That Guyer Again
Brandon Guyer walked, singled, doubled, crushed a three-run homer, scored two runs, and stole a base, Ryan Flaherty doubled, tripled, and walked, drove-in three runs, and scored three more, Brett Jackson reached base three times, scored all three times he reached, and knocked-in two runs, and D. J. LeMahieu ripped a two-run triple, leading the Cubs to a 12-8 victory over the Giants in AZ Instructional League action at breezy Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.
20-year old Korean RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (July 2008 TJS rehab) got the start for the Cubs today, and surrendered three runs in the top of the 1st inning. The lead-off hitter grounded a single through the box on an 0-2 pitch, and then the #2 hitter reached base on a bunt single and the #3 hitter walked on four pitches to load the bases with no outs. One run scored on a FC grounder, another on a sacrifice fly, and the third on a two-out RBI double.
The Cubs came roaring back in the bottom of the 1st, however, as Logan Watkins tripled to right, and scored on a Ryan Flaherty RBI double that just missed clearing the fence in left. 2009 1st round pick Brett Jackson (Cal) also doubled off the left-field fence, driving-in Flaherty, and then Brandon Guyer walked. After Kyler Burke struck out and Rebel Ridling flied out, D. J. LeMahieu (2009 2nd round pick out of LSU) smoked a triple off the CF fence, plating Jackson and Guyer, and giving the Cubs a 4-3 lead after one inning of play.
But the Giants came right back in the top of the 2nd, scoring two more runs off Rhee. The first two batters reached base on a line single to LF and a HBP, and both runners moved up on a Wild Pitch. Rhee struck out the next hitter, but then one run scored on an infield ground out, and another on a two-out RBI single.
The Cubs tied the game 5-5 in the bottom of the 3rd, as Brett Jackson walked and Brandon Guyer singled with one out, and then both runners move up a base on a double-steal. Kyler Burke then hit a sac-fly to CF, driving-in Jackson from 3rd.
The Giants threatened to take the lead back in the top of the 4th, as Trey McNutt (2009 32nd round pick out of Shelton State CC) surrendered three consecutive singles with two outs, but Kyler Burke (who has one of the top two outfield arms in the organization) made a pinpoint throw home to nail the runner trying score from 2nd base, as beefy catcher Sergio Burruel (2009 19th round pick out of Trevor Browne HS - Phoenix, AZ) blocked the plate so that nothing or nobody could get by.
The Cubs took the lead 6-5 in the bottom of the 6th, as Ridling lined a lead-off double into the RF corner. LeMahieu did a great job of situational hitting inside-outing a pitch down the 1st base line to advance Ridling to 3rd with just one out. PH Matt Cerda popped out to short CF, but then Burruel reached out on an 0-2 pitch and flicked the ball into short-center, scoring Ridling with the go-ahead run.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the Giants came right back in the top of the 8th, as Chris Dominguez (Giants 2009 3rd round pick out of U. of Louisville, the 2008 Cape Cod League and 2009 Big East Conference HR champ) cracked a tape-measure two-run homer over the LF fence off Cubs reliever Hector Mayora with one out, giving the Giants a 7-6 lead. (Mayora is a 20-year old Venezuelan in his second year with the Cubs, and he was the only member of the two Cubs DSL teams to get an invitation to AZ Instructs this year).
Not to be denied, the Cubs offense got going again in the bottom of the 8th, as Ryan Flaherty led-off with a walk, and Brett Jackson reached base when the pitcher made an errant throw to 1st base on a sac-bunt attempt. Guyer then did some roofing work on a house across the street, blasting his game-winning three-run dinger.
The Cubs pitchers are still here, but at least a half-dozen of the position players have gone home, so those who remain should get more regular playing time in games than was the case the first three weeks of Instructs.
Also, catcher Matt Williams (Cubs 2009 18th round pick out of Duke) has retired to pursue a career in the Real World. The 22-year old Williams hit a paltry 203/264/241 (combined) at AZL Cubs (Mesa) and Boise in 2009, while throwing out just 11% of opposing base-stealers. He probably realized he was not in the Cubs long-term plans when he was not invited to Instructs.
Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1a. Logan Watkins, 2B-DH: 1-4 (3B, K, K, L-3), R
1b. Justin Bour, PH: 0-0 (BB), R
2. Ryan Flaherty, 3B: 2-4 (2B, 1-3, K, BB, 3B), 3 R, 3 RBI
3. Brett Jackson, LF: 1-3 (2B, BB, P-8, SH+E1, 4-3), 3 R, 2 RBI, SB
4. Brandon Guyer, CF: 3-4 (BB, 1B, K, HR, 2B), 2 R, 3 RBI, SB
5. Kyler Burke, RF: 0-3 (K, F-8 SF, 3-1, BB, K), RBI
6. Rebel Ridling, 1B: 1-4 (F-8, K, 2B, K), R
7. D. J. LeMahieu, SS: 1-4 (3B, 6-3, 1-3, 4-3), 2 RBI
8a. Richard Jones, DH #1: 0-2 (K, F-7)
8b. Matt Cerda, PH-2B: 0-2 (P-8, 4-3)
9. Sergio Burruel, C-DH: 1-4 (K, K, 1B, 4-3), RBI
10. Brandon May, DH-C: 1-3 (P-3, K, BB, 1B), R
1. Dae-Eun Rhee - 3.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 5/1 GO/FO, 48 pitches (31 strikes)
2. Trey McNutt - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 5/0 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
3. Austin Kirk - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 3/2 GO/FO, 20 pitches (9 strikes)
4. Hector Mayora - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 1/1 GO/FO, 23 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Julio Pena - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 12 pitches (7 strikes)
Sergio Burruel - 0-1 CS
Brandon May - 1-1 CS
Kyler Burke - gunned down runner (9-2) trying to score from 2nd base on a two-out single to RF in the top of the 4th.
WEATHER: 80's, partly cloudy, and VERY breezy
I think while I get you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.
bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...
felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size
13ip 4h 3bb 20K
remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.
this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.
Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...
also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.
also also, the wsox are 19-8.