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+
2nd in defensive WAR, NL.
6th in NL in RBI
Go complain about something else, like, "they never play good against the good teams", or some other shit.
Addy really has trouble breaking through .250 BA -- after his hot streak got him to .251, he has gone 1-for-17.
Thank goodness for Jansen's 2 WP on Friday -- otherwise this would have been a sweep.
There seems to be a direct correlation with overconfidence in the Cubs offense against mediocre/young pitchers and really poor offense against mediocre/young pitchers. So, let's fear the Pirate pitchers!
Rizzo due for a power surge -- one HR in August so far. He truly does hit them in bunches.
Sometimes I'm not as supportive of Cahill as maybe I should be. There, I said it.
Rough 8th inning all around -- HBP, Cahill error, Javy's poor decision.
Oh well - given that the Cubs didn't look like they were going to score, it's better to lose in 9 innings, save the bullpen and get changed for the PJ trip home.
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.