Angel Guzman Throws in Intrasquad Game at Fitch Park

Continuing his rehab from last September's Tommy John surgery, Angel Guzman threw 14 pitches (8 balls & 6 strikes) in an EXST Camp Day intrasquad game at Fitch Park this morning. 

Guzman had previously thrown a "simulated game" last Friday and a "live" BP session on Monday.   

Guzman faced four batters, walking Junior Lake on four pitches to start the game. Then an errant pick-off throw by Guzman allowed Lake to advance to 2nd base. Brandon Guyer grounded out to short on an 0-1 pitch, as Lake advanced to 3rd base with one out.

Drew Rundle then pulled a hard-hit ground double past 1st base on a 1-0 pitch, driving in Lake for the first run. Rundle stole third on the first pitch to clean-up hitter John Contreras, before Contreras hit a F-8 SF on a 3-2 pitch to finish Guzman's day (he was supposed to throw "around" 15 pitches).

As long as he has no setbacks from today's outing, Guzman will probably make his Cactus League Extended Spring Training game debut sometime next week

Recently converted to pitcher, ex-catcher Jake Muyco got into his first game action today, and struggled through his one inning of work, allowing two runs. 

Today's intrasquad game also provided a rare glimpse of RHP Chris Huseby, who has been suffering from an EXTREME control problem since Minor League Camp that has limited him to bullpen sessions and one "live" BP session that went just so-so. .

One of the Cubs better pitching prospects coming into the 2008 season, Huseby was expected to start the year at the top of Peoria's starting rotation. But the 6'7 right-hander just can't find home plate.

It's very similar to what happened with Luke Hagerty last year, where his pitches either bounce in the dirt, or go over the catcher's head, or hit the batter. And it's the reason he has been held out of game action. He's just plain dangerous.  

And today was a good example, as Huseby was yanked after just 11 pitches (only two strikes), an outing where he walked two, hit a batter (and almost hit two others), and threw two wild pitches.

Huseby probably will be assigned to Boise when the short season leagues begin play next month (with a 30-man roster, the Hawks can afford to stash away some extra pitchers), but he probably won't get much game action until he can find home plate. .
Today also marked the return of Cubs 2007 5th round pick Brandon Guyer to LF. Prior to today, Guyer (a Matt Murton clone) had been restricted to DH duty only while recovering from a fractured elbow.

Guyer will likely be assigned to Boise next month, although he could get moved up to Peoria before that if the Cubs feel the Chiefs need a right-handed hitting LF to platoon with Dylan Johnston.  

As is sometimes necessary due to not having enough players available to staff two squads, the position players rotated between defense and offense without regard to "teams" in today's intrasquad game. Some of the players got more ABs than others, while others did not hit at all.

Here is the box score (such as it is):

Junior Lake, SS: 0-2 (R, BB, 2 K)
Brandon Guyer, LF: 0-1
Drew Rundle, RF: 1-1 (RBI, R, 2B, SB)
John Contreras, 1B: 1-1 (3 RBI, 3B, SF, CS)
George Matheus, 2B: 1-2 (R, HBP)  
Gian Guzman, SS: 0-4 (R, BB)
Cesar Salazar, CF: 1-3 (RBI, BB)
Bryan Jost, 1B: 2-4 (2 RBI, 2 R, 2B, 2 K, SB)
Nelson Perez, RF: 1-3 (R, CS)
Jeffrey Rea, 2B: 0-2
Luis Bautista, C: 0-0 (R, HBP)
Alvaro Sosa, C: 0-1
Josh Vitters, 3B: DID NOT BAT (sore hand)
Kevin Soto, LF-CF: DID NOT BAT
Roberto Sabates and Carlos Perez warmed-up pitchers in the bullpen but did not get an AB, and Dwayne Kemp and Starlin Castro did not play.


1. Jake Muyco - 1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP  0/2 GO/FO)
2. Carlos Rojas - 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (1/1 GO/FO)
3. Ryan Searle - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K  (2/0 GO/FO)
1. Angel Guzman - 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 0 K (1/1 GO/FO)
2. Chris Huseby - 0.0 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP, 2 WP
3. Eduardo Figueroa - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (2/4 GO/FO)

ERROR (2):

Angel Guzman overthrow on pick-off attempt at 1B allowed runner to advance to 2B, 

Junior Lake made errant throw trying to double runner off 2nd base after catching a line drive, and runner scored from 2nd base (the throw went into the RF corner):

Luis Bautista: 1-3 CS
Alvaro Sosa: 1-1 CS

WEATHER: Overcast with game-time highs in the 80's

ATTENDANCE: 3 (I've noticed that Camp Day usually doesn't draw quite as well as the other days)


Attendance: 3

3 is enough to do the wave...

