No Lead Safe When Playing AZL Cubs
Cubs 2008 20th round draft pick and current AZL batting leader LF Jericho Jones (who is now hitting .437) rapped out four hits (three singles and a double), 1B Bryan Jost reached base five times (two singles, a triple, and two walks), and RHP Ryan Searle returned from Australia to throw three innings of no run/no hit relief (0/5 BB/K), as the AZL Cubs rallied from an early 8-0 deficit to edge the AZL Brewers 9-8 at Fitch Park Field #3 Saturday morning.
The 19-year old Searle spent the past two months at the MLB Australian Academy, where he led all MLBAAP startng pitchers in wins, ERA, WHIP, and K. He attended Cubs Minor League Camp and Extended Spring Training in both 2007 and 2008, but yesterday was his first "official" minor league appearance. It was the most dominating outing by any AZL Cubs pitcher at Fitch Park so far this year, with the possible exception of 1st round pick Andrew Cashner's one-inning pro debut on Thursday.
The MLBAAP concluded it's season last week amidst heavy rains that forced cancellation of the last couple of games. In addition to Searle's superior performance, 18-year old left-handed hitting OF Sean Williams hit 330/412/455, good for 3rd in the league in BA, 5th in OBP, and 7th in SLG. He also finished 3rd in doubles and 4th in hits, as well as tying for 2nd in the league in RBI and 4th in runs scored.
At least four Australians (Searle and Williams, plus two 17 year old pitchers--LHP Cody Hams and RHP Adam Spencer) will be attending Cubs Minor League Camp next March.
A former Australian cricket star (bowler), Hams attended Minor League Camp and EXST at Fitch Park this season before returning to Australia with Searle on May 21st for the MLBAAP season.
Korean SS Hak-Ju Lee also attended the MLBAAP this year, but he participated only in the "Two Week Phase" before returning to South Korea.
Like the four Australians, Lee will be at Cubs Minor League Camp next season, and he might possibly also attend the AZ Instructional League at Fitch Park in September-October 2008 (still TBD), as RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (currently rehabbing from recent Tommy John Surgery) did last year.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.
Classic Scully - great stuff.
Thank God we'll still have Hawk next season. (cricket cricket cricket)
Here's Scully's call on Bryant's 10th-inning homer:
"And it's a long fly ball, a mean fly ball, and a gone fly ball."
When the Cubs were the old, hundred-year Cubs, one bad hop did not undo their opponents.
If only he was clutcher. More clutcher.
cubs win...bryant with 7HR in his last 8 games.