Isaac Paredes rifled a two-run single into LF with two outs in the bottom of the 9th as the Cubs rallied to tie the Diamondbacks 2-2 on Field #4, and LHSP Jose Paulino and four relievers combined to toss a two-hit shutout as the Cubs blanked the D'backs 2-0 on Field #5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ.
The 17-year old Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K bonus) is hitting 306/390/583 (7% BB-rate / 10% K-rate) in 13 games (41 PA), and leads the EXST Cubs in RBI with 14 (in just 13 games) and is second in HR with two (Jose Paniagua has four). He has made one error (it was a fielding error) in 13 games played at SS.
Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):
LHSP Jose Paulino hurled three innings of shutout ball for the Cubs, and RHSP Christian Talley tossed four innings of shutout ball for the Rockies, as the two teams battled to a 1-1 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning at Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Jose Paulino combined Cactus League Extended Spring Training line (three outings):
9.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 8 K, 15/3 GO/AO
The 21-year old Paulino features a heavy 91-93 MPH sinker that touches 94-95 (hence the extreme GO rate), a hard-breaking slider, and a so-so change-up, but has struggled to command his electric stuff throughout his career. He was the last cut from the South Bend squad at the end of Minor League Camp, so he could find himself in the Midwest League sooner rather than later. If you're looking for an "under-the-radar" Cubs pitching prospect, Paulino might be one. At the very least, he could eventually be a very effective lefty reliever at the higher levels.
In EXST Cubs roster news, RHSP Kyle Miller (Cubs 2015 19th round draft pick - Florida Atlantic U.) and 3B Jesse Hodges (2012 NDFA - Canadian Junior National Team) have been moved-up to South Bend, and RHRP Scott Frazier has been sent to Extended Spring Training from South Bend.
In two Cactus League EXST outings (one GS), Miler has allowed one hit, one run (unearned), and no walks with five strikeouts in 5.1 IP, and (like Paulino, Hudson, Cease, and Null) has been one of the more-impressive SP down here. He'll probably be used as a "piggy-back" reliever at SB.
The 22-year old Hodges was the everyday 3B at South Bend last year (hitting 238/316/363 in 90 MWL games), but was a late-cut from the Myrtle Beach squad at the end of Minor League Camp and was left behind at Extended Spring Training. He was hitting 333/500/333 in four Cactus League EXST games, and he has made several eye-popping defensive stops at the "hot corner." He also drilled an RBI double off Dylan Cease and a HR off Eugenio Palma in an intrasquad game last week.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
Isaac Paredes (2015 IFA - Mexico - $800K signing bonus) drilled an RBI single and an RBI double, Kelly Dugan singled, doubled, walked, and scored a run, and LHSP Jose Paulino tossed three innings of perfect baseball (24 pitches - 83% strikes - 6/1 GO/AO) for the Cubs, and Scott Burcham singled, doubled, and scored a run for the Rockies, as the two teams played to a 3-3 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training game action this morning on Dust Storm Field at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Resort east of Scottsdale, AZ.
Shane Victorino (calf strain rehab) played LF for six innings and went 0-3 (K, L-7, E-1) at the plate. I don't know how much longer he will be down here, but he is about as ripe as a rehabber can get, and has been for several days now. Hang loose, bruddah.
Here is the abridged box score from the game (Cubs players only):
Jhonny Pereda roped an RBI single, doubled, and walked, Roney Alcala doubled twice and drove-in a run, and LHSP Jose Paulino hurled five innings of shutout ball with an 11/0 GO/FO and combined with three relievers to toss a five-hit shutout, as the Cubs blanked the Angels 4-0 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #7 at Diablo Park in Tempe, AZ.
Chris Denorfia (on Cubs MLB 15-day DL with a strained hamstring) continued his EXST rehab today, playing left field for all nine innings and getting four AB. He drilled line-drive singles in each of his first two PA, then walked his third time up, and flied out to the warning track in left in his fourth and final AB, Denorfia was running the bases at full-tilt and he made a nice running catch in left (although he had to wait until Jose Paulino left the game to do it, because Paulino was a "ground-ball machine" today).
The plan at present is for Denorfia to remain at Extended Spring Training through Saturday, but actually he looks to be 100% right now.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
Marcos Derkes belted a bases-loaded triple and RHSP Taylor Black tossed three innings of no-hit ball, leading the Rockies to a 6-4 victory over the Cubs in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action this morning on Field #6 at Mesa CubTown at Riverview Park.
The Cubs Cactus League EXST record dropped to 16-15-5 with today's loss.
Jose Paniagua drilled an RBI triple and a single and Ho-Young Son ripped an RBI double, singled, reached base on an HBP, and stole a base for the Cubs in a losing cause.
