Results tagged ‘ Junior Lake ’
Junior Lake had his first four-hit night, and hit his first Major League home run, to lead the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Lake belted a two-run shot in the fifth, and added a RBI single in the ninth to back Chris Rusin, who made a strong bid for the vacancy in the Cubs rotation. Rusin was subbing for Matt Garza, traded to the Rangers earlier in the day. The lefty would like to stay. He gave up two hits, including a bloop double that landed between Lake and shortstop Starlin Castro, and walked two over five-plus innings. Dioner Navarro, who had been matched up with Garza over his last six outings, still got the start Monday, and the catcher delivered a solo home run with one out in the second.
Lake now has nine hits in his first four career games, the most by a Cubs player since Andy Pafko did so in 1943. Lake also is the first Cubs player with a four-hit effort within his first four Major League games since Steve Lake (no relation) did so April 26, 1983, against the Padres.
“He might have found his niche right now,” Dale Sveum said of Lake, who has been playing center.
When promoted, it was thought that Lake would stay until David DeJesus returned from a shoulder injury. DeJesus is close to returning. Will the rookie stay?
“Right now, I’d be pretty stupid to say, ‘No,’” Sveum said. “Hopefully, we don’t have to send him down.”
Said Lake: “I’m going to keep working hard to make it hard on the front office. If you keep working hard, something happens.”
Rusin will stay in the rotation, filling the spot vacated by Matt Garza’s departure.
– Carrie Muskat
Junior Lake gets his second start in center field Saturday night when the Cubs face the Rockies. Here’s the lineup:
* Jeff Samardzija made two trips to Wrigley Field over the All-Star break to work with pitching coach Chris Bosio, and the sessions paid off on Friday. He gave up one run over 7 1/3 innings in leading the Cubs to a 3-1 victory over the Rockies.
“If you were to ask me all year how I felt about my mechanics, I’d say they were off all year, to tell you the truth, until today,” Samardzija told reporters in Denver, including MLB.com’s Ian McCue. “So I’m really excited to stop making adjustments and really just work on pitch selection and pitch location.
“I just attacked them and went at it and once I felt like I got them sped up, my splitter was good enough to get me through the rest of the inning,” Samardzija said.
The series-opening victory was the Cubs’ seventh in the last 10. The club is also improved 14 games over .500 when their starter earns a quality start.
Defense saved Chicago from throwing away the lead in the fourth. Michael Cuddyer punched a single to right after Troy Tulowitzki singled to a similar spot, and the Rockies shortstop was at third when a splitter skipped through the legs of catcher Wellington Castillo. But Castillo rifled a throw to Samardzija at home plate with enough velocity to tag out Tulowitzki and end the inning, the Cubs starter tumbling to the ground before walking to the dugout.
”That’s one of those things you don’t write up,” Samardzija said. “It’s just a freak play and it worked out in our favor.”
* Alfonso Soriano leads the Cubs with 17 home runs and 10 stolen bases, and he’s batting .319 (22-for-69) with five doubles, 10 homers, 20 RBI and a 1.169 OPS in his last 17 games since June 28. He has homered in five of his last 10 games, including multi-homer efforts July 6 vs. Pittsburgh and July 9 vs. the Angels.
Soriano is the fifth Cub to have entered the All-Star break with the team lead (or tied for the team lead) in both home runs and stolen bases, joining Augie Galan in 1937, George Altman in 1961, Ryne Sandberg in 1990, and Sammy Sosa in 1993, 1994 and 1998.
In addition to Soriano’s home run totals, he is 13 hits shy of becoming the 273rd player in Major League history to reach 2,000 hits. Only 15 active players have reached the milestone to date (Cleveland’s Jason Giambi has 1,991 hits).
* Junior Lake made his Major League debut Friday as the Cubs’ starting center fielder, going 3-for-4 with a double in his first plate appearance. Lake is the 44th player to appear for the Cubs this season, already just nine players shy of the franchise-record 53 players who appeared last year.
”Since I’ve been here that’s the first kid that’s come up and really looked like a Major Leaguer,” Dale Sveum said. “Was aggressive on the bases, did a great job. Swung the bat really nice.”
Before Friday’s game, Sveum thought about placing the speedy Lake in the leadoff spot. But that plan changed quickly when Lake told his skipper he planned to swing at the first pitch — and true to his words, he did — roping a double down the third-base line.
