Tagged: Micah Hoffpauir

11/1 Update on ex-Cubs in Japan

Here’s an update on former Cubs playing in Japan, courtesy of the Iowa Cubs website:

Micah Hoffpauir batted .222 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs in his first season in Japan with the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Bobby Scales, who joined the Japanese team in late June, batted .261 in 80 games with nine homers and 30 RBIs. Their team was swept by the Seibu Lions in the first round of the Japanese Pacific League’s Climax Series playoffs. Hoffpauir did have two hits, including a homer in Game 2.

In his second season with Hanshin, former Cubs outfielder Matt Murton batted .311 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs. He went 0-for-4 on the last day of the season to miss winning the Central League batting title, finishing three points behind the leader. Last year, Murton broke Ichiro Suzuki’s record for most hits in a season with Japan.

— Carrie Muskat

3/15 Japan update

Word from Japan is Micah Hoffpauir is fine, although a little shaken up after experiencing the earthquake there. Hoffpauir is playing for the Nippon Ham Fighters, who were in Tokyo for more training when the quake hit. One of the Cubs players has talked to Hoffpauir since and said all is well.

— Carrie Muskat

11/19 Hoffpauir eager to play in Japan

Micah Hoffpauir was shopping in a Dallas mall on Friday and added one more item to his holiday shopping list: some Japanese language tapes to help him adjust to his new team, the Nippon Ham Fighters. Hoffpauir, who has played his entire professional career with the Cubs, cleared unconditional release waivers on Friday and the rights to his contract were sold to the Japanese team. Those language tapes will help.

The Cubs are without a first baseman after trading Derrek Lee in August and letting free agent Xavier Nady go but Hoffpauir didn’t get a sense that he was their guy.

“I didn’t know what the Cubs were going to do,” Hoffpauir said. “Obviously, I thought they’d sign somebody and I’d be stuck in the same situation I was in the past. That’s not what we wanted. We wanted some sort of stability and that’s one of the main reasons we decided to do it.”

By “we,” Hoffpauir is including his wife Tiffany and soon to be 2-year-old daughter Addyson, who both had a vote. Hoffpauir plans on getting to Tokyo by Jan. 26 to get over jet lag before Spring Training begins Feb. 1.

“We’re definitely looking forward to the opportunity, no doubt,” Hoffpauir said. “It’ll be a neat experience.”

— Carrie Muskat

11/19 Roster moves

The Cubs selected the contracts of four players and added them to the 40-man roster: right-handed pitchers Chris Archer and Kyle Smit from Double-A Tennessee, outfielder Brandon Guyer from Tennessee; and right-handed pitcher Alberto Cabrera from Class A Daytona.  Archer was Chicago’s 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Guyer was Chicago’s 2010 Minor League Player of the Year.
Additionally, infielder Micah Hoffpauir has cleared unconditional release waivers and the rights to his contract were sold to the Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League. More on Hoffpauir in a few minutes.

— Carrie Muskat

11/17 Hoffpauir to Japan

The Cubs’ top priority this offseason is to acquire a first baseman but Jim Hendry will leave the general manager meetings in Orlando with nobody there on the depth chart because Micah Hoffpauir is going to play in Japan. An official announcement was expected Friday. Sources say Hoffpauir has agreed to a one-year deal with the Nippon Ham Fighters. In 162 games with the Cubs over three seasons, he batted .251.

— Carrie Muskat

9/28 Extra bases – UPDATED

When Andrew Cashner struck out Adrian Gonzalez to end the Padres’ eighth, the PETCO Park radar gun flashed “100.” Ryan Dempster saw that.

“He’s got a special arm,” Dempster said of the rookie reliever. “For somebody who throws so hard, his command is incredible. I dream on my best day to be able to throw the ball where I want to like that and he does it at 100 miles an hour. It’s not easy to throw but his delivery is easy and smooth and he gets down hill. He’s got an electric arm. He’s got a chance to be somebody special. … God gave him a pretty cool thing on the right side of his body.”

Said Mike Quade: “I’m so glued to the hitter, I don’t care if it’s 80 [mph] or 180.”

