Kazmir Makes Cub Kids Look Like... Minor Leaguers

Scott Kazmir and Alexander Burkard combined to throw a four-hit shutout, leading the EXST Angels to an 8-0 whitewashing of an EXST Cubs split squad in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Diablo Park Field #3 in Tempe this morning.

Kazmir has been on the Los Angeles Angels 15-DL with "back tightness" since April 9th, but he sure looked healthy today, throwing 6.2 IP of one-hit shutout ball (102 pitches – 62 strikes, 10/6 GO/FO), and not allowing his first hit until there was one out in the top of the 6th inning (opposite-field double lined into the RF corner by Dustin Geiger). Kazmir walked three and struck out three during the course of his outing, inducing one GIDP. Kazmir consistently threw his fastball at 91-92 MPH, and kept the Cubs youngsters off-balance with an assortment of change-ups and breaking balls.

This is at least the third or maybe even the fourth time Kazmir has started an Extended Spring Training game against the Cubs over the past month, and if I didn’t know better, I would say he is being showcased. (There actually were a couple of scouts in attendance at today’s game). Either that or he is trying to earn the prestigious “Angel Guzman Award” (the Extended Spring Training version of the Cy Young Award), bestowed upon the MLB pitcher who spends the most inordinate or excessive period of time on an Extended Spring Training rehab assignment without getting reactivated from his team’s disabled list.

So how many pitches will Kazmir throw in his next EXST rehab start? 115? 120?

Besides getting shutout by Kazmir & Co., things did not go well for several EXST Cubs in particular today.

Daytona RHP Oswaldo Martinez made his 2011 debut, getting a “rehab” start in today’s game at Diablo Park. The 22-year old Martinez last pitched in a game for Obregon in the Mexican Pacific League (LMP) this past January, was shut-down with an undisclosed medical problem upon arrival at Minor League Camp in March, and was placed on the Daytona Cubs 7-day DL prior to Opening Day. The Mexican right-hander struggled with his control today, throwing 19 pitches, but only eight strikes, and was removed from the game after getting only two outs in the bottom of the 1st inning. He allowed two runs on one hit (an RBI triple) and two walks.

19-year old RHP Ryan Hartman (Cubs 2010 16th round draft pick out of Mt Zion HS - Mt Zion, IL) followed Martinez to the mound, and he also had major control issues (as he has had most of the Spring), throwing 52 pitches (only 24 strikes) in just 1.2 IP, allowing two runs on two hits, three walks, and an HBP. 

19-year old Dominican RHP Alvido Jimenez was the third Cubs pitcher, and unlike O. Martinez and Hartman, Jimenez’s problem was that he did throw strikes, getting clubbed for five runs on seven hits (three singles, two doubles, a triple, and a home run) in just 2.1 IP (57 pitches).

And Max Kwan (2010 NDFA – U. of Washington) saw his first game action behind the plate in more than a month, but things did not go very well. In just the five innings Kwan was in the game, four Angel runners tried to steal a base, and all four were successful (all of the throws were off-target), and Kwan also committed a throwing error, lobbing a “rainbow” 15 feet over the third-baseman’s head on a stolen base attempt at 3rd base that allowed the runner to score.

Kwan has been battling “Mike Ivie-itis”, the same affliction that plagued Jae-Hoon Ha this time last year when Ha was a catcher (before he was moved to OF). This is not a medical problem, but rather a “mental block” where the catcher is unable to make routine throws, even back to the pitcher after a pitch. The Cubs employ a sports psychologist at Fitch Park who works with players who are recovering from injuries, or who are having difficulty dealing with failure (often for the first time in their life), or who develop a “mental block” of one type or another (like “Steve Blass Disease,” where a pitcher is unable to throw strikes), but there is no guarantee that the player will respond and overcome the obstacle. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t.

While one squad of EXST Cubs played the Angels at Diablo Park, the other squad was facing the EXST Rockies at Fitch Park. Unfortunately I have no information about the game played at Fitch. 

