Morelli and Guyer Clutch Hits Save the Day at Extended Spring Training

Jesus Morelli drilled a two-run single to right with two outs in the top of the 9th to plate the tying run, and Brandon Guyer followed with an RBI double off the CF fence to drive in Morelli with what turned out to be the game-winning run, as the EXST Cubs rallied for four runs in the 9th to edge the EXST Angels 6-5 in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 at the Tempe Buttes this morning.


The Angels had taken a 5-2 lead with a three-spot in the bottom of the 8th before the Cubs mounted their game-winning 9th inning rally. Runey Davis got things started, bouncing a single through the box into CF. Then with one out, Sergio Burruel and George Matheus singled to load the bases. Ping-Chieh Chen plated one run with a ground out, moving Matheus and Burruel up to 2nd and 3rd , and setting the stage for the Morelli and Guyer clutch knocks.


Guyer is at Fitch Park on a rehab assignment (he was hitting 262/400/431 in 21 games at AA Tennessee when he was placed on the Smokies DL for the second time this season on May 15th), and is playing with a pressure-sleeve that extends the length of his left arm. He was limited to playing defense (LF) only on Saturday (and he threw out a runner at home), but apparently received clearance to hit prior to today’s game. And hit he did, too, crushing two doubles, and hitting two long fly balls to the warning track in five ABs. Based upon the way Guyer swung the bat today, I doubt that he will be spending very much more time at Extended Spring Training.


Morelli also had a nice day at the plate, extending his hitting streak to 12 games and upping is batting average to .386 and OBP to .461 while reaching base three times (two singles and a walk) in five PA, and Brandon May (three singles and an RBI) and Sergio Burruel (a double, a single, and two runs scored, in addition to cutting down one runner trying to steal, and picking another runner off 1st base) also contributed to the victory.


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


LINEUP:
1. Pin-Chieh Chen, DH #1: 1-5 (6-3, F-7, 1B, L-6, 4-3, 2 RBI)
2. Jesus Morelli, RF: 2-4 (K, K, BB, 1B, 1B, R, 2 RBI, SB)
3. Brandon Guyer, CF: 2-5 (K, 2B, F-8, F-8, 2B, R, RBI)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 3-5 (1B, 1B, L-4, 1B, 6-3, RBI)
5a. Xavier Batista, 1B: 0-3 (K, F-8, K)
5b. Albert Hernandez, 1B: 0-1 (P-8)
6. Bobby Wagner, DH #2: 0-2 (K, BB, BB, K)
7. Runey Davis, LF: 1-4 (F-9, K, L-8, 1B, R)
8. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 1-4 (4-3, 1-3, 1B, K, SB)
9. Sergio Burruel, C: 2-4 (K, 2B, K, 1B, 2 R)
10. George Matheus, 2B: 2-4 (1B, F-8, F-7, 1B, R)


PITCHERS:
1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 2 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 34 pitches (20 strikes)
2. Austin Kirk – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, 3 K, 1/4 GO/FO, 61 pitches (37 strikes)
3. Andres Quezada - 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 GIDP, 3/1 GO/FO, 29 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Jesse Ginley - 0.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 0 K, 0/1 GO/FO, 17 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Corey Martin - 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 28 pitches (21 strikes)


ERRORS: 2
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (two-base overthrow at 1st base with two outs in bottom of the 5th allowed batter to reach 2nd base and runner at 2nd base to score unearned run)
SS Arismendy Alcantara E-6 (throwing error at 1st base with two outs in the bottom of the 9th allowed batter to reach base safely – did not score)


CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Sergio Burruel: 1-2 CS, 1 PO


ATTENDANCE: 14


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy, with temperatures in the 70’s

Comments

AZ PHil,

I hardly ever post a comment, but "14" in attendance! Did you have a family reunion or something?

On a serious note, thanks for all the work at there. I have started to notice more respect for your write-ups on other Cubs Websites. It's amazing how much we Cubs fans know about our minor-leaguers. It's not like that with most of the clubs.

Hey, it sounds like Boise might have a young, but talented crew this year. If you had to take a guess at their lineup, rotation, and top three relievers who would you pick.

I have been intrigued with M. Perez and Liria since last year in the DSL. And, hasn't Morelli warranted another look at RF or CF in Peoria? He really didn't do that bad there for being 18, and he hasn't slowed down in AZ. The Cubs have been aggressive with their guys these last two years and it's paid off for the most part (it's also been fun to watch). I think he could slide in the Chiefs' OF with Fitzgerald (who came alive this spring) and Nelson Perez. R. Jones and F. Guzman read like roster fillers to me. Play the kids!!

Phil, you live the dream. It most be pretty cool getting to see hopeful future Cubbies for over 8 months a year. Take it easy.

no doubt...the unofficial extended spring stats blow me away.

Submitted by Childersb3 on Mon, 05/24/2010 - 6:33pm.
AZ PHil,

Hey, it sounds like Boise might have a young, but talented crew this year. If you had to take a guess at their lineup, rotation, and top three relievers who would you pick.

