Cubs Split EXST Games with Giants at Fitch Park

Ryan Keedy had three hits including two RBI doubles, but the Giants edged the Cubs 4-3 in an eight-inning Extended Spring Training game on Fitch Park Field #3 this morning. Meanwhile, another squad of Cubs blanked a second squad of Giants 11-0 in a seven-inning game on Field #2, as Larry Suarez and Carlos Rojas threw lights-out shutout ball over the seven innings. (The Giants brought their entire EXST squad to Mesa today--which is unusual--so there were enough players for two games).

I could have tried to watch & score both games simultaneously, but I opted to score only the game on Field #3, so here is the abridged box score (Cubs players only) from that game:

LINEUP:
1. Hak-Ju Lee, DH #1: 2-4 (6-3, 2B, 1B, K - 1 R, 1 CS)
2. George Matheus, 2B: 1-3 (2B, K, K, HBP - 1 R)
3. Ryan Keedy, 1B-DH #2: 3-4 (2B, 2B, 1B, GIDP - 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 CS)
4. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-2 (F-9, BB, K)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, DH #2-1B: 1-3 (1B, P-4, GIDP - 1 RBI)
6. Kurt Calvert, RF: 0-3 (4-3, P-4, K)
7a. Juan Medina, C  1-1 (2B, BB)
7b. Alvaro Sosa, C: 1-1 (1B)
8. Robert Bautista, SS: 0-3 (1-3, 1-3, L-7)
9. Jose Made, 3B: 0-3 (P-5, 3-1, K)
10. Sean Williams, LF: 2-3 (6-3, 2B, 1B)

PITCHERS:
1. Tarlandus Mitchell - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO
2. Yohan Gonzalez - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 2/1 GO/FO
3. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 0 K, 6/0 GO/FO 
4. Dumas Garcia - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 3/1 GO/FO

ERRORS (3):
RF Kurt Calvert misplayed a line single, allowing batter-runner to take an extra base, 1B Ryan Keedy bobbled a grounder allowing batter to reach 1st base, and SS Robert Bautista missed a grounder (went off his glove into short left-center) with two outs and the bases loaded in the top of the 5th allowing two runs (including the tying run) to score.

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Juan Medina - 1-3 CS

BASERUNNING
Sean Williams was thrown out 9-6-5 trying to stretch a double into a triple leading off the bottom of the 5th.

The EXST Cubs lineup for the other game went something like: Francisco Guzman CF, Matt Cerda DH #1, Chris Weimer 1B, Jake Opitz 3B, Logan Watkins SS, Jericho Jones DH #2, Jae-Hoon Ha RF, Jesus Morelli LF,John Contreras/Jose Guevara C, and Dwayne Kemp 2B, with Larry Suarez the SP.    

EXST NOTES: 23-year old utility INF Jose Made (selected by the Cubs in the 20th round of the 2007 Rule 4 draft out of Dominican College) is learning to switch-hit (he used to hit only right-handed).

24-year old RHP Josh Lansford (ex-3B drafted in 6th round out of Cal Poly in 2006 draft), 23-year old LHP Ryan Sontag (drafted as OF out of Arizona State in 23rd round of 2008 draft), and 19-year old Dominican RHP Gian Guzman (ex-SS) are being converted to pitcher. (Lansford's brother is a pitcher in the A's organization, and his father and uncles were MLB 3rd basemen).

2008 4th round pick 18-year old Matt Cerda was moved from catcher to 2B for a while recently when his defensive problems behind the plate were affecting his hitting, but he has apparently been moved back to catcher (at least for the time-being), although he was a DH today. Whether he will end up as a catcher or a second-baseman is still TBD.  

18-year old Korean bonus baby Hak-Ju Lee (2008 Tommy John surgery) is being eased back to SS, although he was a DH today. He has put on some weight since last year and looks a lot stronger, but he also may be outgrowing SS.

Fellow 18-year old Korean Jae-Hoon Ha has been the most-impressive position player so far at EXST, displaying plus-power while playing mostly RF. He is a converted catcher

Also, 20-year old speedy switch-hitting Dominican OF Jose Valdez is out of action with a leg injury, and RHP Cedric Redmond (signed as a Draft & Follow in May 2007 after being selected in the 27th round of the 2006 draft out of Oakton Community College) has a broken finger on his pitching hand.

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Comments

Hey AZ Phil,

Sounds like you're going to have a full day of baseball, assuming you've got tickets for tonight's game.

Any idea why Hoorelbeke isn't in Peoria?