Here is today’s abridged box score for the game played at Diablo Park (Cubs players only):

1. Pin-Chieh Chen, 2B: 0-3 (P-3, K, 3-1, BB)
2. Blair Springfield, CF: 1-2 (E-6, BB, BB, 1B, CS)
3. Wilson Contreras, 3B: 0-4 (5-4-3 DP, F-8, 5-4 FC, 4-3)
4. Jesus Morelli, LF: 1-4 (3-U, 6-3, K, 1B)
5. Reggie Golden, DH: 0-3 (BB, K, P-4, P-6)
6. Marco Hernandez, SS: 1-4 (6-4 FC, 5-3, 1B, 6-3 DP)
7a. Max Kwan, C: 0-2 (5-3, F-9)
7b. Johan DeJesus, C: 0-1 (K)
8. Gregori Gonzalez, RF: 0-3 (P-3, 5-3, 1-5-3)
9. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 1-3 (F-7, 2B, 1-3)

1. Oswaldo Martinez: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 19 pitches (8 strikes), 2/0 GO/FO
2. Ryan Hartman: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 52 pitches (24 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Alvido Jimenez: 2.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R (5 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 57 pitches (39 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
4. Ramon Garcia, 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 46 pitches (26 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO

1. 3B Wilson Contreras - E5 (errant throw attempting to throw-out batter at 1st base on infield hit allowed runner to score from 3rd base)
2. C Max Kwan - E2 (overthrow on stolen base attempt at 3rd base allowed runner to score)
3. 3B Wilson Contreras – E5 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)

Max Kwan: 0-4 CS, 1 E (see above)


WEATHER: Sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 70’s



fwiw, I saw it on twitter somewhere, but Reed Johnson has something like the best OPS of any major leaguer at whatever the Marlins call their stadium now. I think it was minimum 40 PA's.

that double was FLA's fault anyway. they were playing the IF in for some reason. that's late inning stuff, imo. a lot of 3rd setting up normal glove that ball. it wouldn't have been an easy throw home with the range of target you have, though...if the runner was going on contact, anyway.

the defense showed up tonight...so far.

marlon byrd's power has woken up. aram, step it up.

valient attempt by Coleman by this point to try and save his job...

What's it say when this far into the season the most effective starter is a guy the Cubs got off the scrap heap?

I didn't know the Rays were also known as the scrap heap.

Doug Davis didn't come from the Rays... The Cubs picked him up as a FA.

Let's not anoint Davis the most effective starter...after 1 decent start..sheesh =P

OK, he's been the least ineffective starter.

Great? He pitched 5 solid innings in his 1 start.
That's all I'm saying smartass....lol....sheesh..

All I am saying is that all of our starters have been shitty. The only one with a decent ERA doesn't know how to field his own positiion.

Makes you wonder what the hell the pitchers do during fielding practice....because Garza, Wood...etc...have looked lost out there a lot.

Davis will have a 5+ ERA by 9pm.

I'll take that under.

I don't want to predict his ERA, but Davis ain't that good.

The only one with a decent ERA doesn't know how to field his own positiion.

And why, in this instance, are we using ERA to measure the pitcher?

OK, the only person with a decent xFIP cannot field his poisiotn.

Actually Dempster's xFIP is pretty good - 3.38. He's got the curse of the big inning this year.

sample size? hmmmm?

5.63 after 3 innings.

Before 9pm. Does that count as the under?

8.31. Yay. That's effective!

So Coleman goes 5.2 and allows 0 runs but he doesn't get credit for a Quality Start because he didn't go 6.0


the quality start stat is dumb, anyway.

rsox sign k.millwood to a minor league deal...supposedly there was rumor linking him to the cubs earlier today.


they could have been 4-0 on this trip if not for the Bad News Bears routine in Cincy.

Agreed. I was there in the front row on the field along side 3rd base for the first night's debacle in Cincy. I can tell you, it looked even worse in person. I stared into the Cubs dug out for a first hand look at how they process apocolypse.

That AND I had a foul ball hit me in the hand but just couldn't bring it in. On second thought, perhaps Hendry should sign me. I'd fit right in.

