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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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the mlb.tv internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup equation...plus joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.