Giants Hitters Teach Cubs Pitchers a Thing or 12

The Giants battered four Cubs pitchers to the tune of 12 runs on 17 hits, en route to a 12-6 victory in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this afternoon.

2009 4th round pick LHP Chris Rusin (U. of Kentucky) got the start, and had an easy ten-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning (two strikeouts and a ground out). The Giants then scored twice in the second on two singles and a double, although Rusin only had to throw 12 pitches (total) in that inning. Rusin had another easy 13-pitch 3rd, striking out two more around a single, while catcher Jae-Hoon Ha gunned down a potential base-stealer with a picture-perfect throw to shotstop Hak-Ju Lee's glove as the base-runner tagged himself out for the 3rd out of the inning. (BTW, Hak-Ju Lee was named the top prospect in the Northwest League by Baseeball America today).

Jae-Hoon Ha was a catcher in high school in South Korea, but the Cubs moved him to the outfield immediately after signing him to take advantage of his speed and athleticism. But he (Ha) looks OK behind the plate--certainly better than recent converts Jovan Rosa or (especially) Brandon May have looked so far, and it will be interesting to see if the Cubs used Ha more as a catcher now that Matt Cerda has apparently been moved to 2B full-time  

As for Chris Rusin, the 22-year old is a polished college lefty, with a full array of pitches in his arsenal and an ability to work fast and throw strikes. Rusin is the type of guy who should move quickly through the Cubs system  at least until his stuff gets challenged and tested at AA. So I would not be surprised one bit if Rusin jumps from Boise to Daytona on Opening Day 2010, with a possible mid-season promotion to AA if he proves that he has mastered Advanced-A by that time.

Peoria RHP Chris Archer (one of three young pitchers the Cubs acquired from Cleveland for Mark DeRosa last off-season) pitched the 4th & 5th innings, and while he didn't walk anybody, he did labor through both innings, throwing 29 pitches in each inning while allowing four runs on six hits. Not a good outing for Archer.  

Dominican RHP Julio Pena threw the next two innings and had an OK outing, but then Venezuelan RHP Eduardo Figueroa got clobbered in the 8th and 9th (allowing five runs on three singles, a double and a home run, a walk, and an HBP), as the Giants salted the game away  

AA Tennessee Smokies 2B Tony Thomas and CF Brandon Guyer got starts today, and Guyer had a nice game, reaching base three times, including a double and a triple, plus a sacrifice fly RBI. Thomas went hitless, but did score a run after reaching base on a FC. 

It's unusual for AA guys to get assigned to Instructs, but in the case of Guyer and Thomas, it's to work on parricular aspects of their game. In the case of Guyer, it's a Strength & Conditioning Program designed to help him develop more strength and power, and for Thomas, it's a crash course in base-stealing with Organizational Base-Running Instructor Bobby Derrnier. 

Guyer showed some signs of driving the ball today, as he slammed a double and a triple, while also making an outstanding over-the-shoulder catch while running full-bore toward dead-center. Guyer reminds me of Reed Johnson or Eric Byrnes (pre-torn hamstring), playing all-out on every play and leaving it all on the field. If he could add some XBH to his gear bag, he could be an MLB OF.   

Tony Thomas reached base only once today (on a FC), and he did attempt to steal 2nd once he did reach base, but Guyer fouled the pitch off. Then Thomas advanced to 2nd on a Wild Pitch before he could take another shot at stealing 2nd base.

20-year old LF Runey Davis had a nice day at the plate today, with a single, a double, and a triple, and a hard line-drive out to RF in his last AB. Davis was the Cubs 12th round pick out of NJCAA National Champion Howard JC (which beat fellow Cub Trey McNutt's Shelton State club to win the 2009 National JC title), but he struggled at the plate at both Mesa and Boise this Summer. Davis started his college career at the University of Texas before transferring to Howard JC, and would have transferred to Mississippi State if he hadn't signed with the Cubs     

And Bobby Wagner smacked a solo home run over the RF fence with one out in the bottom of the 5th. The 23-year old Wagner was the Cubs 38th round draft pick this past June. A native of British Columbia, Wagner played JC ball in at Panola JC in Texas in 2009. The 6'3 left-handed hitting 3B-LF has plus-power, but he strikes out a lot and is a poor defender no matter where he plays (he is a "natural" 3B, but LF is his best position if he can't DH). Because of his age, he could (like Rusin) jump past Peoria and move from Boise to Daytona in 2010.

