Yovanny Cruz

Cubs No-Hit D'backs at Riverview

Cristian Hernandez singled twice, stole two bases, scored the first run of the game, and drove-in the last one, Raino Coran singled twice and knocked-in a run, and Michael Arias, Yovanny Cruz, Dominic Hambley, Elian Almanzar, Yovanny Cabrera, and Alfredo Zarraga combined to hurl a no-run / no-hit game with 15 strikeouts, as the Cubs blanked the Diamondbacks Black squad 2-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Wednesday night on Field #1 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.   

Cabrera and Zarraga combined to strike out eight of the last ten men they faced. 

EXST Cubs top pitching prospect Michael Arias saw his first game action in more than three weeks, and threw a 1-2-3 nine-pitch 1st inning to get things started. Arias suffered a lower-body injury in a game at Sloan Park on May 10th when he attempted to cover home plate on a bases loaded wild pitch and stepped awkwardly coming off the mound.  

Cubs catcher Dilan Granadillo replaced starting catcher Moises Ballesteros behind the plate in the top of the 7th inning, but had to leave the game in the 8th after getting hit on the hand with a foul tip.    

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

Luke Weaver & Associates Stymie Cub Bats at Salt River Fields

Johan Benitez drilled a single in the third, belted an RBI triple and scored in the fifth, and collected an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the eighth, and SP Luke Weaver (on Arizona Diamondbacks MLB 60-day IL with right elbow inflammation) threw two shutout innings and combined with three relievers on a five-hitter, as the Diamondbacks Red squad defeated the Cubs 5-1 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action Saturday morning on Whirlwind Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, east of Scottsdale, AZ. 

RHP Yovanny Cruz (on Hi-A South Bend 7-day IL) made his first game appearance since undergoing TJS a year ago, and worked a nine-pitch 1-2-3 inning (4-3, K-swinging, 4-3). Because it was such a short, easy inning, Cruz went out to the bullpen and threw an additional 15 pitches after the inning was over. All set to be in the South Bend starting rotation at the end of Minor League Camp 2021, his season was sidetracked less than a week before Opening Day.  

RHP Zac Leigh (on South Bend 7-day IL since Minor League Camp with a right shoulder issue) blasted his 95-98 MPH FB past D'back hitters, this time mixing it with a slurvy breaking ball that he can throw for strikes (he threw only FB in his last outing).   

RHP Joel Sierra had a 1-2-3 inning, finishing it up with an ascending 98-99-100 MPH FB trilogy (strikeout - swinging) that sucked the air right out of the park.  

Casey Opitz (on Myrtle Beach 7-day IL since Opening Day) is back to switch-hitting again, going 2-2 with two singles and a walk in the game. He caught all nine innings in extreme heat, and looks to be about ready to go to Myrtle Beach. He is considered to be the best defensive catcher in the Cubs organization. Casey is the younger brother of ex-Cubs minor league infielder Jake Opitz (who was a manager in the Rockies system for a few years after he retired).   

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

Cubs Pitchers Spin Intrasquad Shutout at Riverview

James Norwood, Cory Abbott, Yovanny Cruz, and Scott Effross combined to toss a four-hit shutout, Kevin Zamudio drilled a two-run HR, a single, and a double, Nelson Velazquez singled, doubled, and walked, and Chris Carrier smacked a solo HR, in Cubs Minor League Camp intrasquad game action Sunday morning on John Arguello Way at the Rivervierw Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.  

Donnie Dewees (acquired in a trade with KC Friday evening) played LF for four innings and collected a single and a SB. 

RHRP James Norwood came over from MLB Camp and threw an easy 1-2-3 1st inning for the winning squad. Taylor Davis also came over to Minor League Camp to serve as Norwood's "personal" catcher, and as is the case when a pitcher on an MLB 40-man roster pitches in a Minor League game, Norwood gets to use the higher-quality MLB baseball (manufactured in Costa Rica) instead of the cheaper minor league model (which is manufactured in China).  

RHSP Matt Swarmer left the game with a finger blister after warming up in the top of the 2nd (he had a 1-2-3 eleven-pitch 1st inning with two strikeouts). He was scheduled to work three innings or throw 45 pitches (whichever came first), but (as it turned out) that didn't happen.   

Here is the box score from the game: 

Young Cubs Pitchers Stingy with Hits but Not with Strikeouts at Riverview

RHP Jesus Tejada hurled four innings of two-hit shutout ball and combined with four relievers on a four-hitter and SP Yovanny Cruz and four relievers combined to toss a four-hitter with 13 strikeouts, in Cubs Extended Spring Training intrasquad game action Friday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Both Tejada and Cruz are projected to be starting pitchers in the AZL, although there is still a remote chance that one of them could go directly to Eugene. The Cubs will announce the Eugene Opening Day roster next week.     

Chris Coghlan is back in action at Extended Spring Training after a lengthy absence, and he struck out twice (both times swinging) in two PA before heading for the UAPC. 

In EXST Cubs roster news, INF Delvin Zinn has been moved-up to South Bend. 

Here is the abridged box score from the game: