Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
By Kevin Czerwinski
The Cubs rewarded Chris Archer and Brandon Guyer for their spectacular regular seasons on Friday by placing the pair on the 40-man roster, thus protecting them from next months Rule 5 Draft.
Chicago also placed pitchers Alberto Cabrera and Kyle Smith on the 40-man, leaving the quartet eligible to join the parent club for Major League spring training in February. Rosters had to be set by midnight Friday to keep players protected from the Rule 5 Draft.
Ive gotten called up to some big-league games in Spring Training before but Ive never participated in big-league spring training, said Guyer, who earned the Cubs 2010 Minor League Player of the Year Award after hitting .344 and leading Double-A Tennessee into the Southern League finals. Im excited. I always work as hard as I can in the off-season but now this gives me extra motivation. Not that I need it. I just want to go out, do the best I can and see if I can make the club.
Guyer also just finished a month-long stint with the Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League. He hit .348 in 69 at-bats and was on base in every one of the 19 games in which he appeared after finishing second in the Southern League in batting. He had an 18-game hitting streak in August, during which he hit .471.
I just tried to do what I did during the regular season while I was in Venezuela and that was just put the ball in play and make solid contact, said Guyer, who led the league in slugging percentage .588 and OPS .986. I got to bat third or lead off most of the time and I was playing center field so I think I got a lot out of the experience.
I also knew coming into this year that I would be up for the 40-man. I didnt think about it during the season, though. I was just trying to help the team out and it all worked out.
It also worked out very well for Archer, who was named as the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year, after combining to go 15-3 with a 2.34 ERA at Class-A Daytona and Tennessee. He was 8-2 with a 1.80 ERA for the Smokies.
Smith made 12 relief appearances for Tennessee after coming over in a July 31 deadline deal that sent Ted Lilly to the Dodgers. He went 5-1 with a 1.96 ERA in Tennessee and was 10-4 overall with a 2.28 ERA overall. He was 3-2 with a 4.05 ERA for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League.
Cabrera, meanwhile, split the year between Daytona and Tennessee going 7-9 with a 4.24 ERA.
Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org