Results tagged ‘ Junior Lake ’

8/27 Minor matters – Tuesday’s games

Tacoma beat Iowa, 5-3, on Tuesday, but the I-Cubs playoff hopes are still alive. Omaha lost Tuesday, but Oklahoma City won to take over sole possession of first in the American Northern Division. With five games left to play, the Cubs are four games behind the RedHawks. The I-Cubs and RedHawks play head-to-head for the final four games of the regular season, starting on Friday night at Principal Park in Des Moines.

On Tuesday, Kris Bryant hit a RBI single in the first, but that was the only run off spot-starter Andrew Carraway through five innings. Carraway (8-5) was a last minute replacement when scheduled starter Erasmo Ramirez was scratched. Dan Straily (7-8) took the loss after giving up five runs (four earned) on 10 hits, three walks over five innings. He struck out six.

Junior Lake hit a two-run homer in the eighth, and doubled in the sixth. He has scored at least one run in seven straight games. Brian Schlitter worked one scoreless inning in relief and Jeff Antigua finished with two scoreless innings for the I-Cubs.

Dae-Eun Rhee gets the start in the series finale on Wednesday.

8/16 Extra bases

* Luis Valbuena expected back in the lineup on Sunday. He’s been battling a cold that’s spreading through the clubhouse.

* It’s been a struggle this season for outfielder Junior Lake, who the Cubs are hoping can get back on track playing every day at Triple-A Iowa. Lake was optioned to Iowa to make room on the 25-man roster for pitcher Dan Straily, who started Saturday against the Mets. The outfielder was batting .216 with 102 strikeouts in 98 games. He hit .114 in July.

“We’ll try to get him back on his feet again,” manager Rick Renteria said. “It’s tough for me to have him here. The window right now is just right [for him to go to the Minors].”

Lake was told he would be back with the big league team when rosters expand on Sept. 1.

* Dan Straily is the 10th starting pitcher used by Cubs this season. Last year, they used nine. In 2012, they used 12.

8/15 Lake optioned to Iowa – Updated

Junior Lake will finally get some regular playing time, but it will be at Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs decided to option the struggling outfielder, who was batting .216, to Iowa to make room on the active roster for Dan Straily, who was scheduled for a spot start Saturday against the Mets.

Lake, who batted .284 in his rookie season last year, has not looked like the same hitter, and his at-bats have been limited.

“This gives him an opportunity to go down there and get some at-bats for the next two and a half, three weeks,” Cubs manager Rick Renteria said after Friday’s game.

“We tried to do everything we could throughout the course of the season, especially early, to put him in a decent place,” Renteria said. “Obviously, it’s very difficult for the young man. Right now he’s a little disappointed but I think he’ll catch a breath of fresh air, play again, get some at-bats, have some fun again, and we’ll see him here soon.”

Lake has struck out 102 times in 98 games, and hit just .114 in 19 July games. The young outfielder is popular on the team, and Cubs catcher John Baker brought him a beverage post-game for a toast.

“I need to play,” Lake said. “I don’t know if [going down] is good. Everybody wants to play here. I need more [at-bats]. That’s what I think — I need to play.”

Lake was told he’ll be back in 15 days when Major League rosters expand.

Renteria said he and the Cubs staff have discussed what to do to get Lake on track.

“I think we have a window here, and we have a need for a spot right now,” Renteria said.

The Cubs will be short-handed on the bench for Saturday’s game. The addition of Straily to the roster will give them
14 pitchers.

– Carrie Muskat

8/15 Roster move

Junior Lake was optioned to Triple-A Iowa after Friday’s game to make room on the 25-man roster for pitcher Dan Straily, who will start on Saturday. The plan is for Lake to get at-bats in the Minors, and return on Sept. 1 when rosters expand.

– Carrie Muskat

7/1 Lake effect

Junior Lake snapped a bat over his knee after striking out in the fourth inning, the second of four times he would whiff in the Cubs’ game Monday against the Red Sox. Lake is now 0-for-13 in his last four games, but manager Rick Renteria isn’t worried.

“We just have to make sure Junior gets the ball up in the zone a little bit,” Renteria said. “[On Monday], he had four strikeouts and three of the four were balls down in the zone. It’s just a matter of us making sure we stay positive with him and share with him what we’re seeing and try to get feedback from him on what he sees.”

There has been no talk about Lake going to Triple-A Iowa to get regular at-bats, Renteria said.

“We’ll continue to give him opportunities to play,” Renteria said. “We’ll just continue to do what we’ve been doing the whole season and picking and choosing and working and trying to make adjustments.”

Lake has had some peaks and valleys. He batted .273 in 26 games in May, and hit .190 in 23 games in June.

“Obviously, for him it’s not been the track that he’s wanted,” Renteria said of Lake. “He’s shown signs of being able to do things and he’s had signs where he’s had a little valley. Right now he’s probably in taht little valley and we have to help him get back out of it.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/27 Lake OK but Cubs will talk re: padding

Fortunately for Junior Lake, he was able to laugh about his head-on collision with the outfield wall on Friday.

“I went too fast into the wall,” Lake said Friday of his crash into the metal door in the second inning Thursday night. “When I looked again, I was too close to the wall, and when I dove, I hit the door. That’s crazy. But I’m feeling good.”

Lake came out of the game after the freak accident, suffering bruises on his head and left leg, although he did try to talk the medical staff, including team physician Dr. Stephen Adams, into letting him keep playing.

