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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  • To be fair to Emery and Trestman the foreshadowing of last year started happening well before them with the failure or mismanaging of multiple draft classes forcing the team to overspend in a free agency market that is even worse than baseball. Kyle Long seems like a good pick but they traded away another good one in Olson because of Martz's stupidity and inability to change his offense to fit the team talent.

  • HAGSAG: I think Domonic Brown does fit the criteria of a reclamation project, but unless he is willing to accept a minor league contract with an NRI to Spring Training, I don't think the Cubs would be interested given where the Cubs are right now. A couple of years ago? Yes. But probably not now.

    Brown would be better-off going to a club that is rebuilding and re-establish his value there, like Chris Coghlan did with the Cubs. And if he can re-establish his value, he could get traded to a contender at the trade deadline and take it from there.  

  • "they just fade away"

    (Except in the cases of no-fade lefties like Moyer, Orosco and Rich Hill.)

  • Amazing to me how quickly it fell apart under Trestman. Year 1, they were a Chris Conte brain fart away from making the playoffs. Year 2 -- coach, staff and GM all fired.

  • I am sure Jonathon Mota will be signed next.

  • AZ Phil, what is your thoughts on Domonic Brown as a reclamation project?

  • He also played LF in deference to Curtis Granderson.

    Meh... other moves to make...hope to see a move or two soon.

  • I haven't seen much Bears football this year - difficult to watch the games out here, but the game I saw the week before I was watching in shock as I saw them actually make tackles. And Cutler has looked really good, too.

    I guess people can quibble about play calling, but the team I saw is way more than 50% better coached (my only very minor disagreement with your comment).

    Under Trestman, the team didn't do anything right. This team played like a well coached team when I saw them play the Rams.

  • "What is sometimes overlooked about Vogelbach because of his "bad body" and because he has struggled so much defensively is that he is a hard worker, has a great attitude, loves to play the game, and is very well-liked by his teammates, and while that may not seem important, teams do actually value stuff like that. "

    As well they should. Replace a word here and there and you are describing any worker someone would hire.

  • Hak-Ju Lee signs a minor league contract with SF Giants.

    Some closure on the 6 degrees of Separation for Matt Garza/Chris Archer

  • Hahahahaha

  • -0.3 WAR in 7.1ip last year...

    -3 WAR projected over the course of a season.

    the cubs just added an all-star reliever's worth of work by losing b.schlitter.


  • Rockies sign Brian Schlitter to a minor league contract. Good luck in Coors Field. Enough said.

  • i'll take him over frandy since it's unlikely he'll progress as a SS (and 2nd isn't looking much better).

    i hope patton's delivery deception skills play well in the bigs over time. cubs need pitching options that are MLB-ready and dude fits the bill for a MLB/AAA mix...both needed.

  • I'm not saying he's great, but can we agree on the word "decent"? Became a pro at 23, called up at 26; nothing wrong with that trajectory, he hasn't been knocking around. Even in the majors his SO9 is 9.7. In the minors it's 12.2, so he's always missed bats, and without being a wild man: his walks are low. He cost the Cubs an unheralded A-ball middle infielder and a roster spot.

  • he's a righty (a 27 year old one that's going to be 28 before spring training starts) that throws low 90s with a low-80s slider. that's as ordinary as it gets for a righty reliever.