”I was just positive the whole time,” Lake said through a translator. “I think once you have that mindset going in the game, you’re ready for it and you have that kind of attitude, I think a lot of the things go your way.”
Junior Lake is in the Cubs starting lineup for Friday’s series opener against the Rockies. Here’s the lineup:
Junior Lake was promoted from Triple-A Iowa to the Cubs on Friday, and starting in center field for their game against the Rockies. Outfielder Brian Bogusevic was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 15, with a left hamstring strain. Lake will wear No. 21.
Lake, 23, is batting .295 (46-for-156) with 10 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 18 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 40 games with Iowa this season, his first appearances in Triple-A. He compiled a .341 on-base percentage and a .462 slugging percentage, and was batting .295 against both left-handed and right-handed pitching. Lake’s season debut was delayed until June due to a rib fracture suffered during spring training.
Bogusevic, 29, was hitting .261 (12-for-46) with three doubles and three RBI in 13 games with the Cubs this season.
The Cubs also announced Henry Rodriguez cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Iowa.
The Cubs were expected to promote infielder/outfielder Junior Lake to the big league team on Friday to take the roster spot of outfielder Brian Bogusevic, expected to go on the disabled list after he re-aggravated his hamstring in the first half finale. Lake, 23, was batting .295 at Triple-A Iowa with four home runs, 10 doubles, two triples, 18 RBIs, and 14 stolen bases. Ranked ninth on MLB.com’s top 20 Cubs prospects list, Lake was slowed this season by a back injury, and did not join Iowa until June 6. This was his first year at the Triple-A level.
Bogusevic, 29, was batting .261 in 13 games with the Cubs. He felt tightness in his left hamstring July 4, and did not go on the disabled list at that time, but did not start until July 11. On Sunday at Wrigley Field against the Cardinals, he aggravated his leg chasing a ball, and came out of the game.
Lake’s promotion could be brief. Outfielder David DeJesus (sprained right shoulder) is working out in Mesa, Ariz., and could play in Rookie League games this week. If all goes well, he could be activated from the disabled list next week.
The Cubs are a little thin in the Minor Leagues in terms of outfield options. Ryan Sweeney is on the disabled list with fractured ribs. Outfielder Brett Jackson, on the Iowa team’s disabled list with a calf injury, also was working out in Mesa. The Cubs recently claimed outfielder Cole Gillespie off waivers from the Giants.
– Carrie Muskat
The Cubs needed a fresh arm, and recalled lefty Brooks Raley from Triple-A Iowa to take the roster spot of outfielder Scott Hairston, who was traded to the Nationals earlier Monday. Raley has been a starter at Iowa, posting a 6-6 record and 4.91 ERA. He did make one relief appearance. He made his big league debut last August, and went 1-2 with a 8.14 ERA in five starts. He was called up June 12-13, but did not appear in a game.
How long will the Cubs go with an extra pitcher in the ‘pen?
“That’ll be dictated on what happens the next couple days with how long our starters go,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
The Cubs don’t have many options at Iowa to fill the outfield.
“[Junior] Lake is playing well but we want to let him develop more,” Sveum said. “There’s not a whole lot of options right now. Right now our bullpen concern is more important than anything right now.”
– Carrie Muskat
It wasn’t that Scott Hairston wasn’t doing enough for the Cubs. The Nationals need him more. The Cubs dealt Hairston to the Nationals for a Minor League pitcher, Ivan Pineyro, who was pitching at High A Potomac. Hairston, 33, had been part of a platoon in right field but has gotten limited playing time. GM Jed Hoyer said Monday that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo called, seeking to solidify their bench with another right-handed bat.
“[Hairston] is a real pro, and as far as bench guys who can hit lefties, he can hit a homer against a lefty as good as any bench bat in baseball,” Hoyer said. “Given the makeup of who we’ve been playing and the pitching makeup in our division, he hasn’t been playing as much as we’d hoped, and I think this is a good opprotunity for Scott and the Nationals to get more playing time. It was a good opportunity for us to get a young pitcher we liked.”
Hairston was batting .172 overall, and .179 against left-handers, and eight of his 14 hits off lefties have been home runs.
Pineyro, in his third Minor League season, began the year with Class A Hagerstown, going 5-3 with a 3.14 ERA in 13 starts. The 21-year-old right-hander was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star team before he was promoted to Hagerstown. He will join the Cubs’ Class A Daytona team.
