It was an offensive explosion for three of the affiliates as Iowa (13), Daytona (12) an Peoria (7) combined to score 32 runs. There were 2 HRs from Anthony Rizzo, and one each from Josh Vitters, Justin Bour, and Rubi Silva while Peoria just received a big arm from Extended Spring Training.
Iowa 13 - Fresno 2
- LHP Chris Rusin started and had another good outing. He went 6 innings and gave up just 3 hits and one run. He walked 2 and struck out 5.
- Esmailin Caridad came in relief and pitched a scoreless inning.
- Manny Corpas came in and promptly threw a gopher ball. He gave up a second hit but managed to get out of the inning without any further damage.
- Blake Parker mopped up and pitched a scoreless inning.
- Brett Jackson had a triple and 2 walks. He scored 3 runs. He should have had a 3rd walk, but the ump blew the call, then Jackson chased a pitch out of the zone to strikeout. Overall, a good day, but he did have 2 more strikeouts.
- Alfredo Amezaga had 3 hits and is at .317 on the year. The versatile player was in RF today.
- Luis Valbuena played 2B and also had 3 hits. He scored 2 runs. He's at .319 with an .858 OPS.
- 1B Anthony Rizzo had a big day with 2 HRs and 6 RBI. He s now hitting .357 with 9 HRs and 31 RBI. His OPS is 1.056.
- 3B Josh Vitters had a nice day with a 3-run double, a solo HR, and a single. He's still got a long way to go but it's easy to forget Vitters is just 22. He's at .263 with 2 HRs on the year. He scored 2 runs in addition to his 4 RBI.
Birmingham 6 - Tennessee 3,
- Top pitching prospect Trey McNutt made the start. He went 3 innings and threw 58 pitches. Apparently he's on a pitch count, but you'd like him to go at least another inning or so. He gave up 5 hits, 3 ER, walked one and struck out one.
- Australian import Ryan Searle relieved McNutt and struggled with his command, walking 3 in 2 innings. He gave up one run.
- LHP Jeffrey Antigua pitched 2 scoreless innings to lower his season ERA to 3.06.
- Casey Weathers pitched one inning and gave up one run. He didn't allow a hit, had one walk, and struck out one.
- Junior Lake went 0-4 but did walk, his second in 3 games. It's early but Lake also increased his walk rate in the AZ Fall League, so perhaps this is a trend worth watching.
- CF Jae-Hoon Ha had a pair of hits, including a double, to bump his average up to .260. He's only slugging .336 on the year, however.
- 1B Justin Bour hit his 5th HR of the year to go with a .254 batting average. After a slow start, he's coming around but he looks to have a long swing to me and I wonder if these kinds of ups and downs are going to be par for the course. Bour had a great first half in Daytona last year only to tail off badly in the second half. Still, he's a big guy with some serious power and he's starting to hit at a more advanced level, so he deserves the benefit of the doubt for now.
- C Luis Flores had a big day with a double and 2 singles to give him 4 hits in 10 ABs so far. Flores is returning from a long suspension for PEDs. At the time, it looked like he was having something of a breakout year in 2011, hitting .270 with 7 HRs in just 102 ABs. Before then he'd had 7 HRs total between 2008-2010.
Daytona 12 - Charlotte 4
- RHP Matt Loosen got the start and pitched 5 solid innings and allowed just one earned run. He walked 2 and struck out 4.
- Former first round pick Hayden Simpson piggybacked the start and pitched 4 innings and gave up 3 runs (2 earned). He walked one, continuing this trend of throwing more strikes. He allowed 5 hits. Not as dominant as his last outing, but after some of Simpson's early outings where he was just getting thumped, I'll take it. Baby steps. He actually earned the save in his one and lowered his ERA to 6.41.
- Matt Szczur had a double and a walk. He scored two runs. It was Szczur's 16th walk of the year. He had 26 all of last year between Peoria and Daytona.
- SS Arismendy Alcantara had a single, a walk, and 3 RBI on the day.
- Rubi Silva continues his good start. The versatile athlete played 2B in this game and went 2 for 6 with a 3-Run HR. He's batting .315 on the year.
- DH Nelson Perez is still red-hot. He went 2 for 4. He's hitting .432 in his last 10 games and is slugging .730. He's hitting .327 on the year with 5 HRs. I don't think he'll be in Daytona much longer. The 24 year old held his own at AA last year for a half season and looks to have improved his approach a little this season with 19 walks after just 26 all of last season. This seems like a familiar theme for Cubs prospects this year.
- LF John Andreoli had 2 hits and 2 walks. He now has 20 walks on the year and is hitting .317. His OBP is now .455.
- 1B Richard Jones may be breaking out of his season long slump. He had 2 more hits today to raise his average to .207. The power hitting 24 year old has yet to HR, however.
- RF Elieser Bonne went 1 for 3 on the day and is hitting .264 on the year.
Peoria 7 - Quad Cities 2
- RHP Jose Rosario had something of an odd line. He went 5 innings and gave up 10 hits, but managed to limit the damage by walking none and striking out 5. He allowed 2 ER.
- RHP Luis Liria pitched 2 scoreless innings, walking 2 and striking out 2. I wasn't all that impressed with Liria when I went down to see Peoria play, but he's getting results. He has a 1.98 ERA on the season.
- The Cubs called up Charles Thomas from extended spring training and he pitched 2 scoreless innings while walking one batter and striking out 3. Thomas is an interesting guy as he is 6'4", 250 lbs and was a 10th round pick, rating as one of the better power hitters in the Cubs 2009 draft as a 1B. He also threw 94 mph as a two way college player. After an unsuccessful .176/.235/.277 season in Peoria in 2010, Thomas switched to pitching. He had mixed results last year in Boise. He had a 4.35 ERA and averaged over a strikeout per inning...but he also averaged over a walk per inning. At last glance in extended spring training, Thomas had pitched 8.2 innings walking 3 and striking out 9. The Peoria Chiefs have some serious power on their pitching staff between Thomas and Kyler Burke, another converted power hitter.
- On to the real position players...Pen-Chieh Chen played LF and led off. He had a hit and 2 walks.
- CF Taiwan Easterling continued his hot streak with 2 hits in 6 ABs with 3 RBI. He's hitting .319 in his last 11 games.
- 3B Wes Darvil had a triple and a single in 5 trips.
- 1B Paul Hoilman extended his hitting streak to 21 with a single. That streak ties the franchise record. (h/t MiCubs)
- C Rafael Lopez had a double and 2 walks. The 24 year old has hit .244 since returning from the DL and is at .266 on the year.
- OF Oliver Zapata went o-4 although he walked once and scored 2 runs. He's now down to .244. After a hot start. He's now hitting .081 in his last 10 games.
- SS Marco Hernandez had a single and a walk. He also scored a run. After a nightmarish start, Hernandez is picking up the pace, albeit very slowly. He has hit in 5 of his last 6 games and is batting .261 in that time. There's still a long way to go but at least the 19 year old doesn't seem so overmatched lately.