Phil, Is Rhee at Fitch? Have you heard any report on him? Thanks.

what's the point?

great power stroke (insane power stroke)...too bad it pretty much only works on 60-90mph fastballs in BP/game.

killer arm, too.

still...looks like he's hit a developmental brick wall if he can't figure out AA pitching at this stage in his career.

Let 'em pitch exclusively to Felix Pie in simulated games.

He'll swing at everything out of the zone and take anything in it and they'll both get their confidence back.

Guzman is quickly becoming the mythical beast of yore, akin to the Unicorn or Centaur. AZ Phil, what are the club's expectations for this oft - injured budding phenom? If he gets promoted to Peoria and/or AA before the season's over, will his TJ surgery be considered successful? Thanks in advance for responding.

AZ Phil:

Thanks for a great report, as usual. You've probably seen enough of Angel Guzman to have an opinion--is their something in his delivery that has contributed to all his injuries, or does he just seem to you to have an especially fragile arm? Thanks.

the weird thing about guzman, because of his injuries/rehab and adjustments, is that he's got about 1/2 dozen+ pitches out of multiple arm slots.

as far as what he's throwing now out of what slot, i dunno...but he's got a huge arsenal of possible stuff.

seen him throw fastballs out of 3/4 slot and sidearm...slider 3/4 and sidearm...overhand change and fastball...god only knows what else over the years...

what is he throwing now predominately?

Too bad about Harvey. He's obviously got a little talent just strikes out WAY too much.

Demp for Cy Young?

At at least a return to the ASG?

Could be an option if Edmonds doesnt work out. Holliday would be under Cubs control next year before he is a FA and Aaron Cook is a FA after this year so I could also imagine he would be on the block to. Maybe in a perfect world we could pull off

Cook and Holliday for Murton, Pie, Gallagher, Hill, Epat, Ceda, and Veal

Jimbo couldnt probably pull the trigger on the deal due to ownership, but adding Holliday would give us the a top 5 line-up in MLB history and Cook can help stablize the rotation. The deal would also fill COL needs in LF and 2b, give them a pitcher taylor made for Coors in Gallagher, some good pen arms in Ceda and Veal and a CF who can go it in that large park in Pie.

Holiday's 3-year Away split:
.281 / .343 / .466


I like the way the next series is shaping up. MKE and STL face the two best (by record) teams in the AL, while the Cubs face the mighty Pirates. Time to widen the lead!

I think they have won something like 7 out of their last 11.

Astros are currently in 2nd place, and on a serious roll, and they have played a lot more games on the road than at home.

Down 6-0 to Lincecum (sp) yesterday, and they score 4 in the 8th and one in the 9th to win it. Berkman is on fire, and has been for a while.

Chifan is right. Right now, the Pirates are not the same team as a couple weeks ago.

Even if the Cubs win 1 of 3,, its a 7-3 home stand.

Actually... they were playing decent baseball even when they were playing the Cubs earlier in the year.

If you take out the 6 losses against the Cubs, the team has a 20-15 record.

Submitted by Hagsag on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 3:43pm.

Phil, Is Rhee at Fitch? Have you heard any report on him? Thanks.


HAGSAG: Dae-Eun Rhee is not at EXST. Apparently he is still with Peoria, although he remains on the DL.



Dempster will be there if he keeps it up. Marmol deserves to go as well.IMHO

I think they will take one starter from Cubs.
Marmol is intriguing, has there been any set up men who have been All Stars?

Justin Duchscherer
Tom Gordon

Are the recent 3 that come to mind.

Soto, Lee, Z should all be in without question.

But I would also say that Dempster should be in without question, and Fukudome, ARam, and Marmol all have very legitimate arguments to get in.

Fukudome is 4th among NL RF in OPS, plays excellent defense, and leads all of baseball in walks. And don't forget the power of the Japanese vote.

ARam is 2nd among NL 3b in OPS.

Current VORP for NL First Basemen:

Berkman 42
Pujols 28
C. Jackson: 17
Derrek Lee: 16.6

I'd say Marmol, Z, Soto, Ramirez (as a backup to Chipper) would be deserving

Dempster (12th in VORP),Lee and Fukudome on the outskirts. Soriano still can get himself in the discussion.


