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

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  • BRADSBEARD: I haven't noticed any new rule or a change in the interpretation of an existing rule happening in Advanced Instructs, I don't know what rules will be tested in the AFL, although almost all recent rule changes and new interpretations of existing rules (the home plate collision rule, replay, time clock between innings, et al) do get their start in the AFL.  

  • Yep

  • AZ Phil: I've heard that the AFL will be testing out a new force out rule that would affect break-up plays (like the Utley play). Have you heard anything about this new rule and any details about it? Are they testing it out at the advanced instructs as well?

  • Pretty sure I already know the answer to this, but since I will be in NYC next week I want to confirm... If the Cubs were to advance to the NLCS, the winner of LAD/NYM would have home field based on being a division winner (as opposed to Cubs by virtue of better record), correct?

  • CUBSTER: This "hammy" is on the other leg I heard last night. See you at the ballyard today young man!

  • Lulz

  • Oh what do you know, Cubster? Go back to your day job.

    --- Ducks, puts on Cardinals cap, runs.

  • Russell had a severe hamstring last year while with the A's system, forcing him to miss the first half of 2014. I've even wondered if his injury last year was a component of Billy Beane putting him on the trade market. He was quoted saying that last year's injury was a 10 out of 10 when it happened. Last night he said his hamstring soreness was a 1/1.5 out of 10. Hamstring injuries are tricky though, so I'd expect the medical team to be overly cautious here.

  • ...I want to reinforce the observation that there was no sea of red in the crowd. The usual Cardinal fans roaming the stadium were few and far between.

    Also, almost every 2 strike pitch brought the fans to their feet. Good for those in knee rehab.

  • "1st team hit hit 6HR in a game in the postseason." rises above obvious...i checked it with the official fact-finding commission of Douche, Douche, and Douchestein. they agreed with you, but they're a bunch of f'n douches so who cares?

    btw, the cubs are 2-1 in the post-season series.

  • I should be able to watch the game on the NFL replay app, whatever that thing is called. I've got it on my iPad. This is the first year I haven't forced myself to somehow watch every game - no I take that back, last year was - in quite some time. Last year was so unbearable, no pun intended.

    You make some good points about Cutler, and I was a holdout defender of Cutler for a long time. I gave up on him a bit after one too many dumb interceptions, but last year doesn't count. Trestman was the worst coach in Bears history.

  • Nice little reportage there!. I think you're older than me. Considerably older. Maybe several generations. Working out is so essential, especially as age kicks in, isn't it? I still lift weights, and so I'm confident that when I get to be at the hip breaking age, mine won't be a statistic. But I have a ways to go for that to be a concern.

  • What was impressive to me is that the Cubs won despite poor base running, several defensive miscues, Russell leaving due to injury, Arrieta having an off game and getting knocked out early, and Rondon giving up 2 runs in the 9th. If they can win a game like that... 

  • I was there too. The crowd was absolutely electric. People were standing for every big and semi-big moment, from the first inning on. It felt incredibly strange and exhilarating to see the Cubs (the Chicago bleepin' Cubs!) score playoff insurance runs on the Cardinals. What a game. One to remember.

  • 14 in attendance. What's the record for attendance in the fall? I guess I should ask what the record attendance listed is in one of your recaps.

  • I was there too, with my grown son. This is my miracle year-- I rose to the top of the season ticket list after eight years, completely unexpectedly, and my wonderful wife agreed to put the ticket fee on the emergency credit card. The whole point of course was that the Cubs were going to be good this year, and then for a while, so to get season tickets with the guaranteed shot at the postseason was incredible timing. We got to the remote lot at 4:10 after stopping at Nhu Lan for our usual banh mi sandwiches, only to find the lot full, way earlier than normal.