Cubs add Archer, Guyer to 40-man roster

Cubs add Archer, Guyer to 40-man roster

Friday, Nov. 19, 2010
6:13 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

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 ktczerwinski@gmail.com

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero drops truth bomb, throws Jake Arrieta under the bus after Nationals run wild

Cubs catcher Miguel Montero drops truth bomb, throws Jake Arrieta under the bus after Nationals run wild

WASHINGTON — Within 24 hours, the Cubs followed up maybe their best win of the season with one of their ugliest losses and a classic Miguel Montero rant. Next stop: The Trump White House.

Montero walked across the room late Tuesday night with towels across his waist and over his shoulders and didn’t even bother to change into his clothes before calling the reporters over to his locker after a 6-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.

Montero dropped a truth bomb in the middle of the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park, calling out Jake Arrieta without directly mentioning his name and talking in the third person after Washington stole seven bases in four innings.

“It really sucks because the stolen bases go on me,” Montero said. “When you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time. It’s just like: ‘Yeah, OK, Miggy can’t throw nobody out.’ Yeah, but my pitchers don’t hold anybody on. It’s tough, because it doesn’t matter how much work I put in.

“If I don’t get a chance to throw, that’s the reason why they were running left and right today, because they know he was slow to the plate. Simple as that. It’s a shame that it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anybody out.”

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Now 0-for-31 in that department this season, Montero namedropped Jason Hammel — the ex-Cub now pitching for the Kansas City Royals — to show the de-emphasis on holding runners.

“We talk every year in spring training, but it’s frustrating, because it seems nobody really cares about it,” Montero said. “Like: ‘OK, yeah, I got to pitch. And if they run, they run, I don’t care.’

“Perfect example: We got Salvador Perez, the best throwing catcher in the game, and Jason Hammel’s got 10 stolen bases and only one caught stealing, so what does that tell you? They didn’t give him a chance.”

Cubs vs. Nationals makes it obvious: Jake Arrieta is no Max Scherzer

Cubs vs. Nationals makes it obvious: Jake Arrieta is no Max Scherzer

WASHINGTON — Super-agent Scott Boras drove the Max Scherzer comparisons through the media, trying to frame Jake Arrieta’s Cy Young Award pedigree and pitching odometer against that seven-year, $210 million megadeal with the Washington Nationals.

Every inning in each Arrieta start shouldn’t be viewed like a stock ticker, but it became the impossible-to-miss backdrop on Tuesday night at Nationals Park, where Scherzer stared down the Cubs through his blue and brown eyes and dominated in a 6-1 game that didn’t have that same October energy.

Where Scherzer is headed toward his fifth straight All-Star selection, the Cubs can only guess what they will get out of Arrieta from one start to the next, which makes you wonder: How many teams would commit five or six years to an over-30 pitcher like that?

Coming off probably the team’s best win of the season the night before — and a strong last start at Marlins Park where he felt “really close” to where he wanted to be — Arrieta walked off the mound with no outs and two runners on in the fifth inning.

The Nationals ran wild, putting pressure on the Cubs and stealing seven bases off Arrieta and catcher Miguel Montero. Arrieta’s control vanished, walking six batters and throwing a wild pitch. The defense collapsed, with second baseman Tommy La Stella leading Anthony Rizzo off first base with one throw and Montero chucking another ball into left field.

Halfway through his platform season, Arrieta is 7-6 with a 4.67 ERA after giving up six runs (five earned) and losing this marquee matchup against Scherzer and the first-place Nationals (46-31).

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The Cubs (39-38) felt the whiplash effect from Scherzer’s violent delivery, the perfect game gone when he drilled leadoff guy Rizzo with a 95-mph fastball and the no-hitter over in the first inning when Kris Bryant knocked an RBI triple off the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field.

None of it rattled Scherzer (9-5, 2.06 ERA), who gave up one more hit and zero walks across six innings. This is the third-fastest pitcher in major-league history to reach 2,000 strikeouts, a favorite to win his third Cy Young Award this year and the Game 1 starter the Cubs would face if they make it back to Washington for a first-round playoff series.

“It starts with his delivery and deception,” manager Joe Maddon said. “I think there’s a lot of intimidation, based on how he just delivers the baseball and the angle that he throws from, the ability to ride a fastball. I think the big thing, too, is the changeup has gotten devastatingly good.

“He’s an uncomfortable at-bat, just based on the way he winds up and throws the baseball. And then the stuff just moves so darn much. It’s a unique combination of factors that he has. He’s so strong and he pitches so deeply into games — and he does it consistently well for years. He’s just a different animal.”

That makes the Max comparison so untenable for Arrieta, who lost to Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers during his final start for the Baltimore Orioles on June 17, 2013. Arrieta immediately got shipped down to Triple-A Norfolk and traded to the Cubs 15 days later in a deal that would change baseball history forever.

Boras is right when he calls that the defining struggle of Arrieta’s career and says it took “World Series cojones” to handle that pressure. But just like Arrieta’s contract year, the Cubs are now in the great unknown.