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

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.


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.

03/11 Spring Training Thoughts

I was watching Saturday’s game – Cubs/Royals, a world series preview if I’ve ever seen one – and I was utterly confused by the uniforms.

– why have both teams wear their blue uniform tops? That’s amazingly confusing.
– And they’re not even their actual road uniforms – they’ve got a weird white/red (or blue) stripe under the arm down the side. Is that some new heat vent?

I guess I could google it, but…the moment’s passed.

The one answer I got out of that game is Prior’s renting an apartment in Des Moines this year. Not an extended stay hotel, but something where he can camp out till All Star Break. Maybe by then, he won’t still be throwing 86 and maybe he’ll be able to control his fastball. No one’s saying he’s cut from the major league roster yet, but if he’s pitching in minor league games and he has minor league stuff, then he’s probably a duck. Or a Iowa Cub. Or whatever they AA team is called this year.

It looks like we’ve got 3 spots up for grabs, since Theroit’s made the team (and playing a bit of everywhere – he’s Neifi now, and I hope that’s a good thing)

SP5: Miller, Cotts, and Guzman’s the one they’re talking up. Unless Miller falls on his face, I think they’ll give him the chance to start the season, since that puts of the permanent decision. I’m still believing Miller’s done, but I’m not totally on the Guzman bandwagon yet.

Backup OF: It seemed to be Pagan almost by default, but he’s not coming off a good year and didn’t seem to be a good defender – BProspectus’ numbers argue the other way, but I think you could do better and need to do with what’s starting out there. Buck Coats isn’t much better, he’s a below average SS who got pushed to CF, but he’s hitting well enough to get a chance, and he’s still on the 40 man roster for some reason. Pie’s not here unless there’s an injury.

25th Man: Pinella talked about going with 11 pitchers, which would make this a reserve infielder (Cedeno? NO! Scott Moore?), but today he seems to have floated back to 12. Which would probably means Cotts or Wuertz, and both guys really should be making the team. You can’t do that with 12 unless Miller or someone else doesn’t, so 12 it is.

No feel for the batting order. No feel for the rotation – Z’s one, but the next four could be a jumble. I don’t think they’ll start setting it down till next week.