Son is now hitting a robust 417/520/561 (and the .417 batting average leads the EXST Cubs for players with at least one PA per Cactus League EXST game), with four doubles and a triple, five walks and four HBP (so he is the Anthony Rizzo of the EXST Cubs), only three strikeouts (none in his last 33 PA), and five SB (albeit with two CS and four PO) in 18 Cactus League EXST games (50 PA). He also leads the EXST Cubs in multi-hit games with six (Frandy de la Rosa and Kevonte Mitchell have five a piece), and he made just his second error of the Cactus League EXST season today. Son will very likely be the starting shortstop for the Eugene Emeralds once the Northwest League season begins play next month.
OF Chris Denorfia (on Cubs MLB 15-day with a hamstring strain) was a DH in today;s game and batted four times, once in each of the first four innings.
He struck out (swinging) on three pitches his first time up (and looked bad doing it), then grounded out 6-3 on the first pitch he saw the second time up, walked on four pitches in his third AB, and roped a line-single to left on the first pitch of the AB in his fourth and final Plate Appearance.
Denorfia jogged to 1st base when he ran (that's called "fuck 90 when I'm rehabbing my hamstring"), and Kevonte Mitchell was inserted into the game as a Designated Pinch-Runner the two times Denorfia reached base. Mitchell took advantage of the two opportunities by stealing a base and scoring two runs (Herb Washington, eat your heart out!).
RHP Pierce Johnson (on AA Tennessee DL with a lat strain) got the start on the mound for the Cubs today and looked a lot better today than he did in last Thursday's intrasquad game, working two innings of no-run/no hit ball (25 pitches - 19 strikes), and allowing just one baserunner (he hit the first man he faced) before easily retiring the last six in a row (4-3, P-4, K, K, F-8, 3-1).
His fastball velocity was better than last time, too, as he was working mostly at 92 MPH, and he touched 94 (the very first pitch of the game). He threw 12 consecutive strikes at the end of his outing (including all ten pitches he threw in the top of the 2nd), and was able to command all of his pitches (something he was not able to do last time out).
RHP Jesus Castillo (one of two pitchers acquired from the Diamondbacks in the Tony Campana deal a couple of years ago) followed Johnson to the hill and had a very poor outing, allowing three runs on two walks and two hits (one of which was the Derkes bases-loaded triple) in just one-third of an inning.
Usually a starting pitcher, LHP Jose Paulino had his outing pushed-back to the middle innings to accomodate Johnson and Castillo, and although he did allow three runs (two earned) on three hits, four walks, an HBP, and a balk in 3.2 IP, he was throwing his two-seamer harder than usual, working at 91-93 and touching 94-95 while getting a ton of ground balls (8/0 GO).
LHRP Andin Diaz had his fastball gas consistently up to 94-95 MPH over the last two innings of the game (no runs/no hits allowed)
Prior to the Cactus League EXST game on Field #6, RHP Marcelo Carreno (post-2013 right shoulder surgery) and RHRP Corbin Hoffner threw a one-inning "sim" game on Field #4. This was the first time Carreno (acquired as the PTBNL from the Tigers in the August 2012 deal that sent IF-OF Jeff Baker to Detroit) has faced hitters this year, while Hoffner is trying to perfect his new exteme sidearm (almost "submarine") delivery by getting extra work throwing against hitters on days he would normally just throw a bullpen side-session.
Here is the abridged box score from today's game (Cubs players only):
Eloy Jimenez reached base four times (two doubles, a single, and a walk) in four Plate Appearances and drove-in a run, Ricardo Marcano belted a triple and a two-run double and scored a run, and LHP Carson Sands hurled four innings of shutout ball, as the Cubs defeated the Diamondbacks 5-3 on Jackrabbit Field, and Raymel Flores drilled two triples and scored two runs, Sergio Alcantara ripped a two-run inside-the-park HR, and Wei-Chieh Huang and five relievers combined to retire 25 of the first 27 men they faced, leading the D'backs to an 8-2 victory over the Cubs on Whirlwind 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.
Jose Paniagua singled twice, doubled, and scored a run for the Cubs in a losing cause on Whirlwind Field.
Recently signed free-agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia went 1-3 with a single and a walk and a run scored in four PA and RHRP Matt Stites (on AZ MLB 15-day DL with right elbow inflammation) threw a shutout inning (one hit allowed, one strikeout) for the Diamondbacks squad on Whirlwind Field. .
In EXST Cubs roster news, INF Tommy LaStella (on Cubs 15-day DL - rib cage inflammation) has completed the Extended Spring Training portion of his rehab and has moved up to AA Tennessee, where he will begin his Article XIX-C Minor League Rehab Assignment. In just two Cactus League EXST games (10 PA), LaStella had seven hits (including four doubles and a HR) and a sacrifice fly, and six RBI.
