Kipnis leads offensive onslaught in Cubs’ final intrasquad scrimmage

4 years agoTony Andracki

When it’s your day, it’s your day.

The Cubs began Friday’s workout by officially announcing Jason Kipnis had earned a spot on the roster and then the veteran went out and had a nice night to help his team to a 9-5 victory in the intrasquad scrimmage at Wrigley Field.

Kipnis — who signed a minor-league deal over the winter — has impressed with the glove at summer camp and made another nice play in the field (a diving stop to rob Daniel Descalso of a hit) Friday night.

He did it all at the plate in the game, including collecting 2 hits in the same inning. He bunted for a hit against the shift his first time up, hustled out a triple his next time up and then smacked a 2-run single through the shift as the Cubs batted around in the bottom of the 4th inning.

Jon Lester started for the home team, tossing 52 pitches in 3 innings of work. He surrendered solo homers to Albert Almora Jr. and Steven Souza Jr. and worked around a couple of other hard-hit balls to limit the damage to his teammates in the scrimmage.

Colin Rea started opposite Lester and gave up a homer to Javy Báez in the 1st inning:

While Lester was warming up to start the next inning, an announcement over the sound system pegged the homer at 408 feet prompting a fist pump from Báez as he took his position on the field.

Rea gave up another run in the 2nd inning when he balked home Kris Bryant and then ran into some serious trouble in the 4th inning. Kipnis started things off with his hustle triple and by the time it was over, Rea and reliever Ryan Tepera had surrendered 6 runs to their teammates.

Willson Contreras contributed a 2-run double in the inning in addition to Kipnis’ 2-run single while Báez and Hernán Pérez each drove home a run on RBI hits.

Rea was charged with 5 runs in 3+ innings and worked his pitch count up to 70 as he continues to increase his workload while serving as rotation depth for the Cubs in the regular season.

Here’s how the two teams lined up for the final scrimmage before Sunday’s exhibition game:


1. Nico Hoerner – 2B
2. Víctor Caratini – C
3. Steven Souza Jr. – LF
4. Josh Phegley – DH
5. Albert Almora Jr. – CF
6. David Bote – 3B
7. Daniel Descalso – SS
8. P.J. Higgins – 1B
9. Ian Miller – CF


1. Kris Bryant – 3B
2. Ian Happ – CF
3. Javy Báez – SS
4. Kyle Schwarber – LF
5. Willson Contreras – C
6. Jason Heyward – RF
7. Jason Kipnis – 2B
8. Hernán Pérez – 1B


—Ten different players finished with an RBI in the contest: Báez (2), Contreras (2), Kipnis (2), Souza, Almora, Hoerner, Pérez, Bryant, Descalso and Miller.

—Schwarber picked up an outfield assist with a nifty play to nab Hoerner at the plate in the 1st inning. Souza doubled into the left-field corner and Hoerner was running on the pitch, but a quick relay from Schwarber to Báez to Contreras caught the rookie infielder by a step.

—The Cubs tested out the new rules again, putting a runner on second base to start the inning a few times. In total, the offense came through to get the run home 67% of the time (4-for-6). First, it was Miller stealing home after he and Souza were caught in a rundown and interference was called (Miller also stole third earlier in the inning). Then it was Heyward moving from second to third on Pérez’s fly ball and coming around to score on Bryant’s ground out. The third time, Higgins moved to third on Miller’s bunt and then scored on Hoerner’s sacrifice fly. On the fourth successful attempt, Almora motored around to score from second on Descalso’s bunt attempt.

—A slew of relievers worked in the scrimmage following Lester and Rea: Dillon Maples, Ryan Tepera, Jason Adam, Kyle Ryan, Wieck, Jeremy Jeffress, James Norwood and Craig Kimbrel. Wieck and Norwood both stranded the leadoff runner at second base. Norwood initially threw a wild pitch to let the runner (Phegley) advance to third, but then he buckled down to strike out Heyward and Kipnis and get Pérez to ground out.

—The Cubs have a light workout planned Saturday before Sunday’s exhibition opener against the White Sox Sunday evening at Wrigley Field.

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