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Around the Minors- April 14th

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Matt Swain

Illinois engineering student, way too emotionally invested in the Cubs.

Today's ATM is brought to you by a 22-year-old Ichiro and his low 90's fastball.


AAA Iowa Cubs- W 5-2

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Jay Jackson- 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 Ks, 1 BB

  • If you were in Des Moines last night you got a treat, as the pitching was handled by a tag team of rehabbing Ted Lilly and prospect Jay Jackson. Lilly finally got on the bump after being pushed back a couple times, and started things off with 1 earned run on 1 hit and a walk over 4 innings. A little bit concerning was his velocity, as Mike Wellman from The Cub Reporter reports that it was just mid-80's. Jackson relieved him and pitched 5 excellent innings to pick up the win.

  • A very patient showing from the Iowa lineup, as they notched 7 walks and just 5 strikeouts (2 from Jackson). Special props to Bobby Scales, who went 2-3 with a walk and pushed his on-base percentage up to .600 on the season.

  • Another day, another no show from Sam Fuld, who still has just 4 at-bats on the season. I haven't heard a thing about him being hurt or anything, so my only conclusion is that the Cubs have just decided that with Colvin past him and James Adduci having a similar skillset, Fuld just doesn't fit their plans.

    UPDATE: I just ran across some game notes from Iowa where it explains that Fuld injured his hand Monday. That makes more sense than my speculation above.

AA Tennessee Smokies- W 15-2

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Andrew Cashner- 6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 10 Ks, 0 BBs; 2-2, RBI
3B Jake Opitz- 3-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB

  • Andrew Cashner has had just a special beginning to the season, despite his pedestrian 4.35 ERA. After 10 Ks in 4.1 innings in his first start, he hit double digits again with 10 more in 6 innings Wednesday night. He had only allowed 1 baserunner through 6 on an error, but again wore out at around the 90 pitch mark and gave up a single and a triple before being yanked in the seventh. He's going to be a good Cubs pitcher, with the potential to be a great Cubs pitcher. You can see where the Kerry Wood comparisons came from.

  • There were a lot of impressive offensive performances, as you can probably guess from the final score. Starlin Castro was 2-6 with a 2B, 3 RBI, and his 4th stolen base, and he's playing consistently good baseball right now.

  • Jake Opitz had a monster day, which shows in his line above, and he too is out to a big start. You shouldn't read much into 11 AB sample sizes, but you have to love a 1481 OPS, right?
A+ Daytona Cubs- L 11-6

Player(s) of the Game:
CF Brett Jackson- 3-4, BB, 2B, 3 Rs

  • Jackson is just killing it this year in a tough hitting league on a team where most of his teammates are struggling. His OBP is up to .471, and with his athleticism, power, and now his patience, he looks like he could be a steal in the 2009 draft.

  • Chris Rusin got roughed up early and while I haven't heard or read anything yet, I have to think there may have been some kind of injury that took him out of the game after just 5 batters. Hopefully it's not serious. I'll try to get some kind of update in the next couple days.

  • Everybody loved Chris Huseby this offseason, but I remain very skeptical of his velocity and overall ceiling. He came in to face 7 hitters, walked 4 of them and allowed a hit. 4 of those runs came around to score. This is a guy whose success last year was mostly based on walking 10 guys all year, and I don't think he has the stuff to keep that up at higher levels.
A Peoria Chiefs- L 8-4

Player(s) of the Game:
SS Hak-Ju Lee- 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI, SB

  • This team is somewhat offensively challenged. How bad is it? Out of their 55 hits on the season, 45 are singles and just 1 is a home run. 235 at-bats and just 1 home run is...a bad percentage. The talent they do have are all leadoff-type hitters, and I think power is definitely a position that should be addressed in the upcoming June draft.

  • Matt Cerda keeps getting on base, and he's the Chief I'm most excited to watch whenever I get a chance to get out to O'Brien. He was 1-3 with a BB Wednesday, and has an upside as a .300+ hitting, high OBP second baseman, kind of like a Ryan Theriot offensively.

  • I had an eye on Jesus Morelli as a potential break-out candidate coming into the season, but the early returns aren't good. Though he was 2-5 in this one, the 20-year-old has 7 K's in his first 15 ABs, and that doesn't bode well.

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1 Comment

tim815 said:

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According to a Daytona Facebook Post, Rusin suffered a sprained ankle.

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