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.
Four pitchers combined to hurl one-hit shut-out ball and Yeiler Peguero drilled an RBI single with one out in the top of the 2nd, took second on the throw to the plate, advanced to 3rd on a GO, and then scored on a two-out WP, accounting for both of his team's runs, as Team Banks blanked Team Santo 2-0 in Cubs AZ Instructional League intrasquad game action Thursday morning on Field #3 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The game was called after 4-1/2 innings of play.
Jake Hannemann (on AA Tennessee DL since July 7th) played for both squads, handling CF for three innings and getting three Plate Appearances with Team Santo before serving as a DH for Team Banks, going a combined 1-4 (K, 2B, K, 3-U). He will likely play winter ball somewhere in Latin America.
The game featured dramatic comeback attempts by 43-year old Cubs Minor League Pitching Coordinator (ex- MLB RHP) Jim Brower, 46-year old Cubs AZ Advanced Instructional League Pitching Coach (ex-MLB LHP) Ron Villone, 37-year old Mental Skills Program Coordinator (ex-MLB OF) Darnell McDonald, and Rehab Coach (ex-Cubs minor league catcher) Lance Rymel, much to the delight of the Cubs players. Rymel served as the catcher for both Brower and Villone, and McDonald batted once each for both squads, facing Brower once and Villone once.
McDonald's walk-up music lasted about five minutes, Brower received an animated pep-talk at the mound from Coach Ty Wright with two outs in the bottom of the 4th before summoning the courage to strike out McDonald on 82 MPH gas, and Villone had to be helped off the field by Rymel after nearly having a heart-attack waiting for RF Jonathan Sierra to make a spectacuilar stumbling game-ending catch (an L-9 line-drive by McDonald).
While all four of the geezers look to be maybe (somewhat) in something close to near-playing shape, McDonald hasn't played in the big leagues since getting released by the Cubs in Spring Training 2014, Brower last pitched professionally in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2009-10, Villone retired after the 2010 season (but he IS a lefty, so I guess he still has a chance), and Rymel hasn't played since getting released by the Rockies during Spring Training 2015. I will say that Villone still has a nifty Houdini pick-off move. He absolutely nailed Carlos Diaz cold at 1st base, and for all I know, Diaz may still be standing there wondering what just happened.
Here is the box score from the game:
Donnie Dewees smacked two triples, scored a run, and drove-in another, Yeiler Peguero laced an RBI triple (back-to-back RBI triples with Dewees in a three-run 3rd) and a single, scored a run, and knocked-in a run, Alberto Mineo doubled twice and scored a run, Ian Rice drilled a two-run single, walked, and scored a run, Jason Vosler doubled, walked, and scored a run, Eddy Julio Martinez hammered an RBI double, SP Garrett Richards (on LAA MLB 60-day DL since May with a torn elbow UCL) tossed 2-1/3 innings of perfect baseball, and the bullpen threw four innings of no-hit shutout ball to close the game out, leading the Angels/Cubs co-op team to an 8-4 victory over the Rangers in AZ Advanced Instructional League game action Monday afternoon on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Yeyson Yrizarri smashed a two-run double to highlight a four-run 5th inning rally and Melvin Novoa and ex-Cub Frandy de la Rosa each singled twice, walked, and scored a run for the Rangers in a losing cause.
Here is the box score from the game (Cubs players highlighted in bold and underlined):
Yeiler Peguero drilled a two-run double, singled twice, and scored a run, Luis Ayala ripped an RBI double, singled, walked, scored two runs, and threw out a runner at the plate, Wladimir Galindo belted a double and a triple and drove-in a run with a sacrifice fly, and RHSP Thomas Hatch (Cubs 2016 3rd round pick making his pro game debut) hurled two perfect innings and combined with five relievers to toss a four-hitter, as Team Banks defeated Team Santo 6-1 in Cubs Arizona Instructional League intrasquad game action this morning on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The game was called after eight innings of play.
Christian Villanueva (on Cubs MLB 60-day DL) played third base for Team Santo and went 0-2 with a walk. This was Villanueva's first game action since breaking his leg seven months ago in Spring Training.