Cubs Organizational Infield Instructor Franklin Font continues to work with 2009 #2 draft pick D. J. LeMahieu (LSU) on Field #5 (the "half field" located north of the clubhouse), as the Cubs try to teach LeMahieu the proper way to turn the DP, especially from the 2B position. He was apparently never forced to learn this at LSU, so now he has to learn the technique at the pro level. It's fairly obvious that the Cubs would prefer that LeMahieu play either SS or 2B (preferably 2B), since he has not (yet) displayed the power required of a third-baseman or a corner outfielder, and since be doesn't have any experience playing CF (the other position for which he might have some aptitude).  

And speaking of CF, #1 draft pick Brett Jackson (Cal) is progressing with his rehab (sore wrist) and should return to the lineup sometime next week, joining 2009 11th round pick LHP John Mincone (missed three months after June shoulder surgery) and 2008 4th round pick 2B Matt Cerda (missed three months with a broken hand) as recent additions on the Instructs Active Roster. (While Hak-Ju Lee was named the Northwest League's #1 best prosprect by Baseball America today, BA named Jackson the 3rd best prospect in the NWL). 

RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (2008 TJS) is still not throwing in Instructs games, although he is participating in daily PFP drills. Rhee made a few rehab appearances at Mesa and Boise at the end of the season, but struggled with his control and got hammered when he did throw strikes (9.35 ERA and 2.08 WHIP). Hopefully Rhee will be back close to 100% in 2010.

Fellow Korean RHP Su-Min Jung returned to South Korea in August to attend college so he is not at Instructs, but he is expected back at Fitch Park next Spring.     

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

1. Hak-Ju Lee, SS: 2-4 (1B, 3-U, L-4, 1B)
2. Tony Thomas, 2B: 0-4 (K, F-8, 6-3, 4-6 FC), R
3. Brandon Guyer, CF: 2-3 (K-WP, 3B, 2B, F-9 SF), R, RBI
4. Jovan Rosa, 1B: 2-3 (6-4-3 DP, HBP, 1B, 1B), R, 2 RBI
5. Justin Bour, DH #1: 1-4 (4-3, 4-6-3 DP, L-6, 2B), RBI
6a. Jae-Hoon Ha, C: 0-1 (P-1)
6b. Sergio Burruel, C: 0-3 (P-6, 3-1, K)
7. Bobby Wagner, 3B: 1-4 (P-5, HR, K, K), R, RBI
8. Runey Davis, LF: 3-4 (2B, 1B, 3B, L-9), R  
9. Dong-Yub Kim, DH #2: 0-4 (6-3, 6-3, 6-3, K)
10. Blair Springfield, RF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B), R

1. Chris Rusin - 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 35 pitches (27 strikes)
2. Chris Archer - 2.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO, 58 pitches (43 strikes)
3. Julio Pena - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K, 2/1 GO/FO, 44 pitches (31 strikes)
4. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R (5 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR, 1 GIDP, 38 pitches (26 strikes)

ERRORS (2) -
1. Chris Rusin (E-1) - overthrow at 1B on pick-off atemnpt with no outs in top of the 2nd, allowing runner to advance from 1st to 3rd.
2. Bobby Wagner (E-5) - bobbled chopper hit to 3B, allowing batter to reach base with two outs and runners at 1st & 2nd in the top of the 6th.

Jae-Hoon Ha - 1-2 CS, 1 PB  
Sergio Burruel - 0-1 CS

Blair Springfield - threw out batter-runner 9-3-4 trying to advance to 2nd base after throw to plate was cut-off by first-baseman on RBI single to RF

WEATHER: breezy & sunny, mid-90's (cold front moved through town)

ATTENDANCE: 17 (mostly scouts)  


wow. wayne mesmer makes len not-so-nerdy in comparison. amazing.

Yeah, he took "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" wayy too seriously.

Hey E-Man, "How Cold Was It"? ''If teams are going to look at me to close, they know I can close,'' he said. ''To have the ups and downs this year after my surgery was to be expected, really. And looking forward to coming into a completely healthy year ready to go for next year, I'm excited about that. ''It'll be nice to go through a year where I don't have to basically go through rehab on my knee as I go, and being back to where I was last year until I hurt my knee.''

