Guzman Strong, Berg and Ascanio Struggle

Harry PavlidisSenior Analyst IOctober 30, 2008

Action continues in the Venezuela for Cubs pitching prospects. On Thursday, three were the pitcher of record in their Winter League games.

Angel Guzman made his second start for Magallenes, working five shut-out innings. He left with a 13-0 lead, but the bullpen allowed seven runs to blow the team shut-out.

Meanwhile, Justin Berg and Jose Ascanio had troubles in relief. Caracas bailed Ascanio out, who blew the save in the 9th but got the win. Berg also blew a save, but was eventually charged with the loss for Aragua.

Guzman has now worked eight innings over two starts, allowing just one earned run, with eight K's and two walks. Angel has a great shot at a late inning job for the Cubs in 2009, but I expect the Cubs will stretch him out in Spring Training, since he has the stuff to be a starter.

Berg had been un-scored upon in Winter ball, but gave up four runs in an inning and a third, and allowed an inherited runner to score. He was pulled with one out in the 7th, following a pair of singles. Both of those runners came in to score after Justin left the game. Karma.

Ascanio has been hot and cold as the closer for Caracas. Tonight, he gave up two runs on three hits, blowing a 5-4 lead. But, in the bottom half of the 9th, Rich Garces gave up a three-run walk-off bomb to hand Ascanio the W.

Sources: and El Universal