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.