EXST Cubs Fall to Angels at Fitch Park

The EXST Angels scored three runs in the top of the 6th to break a 1-1 tie, and went on to defeat the EXST Cubs 4-2 at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.

RHP Robert Hernandez got the start for the Cubs and worked four innings, allowing only one unearned run on one hit, while walking one and striking out three. Hernandez completed his 50 game suspension this past Sunday, and so he can be assigned back to Peoria at any time.

Ex-OF (now LHP) Luke Sommer (2007 30th round pick out of the University of San Francisco) got into his first professional game action as a pitcher today, working one shutout inning (one K). As I've mentioned before, Sommer was a P-OF in high school, so for him it's just a matter of getting acclimated back to pitching. He has a nice curve & sinker combo, and he also has very good command of his pitches.

LHP Michael Bunton (2007 26th round pick out of the College of Charleston) got into his first game action of 2008 after being sidelined for the last couple of months with a sore shoulder (no surgery, just rest). The left-hander worked one shutout inning, issuing a lead-off walk, followed by a 4-6-3 GIDP and a strikeout. He looked OK, considering his long lay-off. 
   
On offense, the Cubs missed two golden scoring opportunities, one in the 2nd inning when Kyler Burke was picked off 3rd base with one out, and another in the bottom of the 5th when Drew Rundle struck out with a runner on 3rd and one out (Rundle also struck out with a runner on 3rd and no outs in the 8th, but the runner eventually scored on an error).  And Nelson Perez was called out on strikes three times.

Prior to the game, RHPs Chris Huseby and Jake Muyco pitched a two-inning simulated game on Field #2. Muyco looked fine, but Huseby continues to struggle with his control, throwing only six of his 30 pitches for strikes (and some of the balls missed the strike zone by three feet). New catcher (ex-infielder) Robinson Chirinos got quite a work-out! Huseby is scheduled to pitch in an EXST game on Saturday after a bullpen side session on Thursday.

In EXST news, 2B-SS Starlin Castro has returned to action after missing several days with a finger injury, 2B Jeffrey Rea (quad) is taking BP but can't run or play defense, and 3B Josh Vitters (tendinitis in his hand) is only able to take infield practice right now (no BP). 

Also, Angel Guzman, Mark Pawelek, John Muller, and Rogelio Carmona threw a four-inning simulated game yesterday (Memorial Day) on Fitch Park Field #2, as the Phoenix area was still drying out from the weekend rain that caused Cubs EXST games to be canceled on Friday and Saturday. Guzman threw one inning (20 pitches), and Pawelek went four innings (60 pitches).  

A "simulated game" is where a pitcher throws a fixed number of pitches (usually 15-20) in a given "inning," and the hitter remains at the plate until he either strikes out, walks, or puts the ball in play. Ideally, at least two hitters participate (preferably one left-handed hitter and one right-handed hitter), but there are almost always four to six hitters involved (and all of them hit for both "teams").  

There are no hits or runs, and no baserunners (unless the coaches want the pitcher to pitch with men on base). There is a catcher, but infielders and outfielders are not necessary, except a couple or three off-duty pitchers to shag fly balls and return the balls back to the infield. The inning is terminated as soon as the pitcher reaches his pre-planned pitch limit for that inning.

If a pitcher is to throw more than one inning (as Pawelek did yesterday), he returns to the bench while the other pitcher throws his inning, just as he would in a "real" game. And the pitcher does NOT throw from behind a portable screen, as he might do in a "live" BP session.

Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only):    

LINEUP:
1. Cesar Salazar, LF: 0-4 (K)
2a. Alvaro Sosa, DH #1: 0-3 (K)
2b. Jose Made, PH: 0-1
3. Robinson Chirinos, DH #2: 1-4
4. Nelson Perez, CF: 1-4 (3 K)
5. Carlos Perez, C: 2-4 (R) 
6. Kyler Burke, RF: 1-2 (2B, BB, K, PO)
7. Junior Lake, 3B: 1-2 (R, 3B, BB)
8. Drew Rundle, 1B: 0-2 (RBI-SF, 2 K)
9. George Matheus, SS: 0-3 (RBI)
10a. Starlin Castro, 2B: 0-2 (2 K)
10b. Dwayne Kemp, 2B: 0-1 (K)

PITCHERS:
1. Robert Hernandez - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 1 WP, 1 GIDP (6/3 GO/FO)
2. Luke Sommer - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (2/0 GO/FO)
3. Carlos Rojas - 1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP (0/2 GO/FO)
4. Michael Bunton - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP
5. Israel Camacaro - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (3/0 GO/FO)

ERROR (1): 
Robert Hernandez, E-1, overthrew 1st baseman on sac bunt attempt, allowing runner to score from 2nd base

WEATHER: Clear skies, temperature in the 80's, light breeze from the south.

ATTENDANCE: 20

Comments

Thanks for the report, AZ Phil. I don't remember having seen Ryan Harvey's name in any recent box scores. I believe he was demoted to Daytona, correct? What's he doing down there, working on his off-speed stuff on the side? Because that would probably be fantastic. Did I read on here that Kyler Burke may make the switch to the mound eventually? Harvey makes more sense right now, I guess, because he never has done much with the bat except occasionally hit the ball really, really far, but it seems like Burke might be going down that same path.

Thanks for the report, AZ Phil. I don't remember having seen Ryan Harvey's name in any recent box scores. I believe he was demoted to Daytona, correct? What's he doing down there, working on his off-speed stuff on the side? Because that would probably be fantastic. Did I read on here that Kyler Burke may make the switch to the mound eventually? Harvey makes more sense right now, I guess, because he never has done much with the bat except occasionally hit the ball really, really far, but it seems like Burke might be going down that same path.

