Alexis Rivera hammered a two-run home run to key a five-run 3rd inning that turned a 4-2 deficit into a 7-4 lead, and the Angels held-on to edge the Cubs 7-6 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #5 at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
17-year old SS Aramis Ademan (2015 IFA - Dominican Republic - $2M bonus) ripped a double and a bases-loaded bases-clearing three-run triple, 17-year old 2B Yonathan Perlaza (2015 IFA - Venezuela - $1M bonus) drilled an RBI triple and a single, walked, and scored a run, and 19-year old CF D. J. Wilson (Cubs 2015 4th round draft pick - Canton South HS - Canton, OH) singled twice, walked, stole a base, and scored three runs for the Cubs in a losing cause.
Ademan also made a nice play in the field on an L-6 that he turned into an inning-ending DP in the top of the 1st. (This was Ademan's first Cactus League EXST game action since April 16th, although he did play in yesterday's intrasquad game).
RHSP Pedro Silverio got the start for the Cubs and threw ten straight balls to start the game, before settling down and retiring eight of the last nine men he faced (K, L-6 DP, 6-3, BB, K, F-7, K, F-9, 4-3).
Recently signed RHRP Nick Sarianides (ex-AZ) was the victim of the five-run explosion in the top of the 3rd, allowing all five runs on two hits (including the Rivera HR), two walks, a HBP, and two WP (he threw only 39% srikes and he could not complete the inning). The strikeout and save leader in the California League in 2015, Sarianides was released by the D'backs earlier this month because he could not throw strikes at AA Mobile. He posted a 1-2-3 nine-pitch inning in his first EXST outing on Tuesday.
RF Michael Foster fouled a ball off his left ankle mid-AB in the bottom of the 7th and had to be carted off the field (Yohan Matos finished the AB), the third Cub outfielder to leave a game due to a leg, ankle, or foot injury in three days (Jose Gonzalez and Robert Garcia were injured in Wednesday's SS-DH versus the Rockies).
Prior to the game on Field #5, RHSP Aaron Brooks (March 2016 hip contusion) and LHRP Jack Leathersich (July 2015 TJS) threw "live" BP on Field #6 (one inning - 25 pitches each), so if there are no medical setbacks, both pitchers should be ready for Cactus League EXST or intrasquad game action within a week or so. This was Leathersich's first time throwing from a mound on a field since his TJS, but Brooks threw in an intrasquad game at Riverview on April 26th (he was shut-down after just two innings, and he hadn't thrown on a field since).
Among Cubs 40-man roster pitchers who are on the DL, LHRP Zac Rosscup has had season-ending left shoulder-surgery, RHRP Andury Acevedo has had season-ending knee surgery (torn ACL), and RHSP Dallas Beeler (right shoulder inflammation) was shut-down mid-AB while throwing in a Cactus League EXST game on April 30th, and he hasn't pitched since. RHSP Pierce Johnson (lat strain) is at the Cubs UAPC in Mesa, but he is not throwing "live" yet. And I have not seen Joe Nathan.
RHSP Stephen Fife (oblique strain) is not on the Cubs 40-man roster but he was an NRI to Spring Training, and he has completed his EXST rehab assignment (he threw 81 pitches in a Cactus League EXST game on Wednesday) and he will be re-joining the Iowa Cubs when they return home on Monday.
RHRP Aaron Crow (April 2015 TJS) is also not on the Cubs 40-man roster but (like Fife) he was an NRI to Spring Training, and he was active and pitching in Cactus League EXST games regularly (one inning every two or three days) up until ten days ago (5/10), when he was shut-down while warming up to come into a game versus the Giants in Scottsdale, and he hasn't pitched since.
And as I've mentioned here before, but in case you missed it, LHRP Manny Parra (another NRI to Cubs MLB Spring Training) had TJS last month and is out for the year.
John Arguello has notes from the game at Cubs Den:
And here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only) :
Shane Conlon drilled two singles and a double, reached base on an HBP, scored two runs, and drove-in three more, leading the AZL Athletics to a 10-2 drubbing of the AZL Cubs in Arizona League action Saturday night at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
The final two innings were played in a light drizzle.
