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

Recent comments

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  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 24 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 26 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 36 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 3 hours 19 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 8 hours 4 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 8 hours 5 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 17 hours 46 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 20 hours 44 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 20 hours 57 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 21 hours 5 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 21 hours 11 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 21 hours 29 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 22 hours 5 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 22 hours 23 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 22 hours 25 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 22 hours 43 min ago view