Yea... I looked after, and saw the 1b numbers. Lee has seen a significant drop in May.

And Berkman has been ridiculous.

And again... Fukudome may not necessarily have the numbers, but it wouldn't surprise me if he was voted in as a starter. Or at least voted in as the final guy.

MH hit another home run last night for the I-Cubs. That makes three games in a row he homered.

Our erstwhile #3 SP RICH is on the HILL tonight at 7 PM.

Submitted by Charlie on Thu, 05/15/2008 - 6:44pm.

AZ Phil: Thanks for a great report, as usual.

You've probably seen enough of Angel Guzman to have an opinion--is their something in his delivery that has contributed to all his injuries, or does he just seem to you to have an especially fragile arm? Thanks.


CHARLIE: I don't know why Guzman has had both shoulder and elbow injuries.

As crunch mentioned, Guzman has developed a large repertoire of pitches thrown from multiple arm slots over the years, but right now he's throwing just fastball-curve-change, and he's throwing the pitches pain free and his fastball has good velocity.

His main problem (and this is typical for TJS rehabbers) is a lack of command on his fastball. Yesterday, Guzman had difficulty throwing his fastball over the plate, but once he gets that fixed, he should be ready for advancement.

If there are no medical setbacks, I would expect Gooz to remain at Fitch Park until sometime in mid-July, and then go on a 30-day rehab (pitchers get up to 30 days), probably initially at Daytona. Then the Cubs could option Guzman to Iowa (for instance) anytime after August 11th and recall him when rosters expand on September 1st. (As long as Guzman spends less than 90 days on an active regular season major league or minor league roster in 2008, and no more than 19 days on optional assignment, his 4th minor league option year will be preserved for 2009). 

But if the Cubs option Guzman to the minors after his rehab assignment is over, they have to make sure to recall him from his optional assignment before he hits 20 days, or else his 4th and final minor league option would get burned. 

Thanks, Phil. I really hope Guzman can put his injury history behind him; he's always had the stuff to be a major leaguer and I could see him contributing as a spot starter or out of the bullpen late in the season. I dread a late season rotation that includes Marquis. Having guys like Marshall, Gallagher, and Guzman to step up and take that spot would be great.

Makes you wonder what they'll do for fans after Griffey Jr. hits #600.

Harvey is not the only guy who deserved to get knocked back to Daytona. Harvey probably has a better chance of pitching in the majors than that wide receiver does. Can the Cubs still trade Samardzija to an NFL team?

Samardzija's line yesterday:

4 innings, 10 hits, 6 runs, 6 ER, 5 walks, 1 K, 1 HR.

and that was that Shark has not been committed to baseball a 100% for years so he is actually behind the learning curve for what his age and college expirence might lead one to believe.

Why stop with Harvey and Samardzija? The Smokies are 15-26 for a good reason.

Go Farm Go!

wins and losses in minor league games?

last friday i saw jeff neimann...TB pimp...pitch 3ip of AAA ball then hand it over to the pen to help get the loss.

why 3ip of ball? cuz that's what he and the parent organization needed...not the team.

the concept of a "team" in the minor leagues is sketchy at best. its structured exercise of what's been worked on in practice, especially at the lower levels unless you already got your refinement down or the coaches don't care enough to tweak you anymore and are gonna let you sink/swim your own way.

what about the win? what about it...minor leagues aren't there to win games (psst, dont tell the fans).

Well, this appears to be true in the Cubs organization even if it is crazy talk.

Baseball is a zero-sum game. Somebody has to win and somebody else has to lose. But, following your premise, if no one is trying to win, then it's even more likely that the organization with the most talent and ability will win.

If winners and losers were determined only by luck then everyone would finish the season around .500, which is not the case.

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  • I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.

    Charlie 6 min 29 sec ago view
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    QuietMan 1 hour 30 min ago view
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    He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.

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    (All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • Lester will probably be all right.

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    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 37 min ago view
  • I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.

    billybucks 1 hour 41 min ago view
  • Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 44 min ago view
  • He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.

    But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.

    billybucks 1 hour 53 min ago view
  • The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • Yup. Thanks Q

    The E-Man 2 hours 1 min ago view
  • QuietMan 2 hours 9 min ago view
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    Rob Richardson 2 hours 28 min ago view
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    The E-Man 3 hours 6 min ago view
  • Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.

    Old and Blue 3 hours 50 min ago view
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    Old and Blue 4 hours 1 min ago view
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    Old and Blue 4 hours 2 min ago view
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    The E-Man 4 hours 21 min ago view