AZL Cubs Kick Boise Hawks Out of Fitch Park

Jesse Hodges reached base four times on a double, two singles, and a walk, drove-in three runs, and scored another, and Jose Morales also reached base four times on a double, two singles, and a walk, leading the AZL Cubs to a 7-2 victory over the Boise Hawks this morning at Fitch Park Field #4 in Mesa, AZ.  

Kevin Encarnacion went 4-4 with three singles and a double for Boise.

Cubs 2012 2nd round draft pick RHP Duane Underwood got the start for Boise and hurled 3.1 IP. He struggled to command his fastball (82 pitches - only 40 strikes), allowing two runs on four hits and five walks and two WP. He also struck out four.

RHP Jorge Diaz pitched for Boise although he is assigned to the AZL Cubs.  

The game was a seven-inning contest.  

The Hawks arrived by bus at 6 AM for the 7:30 AM game, and departed for Sky Harbor Airport after the conclusion of the game. They are due to arrive in Boise at 5:30 PM (local time). They will travel by bus from Boise to Eugene on Thursday, and will play their first 2013 NWL game Friday night.  

There was a lot of loud joking around by the Boise players (like giving Shawon Dunston Jr a rash of shit about his tweets), but the AZL Cubs were fairly quiet. Players spend ten weeks at Extended Spring Training trying to make the Boise roster (if not Kane County or Daytona), and failing to do so can be a bit of a let-down. For AZL Cubs players like RF Jeffrey Baez (323/400/554 in 75 PA - 24 EXST Cactus League), 3B Jesse Hodges (275/342/449 in EXST Cactus League play  - with 321/387/571 over his last ten games), and 1B-OF Xavier Batista (387/441/935 with four HR over his last ten EXST Cactus League games, plus another HR in yesterday's intrasquad game), there had to be a feeling of vindication in soundly beating the team that will be leaving without them. All three deserve to be in Boise (and Batista probably should be at Kane County), but justice is usually not a factor when it comes to assigning players to a particular minor league affiliate.

AA Tennessee OF Jae-Hoon Ha continued his rehab, playing CF for five inings for the AZL Cubs and batting seven times in the game (once each inning). Ha went 1-6 with two fly outs, two ground outs, a line-drive-out, an RBI double, and a HBP, with two runs scored. He also stole two bases (including third base, and then he scored on an E-2 overthrow), and he also won the bat toss by heaving his bat over the grandstand fence and into the bleachers after being hit in the ribs by an Ethan Elias pitch. Ha looks like he's very close to being ready to return to Tennessee.

AA Tennessee 1B Justin Bour (broken wrist rehab) saw his first game action since April 19th, playing 1B for four innings with the Boise squad and batting five times. He went 1-4 with a sharp ground single through the 3.5 hole and a walk. a 3-1 GO, and two strike outs (both swinging). Bour left the game temporarily during the 5th & 6th innings and went over to Field #1 and took about four dozen ground balls around first base. One thing about Bour is that he is a tireless worker.    

Beefy 3B-1B Mark Malave was pressed into service at 2B for the AZL Cubs today. That's because INF Brad Zapenas was absent from Fitch Park, possibly en route to join the Kane County Cougars to replace INF David Bote, who has been assigned to Boise. (Bote will join his Hawks teammates in Boise). Zapenas hit 382/446/564 in 22 EXST Cactus League games (65 PA) while rehabbing from 2012 season-ending shoulder surgery.  

RHP Mike Hamann was (somewhat surprisingly) not on the Boise roster posted yesterday, but that might be because be could be going to KC instead. (Hamann was the Cubs #1 closer at Extended Spring Training). Or he may not be 100%.

2009 South Korean bonus baby ($550K) OF Dong-Yub Kim has disappeared from Fitch Park and may heve been released (can't be confirmed). Kim sufferered a torn labrum in his right shoulder at AZ Instructs post-2009, and eventually learned to throw left-handed. But even then he has a below-average arm (even for a LF), and so he had to hit a ton to remain a prospect. And while he still has plus bat speed and runs well for a big guy, it probably isn't enough (245/328/396 with three doubles, one triple, one home run, and eight RBI, in 27 EXST Cactus League games - 61 PA). 
 