Hope that Cerda can stick with catching and Lee can stay at short... When was the last time we had a really good shorstop, DeJesus?

Wow, great. Thanks Phil! I've been wondering about a few of these guys. So, if Lee outgrows SS, where would he be moved? 2B? or 3b?

Submitted by The Real Neal on Tue, 04/28/2009 - 3:26pm.
Hey AZ Phil,

Sounds like you're going to have a full day of baseball, assuming you've got tickets for tonight's game.

Any idea why Hoorelbeke isn't in Peoria?

Hope that Cerda can stick with catching and Lee can stay at short... When was the last time we had a really good shorstop, DeJesus?

=================================

REAL NEAL: I'm in heaven today, because I get baseball all day and all night long (we are going to the Cubs-D'backs game, too).

There was a five-way battle for the 1B job at Peoria in Spring Training, and Rebel Ridling won, Sean Hoorelbeke and Ryan Keedy were assigned to EXST, and Bryan Jost and Luis Bautista were released. Personally, I like Hoorelbeke better than Ridling or Keedy.

I also hope Lee can stay at SS. He was really scrawny looking last year and was an opposite field singles hitter, but he has apparently been spending a lot of time in the weight room (or at Muscle Beach) while rehabbing from the TJS. He still has plus-speed, but he is hitting the ball with a lot more authority this year. I can't say much about his arm strength (yet) at this point, although it should be OK eventually.

Submitted by Jace on Tue, 04/28/2009 - 3:27pm.
Wow, great. Thanks Phil! I've been wondering about a few of these guys. So, if Lee outgrows SS, where would he be moved? 2B? or 3b?

================================

JACE: I would think 2B, although with his speed, CF is another possibility.

I love Vasgersian because he says stupid shit like that all the time. Hilarious. Plus, and he drops like 5 Top Gun quotes per broadcast.

the best part is he made them roll the tape back just to make the joke (okay, it's not tape anymore, it's all digital)

the other best part was the stunned silence on set....

Vasgersian is the "new bob costas"...for those that don't remember him 'back in the day' he was *the* hottest young talent in announcing.

vag-bag is a guy every network wants a piece of, but yeah...his brand of humor sometimes goes so far beyond "miss" on hit/miss that you wonder where the hell a joke he's telling is coming from. he picks some weird "starting points" occasionally.

and Edwin Encarnacion with a chip fracture in his wrist...15-day DL(imagine it will be longer).

Phil, love these reports.

http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2009/apr/26/dog...
Completely unrelated, but I checked back in with Pat Venditte, who, some will remember, I have been fascinated with for two years now...
Still pitching with both arms... Still doing very well. Now with Charleston RiverDogs in A ball...

ah sweet...forgot he existed.

http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stat...
Here are his stats from milb.com...

They don't even have stat categories that break down how he does pitching as a LHP vs. as a RHP. You can use the vs. lefty and vs. righty to get the general idea, but those stats don't account for the switch hitters he faces where he has to declare which hand he's throwing with before they step in...
I keep thinking that, at some point, they are going to make him pick a side, and stick with it... I hope it doesn't happen...

er, I mean Scott McClain sold to a team in Japan from the SF Giants...

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090428&c...

3-day event now with rounds 1-3 (plus compensatory round after 3) the first day, 4-30 the next day and 31-50 on Day 3.

Sweeet! Will or will not Mel Kiper be involved?

oh geez....

they should make the whole announce crew and every GM wear circus hats and jump through a paper circle with every selection.

That'll be a snoozefest. Baseball draftees don't make it to the majors for 3 years or more in almost all cases, and often they never make it to the majors. Nothing like the NFL or NBA drafts. Even the first round tends to be uninteresting. It's more fun to scout the players than it is to see who drafts the,.

sori, riot, fuky (cf), hoff, bradley (rf), font, hill, miles, z.

Lee though still might play according to Wittenmyer.

no reed johnson in the cleanup slot? what the hell, man?

okay, im f'n done with this team. screw this.

FREE REED!

FREE JOHNSON!

I think I will start calling Reed Johnson 'Skinny Dick'.

I think I'm going to start a bumper sticker and t-shirt "FREE JOHNSON" campaign. Chad has agreed to be the official West Coast "FREE JOHNSON" distributor.

Holy crap are we facing a right handed pitcher tonight?

righty
righty
the all lefties if so.

wow.

Lopez, Ojeda, Tracy, Reynolds, Jackson, Young, Montero, Upton, Petit for Dbacks...

shame more power isnt in the cubs lineup...petit gives "flyball pitcher" new meaning.

great stuff, but he can hang even the best of his stuff regularly.

are u guys watching the Bulls now? Incredible (good)!

