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?

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Hagsag 12 hours 18 min ago (view)

    Chase Strumpf and Andy Weber invited to the ML camp.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 17 hours 42 min ago (view)

    Ryan Tepera returns. Major League deal


  • crunch 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    spring training TV is usually fluid...adding and subtracting broadcast games...

    first cubs TV (as of now) is March 3 (wednesday) on ESPN at 3pm EST.

    radio broadcasts available for almost every game that's not televised.  the cubs get going on monday and some other teams will start the day before.


  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    dj snelton's left elbow is screwed up...6 weeks rest then re-evaluate.

    looks like he's going to try to avoid having surgery.


  • Arizona Phil 3 days 4 hours ago (view)

    AAA leagues really need to play through the month of September, because with September rosters being limited to 28 instead of 40, players will need to be moved back & forth between MLB and AAA throughout the month of September instead of just through the month of August. 


  • Mike Wellman 4 days 11 hours ago (view)

    I get you, SW. Here in Des Moines, Cardinal fans flocked to I-Cub games when Memphis Redbirds were in town. That won't happen in '21 and even if it does in '22 & beyond it won't be as frequent as when they were in the same division. Not that I'll miss seeing Cardinal gear @ our ballpark...


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 4 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Ervin claimed by Braves. So we lose a potential future (and also current) asset in exchange for one year of a very mediocre Jake Marisnick.

    This team has no direction at the moment.


  • Sonicwind75 4 days 13 hours ago (view)

    As a midwest kid now living in Texas, new scheduling is a bummer.  Only get a chance to drive and see Cubs once every 3 years with interleague.  Really looked forward to those games in Round Rock and the one season in San Antonio.  I understand it makes more sense in the big picture, just selfishly disappointed.


  • Cubster 5 days 14 hours ago (view)

    Barry Foote bobble day! Cool!


  • Mornington Crescent 5 days 16 hours ago (view)

    They also gave away Larry Craig bobblefoot dolls as a promotion.


  • crunch 6 days 8 hours ago (view)

    alcantara passes through waivers and is assigned to AAA.

    marisnick contract final, phllip ervin (OF) DFA'd


  • Hagsag 6 days 10 hours ago (view)

    Yes they did.


  • crunch 6 days 11 hours ago (view)

    welcome to the "big time" st paul saints...they built a nice park, the fans showed up, and they go from indies to AAA (with a bit of $ help from the twins for part ownership).

    billy murray is a part owner of the group that owns the saints, btw.


  • Mike Wellman 6 days 12 hours ago (view)

    Hagsag, the River Bandits made the cut tho, right?


  • Craig A. 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Could have an option year remaining.  Bleacher Nation walked it back, per the link above.


  • Hagsag 6 days 13 hours ago (view)

    Living in the Quad Cities area, I look forward to hopefully coming to Des Moines to see the I Cubs a few times this summer.