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
When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.
I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.
Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.
The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.
Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.
If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.
Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."
This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.
I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.
They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.
However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.
I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
- They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
- Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.
new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup
Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.
.500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.
...i hate espn.
nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.
oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.
I'm liking this rookie Nathan.
Richard DFA'd. Meh...
Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.
The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.
If the ball didn't deflect off the pitcher's mound, the game wouldn't have ended. Montgomery did miss his location though, but if that same contact was made and went in any of direction, good chance of ground out if it doesn't get through.
If it was 1 night later, Chapman would be out there and we probably would be going to extras.
Also, If KB wasn't robbed of a HR, perhaps we would have won. We will never know. Nice play by Melky though.
The comparison isn't Chapman replacing Rondon. It's Chapman replacing Richard (hopefully) in the pen. Chapman's better.