A's Not Laughing at Ha Trifecta

CF Jae-Hoon Ha had three hits, scored three runs, and made three circus catches in the outfield, leading the EXST Cubs to a 13-5 drubbing of the EXST A's at the Oakland A's Minor League Complex at Papago Park in Phoenix this morning.  

The 18-year old Ha singled and scored in the 1st, 5th, and 7th, and made a sliding catch in left-center in the 3rd, a dip-glove knee-high running catch in right-center in the 5th, and a leaping over-the-shoulder catch at the centerfield fence that took away a two-run home run in the bottom of the 6th. (On the latter play, Ha received a 9.9 from all the judges except the one from North Korea, who inexplicably gave him a 2.5).

The top five hitters in the Cubs lineup reached base an amazing 18 times (combined) today, scoring 11 of the Cubs 13 runs. Besides Ha's offensive contributions, lead-off hitter Logan Watkins reached base four times on a HBP, two walks, and a single, and scored three runs, DH Matt Cerda reached base four times on a double, a single, and two walks, scored three runs, and knocked in three more, clean-up hitter John Contreras had three hits, drove in three, and scored a run, and Sean Hoorelbeke reached base all four times he batted on a walk, two singles, and a double, and he also scored a run.

23-year old Dominican RHP Andres Quezada (converted from outfielder to pitcher a year ago) got the start for the Cubs and worked three solid innings, allowing just one run on three hits, while striking out two. I suspect Quezada could get a promotion to Peoria at any time.

And 20-year old Venezuelan RHP Robert Hernandez (at EXST rehabbing from a sprained ankle suffered the last week of Minor League Camp) worked two innings, but pitched a lot better than his line might otherwise indicate. Hernandez--pitching in front of friends and family from Venezuela--was the victim of shoddy Cubs defense in the bottom of the 5th, including two high pop ups that fell in the "Bermuda Triangle" between SS-LF-3B that SS George Matheus decided he just HAD to try to catch (even though an outfielder probably would have had an easier play) before losing both in the sun,,and a fielding miscue at 3B by the usually sure-handed Jose Made. (Made had an especially poor game, making two errors at 3B, and going 0-4 at the plate, including a strikeout and a GIDP).

Although he allowed two easy pop ups to fall for hits, Matheus did make one outstanding defensive play earlier in the game, ending the bottom of the 1st inning with a spectacular diving catch of a line drive headed toward CF, and then turning it into a 6-3 DP, saving Quezada a run.  

18-year old RHP Adam Spencer (one of three teenaged Australian recruits at Cubs EXST) had a roller-coaster ride in the bottom of the 6th, allowing one run on a double and an RBI single, but (as Jack Brickhouse used to say) "It sure could have been worse!" Spencer was the beneficiary of the Ha HR take-away catch, plus another fine play, this one a running over-the-shoulder catch in right-field foul territory by the sometimes defensively-challenged 1B Sean Hoorelbeke.

RHPs Carlos Rojas and Manolin DeLeon each threw one inning, and while Rojas struggled to get through the 8th and allowed two runs (a walk, then a triple, and then an F-8 sac fly), EXST Cubs closer DeLeon had an easy 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th. Like Quezada, DeLeon could be the next pitcher to leave Fitch Park for Peoria (or Daytona).

Here is today's abridged box score (Cubs players only). Note that Jose Guevara was assigned as the bullpen catcher, but he did get an AB in the top of the 8th as DH #3 (and lined a single to left).: 

LINEUP  
1. Logan Watkins, 2B: 1-2 (HBP, BB, BB, 1B, P-6 - 3 R, 1 PO)
2. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 3-5 (1B, F-7, 1B, 1B, 6-3 - 3 R)
3. Matt Cerda, DH #1: 2-3 (1B, BB, BB, 2B, K - 3 R, 3 RBI)
4. John Contreras, DH #2 - C: 3-5 (6-3, 1B, 1B, 1B, L-8 - 1 R, 3 RBI)
5. Sean Hoorelbeke, 1B: 3-3 (BB, 1B, 1B, 2B - 1 R)
6. Jesus Morelli, RF: 1-4 (1-U, K, 5-3, 1B - 1 R, 2 RBI)
7. Alvaro Sosa, C - DH #2: 1-3 (BB, 4-3, K, 3B - 1 R, 1 RBI)
8. George Matheus, SS: 1-4 (FC, 1B, 3-U, E-5 - 1 CS)
9. Sean Williams, LF: 1-4 (5-3, 1-3, 1B, K)
10. Jose Made, 3B: 0-4 (K, 6-3, 6-4-3 GIDP, F-9)
11. Jose Guevara, DH #3: 1-1 (1B + E-7)

