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