UPDATE: A Cubs press release says
he experienced shoulder discomfort and will see Dr. Yocum within the next few days. (Rob G.)
It was Almost Cy Young 2003 versus Hopefully Cy Young 2013, as Mark Prior faced-off against Chris Huseby in an EXST intrasquad game at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in sunny and warm Mesa, Arizona.
At EXST ostensibly to increase his pitch count so that he can (hopefully eventually) join the AAA Iowa Cubs starting rotation, Prior went just two innings (31 pitches), giving up one hit, no runs, and one walk, with one K (Ryan Harvey - swinging) and a 4/1 GB/FB. He was just so-so, as he continually missed with his fastball and bounced his curve ball, and his velocity did not appear to be any better than it was during ST last month, although I don't know exactly what it was. After his two-innings and 31 pitches, he walked to the clubhouse with one of the trainers.
Mark Prior's 1st INNING:
Hao Guo-chen at bat
Pitch #1: Strike one (swinging)
Pitch #2: Strike two (foul - straight back)
Pitch #3: Ball one (curve ball in dirt)
Pitch #4: Ball two (curve ball in dirt)
Pitch #5: 5-3 ground out
Blake Parker at bat
Pitch #1: Ball one (way high)
Pitch #2: Ball two (way high)
Pitch #3: Strike one (swinging - curve ball in dirt)
Pitch #4: Ball three (low and away)
Pitch #5: Strike two (called - fastball right down the middle)
Pitch #6: Ball four (low and outside)
Elvis Lara at bat
Pitch #1: strike one (called - fastball right down the middle)
Pitch #2: Ball one (fastball way up)
Pitch #3: Ball two (curve ball - low)
Pitch #4: Strike two (foul tip on fastball)
Pitch #5: Easy DP one-bouncer to 3B, Parker out at 2nd, relay to 1st by second-baseman Valentin thrown over first-baseman's head for E-4
Inning terminated after two outs and 16 pitches
Mark Prior's 2nd INNING:
Ryan Harvey at bat
Pitch #1: Strike one (called - fastball)
Pitch #2: Strike two (swinging - curve)
Pitch #3: Ball one (high - fastball)
Pitch #4: Foul (curve - squibbed)
Pitch #5: Strike three (swinging - fastball)
Sammy Baez at bat
Pitch #1: Strike one (foul - near HR high fly pulled down LF line)
Pitch #2: Line single to left-center
Baez on first base, one out
Elvin Puello at bat
Pitch #1: Strike one (called - fastball)
Pitch #2: Strike two (called - curve)
Baez steals 2B
Pitch #3: Pop up into short CF, F-8 out
Two outs, runner still on second
Andres Quezada at bat
Pitch #1: Ground ball to second-base, easy 4-3 out, Baez advances to 3rd
Three outs (but inning continues because Prior has only thrown 11 pitches)
Cody Gilbert at bat
Pitch #1 Strike one (swinging)
Pitch #2 Ball one (high - fastball)
Pitch #3: Easy ground ball to 3rd baseman, out 5-3
Inning terminated after four outs and 15 pitcbes
There are no specific "Boise" or "Mesa" teams yet, so the players at EXST are Mesa/Boise mixed together, and so are the teams for the intrasquad games. Innings are stopped when the pitcher reaches his pitch limit for that inning (15-20), and the games usually go only seven innings. Today, there was only one umpire (the home plate ump).
Ryan Harvey (who is rehabbing from a hamstring injury) was the DH for both teams, and was 0-4 with three Ks (all swinging) and a weak foul pop out to 1st base.
Two players from Team China who are working out with the EXST Cubs at Fitch Park were in the starting lineup as well (Team China players are assigned to various MLB EXST camps around Arizona).
Hao Guo-chen, C (Team China)
Blake Parker, 1B
Elvis Lara, 2B
Ryan Harvey, DH (replaced by Carlos Perez in the 6th)
Sammy Baez, SS
Elvin Puello, 3B
Andres Quezada, CF
Cody Gilbert, LF
Clifford Andersen, RF
Chris Huseby, RHP (innings 1-2)
Robert Hernandez, RHP (innings 3-4-5)
Kevin Kreier, RHP (innings 6-7)
NOTES: On offense for Team "A," Team China's Hao had two hits (single with a run scored and an RBI double) and looked quick as a cat behind the plate. (A Chinese translator was stationed on the bench and would go to the mound whenever there was a conference).
19-year old Cliff Anderson (2006 9th round pick out of Cottonwood HS in Salt Lake City) was 2-3 with two singles and two runs scored and a nice running catch into RF foul territory, and C-3B-1B Blake Parker ('06 16th round pick out of the University of Arkansas) had a walk and an RBI single.
19-year old RHP Chris Huseby (2006 11th round pick who got second-round money to sign in order to dissuade him from going to Auburn) went two innings (29 pitches), allowing no runs on one hit and one walk, with two K and a GIDP.
18-year old Venezuelan RHP Robert Hernandez (5-2 3.20 at AZL Mesa last year) threw three innings and was outstanding, nine up and nine down with 4 K on 43 pitches.
19-year old RHP Kevin Kreier (2006 20th round pick out of Foothill HS in Henderson, NV) is making his pro debut in 2007, and went two innings, allowing one run (earned) on one hit and one walk, with 2 K.
Steve Clevenger, C
Mario Mercedes, 1B
Cesar Valentin, 2B
Ryan Harvey DH (replaced by Carlos Perez in the 6th)
Nathan Samson, SS
Gian Guzman, 3B
Drew Rundle, CF
Edgar Herrera, LF
Qi Ze, RF (Team China)
Mark Prior, RHP (innings 1-2)
Matt Maradeo, RHP (innings 3-4-5)
Brad Clipp, RHP (inning 6)
Oswaldo Martinez, RHP (inning 7)
NOTES: NOTE: Team "B" had only two hits, but Steve Clevenger (2006 7th round pick out of Chipola JC) was 1-2 with a walk and an RBI double and did a nice job benind the plate (he is an infielder who is being converted to catcher) and made a solid throw to 2B on a stolen base attempt.
Besides Prior, Matt Maradeo (23-year old 2006 NDFA signed out of Kutztown State) worked three innings, allowing three runs (no earned runs) on two hits, no walks, with seven K (seven of the first eight hitters he faced!). Slinging sidearm, Maradeo threw strike-after-strike and was unhittable until the very end when his defense (Mercedes at 1B and Herrera in LF) made two errors you normally only get to see in Little League around a couple of singles.
Brad Clipp ('06 33rd round draft pick out of Loma Nazarene University) didn't take any chances with the defense and just struck out the side in a 1-2-3 6th, and 18-year old Mexican RHP Oswaldo Martinez gave up a run on two hits (with two K) in his one inning of work.