Cubs Minor League Recap: Rizzo with 2 more bombs, Castillo also hits HR, Rhee sharp..

Cubs Minor League Recap: Rizzo with 2 more bombs, Castillo also hits HR, Rhee sharp..
Anthony Rizzo

So what do the Cubs do with 2 first basemen who are both playing well.  It was the scenario we all talked about earlier. What if Rizzo and LaHair hit?  It's a nice problem to have and it's one the Cubs have right now.

Iowa 6- Round Rock 5

  • We'll get to Anthony Rizzo in a bit, but I always start with the pitching.  Jay Jackson took the mound today and it's expected he'll get a fresh start with Theo and Jed.  He has the sort of peripheral numbers that suggest he could be an MLB pitcher, although probably more of a 5th starter or middle reliever.  Still, it's an arm, and it's cost-controlled, so it bears watching.  Unfortunately, Jackson hasn't been all that impressive in his first two starts. He was much better today, however, as he pitched 5 innings and gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and 1 walk.  He struck out 4.  His ERA after 2 starts is at 4.66
  • Frankie De La Cruz was impressive with 2 no-hit innings.  He walked one batter and struck out another.  His ERA on the young season is a solid 2.08.
  • Jeff Beliveau pitched 2/3 of an inning and gave up one hit.  He's had a nice start to the season.  His ERA is 1.80 with all of his runs being scored off of him in one outing.
  • Esmailin Caridad continues his comeback and is putting himself back in the bullpen picture.  He is being put into the game later and later and tonight he was the set up man.  Unfortunately he walked 2 batters to start the 9th and had to be pulled from the game.
  • Scott Maine came in to close the game and promptly hit the first batter to load the bases with nobody out.  He then walked a batter and hit a second one to score 2 runs and cutting the lead to 6-4.  Both runs were charged to Cardidad.  He got the next batter to pop out and then he was also pulled from the game.
  • The reliable Blake Parker was then summoned  and got to fly outs  (one was a sac fly) to end the game and earn the nail-biting save.
  • Anthony Rizzo continues to mash.  He hit 2 more HRs and is now at .400 with 5 HRs on the season.
  • Welington Castillo matched Steve Clevenger hit for hit in the spring and that doesn't appear to have changed so far in the regular season.  While Clevenger impresses as a backup, Castillo is thriving as an everyday player at AAA.  He hit a HR and had 2 singles to raise his average to a ridiculous .444 to go with his 2 HRs.  I'm all for sticking with Soto until the Cubs get value, but I'm really hoping someone makes an offer the Cubs can't refuse sometime in the near future.
  • Adrian Cardenas and Luis Valbuena each had a single and a walk.  Cardenas is at .321. Valbuena is at .353
  • Brett Jackson had a hit, but once again it was at the end of the game.  He's at .265 for the season after a hot start.

Tennessee 4 - Jackson 1

  • The story of the day was Dae-Eun Rhee who showed good command/control and held the Generals to one run in 6 innings.  He walked nobody and struck out 4 and matched highly regarded draft pick Danny Hultzen pitch for pitch.
  • Middle relief prospect and Australia product Ryan Searle pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings.  He gave up one hit but walked none and struck out 3.
  • Closer Frank Batista struck out the side to get the save.
  • Offensively the star was Rebel Ridling, who, along with Justin Bour and Richard Jones, are 1B prospects who are stuck between Anthony Rizzo and Dan Vogelbach.  Ridling had 2 hits and 3 RBI. He also uncharacteristically stole a base.  He's at .240 for the season.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha had a double and 2 walks.