Here is the box score from today's game:



BOISE HAWKS LINEUP:
X. Justin Bour, 1B-DH: 1-4 (K, 1B, BB, 3-1, K)
NOTE: Bour batted five times, hitting 3rd in the 1st & 2nd innings, 4th in the 3rd & 4th, and 6th in the 7th
1. Kevin Encarnacion, LF: 4-4 (1B, 1B, 2B, 1B, R, RBI)
2. Shawon Dunston Jr, CF 1-3 (F-8, 1B, E-1, BB, R, SB)
3a. Yasiel Balaguert, RF: 0-2 (P-6, 4-3, F-9 SF, RBI)
3b. SLOT WAS SKIPPED 4th TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
4. Justin Marra, C-DH: 0-3 (4-3, K, K, BB)
5. Danny Lockhart, 2B: 0-3 (K, 4-3, K)
6. Trevor Gretzky, DH-1B: 0-3 (4-3, L-7, 6-3)
7. Carlos Penalver, SS: 1-3 (E-7, 1B, F-9, R, SB)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER)
8b. Rony Rodriguez, C: 0-0 (HBP)
9. Jose Dore, 3B: 0-3 (3-U, 4-3, 3-6-3 DP)

AZL CUBS LINEUP:
X. Jae-Hoon Ha, CF-DH: 1-6 (5-3, F-9, L-7, F-7, HBP, 2B, 6-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB)
NOTE: Ha batted seven times, leading off the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th innings, and hitting 2nd in the 6th
1. Jose Morales, C-DH: 3-3 (2B, 1B, 1B, BB, SB)
2. Jesse Hodges, 3B: 3-3 (BB, 2B, 1B, 1B, R, 3 RBI, CS)
3. Xavier Batista, 1B: 1-4 (K, 1B, P-6, K, RBI)
4. Jeffrey Baez, RF: 1-3 (K, K, 1B, R, SB)
5. Garrett Schlecht, LF: 0-1 (BB, BB, K+WP, R, 2 SB)
6. Wilfredo Petit, DH #1: 0-3 (F-8, K, K)
7. Mark Malave, 2B: 0-1 (BB, BB, L-6)
8a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TWO TIMES THRU BATTING ORDER 
8b. Rashad Crawford, CF: 1-1 (1B, RBI)
9. Francisco Sanchez, SS: 0-3 (6-4 FC, P-2, K)
10a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
10b. Alberto Mineo, DH #2: 0-2 (4-3, F-9)
11a. SLOT WAS SKIPPED FIRST TIME THRU BATTING ORDER
11b. Erick Castillo, C: 1-2 (P-5, 1B, R)

BOISE PITCHERS:
1. Duane Underwood: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), 5 BB, 4 K, 2 WP, 82 pitches (40 strikes), 2/4 GO/FO
2. Ethan Elias: 3.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (4 ER), 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 3 WP, 52 pitches (32 strikes), 1/4 GO/FO
3. Jorge Diaz: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 1 K, 17 pitches (10 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO 

AZL CUBS PITCHERS:
1. Daury Torrez: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 2 K, 58 pitches (37 strikes), 6/2 GO/FO
2. Starling Peralta: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 20 pitches (11 strikes), 2/1 GO/FO
3. Dayan Diaz: 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 17 pitches (12 strikes), 0/1 GO/FO
4. Juan Francisco: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP, 1 WP, 1 GIDP, 37 pitches (18 strikes), 3/1 GO/FO

BOISE ERRORS: 1
C Rony Rodriguez - E-2 (overthrow on SB attempt at 3rd base allowed runner to score) 

AZL CUBS ERRORS: 2
1. LF Garrett Schlecht - E-7 (missed catch on line-drive allowed batter to reach base safely - eventually scored unearned run) 
2. P Dayan Diaz - E-1 (throwing error allowed batter to reach base safely)
    
BOISE CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Justin Marra: 0-4 CS
2. Rony Rodriguez: 1-2 CS, 1 E (see above)

AZL CUBS CATCHERS DEFENSE:
1. Jose Morales: 0-1 CS
2. Erick Castillo: 0-1 CS  

ATTENDANCE: 6

WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with early-morning game-time temperatures in the 90's 

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Comments

Sucks for Baez. How did Gretzky (among others) beat him out? Hopefully if Baez rakes in Arizona he'll still be a strong candidate for KaneCo next spring.

