Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Orlando Calixte drilled an RBI single in the third inning and a two-run single in the 7th that turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead, and the Sacramento RiverCats (AAA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) held-on to edge the Iowa Cubs (AAA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs) 4-3 on Field #1, and Miguel Gomez singled and tripled and scored two runs, Hunter Cole doubled twice, drove-in two runs, and scored another, and Chris Shaw ripped an RBI single and an RBI double, leading the Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants AA affiliate) to a 6-2 victory over the Tennessee Smokies (Cubs AA affiliate) on Field #2, in Cactus League Minor League doubleheader action Wednesday afternoon at Indian School Park in Scottsdale, AZ.

Eddy Julio Martinez collected three hits (two singles and a double) for the Smokies in a losing cause.

As usual, a number of players were moved-up from lower levels to replace players assigned to the Cubs MLB game at Sloan Park. In fact, no less than 11 players were "called-up" to the AA/AAA games from the Eugene/Mesa (Extended Spring Training) group. 

Iowa and Tenneessee starting pitcher candidates have been practicing their bunting for the past few days on the back-fields at Riverview Park in preparation for the start of the Southern League and PCL seasons next week, and so the Smokies and I-Cubs starting pitchers -- Duane Underwood Jr and Jake Buchanan -- plus Seth Frankoff (who is competing for a SP/RP "swing-man" gig) were sent up to bat to bunt in game situations where there was a man on base and less than two out. (The DH is used in all leagues below AA, and it's used in AA and AAA, too, but only in games where an American League affiliate is the home team).  

The battle continues for bullpen jobs at Iowa and Tennessee, and today's candidates were a mixed-bag. Michael Wagner couldn't find the strike zone, Jonathan Martinez didn't fool anybody and was hit hard, Juan Carlos Paniagua labored through his one inning (although he did pitch out of a runners at 2nd & 3rd and no outs jam), and Daniel Corcino easily retired the side 1-2-3 (F-7, 1-3, K). In fact, Corcino has been nothing short of a revelation so far at Spring Training, combining 96 MPH gas and a plus-breaking ball. The 26-year old Corcino was at one-time the top pitching prospect of the Cincinnati Reds, but he has bounced-around AA the last two or three years in search of his stuff, although he obviously hasn't missed many meals. He has indeed put on a few pounds over the past couple of years (I'd say he is about 5'11 240 right now), and that may have turned off some teams.        

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

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Posted: 2017-03-29 19:50:39

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