Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Reds sent a split squad to take on the Mariners in Peoria Friday. Billy Hamilton led off and played centerfield, scoring a run after a walk in the fifth inning. He finished 0-for-2 and is hitting .357 this spring. Junior Arias replaced Hamilton and also went 0-for-2, as did fellow outfielder Juan Duran. Jesse Winker saw his first action at the plate in the Cactus League, doubling once in two trips. Neftali Soto went 1-for-4 and scored a run as the starting first baseman, which gives him nine hits thus far and a .450 average. Third baseman Travis Mattair was 0-for-4 as the starter. Donald Lutz added a hit in two at-bats.
On the mound, a few Reds pitching prospects saw action. Daniel Corcino had his second consecutive rough outing this spring. The 23-year old righty surrendered five earned runs on three hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Ismael Guillon also struggled and allowed three earned runs in one and two-thirds innings. On a positive note, Michael Lorenzen earned the win with one and one-third scoreless innings and Carlos Contreras got the save after a perfect ninth inning, in which he struck out two.
For the Mariners, Abraham Almonte led off and started in centerfield. After an 0-for-4 day at the plate, Almonte is now hitting .105 in 19 at-bats this spring. D.J. Peterson entered as a replacement at third base and went 2-for-3, including his first home run of the spring. Outfielder Stefen Romero added an RBI triple, his one hit in two trips to the plate.
The Chicago White Sox trekked to Goodyear to take on the rest of the Reds. Infield prospect Leury Garcia collected a single in his only at-bat of the day, and Micah Johnson entered as a defensive replacement late in the game. Though he did not hit Friday, Johnson had gone 3-for-5 as the leadoff man and starting second baseman on Thursday. Outfielders Keenyn Walker and Trayce Thompson each went hitless in two trips Friday, though Thompson earned a walk and stolen base before scoring a run. Jared Mitchell went 0-for-1 after taking over for Thompson in right field. Pitchers Maikel Cleto and Nestor Molina both worked scoreless innings in the White Sox victory, with Molina earning the save. Few Reds prospects saw action, though Yorman Rodriguez went hitless in one at-bat.
At Cubs Park, Chicago hosted the Cleveland Indians. 2013 first round pick Kris Bryant connected for his second home run of the spring. Bryant started at third base and went 1-for-2. Top prospect Javier Baez started at shortstop for the Cubs and finished 0-for-3. Arismendy Alcantara, Dan Vogelbach, and Brett Jackson each went 0-for-1, while Matt Szczur and Jeimer Candelario saw action, but did not get at-bats. On the mound, Arodys Vizcaino continued a strong spring with two strikeouts in one spotless inning. A trio of prospects earned playing time for the Indians. Outfielders Tyler Naquin and Carols Moncrief each hat a hit, with Moncrief scoring a run. Troy Walters walked, which drove in a run, in his only plate appearance.
A second Cubs split-squad traveled to Tempe to face the Los Angeles Angels, earning a victory in a low-scoring affair. Many top Cubs prospects saw action Friday. Mike Olt earned a start for the second consecutive day, this time as the DH after playing first base on Thursday. Olt went 0-for-4 in the contest with two strikeouts. Infielder Christian Villanueva started at third base, doubling once in three plate appearances. Nineteen-year old Albert Almora had a hit and scored a run in only one plate appearance for the Cubs, which gives him four hits this spring in only seven at-bats. Jorge Soler collected his first hit of the spring, an RBI triple that proved to be the game-winner. Former top prospect Josh Vitters started at first base and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts.
For the Angels, top prospect Taylor Lindsey went 0-2 and left three men on base and C.J. Cron collected an RBI single once in two at-bats against the Cubs. Fellow infield prospects Kaleb Cowart and Alex Yarbrough each went 0-1 as the rest of the club faced the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.
In Phoenix, the Oakland A’s hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks in a pitcher’s duel. Arizona outfield prospect Ender Inciarte had two at-bats, but failed to get a hit. Inciarte is hitting .357 to this point. Outfielder Alfredo Marte walked in his only appearance for the Diamondbacks. Billy Burns continues to get a lot of action for Oakland. The speedy outfielder led off and started in centerfield. He went 2-for-4 on the day and was caught attempting to steal a base. The 24-year old is hitting .321 in 28 spring at-bats.
Zach Lee led the Dodgers to a 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers Friday at Camelback Ranch. The organization’s top pitching prospect started and tossed two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out one. Lefty Tom Windle worked the final two innings for the save.
Yordano Ventura started for the Kansas City Royals Friday in Surprise. In three innings, the hard-throwing righty allowed two earned runs on three hits and one walk. He also struck out two in the loss as the Royals were shut out. Prospects Jorge Bonifacio (0-2) and Christian Colon (0-1) saw action for Kansas City.
At Maryvale Baseball Park, the Brewers hosted the San Diego Padres. Pitching prospect Johnny Hellweg worked two scoreless in relief. The big right-hander walked one, struck out one and allowed one hit. The Brewers struggled at the plate, earning only three hits on the day. Hunter Morris and Jason Rogers each went 0-for-1.
San Diego also gave the ball to a highly regarded pitching prospect in Matt Wisler. In two innings of relief, Wisler allowed two earned runs on a walk and two hits. Rico Noel started in right field for the Padres and hit an inside-the-park home run, hit only hit in three plate appearances. Second baseman Cody Spangenberg went 1-for-3 also and scored a run. Cody Decker knocked in two runs in one at-bat. Fellow prospects Austin Hedges (0-2) and Rymer Liriano (0-1) also saw action.