AZL Cubs Kick Boise Hawks Out of Fitch Park
Jesse Hodges reached base four times on a double, two singles, and a walk, drove-in three runs, and scored another, and Jose Morales also reached base four times on a double, two singles, and a walk, leading the AZL Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Boise Hawks this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.
Kevin Encarnacion went 4-4 with three singles and a double for Boise.
Cubs 2012 2nd round draft pick RHP Duane Underwood got the start for Boise and hurled 3.1 IP. He struggled to command his fastball (82 pitches - only 40 strikes), allowing two runs on four hits and five walks and two WP. He also struck out four.
RHP Jorge Diaz pitched for Boise although he is assigned to the AZL Cubs.
The game was a seven-inning contest.
The Hawks arrived by bus at 6 AM for the 7:30 AM game, and departed for Sky Harbor Airport after the conclusion of the game. They are due to arrive in Boise at 5:30 PM (local time). They will travel by bus from Boise to Eugene on Thursday, and will play their first 2013 NWL game Friday night.
There was a lot of loud joking around by the Boise players (like giving Shawon Dunston Jr a rash of shit about his tweets), but the AZL Cubs were fairly quiet. Players spend ten weeks at Extended Spring Training trying to make the Boise roster (if not Kane County or Daytona), and failing to do so can be a bit of a let-down. For AZL Cubs players like RF Jeffrey Baez (323/400/554 in 75 PA - 24 EXST Cactus League), 3B Jesse Hodges (275/342/449 in EXST Cactus League play - with 321/387/571 over his last ten games), and 1B-OF Xavier Batista (387/441/935 with four HR over his last ten EXST Cactus League games, plus another HR in yesterday's intrasquad game), there had to be a feeling of vindication in soundly beating the team that will be leaving without them. All three deserve to be in Boise (and Batista probably should be at Kane County), but justice is usually not a factor when it comes to assigning players to a particular minor league affiliate.
AA Tennessee OF Jae-Hoon Ha continued his rehab, playing CF for five inings for the AZL Cubs and batting seven times in the game (once each inning). Ha went 1-6 with two fly outs, two ground outs, a line-drive-out, an RBI double, and a HBP, with two runs scored. He also stole two bases (including third base, and then he scored on an E-2 overthrow), and he also won the bat toss by heaving his bat over the grandstand fence and into the bleachers after being hit in the ribs by an Ethan Elias pitch. Ha looks like he's very close to being ready to return to Tennessee.
AA Tennessee 1B Justin Bour (broken wrist rehab) saw his first game action since April 19th, playing 1B for four innings with the Boise squad and batting five times. He went 1-4 with a sharp ground single through the 3.5 hole and a walk. a 3-1 GO, and two strike outs (both swinging). Bour left the game temporarily during the 5th & 6th innings and went over to Field #1 and took about four dozen ground balls around first base. One thing about Bour is that he is a tireless worker.
Beefy 3B-1B Mark Malave was pressed into service at 2B for the AZL Cubs today. That's because INF Brad Zapenas was absent from Fitch Park, possibly en route to join the Kane County Cougars to replace INF David Bote, who has been assigned to Boise. (Bote will join his Hawks teammates in Boise). Zapenas hit 382/446/564 in 22 EXST Cactus League games (65 PA) while rehabbing from 2012 season-ending shoulder surgery.
RHP Mike Hamann was (somewhat surprisingly) not on the Boise roster posted yesterday, but that might be because be could be going to KC instead. (Hamann was the Cubs #1 closer at Extended Spring Training). Or he may not be 100%.
2009 South Korean bonus baby ($550K) OF Dong-Yub Kim has disappeared from Fitch Park and may heve been released (can't be confirmed). Kim sufferered a torn labrum in his right shoulder at AZ Instructs post-2009, and eventually learned to throw left-handed. But even then he has a below-average arm (even for a LF), and so he had to hit a ton to remain a prospect. And while he still has plus bat speed and runs well for a big guy, it probably isn't enough (245/328/396 with three doubles, one triple, one home run, and eight RBI, in 27 EXST Cactus League games - 61 PA).
Here is the box score from today's game:
BOISE HAWKS LINEUP:
X. Justin Bour, 1B-DH: 1-4 (K, 1B, BB, 3-1, K)
NOTE: Bour batted five times, hitting 3rd in the 1st & 2nd innings, 4th in the 3rd & 4th, and 6th in the 7th
1. Kevin Encarnacion, LF: 4-4 (1B, 1B, 2B, 1B, R, RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF 1-3 (F-8, 1B, E-1, BB, R, SB)
3a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-2 (P-6, 4-3, F-9 SF, RBI)
3b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 4th TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
4. Justin Marra, C-DH: 0-3 (4-3, K, K, BB)
5. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K)
6. Trevor Gretzky, DH-1B: 0-3 (4-3, L-7, 6-3)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-3 (E-7, 1B, F-9, R, SB)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER)
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-0 (HBP)
9. Jose Dore, 3B: 0-3 (3-U, 4-3, 3-6-3 DP)
AZL CUBS LINEUP:
X. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF-DH: 1-6 (5-3, F-9, L-7, F-7, HBP, 2B, 6-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB)
NOTE: Ha batted seven times, leading off the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th innings, and hitting 2nd in the 6th
1. Jose Morales, C-DH: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, BB, SB)
2. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 3-3 (BB, 2B, 1B, 1B, R, 3 RBI, CS)
3. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-4 (K, 1B, P-6, K, RBI)
4. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, R, SB)
5. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-1 (BB, BB, K+WP, R, 2 SB)
6. Wilfredo Petit, DH #1: 0-3 (F-8, K, K)
7. Mark Malave, 2B: 0-1 (BB, BB, L-6)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER
8b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-3 (6-4 FC, P-2, K)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Alberto Mineo, DH #2: 0-2 (4-3, F-9)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Erick Castillo, C: 1-2 (P-5, 1B, R)
1. Duane Underwood: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 5 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 82 pitches (40 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
2. Ethan Elias: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 3 WP, 52 pitches (32 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
3. Jorge Diaz: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (10 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Daury Torrez: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 58 pitches (37 strikes), 6/2 GO/FO
2. Starling Peralta: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 20 pitches (11 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Dayan Diaz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Juan Francisco: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 37 pitches (18 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO
BOISE ERRORS: 1
C Rony Rodriguez - E-2 (overthrow on SB attempt at 3rd base allowed runner to score)
AZL CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. LF Garrett Schlecht - E-7 (missed catch on line-drive allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run)
2. P Dayan Diaz - E-1 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
BOISE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Justin Marra: 0-4 CS
2. Rony Rodriguez: 1-2 CS, 1 E (see above)
AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Jose Morales: 0-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with early-morning game-time temperatures in the 90's
How about Kyle Farnsworth? I know he was consistently upper 90s.
If he puts up Soriano numbers I will be ecstatic
I think Javy is learning--but he's learning to make contact, not learning to lay off pitches out of the zone. A quick glance at his plate discipline numbers on Fangraphs shows that his contact rate is up, especially his contact rate out of the zone, but his swing rate is up too, especially his swing rate out of the zone.
I definitely saw ballpark radar guns go up to 102 on Kerry Wood back when he was still a starter, but who knows how accurate they were.
They've mentioned Henry Rodriguez (2013), Chris Carpenter, and Andrew Cashner as Cubs who have gone 100+. They said Rodriguez was tops at 100.8. Who knows before 2008?
He'll play regardless of what he does, just like Soriano played for seven years before they finally ditched him.
What can they do? All I can think of is they can keep hiring and firing hitting coaches until they find one who can get him to stop hitting balls with the handle of the bat.
(All those broken bats added to his paycheck is just a bit much.)
Lester will probably be all right.
I think Arrieta might have added too much muscle preparing for that butt-naked ESPN photo shoot. Pitchers are supposed to be loose, not muscled up.
I have basically written off Heyward for this year -- if you are working on major swing changes in late July, you are going to struggle. Hopefully, he can be more productive at the plate next year. It will be interesting to see what they do with him if the Cardinals keep winning and close the gap. Heyward is dead last in the NL in slugging and in the bottom 5 in OPS -- yet still has a positive WAR. Hunh.
Has anybody in a Cub uniform ever thrown a ball 103 before?
He certainly looks better, no doubt, and is a different player than what we saw when he first came up. Full credit to him for changing his approach and saving his career.
But he has zero walks in 35AB since the break, and 10 in 251 AB all year. He does seem to be able to hit some pitches out of the zone, but, a guy with his pop should be drawing more walks. However, it's easy to forget he is still only 23, and probably trying to make an impact to prove he should be an everyday player.
The usual suspects, Molina and Wong. Gyorko drew a walk with two outs, none on. I recall us (particularly Szczur and Bryant) swinging at everything Familia threw.
Yup. Thanks Q
Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTNekUcY-XM
I for one hope that Sosa comes back soon.
O/B interesting you should mention that. Google ESPN Science Aroldis Chapman and you'll be treated to how his mechanics and delivery are possibly historic. It's the 120% of his body stretch plus the torque. They compare him to the Unit and NRyan.
Amazing how much lower the production gets when Bryant runs into a mini-cold streak. He doesn't stay cold for long. If just one of Zobrist or, gulp, Heyward, gets hot, they oughta have one more really nice winning streak in them. Having a closer that you have absolute confidence in can't hurt.