Cashner also apparently is very steady. He was trimming masseuse Yoshi Nakazawa’s hair after the game.

* Dempster now has 15 wins with Tuesday’s 5-2 decision over the Padres. It’s the third time in his career he’s reached that number.

“I’ve still got one more to go,” said the right-hander who will finish the season Sunday in Houston. “I’m trying to finish as strong as I can. Given the season and how everything’s gone, it’s nice to get up there. I’ve given a few away and I feel I should have more than that. It’s a nice win for us. It’s a good start to the road trip.”

* Marlon Byrd added another catch to his personal highlight reel in the third when he snared Chris Denorfia’s ball.

“I hope he wins a Gold Glove,” Dempster said of the Cubs center fielder. “He deserves it. It’s not just those catches, it’s everything he does. He throws to the right base, he hits the cutoff guy, he gets to the ball quickly. As a pitcher, especially when playing in big ballparks, you say, ‘Let them hit it,’ and he goes and gets it. It’s a treat to have him behind you, that’s for sure.”

* Alfonso Soriano now has played in more games and has more RBIs than any other season with the Cubs. He’s stayed healthy.

“He hangs in there,” Quade said. “He is committed to defense and taking an extra group defensively [in batting practice].”

This isn’t the same player who first signed with the Cubs in 2007 and could steal 30, 40 bases.

“He can still hit the ball well,” Quade said. “This guy will go home and workout and get himself in shape and come back expecting to have a better year next year. He will. I know he will. Obviously, everybody here is hoping he does. He loves to play.”

* Carlos Marmol picked up his 36th save Tuesday and third in the last four games. So, no Marmol on Wednesday?

“You have a better chance of seeing me wake up with hair tomorrow,” Quade said.

* Several of the Cubs players and some of the coaches visited the U.S. Navy Seals training center on Tuesday and had a chance to fire off a few rounds on the range with their automatic rifles. “These guys are impressive,” said Micah Hoffpauir, who went on the trip with Andrew Cashner, James Russell and Jeff Samardzija, among others. “They don’t miss.”

* Asked if he believes in having an “ace” on the pitching staff, Quade said he isn’t into labels. “Those kind of descriptions, I have no time for whatsoever,” he said. “Does ace mean this moment? Does it mean entire year? Does it mean body of work? Names like that mean nothing to me.” Quade asked who the ace was in St. Louis, Adam Wainwright or Chris Carpenter. “It makes for interesting discussion but not for me,” he said. “I just want people to perform well. Just show me. I’m a Missouri guy. Just show me.”

* On Nov. 21, one day after Northwestern plays Illinois in a college football game at Wrigley Field, fans will be able to play football there. Tickets for the event are $50 per session, and sessions begin at 10 a.m. Proceeds will go to Chicago Cubs Charities.

— Carrie Muskat

9/12 Colvin staying put

Tyler Colvin will continue to take grounders at first but the Cubs rookie outfielder was not expected to see any action there any time soon.

“Things are going well,” manager Mike Quade said, “and I’m not interested in pulling the trigger on that. I’d like him to keep working there. I teased him yesterday and said, ‘You never know, pal. Be ready.’ We don’t have the need that I thought we might when Derrek [Lee] left.”

Lee was traded Aug. 18 to the Braves, leaving a gap. But Xavier Nady has handled first base and the Cubs called up Micah Hoffpauir. Colvin hasn’t played first since his sophomore year in college and it was only part time then.

“It’s going to be a new experience for him,” Quade said of Colvin at first. “I don’t want him to show up tomorrow and, bang. Like I do with all of them, I want to give him a heads up. Nady’s making it tough for me to do that.”

— Carrie Muskat

9/7 Cubs lineup vs Astros

Aramis Ramirez (sore right quad) apparently is not ready to return so Jeff Baker is starting at third Tuesday against the Astros. Micah Hoffpauir is starting at first against right-hander Nelson Figueroa. Here’s the lineup:

RF Fukudome
2B DeWitt
CF Byrd
1B Hoffpauir
LF Colvin
3B Baker
C Hill
SS Barney
P Silva

— Carrie Muskat