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)
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
WEATHER: Sunny & breezy with early-morning game-time temperatures in the 90's
I expect Soler to get optioned as well when activated and Cahill to replace Grimm. It wouldn't surprise me if Coghlan and/or Soler is included in a trade.
Maybe Coghlan is up to see if he can get on track before someone acquires him.
This move could also be to assure that we have as much OF depth as possible to maximize Joe's ability to rest players in September once we've clinched.
Maddon basically said as much...Fowler still kind of sore, they're being proactive, etc.
La Stella at 2B...Baez at 3B, or vice versa. Zobrist in RF, Bryant in LF No one gets bumped.
If Coghlan is leading off, I assume Fowler is getting the day off. Who is supposed to lead off, then? Someone has to get on base for Bryant and Rizzo. Coghlan's OBP is .346 with the Cubs. Jackson's was .304. LaStella can lead off, but then he has to play second or third, and bump Zobrist or Baez.
Unless he gets hot, Coghlan will likely change places with Soler soon.
I suspect the Cubs asked Chris Coghlan if he would accept an Optional Assignment to the minors and he refused (Coghlan has one minor league option left), so either you keep LaStella on the 25 and release Coghlan, or option LaStella to AAA for about a month and have both LaStella and Coghlan available in September-October. (As an Article XIX-A player, Coghlan must give his permission before he can be optioned to the minors, while LaStella has not accrued enough MLB Service Time to refuse an optional assignment).
Given today's lineup -- maybe they just wanted an extra OF to give Dexter a few days off (i.e. day game after a night game).
Tommy LaStella has three minor leaue options left so it's no big deal to send him to Iowa, but as of right now he projects to be at 2+124 MLB Service Time by the end of the of the 2016 MLB regular season, which will place him "on the bubble" as far as being eligible for salary arbitration as a "Super Two" post-2016.
But if he spends at least twenty days on optional assignment this season (anything less than twenty days and he will accrue a full season of MLB Service Time), he will not have enough MLB Service Time to have a chance to be a "Super Two."
this will be his 4th time leading off for the cubs this season...WITH A .500 OB%! HAIL MADDON! THE PLAN (c)2016! HE HAS RISEN! #YOLO #SWAG! KONY 2012!
I don't hate Coghlan as a PHer but he's leading off today which is as bad as Austin Jackson doing so last year. He doesn't even have the speed.
TLS has options. He will be up again in Sept, and maybe earlier.
Very odd -- TLS .308/.419 in July (in 26 AB). Strange move for a team struggling to score runs. Hard to imagine Coghlan doing better than that. Maybe they like Coghlan better as a PH?
Sorry to nitpick -- but the first game wasn't a save.
Wow La Stella sent to Iowa and Coghlan brought up. I'm not a huge Stella fan but he has been hitting lately and is to me better than Coghlan. Neither are good defensively but I guess Coghlan can play the outfield allowing Bryant to stay at 3rd more where he's better.
Not 2nd to last but Cubs are definitely bottom of the pack in the 2nd half in oWAR and wRC+. #1 in dWAR though which is certainly a good sign for the playoffs.
I was going to say that you wouldn't want Heyward to achieve Soriano's OBP--.317 with the Cubs--but now I see that he's already done that. Pitchers have lost their fear of him.
Oh, well, at least Chapman seems to be as good as advertised.
Thanks to E-man and Quiet Man for the link on Chapman in a previous post. It's funny because I never really noticed Chapman's delivery until I saw him doing it in a blue uniform. Two saves in a Cubs uniform already. I hope they don't need him today, despite that smooth delivery.