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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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.