Kubs Korean Konnection Keeps Klickin'
Hak-Ju Lee stroked RBI singles in the 6th and the 8th to help carry the Cubs to a 6-2 victory over the A’s Split Squad #1 in AZ Instructional League action at Fitch Park Field #3 in Mesa this morning.
Korean bonus baby Jin-Yeong Kim got the start for the Cubs, making his professional debut. The 18-year old right-hander showed no evidence of nervousness or inexperience, as he displayed pinpoint control while mixing a 91 MPH two-seam sinking fastball with a curve and a change-up, keeping the A’s hitters off-balance through the first two innings (K-s, K-s, 1-3 in the 1st, then K-s, 2B, 3-1, 4-3 in the 2nd). Kim received a reported $1.2M signing bonus earlier this year, believed to be the second-largest bonus ever given to an international player to date by the Cubs. (Only RHP Jae-Kuk Ryu got more)
Cubs 2010 9th round pick RHP Kevin Rhoderick also made his professional debut this morning, pumping mid-90’s gas and a killer slider at the A’s while striking out the first four men he faced, the first two after he entered the game with runners at 2nd & 3rd and one out in the 6th. Rhoderick was the closer at Oregon State the past three seasons, and was a first-team Freshman All-American in 2008. He suffered from inconsistency this past season, but If he can continue to throw the ball in subsequent outings as he did today, he will be racing fellow fireballin’ 2010 draft pick RHP Aaron Kurcz (10th round selection out of the College of Southern Nevada) to see who can move up the pipeline the fastest.
In addition to the fine debut outings by Kim and Rhoderick, RHPs Austin Reed (Cubs 2010 12th round pick out of Rancho Cucamonga HS - Rancho Cucamonga, CA) and Matt Loosen (Cubs 2010 23rd round pick out of Jacksonville U.) threw two shutout innings a piece. Reed was recently named one of the Top 20 Prospects (#11) in the Arizona League (AZL) by Baseball America, the only AZL Cub to make the list.
The Cub defensive play of the day was a run-saving running catch on the warning track in the right-centerfield alley by CF Evan Crawford to close out the top of the 4th. (Possibly the fastest player currently in the Cubs system, Crawford was the gazelle the Cubs got back from the Giants in exchange for Mike Fontenot this past August).
17-year old 3B Dustin Geiger (2010 24th round pick out of Merritt Island HS - Brevard County, FL) was hit on the hand by a pitch in the bottom of the 5th and had to leave the game. Hopefully nothing is broken.
Here is today’s abridged box score (Cubs players only):
1. Evan Crawford, CF: 1-4 (2B, F-9, K, 1-5 FC, R)
2. Hak-Ju Lee, SS-DH: 2-4 (L-5, K, 1B, 1B, 2 RBI, 2 R)
3. Justin Bour, 1B: 2-4 (K, K, 1B, 1B, RBI)
4. Max Kwan, C-DH: 0-3 (K, HBP, L-4, K, CS)
5a. Dustin Geiger, 3B: 0-1 (K, HBP)
5b. Willson Contreras, PR-3B: 0-2 (4-3, E4, R)
6. Micah Gibbs, DH-C: 1-3 (K, 1B, BB, K)
7a. Wes Darvill, 2B: 0-2 (6-3, 6-4 FC, RBI, SB)
7b. Gioskar Amaya, 2B: 0-2 (F-8, 5-3)
8. Reggie Golden, RF: 0-3 (BB, 4-3, K, K, CS)
9a. Chris Huseby, LF: 1-3 (6-3, K, 1B)
9b. Pin-Chieh Chen, PH: 0-1 (5-3)
10. Marco Hernandez, DH-SS: 1-3 (K, E4, 1B, 2 R)
1. Jin-Yeong Kim: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 28 pitches (20 strikes), 3/0 GO/FO
2. Austin Reed: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 25 pitches (16 strikes), 1/5 GO/FO
3. Hunter Ackerman: 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K, 31 pitches (19 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Kevin Rhoderick: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 25 pitches (17 strikes), 1/0 GO/FO
5. Matt Loosen: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 GIDP, 28 pitches (18 strikes), 2/3 GO/FO
Max Kwan: 0-1 CS
WEATHER: Hot and sunny, with temperatures in the 90’s
2010 CUBS INSTRUCTIONAL LEAGUE ROSTER:
ACTIVE LIST (47):
* bats or throws left
# bats both
* Hunter Ackerman
* Brent Ebinger
* Cam Greathouse
* Casey Harman
* Jeff Lorick
* Brian Smith
Alvaro Sosa (ex-C)
Charles Thomas (ex-3B)
* Sergio Burruel
# Micah Gibbs
# Engel Santana
* Justin Bour
* Ryan Cuneo
* Pin-Chieh Chen
* Wes Darvill
* Marco Hernandez
* Hak-Ju Lee
D. J. Lemahieu
* Logan Watkins
* Delbis Arcila
Chris Huseby (ex-P)
* Kyung-Min Na
# Oliver Zapata
Scherzer is not a bad hitting pitcher, but really???
This game is already bumming me out. Hope the Cubs brought their bats.
Just read that when Hendricks starts the Cubs have won 33 times in his first 50 games which is the best for any Cubs starter since the 1940s. So he might not be getting a ton of wins but he's at least leaving the team in a winnable spot
That and we've had a lot of terrible teams.
I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?