Also, INF Andrew Ely (Cubs 2014 32nd round draft pick - U. of Washington) has been moved-up to Lo-A South Bend, and INF Tim Saunders (Cubs 2012 32nd round draft pick - Marietta College) has been released.
The 22 year old Ely began the season on the Hi-A Myrtle Beach roster, but he did not play for the Pelicans and was assigned to Extended Spring Training last month. In six Cactus League EXST games (21 PA), Ely hit 312/476/375, with a double, four walks, an HBP, two strikeouts, a stolen base, a run scored, and an RBI. He played both 2B and 3B while he was in Arizona.
The left-handed hitting Ely had a fine debut professional season in 2014, hitting 298/348/479 with five HR & 16 RBI in 34 games combined between AZL Cubs and AAA Iowa.
The speedy Saunders (48 SB in 148 career minor league games) was a two-time NCAA Division 3 All American in college and the 2012 NCAA D-3 Player of the Year, but yet he seemingly came out of nowhere to hit 381/431/536 between AZL Cubs, Peoria, and Daytona (combined 49 games - 218 PA) after being drafted in 2012. But then he suffered an elbow injury at Daytona in 2013 that required a UCL transplant (Tommy John surgery), and he was unable to regain the 2012 mojo once he returned to action.
The 24-year old Saunders retired last June, but decided to try it again this season. He reported to Minor League Camp in March, but was left behind at Extended Spring Training. He still shows plus-speed on the bases and versatility and range in the field, and he still has a good eye at the plate, but he hit only 154/313/231 in eleven Cactus League EXST games (32 PA), with four walks and two HBP, six strikeouts, three stolen bases (one CS), five runs scored, and two RBI. He played 2B, 3B, and SS in Cactus League EXST games and intrasquad games while he was at EXST, and he has also played the outfield earlier in his career. He should be able to find a spot with an indepenedent league team if he wants to continue playing.
It wasn't a Cactus League Extended Spring Training game, but the Cubs did play an EXST intrasquad game on Field #6 at Riverview Park yesterday afternoon.
Veteran MLB RHP Felipe Paulino was one of the starting pitchers in the intrasquad game, and he worked 3.1 IP and got his pitch count up to 63, so he may ready to join AAA Iowa sooner rather than later. He did allow three runs on four hits (two singles, a triple and a solo HR) and two walks, but he also struck out six (all six swinging). His fastball was consistently 94-95 MPH, and touched 96 at least once, so apparently there is nothing wrong with his arm (Paulino missed most of the 2014 season with a sore shoulder, and he had TJS in 2012).
Tyler Alamo slugged a solo home run (that was the one HR allowed by F. Paulino), Yohan Matos, Carlos Jimenez, and Jose Paniagua belted triples, and LHP Jose Paulino tossed four innings of one-hit ball with six strikeouts (and a 6/0 GO/FO) in the intrasquad game. (J. Paulino is a virtual-lock to join Carson Sands, Justin Steele, and Austyn Willis in the Eugene starting rotation, when the Northwest League begins play next month).
RHP Dillon Maples had another poor outing. Working in relief of J. Paulino in the intrasquad game, Maples allowed five runs on five hits (including two triples and a double) and two walks in just one inning of work.This is the fourth consecutive Extended Spring Training for the now 23-year old Maples (he was drafted out of a North Carolina HS in 2011, but did not sign until August of that year), and while he still throws a 94 MPH heater and a hammer curve, he has a lot of difficulty commanding his pitches. He also sometimes will lose confidence in his fastball if he's not getting good results with it, and when that happens he tends to lose focus.
Here are the abridged box scores from today's two Cubs Cactus League EXST games (Cubs players only), followed by the abridged box score from yesterday's intrasquad game at Riverview Park:
we also gotta keep a long-distance eye on guys like jose paulino (ss-A) and preston morrison (A).
I'd love to add Carl Jr. to that group - he's got the stuff.
Wow - Pierce Johnson with an ERA of 8.01 in 42IP!
What a stud prospect! Must be pitching with a pierced johnson.
Looks like Ryan Williams is the only legit prospect there. That is sad...
Take THAT, Cardinals -- you beat Fernandez, we beat Sale.
I really like Lackey as a 6-inning pitcher.
Three amigos? Because the Dominican, the Venezuelan, and the Cuban?
Maybe the three-headed dragon?
Three amigos time?
he should hit more of those. that would be an ideal outcome. /moneyballs
Russell with 19 RBI in July so far. Grand Slams help.
He played with fire twice agains the Cubs -- unfortunately, the Cubs couldn't stop swinging.
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic