Pie is a highly-touted young prospect who is considered a "five-tool player" who has been put on the fast-track to reaching the big-league club, although he did not start the 2007 season with the major-league club. Despite obvious talent, Pie's strikeout rates continue to be much higher than average. Pie was called up from Triple-A Iowa on April 17, 2007, and was in the starting lineup, replacing the injured Alfonso Soriano. At the time of his call-up, Pie was batting .444 with one home run and six RBI in 36 at-bats. Before the 2007 season, Pie was ranked as the number one prospect in the Cubs organization. He is nicknamed "The Cat."
His highly anticipated major league debut was in April 2007. Pie was called back up from the minors on June 3, 2007, and remained with the club until July 13, when he was sent back down to Triple-A to get more regular at-bats. However, the Cubs recalled Pie from the minors in order to replace an injured Alfonso Soriano and Angel Pagan on August 8, 2007.
Minor league careerEdit
Pie started with the Mesa Cubs, the Chicago Cubs Rookie affiliate, in 2002. He played in 55 games and hit .321, with 4 home runs and 37 runs batted in. He was called up to Boise where he played in 2 games. He played for the Lansing Lugnuts, then one of the Cubs' Single-A affiliates in 2003. There, he hit .285 with 4 home runs and 47 runs batted in.
In 2004, he played for the Daytona Cubs, another one of the Cubs Single-A affiliates. He hit .299 with 8 home runs and 47 runs batted in. In 2005, he played for the Double-A West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx. He hit .304 with 11 home runs and 25 runs batted in. His season was shortened due to a broken ankle suffered during the season. He was likely going to be called up to the Chicago Cubs along with Adam Greenberg to replace the struggling Corey Patterson and Jason Dubois. But due to his injury, the Cubs called up outfielder Matt Murton instead of Pie. In 2006, his season began poorly, as he hit .222 in June and slugged only .343, but soon after he broke out of his slump to end with a batting average of .282, on-base percentage of .341, and slugging percentage of .451. Pie is also one of the most highly touted Dominican prospects to reach the major leagues. Pie played 55 games of the 2007 season with the Iowa Cubs.
Major league careerEdit
Pie got his first major league hit on April 17, 2007, a double off Greg Maddux of the San Diego Padres. He scored his first run in the same inning on a Derrek Lee hit. In the same game, Pie also threw a runner out at home plate from center field which gave the Cubs a chance to win the game. On April 23, Pie changed his number from 17 to 20. Pie recorded his first major league home run on April 27, 2007, off Anthony Reyes of the St. Louis Cardinals. On July 13, 2007, the Cubs sent Pie down to the minor leagues in favor of catcher Geovany Soto. On August 9, Pie was brought back up to Chicago.
When the Cubs traded their starting left-handed center fielder Jacque Jones in November 2007, general manager Jim Hendry indicated that the club wasn't necessarily looking outside for a veteran, with Pie and Sam Fuld in the mix. Fuld pushed Pie for the center field spot during spring training (Piniella in late February said that Pie was only "a head or nose in front" of Fuld),. "He's ready to go out there in spring training lined up next to Pie and compete to play center field," Hendry said of Fuld. Pie fell victim to the spring training 2008 injury bug that afflicted the Cubs. Originally deemed "a minor surgery on the groin region," Cubs.com reported the injury as "a twisted testicle", an injury more commonly known as testicular torsion. The surgery involves sewing the outer layer of the testicle to the scrotum wall. The surgery was deemed successful, and Pie reported back to spring training, but was to be held out for more than a week. Pie won the center field job competition in spring training, and started opening day in center field. However, due to a slow start and the signing of former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Reed Johnson, Pie by May 2008 was utilized mostly in a platoon with Johnson and as a defensive replacement. The Cubs signed Jim Edmonds on May 14, 2008, and optioned Pie to Iowa to get some more work and play everyday.
- ↑ Jim Callis (2007). Baseball America Prospect Handbook. Baseball America, Inc. (USA).
- ↑ Associated Press, http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/wires/07/13/2010.ap.bbn.cubs.move.0082/ Cubs recall Soto, option Pie (July 13, 2007), Sports Illustrated, Retrieved on July 13, 2007.
- ↑ http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-21-cubs-bits-chicagofeb21,0,7349544.story
- ↑ Winter meetings preview: NL teams check lists twice - USATODAY.com
- ↑ Daily Herald | Feeling right at home, Wood stays with Cubs
- ↑ Hardball | ChicagoSports | Blog
- ↑ The Official Site of The Chicago Cubs: News: Soriano suffers fractured finger
- ↑ https://archive.is/20120729100217/www.chicagotribune.com/sports/chi-15-cubs-chicago-spring-trainmar15,1,2097477.story
- ↑ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080314&content_id=2426522&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb
- ↑ O's acquire outfielder Pie from Cubs
- ↑ MacPhail on the O's/Cubs trade