Trevor Clifton

Cain Good, but Giants UnAbel to defeat Mota-vated Pelicans in Scottsdale

Ian Rice drilled a bases-loaded two-run single to spark a three-run 7th and SP Trevor Clifton retired ten of the first eleven men he faced, helping the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) edge the San Jose Giants (Hi-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) 5-4 on Field #2, and Byron Murray hammered an RBI triple and a single and scored two runs and Lucius Fox (2015 IFA - Bahamas - $6M signing bonus) smacked an RBI double, walked, and scored a run, leading the Augusta Greenjackets (Giants Lo-A affiliate) to an 8-3 victory over the South Bend Cubs (Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs), in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Monday afternoon at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.    

Skyler Ewing and Dillon Dobson each belted a two-run home run in a losing cause for San Jose on Field #2, and Eddy Julio Martinez (2015 IFA - Cuba - $3M signing bonus) singled twice, walked, and drove-in a run in a losing cause for the Cubs on Field #1. (EJM has served mostly as the South Bend DH in games so far, but he played RF today). 

San Francisco Giants RHSP Matt Cain made the start for San Jose on Field #2 and worked 5.1 IP (92 pitches - 66 strikes), allowing one run on four hits (all four singles) and a walk with five strikeouts and a 5/6 GO/AO.  

In Minor League Camp roster news, long-time Cubs minor league INF Jonathan Mota has retired as a player, although he has been working exclusively as a coach with the Myrtle Beach (Hi-A) squad since Minor League Camp opened earlier this month, and will continue to do so going forward.

Now 28, Mota was originally signed by the Cubs as a 16-year old shortstop out of Venezuela in 2003, and over the years he has played in more than 1,000 minor league games for the Cubs, playing at every level (rookie ball through AAA) and every position, but he never made it to The Show. (The closest he got was an NRI to Spring Training with the big club in 2012). He was a minor league 6YFA in each of the last six off-seasons, but each time he re-signed with the Cubs. 

Mota was the ultimate "organizational player," a quiet, loyal guy who did whatever he was asked to do without bitching or moaning, moving from one level to another when needed (often without much advance notice), mentoring his younger teammates, and when not needed as a player, he would serve as a 1st base coach, bullpen catcher, batting practice pitcher, and probably the bus driver, as well, all the while staying in playing shape in case he was called to action. He volunteered for the Catcher Conversion Program at Extended Spring Training in 2010 to increase his versatility, and he even had the opportunity to pitch (in a pinch) in seven games over the course of his long career to help save his club's bullpen.

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only): 

Eloy No Joy for Bees at Riverview Park

Trevor Clifton and Adbert Alzolay combined to hurl six innings of two-hit shutout baseball and three relievers followed with three more innings of no-hit ball, as the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Cubs Hi-A affiliate) two-hit the Inland Empire 66ers (Los Angeles Angels Hi-A affiliate) 4-2 on Field #5, and Eloy Jimenez slugged a two-run home run to cap a three-run 1st and Ricardo Marcano belted a two-run HR in the 7th (the Jimenez bomb carrying 420+ feet over the CF fence just to left of the Batter's Eye), leading the South Bend Cubs (the Lo-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) to a 7-3 victory over the Burlington Bees (Angels Lo-A affiliate) on Field #6, in a Cactus League Minor League Camp doubleheader played Thursday afternoon at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Yasiel Balaguert collected two doubles and an RBI for Myrtle Beach, and Kevonte Mitchell singled twice, walked, scored two runs, and stole a base (home, on the back-end of a double-steal) for South Bend.

RHRP Alexander Santana had an unusual outing for Myrtle Beach, working the 9th inning of the game on Field #5. Santana entered the game with a 4-0 lead, and proceeded to hit three batters and throw two wild pitches, and of the 16 pitches he threw in the inning, only two were strikes. But he never-the-less somehow managed to record three outs, because the two strikes both turned into 5-3 ground outs, and the third out was a game-ending caught-stealng at 3rd base on a ball-three pitch with the potential tying run at the plate.  

OF Alex Bautista, 1B-OF Chris Pieters, and INF Edgar Rondon were moved-up from the South Bend group to the Myrtle Beach squad for the game, and all three entered the game as late-inning replacements for the Pelicans.

Myrtle Beach 2B Ian Happ and SS Gleyber Torres (who are two of the Cubs Top 5 prospects) were absent from Minor League Camp on Thursday, as they traveled with the big league club to Salt River Fields for a morning Cactus League "B" game versus the Colorado Rockies.  