The Cubs have been busy in the last week, dealing Scott Feldman, Carlos Marmol, Steve Clevenger and now Hairston. More deals are expected leading up to the July 31 Trade Deadline. Matt Garza, who has been rumored to be dealt since Spring Training, was scheduled to start Monday against the White Sox.
Last year, the Cubs traded Ryan Dempster, Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson, Geovany Soto and Jeff Baker. Could free agents be hesitant to sign with the Cubs? Hoyer said no.
“Looking at Scott Feldman’s situation, we gave him a great opportunity,” Hoyer said. “A lot of places weren’t willing to guarantee him a rotation spot coming off a so-so year in Texas. We were wiling to do that, and I think he appreciated that. With Scott [Hairston], he looks at this as an opportunity to get more playing time. I think everything is taken on an individual basis.
“I would hope that we cease being sellers on an annual basis,” Hoyer said. “We want to be buyers. We need to acquire a lot of talent and build that wave that can come up here and give us that sustained success, and with that we hope we can move in the other direction and be buyers and not sellers.”
What about Garza? The right-hander has given up two earned runs over 30 innings in his last four starts.
“He’s been a popular name and a guy we’ve gotten a lot of phone calls on,” Hoyer said. “I think he’s opened a lot of eyes the way he’s thrown the last four, five times out.”
Because the Cubs bullpen has been overworked the last few games, they will promote left-hander Brooks Raley from Triple-A Iowa, and not add another outfielder.
“Our bullpen is pretty taxed right now with [Carlos] Villanueva still getting stretched back out,” Hoyer said. “We don’t want to push those guys too hard. We would like to add another right-handed bat. We’ll explore and discuss those options over the next couple days until our bullpen is rested.”
Raley was 6-6 in 16 starts at Iowa, posting a 5.08 ERA as a starter. He did make one relief appearance on May 16, and gave up two hits and one walk over three innings.
* Who else could the Cubs call up? Brett Jackson would be among the candidates at Iowa if he was healthy but he was on the disabled list with a right calf strain.
“I think we all have high expectations for Brett,” Hoyer said. “We’d love nothing more than to be able to give him playing time later in the year. He’s got to get out there and play and earn it, but he’s still a guy we’re very high on.”
Both Junior Lake and Logan Watkins have played well at Iowa, but Hoyer said they both need more at-bats in the Minors.
“They’ve both played well and both got our attention with how they’ve played and been part of the discussions,” Hoyer said. “I think both of those guys have development left. It’s nice to see them performing well at Triple-A. That bodes well for our future.”
– Carrie Muskat
Junior Lake and Luis Flores each homered in Iowa’s 9-5, 10-inning win over Albuquerque. Ty Wright had three hits and one RBIs. Casey Coleman picked up the win in relief.
Eric Jokisch gave up one run over six innings in Tennessee’s 4-1 win over Huntsville. Justin Bour hit his seventh home run and Christian Villanueva had three hits.
Daytona ended a two-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over Brevard County. Ben Wells threw seven shutout innings. Tim Saunders and Dustin Geiger each homered.
Gloskar Amaya had three hits, including a home run, in Kane County’s 7-4 win over Quad Cities. Dan Vogelbach and Marco Hernandez each had two hits. Dillon Maples picked up his first save.
Duane Underwood gave up two runs over 4 2/3 innings in Boise’s 7-5 loss to Tri-City. Dan Lockhart had three hits.
Jesse Hodges had three hits, a stolen base and one RBIs in Mesa’s 2-1 win over the Angels.
Brad Nelson, Junior Lake and Ty Wright hit back to back to back home runs in the fourth inning but it wasn’t enough as Iowa lost, 6-5, to Memphis. They are the first trio of Iowa Cubs to hit consecutive homers in 14 years. Jae-Hoon Ha had two hits, including a double and a home run.
A.J. Morris threw six shutout innings in Tennessee’s 3-1 win over Montgomery. Christian Villanueva and Justin Bour each homered. Matt Szczur had two hits, including a double.
Javier Baez singled, walked and scored a run in Daytona’s 5-1 loss to Brevard County. Matt Loosen did not get a decision, striking out six over five scoreless innings.
Dan Vogelbach had three hits and two RBIs in Kane County’s 4-2 loss to Wisconsin. Albert Almora singled, walked and scored a run.
Jacob Rogers had two hits in Boise’s 11-3 loss to Salem-Keizer. Loiger Padron took the loss, giving up seven runs on six hits over 1 2/3 innings.
Mesa had Wednesday off, and plays host to the Angels on Thursday.