Ryan Tepera Jersey

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MESA, Ariz. — The Cubs will re-sign right-hander Ryan Tepera to a one-year, $800,000 deal, pending a physical, according to a source.

Tepera was a big piece of the Cubs’ bullpen in 2020, and after Jeremy Jeffress, he might have been the team’s best reliever during the shortened season. The right-hander was 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA with a career-high 34.8% strikeout rate.

“I think Ryan Tepera last year did a really good job for us of coming in and pitching some really big innings,” manager David Ross said. “I thought he bridged the gap to the back end [of the bullpen] really well. That sixth, seventh [inning] spot where maybe [Rowan] Wick was used the day before. There’s so many pieces to that Wholesale Chicago Cubs Jerseys bullpen. He was a significant piece for us last year that kind of came in and got us out of a big spot and was able to handle the moment.”

The addition of Tepera adds another piece to the Cubs’ bullpen, which has gotten some additional reinforcements over the last few weeks. With right-hander Rowan Wick unlikely to break camp while dealing with a lingering intercostal injury, the bullpen could benefit from the extra support.

“I think depth pieces are going to be important for us,” Ross said. “And with [Wick] being on the shelf for a minute, and I think just in general this year, I think it’s going to take a lot of different arms to pitch big innings for us with the limited innings they were able to throw last year.

“The bullpen depth is always an important piece of any championship-caliber team. And if you want to get to where you want to go through 162, you’re going to need multiple arms down there in the bullpen. So guys that have been in the moment and have had success are very important.”

Strumpf, Weber added to spring roster

The Cubs added infield prospects Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber as non-roster invitees Friday. Strumpf hit .244 with three homers and 17 RBI over three levels in his first year in pro ball in 2019. The 21-year-old is the team’s ninth-ranked prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, and was the Cubs’ second-round pick out of UCLA in 2019.

Weber hit .275 with three homers and 59 RBI in 127 games for South Bend in 2019. He was the Cubs’ fifth-round pick out of Virginia in 2018.

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It’s a truism that the results of spring training games don’t matter, but there’s a legitimate reason for that truism. They don’t because the games aren’t managed or played like regular-season games. They’re used for getting players prepared for the season. The preparation matters; the game results don’t.

This was never more true than for the Cubs’ 15-7 loss to the Angels Monday afternoon.

Why is that?

Because of the 15 runs allowed to the Angels, 12 of them were given up by pitchers who have exactly zero chance of making the Cubs’ Opening Day roster: Keegan Thompson, Juan Gamez and Robert Stock. Of those three, only Stitched Chicago Cubs Jerseys Stock might have a chance of pitching in the big leagues this year.

Ian Happ led off the game with a home run, so let’s look at that! [VIDEO]

It was all downhill from there. A wild pitch by Thompson and an RBI single by Anthony Rendon gave the Angels a 2-1 lead after one, and then Joe Maddon’s squad put up a 10-spot against Thompson, Gamez and Stock in the second inning. That half-inning took 31 minutes to complete. Here’s the sequence of batters in that inning producing the 10 runs: walk, single, sacrifice bunt, fielder’s choice (batter reached), double, walk, double, walk, hit batter, single, single, single, walk, RBI groundout.

The only at-bat that wasn’t involved somehow in the Angels scoring was the final out of the inning, a groundout by Rendon.

And none of that matters!

Here’s an RBI triple by Willson Contreras [VIDEO] that got by our old buddy Dexter Fowler in right field.

Patrick Wisdom doesn’t get a lot of coverage here, largely because he’s not going to make the Opening Day roster. But Wisdom hit a solo homer leading off the eighth, and that’s worth a look [VIDEO].

Miguel Amaya finished up the Cubs’ three-homer afternoon with a solo shot leading off the ninth.

The only other thing that was really important in this game was yet another scoreless inning from Rex Brothers. He struck out two, including top Angels prospect Jared Walsh. Brothers appears to be very close to making the Opening Day roster and giving David Ross another lefthanded option out of the bullpen.

Ryan Tepera also threw a scoreless inning in relief, so that’s good. Jason Adam, Jake Jewell and James Norwood were touched up for one run each in their single innings of work. The run off Norwood was unearned due to an error on Ildemaro Vargas.

And now you know as much about this game as you need to.

