Ryan Williams and Erling Moreno Throw in Game at Riverview

Carlos Pacheco singled twice, drove-in a run, and scored another, Delvin Zinn doubled, walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run, and Reivaj Garcia contributed two RBI (a run-scoring double and an RBI GO), leading the Cubs to a 7-5 victory over the Angels Saturday morning on Field #5 on John Arguello Way at the Riverview Baseball Complex in Mesa, AZ. 

Johan Sala singled, walked, and belted a solo HR and Kevin Maitan singled twice and drove-in a run for the Angels in a losing cause. 

RHP Ryan Williams (2017 shoulder surgery) got the start for the Cubs and threw 3.2 IP (46 pitches), retiring the first six men he faced (6-3, 3-U, 4-3, P-6, 4-3, K-swinging) on only 20 pitches before allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits (both singles) and a walk in a 19-pitch third inning of work. The Williams FB sat at 81-83, but he featured a plus-CV and plus-CH that kept Angels hitters off-balance. 

RHP David Garner (on Restricted List and at Extended Spring Training while serving a 50-game Drug of Abuse suspension) relieved Williams and easily retired four of the five men he faced (he walked the first hitter and then retired four in a row - K-swinging, 6-3, 5-3, 4-3). Garner will be getting out of the "penalty box" next week, and he looks like he is ready to roll. 

RHP Erling Moreno worked two innings (32 pitches) in relief, and while his line wasn't great (he allowed two runs on three hits, including a HR), he was pumping his FB consistently at 96-98 MPH and mixing it with a hard slider. E. Moreno has been at EXST for the past couple of months throwing bullpen sessions and working on his mechanics, and from what he showed today, he could maybe fit a reliever profile (perhaps a two-inning reliever in the Archie Bradley/Josh Hader/Amir Garrett mold?).      

LHP Jonathan Bruzual (up from the Cubs Dominican Academy) made his U. S. game debut, throwing a shutout inning. Bruzual's FB sits at 84-86, but he has a solid CV and is working on a CH. He reported to EXST with the other DSL pitchers about two months ago, but he had been throwing only bullpen sessions up until today. 

Here is the unabridged box score (Cubs players only): 

1a. Fernando Kelli, CF: 0-1 (BB, L-7, 5-3 SH, R, SB)
1b. Luis Hidalgo, 1B: 0-1 (6-3 DP)
2. Reivaj Garcia, 2B: 1-3 (2B, 1-3, 3-U, R, 2 RBI)
3. Alexander Guerra, DH #1: 0-3 (F-9, F-9, K, BB)
4. Carlos Pacheco, DH #2: 2-3 (1B, F-9, 1B, R, RBI)
5a. Luis Ubiera, DH #3: 0-1 (BB, F-9)
5b. Eric Gonzalez, PH-C: 1-2 (1B, K, R)
6a. Henrry Pedra, DH #4: 0-2 (F-9, F-9)
6b. Jose Alonso Gaitan, PH-RF: 1-2 (1B, F-9 DP, RBI)
7. Yovanny Cuevas, RF-CF: 1-2 (BB, 1B, 3-U DP)
8. Fidel Mejia, 1B-3B: 0-3 (F-8, 4-3 DP, F-9)
9. Luis Vazquez, SS: 2-3 (BB, 2B, K, R, SB)
10. Delvin Zinn, 3B-DH: 1-1 (BB, 2B, BB, R, SB)
11a. Kevin Zamudio, C: 0-0 (BB)
11b. Raymond Pena, C-DH: 2-2 (1B, 1B, R)
12. Kevin Moreno, LF: 1-2 (K, 1B, BB, RBI)
1. Ryan Williams: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 4/4 GO/AO, 46 pitches (29 strikes) 
2. David Garner: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 3/0 GO/AO, 15 pitches (9 strikes) 
3. Erling Moreno: 2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 4/1 GO/AO, 32 pitches (20 strikes)
4. Jonathan Bruzual: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/0 GO/AO, 14 pitches (10 strikes)
5. Fauris Guerrero: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1/0 GO/AO, 21 pitches (9 strikes) 

2B Reivaj Garcia: E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base safely)

1. Raymond Pena: 0-1 CS 
2. Eric Gonzalez: 2-2 CS 

CF Fernando Kelly - runner thrown out 8-2 attempting to score after F-8 


WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with temperatures in the 90's 


"Just because it isn't official doesn't mean it didn't happen" 


"The Williams FB sat at 81-83"

yow.  dude's fastball has never been his big thing, but working 87-90 is a different world from 81-83....especially for a guy already on a 50-ish pitch count.  hopefully it's legit rust and he can hit those high-80s again.

I hope Garner can keep his nose clean and help things at Iowa.

PHIL: Thanks for the update. Taggng on to CRUNCH, was this Williams’ first EXST outing in a game since sugery?

