Angel Guzman Throws Simulated Game at Fitch Park
Marcus Hatley threw four shutout innings (thus becoming the first EXST Cubs pitcher to throw four), and George Matheus drove in two runs with a triple, scored the third run later that same inning, and made two outstanding defensive plays in the field, as the EXST Cubs defeated the EXST Giants 3-1 this morning at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa.
Prior to the EXST game, Chicago Cubs RHP Angel Guzman (on the 60-day DL after undergoing TJ surgery last September) continued his rehab, throwing a two-inning "simulated game" on Field #2.
Facing six of the position players not in the EXST Cubs starting lineup (Brandon Guyer, Bryan Jost, Josh Vitters, John Contreras, Gian Guzman, and Dwayne Kemp), Gooz threw two innings, with 15 pitches each inning (30 pitches total). As far as I could tell, his velocity was good, but he was off with his control, throwing only about 50% of his pitches for strikes.
Barring any setbacks, Guzman should be on target for EXST game action sometime next week, with a 30-day (maximum) minor league rehab assignment to begin sometime after that. The Cubs will probably not want to send him out on the minor league rehab until August, though, so they can seemlessly recall him from the rehab and activate him from the DL when rosters expand on September 1st.
Ex-catcher Jake Muyco (converted to pitcher a couple of weeks ago) and newly-arrived Venezuelan RHP Israel Camacaro were the "opposing" pitchers in the simulated game on Field #2, each throwing one inning (20 pitches each). Muyco was pumping his fastball over the plate for strike after strike, but (not unexpectedtly) he tended to bounce his breaking balls and left his off-speed pitches up in the strike zone a bit too much.
In EXST roster news, the Cubs have decided to convert still another position player to pitcher. This week's victim is OF Luke Sommer, the Cubs 2007 30th round draft pick out of the University of San Francisco. Sommer does have experience as a pitcher, as he was a combination LHP-OF in high school before being converted to a full-time outfielder at USF.
Like fellow ex-outfielder Andres Quezada (who was converted to pitcher a few days ago), Sommer was probably a potential candidate for release at the end of Extended Spring Training, so having the chance to try his hand at pitching (again) is probably an attractive alternative to unemployment.
Rehabbin' 2B-OF Jeffrey Rea (quad) and 1B Matt Craig (leg) played in today's EXST game, and Rea even played defensively at 2B (Craig was a DH). This would tend to indicate that barring any further medical setbacks, the two players should be moving out of Fitch Park within a few days (possibly as soon as early next week, but of course that's still TBD), with Craig rejoining AA Tennessee (where he is presently on the DL), and Rea likely to be assigned to Peoria (where he will probably be Ryne Sandberg's everyday 2B and #2 hitter).
Here is today's abridged EXST box score (Cubs players only):
1. Cesar Salazar, CF: 1-4 (RBI, SB)
2a. Jeffrey Rea, 2B: 1-3 (2B)
2b. Gian Guzman, 2B: 1-1
3. Matt Craig DH #1: 0-4 (3 K)
4. Nelson Perez, RF: 1-4 (K)
5. Luis Bautista, 1B: 0-4
6. Drew Rundle, LF: 0-4 (2 K, GIDP)
7. Junior Lake, 3B: 0-3 (K)
8. Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-2 (R, BB, K)
9. Starlin Castro, DH #2: 1-2 (R, BB)
10. George Matheus, SS: 2-3 (3B, 2 RBI, R)
1. Kevin Kreier - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K (5/0 GO/FO)
2. Marcus Hatley - 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP (6/5 GO/FO)
3. Harol Tolentino - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K (1/3 GO/FO)
CATCHERS DEFENSE: Alvaro Sosa: 1-3 CS
WEATHER: Partly cloudly and not as hot as yesterday
ATTENDANCE: 10 (We tend to see significantly larger crowds on Fridays and Saturdays than we do on the other days of the week)
NOTE: The Cubs travel to the Peoria Sports Complex tomorrow for a game with Team China, as Jim Lefebvre's club continues to prepare for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. (BTW, that's Peoria, Arizona, not Peoria, Illinois). What's significant about the Peoria Sports Complex is that, unlike the Papago Sports Complex where the EXST Cubs played the EXST A's yesterday, the Peoria Sports Complex is not the site of a former WWII POW camp.
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.
I'm with you, Rob. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.
Been quite the roller-coaster the past two days -- both games, plus the Chapman kerfuffel. How about a couple of nice, comfortable wins before facing Sale? Cubs should definitely wear throwbacks for that game.
The Cubs are stronger defensively than most of the teams they play. In order to capitalize on that, they have to a) put the ball in play and b) run the bases aggressively.
That said, Cabrera has a strong, accurate arm, as witnessed by his 97 outfield assists over 12 seasons--mostly left field but also a lot of center. Bryant is rarely thrown out, but I guess you have to know who's throwing the ball.
On the other hand, Pries won his first start for Iowa, only giving up two HRs in the process. This trade has got some legs yet!
KB now with 0 RBI in his last 10 games and 1 in his last 15, despite having 19 hits in his last 15 games and raising his batting average from .278 to .286 over that span.
Maybe have Zobrist hit 2 and KB hit 4?
Also -- no HR in the last 15 games -- time for a bunch. Starting tomorrow.
Down a run. Fowler on first. Nobody out. KB singles to left, Fowler makes it to third, perfect throw from Cabrera nails KB trying to stretch for 2nd.
So, instead of 1st & 3rd and no out, you have 3rd with one out. It was a perfect throw, but why take the chance with 3-4-5 hitters coming up?
Must be a Cub thing - our lefties can;t get lefties out.
Splitting hairs, but Jake's pitch was poor execution, while KB's play was a poor decision (and the 2nd time he got thrown out trying to stretch in the game). Poor execution happens. Poor decisions are preventable. Speaking of poor decisions -- Baez's steal of 3rd made absolutely no sense.
Didn't Jake cost them the game with a pitch to Frazier?
Missed the play w/Bryant. What happened?
Not a good decision by Bryant in the 9th. That may have cost them the game.
Can we un-do the Montgomery deal? Please?