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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  • 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. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.