Yohan Matos ended a 1-25 skid by lining a bases-loaded opposite-field two-run single with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to account for the two Cub runs and avert what otherwise would have been a shutout.
LHP Manny Rondon (acquired from the Los Angeles Angels for catcher Rafael Lopez earlier this month) got the start for the AZL Cubs and was terrible, allowing seven runs (six earned) on five hits and three walks and a WP in just 1.1 IP, including a 30-pitch 2nd inning in which he retired only one batter.
LHRP Zac Rosscup (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with left shoulder inflammation since June 17th) made his second AZL appearance of the week and was brilliant, working one inning (16 pitches - 12 strikes) and striking out the side, with a virtually unhittable mixture of 94 MPH fastball and hard-breaking slider. The young A's hitters looked totally befuddled trying to deal with Rosscup's plus-stuff.
20-year old RHP M. T. Minacci (Cubs 2015 33rd round draft pick - Powermill Training Academy) worked a 1-2-3 7th inning (6-3, F-7, 4-3). Minacci was a teammate of Cubs 2014 4th round draft pick LHP Carson Sands at North Florida Christian HS in Tallahassee, and was selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 20th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft (Rule 4 Draft) but did not sign,. He chose instead to enroll at Florida State, but then transferred to Chipola College after only one semester at FSU, before joining Powermill last year. Minacci was working primarily with his fastball (90-92 MPH) Saturday night, with an occasional slider and change-up mixed-in.
In AZL Cubs roster news, LHP Tyler Peitzmeier (Cubs 2015 9th round draft pick - Cal State Fullerton) has been moved up to Eugene, and LHP Heath Dwyer (2015 NDFA - Virginia Commonwealth) has been moved down to AZL Cubs from Eugene. Dwyer pitched the 9th inning for the AZL Cubs in Saturday night's game, and was tagged for two runs on three hits (a single, a double, and a triple). Dwyer is a soft-tossing lefty who features a mid-80's fastball, a curve, and a plus-change up, but his smoke & mirrors stuff didn't fool the A's hitters.
Here is the abridged box score from Saturday night's game (Cubs players only):
Rudy Martin singled, doubled, and walked, and scored two runs, and Luke Willis singled twice, scored a run, and drove-in another with a sacrifice fly, lifting the AZL Royals to a 5-3 victory over the AZL Cubs in Arizona League action Wednesday night at Papago Park Sports Complex Field #2 in Phoenix, AZ.
Although they remain in the AZL West Division, the AZL Royals are playing their home games on the east-side of town at the Papago Park Sports Complex (the former home of the AZL Athletics) this season while their clubhouse is being renovated (expanded) at Surprise Stadium. (The Royals presently are in first place in the AZL West Division, and in fact they have the best record in the league).
LHP Zac Rosscup (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL - left shoulder inflammation) saw his first game action since June 16th, getting the start for the AZL Cubs and throwing one inning (17 pitches - 11 strikes) and allowing no hits, no runs, and no walks, with two strikeouts (both swinging). One runner reached base on an E-5. Rosscup was working his fastball at 91-93 MPH and touched 94, and his breaking ball was sharp and unhittable. He looked to be in mid-season form. (Lots of swings & misses).
Shawon Dunston Jr (on Myrtle Beach 7-day DL) continued his AZL rehab, serving as the AZL Cubs DH and batting third in the order. He drilled a one-out line-drive single to center in the top of the 1st inning, before leaving the game for a pinch-hitter in the top of the 3rd.
RHP Casey Bloomquist (Cubs 2015 17th round draft pick - Cal Poly SLO) made his pro debut, working the eighth inning and retiring the side 1-2-3 (a 5-3 GO followed by two strikeouts). Bloomquist displayed an 87-88 MPH fastball with sinking action that he mixed with a slider and a change-up that dive-bombed out of the strike zone. Bloomquist was the Mustang's "Friday night starter" (#1 starter) as a junior, and unlike some of the Cubs 2015 draft picks who were college seniors with no eligibility left (and no leverage in negotiations), Bloomquist had the option to return to school for his senior year at Cal Poly if he had not signed with the Cubs.
