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+
Cardinal way #47
See ya on parrot chat
In what was probably the last start for RHSP Jeremy Null at EXST...
Intrasquad game this morning on Field #5 at Riverview Baseball Complex:
4.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/4 GO/AO, 75 pitches (50 strikes)
Next stop is likely either South Bend or Myrtle Beach (TBD)
There does seem to be something funky about closers pitching in non-save situations -- they never seem to be as effective. But, to your point, there could not have been a save situation in that game, so why not use your best reliever?
Heyward getting the night off.
Grand Slammin' Sczcur in RF - La Stella batting 2nd
Your thought: don't pitch Rondon at all, since a save can't happen in extra innings at home.
Maddon's thought: might as well pitch him now, because there's no later.
It looked like the baserunner might have screened Russell some though it's still a play he should have made.
I wasn't thrilled with the use of Rondon in that situation. In save situations opponents have a 77 OPS. In non-save situations it's a 116 OPS. We had other relievers for that spot we could have used.
I'm not sure if it's his normal swing but it's obvious he can hit and he's always hit for power just not HRs so if it is his normal swing there's something else going on.
This article from spring training said he was trying to pull the ball a lot more:
Oh, thanks. I guess I should actually look at the schedule. Yay, 3-game road trip!
Good call, indeed. This ought to be a good series.
Sorry to nit-pick -- but the games against the Nats this week are at home.
Can't remember a worse weather-start to a season. Yuck.
Basically Russell booted a slam dunk DP grounder letting a run score. But he drove in the tying run in 9th. Just not their day, Rondon notwithstanding.
Didn't see the game, but it sounded like the Cubs gave away 2 runs with poor fielding. Bummer.
Well, it's been a fun diet of Reds, Brewers and Braves, but now the Cubs have to play real teams in May (Pirates, Nationals, SF, Cards and Dodgers) -- hope we are all still smiling when we wake up on Memorial Day.
He does seem out of synch. His body seems to start forward, then his arms sort of try to catch up -- if that's his normal swing, he will never hit for power. It's an all-arms slasher swing, but the timing seems off.
He is currently slugging .256 -- I realize the weather has been bad, but that's epically bad. Currently 92nd out of 94 qualified NL batters. Yikes.
Weird home stand -- 3-1, with 2 rainouts, vs. two teams that will lose 100 games. Feels oddly disappointing.
Miserable baseball weather all week -- hopefully better weather will get the bats going. Not just walking, but actually hitting.
That strike call on LaSterlla was terrible