Gordon Wittenmyer ‏@GDubCub

Stewart being suspended without pay, per loyalty clause, says Theo. term TBA.

theo interview on WGN about this...pretty cut/dry statement from him...says details will come out tomorrow.

says they will consider calling him up if the cubs happen to need a 3rd baseman...which they probably won't given the high production they're getting out of their current duo.

also says stewart is "still trying to figure out AAA pitching"...

blazing finger picking banjo music going to commercial on tonight's WGN game...something tells me len's been sitting around drinking coffee all day. well, it's better than toad the wet sprocket and cheap trick...no, wait, it isn't. plus, i think they've played every single song the replacements have ever made already over the past few years of len's tenure.

interesting zone on the 1st reds batter...unless corrected, inside (left) is being called for a strike obviously inches outside the zone.

after 3ip, it seems the zone has been corrected.

Jim Callis says:

This year, I see only two draftees who project to become their organization’s top prospect, and one of those is highly debatable. Third baseman/outfielder Kris Bryant (No. 2) had the best power in this year’s draft, and though it’s an extremely close call, I’d take him over shortstop Javier Baez and outfielders Albert Almora and Jorge Soler in the Cubs system. I’d also tab righthander Jonathan Gray (No. 3) over outfielder David Dahl in the Rockies system.

http://www.baseballamerica.com/draft/ask-ba-which-...

carlos correa is a hell of a prospect...even though appel will probably get to the bigs a couple years earlier.

Several of the respected Blog/Stat sites, BA/BP/Law, maintained that Hou made a major gaffe by not selecting Buxton over Correa.

s.hariston...that's fine...just jog after that passed ball.

turn a single...into a single and an error...into a singe and a 2 base error.

wtf?

skip the camp rehab...send z.putnam down now...yeesh.

...and the trainer is out...and putnam is out...guess that might force the issue sooner.

Bruce Miles‏@BruceMiles2112
It's 1 IP, 1 H and 1 K for Shawn Camp in a rehab appearance tonight for @KCCougars

c.ransom with 3 errors tonight @3rd.

he did hit his 7th HR, though...in only 67ab.

Cubs acquired RHP Henry Rodriguez from the Nationals in exchange for RHP Ian Dickson.

Dickson was the 35th round pick of the 2011 draft.

ugly numbers on h.rodriguez, but that's a steal for a guy that throws 97mph and is in his 3rd year of club control.

...now all he needs is a concept of how to control his fastball/slider/change.

Cubs Designate Eduardo Sanchez For Assignment

Cubs acquire Nats reliever Henry Rodriguez for Kane County pitcher Ian Dickson.

I remember Rodriguez as a hard thrower but very wild.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cg...

oddly enough mlbtr has the Henry Rodriguez link to the former Cub (throwing Oh Henry candy bars from the bleachers), the left fielder from 1998.

Rodriguez had been with the Nationals since prior to the 2011 season, when they dealt Josh Willingham to Oakland for him and minor league outfielder Corey Brown. Rodriguez showed flashes of brilliance, but more often could not control his 100-mph fastball. He tumbled from a brief stint as the team’s closer in 2012 to mop-up work this season.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-jour...

They held out hope he would correct his command issues and he showed glimpses of it last spring training, early last season and on rare opportunities this season. But, with playoff and World Series hopes, the Nationals couldn’t continue to operate with essentially a six-man bullpen or a liability on the mound when he pitched.
“We thought we could make him an impact type of relief pitcher,” Rizzo said. “It just didn’t work out for us. His stuff is well-documented. You’ve all seen it. On occasion he could dominant a baseball game. We tried to be as patient as we could with him but the situation we’re in now it’s a performance league.”
Rodriguez said he was surprised by the news on Tuesday afternoon and expects the Nationals to place him on waivers. “Gotta push ahead and hope for the best for me,” he said in Spanish. “Part of the experience and keep yourself positive. I’m not the first nor the last that this has happened to.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-jour...