The defensive Play of the Game was turned in by AZL Cubs RF Michael Foster (Cuhs 2015 16th round draft pick - Northeastern University), who made a spectacular diving catch in right-centerfield in the bottom of the 6th inning. Foster also singled twice and scored a run for the AZL Cubs in a losing cause.
Here is the abridged box score from Wednesday night's game (Cubs players only:
The Diamondbacks parlayed four walks and three run-scoring singles into a five-run 9th inning, rallying to defeat the Cubs 5-1 in Cactus League "B" game action this morning at Sloan Park in Mesa, AZ.
Kyle Hendricks got the start for the Cubs and was masterful, tossing five innings of one-hit shutout ball (55 pitches - 37 strikes, 7/5 GO/FO), allowing no walks, while striking out three (all three swinging).
Zac Rosscup then worked a 1-2-3 eight-pitch top of the 6th (two strikeouts looking and a 4-3 GO), and Justin Grimm worked a 1-2-3 top of the 7th (a lead-off F-7, and two strikeouts swinging).
Meanwhile the Cubs were unable to do anything against D-backs LHP Vidal Nuno, who threw four innings of one-hit shutout ball (no walks & eight strikeouts). Then Arizona closer Addison Reed worked a scoreless bottom of the 5th, allowing a lead-off walk before retiring the side in order.
The Cubs finally plated a run in the bottom of the 7th off Randall Delgado, as Mike Baxter drew a lead-off walk, was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, and scored on a Jonathan Herrera one-out RBI single.
Neil Ramirez allowed a lead-off single in the top of the 8th but then struck out the side, and the Cubs entered the top of the 9th holding a slender 1-0 lead.
But Daniel Bard could not find home plate, throwing seven consecutve balls to start the inning before finally recording a strike. He eventually would walk all four men he faced on 23 pitches (only seven strikes). AAA Iowa RHRP Tony Zych relieved Barth with no outs and the bases loaded and the score tied 1-1, and he surrendered RBI singles to minor leaguers Rudy Flores, Zach Borenstein, and Alex Glenn, as the D'backs broke the game open.
If there was any lingering doubt that Daniel Bard's "Steve Blass Disease" is in remission or has been cured, today's outing should put that to rest. His pitches to left-handed hitters were consistently high & outside, and his pitches to right-handed hitters were all over the place
Here is the abridged box score from today's "B" game (Cubs players only):
RHP Pierce Johnson (AA Tennessee 7-day DL - calf - hadn't thrown in a game since May 19th), RHP Kyuji Fujikawa (Cubs MLB 60-day DL - 2013 TJS - hadn't thrown in a Cactus League EXST game since last Monday), and LHP Zac Rosscup (Cubs 15-day DL - shoulder - hadn't thrown in a game since May 9th) combined to toss 3.2 IP of two-hit shutout ball and Danny Canela belted a double and a triple for the Cubs, and LHP Jonah Wesely threw three innings of one-hit shutout ball with five strikeouts for the Angels, as the two teams played to a 2-2 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #4 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.
42-year old OF Manny Ramirez (signed by the Cubs last week to be a player-coach at AAA Iowa) has arrived at Riverview Park to get into playing shape, and so security has been increased. There was a definite uptick in attendance today (most-likely related to Manny's expected arrival), although ManRam did not play in the EXST game.
17-year old OF Eloy Jimenez was at Riverview Park today, too, watching the game from the bleachers (he hasn't played in a game since last Tuesday). Whether his trip to the DSL has been indefinitely postponed or just temporarily delayed remains to be seen. It would be nice if Eloy could play in at least one or two more Cactus League EXST games, though, since he leads the EXST Cubs in RBI and is (was) in the middle of a hot streak (hitting 360/385/640 since May 14th).
LHP Andin Diaz (who was assigned to the DSL Cubs last Friday) was not present at Riverview today and presumably has reported to the DSL Cubs, although (who knows?) maybe he'll pop up again, too.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):