Fuck Paul Pierce.

Wow, spoke too soon. FUCK RAJON RONDO, that flagrant fouling son of a bitch.

How can you crack a guy's tooth out of his head and have it not be a flagrant foul?

That was a horrendous missed call that sealed the deal for the Celtics. How was it possible to not see there was no play on the ball? However, why didn't Miller just jam it home?

Chad Gaudin line, starting for Pads v. Rox: 5IP, 3h, 4BB, 5K, 0ER

WTF?!

At AAA for the Padres he had pitched 8.2 IP with 4 hits, 0 ER, 2 BB, and 10 Ks.

Great update on EXST, Phil. Ques-T-O-nay. Do Sean Williams and Ja-Hoon Ha bat left or right-handed? It would be nice to have some right hand hitting power outfielders for a change. Follow-up q: Is Ha still also trying catching?

As far as righthand hitting outfielders in the Cubs system, Jericho Jones has a 97 power rating (out of 100) and has the best power rating at any Cubs level for an outfielder.He is in EXTST working on his K/BB ratio (went 0-0 with 3 BB's and 2 runs scored on field #2 yesterday.

I'm not positive where you get your power ratings, nor do I know where Baseball Cube gets there's, but they have Nelson Perez with a 95 power rating. Obviously, Jones's 97 is higher, but how the heck do they get those anyway?

Anyway, the Cubs clearly have a few guys in the system who can put on shows in batting practice.

The Baseball Cube, however, gives Tony Thomas an 86 power rating, so I take all of these with a big grain of salt. I'm not saying Thomas doesn't have any power, but for a frame of reference--they give Milton Bradley a 78 and Geovany Soto an 81. How do you give a Tony Thomas a higher rating than either of those guys? Do they just make some kind of measurement on bat speed when hitting off of a tee, or do they actually look at in-game results? Do they figure in a guy's frame? That could make the difference between Perez and Jones--Jones is 2 inches taller.

This is how baseball cube explains their power ratings.....Power: Takes into account extra-base hits against balls put into play with extra weight given to homers while doubles and triples are treated equally owing to the assumption that a triple is a double with better circumstances.

Thanks.

So for all power ratings, the level of play definitely has to be taken into consideration.

Submitted by Hook on Tue, 04/28/2009 - 11:40pm.
Do Sean Williams and Ja-Hoon Ha bat left or right-handed?
It would be nice to have some right hand hitting power outfielders for a change. Follow-up q: Is Ha still also trying catching?

===============================================

HOOK: 18-year old Australian OF Sean Williams throws & bats left-handed and has a smooth line-drive stroke, and 18-year old Jae-Hoon Ha bats right-handed with much more of a power stroke. And Ha is being used exclusively in the outfield at this time. Cubs Player Development Director Oberi Fleita is something of an expert when it comes to spotting catchers (he was a catcher himself, playing for Jim Hendry at Creighton and then later in the Orioles organization), so if Oneri saw any potential for Ha to advance as a catcher, he would not have been moved to the outfield so quickly.

Great recap Az Phil. What's your take on Rebel Ridling? I know he's big..6'4", 230 or so. It's only 54 at bats, but he's off to a good start at Peoria: .315/.400/.556...7 doubles, 2 HR, 18 RBI.

Submitted by Dusty Baylor on Wed, 04/29/2009 - 7:10am.
Great recap Az Phil. What's your take on Rebel Ridling? I know he's big..6'4", 230 or so. It's only 54 at bats, but he's off to a good start at Peoria: .315/.400/.556...7 doubles, 2 HR, 18 RBI.

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DUSTY B: Of the five guys who batled for the 1B job at Peoria last month at Minor League Camp (Bautista, Hoorelbeke, Jost, Keedy, and Ridling), Ridling has the most pure power, and for a classic "Big Lug" first-baseman, hitting home runs is the #1 most-important thing he can do. That's why Ridling won the job, because otherwise Keedy and Hoorelbeke are better hitters, and Jost is (was) the best fielder.

Ridling reminds me a bit of Brian Dopirak, who had a great year the season he was at Peoria, but then could not duplicate it once he got to higher levels.

Awesome info, thanks. Answered my question about Hoorelbeke too.

AZ Phil, have you heard when Dong_Yub Kim will be reporting to Fitch?

Thanks as always, Arizona Phil!! Do you know how RHP Su-Min Jung has done in ExST?

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