I have been intrigued with M. Perez and Liria since last year in the DSL. And, hasn't Morelli warranted another look at RF or CF in Peoria? He really didn't do that bad there for being 18, and he hasn't slowed down in AZ. The Cubs have been aggressive with their guys these last two years and it's paid off for the most part (it's also been fun to watch). I think he could slide in the Chiefs' OF with Fitzgerald (who came alive this spring) and Nelson Perez. R. Jones and F. Guzman read like roster fillers to me. Play the kids!!

=====================================

CHILDERS: It's hard to project Boise's Opening Day roster right now, because a lot depends on who the Cubs draft next month and how soon they sign. There also might be some mid-June downward movement from Peoria to Boise (for instance, Charles Thomas could get sent down to Boise when Luis Flores moves up to Peoria).

No question Jesus Morelli is the #1 position player prospect at Extended Spring Training. He could just as easily end up back at Peoria rather than at Boise (with Francisco Guzman perhaps moving down to Boise), but if Morelli does go to Boise, he should be their star. Ping-Chieh Chen could be this year's Logan Watkins, and if the Cubs move Jae-Hoon Ha back to the OF they could see him put up some big-time power numbers at Boise now that his wrist is 100%.

The starting pitching at Extended Spring Training is what stands out, with John Mincone, Austin Kirk, Marcos Perez, Frank Batista, and Luis Liria all fully capable of being successful starters at Boise. Tarlandus Mitchell also has shown improvement, although he still has control issues.

In the bullpen, older guys like Corey Martin and Danny Keefe will probably operate as co-closers to provide some end-of-game experience, and I would think Rogelio Carmona will very likely return to the Boise bullpen as well. Ex-OF Drew Rundle will probably be the #1 lefty in the pen, and converted catcher Alvaro Sosa has looked good so far and will probably be in the Hawks bullpen, too.

I think it's unlikely that Cuban Defector RHP Juan Yasser Serrano will go to Boise. He looks like he's too advanced for Short Season ball, and so he will probably go directly to Daytona from EXST (fellow Cuban Defector OF Smaily Borges is at Daytona, and given that he has remained there despite having a poor season might be the best indication that Serrano will be going there). If Serrano does OK at Daytona, he could follow Esmailin Caridad as a rapid riser in the system, perhaps getting a shot at the Cubs bullpen as early as next season.

From the Knoxville News Sentinel this morning:

Catcher Robinson Chirinos was struck by a foul ball in the first that bent his mask. He left the game because of a concussion and likely will be placed on the disabled list.

He may be headed your way, Phil.

There's always Room for One More.

It gives me chills when you say that.

Thanks for the info. Our next step would be to get you a Juggs Radar Gun so we can get real technical around here.

With Chirinos out for a while, and Welington Castillo out for a week, it looks like Flores could be shipped out somewhere and a catcher goes to TN. I really can't think of anyone better suited than him to backup Clevenger; maybe Reed from FL but Flores would do just as solid a backup job.

I didn't mention yesterday, but in reference to being aggressive with promotions it seems that the rosters now are pretty much set in stone. I could see Flaherty moving up here in a week, but not much else. If you looked at the ages of the rosters, guys are pretty much where they should be. It wouldn't make sense for a 25 year old guy with two years of AA to be in A ball so Brett Jackson can play CF in TN (even though he is probably ready for that). We'll wait another few weeks for the first half of the minors to end, and see what shake-ups occur.

The Cubs featured on NPR Morning Edition. Interview with Ricketts.

Says he promises to make the tough personnel decisions if the team doesn't win, but is going to give the team a chance to win with what they have. Says Cub fans are "just going to have to trust him for a while".

sigh... ok

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  • video of Maddon.

    http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561343809737202839-4

    always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.

    Rob G. 10 hours 16 min ago view
  • from Muskat:

    #Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs

    Rob G. 10 hours 22 min ago view
  • http://www.espn.com/espn/now?nowId=21-0561339391889382475-4

    Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.

    Rob G. 10 hours 27 min ago view
  • great defense

    Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.

    Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.

    I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.

    Rob G. 10 hours 38 min ago view
  • If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?

    Craig A. 10 hours 50 min ago view
  • #Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.

    Fun with FIP

    • J. Hammel   3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
    • J. Arrieta     2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
    • J. Lester     2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
    • K. Hendricks  2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
    • J. Lackey     3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
    Rob G. 11 hours 15 min ago view
  • zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k

    he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.

    crunch 11 hours 55 min ago view
  • JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.

    My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.

    Jackstraw 13 hours 7 min ago view
  • Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...

    billybucks 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1

    not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.

    really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.

    crunch 13 hours 28 min ago view
  • Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.

    Eric S 14 hours 13 min ago view
  • Classic Scully - great stuff.

    Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)

    Eric S 19 hours 4 min ago view
  • Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:

    "And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."

    VirginiaPhil 20 hours 18 min ago view
  • When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.

    VirginiaPhil 20 hours 21 min ago view
  • If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.

    Jackstraw 21 hours 40 min ago view
  • cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.

    crunch 1 day 4 hours ago view