PITCHERS:
1. Andres Quezada - 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 3/4 GO/FO
2. Robert Hernandez - 2.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 2/2 GO/FO
3. Adam Spencer - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 2/3 GO/FO
4. Carlos Rojas - 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 0 K 1/2 GO/FO
5. Manolin DeLeon - 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/2 GO/FO

ERRORS (2):
Two errors by 3B Jose Made, both while attempting to field grounders, and one of the errors resulted in an unearned run scoring.  

ATTENDANCE: 10 (mostly The Robert Hernandez Fan Club)

Comments

Phil, is Ha doing any catching these days?

0 for 3 with 2 BB's including an IBB in the 7th w/ runners on 2nd/3rd and the score 2-0 in favor of the Nats at the time.

Submitted by Hagsag on Wed, 05/13/2009 - 4:16pm.
Phil, is Ha doing any catching these days

===================================

HAGSAG: Jae-Hoon Ha is playing only outfield at EXST (and he has played all three OF positions). I believe his catching days are very likely over.

BTW, he does have a bit of problem with his throwing mechanics. While he has a strong-enough arm, sometimes he double-clutches (mostly when playing CF) because he can't seem to find the cut-off man, and other times he gets excited and hurries too much and throws the ball almost right into the ground (a la Jacque Jones).

Of course, outfield is a new thing for Ha. Couple that with the culture shock of being only 18 and playing baseball in a country where he doesn't know the language very well, and it's not hard to understand how he might have some difficulties. But it's good that he has fellow Koreans Dae-Eun Rhee, Hak-Ju Lee, and Su-Min Jung, plus coach Min Kyu Sung (who played college ball in the U. S.) in camp with him.

Freel in line up tonight.

Lou said nothing wrong with Soto, even though bottom hand flying off bat during hitting.

Lou said "his hand pronates with swing." Lou must have word of the day calander.

Cubs were 18-14 at this point last year.

PRONATE THAT, GEO SOTO!!

7:40 start..maybe

How does Hak-Ju Lee look, AZ? He had an injury I think. Is he recovered? I've read various reports he's supposed to be special but I can't really attribute those.

Submitted by Old and Blue on Wed, 05/13/2009 - 6:46pm.
How does Hak-Ju Lee look, AZ? He had an injury I think. Is he recovered? I've read various reports he's supposed to be special but I can't really attribute those.

=================================

OLD & BLUE: 18-year old Korean bonus baby SS Hak-Ju Lee had Tommy John surgery last year and has been limited to DH duties at EXST (so far).

He put on some muscle during the off-season (he used to be kind of a scrawny slap hitter, but now he's driving the ball) and it looks like he may have grown an inch or two as well. and since this all happened when he was only 18, I speculated here at TCR a few weeks ago that he may eventually outgrow SS and could possibly end up in CF.

nice, AZ, thanks

This is really getting annoying falling behind early lately? Cubs down 2-0.

But then there is A-FONSE!!!! Man, when he gets hot, he gets white hot (of course when he is bad is really bad).

So much for being down very long. BACK to BACK JACKS!! 4 HR's by Theriot already this year. He only hit 12 previously in his entire minor and major league career.

I wish I could hear Ronnie. I love to hear him get all excited about the back-to-back jacks.

Anyone else see the Blackhawks player in the stands before the game (I forget his name). He was with one of the most drop-dead gorgeous girls I've ever seen. Someone needs to do some investigating into this matter.

