EXST Cubs Pitchers Throw Two-hitter at Fitch

Five Cubs pitchers combined to throw a two-hitter and Gian Guzman drove in three runs, as the EXST Cubs defeated the EXST Giants 5-1 at Fitch Park Field #3 this morning in Mesa.  

Tennessee RHP Grant Johnson, at EXST rehabbing from a sprained elbow ligament that was diagnosed midway through Minor League Camp last month, finally got into some game action and worked a 1-2-3 1st inning, striking out the side.

Fellow Smokie RHP Jim Henderson, who is also on the Tennessee DL, worked the next two innings, and allowed a solo HR and a two-out walk in the 3rd. Both pitchers appear to be on the fast track to get out of Fitch and back to AA ASAP.  

LHP,Arik Hempy, RHP Rogelio Carmona, and LHP Jeffry Antigua followed the two Smokies, each throwing two shutout innings. The 17-year old Antigua was especially impressive, as the southpaw struck out the side on ten pitches in the top of the 9th.

On offense, Gian Guzman drove in single runs in the 4th, 6th, and 8th with three RBI singles, and Kevin Soto reached base twice, stealing a base each time, and scoring each time. 
On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman, who underwent Tommy John elbow ligament transplant surgery last September, says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.” While he is still limited to side (bullpen) sessions only at this point, a third party who has seen him throw says his velocity is outstanding. While Gooz might not be ready for game action just yet, it’s nice to know that the Cubs might possibly have another power arm available in the bullpen for the stretch run.  

And the Venezuelan contingent at EXST welcomed some new blood today, as SS George Matheus, RHP Israel Camacaro, and OF Cesar Salazar reported to Fitch Park. The trio had been working out at the Cubs Venezuelan Baseball Academy in Puerto Cabello prior to leaving for the U. S., so they should be ready for game action in fairly short order. 

The 19-year old Matheus played for the VSL Cubs/Twins co-op club in 2007 after signing in May, while Salazar and Camacaro signed with the Cubs a couple of months ago. 

Here is the abridged box score from today’s game (Cubs players only):

1. Kevin Soto, LF: 1-2 (Ks, HBP + SB + R, 1-4 SH, 1B + SB + R)
2. Gian Guzman, 3B: 3-4 (5-3, 1B-RBI, 1B-RBI + CS, 1B-RBI + SB)
3. Nelson Perez, RF: 0-4 (4-3, Ks, F-8, Ks)
4. Carlos Perez, C: 0-3 (5-3, 6-3, Kc, F-9 SF-RBI)
5. Andres Quezada, CF 2-4 (5-3, 2B + R, 1B, 4-3) 
6. Luis Bautista, 1B: 2-3 (5-3, 1B, 1B) 
7. Dwayne Kemp, DH #1: 0-1 (5-3, F-9 SF-RBI, BB) 
8. Roberto Sabates, DH #2: 1-3 (1B, 5-4 FC, 5-2 FC) 
9. Junior Lake, SS: 0-3 (5-4 FC, Ks, P-4)
10a. Starlin Castro, 2B: 0-1 (3-U)    
10b. Jose Made, 2B: 2-2 (1B + R, 1B + R) 

1. Grant Johnson – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (16 pitches – 11 strikes)
2. Jim Henderson – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR (4/1 GB/FB)
3. Arik Hempy – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K (5/0 GB/FB)
4. Rogelio Carmona  - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
5. Jeffry Antigua – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP

DEFENSE: No errors! (not a misprint)

BASERUNNING ADVENTURES: Gian Guzman was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double with no outs in the bottom of the 4th, and then was thrown out trying to steal 2nd base with two outs in the bottom of the 6th.

WEATHER: Warm & sunny


Great news about Guzman. Thanks Phil.