Lastly, this date should have been Kyle Hendricks’ turn in the rotation. There’s no official word anywhere that I can find at this time, but I assume Kyle got his work in at the Sloan Park complex. Also:

The Cubs return to Sloan Park Tuesday afternoon to face the White Sox. Jake Arrieta will start for the Cubs and Dallas Keuchel gets the call for the Sox. Game time is 3:05 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network. There will also be a radio broadcast on 670 The Score.

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MESA, Arizona — Rafael Ortega is not a power guy. In 410 career MLB at-bats, he has three home runs.

He did hit 21 homers at Triple-A Gwinnett in the Braves system in 2019, but that’s nearly a third of his 68 career minor league home runs in 4,135 at bats.

Ortega might never hit a regular-season Chicago Cubs Jerseys China home run for the Cubs. Heck, he might not play a regular-season game for the Cubs.

But he will certainly cherish the memory of hitting a walkoff grand slam Tuesday afternoon in Mesa before an enthusiastic gathering of 3,423 at Sloan Park, giving the Cubs an unexpected 9-8 win over the Athletics.

Walkoff wins are pretty rare in spring training; I can’t remember the last time the Cubs had one, must be six or seven years ago.

Before I get to the rest of this game, let’s watch the walkoff homer [VIDEO]!

Now, let’s rewind tho the beginning. Trevor Williams threw three innings today and two of them were quick, efficient 1-2-3 innings. In the other, he allowed back-to-back doubles to Mitch Moreland and Chad Pinder and the A’s took a 1-0 lead. Overall, though, I thought Williams threw well and that gives him two consecutive good spring outings. It’s only spring training, but I think the Cubs got themselves a steal in Williams.

The Cubs tied the game in the bottom of the second. Jason Heyward singled and David Bote walked, and that brought up new Cub Eric Sogard for his first Cubs at-bat [VIDEO].

Nice piece of hitting for Sogard to tie the game.

Unfortunately, that brought Craig Kimbrel into the contest. Kimbrel wasn’t as bad in this one as he was in his first outing, but that one was horrific. In this one, he allowed only one run, a solo homer by Matt Chapman. But of the three outs he recorded, two were hit hard, including a screaming line drive by Elvis Andrus that David Bote made a nice snag on at third base.

Clearly, Kimbrel is still a work in progress.

The Cubs took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth, the first of the two runs on another home run by Joc Pederson [VIDEO].

Pederson’s a hot hitter, now batting .429 this spring with a 1.672 OPS.

Jonathan Holder, who’s trying to hold on to a bullpen slot, didn’t do himself any favors, allowing two runs and not finishing the inning he was assigned, the fifth. The A’s had a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the fifth.

The Cubs then tied the game up. Ian Happ doubled and Willson Contreras singled him to third. Pederson’s double made it 5-4, and after pinch-runner Chase Strumpf was thrown out at the plate on a ground ball by Jason Heyward, Bote doubled in Pederson with the tying run, but pinch-runner Ortega was thrown out trying to score.

The A’s put together a run off Dillon Maples in the sixth. It wasn’t all Maples’ fault. He tried to field a ground ball that bounced off his hand and Strumpf couldn’t finish the play. Tyler Soderstrom doubled to make it 6-5 A’s and Oakland added two more off Jake Jewell in the top of the seventh.

But that just set up Ortega’s heroics. It was all subs by the time the bottom of the seventh happened. With one out, Jose Lobaton singled and Strumpf walked. Abiatal Avelino put together a nice at-bat and blooped a single to left to load the bases, and then Ortega followed with the home run.

You usually don’t get that much entertainment value out of a spring training game. Most of the crowd hung around for the end and gave Ortega a nice ovation. It wasn’t quite an “ultimate grand slam” like the one Bote hit in 2018 because there was only one out, but it was exciting nevertheless.

Wednesday, the Cubs head to Scottsdale Stadium to face the Giants. Alec Mills will start for the Cubs and Nick Tropeano will start for San Francisco. Game time is again 2:05 p.m. CT. There’s no TV for Wednesday’s game. There will be an audio webcast on MLB.com with the Giants announcers. If you didn’t see today’s walkoff win, it will be rebroadcast on MLB Network Tuesday evening at 10 p.m. CT.