Rotowire is full of tidbits...

Zach Putnam will receive an MRI on his right elbow.
Putnam had to leave Tuesday's game after three batters because the elbow was barking at him. He's dealt with bone spurs, so it's likely a recurrence of that issue.
Source: Gordon Wittenmyer on Twitter

Cubs designated RHP Eduardo Sanchez for assignment.
Sanchez had just been claimed off waivers from the Cardinals a couple weeks ago. He's had his control problems, but the right-hander has a big arm that could again draw interest on waivers.

Nationals acquired RHP Ian Dickson from the Cubs in exchange for RHP Henry Rodriguez.
Dickson, a 35th-round pick in 2011, has a career 6.06 ERA over 26 appearances in A-ball. He's nothing more than a thrown-in.

Cubs acquired RHP Henry Rodriguez from the Nationals in exchange for RHP Ian Dickson.
Rodriguez had been designated for assignment last week. Despite a 5.13 ERA and 1.50 WHIP since the beginning of last season, it's no surprise that it didn't take him long to find another job in the majors, as there's always someone willing to take a chance on a guy that can throw 100 mph. Rodriguez figures to work the middle innings initially, but in the Cubs' unstable bullpen, he could find his way to the later frames if he pitches well.

I have that box of Oh! Henry candy bars somewhere.

i love this ARZ/LA game so much...beanball war...greinke involved...brilliance.

don mattingly is pissssssssssssssssed...mark mcgwire is roid raging all over the field more pissed than the hulk before he goes green.

grienke gets HBP (almost takes it in the face, got him top the shoulder)...FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT.

4 HBP on the night...2 from each team.

awesomeness.

fwiw, greinke took his HBP like a man and was rather chill about it...both dugouts emptied really quickly and chaos ensued, though.

Fun to watch. I'd want to knock that shit-eating grin off Geinke's face too, though.

And Mcgwire really did look like he was going to hulksmash someone, anyone.

5th hit batter goes down without incident...breaking ball from patterson (ARZ)...both teams (and the ump) figure that one was an accident, not a message.

Trammell is three years older. So not bad for a 95-year-old.

What happened to Greinke the anxiety disorder guy? Sounds like he's gotten over that.

Ian Stewart, your new job is lined up... http://www.rogersautogroup.net/rogers-auto-group--...

Thanks PHIL for the eye-witness report.

The Cubs are making progress lately in the 2014 Draft Position. I think that they can still catch the Mets. The Marlins are out of reach, unfortunately, and the Stros will probably hold on. So, i'd be pleased with a top 3 pick.

Since yesterday's post from Fitch Park, the following has been learned:

INF Brad Zapenas has indeed been moved up to Kane County, replacing INF David Bote (who was assigned to Boise). Zapenas was the Cubs 2011 42nd round draft pick out of Boston College, and missed most of last season after undergoing shoulder surgery. "Zap" (as he is called) hit 382/446/564 in 22 Cactus League Extended Spring Training games (65 PA), playing 2B-3B-SS.

Cubs 2012 16th round draft pick RHRP Mike Hamann (U. of Toledo) has indeed been moved up from Fitch Park, but it was to AA Tennessee, not to Boise or KC. That jump is a bit surprising, but Hamann was the Cubs #1 closer in EXST and there is no way he was staying in Mesa. 

Paul Sullivan‏@PWSullivan
Brooks Raley up to take Putnam spot. On DL with sore elbow. Rodriguez not here til Friday.

Hi Phil, I agree with you 100% on the players that you felt should have made the Boise roster. It looks like extsp ended a lot better than it started. Seemed like the hitting improved tremendously toward the end. I have noticed a lot of players throughout the organization are doing much better. Thanks for all the reports. Bob

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