AZ Phil, can you think of another MLB player that experienced the kind of continuous arm problems Guzman has, yet come back to have a good ML Career? Was it really 5 years ago now that Guz was our #1 prospect, absolutely dominating AA, and literally days from being called to Chicago and inserted into a playoff-bound rotation? (to replace Estes, I presume?)

PS, I suppose one answer could be "Will Ohman", who looks like a real ML pitcher down in Atlanta. Bum.

Phil, have you heard anything about the young 18 yr old SS from Korea?

2003: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.” 2004: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.” 2005: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.” 2006: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.” 2007: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.” 2008: On the injury rehab front, RHP Angel Guzman...says his rehab is “ahead of schedule” and he is throwing “pain-free.”

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  • crunch 26 min 54 sec ago (view)

    d.ross meets the media at winter meetings...video/audio



  • jdrnym 4 hours 44 min ago (view)

    Hey AZPhil, when a player is released with money/years still remaining on his contract, does his next team *have* to give him the prorated major league minimum or can they offer more (meaning the original club owes less) to "outbid" other teams that may have had interest? I'm assuming that's what happened with Brad Brach, where the Mets signed him for 2020 at $850,000.


  • crunch 5 hours 27 min ago (view)

    jeremy jeffress agrees.


  • Rob Richardson 9 hours 9 min ago (view)

    It's high time if you ask me.


  • crunch 9 hours 25 min ago (view)

    as awesome as bryant is, it would probably be good for the cubs to find him a new home before his play at 3rd turns him into a corner OF'r...which seems inevitable sooner than later.

    i'm still impressed how much his D improved since he was drafted, but he's already losing a step at the position early in his career.


  • crunch 9 hours 31 min ago (view)

    minor league ballplayers will no longer have to worry about getting suspended for testing positive for weed...it's off the prohibited substances list.

    about time.


  • Arizona Phil 19 hours 43 min ago (view)

    3B Alec Bohm and RHSP Spencer Howard would likely be the Cubs asking price and the Phils probably say no, but if they don't say no, that could be a deal. 


  • crunch 23 hours 6 min ago (view)

    Bruce Levine @MLBBruceLevine
    Cubs have had talks with Phils on Bryant. Nothing there at the moment. Service time grievance still an issue.


  • bradsbeard 23 hours 41 min ago (view)

    Humerous 30 minutes this morning when both Mark Gonzalez and Gordon Wittenmyer tweeted out that the Cubs would be receiving Conor Lillis-White as the PTBNL in the Tommy La Stella trade as if it were just now happening. 


  • crunch 1 day 22 hours ago (view)

    marvin miller and ted simmons are part of the next HOF class.

    long time coming for miller.


  • crunch 2 days 3 hours ago (view)

    things that are important to good on-field play like buying up all the property around wrigley field, from rooftops to acerage, isn't going to monetize itself.

    i know some people would love to have a top tier pitcher, but i'm looking forward to more control of rooftop advertising and an open air beer garden near the team owned hotel and resturant complexes.

    i know some people want a solid leadoff man, but i'm looking forward to seeing 10-20 concerts on off-days destroying the playing field so that extra revenue can help a polician in Nebraska or Iowa get some ad buys.


  • Hagsag 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    Their friend Donald will come through for them.


  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    remember when the billionaire owners got a huge double digit tax cut?

    maybe the city should do them a favor and give them more tax savings help to let them buy and build another 2-3 revenue projects outside of the park.  that might help these struggling heroes find some extra loot.

    i know this rant isn't fair, but my "dan winkler got a MLB contract fever" is dying down a bit.


  • crunch 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    f'real.  i don't even know why they're going to bother playing games.  i'm over here printing Cubs 2020 World Series Champs banners while others are sleeping on reality.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    Just saw a fun report that the Cubs are telling even budget type free agents they can't currently negotiate until they clear some payroll. So that's a fun start to the winter meetings.


  • Dolorous Jon Lester 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    I'm with you 100% on that. Minor league retreads are fine and all but we don't need to be paying premiums for middle relief.