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Games 11 to 20 and a lot of old copy on Angel Guzman

Apr
30

4-6. 4-6 doesn’t actually look good no matter how you look at it.

11: W 7-5
12: W 7-2
13: L 0-3
14: L 1-7
15: L 3-4
16: L 2-8
17: W 10-3
18: L 2-7
19: W 11-3

Let’s look at it another way.

Runs Scored: 0 1 2 2 3 7 7 10 10 11 (5.3)
No 4s, no 5s, no 6s. Lots of complete blowouts and shutdowns.

Runs Allowed: 2 3 3 3 4 5 7 7 8 10 (5.2)
Much more balanced, but a little packed on the high end.

MVP thru 20

1.58 Soriano
0.82 Fukudome
0.61 A-Ram
0.38 Hill
0.33 Lilly

Highlights in a period of nagging injuries
– a Z game where he wins and gets 3 hours and is completely awesome; guaranteed 2-3 a year. And then penciling himself onto the bench the next day.
– Harden looking pretty solid and getting half the wins in this set. Still have no idea how this is going to turn out.
– Angel Guzman finally getting his first win. Also, all the earliest articles mentioning Angel Guzman on the Tribune site:

May 20, 2002 Q & A

Now that some of the shining stars of the Cubs’ farm system (Patterson, Cruz, Hill and Zambrano) have reached the majors to be quickly followed by Choi, Prior and Kelton, what is the state of the Cubs’ farm system? Are there many, if any, other promising names beyond these and Ben Christensen? Or are we looking at a serious dropoff in talent again? –Larry, Washington, Utah

I’m looking at Baseball America’s list of the Cubs’ top 30 prospects. The first six (Prior, Cruz, Choi, Kelton, Hill and Zambrano) are older guys, but the next wave (outfielder Nic Jackson, right-hander Ben Christensen, shortstop Luis Montanez and left-hander ) are all in Double-A or below. Some of the other prospects the Cubs like are pitchers , Angel Guzman and Felix Sanchez. Most baseball people don’t predict a huge dropoff in talent.

Prior – you know
Juan Cruz – doing okay as a bullpen guy
Hee Seop Choi – back in the Korean league
David Kelton – retired, last played in 2006
Bobby Hill – last seen playing for the Newark Bears
Z – Z!

Angel Guzman
Nic Jackson – indy ball? only made one season at AAA and didn’t hit
Ben Christensen – never made it out of AA
Luis Montanez – AAA/MLB guy for Baltimore
Steve Smyth – made it up the same year, wasn’t ready, drifted back down, last seen in indies
Jae-Kuk Ryu – made it up with the Cubs and the Rays, wasn’t much good. Free agent?
Felix Sanchez – 2 career strikeouts!

Guess the second class was not a dropoff after all. No one knows nothing about prospects, or at least no one who spends all his team covering the major league team knows that team’s prospects.

03/21/2003:

Angel Guzman combines presence with pitches that dance. He has established an extremely high standard yet is only 21, suggesting the really good years lie ahead.

Guzman is the complete package. He should have fans hyperventilating as they count the days until he arrives as an ace with staying power.

But the Cubs have accumulated so many elite arms under general manager Jim Hendry and scouting director John Stockstill that they didn’t need to tip their hands about Guzman.

Not so much. This is the year after Prior came up and we were all willing to be snowed into believing there’d be more like him. The other elite arms:
– Bobby Brownlie – with the Nats? still hasn’t made the majors
– Andy Sisco – fat; ate himself out of the Cubs and other teams since
– Felix Sanchez
– Luke Hagerty – never made it to AA! fine result first a first round pick
– Todd Wellemeyer – yea yea I know
– Jae Kuk Ryu
– Justin Jones – hasn’t made it to AAA, but he started when he was 17 so he’s still only 24 and has a little bit of time left
– Carmen Pignateillo – briefly made it with the Cubs, now doing bad with the Twins (but at least HE made it)
– Billy Petrick – started the season with the Cubs in 07 and ended up all the way back down in A ball in 2008. Playing indy ball in Chicago.
– Ben Christensen

I guess the point here is, even if the first win came about 6 years after people start talking about, Angel still has had a better career than most. And if you really want to be depressed by the level of Cubs drafting this decade, go look at the list of first round picks; unless Brownlie makes it up this year, not a single 1st round will have made it since Prior in 2002. Or second round. Jake Fox and Petrick are third rounders.