“[Adams] asked me, ‘Do you know where you are?’ and I said, ‘Yeah,'” Lake said. “I said, ‘I’m alive.’ That’s when I started laughing.”

Theo Epstein said they may talk about whether or not to add padding to the metal doors in the outfield wall. The ivy does provide a little cushioning but the outfielders know to slow up once they hit the warning track. It’s brick behind the greenery.

“The ivy does provide a little bit of a buffer on the brick — you’re not going to put pads on the brick,” Epstein said.

Lake was available to pinch-hit on Friday, said manager Rick Renteria, who was impressed by the outfielder’s effort.

“For him, it could’ve been a sponge wall and the effort he gave was going to be the same,” Renteria said. “I don’t think guys think about the wall, to be honest.”

– Carrie Muskat

6/27 Cubs lineup

Jason Hammel is 6-0 in his career against the Nationals, and will take the mound Friday at Wrigley Field in the second game of the Cubs’ three-day, four-game series vs. Washington. Here’s the lineup:

Sweeney RF
Ruggiano CF
Rizzo 1B
Castro SS
Valbuena 3B
Coghlan LF
Baker C
Barney 2B
Hammel P

* Note no Junior Lake. He crashed into a metal door in the outfield wall in Thursday’s game and he was to be re-evaluated Friday.

* Starlin Castro has 21 RBI this month, third-most in the NL. He’s the fourth Cubs shortstop to reach at least 21 RBI in the month of June, joining Hall of Famer Ernie Banks (26 RBI in June 1959 and 32 RBI in June 1960), Roy Smalley (25 RBI in June 1950) and Shawon Dunston (21 RBI in June 1988).

* The Cubs’ bullpen has a 3.11 season ERA, which ranks fourth-lowest in the NL. It’s also more than a full run lower than the bullpen’s 4.22 ERA through its first 77 games of last year.

* Dallas Beeler is slated to make his Major League debut in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. He’ll be the first pitcher to make his big league debut in a starting role for the Cubs since Chris Rusin did so, Aug. 21, 2012, in Milwaukee, and just the 17th since the start of the 2000 season.

* Anthony Rizzo has 14 homers since April 30, the most in the NL and tied for fifth in the Majors. Rizzo racked up his sixth game of three or more hits this season on Thursday. According to Elias, the only players with more three-hit games as a first baseman this season are Freddie Freeman (nine) and Miguel Cabrera (eight).

– Carrie Muskat

*

6/26 Lake leaves game

Junior Lake had to leave Thursday’s game in the second inning after slamming into one of the metal outfield doors at Wrigley Field. The Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman led off the second with a double into the gap in right center that Lake sprinted after. But the outfielder ran out of room, and slid into the wall, slamming his head and left leg into the metal door and brick base.

Lake stayed on the ground on the warning track, and Cubs athletic trainers PJ Mainville and Ed Halbur plus team physician Dr. Stephen Adams and Cubs manager Rick Renteria went out to check on the outfielder. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro also was there, and after Lake sat up, he and the shortstop were laughing. However, Lake came out of the game as a precaution, walking off the field under his own power.

* UPDATE: According to the Cubs, Lake never suffered concussion symptoms, and only had a bruise to his head and leg.

– Carrie Muskat

5/13 Great Lake

After Monday’s game, Junior Lake is now 9-for-20 (.450) with three home runs, three doubles, one triple and nine RBIs against the Cardinals this year. In 16 games in his young career against the Redbirds, he’s batting .333 (16-for-48) with three homers and 12 RBIs.

“When he gets the ball up in the hitting zone, he can do some damage,” manager Rick Renteria said.

There was a defensive lapse that led to two St. Louis runs.

“There are some things we have to clean up,” Renteria said. “The ball to left, he charged it as if it was a do or die play.”

The Cubs want Lake to break hard for the ball, but be in control. It will take time.

– Carrie Muskat

5/13 About last night …

The Cubs set season highs in runs scored and hits on Monday in their 17-5 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. Here are some other highlights from the game:

* Travis Wood picked up his second win over the Cardinals this month. He is the first Cubs pitcher since Matt Garza to throw a non-quality start and get the win. Garza did so June 16, 2011.

* Emilio Bonifacio scored a career-high five runs, the most in MLB this season. He’s the first Cubs player since Jody Davis (June 3, 1987) to score five runs in a game. Bonifacio is the 14th Cubs player since 1900 to score five in a game. He leads the Cubs with 13 multi-hit games.

* Anthony Rizzo has hit safely in 11 of 13 games in May, including all three against the Cardinals. Rizzo had three RBIs and none came as a result of a hit.

* Mike Olt snapped an 0-for-7 streak with a two-run homer. It was his eighth of the season and he now has 19 RBIs. Both are tops among NL rookies.

* Junior Lake drove in a career-high six runs, tied for second most among an MLB player this year (Ryan Braun had a seven RBI game). The last Cubs player with six RBI was Ryan Sweeney on June 23, 2013. Lake has hit three of his four home runs against the Cardinals.

* The Cubs’ 17 runs against the Cardinals were the most since they scored 12 on Sept. 10, 2007. Each player in the Cubs starting lineup had a hit.

* The last time the Cubs scored 17 or more runs against the Cardinals in St. Louis was Sept. 21, 1974, at Busch Stadium II.

* Darwin Barney totaled a season-high three hits.

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