Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Rizzo HRs (again); Pitching struggles as affiliates swept

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Rizzo HRs (again); Pitching struggles as affiliates swept
Brooks Raley

I don't know if Anthoy Rizzo hitting HRs is really headline worthy at this point, but it is fun to keep track of it.  He did it again, albeit a meaningless one where Iowa was out of the game early.

There wasn't much good news other than that.  The pitching struggled at every level as every organizational affiliate lost today.

Tacoma 8 - Iowa 3

  • LHP Brooks Raley got the promotion to AAA Iowa when Wood was called up to Chicago.  Raley is about 88-92 on his fastball, though he generally works on the lower end of that range.  He has a nice slider and a change.  He's an athletic player who split his time between CF/leadoff man in college, so the hope is it helps him with his command by helping him repeat his delivery.  My guess on him is as a lefty reliever.  The odd thing is he has a reverse split this year.  He's had an easier time with RH batters (.254 opponents BA) than LH batters (.300).   He struggled with men on base all day today, going 5 innings and allowing 6 hits and 3 walks.  He gave up 5 runs, although only 3 were earned when Iowa botched a potential double play to get him out of trouble.  Still, he put men on all day, so those things will happen, especially at the minor league level.
  • Frankie De La Cruz continues to put up goose eggs lately no matter what role they have him in.  Today he pitched another scoreless inning, this time in short relief.
  • Mike MacDougal has pitched 4.2 innings at Iowa but gave up his 3rd HR in that time.  He has a 9.64 ERA.
  • Speaking of HRs, Anthony Rizzo hit his 16th HR of the year.  He went 2 for 4 on the day.
  • Josh Vitters went 3 for 4, including a double, to raise his line to .267/.311/.420.
  • I think offseason acquisition Dave Sappelt is ready to break out of his season long slump.  He's been hitting the ball well lately and went 1 for 3 with a walk, plus 2 runs scored in this game.

Mobile 8 -Tennessee 6

  • A tough outing for Nick Struck today.  He pitched just 3 innings and gave up 6 runs to erase a 3-0 Smokies lead.  His ERA on the year is 4.86.
  • LHP Casey Harman pitched well except for a 2-run HR by Alfredo Marte.  Harman went 3 innings, walked none and struck out 4.
  • Frank Batista pitched 2 more scoreless innings to keep his AA ERA at 0.00 in 10.2 IP.  He's walked 3 and struck out 11.
  • James Adduci has been very productive at AA.  He had 2 more hits and 2 RBI.  He's hitting .301 with an .808 OPS.
  • Junior Lake was in the 3rd spot today but kept on hitting.  He had a double and a single today.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha is finally off the schneid when it comes to HRs.  He hit his first one today.  He'd been red-hot until an 0-5 day temporarily derailed him.  He came into the game late and went 1-2, giving him 9 hits in the last 6 games.
  • 1B Justin Bour went 2 for 4 today and drove in his team leading 35th run of the year.
  • LF Rebel Ridling has found his power stroke.  He hit another HR (5) and 4th in 4 games.

St. Lucie 8 - Daytona 7

  • LHP Frank Del Valle had the best outing of any starting pitcher with 5 IP and 2 runs allowed.  He walked 3 and struck out 6.
  • Closer prospect Tony Zych continues to have a roller coaster season.  He pitched 2 innings, walked none and struck out two, but he did give up the game winning run on 3 hits and took the loss.
  • SS Arismendy Alcantara had a couple more hits, going 2 for 5 on the day, but he continues to struggle on defense.  He committed a throwing error for his 20th error on the year.
  • Matt Szczur had a single and a walk.  He has his walk rate up at just over 11% on the year.  It was at 2.7% last year in his half season at Daytona.
  • 3B Greg Rohan had a big 3 run HR that brought Daytona within one.
  • It was good to see Ronald Torreyes finally break out and have a solid game.  He had 2 singles, a double, and a walk to get on base in all 4 PAs.  He also drove in two runs, including the tying run in the 6th.