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

CHARLIE: There hasn't been any talk or scuttlebutt about the Cubs converting Kyle Burke or Ryan Harvey to pitcher, but there seldom is any advance notice about this type of thing. One day the guy is a position player, the next day he's a pitcher. Even the other pitchers usually don't know about it right away!

I did wonder aloud last week when Burke was demoted from Peoria to Fitch Park about how long it would be before he was turned into a pitcher, because he was a highly-regarded LHP prospect (as well as a power-hiting OF) in HS, and he seems to be struggling as a hitter.

The one thing to keep in mind about turning Harvey and/or Burke (or any other position player) into a pitcher is that the Cubs NEVER move a position player to pitcher if the player doesn't agree with the move. I don't know for sure, but I strongly suspect that the Cubs have quietly approached Harvey and Burke about making the move to pitcher. And if that has indeed happened, both players must have (up to now, so far anyway) declined the suggestion.

But I do believe both Harvey and Burke really should seriously consider it.

It's very possible that the Cubs demoting Harvey from Tennessee to Daytona and Burke from Peoria to EXST could have been meant as a motivation to get one or both to seriously consider making the move to pitcher.

Thanks, Phil. Seems like the move from position player to pitcher can revitalize floundering careers, on occasion. I'm beginning to hope Harvey decides to try out the mound, because I've lost hope that he'll figure the game out as a hitter.

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • bradsbeard 2 hours 17 min ago (view)

    I hope all is well with AZ Phil. Hasn't posted in a few weeks and typically would expect him to have a post up tracking IFA signings. Maybe he's waiting for something official from the Cubs (who don't seem to have announced any of the signings officially)? 

     

  • Cubster 4 hours 57 min ago (view)

    Les Grobstein dies at age 69. Encyclopedic Chicago historian and longtime sports talk overnight radio host, plus a controversial listen. https://www.robertfeder.com/2022/01/17/les-grobstein-1952-2022/

     

  • Cubster 5 hours 11 min ago (view)

    Hernandez ranks 18th on MLB's International prospect list. Sanchez ranks at #43.
    Tribune article today on the Cub https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/cubs/ct-chicago-cubs-alexis-hernan...

     

  • CubsCentral08 2 days 44 min ago (view)

    List is up to 12 now

    Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama
    Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic
    Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela
    Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic
    Freylin Silverio, RHP, Dominican Republic
    Sandy Sanchez, SS, Dominican Republic
    Darlin de Leon, SS, Dominican Republic

     

  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    In addition to those signed today, it's worth noting that seven players were signed to future-service contracts during the last international free agent signing period, and are expected to make their system-debut this coming season (most likely in the Dominican Republic). Those players are:

    • RHP - Luis Angel Reyes
    • LHP - Kevin Valdez
    • RHP - Jensi Ramirez
    • RHP - Yafrerlyn Vasquez
    • RHP - Eligio Paredes
    • RHP - Jair Jimenez
    • OF - Edward Vargas

     

     

  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    The Cubs added four more International Free Agents so far today:

    • Josias Ramirez, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Moises Febrillet, SS, Dominican Republic
    • Albertina Belliard, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Yidel Diaz, C, Dominican Republic

     

     

  • Wrigley Rat 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Sneak peak into the International Free Agent Signings that officially start tomorrow (Saturday):

    Chicago Cubs ($5,179,700 total bonus pool) - 5 Signings (so far):

    • Adan Sanchez, C/3B, Panama ($1,500,000 bonus)
    • Alexis Hernandez, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,300,000 bonus)
    • Jefferson Rojas, SS, Dominican Republic ($1,000,000 bonus)
    • Josefrailyn Alcantata, OF, Dominican Republic
    • Carlos Altuve, C, Venezuela

     

     

  • crunch 2 days 12 hours ago (view)

    wsox snagging cuban oscar colas...23 year old high end power prospect that could slot into the majors quickly.

    they're building a hell of a batting core on the south side of town.

     

  • Cubster 5 days 9 hours ago (view)

    Jon Lester retires. Definitely one of the key people in their Theo era run. 

     

  • crunch 5 days 22 hours ago (view)

    meeting on thursday.  hopefully this stuff can get done before going too deep into february.

     

  • crunch 1 week 22 hours ago (view)

    yanks low-A naming rachel balkovec as manager.  first female manager in the minors.

    she was also the first female strength/conditioning coach and hitting coach in rookie leagues for the yanks.

     

  • crunch 1 week 3 days ago (view)

    "Evan Drellich of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball is preparing new economic proposals to present to the MLBPA, "likely this month.""

     

  • tim815 1 week 4 days ago (view)

    As best as I understand, there are the 4 full-season levels with only one affiliate per organization at each level, and the compound league. Toss in the DSL, and that's it. If a team wants and can accommodate a second (or third) Compound League team, that's a decision for "later than January".

     

  • Wrigley Rat 1 week 6 days ago (view)

    AZ Phil or others - Are major league teams allowed to announce new minor league affiliates for 2022 during this lockout? I ask because there was some discussion about possibly adding a short season league team for next year. Are clubs even allowed to have a 5th non-rookie league team? With all the players jammed up at the A level, it seems like it would be smart to add an additional team for them and this year's incoming draft picks. Of course, they could always just keep two Arizona teams going and it would probably be just fine. Just wondering - thanks and Happy New Year!

     

  • crunch 1 week 6 days ago (view)

    cameron maybin is retiring, which saves the cubs from once again obtaining or attempting to obtain cameron maybin.

    2022 looking good so far.

     

  • Cubster 2 weeks 2 days ago (view)

    Welcome to 2022. 
    First news of the year: The Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks have reached a deal with Tyler Chatwalk! Hope they have a bigger strike zone there.