Cubs Minor League Daily: The Smokies Infield Shuffling Double Switch

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Cubs Minor League Daily: The Smokies Infield Shuffling Double Switch

Chicago Cubs

tennessee smokies logoJoe Maddon is probably in awe of the double switch the Tennessee Smokies pulled off yesterday.

After pitching six pretty good innings, starting pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng was lifted for a pinch hitter, Daniel Lockhart, who then remained in the game at second. The second baseman (Carlos Penalver) moved to short, the shortstop (Chesny Young) moved to third, the third baseman (Gioskar Amaya) moved to first, the first baseman (David Freitas) moved behind the plate, and the catcher (Ben Carhart) was replaced with the new pitcher (David Berg). Ian Happ, meanwhile, watch all these shufflings from left field where he was making just his third appearance this season.

Prior to yesterday, Young had just six appearances at shortstop this season, and just twenty two in his professional career. Amaya had just three previous 2016 games at third base; he’s actually a (mostly) full time catcher now after beginning his career as a middle infielder.

Why were so many players playing in relatively new positions in the same game? Part of it is probably the Cubs’ organization philosophy that strongly endorses versatility, but I suspect part of it was a carry over from the fact that Happ, normally at second, was playing in the outfield.

Why is Happ picking up some outfield time? Possibly just to keep him used to it. Possibly to showcase his versatility for potential trade partners. But I think we can’t completely rule out that that the Cubs are considering calling Happ to Chicago in September to help out off the bench and pick up some stretch run experience (if there were an injury or two ahead of him). If that is the thinking, then it certainly wouldn’t hurt to work him at various places around the diamond from time to time, just to keep him familiar in those slots. Long term his focus remains at second base.

[Brett: For what it’s worth, I think the biggest hurdle to giving Happ that September experience is using an option year in 2016, and then having to carry him on the 40-man roster all offseason long before the Cubs are required to. But an interesting thought, to be sure.]

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Salt Lake 5, Iowa 4
Once again Iowa had more hits but fewer runs.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Mississippi 5, Tennessee 3
The Smokies led until the seventh. That’s when Mississippi scored four time.

  • Jen-Ho Tseng: 6 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 6 H, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Nick Sarianides: 2.1 IP, 3 K
  • Chesny Young: 1 for 4, BB
  • Ian Happ: 1 for 3, BB. That’s left fielder Ian Happ to be precise.
  • David Freitas: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Gioskar Amaya: 3 for 4
  • Ben Carhart: 1 for 2, 2B

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Wilmington 9, Myrtle Beach 4
A rough start for Stinnett left the Pelicans out of this one before they were ever really in it.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Burlington 3, South Bend 1
Seven innings were in the books before anyone scored a run.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 8, Vancouver 7
Eugene jumped to an early lead, but Vancouver made the game interesting late.

Rookie: Arizona Cubs
Indians 5, Cubs 4
The Indians scored twice in the bottom of the ninth for the walk off.

Other Notes

  • Eddy Martinez had two outfield assists yesterday, one at third base and the other at home.
  • The Emeralds are in Canada for this series, and that trip can sometimes cause visa problems for the younger players. The roster will go back to normal when Eugene comes back across the boarder.
  • Yasiel Balaguert has pretty good power, and he was showing it off again yesterday:

Author: Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.