Clinton 11 - Peoria 0

  • Top 30 prospect Jose Rosario has really struggled this year but today was his worst outing yet.  He lasted just 3.2 innings and gave up 9 hits, including 3 HRs, and 9 runs, all earned.  He's at 3-5 with a 5.65 ERA.  He did strike out 5.  In fact, despite giving up 11 runs, the Chiefs pitchers struck out 13 batters tonight.
  • RHP Austin Reed couldn't stop the Clinton merry-go-round, but it was due to his own wildness. He went 1.1 innings and walked 3 batters to go to allow 2 more runs.
  • Recently acquired LHP Hunter Cervenka was also a little wild with 2 walks in 2 innings.  However, he did not allow a hit or a run and struck out 3.
  • Closer Jeffrey Lorick was getting in some work and pitched 2 perfect innings with 3 strikeouts.  His ERA is just 0.52 on the year.
  • Not much to report on offense.  The Chiefs managed just 5 singles, two by DH Yaniel Cabezas.


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  • fb_avatar

    John, it's nice to see Vitters and Sappelt coming around...Is it realistic to think that they'll be up once some deals are made.. I can see Sappelt coming up if Reed gets moved

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    To be honest if Sappelt continues to hit and Campana struggles we could see him step into CF until Bjax is ready at which point Sappelt becomes a very very good fouth outfielder. and with our outfield projecting to be all lefties he could get plenty of time. I think reed will be moved by then as well. I wonder what John thinks.

    On Vitters i'd like to see him succeed more than anyone, with all the projected Lefties in our future line-up if Vitters can be a solid right-handed bat at the hot corner i'll take it, like to see the slugging percentage go up if we wont walk. he doesnt have to be Kevin Youkilis in terms of walks but he has to be patience enough that pitchers will at least know they have to throw him a strike, like Castro (not recently I know). I want to be high on him.

  • In reply to Marcel Jenkins:

    Vitters and Lake are two guys we really need to take a step forward. It seems Lake is progressing a bit faster but Vitters always seems to take longer to adapt. I sometimes wonder if he'll be a late bloomer that won't hit his stride until he's 25, 26 or so. The skills are still there, so it's hard to give up on him. He just has to learn a better approach.

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    I have a feeling on Sappelt turning things around. I see a lot of Iowa games and he looks like he's hitting the ball well lately. I believe he'll get hot and we'll see him this year, maybe before September.

  • fb_avatar

    Marcel, totaly agree with you about Vitters..It seems the more comfortable he gets at each level, the more he starts to hit and that really bodes well..Plus he's only 22 still.. I lke Sappelt too, I think he'd be real good 4th outfielder for us, no question about it.. Yeah where is John??? He usually responds by now....

  • In reply to Luigi Ziccarelli:

    Sorry guys, I crashed early last night....which is good. Normally I'm up waaayyy too long. I'm refreshed!

  • Did anyone catch Kevin Goldstein on CSN Chicago the other night with CTL with David Kaplan. They basically asked him what he thought of the Cubs' top prospects and he was very tepid on the expectations especially on Szczur and Jackson. I think a lot of the experts have been burned by previous Cubs prospects who never panned out, hence, they always have a sort of bianess to pessimistic outlook. What do you guys think?

  • In reply to BleacherBum82:

    I think it's natural to be pessimistic on Jackson right now given his performance lately. There have been players on both sides of the coin as far as contact rates and how they've fared in the majors. Using a couple of names familiar to Cubs fans, the good are guys like Jim Edmonds while some guys, like our own Ian Stewart is an example of a guy who put up good numbers in the minors but has been unable to translate to the majors. The discouraging thing with Jackson is that he hasn't made progress with respect to contact rate.

    As far as Szczur, I sometimes think Goldstein is digging his heels in. He didn't like him from day one and as Szczur continues to beat expectations, he keeps looking for new flaws to justify his original projection. I'm trying to keep an open mind with Szczur. I understand the concerns, but I'm also very encouraged by the way he continues to adjust and adapt quickly.

  • fb_avatar

    This is totally unscientific, but the one player about whom I see consistently positive things in the wrap-ups (besides Rizzo) is Szczur. Obviously you don't want to get too excited until he transfers his success to AA at least, but I'm coming around on him.

    Maybe Goldstein just has a consonant phobia. I look forward to him being completely wrong on this one.

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