Shawon Dunston Jr (Cubs) and Natanael Delgado (Angels) stroked consecutive two-out run-scoring singles to highlight a three-run 1st inning, as the Angels/Cubs co-op team edged the Diamondbacks 5-4 in Opening Day Arizona Advanced Instructional League game action this afternoon at Diablo Stadium Complex Field #7 in Tempe, AZ.
Diamondbacks starting pitchers Touki Toussaint (Arizona 2014 1st round draft pick) and Carlos Hernandez combined to toss six innings of two-hit shutout ball, Gerard Hernandez drove-in three runs with an RBI double, a solo HR, and an RBI GO, and Ismael Pena clubbed a triple and a single, helping the D'backs sweep a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader played this morning at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.
The Diamondbacks won the game played on Field #1 by a score of 4-2, and they won the game played on Field #2 by a score of 9-2.
Kevonte Mitchell singled twice, walked, stole two bases, and scored a run, and Ricardo Marcano ripped a two-run triple for the Cubs in a losing cause on Field #1, and RHP Hector Perez was rocked to the tune of seven runs on eight hits (including five doubles) and a walk in just 1.2 IP on Field #2.
In EXST Cubs roster news, catcher Taylor Teagarden (was on Iowa Cubs 7-day DL with right shoulder inflammation) has completed his Extended Spring Training rehab and has rejoined the I-Cubs.
In addition, RHRP David Garner (Cubs 2013 7th round draft pick - Michigan State) was moved-up to Lo-A South Bend after the game. Although he struggled a bit with his control today, Garner struck out the side 1-2-3 last Wednesday versus the Rockies and likewise in an intrasquad game before that, and was clearly throwing the best among the more-experienced pitchers left behind at Extended Spring Training.
With Garner gone, I would think Michael Wagner (who had a strong two-inning outing today) will probably be the next EXST Cubs RHRP to move-up to a full-season affiliate. Prior to getting drafted and signing with the Cubs in 2013 (he was the Cubs 15th round pick that year) , Wagner was the closer at the University of San Diego, and was a college teammate of Kris Bryant.
Here are the abridged box scores from today's games (Cubs players only):
LHP Carson Sands (Cubs 2014 4th round draft pick) and three relievers combined to toss a three-hitter, Carlos Sepulveda singled twice, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Eloy Jimenez (RBI single) and Adonis Paula (two-run single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a four-run 4th inning, as the Cubs cruised to a 5-1 victory over the Giants on Field #1, and Kevin Encarnacion drilled three singles, drove-in two runs, stole a base, and scored a run, Jordan Hankins hammered an RBI double and a single and scored a run, and Justin Steele (Cubs 2014 5th round draft pick) and four relievers combined to hurl a three-hitter, as the Cubs edged the Giants 5-4 on Field #2, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.
Chase Compton belted a two-run triple and then scored on a wild pitch to account for three of the Giants runs on Field #2.
The defensive play of the day was a run-saving sliding catch by Cubs CF Roberto Caro in right-centerfield in the game on Field #2.
Iowa Cubs catcher Taylor Teagarden (on the I-Cubs 7-day DL with a sore shoulder) continued his EXST rehab, catching seven innings and batting four times in the game on Field #1. He went 2-4 with a double and a single at the plate, scored one run but was also thrown-out on the bases trying to advance from 1st to 3rd on a two-out single, and made a terrible short-hop throw on a stolen base attempt that resulted in an error. Teagarden went 4-4 (three singles and a two-run home run) versus the Rockies on Wednesday, and then he had two more hits in an intrasquad game yesterday. His throwing has been poor, however (not just today, but every day so far).
Ho-Young Son walked twice and was picked-off 1st base again, the third time he has been picked-off 1st base in two EXST games.
The game on Field #1 was called after eight innings, and the game on Field #2 was called with two outs in the top of the 8th
Here is the abridged box score 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):
SAT 1/10 UPDATE: Matt Eddy at BA is now reporting that the Cubs have also signed 27-year old RHRP Jorge DeLeon to a minor league contract. DeLeon was signed by the Houston Astros as a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic in 2006 and was converted to RHP post-2009. He was added to the Astros 40-man roster post-2010 and made his big league debut in August 2013. He was claimed off waivers by Oakland in October 2014 and then was released last month. DeLeon will almost certainly get an NRI to Spring Training, and then be bullpen depth at AAA Iowa.
Baseball America reports the Cubs have signed three more minor league free-agents over the past few days, including veteran MLB catcher Taylor Teagarden, INF Chris Valaika, and RHP Andres Santiago. The trio join RHRP Anthony Carter, RHRP Fernando Cruz, OF Adron Chambers, and INF Jonathan Herrera, who were signed to minor league contracts earlier. All seven will likely receive an NRI to Spring Training.