Castro moves up; Bonifacio stays put
The wind is blowing out during batting practice at Wrigley Field, and so far, it looks to be a comfortable evening for Game 2 of the Cubs and Pirates. Jason Hammel pitches for the Cubs against lefty Wandy Rodriguez. Cubs manager Rick Renteria will go with a right-handed hitting lineup against Rodriguez.
One change from the last couple of games is moving Starlin Castro up from the sixth spot to the second spot. Emilio Bonifacio remains the leadoff hitter. He is 17-for-33 (.515) on the season and has a hitting line of .515/.556/.576.
“I think his mentality is try to get on base every single time he gets in the box,” Renteria said. “It’s a unique skill to have. He works at-bats extremely well. How he plays dictates how we use him. His speed, his ability to play a lot of different positions allows us the opportunity in that spot for him.”
We’ll get to some Bonifacio stats. Here is the full lineup:
Here is some cool stuff on Bonifacio, courtesy of the Cubs and their game notes:
In 7 games played, Emilio Bonifacio has already recorded a 1-hit game, a pair of 2-hit games, a 3-hit game, a 4-hit game and a career-high 5-hit game. According to Elias, Bonifacio is the first big-league player in the modern era (since 1900) to record games with 1 hit, 2 hits, 3 hits, 4 hits and 5 hits all within the team’s first seven contests of a season.
Bonifacio leads the majors with 17 hits and a .515 batting average (17-for-33). His .556 on-base percentage is second behind only Kansas City’s Salvador Peres (.607) while his 5 stolen bases are tied for the big-league lead with Philadelphia’s Ben Revere. Bonifacio‘s 17 hits are the most by any Cub in the team’s first seven games of a season in the last 100 years since 1914. STATS Inc. provides that last fact.
Here is a chart of Cubs hit men in the first seven team games:
Bonifacio, 17 hits
Randy Jackson (1954), 16 hits
Alex Gonzalez (2003), 15
Mark Grace (1996), 15
Andre Dawson (1988), 14
Bill Buckner (1980), 14
Also from the game notes: Anthony Rizzo has recorded 3-straight multihit efforts, tying his career high also done August 30-September 1, 2012 and May 8-11 of last season. Rizzo is hitting .286 (4-for-14) against left-handed pitching. He has a .308 mark (4-for-13) against right-handers.
Right-hander Jake Arrieta will make a rehab start Thursday for Class AA Tennessee as he comes back from the shoulder tightness that cost him spring training.
Class AAA Iowa managed just 4 hits and struck out 14 times in a 4-1 loss to Nashville Tuesday night. Chris Rusin fell to 0-2 with a 6.52 ERA. He pitched 6 innings, giving up 7 hits and 3 runs, 2 earned. Catcher Eli Whiteside drove in the I-Cubs’ lone run with a single.
Iowa came back this afternoon to beat Nashville 6-1. Josh Vitters hit his second homer, and Brett Jackson hit his first. Javier Baez was 2-for-4 with a double and 2 runs. Carlos Pimental, a nonroster invitee to spring training walked one and struck out 10 as he improved to 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA. He pitched 6 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run. Zac Rosscup worked 2 scoreless innings of relief, and Marcus Hatley struck out two in 1 inning.
Class AA Tennessee had Tuesday off, and Class A Daytona was postponed because of bad weather.
You can read about the Kane County Cougars’ home opener in today’s Daily Herald. The Cougars won their first home opener since 2010 with a 4-3, 12-inning victory over Fort Wayne. Jen-Ho Tseng pitched 5 innings, giving up 8 hits and 3 runs.
Kane County’s bullpen got the job done, with lefty Gerardo Concepcion and righties Tyler Bremer and Zack Godley combining for 7 scoreless innings, striking out a combined six and allowing only 2 hits.
Jacob Hannemann went 2-for-5 with a run scored, an RBI and his fourth stolen base (1 shy of the league lead). Each of Kane County’s 4 runs was unearned.