I was there in the front row on the field along side 3rd base ...That AND I had a foul ball hit me in the hand but just couldn't bring it in. On second thought, perhaps Hendry should sign me. I'd fit right in.
Nice to see you post here, ARam. Hiding behind DeJesus?

Soriano for Peavy.

Just make Soriano a pitcher, maybe he could be next Babe Ruth.

More likely the next Jose Canseco?

Jonathan Mayo predicts Cubs first round pick

9. Chicago Cubs: Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS, Kan.
There's a good chance this toolsy two-sport outfielder will be gone before this spot, but the Cubs would love it if he were still on the board.


Bubba Starling on how he's trying to decide between college football and pro baseball...


sweet, his contract will call for an automatic 25-man spot and Jim Hendry's office by age 20 or he can opt out and still keep $5M.

Just say no. I am actually thinking the Golden debacle this spring will hurt the liklihood of the Cubs drafting a high school outfielder this high.


Good athlete, bad ballplayer. Certainly follows the Cubs MO.

Mikie Mahtook looks good to me if he's around. From a "need" standpoint, I would guess a middle infielder.

Mahtook at the 9th pick? He will be around for someone at about pick 39 or 49 for someone who has supplemental picks but would be an immense overdraft for anyone other than Wilken, for whom such pick would be the norm.

what? 39 or 49? Your kidding, right? Mahtook is probably a reach at 9, but he'll probably go in the first round, and probably top 25, if not top 20. He's one of the more well-rounded college bats. While I don't think he sticks in CF, there is a shot he does, and he has solid power potential.

I know Wilkin is hard to predict, but what do you think he'll do in the first couple rounds?


if bubba starling actually lasts til the 9th pick it's gonna be because of $$, imo.

SS Castro, 2B Barney, 3B Baker, DH Ramy, 1B Pena, CF Byrd, LF Soriano, RF Johnson, C Hill

LHP Lester goes for Red Sox

Soriano... the green monster... lul.

That's a shame on DeRo.

Now he can sit at home collecting a fat paycheck while banging his ultra hot wife. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone get hurt on a check swing, looked painful.


Playing for the Trenton Thunder (AA), had a rough start, but is doing better now...

Controversy over top draft picks and MLB team's long-toss programs...


meh...long toss. i'm a fan, but unless you're using a natural throwing motion (aka, not loading up and trying to throw 500ft. with some cannon shots) it's useless.

Recent comments

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  • I've been pretty harsh with Lester here at various times but that's how it is when you pull in that kind of money, and besides, it's not like he reads my posts or would care what I have to say if he did read them for some reason. If I was him, the first thing out of my mouth would be, what level have you played this game at, pal?

    Anyway, he's really looked good lately, and overall his body of work turned out pretty good, too. I'm glad his worst struggles were in April. This is such an easy team to like that I even like the overpaid free agent.

  • Gordo's lede today:

    ST. LOUIS – Whether it’s a year early or right on time, Jon Lester’s $155 million moment arrives just after 5:45 p.m. Friday.

  • *checks pulse*

    *checks pulse again*


  • Who are you? Andy Rooney?

  • K-DUB: I get a chance to see the other MLB clubs Player Development operations out here and I have talked to scouts and other baseball people about it, and I can tell you that the Cubs Player Development program has gone from being almost a joke to one of THE best. 

  • how did ej martinez go from asking for $10m, to supposedly mulling over $7m offers, to eventually signing for $3m?

    ...and what happened with him and the giants a few days ago?

  • Its not official until AZ Phil adds him to the Cubs Depth Chart!

  • Just freakin love it!

  • From Keith Law:

  • This from a Kiley McDaniel chat a couple weeks ago...

    "Comment From Wrenzie
    Who has more ceiling between Yusniel Diaz or Eddy Julio Martinez?

    Kiley McDaniel: Martinez. I have Eddy (20 years old) as a 65 runner with a 55 arm and 50 raw power that profiles as an everyday CF that could be above average depending on if the bat is a 45 or a 55. I have Yusniel (19) as a 60 runner with a 55 arm and 40 raw power that can be an everyday guy if he hits enough (50 or 55)."

  • "Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.
    Arizona Phil 7 hours 23 min ago"

  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus.