Ha Gets Last Laugh at Fitch Park

Matt Loosen retired the first ten men he faced and combined with three relievers to throw a four hitter and Jae-Hoon Ha reached base five times on two walks and three singles (including the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 9th), as the Tennessee Smokies edged the Midland RockHounds (Oakland Athletics AA affiliate) 4-3 on Field #2, and Barret Loux threw five shutout innings and Scott Hairston singled twice, walked, and smacked a solo HR, helping the Iowa Cubs defeat the Sacramento River Cats (A's AAA affiliate) 3-1 on Field #3, in Cactus League Minor League Camp action this afternoon at Fitch Park in Mesa, AZ. 

Hairston was signed by the Cubs during the off-season after hitting 263/299/504 with 20 HR and 25 doubles in 134 games for the New York Mets in 2012, but he is hitting only 176/208/373 with 18 K in 53 PA so far in 18 Cactus League games. So to help him maybe get into a groove, the Cubs sent Hairston to Fitch Park today where he got eight Plate Appearances, leading off for the Iowa Cubs in each inning.

For the day, Hairston went 3-7 with two singles, a HR, and a walk, two strikeouts (one looking and one swinging), a 6-3 ground out, and a P-4 pop out. He hit his HR in last last AB of the day.

Mark Malave and Anthony Prieto got called up from the Boise/Mesa squad (Extended Spring Training) and played in the Tennessee game.  

Here are the abridged box scores from the two games (Cubs players only):


1. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF: 2-2 (1B, BB, BB, 1B, 1B, R, RBI)
2. Roni Torreyes, DH #1: 1-5 (3-U, E-6, 1B, 6-3, L-4, RBI, CS)
3. Javier Baez, SS: 1-4 (1B, K, 1-3, F-7, RBI)
4. Jorge Soler, RF: 1-4 (4-6-3 DP, K, 2B, K)
5. Dustin Geiger, 1B: 0-2 (BB, F-8, 6-3, BB)
6. Rafael Lopez, DH-C: 1-3 (2B, K, BB, K)
7. Evan Crawford, LF: 1-4 (K, 4-3, F-8, 1B, R, SB)
8. Elliot Soto, 2B: 1-4 (4-3, 1B, 5-3, E-1, 2 R)
9a. Luis Flores, C-DH: 2-3 (K, 1B, 1B)
9b. Matt Szczur, PH: 0-1 (K)
10. Mark Malave, 3B: 1-4 (1B, 4-6-3 DP, F-7, K)
11a. Matt Loosen, P: 0-0 (1-4 SH)

1. Matt Loosen: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 GIDP, 56 pitches (36 strikes), 7/5 GO/FO
2. David Cales: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 16 pitches (10 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
3. A. J. Morris: 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 32 pitches (16 strikes), 2/2 GO/FO
4. Anthony Prieto: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K, 17 pitches (10 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO


Rafael Lopez: 1 PB


X. Scott Hairston, DH #1; 3-7 (BB, 6-3, 1B, K, K, 1B, P-4, HR, 2 R, RBI)
NOTE: Hairston batted eight times, leading-off each inning
1. Arismendy Alcantara, SS: 0-3 (K, E-8, K)
2. Logan Watkins, 2B: 1-3 (1B, F-9, K)
3. Josh Vitters, 3B: 2-3 (1B, K, 1B)
4. Justin Bour, 1B: 1-3 (K, 1B, K)
5. Brad Nelson, DH #2: 1-3 (L-6, K, 2B)
6. Ty Wright, LF: 2-3 (1B, 4-3, 1B, R)
7. Michael Brenly, C: 1-3 (1B, F-9, K)
8. Johermyn Chavez, RF: 1-3 (1B, 5-3, K, RBI)
9. Rubi Silva, CF: 0-3 (F-7, K, 5-3)
10. Chad Noble, DH #3: 0-2 (K, 6-4 FC)
11. Barret Loux, P: 0-0 (3-U SH)

1. Barret Loux: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 56 pitches (38 strikes), 5/7 7/5 GO/FO
2. Marcus Hatley: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 24 pitches (19 strikes), 0/3 GO/FO
3. Rafael Dolis: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 23 pitches (12 strikes), 0/2 GO/FO
4. Frank Batista: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, 15 pitches (10 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO



WEATHER: Partly cloudly with temperatures in the 80's



As far as I can determine, the following players were released last weekend:

INF Dustin Harrington, RHP Ty'Relle Harris, 1B Paul Hoilman, RHP Jay Jackson, and OF Nelson Perez 

These five have disappeared and probably were released:

RHP Jason Berken, OF Eliecer Bonne, RHP Carlos Martinez, LHP Matt Spencer, and RHP Scott Weismann  

It is possible that Bonne and/or C. Martinez might have been loaned to a team in the Mexican League. The Cubs have done that with Cuban defectors in the past.  


Another piece of punny headline genius!

Best Headline.

AZP - Best headline of the Spring. Up there in top 5 for last year, imo! Ha! Indeed...

I see what you did there.

How typical is it for an organization to do this, to send a guy with a secure spot on the 25-man roster to a minor-league game in order to get as many AB as possible?

TRANS: It's not that unusual for a big league position player to DH in a minor league Spring Training game and get one AB per inning, but it is unusual to do it once each inning for eight innings. Usually the player will get four or five AB and then go home.

Thank you!  I couldn't recall of hearing of something quite that extensive...  Wonder if it's Sveum just being a bit innovative, or signs of some deeper concern.

aaron hill (ARZ) HBP on the hand and leaves game...a few batters through the lineup later, w.bloomquist takes a funny swing and has to leave the game.

bad night at the plate for ARZ through 3 innings.

ninja 5ip 5h 0bb 4k 1er

...and c.marmol stinks up the place...and it would have been far worse on his numbers without an error.

0ip 4h 1bb 0k (6r, 3er)

1.86 ERA in 9.2ip...to...4.66 ERA in 9.2ip

9.2ip 9h 8bb 4k on the spring.

Nice headline on MLB.com:
"Repeat will be no cake walk for Reds ~
The Reds are favorites to repeat as NL Central champs, but the Cards, Pirates and Brewers could each put up a fight."

But what about the Cubs, they could...oh nevermind.

AzPhil, I may have a first, a question you haven't gotten before.....

What were you wearing today??

Due to some spotty internets, I unfortunately wasn't able to pre-coordinate, but I got my first true Fitch experience today. Super bummed I didn't get to shake your hand, but man, it's like the coolest thing ever! Only thing I can compare it to is being in Hollywood for the Golden Globes (the Academy would've been seeing the big boys that close-up). I didn't get many autos (actually, just nabbed Bill Buckner's when he sat next to me on Field 3) but what a great day.

I haven't been on here in awhile, but thanks much for the Fitch reports, and keep 'em coming!

PS, I'd try to see you tomorrow but we're headed out of town back toward home :(

Several pitchers were moved down at Minor League Camp this week:

Iowa to Tennessee: Alberto Cabrera, Eric Jokisch and Tony Zych

Tennessee to Daytona: Eduardo Figueroa and P.J. Francescon

Daytona to Kane County: Lendy Castillo, Gerardo Concepcion, Eddie Orozco, and Felix Pena

Kane County to Boise/Mesa: Matt Iannazzo

Recent comments

The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • it's day old news, and it's got nothing to do with the cubs, but ichiro signed a $2m deal with MIA (with a $2m option for 2017).

    neat. 41 years old and damn close to 3000 hits.

    also, rain delays suck.

  • take that giants

  • I think that if a team objects to the 1-game wildcard playin game so much, they could just win the pennant and avoid themselves the trouble.

  • Per Jesse Sanchez at mlb.com, Cubs reportedly have signed 20-year old Cuban OF Eddy Julio Martinez for $3M bonus. 

  • BLOCK: Of course any advantage is an advantage. An MLB, NBA, or NHL team getting the extra game at home in a seven game series is an advantage, I just don't think it is enough of an advantage for winning a division and/or having the best record in a conference or league over the course of an 82-game season (NBA and NHL) or 162 game series (MLB).

  • TEX takes the opening game from TOR (@TOR) 5-3.

    TOR lost bautista + donaldson in-game due to injuries...TEX lost beltre...dunno if any will be lingering issues leading to missed games.

  • Ride the Kid Magic! Schwarber hadn't homered in a long time before last night.

  • Greg Maddux was 8-18 in his rookie season. Kyle has the 8 wins down pat.

    Think Baby Maddux.

    Prof. Harold Hill's THINK system at work.


    Kyle is on the far left.

  • I support this. Hendricks has not only looked better lately but seems to start struggling after a few innings which is better than the 1st in the playoffs.

  • Just tweeted via Jesse Rogers: Hendricks starting Game 2. Wow. Just wow.

  • That was good!

  • Well said. On one hand, I thought the HBP was a bad baseball play -- down 4 runs, put a runner on for a red-hot Fowler. On the other hand, they needed to do something -- I hadn't thought about the warning/pitching inside point. Is Hurdle that smart? He does not strike me that way. By the way -- not clear which fan base you are referring to in your "first" 3rd point.

  • My unsolicited opinions on topics covered in this thread:
    1. I hate the fact that after 162 games, a team could be out after 1 game. However, I think the system is pretty close to perfect right now. 2 of 3 isn't feasible unless they shorten the regular season, and it ices the division winners for way too long. This creates excitement, and rewards the division winners.

  • Personally, I think the game could have had a very different look had the Pirates held onto the ball and tagged Fowler out on the steal in the first. Cole was clearly frazzled, but if they took that runner off the base, it could have relaxed him a lot.

  • Football games are played once a week. There are 16 games a year. I'm not even remotely following at all how you can compare the two leagues and playoff systems. It is physically impossible to play a home and away series. The idea of not having any road games in baseball playoffs is certainly a head scratcher.

    How is not having the first and last game at home a benefit for the division winners and team with the best record? How is it not an incentive to win the division when a WC team has to blow their top pitcher?

    Call me lost.

  • Two 97+ win teams in a do-or-die, great bullpens, overpowering starters, plenty of pop--hard to believe that game wouldn't be tense. A 4-0 lead is not a blowout, especially in that situation and with the Cubs' young bullpen. Not only would a defensive play here or there make a difference, but you get the win there also on the home plate umps strike zone (generous strike calls for Arrieta, including a couple Ks), and on Schwarber sitting on the right pitch at the right time.