Cubs Punch-Out Giants in Scottsdale

Brandon Guyer had two hits and two RBI, Justin Bour had two hits and three RBI, Kyler Burke reached base four times on two doubles, a single, and a walk, and five Cubs pitchers threw a combined four-hitter with 14 strikeouts, as the Cubs defeated the Giants 6-2 in AZ Instructional League action at Indian School Park Field #2 in Scottsdale this afternoon.

The Cubs scored three in the 1st and three in the 3rd.

Brett Jackson led off the game with a walk and stole second, and D. J. LeMahieu also drew a walk. Then the runners were moved up to 2nd and 3rd on a Ryan Flaherty sacrifice bunt, before Brandon Guyer lined an RBI single to RF, scoring Jackson, with LeMahieu holding at 3rd. Guyer then stole 2nd, and Kyler Burke walked to load the bases. Michael Brenly popped up to short center for the second out, but then Justin Bour rapped a two-run single to CF, scoring LeMahieu and Guyer. 

With the Cubs lead narrowed to 3-2, LeMahieu singled with one out in the 3rd, and advanced to 3rd base on a WP and a ground out, before Guyer drove him in with a two-out RBI single. Burke and Brenly followed with singles (Brenly's hit knocked-in Guyer), and then Justin Bour reached base on an RBI infield single, scoring Burke. 

RHP Thomas Diamond got the start for the Cubs, and struggled with his command (39 pitches, only 19 strikes in just two innings of work). Diamond actually had an easy 1-2-3 1st inning, but then couldn't find the plate in the bottom of the 2nd, walking two batters, and both runners came around to score on an RBI single.      

RHP Alberto Cabrera worked innings 3-4-5, and was virtually unhittable (just one hit allowed, and four strikeouts), although he did walk three.  

21-year old LHP (and ex-OF) Drew Rundle made his debut as a pitcher in the bottom of the 6th, and he looked like The Natural, throwing a 1-2-3 inning (L-3, Ks, F-8), and doing it on only nine pitches (six strikes). 

Rundle was the Cubs 14th round draft pick out of Bend HS - Bend, OR in 2006, getting $500,000 ("3rd round money") to give up a chance to play college baseball at the University of Arizona. (2006 was the year the Cubs had no picks in rounds 2-3-4, and so they had extra cash available to select players with "signability" issues in lower rounds, paying "over-slot" bonuses to Jeff Samardzija, Cliff Andersen, Chris Huseby, Kevin Kreier, Nate Samson, and Rundle). 

An athletic defender with a plus-arm, above-average speed, and occasional power, Rundle was a patient hitter who never really developed, striking out 258 times in just 941 PA, while hitting a combined 227/338/380 with 16 HR, 55 2B, 9 3B, and 21 SB (16 CS) in 278 games played over four seasons.

Prior to Instructs, Rundle hadn't pitched since his junior year in HS,  

Eduardo Figueroa worked the 7th and 8th innings, allowing two harmless singles while striking out five, and Corey Martin had a "rocking-chair" five-pitch 1-2-3 9th (two 1-3 come-backers to the mound and a line-drive to left).  

Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):

LINEUP:
1. Brett Jackson, CF: 0-3 (BB, F-8, 4-3, F-8), R, SB
2. D. J. LeMahieu, SS: 1-3 (BB, 1B, 4-3, 4-3), 2 R 
3. Ryan Flaherty, 2B: 0-3 (1-3 SH, 4-3, K, F-8)
4. Brandon Guyer, LF: 2-4 (1B, 1B, L-8, K), 2 R, 2 RBI, SB
5. Kyler Burke, RF: 3-3 (BB, 1B, 2B, 2B), R, PO
6a. Michael Brenly, C-DH: 1-3 (P-9, 1B, F-9), RBI
6b. Rebel Ridling, PH: 0-1 (K)
7. Justin Bour, 1B: 2-4 (1B, 1B, F-8, F-9), 3 RBI
8. Matt Cerda, 3B: 1-3 (2B, P-5, 4-3), CS
9. Jovan Rosa, DH-C: 0-3 (K, 6-3, K)
10. Richard Jones, DH #2: 0-3 (4-3, F-9, K)

PITCHERS:
1. Thomas Diamond - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 4 K, 2/0 GO/FO, 39 pitches (19 strikes)
2. Alberto Cabrera - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 GIDP, 2/3 GO/FO, 51 pitches (29 strikes)  
3. Drew Rundle - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO, 9 pitches (6 strikes)
4. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 35 pitches (26 strikes)
5. Corey Martin - 1.0 IP - 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 5 pitches (4 strikes)

ERRORS:  
1. D. J. LeMahieu (E-6) - bobbled ground ball at SS allowing batter to reach base   
2. Matt Cerda (E-5) - overthrow at 1st base allowed batter to reach base safely

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Michael Brenly - 0-3 CS
2. Jovan Rosa - 0-1 CS

WEATHER: 80's & mostly sunny

ATTENDANCE: 15

Comments

"Thomas Diamond got the start for the Cubs, and struggled with his command"

well at least diamond is in mid-season form. he was a hell of a talent pre-injuries...still wild then, though.

Surprising I haven't thought to ask this before - What do you think about Jackson's swing, AZ Phil?

For reference here's some pre-draft video of him.

http://baseballbeginnings.com/2009/05/28/brett-jac...
http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=4957227

Baseball Prospectus' post-mortem season power rankings. Cubs 13th.

