Angel Guzman Throws in Intrasquad Game at Fitch Park
Continuing his rehab from last September's Tommy John surgery, Angel Guzman threw 14 pitches (8 balls & 6 strikes) in an EXST Camp Day intrasquad game at Fitch Park this morning.
Guzman had previously thrown a "simulated game" last Friday and a "live" BP session on Monday.
Guzman faced four batters, walking Junior Lake on four pitches to start the game. Then an errant pick-off throw by Guzman allowed Lake to advance to 2nd base. Brandon Guyer grounded out to short on an 0-1 pitch, as Lake advanced to 3rd base with one out.
Drew Rundle then pulled a hard-hit ground double past 1st base on a 1-0 pitch, driving in Lake for the first run. Rundle stole third on the first pitch to clean-up hitter John Contreras, before Contreras hit a F-8 SF on a 3-2 pitch to finish Guzman's day (he was supposed to throw "around" 15 pitches).
As long as he has no setbacks from today's outing, Guzman will probably make his Cactus League Extended Spring Training game debut sometime next week
Recently converted to pitcher, ex-catcher Jake Muyco got into his first game action today, and struggled through his one inning of work, allowing two runs.
Today's intrasquad game also provided a rare glimpse of RHP Chris Huseby, who has been suffering from an EXTREME control problem since Minor League Camp that has limited him to bullpen sessions and one "live" BP session that went just so-so. .
One of the Cubs better pitching prospects coming into the 2008 season, Huseby was expected to start the year at the top of Peoria's starting rotation. But the 6'7 right-hander just can't find home plate.
It's very similar to what happened with Luke Hagerty last year, where his pitches either bounce in the dirt, or go over the catcher's head, or hit the batter. And it's the reason he has been held out of game action. He's just plain dangerous.
And today was a good example, as Huseby was yanked after just 11 pitches (only two strikes), an outing where he walked two, hit a batter (and almost hit two others), and threw two wild pitches.
Huseby probably will be assigned to Boise when the short season leagues begin play next month (with a 30-man roster, the Hawks can afford to stash away some extra pitchers), but he probably won't get much game action until he can find home plate. .
Today also marked the return of Cubs 2007 5th round pick Brandon Guyer to LF. Prior to today, Guyer (a Matt Murton clone) had been restricted to DH duty only while recovering from a fractured elbow.
Guyer will likely be assigned to Boise next month, although he could get moved up to Peoria before that if the Cubs feel the Chiefs need a right-handed hitting LF to platoon with Dylan Johnston.
As is sometimes necessary due to not having enough players available to staff two squads, the position players rotated between defense and offense without regard to "teams" in today's intrasquad game. Some of the players got more ABs than others, while others did not hit at all.
Here is the box score (such as it is):
Junior Lake, SS: 0-2 (R, BB, 2 K)
Brandon Guyer, LF: 0-1
Drew Rundle, RF: 1-1 (RBI, R, 2B, SB)
John Contreras, 1B: 1-1 (3 RBI, 3B, SF, CS)
George Matheus, 2B: 1-2 (R, HBP)
Gian Guzman, SS: 0-4 (R, BB)
Cesar Salazar, CF: 1-3 (RBI, BB)
Bryan Jost, 1B: 2-4 (2 RBI, 2 R, 2B, 2 K, SB)
Nelson Perez, RF: 1-3 (R, CS)
Jeffrey Rea, 2B: 0-2
Luis Bautista, C: 0-0 (R, HBP)
Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-1
Josh Vitters, 3B: DID NOT BAT (sore hand)
Kevin Soto, LF-CF: DID NOT BAT
Roberto Sabates and Carlos Perez warmed-up pitchers in the bullpen but did not get an AB, and Dwayne Kemp and Starlin Castro did not play.
1. Jake Muyco - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP 0/2 GO/FO)
2. Carlos Rojas - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (1/1 GO/FO)
3. Ryan Searle - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (2/0 GO/FO)
1. Angel Guzman - 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K (1/1 GO/FO)
2. Chris Huseby - 0.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP
3. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (2/4 GO/FO)
Angel Guzman overthrow on pick-off attempt at 1B allowed runner to advance to 2B,
Junior Lake made errant throw trying to double runner off 2nd base after catching a line drive, and runner scored from 2nd base (the throw went into the RF corner):
Luis Bautista: 1-3 CS
Alvaro Sosa: 1-1 CS
WEATHER: Overcast with game-time highs in the 80's
ATTENDANCE: 3 (I've noticed that Camp Day usually doesn't draw quite as well as the other days)
For sure! Russell and Baez are the first infielders in a while to make me think of star defensive players in football or basketball--it's almost like they force turnovers, and they definitely play the field with a degree of athletic aggression I'd expect from a linebacker.
[Edit: Was meant to be a response to JB above.]
tebow hit a HR in the 1st pitch he sees in instructs..lulz.
I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.
I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.
And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.
When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.
Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.
I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.
Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.
My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.
Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.
HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.
Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.
Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?
It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.
Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.
He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.
Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.
Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.
101 wins...most since 1910 (104).
neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.
Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?
Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump