Junior Lake is in the midst of a rough stretch. Lake is 0-for-6 in the first two games of the series in Boston and has struck out in all six at bats. And Lake’s frustration was on full display Monday night when he struck out swinging in the fourth inning and broke the bat over his knee.
Lake has not had a hit since June 24 against the Reds when he went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. Since June 24, Lake has played in six games and is 0-for-15 with nine strikeouts.
Junior Lake hit .190/.200/.342 in 23 games in June with a double, a triple, two home runs, one walk and 26 strikeouts. And for the season, Lake is hitting .228/.257/.401 in 73 games (237 at bats) with 10 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, 10 walks and 87 strikeouts.
According to multiple reports, Rick Renteria was asked about the possibility of the Cubs sending Junior Lake to Triple-A in order to get on track and gain some confidence at the plate. Renteria shot the idea down and said the team has to stay positive with Lake.
According to a report from Comcast SportsNet, when asked about the Cubs sending Junior Lake down to the minors, Rick Renteria said, “No. It’s just a matter of us making sure we stay positive with him, share with him what we’re seeing and try to get feedback from him: What does he see? We’ll continue to give him opportunities to play.” Renteria explained, “We just have to make sure Junior gets the ball up in the zone a little bit, he had four strikeouts and three of the four were balls down in the zone.”
After Tuesday’s game Renteria said Lake “stays positive” and “keeps working.” Lake told ESPN Chicago that he is frustrated because he doesn’t want to miss pitches like the ones he did Tuesday night when he pinch-hit for Nate Schierholtz. Lake said he needs a pitcher to make a mistake and while he feels bad because he’s not producing right now, he knows that if he keep working he will get better.
Rick Renteria plans to keep using Junior Lake the way he has all season and put him in the best situations the Cubs feel will give him a chance to succeed.