Cuban Defector Makes U. S. Debut at Fitch Park

Jae-Hoon Ha went 4-4 with two triples, a double, and a single, scored three runs, and drove-in two more, Jesus Morelli reached base four times on a single, a double, a triple, and a walk, scored twice, and knocked-in three, and George Matheus had two singles, a double, and two RBI, but it was left to Wes Darvill to drive-in the winning run as the youngster bounced a single through a drawn-in infield with one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 7th, rallying one squad of Cubs to an 8-7 victory over one squad of the Giants on Field #3, while over on Field #2, Alvaro Ramirez doubled and tripled, drove-in one run, and scored another, Chris Huseby doubled, walked and scored a run, and Pin-Chieh Chen had two hits, a run scored, and an RBI, but the other squad of Giants clubbed five triples, a double, and a home run, and took advantage of two costly Rafael Disla errors to score four unearned runs, en route to an 8-4 victory over the other squad of Cubs, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Giants split a Cactus League Extended Spring Training split-squad doubleheader this morning at Fitch Park in Mesa.

21-year old RHP Juan Yasser Serrano made his debut with the Cubs on Field #3, tossing a 13-pitch, ten strike, 1-2-3 inning (4-3, 4-3, and 5-3). Serrano is the Cuban Defector who was signed by the Cubs for a reported $250K bonus this past March, and he appears to be a polished hurler who should advance quickly through the system. I would think he will probably get assigned initially to Daytona (fellow Cuban Defector OF Smaily Borges is already there), once he has gets his arm strength up to where it needs to be. Serrano is not a big guy (maybe 6’1), and he has a solid (almost stocky) build.  

On the injury rehab front, AA Tennessee LHP Casey Lambert (2009 TJS) made his second EXST game appearance, and pitched a scoreless inning (21 pitches – 13 strikes), allowing a walk while striking out one. He still looks a bit rusty, but at least he has been able to stay on his rehab schedule without incurring any setbacks.

Tennessee OF Brandon Guyer played in the game on Field #3, but was limited to playing defense only (he played LF for the entire game and threw out a runner at the plate). His left (non-throwing) elbow is wrapped, so I would guess he has some type of injury that doesn’t affect him when he catches or throws a ball, but does preclude him from swinging the bat.

Here are today’s abridged box scores (Cubs players only):


1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 2-4 (1-3, 1B, 1B+E9, K, R, RBI)
2. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (1B, 5-3, E-4, 4-3)
3. Sergio Burruel, C: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, RBI)
4. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-3 (K, 2B, F-8, R)
5. Alvaro Ramirez, RF: 2-3 (4-3, 3B, 2B, R, RBI)
6. Cody Shields, LF: 0-2 (P-5, BB, K)
7. Rafael Disla, 3B: 0-2 (F-7, F-7 SF, K, RBI)
8. Chris Huseby, DH #1: 1-2 (2B, 6-3, BB, R)
9. Blair Springfield, DH #2: 0-3 (K, K, K)
10. Kyung-Min Na, CF: 0-3 (4-3, 5-3, 6-3)

1. Casey Lambert – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 21 pitches (13 strikes)
2. Frank Batista – 2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 5/1 GO/FO, 41 pitches (28 strikes)
3. Tzu-An Wang - 2.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 1 WP, 5/1 GO/FO, 32 pitches (23 strikes)
4. Alvido Jimenez - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 8 pitches (7 strikes)

1. SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)
2. 3B Rafael Disla E-5 (two-out two-base throwing error at 1st base allowed batter to reach reach 2nd base, runner on 1st base to advance to 3rd, and runner on 2nd base to score, eventually resulting in three unearned runs scoring)
3. 3B Rafael Disla E-5 (two-out fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely and runner on 3rd base to score unearned run)

Sergio Burruel: 1-2 CS


1. Vismeldy Bieneme, 2B: 1-3 (1B, K, BB, 6-3, 2 R, SB)
2. Jae-Hoon Ha, DH #1: 4-4 (1B, 3B, 2B, 3B, 3 R, 2 RBI)
3. Jesus Morelli, RF: 3-3 (1B, 2B, 3B, BB, R, 3 RBI)
4. Brandon May, DH #2: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K, BB)
5. Runey Davis, CF: 1-4 (4-3, K, 1B, L-4 DP, 2 RBI, SB, CS)
6. George Matheus, 3B: 3-4 (4-3, 2B, 1B, 1B, R)
7. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 0-4 (1-3, 6-3, 5-3, P-1)
8b. Bobby Wagner, PH: 0-0 (BB)
9. Carlos Romero, C: 0-3 (6-3, P-4, 6-3, HBP)
10. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-2 (BB, F-7, BB, 1B, R, RBI, CS)

1. Juan Yasser Serrano – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 3/0 GO/FO, 13 pitches (10 strikes)
2. Eduardo Figueroa – 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 K, 2 WP, 3/2 GO/FO, 48 pitches (28 strikes)
3. Rogelio Carmona – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER) 2 BB, 1 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 20 pitches (10 strikes)
4. Drew Rundle - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 10 pitches (5 strikes)
5. Alvaro Sosa – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 6 pitches (4 strikes)

1. C Carlos Romero E-2 (dropped pop-up in foul territory – batter was eventually retired 5-3)
2. C Carlos Romero E-2 ("Catcher’s Interference" allowed batter to reach base safely – eventually scored unearned run)
3. CF Runey Davis E-8 (dropped pop fly in CF allowing batter to reach 2nd base – did not score)

Carlos Romero: 1-1 CS, 2 PB, 2 E (see above)

LF Brandon Guyer threw out a baserunner at the plate (7-2) who was trying to score from 2nd base on a line single to LF.