As was the case last year, the Cubs "basic" (traditional) instructs squad will not be playing AZIL league games against other organizations, but they will be playing several intrasquad games over the course of the next three weeks.
Here is the box score from today's game:
Jose Paniagua (RBI triple off the top of the CF Batter's Eye - near HR), Wladimir Galindo (RBI double off the CF Batter's Eye), Alberto Mineo (RBI double into the right-centerfield alley), and Gustavo Polanco (two-run single through the box and into CF) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a six-run 1st inning, and Galindo (RBI double off the RF fence) and Polanco (another two-run single into CF) tallied three more runs in the bottom of the 3rd, as the Cubs scored early and often and cruised to a 13-6 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Wednesday morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
Jeff Smith ripped a two-run triple, singled, doubled, and scored two runs, Alex Brown hammered an RBI triple, singled, walked and scored two runs, Fernery Ozuna drilled an RBI double, tripled, walked, and scored a run, Austin Byler singled twice, walked twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, Marty Herum smacked a two-run home run and singled, and RHSP Sam McWilliams and four relievers combined to spin a five-hitter, as the Diamondbacks crushed the Cubs 12-4 on Whirlwind Field, and Wladimir Galindo (two-run single), Tyler Pearson (two-run double), and Jhonny Bethencourt (RBI single) contributed run-scoring hits to highlight a five-run 7th and RHSP Pedro Silverio tossed three innings of shutout ball with four strikeouts, as the Cubs rallied to defeat the D'backs 7-5 on Jackrabbit Field, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
The game on Jackrabbit Field was called after eight innings of play.
Yeiler Peguero singled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another and Miguel Amaya belted a two-run double and walked for the Cubs in a losing cause on Whirlwind Field, and Jose Herrera and Gerard Hernandez drilled two-run singles for the D'backs in a losing cause on Jackrabbit Field.
RHSP Junior Marte had difficulty finding the strike zone in the game on Whilrlwind Field, walking six in just 1.1 IP (he threw only 43% strikes), and surrendering two run-scoring triples when he did throw the ball over the plate.
RHP (ex-INF) Francisco Garay and RHP (ex-OF) Wander Feliz saw their first Cactus League EXST game action since being converted to pitchers this season (they had previously thrown only "live" BP and in intrasquad games at Riverview Park), throwing an inning a piece in the game on Jackrabbit Field. Garay got through his inning relatively unscathed (although his fastball topped out at only 86 MPH), while Feliz walked the bases loaded and then surrendered a two-run single (like Marte, Feliz could not find home plate, recording only 33% strikes).
A 17-year old 6'2 Panamanian, Garay hit just 126/190/146 with a whopping 96 K in 220 PA while playing both 3B and SS for the VSL Cubs in his debut pro season last year, and the 18-year old 6'2 Feliz hit 235/375/333 in 202 PA and 54 games (mostly in RF) for the DSL Cubs in 2015 (his rookie season). Garay received a $200K signing bonus in July 2014, so his failure as a position player is especially noteworthy.
Stephen Bruno saw his first game action since Minor League Camp, playing 2B for four ininngs and going 1-2 (a single and a FC) at the plate on Jackrabbit Field.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (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):
Isaac Paredes hammered a solo home run, Kevonte Mitchell blasted a two-run HR, and Robert Garcia (two-run single), Yeiler Peguero (RBI double), and Marcus Mastrobuoni (RBI double) contributed run-scoring hits, leading the Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Angels at Sloan Park, and Jose Paniagua slugged a two-run HR, Tyler Pearson smacked a solo HR, and Jesus Castillo and three relievers combined to hurl a three-hit shutout, helping the Cubs blank the Angels 3-0 on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning in Mesa, AZ.
Jabari Henry belted a solo HR in a losing cause for the Angels at Sloan Park.
Chris Pieters drilled a two-run single and a double, Kevonte Mitchell ripped an RBI single, walked three times, and scored a run, Yeiler Peguero doubled twice and drew a walk, and Dylan Cease tossed three innings of one-hit ball with six strikeouts and combined with five relievers to fan 14, leading the Cubs to a 5-2 victory over the Athletics in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action Wednesday morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.