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
crunch 11 hours 8 min ago (view)
minor league baseball has to provide housing for minor leaguers starting 2022 (paid for by MLB parent clubs). this is HUGE news and will make it possible for guys to stick around longer without having to quit the game just to earn a basic living. for minor league players working in expensive housing markets this is a life saver.
activist players from the OAK and LAA minor league teams as well as minor league player labor advocacy organizations were a huge part of making this happen. good work.
bradsbeard 14 hours 50 min ago (view)
Did you have any occasion to observe Pedro Ramirez? Not sure if he got into any games or not (now that I think of it, you wrote up at least one game he played in).
Arizona Phil 20 hours 4 min ago (view)
azbobbop: Certainly LHSPs Drew Gray and Luke Little have emerged as legit significant high-end SP prospects. RHSP Luis Devers has probably displaced Koen Moreno as the top "pitchability" SP prospect in the lower levels of the Cubs system. Tyler Schlaffer (another "pitchability" guy) also had an impressive Instructs, although Devers is a better SP prospect because he has a solid three-pitch mix and knows how to use it, while Schlaffer has just the 92-94 FB & CV (although both are solid offerngs) and isn't as polished as Devers is.
Hagsag 1 day 2 hours ago (view)
This is the first time I have heard about the four month program in November.
azbobbop 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Phil, now that instructional scare finished, which players impressed you the most and who are disappointments.
tim815 1 day 12 hours ago (view)
Cool. Should help his trade value if the bat plays.
Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
TIM: Peter Matt looks very comfortable at 3B. He is a classic "four-corner" guy (1B-3B-LF-RF).
Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
KKvG: I strongly suspect Koen Moreno's outing was more about getting out on the mound and throwing in a game than anything. He did get several swings & misses from his CH (which is a plus-pitch), and he uses his low 90's FB to set-up the CH.
I didn't see any breaking balls, although it's possible I might have mistaken a CH for one.
Koen Moreno is what scouts call a "pitchability" guy. Nothing wrong with that, BTW. MLB starting rotations are full of pitchers like that.
Arizona Phil 1 day 14 hours ago (view)
Childersb3: Not much bat speed. Just "lug-power." I actually like Matt Mervis better.
Hagsag 1 day 17 hours ago (view)
Thanks wrigley rat.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 19 hours ago (view)
HAGSAG - Not Phil, but I think this info was from him in the past:
RHP/OF (signed as a two-way player - seems to be sticking with hitting for now), R/R, 5'11 180, Age 18, SPAIN
Childersb3 1 day 21 hours ago (view)
Does Bryce Ball have any real bat speed, or is he just a big guy that waves at the ball and makes contact 1of5 times?
Hagsag 2 days 2 hours ago (view)
Phil, tell me about Frank Fernandez.
tim815 2 days 9 hours ago (view)
If Matt is "not horrible" at third, that could be useful.
crunch 3 days 10 hours ago (view)
bonds got a standing-O after being introduced between innings at LAD @ SF.
as he sat down, dude looked extremely genuinely happy to hear the park errupt in cheers for him again.
it's not his first time back, nor his first set of cheers, but the park is packed and loud.
Cubster 4 days 9 hours ago (view)
Jed's GM search wrapping up, and the winner is: (Athletic write up): 37 yr old "Carter Hawkins, Cleveland assistant general manager, deals with all aspects of baseball operations in a front office admired for its stability, creativity in turning over the roster and ability to keep churning out pitchers.