And then there’s this: 06/29/2003:

Double-A starter Angel Guzman will have his shoulder examined Monday by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. An MRI of Guzman’s shoulder showed no tear, but even in a best-case scenario, Guzman is expected to miss several weeks.

Did they miss it? Did he just not tear it until later? Doesn’t really matter now.

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KC Game 19: Kane County 2 – Lansing 1

Apr
29

two for two on going to Cougars games and forgetting my phone. I keep foiling my own play to twitpic Ozzie, so sad.

Anyway, I don’t have all that much to actually type about this game and there’s a lot more I’d like to type before I sleep. There was some epic weirdness here.

Pedro Figueroa did not pitch especially well tonight. 5 walks in 3 1/3rd is not so good, and apparently weird for him (he had 2 walks in 15 IP coming in.) Still, somehow, he got thru it while only giving up 2 runs because of some catastrophically bad base running. Figueroa got 10 outs, half of them on the bases:

– base runner thrown out trying to stretch to a single into a double
– runner doubled off of first on a flyout
– runner picked off first (1)
– runner picked off first (2)
– runner picked off first (3)!

I don’t count a conventional double play as a baserunning out, but there was one of them too. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen three pick offs in a game, much less in the span of two innings. I’m still not sure I saw three legal picks offs – balks are tough to tell when you’re not looking for them watching a replay, but all the baserunners were sure he was going to home when he threw to first, and they were quickly cut down at second (though the last might have been a generous out call.)

Besides that, not a lot here. Lansing’s Charles Huggins looked really dominant. Both shortstops looked really shaky – they each picked up two errors, and KC’s Coleman muffed another pickup but just got it over in time, plus struck out all four times. Not a good night.

Crowd was in the 2000s, and it seems like 1500 were junior high kids from one school or another.

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after 10

Apr
17

6-4! 6-4 doesn’t look great, just one loss away from event, but if you stack together a season worth of 6-4, that’s 97 wins. I think that’ll work.

MVP, by win probably added:
(1 = worth 1 game over five hundred)
0.86 Soriano
0.74 Fukudome
0.55 Marmol
0.38 Koyie Hill
0.32 Lilly

Win probably doesn’t consider fielding at all, so no Reed. Otherwise, that’s about in line what waht I’d say from watching. If anything, it undersells Soriano, who’s carried this team and already given the Cubs 2 wins they had no business winning. (Looking at the numbers, I think it doesn’t include Friday’s game yet, which explains it.) Fukudome has people believing again, Marmol is the relief ace regardless of when he’s being used, Koyie Hill hits better after his fingers were sawed off (who’d figure? anyone who saw him bat in 2007?), and Ted had a really good game in a tight game.

LVP

-0.81 Gregg
-0.48 Bradley
-0.36 Miles
-0.31 Soto
-0.17 Hoffpauir

Most of that is sample size, I think. Sot’s looked hurt, Miles is hitting like Miles. Bradley’s walking, but he’s not getting the hits yet. (Didn’t hit the ump either.) Gregg – well, you blow a game at the end, that’s what you get.

Cubs probably should’ve known Gregg could only get up once per game without his knee locking up before trading for him. That’s one of those things that are supposed to be important when you’re having a closer compeition. And it’s the only reason Gregg is still the nominal closer – Lou’s going to use Marmol when it’s close and whenever he can, though it’ll take a odd situation like Friday’s game where Lou didn’t see it was worth using him until the 9th. If the Cubs are up 1 in the 7th or the 8th, Lou’s not saving Marmol until the 9th. He’s going to get a lot of innings again.

There’s a lot of issues that aren’t really as big problems unless they keep going this way – eventually, they’re going to need some guys who haven’t been hot to pick up with Soriano isn’t, and the bullpen’s going to be totally thrashed if the starters can’t consistenly go longer (funny how the last two Z starts have been him been below average starts lasting longer than anyone would like just to bridge the gap a little.)

Still, so far, so good.

what I’m looking forward to the next 10: going to a couple. I think I’ll start today.

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