the South Bend group, and each saw some action in the game on Field #6 (Paula got the start at 3B for the I-Cubs).
It would appear that C-1B Cael Brockmeyer, RHSP Brad Markey, and RHRP Juan Carlos Paniagua have been moved-down to the Tennessee squad from the Iowa group (not confirmed yet).
Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
The Cubs have sent RHP James McDonald, INF Chris Valaika, IF-OF Josh Vitters, and OF Ryan Kalish outright to Iowa.
McDonald--who spent the entire 2014 season on the 60-day DL with a sore shoulder--elected to be a free-agent immediately (he was able to elect to be a FA because he has accrued more than three years of MLB Service Time). and Kalish and Valaika can elect free-agency right away, too (they have up to eight days to decide), because they both have been outrighted previously in their careers.
Vitters cannot elect to be a free-agent, but he will automatically be declared an MLB Rule 55 minor league six-year free-agent (6YFA) at 5 PM (Eastern) on the 5th day following the conclusion of the World Series unless he agrees to sign a 2015 minor league successor contract before then (possible but not likely... he will probably prefer to try his luck elsewhere). Kalish and Valaika will automatically be declared minor league 6YFA at that time, too, if for some reason they have not elected free-agency in the meantime.