What was considered ‘Plan B’ for the Cubs last off-season turned into a positive experience for Jason Hammel in Chicago and he could re-sign with the Cubs this winter. After dealing with injuries for two seasons in Baltimore, Hammel hit it off with Cubs’ pitching coach Chris Bosio and the veteran right hander performed extremely well in 17 starts.
Jason Hammel posted an 8-5 record in those 17 outings with a 2.98 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP. Hammel struck out 104 batters with only 23 walks in 108 2/3 innings. Hammel allowed 88 hits with a career-best 3.18 FIP.
After a rough beginning in Oakland following the July 4 trade, Hammel has been pretty good of late throwing to former Cubs’ backstop Geovany Soto. In 10 starts for the A’s, Hammel is 2-5 with a 4.70 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP (54 hits, 20 walks and 39 walks in 53 2/3 innings).
While the Cubs are expected to make a run at Jon Lester, Jason Hammel could fit in the Cubs plans again according to a report from Comcast SportsNet. And Hammel is interested in returning to the Cubs.
Theo Epstein talked to Hammel about the possibility of him re-signing with the Cubs when Hammel found out he had been traded to Oakland. Hammel admitted to Patrick Mooney now that he’s gone through a mid-season trade he would not want to do it again.
According to a report from Sean Kernan, the Daytona Cubs might not be the High-A affiliate for the Chicago Cubs much longer.
A Thursday midnight deadline passed without the Cubs extending the player development contract with Daytona. Kernan spoke with Andy Rayburn, Daytona’s owner, and “he wasn’t sure if the Chicago Cubs had extended their contract with his team or opted to pursue another minor league affiliation starting Tuesday when Minor League Baseball opens a two-week affiliation shuffle period.”
Mr. Rayburn said the Cubs had always renewed their contract “before this stage.” Kernan reported that Mr. Rayburn would know by Monday if the Cubs are looking for a new affiliate.
Sean Kernan tried to contact Jason McLeod, but his attempts were unsuccessful.
The Daytona Cubs have won six Florida State League Championships, but its 22-year run might be over.
Javier Baez has not performed in his first 36 big league games the way many thought he would. The highly touted prospect put up big numbers in the minors with extrodinary bat speed that most only read about but never saw firsthand.
Baez has struggled, as expected, in the majors and is hitting .171/.229/.356 with six doubles, seven home runs and 65 strikeouts in 157 plate appearances.
Keith Law addressed Baez’s strikeouts and the fact the fan base is not getting the Baez they were expecting. Baez has work to do with his approach at the plate and pitch recognition. But Keith Law thinks Baez will be fine.
Keith Law pointed out Baez has performed at the plate with every promotion the way he has over his first 36 games in the majors. Law said, “He has some of the best bat speed and strongest hands I’ve ever seen on a hitting prospect. He needs to overhaul his approach to at-bats, as he still seems to be deciding whether to swing before he could possibly have identified the pitch type, but he’s so talented hat he can make mistakes and still turn it into hard contact.”
News and Notes
RHP Duane Underwood tossed six innings of hitless ball for the Cougars in game two of the Midwest League Championship Series Thursday night. Underwood struck out eight and walked five batters on 87 pitches in six innings. Bruce Miles caught up with Cougars’ skipper Mark Johnson and he told Miles the improvement with Underwood “has come with glove side fastball.”
Mark Zagunis went 3-for-5 with a double, a stolen base and a run scored Thursday night after a 1-for-4 night at the dish that included a homer on Wednesday night.
And Shawon Dunston Jr. followed up his three-hit opener in the Midwest League Championship series (3-for-4 with a RBI, two runs scored and two stolen bases) with a 2-for-3 night in game two that included three runs scored, a sac fly RBI, a walk and two more stolen bases.
The Cubs will pay tribute to WGN Radio on Sept. 19 during the last homestand of the season. WGN Radio has been the Cubs exclusive radio partner since 1958 after broadcasting its first Cubs game on Oct. 1, 1924. WBBM 780-AM becomes the new home of Cubs Radio beginning in 2015.
This Day In Cubstory
2001 – The Rockies selected Ross Gload off waivers from the Cubs
2000 – Kerry Wood pitched the second complete game of his career in a 2-1 victory over the Reds.
1998 – Sammy Sosa hit home run No. 60, a three-run shot in the seventh inning off Milwaukee’s Valerio de los Santos in a 15-12 victory over the Brewers at Wrigley Field. Sosa became the fourth player in Major League history to his 60 home runs in a single season, joining Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Mark McGwire
1998 – Cubs purchased Chris Haney from the Royals
1982 – Carmen Pignatiello, born
1975 – Mark Johnson, born
1967 – Pat Listach, born
1919 – Cubs completed a triple play in the sixth inning of the first game against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field, shortstop Charlie Hollocher to first baseman Fred Merkle. The Cubs won 3-1 on Merkle’s seventh inning home run through the fence in the left field corner. The Cubs dropped the second game 5-4.