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

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  • jdrnym 1 min ago (view)

    Brad Brach signs with the Mets for $850K but the Cubs are paying $500K, per Ken Rosenthal.


  • crunch 28 min 14 sec ago (view)

    Yeah, I've made myself familiar with a lot of the changes, but AZP's posts have both added more information and cleared up stuff I didn't fully grasp.  I appreciate the hell out of it.  Thanks Phil, thanks TCR.


  • bradsbeard 2 hours 10 min ago (view)

    Looks like Savant has his breaking pitch classified as a curve while Fangraphs calls it a slider. Suppose by ST he could have made everything over in the pitching lab, so who knows!


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 27 min ago (view)

    Again, none of these rules (including the one that requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or else record the final out of the inning) have been officially approved.  

    I think one possible caveat that might be added to the three-batter minimum rule would be that the pitcher can be replaced prior to facing three batters or recording the final out of the inning if the other team puts up a pinch-hitter. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 31 min ago (view)

    Ptchers would also be treated differently under the new rules as far as the Injured list and Optional Assignment to the minors is concerned, with pitchers having to spend at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on the Injured List before being eligible to be reinstated and at least 15 days (up from 10 days) on Optional Assignment before being eligible to be recalled (inless the pitcher is being recalled to replace a pitcher on the 26-man roster who has been placed on an MLB inactive list).  


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 31 min ago (view)

    SONICWIND: As the rule is proposed, prior to the start of each MLB regular season a club must designate all players on its Opening Day 26-man roster as either a "pitcher" or a "position player." A maximum of 13 can be designated as pitchers (14 pitchers max when rosters expand from 26 to 28 beginning on 9/1). 

    For players who come up during the season, the club must designate the player as either a pitcher or a position player when the player is placed on the MLB active list roster. 


  • Arizona Phil 2 hours 44 min ago (view)

    BRADSBEARD: Fangraphs shows the CT as his primary pitch in 2018 with the SL & FB (and an occasional CH) as his secondary pitches, with no CV at all. I guess I'll find out for sure in Spring Training. 


  • Sonicwind75 4 hours 23 sec ago (view)

    AZ Phil, thank you as always for the detailed information.  How is the "cannot be a pitcher" part of the rule to be enforced?  With a few two way players and the increasing amount of mop up innings being handled by position players it seems like there could be a gray area there.  What is preventing a team from stashing an athletic relief pitcher as a "5th outfielder" that could be a pinch runner and play a passable OF when needed but could also provide them with extra relief pitcher.  Anytime I hear of a new rule I always think of how Bill Billichek would circumvent it t


  • bradsbeard 4 hours 56 sec ago (view)

    AZ Phil, looking around Baseball Savant, it looks like Winkler now primarily throws a low 90s cutter, a 4-seamer that he throws a little harder (but is less effective), a curve and a sinker. The slider and change haven't been a major part of his repertoir the last two years. The cutter has been really effective the last two years but it looks like he lost command/effectiveness of his 4-seemer and curve last year For whatever reason  


  • bradsbeard 7 hours 20 min ago (view)

    They just signed this guy:



  • Hagsag 8 hours 37 min ago (view)

    There seems to be a lot of player movement so far. Too bad the Cubs aren't involved.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 35 min ago (view)

    Beginning in 2019, a club must wait a minimum of seven days before it can place a player who was claimed off Outtright Assignment Waivers during the off-season back onto waivers, so because he was claimed off waivers on Wednesday 11/27, yesterday (Wednesday 12/4) was the first day the Cubs could place LHRP C. D. Pelham back onto Outright Assignment Waivers, and so tomorrow (Friday 12/6) is the first day the Cubs can send Pelham outright to the minors (if he was placed back onto waivers yesterday).


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    A Competitive Balance draft slot can be traded only during a period of time starting on December 2nd and extending up until two hours prior to the MLB First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft), so don't be surpised if these draft picks are traded during the off-season.

    Keep in mind that the slot cannot be traded for cash unless it is a financial adjustment made to offset the salary of one or more of the players involved in the trade.


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The active list roster limit changes scheduled to go in effect in 2020 have not yet been officially approved. Same goes for the three-batter minimum (or else record the third out in the inning) for relief pitchers. 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    And then the active list roster limit will expand from 26 to 28 on September 1st (max 14 pitchers in September). 


  • Arizona Phil 1 day 21 hours ago (view)

    The "26th man" who was added for doubleheaders will now be the "27th man" and he can be a pitcher.