On WSCR Ryno meeting with Cubs after season regarding next year.(not unusual) But I believe he will be named bench coach for the Cubs. Two reasons for this, to learn how a MLB team works and to replace Lou by May if team is underachieving again. Here's a cool catch by a Twins fan showing Joe Mauer tipping pitches to his batter when on second base.

That's a great video. Laird knew it was happening, he needed to get his ass out to the mound.

I heard the lengthy interview on my way downtown with Ryno. As jacos states - He would like to hear something from management as to where he fits in their plans. Much arguing among the co-hosts whether: 1. he is ready to manage at the big league level now 2. could/would he be named bench coach under Lou's tutelege 3. yes he's had success at AA, but... 4. what if he gets an non-Cub mlb job offer this off season? - does the team miss out 5. is Lou someone you WANT to learn under? (a caller made this point - noting this year's asleep-at-the-wheel style) 6. Sandberg discussed some of his work-ethics and bringing this to all of his players. Running the bases hard, "little things", NL managing style of double-switches, etc. But - no one asked how he could handle multi-millionaires. It was then agreed that "No manager could handle Carlos Zambrano. He's a "crazy man"."

My only worry would be if Ryno was too soft.

why is it a big deal at all? will people learn the sky is blue tommorow?

the sky is blue tommorow? --- Red sky in morning, sailor's warning and then there's the David Gilmour song:

Anybody know why Colvin has been shut down for the rest of the season? If there hasn't been anything in the papers or blogs, I'm going to guess that he complained about his throwing elbow. Just a guess, I'm not trying to start a rumor. A couple of those throws from the warning track in Milwaukee looked a little strenuous.

Apparently the 2016 Olympics will be the last ever as we witness the demise of humankind according to Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara. On that note, I hope it goes to Chicago! :D

Dude - have you ridden the El lately? I cannot imagine another 500,000 riding on it during the summer.

I don't live in Chicago. lol

" What is it about Cubs right-fielders wearing No. 21 and their fondness for forcing teammates to listen to their music?" Paul Sullivan says Milton Bradley considered himself the clubhouse DJ.

1. What is it about people caring what's on the clubhouse stereo? Unless he was playing the Big Boys or something, that'd be cool. 2. "And since when is it my job to root for 'our very own players?'" Well, gee, Paul, you certainly take it upon yourself to root against some players, so your correspondent can be forgiven for assuming your partisanship (but not for his original dopey point). 3. "The Cubs have spent a lot of money the last few years, and most of it was wasted money." Incorrect.

Still making excuses for Milton Bradley. Whatev'

the most important line in that column..

The Cubs are not looking to replace Ryan Theriot at shortstop next year,

throw-in that Blanco started at 2b yesterday with Theriot at short and I think it's safe to assume a 2bmen, not SS will be on the offseason radar.

I thought Thursday's were getaway days, why the night game?

The Reds are getting their asses handed to them today. Carpenter hit a Grand Slam. You would think they would rest him. I guess The Genius is not above pettiness. Afterall, they "Play the Game the Right Way." F those guys. Onward 2010.

Huh? Why would they rest him? They can still get home field advantage.

I think the dumbest thing for baseball teams to do is to rest their players, start handing out days off, skip people in the rotation, and generally mess with what you have done all season.

That's the dumbest thing for a baseball team to do? You've obviously never seen a baseball team a. sign Enrique Wilson, and b. put him in the lineup v. the Yankees because "he's had experience hitting in Yankee Stadium". I kid, I kid.

b. put him in the lineup v. the Yankees --- I went to all 3 games in that series. It was maximally dumb. Dusty being Dusty, etc. Going for the high OBP guys at the top of the order. 6-17-05 lineup: Neifi, CPat, DLee, Burnitz, ARam, Walker(DH), Hollandsworth, Blanco and Wilson Z was very shaky but they came from behind from 4-0 to go ahead 6-4 before Ohman iced that cake, he got the loss AND a blown save (just to make E-Man's day)

taguchi is still on our roster? i forgot about him and then some. batting 2nd, playing for bobby scales in LF.

according to Muskat...

Samardzija wishes Muskat was right...

ninja throws decent stuff...too bad a lot of it is right over the plate. looks pretty, though. =p

I wish they'd just let the guy be what he is..... He was effective out of the Pen last year. Let him stay in the pen where he only needs 1 or 2 pitches. Square peg/round hole.