WEATHER: Sunny, cloudless, and breezy, with temperatures in the 80’s


about time juan yessir pepper made it up.

...juan yessir pepper, on a stick:

Iincluding some topical border humor)

i hate Fox so much...

stupid NYY@NYM...

i have a question. how much longer do the cubs stick with Ramirez and Lee. This is both of their last years (i think). But how much longer do we let them just completely suck the life out of the offense? It's almost June. They've both had plenty of time to snap out of it. I think we'd be far better off with our minor league players at this point. They wouldn't even have to tear it up to do better than these 2 clowns.

(I don't really want to give up on either of these guys but isn't it high time we said enough is enough?)

another 100ab's or so and aram might be moved to the 6 slot.

0 for 4 with 4 Ks...yow.

unreal season so far.

Golden Sombrero.

If he was in AZ he would be arrested.

nah...he's got his papers.

15.75 million of them.

Arizona Phil thanks for your comments on my last post. Ha seems to have the most advanced bat of all the Koreans in extended spring but isnt he the guy they're trying a catcher and he cant catch a cold? He also has been a little injury-prone since joining the Cubs. Any word on Huseby? Is he making the move to a position player or are they just giving him a mental break from his troubles on the mound? It's really too bad after the great year last year. Huseby is listed at 6-7, are his problems mechanical with a lot of moving parts or mental? Whatever the case is I wish him the best.

Submitted by The Stick on Sat, 05/22/2010 - 7:46pm.
Arizona Phil thanks for your comments on my last post. Ha seems to have the most advanced bat of all the Koreans in extended spring but isnt he the guy they're trying a catcher and he cant catch a cold? He also has been a little injury-prone since joining the Cubs. Any word on Huseby? Is he making the move to a position player or are they just giving him a mental break from his troubles on the mound? It's really too bad after the great year last year. Huseby is listed at 6-7, are his problems mechanical with a lot of moving parts or mental? Whatever the case is I wish him the best.


STICK: Jae-Hoon Ha was very impressive at the plate and in RF in Minor League Camp 2009, but then he injured his wrist and played less than 100% for the rest of the 2009 season (EXST and Boise). Then the Cubs decided to move him back behind the plate (he was a catcher in HS) at Instructs last September, and continued with the experiment/conversion at Minor League Camp in March and then more-recently at Extended Spring Training. And as I have mentioned here previously, despite playing the position in HS, Ha just did not look comfortable behind the plate. If it's possible to look miserable playing baseball, Ha looked that way as a catcher.

He hasn't been used as a catcher for about two weeks now (he doesn't even warm-up pitchers in the bullpen), so I suspect the Cubs are leaning toward moving him back to OF. Ha has above-average speed and above-average power, and I have seen him make athletic plays in RF. Today, he looked like somebody who just got a reprieve and was let out of jail.

Jae-Hoon Ha is now hitting 394/432/667, and I believe if the Cubs just forget about making him a catcher, that he can develop into a decent RF prospect (although he can play all three OF positions, so he could morph into a valuable RH 4th-OF type).

I don't know what the Cubs intentions are with Chris Huseby. He has been taking a lot of extra BP over the past ten days, trying to catch up with the other position players, and he shows HR power in BP. That said, it is possible that using Huseby as a DH is just a way to help him forget about his problems on the mound, with the idea that he will be a pitcher again somewhere down the line when the time is right. But I can tell you that he looks MUCH happier and relaxed as a hitter than he ever did on the mound.

The funny thing is, there are actually quite a few pitchers in pro ball who were true two-way players in HS and/or college (Brooks Raley and Jay Jackson, for example), but I don't recall ever reading anything about Huseby's skills as a hitter prior to the 2006 draft.

Tyler Colvin sucks.

No kidding. Jeez.

Castro IBB to get to Dlee.


not that it will matter, but Cards looked like they lost 2 pitchers to the DL in Penny and Lohse.

Nice win tonight from someone who didn't watch one second of the game. Theriot is back to being an efficient basestealer, 8/9 in SB's this year.

Looks like midnight may have struck for Marlon Byrd though....2 for his last 20.

Ramirez is broke, should DL him for his thumb and see what they can do to fix whatever it is that is broken.

Agreed. Fontenot has proven he deserves a little playing time anyway. And is Chad Tracy still hitting .600 at AAA? Not that I'm suggesting they can approximate what we expected from Aramis, but they can do better than what he's doing now.

Add Soto to the "turning into a pumpkin" list --
0 for his last 13, down around .280.

Ram and Lee combined 0-for-10. Yikes.

I'm less worried about Soto. He's been prone to especially useless but not especially long slumps since we saw him in the majors. Remember the 10 Ks in a row?

Soto is 3 for the last two weeks ( 3/34 .088 .262 .088 .350 ) with 8 walks!

I think Lou's bizarre backloaded batting order is to blame. The league just started pitching around Soto to get to the pitcher when he was pounding the ball earlier in the year.

Yea... I heard that you can tell a lot from 13 at bats.

I really hope the cubs if they are in it or not look to trade a outfielder
i think trading Fukadome should be attempted he is the only starter in outfield who could be traded.Colvin needs to play.

The problem with Fukudome is he's a $6 millon outfielder on a $13 million contract.

Recent comments

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  • May the best team win, and subsequently humiliate the Cardinals.

  • I love arriving here first thing in the morning, adding a few moronic posts (moranic for any Cardinals fans who may be trolling), and reading the sage posts of all you guys. Most knowledgeable fans on any forum, by far. So post like crazy today and help give TCR some visibility!

    I told my wife last night that I'm going to need a support system for tonight's game. Tonight is going to be a lot harder on me than it is going to be on these rookie bad asses.

  • James Russell elected free agency.

  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.