Guzman throws in Intrasquad Game, Ward still taking BP

Angel Guzman threw two innings (25 pitches - 19 strikes, 3/1 GO/FO) in an AZL Cubs intrasquad game at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning, allowing two runs (one ER) on two hits, with no walks and two stikeouts (both swinging). 
 
Also, Daryle Ward continued his rehab at Fitch Park, with an extended pre-game BP session in which he clubbed bomb after bomb over the RF fence. He also shagged some fly balls in RF.

Ward will be staying one more day in Mesa, and then will leave on Saturday for a three or four game minor league rehab assignment (either at AA or AAA, still TBD) before rejoining the Cubs next week in Chicago. 

In AZL Cubs roster news, LHP Jeffrey Beliveau (2008 18th round pick out of Florida Atlantic) and RF Jericho Jones (2008 20th round pick out of Louisiana Tech) have been signed by the Cubs and both are now at Fitch Park. In fact, Jones even played in the intrasquad game and had an RBI single in his first game AB, after pumping several dingers onto Center Street in pre-game BP 

Jones was a RHP (rotation starter) who played RF on days he wasn't pitching at Louisiana Tech, but he will be playing outfield-only in pro ball. (And he definitely has a RF arm, too!). 

The Cubs have now signed 26 of their 51 picks in this month's Rule 4 Draft, including 17 of their first 21. 

Also, INF Jose Made has been promoted from AZL Cubs (Mesa) to Daytona, and switch-hitting IF-OF David Macias (2008 19th round pick out of Vanderbilt) and OF Ryan Sontag (2008 23rd round pick out of Arizona State) have been promoted from AZL Cubs to Boise. 

Macias replaces CF Tony Campana (2008 13th round pick out of the U. of Cincinnati), who suffered a broken hand in his very first pro game Tuesday night in Boise. Campana will apparently be returning to Mesa (Fitch Park) for his rehab at some point in the near future. 

In addition, 2B Jeffrey Rea (2007 18th round pick out of Mississippi State) and OF Cesar Salazar (signed as a FA out of Venezuela in February) have been released.

Rea was hampered by a sore arm in Minor League Camp and then was hobbled with a strained quad for most of the past couple of months. A below average defender at 2B but an above-average hitter (and a very good baserunner, when healthy), Rea should have no difficuilty getting a gig with an independent league team (if he doesn't get signed by another MLB organization), and if he does go the indy route, he could well get back into the minor leagues (albeit not with the Cubs) in very short order. He just needs to prove he's healthy.    

Here is the abridged box score from today's very abbreviated AZL Cubs intrasquad game:

SQUAD "A"
1. Kevin Soto, CF: 0-2 (K, SB)
2. Bryan Jost, 1B (R, 3B, K)
3. Starlin Castro, SS: (SF-RBI)
4. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-1
5. John Contreras, 3B: 1-1 (R)
6. Roberto Sabates, LF: 0-1
7. Robinson Chirinos, 2B: 0-1
8. Jose Guevara, C (rehab from broken hand - slot skipped)    

SQUAD "B"
1. Kurt Calvert, LF: 1-1 (CS)
2. George Matheus, SS: 1-1 (CS)
3. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-1 (R, SB)
4. Jericho Jones, RF: 1-1 (RBI)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: No AB
6. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: No AB
7. Alvaro Sosa, C:  No AB 
8. TeWayne Willis, CF: No AB
9. Matt Cerda, DH: No AB

PITCHERS:

SQUAD "A"
Manolin DeLeon - 1.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 0 K

SQUAD "B"
Angel Guzman - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K

ERROR (1):
Dwayne Kemp, E-4, muffed two-out ground ball, allowing runner to score from 3rd base. 

CATCHERS DEFENSE:
Jose Guevara: 2-3 CS
Alvaro Sosa: 0-1 CS

WEATHER: Clear, cloudless, and VERY hot, with game-time temperatures in the upper 90's en route to 110+ 

ATTENDANCE: 3

Comments

AZ PHIL:

Thanks as always.

It is comforting to know that attendance has nearly tripled, in spite of the hot weather.

No doubt that the "Lemon Chills" probably sell out quickly there. As do "unbrella hats".

Thank as always Phil. One quick question -- are you surprised the Cubs released Rea? Other than injuries, he seemed to be a decent prospect.

Thanks Az - Any thoughts on how Angel is progressing and if you think he can make a contribution to the parent club this year. Can't wait for the mid year prospect list!

Apparently Z is merely getting his shoulder examined today, no MRI until tomorrow.

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=2...

The injury bug continues it seems. Hart has a Grade 1 concussion after getting hit in the head by a line drive. Maybe Doc can weigh on this...

Submitted by springs on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 2:23pm.

Thank as always Phil.

One quick question -- are you surprised the Cubs released Rea? Other than injuries, he seemed to be a decent prospect

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

SPRINGS: Yes, I was surprised. He's a good hitter (albeit with zero power) and a very polished player (baserunning, bunting, findamentrals, etc).

He is a below-average defensive second-baseman, though. And the quad injury just lingered and lingered.

Plus, he's 23 years old (he'll turn 24 next month), so his age was working against him, too. 

Submitted by Cubs Win on Thu, 06/19/2008 - 2:23pm.

Thanks Az - Any thoughts on how Angel is progressing and if you think he can make a contribution to the parent club this year. 

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

CUBS WIN: Barring any medical setbacks, I would think Angel Guzman should be up with the Cubs no later than September 1st.

He might not be able to pitch two days in a row right away, but he certainly could help the Cubs working out of the bullpen during the stretch drive.

Are you suprised that Hendry signed off on the release of a Second Baseman? Is it possible he was released because he wasn't going to stick at 2nd?

Thanks for the update Arizona Phil.....its got to be brutal watching the action in 100 plus degree heat.I bet that the players were glad that the intra-squad game was abbreviated ! It is shocking that Jeffrey Rea was released and I wish him well.

AARON B: From what I have been told, Oneri Fleita has absolute 100% control over the Cubs player development department.

Jim Hendry does not need to give approval when Fleita decides to release a player, and that includes former high draft picks (see Brian Dopirak this past March).

Hendry is a BIG-TIME delegator who doesn't like to deal with details. A micro-manager he is not.

Just joking about the love of all things 2nd basemen that Hendry always seems to have. Your the man Phil.

Burnett was lit up by the Brewers today, 5 IP, 8 ER, 8 H, 4 BB. His inconsistency is Marquis-like, even if his pure stuff is supposedly better. No thank you.

I say give the farm away for Sabathia, and if we can't get him, then try to get Harden without giving away Gallagher.

AZ Phil -

Who do you feel is a better prospect - Veal or Russell. Does Veal still project as a Lefty bullpen arm and Russell a backend rotational starter in your eyes? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

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