Tony Barnette

Cubs Rehabbers Shut-Down D'backs at Riverview

SP Erick Leal tossed five innings of one-run ball and four relievers combined to hurl five shutout innings, leading the Cubs "B" team to a 3-1 victory over the Diamondbacks in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Tuesday morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a ten-inning contest. 

At one point Cub pitchers retired 14 D'backs in a row. 

Four Cubs pitchers on Active Rehab at EXST saw action in the game: 

1. Erick Leal: FB 89-90 - CV 76-78 (62 pitches - 15 swings & misses)   
2. Tony Barnette: FB 90-91 - SL 81-84 
3. Danny Hultzen: FB 94-97 - SL 85-86 (12 pitches - seven swings & misses) 
4. Chad Hockin: FB 90 - SL 84-86 

In his three EXST game outings Hultzen has been unhittable. He has thrown three shutout innings (75% strikes) with eight strikeouts while allowing no walks and just an infield single and a weak P-6. His max FB velo has increased from 92 to 96 to 97 and his SL velo increased from 84 to 86 in a span of eight days. The difference seems to be that he has changed to a lower arm-slot (a lot like Andrew Miller circa 2015-16) which apparently puts less-stress on his shoulder and has led to a stunning uptick in his velo.

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):

Barnette Throws in EXST Intrasquad Game at Riverview

Danny Zardon and Marcus Mastrobuoni walloped back-to-back solo HR over the LF fence in the bottom of the 1st inning, Luis Diaz tripled, singled, and scored a run, and Herson Perez singled, stole a base. scored a run, and drove-in another with a sacrfice fly for the "A" team, and Widimer Joaquin ripped an RBI double, walked twice, stole a base, and scored two runs, and Raymond Pena (RBI double) and Richard Nunez (RBI single) drilled run-scoring hits to cap a four run 3rd inning for the "B" team, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Thursday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was called after six innings of play with the score tied 5-5.

RHRP Tony Barnette (on Cubs MLB 10-day IL - right shoulder inflammation) started the game for the "A" team and threw 14 pitches (8 strikes), recorded four outs (2/2 GO/AO), and allowed a walk before being relieved after he reached his pre-planned pitch limit. 

RHSP Erick Leal got the start for the "B" team and was struck on the left leg just below the knee with a high-velocity line-drive off the bat of Luis Diaz in the bottom of the 1st inning and had to be carried off the field. Leal surrendered the back-to-back homers to Zardon and Mastrobuoni just prior to getting hit by the Diaz liner, so needless-to-say it wasn't exactly the best of outings for the right-hander. 

Here is the box score from the game: 

Barnette, Tazawa, Gallardo, Machado, and Espinoza Throw at Riverview

Ricardo Verenzuela tripled, singled, scored two runs, and threw out a runner on the bases, and Carlos Morfa and Ervis Marchan drilled consecutive RBI singles to highlight a four-run 4th inning, leading the Cubs "B" team to a 5-1 victory over the Cubs "A"  team in Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Thursday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ. 

The game was pre-planned as a five-inning contest. 

RHRP Tony Barnette (on Cubs MLB 10-day IL with right shoulder inflammation) hurled a 1-2-3 ten-pitch 2nd inning (K, P-3, F-8), and RHRP Junichi Tazawa tossed a scoreless 3rd (allowed a single, runner erased by a CS) for the "A" team. 

RHP Manuel Espinoza made his pro debut for the Cubs "A" team, allowing a run on one hit (a triple) with one strikeout in one inning of work. The 18-year old Mexican was signed by the Cubs in July 2017, but he did not pitch in 2018 while his signing was under investigation by MLB. (He signed the same day as fellow Mexican RHP Florencio Serrano Jr, whose contract was voided by MLB last June).   

Prior to the game on Field #6, three of the four youngest Cubs pitchers at EXST (Manuel Espinoza is the other one) threw "live" BP on Field #5 (two "innings" - 30 pitches each). 17-year old Venezuelan RHP Richard Gallardo (the Cubs #1 IFA signing in the current ISP) got swings & misses with a 91-93 MPH FB and a plus-CV, and he also threw a couple of decent CH; 17-year old Venezuelan LHP Joel Machado was sitting 85-86 with his FB, but he had a solid CV and so-so CH that he was able to mix & match with his FB; and 18-year old 6'3 210 Dominican RHP Willy Cabrera's FB was impressive at 92-94 MPH (T-95) in addition to an 88-90 MPH CH and a sharp-breaking CV, but he had difficulty commanding his stuff (not too surprising considering he walked 50 in just 25.2 IP in the DSL in 2018!).

Here is the box score from the game:

Cedeno Sophisticated Slop Too Much for Young Giants

Yonathan Perlaza drilled an RBI double and an RBI single, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Edmond Americaan laced an RBI single and a double, walked, stole a base, and scored two runs. Jacob Hannemann collected three singles, stole a base, and scored two runs, Josue Huma belted a two-run double, drew a walk, and scored a run, Fernando Kelli knocked in two runs with a triple and a GO, walked, stole a base, and scored a run, Dalton Hurd smacked an inside-the-park HR (line-drive bounded past centerfielder after diving catch attempt and rolled to the base of the Batter's Eye), and Oscar de la Cruz hurled 4.1 IP of one run ball with six strikeouts, leading the Cubs "A" Team to a 12-6 thrashing of the Giants Black squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training Opening Day game action Friday morning on Field #6 at the Riverview Baseball Complex on John Arguello Way in Mesa, AZ.   

Addison Russell played SS for four innings and batted once in each of the first four innings, going 1-3 (single and a run scored and an RBI on a sac fly). As things stand right now, Russell is eligible to be reinstated from the Restricted List on May 2nd (which is an off day) and make his 2019 MLB regular season debut on Friday May 3rd at Wrigley Field vs STL.     

LHP Xavier Cedeno (on the Cubs MLB 10-day Injured List with left wrist inflammation) made his first game appearance of 2019 and easily struck out the side in the top of the 1st inning, mixing a filthy CV with a straight-CH and maybe one FB. The young Giants had no chance against him.      

Prior to the game on Field #6, RHRP Tony Barnette threw "live" BP on Field #5, facing hitters for the first time since being shut-down with right shoulder inflammation following an MLB Cactus League game appearance on March 3rd. (Barnette is a few days behind Cedeno).  

Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):