Cubs Spring Training Depth Chart
Minor League Camp Rosters (updated daily)


Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

Schwarber Just Keeps a-rakin' at Riverview Park

Kyle Schwarber ripped a double and an RBI single and scored a run, Charlie White belted an RBI triple and a single and scored a run, and Mark Zagunis singled twice, scored a run, drove-in another, and stole a base, in a seven-inning AZ Instructional League Cubs intrasquad game played this morning on Field #1 at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.

Trevor Clifton and three relievers combined to toss a three-hit shut out, as Team Johnson blanked Team Gonzalez 7-0 to take a 2-0 lead in the "Cubs World Series." 

For some reason, Cubs coaches wanted Scott Frazier to face only LH hitters in his one inning of work, so the lineup was adjusted to accomodate the plan. Frazier has what some in the Cub organization believe to be the best pure stuff in the system, but the big right-hander from Pepperdine has struggled to throw strikes going all the way back to Minor League Camp in March. The Cubs have tried almost everything to try and fix the problem, with facing only LH hitters being the latest attempt.    

Here is the box score from today's game:

Pena Punishes Pineiro As Giants Double Their Pleasure at Riverview Park

Julio Pena smacked a three-run home run off Joel Pineiro and RHP Chris Johnson threw four innings of one-run ball and struck out six (including Jorge Soler twice), leading the Giants to a 6-2 victory over the Cubs on Field #6, and Will Callaway, Brad Moss, and Fernando Pujadas stroked RBI doubles as the Giants edged the Cubs 6-5 on Field #5, in Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader action this morning at the Under Armour Performance Center at Riverview Park in Mesa, AZ.  

Jeffrey Baez laced an RBI triple and a double and scored a run and RHP Trevor Clifton threw 2.2 IP of shutout relief with five strikeouts in a losing cause for the Cubs on Field #5, and Mark Malave accounted for both Cub runs on Field #6 with an RBI double and an RBI single.

Jorge Soler (hamstring rehab) played RF for seven innings on Field #6 and batted six times, once in each of the first six innings, He struck out (swinging) on a 1-2 pitch in the bottom of the 1st, was called out on strikes on a 1-2 pitch in the 2nd, bounced-out 6-3 in the 3rd, roped a line-drive single to left (and then stole 2nd base!) in the 4th, reached base on an HBP (he was hit on the right inner elbow) in the 5th (his 3rd HBP in five EXST games this week), and then he struck out (swinging) on a pitch over his head in his final AB in the 6th.

While he is still a bit rusty at the plate (he is hitting only 182/269/227 with no walks, five strikeouts, three HBP, and four hits--three singles and a double--in 26 EXST PA), he is running and playing outfield defense without any apparent difficulty, and so today could very well be the end of his EXST rehab. So don't be surprised if he is back with AA Tennessee by Monday. 

35-year old veteran MLB RHP Joel Pineiro was the starting pitcher for the Cubs on Field #6, his fifth EXST outing since signing with the Cubs on March 30th. Pineiro worked five innings (62 pitches), allowing three runs (all earned) on five hits (three singles, a double, and the Pena three-run HR), and two walks. He struck out only one, but had a 10/4 GO/FO.

THE PITCHING LINES FROM JOEL PINEIRO'S FIVE 2014 EXST OUTINGS
4/12 - 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 8/0 GO/FO, 64 pitches (48 strikes)
4/17 - 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 PO, 7/2 GO/FO, 66 pitches (43 strikes)
4/22 - 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R (7 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 3/3 GO/FO, 76 pitches (51 strikes)
4/28 - 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 7 K, 1 WP, 4/4 GO/FO, 60 pitches (45 strikes) 
5/3   - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 2 GIDP, 10/4 GO/FO, 62 pitches (42 strikes)  
TOTAL: 22.2 IP, 27 H, 18 R (16 ER), 6 BB, 17 K, 1 HR, 3 WP, 2 GIDP, 32/13 GO/FO, 70% strikes, 6.35 ERA, 1.46 WHIP

Both games were stopped by mutual-agreement after 7-1/2 innings.

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):

Soler Back in Action at Salt River Fields

Oliver Zapata ripped a two-run triple and an RBI single, Adonis Paula singled, doubled, and scored two runs, Rashad Crawford reached base on a double, a walk, and an HBP, and scored three runs, and Trevor Clifton and Hector Perez threw three shutout innings a piece, leading the Cubs to an 8-4 victory over the Diamondbacks on Jackrabbit Field, and Ryan Kinsella belted an RBI double and an RBI triple, helping the D'backs rally from a five-run deficit to edge the Cubs 7-6 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.

Gleyber Torres collected three hits, stole a base, and scored two runs in a losing cause for Squad "A" on Whirlwind Field.

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  • I am right there with you closing in on 60.