(1-12) Yankees, Dodgers, RSox, Rox, Angels, Cards, Phils, Braves, Rays, Rangers, Giants, Twins

Forecast to post the league's best record, the Cubs instead wind up falling 14 games behind last year's NL-best total and 7½ behind the Cardinals. For all the endless controversies surrounding Milton Bradley, Carlos Zambrano, and Lou Piniella, the disappointing seasons from Alfonso Soriano (.241/.303/.423), Geovany Soto (.218/.321/.381), and Aramis Ramirez's replacements (.240/.316/.416) bear their share of the responsibility, particularly for an offense that finishes just 12th in the league with a .255 EqA.

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?arti...

Starlin Castro had 3 hits today in Az. Fall League first game----this kid is the real deal----look for him to get to Wrigley real fast.

3 hits...all homers i assume.

theriot has some competition in the singles-hitting SS race. he is a pretty impressive sounding player, though. young...dunno much about him, myself beyond his hype.

his error #s look scary, but i dunno crap about his D.

The kid is only 19, and the youngest player in the AFL this year. While he never projects to have tons of power, 15 HR seasons could definately be in the future for Castro. He has hit for a good average everywhere he's gone, and his plate discipline improved greatly when he got promoted to AA this year.

As for his defense, the error numbers are misleading. Young shortstops generally make a lot of errors in the minors. This can be attributed to a lot of things, such as poor defensive first basemen, poor field conditions, trying to do too much, etc. He was rated the best defensive SS in the FSL this year by coaches and scouts, though, so I wouldn't worry one bit about him.

yeah, i dunno crap about the guy aside from his numbers.

Cubs 2012 opening day infield: Vitters, Castro, Lee, Flaherty, Castillo. Discuss.

I presume your "Lee" is Hak-Ju, not Derrick and "Castro" is Starlin, not Fidel.

Just having a little fun with names.

fidel wasn't a good baseball player and holywood didn't want him, but he sure was good at taking over and enslaving countries. i don't think that made his scouting report, though...or his acting portfolio.

Phil Wrongway Rogers speculates:

If the Rangers allow him to become a free agent when his contract ends at the end of the month, as it appears they might, the Cubs should go above the usual hitting coach pay scale to bring him to Wrigley Field.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-14-rogers...

I remember DeRosa giving Jaramillo credit for his hitting improvements too.

wasn't he the guy they made a film about regarding a walk-on at Notre Dame?

Let the arguements begin

http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2009/10/13/ten-bes...

No Aaron in top ten is a joke and having Bonds in there is worse.

ted williams #2...meh.

best pull hitter ever, maybe.

roids or not, we may never see (especially in our lifetime) someone completely own the batter's box like bonds did for a few years. ungodly.

You also have the whole armor thing going against Bonds, which people who have really looked at it think is an underrated element.

all im saying is...aside from his youthful killer years with 400+ ob% he had that string of .500-.600+ ob% years 01-04. the whole HR thing in 01 and a .600+ ob% in 04 (thanks to 120 IBB in 04 because of a bum knee and a lack of a good hitter behind bonds). crazy stuff to watch so constantly.

I truly think a large part of the IBBs of Bonds for several years was the fact that, if you did decide to pitch to him, you had to hit a zone roughly the size of a cantaloupe, otherwise the umpires weren't going to call it. I have no data to back this up, just my rather biased memory.

I'm desperate for hot stove rumors and it's not even October 15 yet.

This is going to be a brutal offseason.

If you guys need something else Cubs-related to fill your time, I made a quiz at sporcle for the cubs opening day lineups '90-'09

http://www.sporcle.com/games/htimsetan/cubs_openin...

there are some names I had totally forgotten about, but I don't want to give anything away.

125/180

Not happy with that score at all.

I scored 127, but I'm at work, and I missed about 2.5 minutes because a co-worker came by. I'm only truly upset that I forgot Felix Pie last year, Todd Walker as our 2B those 2 years, and Kevin Tapani. I saw his face and knew he was one of the former Twins we had (Ron Coomer, Gary Gaetti, etc.), but his name just would not come. I'm pretty stoked I remembered Hector Villanueva though!

Remembering Villanueva is impressive! Someone else was rightfully surprised that Glenallen Hill was never in the opening day lineup as well.

144: The 99 team was really brutal. Jim Bullinger was an opening day starter wow. Those mid 90's were lean. Do remember an 8 game wining streak to end the 95 season with lots of come from behind wins to get us close to the WC. I belive that team is the reason Sandberg came back.

CUBS PLAYING IN WINTER LEAGUES:

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE (AFL):
Mesa Solar Sox: RHP Andrew Cashner, C Welington Castillo, SS Starlin Castro, LHP John Gaub, RHP Blake Parker, LHP James Russell, and 3B Josh Vitters.

NOTE: Castillo, Gaub, and Parker will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if not added to Cubs 40-man roster by 11-20-2009.

MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE:
Mexicali:
IF-OF Matt Camp, RHP Jeff Samardzija, RHP Brian Schlitter, and OF Brad Snyder.
NOTE:
Snyder is eligible to be a Rule 55 minor league FA if he is not added back to the Cubs 40-man roster by the end of the World Series. Also, Camp will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by 11-20-2009.

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE:
Caracas:
IF-OF Marwin Gonzalez and LHP J. R. Mathes.

NOTE: Mathes will be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft if he is not added to the Cubs 40-man roster by 11-20-2009.

DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE:
Begins play on Friday (Rosters TBA)

PUERTO RICAN WINTER LEAGUE:
Begins play ???? (Rosters TBA, although 3B-1B-C Jovan Rosa--who is presently at Instructs learning to be a catcher--will be playing in Puerto Rico this off-season).

Recent comments

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  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 45 min 16 sec ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 1 hour 19 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 18 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 27 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 5 hours 10 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 9 hours 56 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 9 hours 57 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 19 hours 38 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 22 hours 36 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 22 hours 48 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 22 hours 57 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 23 hours 2 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 23 hours 21 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 23 hours 57 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 1 day 14 min ago view