Daytona 8 - Tampa 4

  • Eduardo Figueroa had a nice start with 5 IP, 3H, 1R, 1BB, and 0 Ks.  He's not considered a top prospect.
  • Matt Szczur had 2 more walks and now leads the Cubs organization with 7.  Unfortunately, he went hitless again and is down to .138 on the season.  He also was replaced late in the game, though I don't know if he's been injured.
  • OF prospect Nelson Perez had a pair of hits (single, double) and a walk.
  • 2B Rubi Silva continues his hot start with 2 more hits, including a double, to raise his average to .429.  He also had an RBI.
  • SS and utility IF'er prospect Arismendy Alcantara had his second HR of the young season.  He's batting .333

Wisconsin 5 - Peoria 2

  • Peoria was the only team in the organization to lose today.  The starting pitcher was top 25 prospect Jose Rosario.  Not a good day for the 6'1" RHP.  He lasted 5 innings, gave up 7 hits, 2 walks and 4 runs.  He struck out 2.
  • Top SS prospect Marco Hernandez had his first good day at the plate.  He got on base 3 times, one was a ringing double over the CF's head, a single, and he also had a walk.  Hopefully this is a sign he's adapting to a more advanced league against older players.
  • Whenever I watch CFer Pin-Chieh Chen, I get the feeling that hitting is easy for him.  That's probably not true, but he made solid contact today and had a pair of hits.  After a horrific start, he's now at .259

Arizona Instructional League

  • Courtesy of Arizona Phil, Javier Baez simultaneously shows why he's a great hitting prospect and why teams had some concerns about his attitude.


Leave a comment
  • Hello. I've had so much fun reading this website this offseason. It's really given me a deeper look at my favorite team, which I appreciate, being stuck in Cardinals country. Your daily looks at the Cubs minor leagues prompted me to spring for the minor league tv package, so I thought I'd pitch in a few thoughts from the bit of the Iowa game I caught tonight.

    I thought De La Cruz did look pretty good tonight. Took care of business in short order, from what I recall. But Caridad seemed to have some issues. In the 9th, he really appeared to lose focus, and according to the Round Rock announcers, he lost velocity. I'm not sure what the issue was, but he was frustrated and it appeared that Castillo was frustrated by him.

    Castillo was sharp from what I saw. I missed his home run, but he wasn't fooled at all on a couple sharp singles. Hopefully he's coming along defensively, because he seems major league ready offensively.

    Defensively, Valbuena made a couple nice plays, and the Round Rock announcers were raving about the outfield speed of the I-Cubs.

  • In reply to Justin5183:

    Thanks for the kind words and the updates Justin. I was able to watch the game a bit, but with the sound off and only in spurts -- great that you could fill in those details!

  • Wow, Rizzo with two more dingers. Got MLB TV this year, can watch all the games, it is great. Andrew Cashner walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th and took the loss against the Dodgers. Command was not there. The Cubs trades so far not looking to bad.
    Colvin looks to me like he is destined to be a career 4th outfielder, and Lamaheau still in the minors, gotta love Stewart so far, what a slick fielder.
    And Sean Marshall did not do well in the 13th tonight and took the loss for the Reds. While Sean is a quality pitcher, for the kind of money the Reds are paying, I just don't think he is that dominant of a reliever. Wood showed he has ability, at 25 he wouldn't be the first lefty starter to all of a sudden figure it out.
    Torreyes is really struggling so far, surprised by that.
    How do the Cubs use both LaHair and Rizzo in the future?

  • Thanks for the update. Im thinking 50 games into the season we can see where everybody's at and revisit those deals.

    I don't think anyone knows how the Cubs are going to use Rizzo and LaHair. Best guess is to use LaHair in LF, but Soriano is there now and he's playing pretty well.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    and even if he wasnt playing well hes making 18 mil this year so as long as he shows signs of life he'll be at the very least platooned in left.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Agreed. It's going to be hard to get him out of that lineup. Harder still to trade him.

  • fb_avatar

    Morning John,
    Went to a very enjoyable I-Cubs game last night. There was drama and fun.

    Rizzo rakes! Missed his first inning homer trying to get into the stadium but pulled the second to RF and let's just say it had some juice. Castillo displayed a rocket of an arm and threw out a base runner on a bang-bang play. His 3 hits were all hit extremely hard. Jackson did not look good at the plate. Yea he got hold of one that went a long way, but he did not make good contact. Vitters was disappointing in the field as he lost a high pop-up near the stands. He did make a good diving stop but his throw was late. 2b and SS were very impressive. Come to find out, I sat behind Adrian Cardenas' family and girlfriend. They told me Adrian has raved about how well the management of the Cubs have treated them. Said he's never felt this way about an organization like Theo/Jed/coaches are developing in the Cubbie Way. Beleaveau pitched to 2 batter and both hit him hard. He did not throw very hard but he did have lots of movement on his ball. Maine belongs in AAA. The I-Cubbie nation at the game became very restless with his ineptness. Don't remember if it was Maine or Parker, but one Express batter hit a blazing liner into left and Mr. Excitement #1Campana ran a long way like the Flash and made a great catch in the 9th. He was a defensive replacement. Good choice. Finally it really irritated me that either the pitching coach or manage came out to the mound (multiple time) with his shirt tail all the way out. Are we the bad-news bears. Have some respect.

    On a fun note, the guy sitting next to me along with myself caught 3 balls. Friday fireworks followed and by golly, you really got your $$ worth at this ballgame. Thanks for a great forum to comment in John (and Tom).

  • In reply to Hal McCarty:

    Dang! Sounds like you went to one helluva game, Hal. I'm gonna have to take a ride out that way sometime and catch a game.

  • In reply to Hal McCarty:

    Awesome recap Hal. Was looking forward to this!

    I think that liner was off of Parker. Maine's control problems are frustrating. He's not easy to hit but man, he just can't throw strikes. That's not going to fly with this front office.

    Very cool about Cardenas. It's a familiar refrain we hear that this front office treats you great. Like Tom says in his latest article, Cubs are going to be a place where players want to go.

  • Wow! Sounds like Baez has some ego issues. Cocky bastard. It's good news and concerning news as well. But even better to hear about Rizzo, but LaHair needs to be more consistent.

    Side note: It seems like the Cubs were late to the market signing Latino players. I've been watching them since about '83 and one thing my grandmother disliked about the Cubs was the lack of Latino presence on the team. Til this day she gives me that excuse about Jim Frey being a racists. Not sure where she got that about Jim Frey, but I still laugh when she says that.

  • In reply to lokeey:

    I winced when I read that about Baez. I hope it gets back to the Cubs and they address it.

    The Cubs have been late to the party when it comes to Latino players, but it pre-dates Frey and it's gone on pretty much until Hendry hired Fleita. With Ricketss as owner, we should expect to see even more Latin players because he's willing to invest internationally.

  • Should be an interesting day for Cub Minor League Ball, with Travis Wood, Zach Cates, Ben Wells and Brooks Raley all scheduled to start. Hope Cates can bounce back tonight.

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Thanks for posting that. Games are spaced out today so going to watch Wells, then Raley and then Wood. I'll be following to see what Cates does since he was rocked last time.

    Wood looked pretty good last time and he may have passed Wells as first in line when a spot opens up.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    How do you get the minor league games to watch, and can you get them for all the minor leagues?

  • You can get them by subscribing to MiLB TV on the website. You get pretty much all of Iowa, Tennesee, and Boise (when their season starts) and this year it looks like they've added Peoria. Only team I can't watch is Daytona, the AZ rookie team, and the Dominican leagues

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Do they blackout the minor league games? I'm in IA and I want to watch some of the I-Cubs games on occasion but I don't want to get it if I'll be blacked out. Do you know John?

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    I don't know on that one. Wish I could tell you. I'm 150 miles from Peoria and I get those games. Wonder if I get Kane County, which is even closer. I'll check it out next time they're on.

  • John
    Thanks for the minor league recap!

    Do you happen to know who is the Cubs Extended Spring Training team manager? Seems like he should have pulled Baez out of the game right then and there...

  • In reply to DropThePuck:

    Your welcome!

    I don't know who the manager is. Ext. ST tends to be pretty informal. I would have pulled him out too.

  • Thanks John

    Actually, I should have asked who the Angle's Ext. ST manager was and then asked why they didn't put a fastball in Baez's ear during his next at bat.

Leave a comment