Guzman throws in Intrasquad Game, Ward still taking BP
Angel Guzman threw two innings (25 pitches - 19 strikes, 3/1 GO/FO) in an AZL Cubs intrasquad game at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, allowing two runs (one ER) on two hits, with no walks and two stikeouts (both swinging).
Also, Daryle Ward continued his rehab at Fitch Park, with an extended pre-game BP session in which he clubbed bomb after bomb over the RF fence. He also shagged some fly balls in RF.
Ward will be staying one more day in Mesa, and then will leave on Saturday for a three or four game minor league rehab assignment (either at AA or AAA, still TBD) before rejoining the Cubs next week in Chicago.
In AZL Cubs roster news, LHP Jeffrey Beliveau (2008 18th round pick out of Florida Atlantic) and RF Jericho Jones (2008 20th round pick out of Louisiana Tech) have been signed by the Cubs and both are now at Fitch Park. In fact, Jones even played in the intrasquad game and had an RBI single in his first game AB, after pumping several dingers onto Center Street in pre-game BP
Jones was a RHP (rotation starter) who played RF on days he wasn't pitching at Louisiana Tech, but he will be playing outfield-only in pro ball. (And he definitely has a RF arm, too!).
The Cubs have now signed 26 of their 51 picks in this month's Rule 4 Draft, including 17 of their first 21.
Also, INF Jose Made has been promoted from AZL Cubs (Mesa) to Daytona, and switch-hitting IF-OF David Macias (2008 19th round pick out of Vanderbilt) and OF Ryan Sontag (2008 23rd round pick out of Arizona State) have been promoted from AZL Cubs to Boise.
Macias replaces CF Tony Campana (2008 13th round pick out of the U. of Cincinnati), who suffered a broken hand in his very first pro game Tuesday night in Boise. Campana will apparently be returning to Mesa (Fitch Park) for his rehab at some point in the near future.
In addition, 2B Jeffrey Rea (2007 18th round pick out of Mississippi State) and OF Cesar Salazar (signed as a FA out of Venezuela in February) have been released.
Rea was hampered by a sore arm in Minor League Camp and then was hobbled with a strained quad for most of the past couple of months. A below average defender at 2B but an above-average hitter (and a very good baserunner, when healthy), Rea should have no difficuilty getting a gig with an independent league team (if he doesn't get signed by another MLB organization), and if he does go the indy route, he could well get back into the minor leagues (albeit not with the Cubs) in very short order. He just needs to prove he's healthy.
Here is the abridged box score from today's very abbreviated AZL Cubs intrasquad game:
1. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-2 (K, SB)
2. Bryan Jost, 1B (R, 3B, K)
3. Starlin Castro, SS: (SF-RBI)
4. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-1
5. John Contreras, 3B: 1-1 (R)
6. Roberto Sabates, LF: 0-1
7. Robinson Chirinos, 2B: 0-1
8. Jose Guevara, C (rehab from broken hand - slot skipped)
1. Kurt Calvert, LF: 1-1 (CS)
2. George Matheus, SS: 1-1 (CS)
3. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-1 (R, SB)
4. Jericho Jones, RF: 1-1 (RBI)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: No AB
6. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: No AB
7. Alvaro Sosa, C: No AB
8. TeWayne Willis, CF: No AB
9. Matt Cerda, DH: No AB
Manolin DeLeon - 1.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K
Angel Guzman - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K
Dwayne Kemp, E-4, muffed two-out ground ball, allowing runner to score from 3rd base.
Jose Guevara: 2-3 CS
Alvaro Sosa: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Clear, cloudless, and VERY hot, with game-time temperatures in the upper 90's en route to 110+
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
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.