Brent Seabrook according to len

Ah yes, thanks. Now we must uncover the identity of his female companion.

Someone please tell me this game won't be rained out (we're up 5-2 in the top of the 4th right now).

Plus, the Soto and Theriot homers wouldn't count. Soto may need that 1 homerun more than Theriot needs the two (!!!) he has so far.

I don't understand why they delayed the start of the game. It wasn't raining at the time, and they knew the rain would eventually come, so why not start as early as possible?

RYAN THERIOT, WHO ARE YOU?!!

MANNY:

You are freaking out too early, man!

You have done similar freaks the entire season, as if you are awaiting for the "L" the moment anything goes bad.

The team has more talent than you are giving it - even with the injuries.

Remember: its 9 innings.

Yesterday they were behind with Harden 2-0, and they came back - Harden recovered...Marshall gets behind early EVERY game...but settles down soon!

E-Man:
"you are awaiting for the "L" the moment anything goes bad."

This is the Cubs we are talking about, right? :)

I just hate falling behind early and it seems to me they have been doing that a lot lately.

This is a huge stretch in my mind as if they can handle things with Z and ARam out, that could very well propel them to the top of the division.

Theriot with 5 HR's? Man, whatever he is doing (PED's, wheaties, getting it on with Fontenot, etc.) I hope he keeps doing it.

Theroit sells The Clear to Manny!

So I am wondering about the following players specifically: Larry Suarez, Cedric Redmond, Francisco Acosta, Gian Guzman (as a pitcher), Angel Castro, Diego Encarnacion, Miguel Sierra, Carlos Morales, Carlos Henry, Joel Altagracia, Joseph Colon, Ryan Sontag and to a lesser degree Julio Pena, Oswaldo Martinez (rehabbing), Jeff Antigua, Rogelino Carmona, Marco Carrillo (rehabbing), Dionis Nunez, Jose Tineo, Angel Castro (released?), Ricardo Parra, Clark Hardman (retired?). Any ideas Phil? Thanks.

would Lou EVER consider platooning Lee and Hoff? Lee is below .200. it is middle-may, and he has a bulging disc.

Also, don't think this is 3/44, Jayson Werth Stole for the Cycle yesterday!

His theft of home was insane! Russel Martin was throwing the ball back to the pitcher!

Werth is almost as good as Theriot!

Cubs Win...6-4.

Sweep Tomorrow vs Chad "Dumpster" Gaudin!

AND yes the team is better with Hoffpauir right now, but its probably going to be a long way down the road for Lee not to play everyday.

Lou in post-game: "we're gonna rest some people tomorrow..."

How 'bout some lineup guesses, boys?

here's mine:

freel
theriot
bradley
HOFF
johnson
scales
hill
fonty
demp

We just had an off day Monday, and we have another off day next Monday. Why are we resting people?

Why are we resting people?
---
Top 10 reasons:

Because DLee neck makes it hard to use the rear view mirror (Hoffpauir seems to be in the mirror)
Because Soto pronates
Because Bradley's having anxiety attacks waiting for the commish to reply
Because Theriot still waiting on the steroid results from analyzing his pee
Because Freel is still hamstrung
Because Marmol refuses to use Chad Fox's stash of duct tape (but probably needs to start using it)
Because they are waiting on Heilman's DEPENDS shipment
Because Soriano's white hot and it's setting off fires in the locker room
Because Reed Johnson needs more at bats to remain scrappy
Because Angel Guzman is injury prone and Lou wants to get him more work so he can get hurt

Because Rothschild needs more participants for the towel drill.

Recent comments

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  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 31 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 3 hours 46 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 3 hours 58 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 4 hours 59 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 7 hours 7 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 24 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 7 hours 25 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 15 hours 59 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 16 hours 29 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 16 hours 51 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 17 hours 24 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 17 hours 34 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 17 hours 44 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 17 hours 53 min ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best.

    fixed that for ya.

    crunch 18 hours 22 sec ago view
  • The use of Peralta in any semblance of a high leverage situation is questionable at best. Hind sight is easy but Peralta had nothing.

    Eric S 18 hours 8 min ago view