E-MAN: Ryan Williams had thrown a couple of "sim" games over the previous ten days to get his pitch-count up.

Cubs Rehab Pitching Coordinator Ron Villone ran the game pitchers yesterday, which is why Williams got the start. Villone is a key member of the Cubs EXST coaching staff, because it's his job to run the Rehab Throwing Program (for pitchers rehabbing from injuries and/or getting into pitching shape) as well as working with pitchers (like E. Moreno and Albertos) who are at EXST to resolve mechanical issues.

I know Williams' FB velo is kind of alarming, but it's not much different from Jared Weaver's FB his last couple of seasons in MLB. It's not Cy Young-type stuff, but a pitcher with plus-FB command and effective off-speed stuff (CV and CH) that keep hitters off-balance can be very frustrating to hitters who aren't used to seeing it. It's almost like hitting against a knuckle-ball pitcher.

Another thing about Williams is that he reportedly takes his game-preparation and opposition-analysis very seriously (not so much at EXST, but when he was at Iowa). Former Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio was very impressed with Williams' approach to pitching in 2016-17 (the two seasons Williams had an NRI to Spring Training), not so much because of his stuff, but because of his command, intelligence, and make-up.

Williams is also is like a Big Brother mentor to the other pitchers at EXST. He is a great role model for pitchers in the Rehab Throwing Program because he is 100% commited to the program and what it requires. And since he was Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2015 and was seemingly headed for The Show, he has a great deal of street cred with the younger pitchers. When Williams talks, pitchers listen. 

I wouldn't be surprised if Williams becomes a pitching coach at some point down the line.

Is Danny Hultzen still working with the rehab group?

good stuff. thanks.

BRADSBEARD: Danny Hultzen has been throwing "live" BP so he is progressing, but obviously not as fast as Ryan Williams (both are rehabbing from shoulder surgery). And I don't have any velo readings for Hultzen or anything to report about his stuff. I don't think they're even using the gun when he pitches. I suspect he's just happy to be back on the mound facing hitters again.  

Apparently, when linked with the slot amounts, the 74th pick is worth about $7.25 million dollars.


Tyler Chatwood and Jon Jay are the best 74s historically.



AZ Phil:  Just wondering your thoughts on if Cubs need someone to start for Darvish on Saturday:  Montgomery again, or if a AAA call up -- Underwood or Alzolay?

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  • crunch 1 hour 9 min ago (view)

    ...and strop gives up a hit then walks the bases loaded.

    ...and he closes it out with a K.  neat.

    this is the 1st cubs road series win since May 17-19 @WAS.


  • crunch 1 hour 16 min ago (view)

    strop comes in to get the last out, but it has to be some kinda slow-walk back in a game that wasn't a save situation.

    homer, hbp, k, k...looks healthy.


  • crunch 1 hour 24 min ago (view)

    welcome back kimbrel.

    1st pitch goes about 10 miles outside the park by marte.


  • crunch 1 hour 55 min ago (view)

    one takeaway from this game...a slew of cubs players were fans of Hey Arnold! when they were kids.


  • crunch 2 hours 51 min ago (view)

    woo, a good cubs away game.


  • crunch 5 hours 1 min ago (view)

    heyward / cast / bryant / rizzo / baez / schwarb / caratini / kemp(2nd) / Q


  • crunch 6 hours 23 min ago (view)

    so stoked for the williamsport game.

    the increasing amount of off-site games is a bit concerning (middle of nowhere Field of Dreams field, really?), but I love this one.  it's played out great so far and giving the kids playing in the LL series some primo seats (hope this continues) is a great touch.


  • Arizona Phil 7 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Craig Kimbrel reinstated from IL, Duane Underwood Jr optioned to Iowa, Mark Zagunis recalled as the "26th man" for tonight's game (special travel required to get to Williamsport so MLB Comissioner permits 26th man for both clubs). 


  • crunch 1 day 1 hour ago (view)

    at least...


  • Charlie 1 day 2 hours ago (view)

    Lester pitched 35 innings today.


  • crunch 1 day 5 hours ago (view)

    2019...cubs fan...being thankful heyward and chatwood are around...wtf...


  • Eric S 1 day 6 hours ago (view)

    Like having a 5-1 lead going into the ninth?


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    With our vaunted late inning tandem of Tyler Chatwood and Rowan Wick!

    Who would have thought?


  • Jackstraw 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    Cubs 1-10 with RISP in the series.  Left lots of ducks on the pond.  Could take some of the pressure off the pen.


  • Jackstraw 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    You could hit your thumb with a hammer.  Or take a big bite of wayyyy too hot pizza.  Just sayin.


  • Eric S 1 day 7 hours ago (view)

    I’m a little surprised and confused that Bote wasn’t in the infield in the ninth? Wth - need that one out boot to complete my day