Cubs & Brewers Fit to Be Tied
Francisco Guzman singled three times, stole three bases, scored two runs, and drove-in another, but it wasn’t quite enough, as the EXST Cubs and EXST Brewers played to a 6-6 tie in Cactus League Extended Spring Training action at Maryvale Park Field #7 in Phoenix this morning.
The Cubs have added a lot of speed to the organization over the past three years, and 22-year old lefty swinging Francisco Guzman (55 SB in 130 career minor league games) is just one example. Batting in the lead-off slot today, he reached base on a bunt single to the shortstop on the first pitch of the game, stole second, and then scored on a two-out RBI double by Brandon May. Then with the scored tied 2-2, Guzman led-off the top of the 6th with a line single back through the box that almost emasculated the Brewers pitcher, stole 2nd, advanced to 3rd base on a fly out, and scored on a wild pitch. And then finally with runners at 2nd & 3rd and two outs in the top of the 7th, Guzman pushed a picture-perfect bunt up the 3rd base line to score Rafael Disla from 3rd with the Cubs fourth run of the game. Guzman also made a fine running catch in CF.
In addition to Guzman’s fine day, Brandon May smacked two doubles, and Jonathan Mota (who is at Extended Spring Training learning to catch) reached base three times on a single, a double, and a walk, scored a run, and drove one in. On the negative side, Mota was doubled-off 1st base on a line-drive to the 2nd baseman and picked-off second base by the catcher, and he committed a throwing error while trying to nab a Brewers baserunner who was trying to steal 2nd base, allowing the runner to advance to 3rd.
Matt Spencer (acquired from OAK in the Jake Fox deal) saw his first Extended Spring Training game action today, hitting 3rd in the order as a DH and getting four ABs. Spencer, who is rehabbing from a broken toe suffered in Minor League Camp last month, hit the ball hard three times (F-8, a line single to CF, and a line-drive out to the 2nd baseman), and also walked once. He ran just fine, too, showing no evidence of any lingering negative after-effects of the toe injury. So I would think that he will probably be reporting to AA Tennessee very soon.
RHP Tarlandus Mitchell got the start for the EXST Cubs today, and struggled with his control, although he walked only one and gave up only one run. But he had a three-ball count on several hitters. RHP (ex-SS) Gian Guzman was even wilder than Mitchell, walking the bases loaded in the 7th, with all three runners eventually scoring.
LHP Austin Kirk (the Cubs 2009 3rd round pick out of Owasso HS in Oklahoma) threw two innings and allowed a run on two hits (a double followed by an RBI single), but he also struck out four (including the first three men he faced) and didn’t walk anybody. And LHP Marcos Perez and RHP Rogelio Carmona (who also threw an inning on Monday) retired nine of the last ten Brewers to preserve the tie.
Here is today’s abridged box score (EXST Cubs players only):
1. Francisco Guzman, CF: 3-4 (1B, K, 1B, 1B, 2 R, RBI, 3 SB)
2. Runey Davis, RF: 0-4 (5-3, F-7, F-8, K)
3. Matt Spencer, DH #1: 1-3 (F-8, 1B, BB, L-4)
4. Brandon May, 3B: 2-4 (2B, F-9, F-9, 2B, R, RBI)
5. Bobby Wagner, 1B: 0-4 (K, K, F-8, P-5)
6. D. J. Fitzgerald, LF: 1-3 (K, 5-3, BB, 1B, R, RBI)
7. Jonathan Mota, 2B-C: 2-3 (BB, 1B, 2B, F-8, R, RBI, PO)
8a. Jae-Hoon Ha, C: 1-2 (L-4 DP, 1B)
8b. Rafael Disla, 2B: 0-1 (BB, K, R)
9. Albert Hernandez, DH #2: 0-3 (BB, 4-3 GIDP, 5-3, K, CS)
10. Wes Darvill, SS: 1-3 (1B, 4-3, BB, K, SB)
1. Tarlandus Mitchell – 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 4/0 GO/FO, 51 pitches (30 strikes)
2. Austin Kirk – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1/1 GO/FO, 30 pitches (22 strikes)
3. Gian Guzman – 1.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R (3 ER), 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1/2 GO/FO, 35 pitches (16 strikes)
4. Marcos Perez – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/2 GO/FO, 16 pitches (12 strikes)
5. Rogelio Carmona – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GO/FO, 15 pitches (12 strikes)
2B Rafael Disla E-4 (fielding error allowed batter to reach base)
RF Runey Davis E-9 (overthrow at 3rd base allowed baserunner to score)
C Jonathan Mota E-2 (throwing error on stolen base attempt at 2nd base allowed baserunner to advance to 3rd base)
Jae-Hoon Ha: 1-4 CS
Jonathan Mota: 0-1 CS, 1 E (see above)
WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the 70’s
crunch 3 hours 10 min ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 6 hours 53 min ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 12 hours 7 min ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 18 hours 16 min ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 1 day 57 min ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 1 day 4 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).
Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.
I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.
Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.
Arizona Phil 1 day 6 hours ago (view)
Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better.
Hagsag 1 day 9 hours ago (view)
Thanks wrigley rat.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 11 hours ago (view)
HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:
RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN
Childersb3 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?
Hagsag 1 day 18 hours ago (view)
Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.
tim815 2 days 1 hour ago (view)
If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.
crunch 3 days 2 hours ago (view)
bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.
as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.
it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.
Cubster 4 days 1 hour ago (view)
Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.