    I don't care that much about "mortgaging" one player who is not only blocked by two guys, but is not ready to hit the majors for at least a couple years.

    There is no reason why this team, this year, can't have a real shot at something NONE of us have experienced.

    Further, I don't feel that even if they fall short that they have ruined their farm system.

    I have made my opinion clear here, with others, Warren was shit on the Cubs save one spot start.

    The E-Man 1 hour 26 min ago view
  • Trading for Warren, Warren sucking, getting Warren back for Chapman plus 3 prospects, sounds like Revenge of The Yankees on the former Boston executive. Old rivalries never die.

    I pray to the heavens above Chapman doesn't suck for some reason, or he'll be booed out of town faster than a Todd Hundley revival meeting.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 34 min ago view
  • I'm kind of nostalgic for the Schwarber-for-Miller rumors.

    Brick 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • This offseason, after some ridiculous playoff run and Chapman saving every game from here until the end of the postseason striking out 27/9innings, I welcome anyone to quote this thread and call me a dummy: I hate this trade, and my hate is 2 parts Chapman makes this team less likeable and 1 part that's a ridiculous overpay for 30 regular season innings and, at tops, 10 postseason innings. Already hoping they don't extend him.

    Charlie 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • btw...Thanks AZ Phil. I'm really enjoying your take on this trade.

    Cubster 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • I'm a bit disappointed on the Warren experience. Essentially they gave Castro away for crickets (OK, well they signed Zobrist with the Castro salary dump). Otherwise one might look at it as Chapman for Castro and our #1 minors prospect (Torres) + McKinney/Crawford. Seems pricey for a 2 month rental. We will see if this price tag is that steep in a relative way based on the remaining deadline deals for relievers.

    Cubster 2 hours 10 min ago view
  • Yep. One of the great things about this team (in addition to being really good at baseball) was the "likable" factor. Feels a bit different now. Who knows...maybe Chapman will be the king of the dance parties.

    billybucks 2 hours 19 min ago view
  • Here are some possible corresponding minor league moves we might see in the aftermath  of the Chapman trade: 

    SOUTH BEND to MYRTLE BEACH: OF Donnie Dewees and INF Bryant Flete  

    EUGENE to SOUTH BEND: OF Robert Garcia and INF Vimael Machin 

    There is really no reason to replace Billy McKinney at Tennessee because both Chris Coghlan and Jorge Soler are doing their rehab at Tennessee.  

    And there are plenty of pitchers at Iowa. No need to replace Warren at AAA. .  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • I am 70 years old. The Cubs last played in the World Series in 1945. I was born in 1946. I hate to lose a prospect like Torres, but when the opportunity is there to get that World Series ring, you go for it. This was the idea in stock piling all this young talent. I would like to see Reddick added now and the Cubbies should be done.

    Hagsag 3 hours 9 min ago view
  • I would expect Richard to accept an optional assignment because based on how he's played this season, there is a decent chance that he won't find work elsewhere. Rather stay and potentially get a ring. Same goes for Coghlan since he's struggled mightily this year.

    Edwards should not go down. He's pitched very well and Maddon is very impressed with him. I would expect Grimm to go down for Cahill so he can get back on track (he's pitched better in July, but he's not getting enough appearances).

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 13 min ago view
  • chitownmvp01: Indeed Clayton Richard would seem to be odd man out once Chapman reports, but Richard might accept a minor league assignment if he is promised a return to Chicago on 9/1 when MLB Active List rosters expand (Richard has minor league ioptions left).

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 16 min ago view
  • The only player in the deal that would cause me a second thought is Gleyber Torres.

    McKinney and Crawford are decent prospects but both are redundant/replaceable in the system and Warren was really only a middle-reliever or #6 starter, so to me it's really just Torres for Chapman.

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 36 min ago view
  • There is no Comp pick for players traded mid-season. 2+ months of Chapman is it.

    mbauer 3 hours 39 min ago view
  • to get one of the best you have to give up one/some of your best...but it's a bit painful to watch the system's best prospect walk for any 2-3 month rental, especially one that's not an everyday player.

    crunch 3 hours 41 min ago view
  • I assume Chapman will replace Richard on the roster, but who goes down when Cahill gets activated? Maybe Grimm?

    And when Soler and Coghlan get healthy, how do they fit them on the roster when they're ready to be activated?

    chitownmvp01 3 hours 44 min ago view
  • We are giving up a lot, but it's not like we're trading Addison Russell for 2+ months of Jason Hammel. When impact players become available, they are going to cost you. The other bids could also have been high.

    Having Chapman as a rental is potentially less disruptive than having him come in with an extension in place. 

    CTSteve 3 hours 46 min ago view