Spent most of the day downstate as I proudly watched my niece place first in the state on bars and third in the all-around. Hope there were gymnastics scouts in attendance. If there is such a thing.
On the baseball field it was that Daytona lineup pounding out 15 hits, grinding out 7 walks and scoring 8 runs en route to their first victory of the season.
- The Iowa pitching was ineffective from top to bottom today, starting with Drew Carpenter's line of 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3W, and one K. At one point Dale Sveum named him as his probable 6th starter, but I have to think Chris Rusin has leapfrogged him at this point. The relief contingent of Jaye Chapman (1 IP, 2R), Cory Wade (1.2 IP, 1 R), and Blake Parker (1.1, 2 R) did not fare much better.
- Logan Watkins looked like a pretty good leadoff hitter today, getting on base 5 times with 3 hits, including a triple, and two walks. He scored 2 runs.
- Bryan Bogusevic stayed red-hot with 2 more hits and 2 walks. In 10 PAs in 2 games, he has gotten on base 7 times.
- Brad Nelson is getting looks at 3B with the Cubs rash of injuries that have included Ian Stewart, Josh Vitters, and Junior Lake. He does have the power for the position if he can at all handle it defensively. He hit 2 dingers and drove in 3 while also drawing a walk. I don't know about you but I think the Cubs could use a bat like that at 3B.
- I keep leaving catcher Luis Flores for dead but the guy has 9 lives. He continues to survive injuries, PED suspensions, and off-years, yet still has enough talent to have muddled his way to AAA. He had 2 hits today.
- Alberto Cabrera showed how good he can be when he commands his mid 90s fastball, hard slider, and solid change. He threw 54 of 77 pitches for strikes, walking none and striking out 9 in 6 innings of work. He did allow 2 runs on 4 hits. All of those hits were singles and 3 of them -- including one bunt single and one infield single, were given up in Pensacola's 2 run 2nd.
- Two things stood out to me when I saw Zac Rosscup's outing this spring with the Cubs. The first is an utter lack of command, but the second thing was that hitters were not picking up on his 90-92 mph fastball all that well. When they did swing, they swung and missed. So it makes you wonder what would happen if he actually threw strikes. Well, he did that today and he was dominant. He threw 30 pitches, 21 for strikes and struck out 5 batters in 2 IP with no walks.
- Trey McNutt finished up with a scoreless inning of his own. He also did not walk a batter and struck out one. That makes a total of 15 Ks and zero walks for Smokies pitchers today.
- Matt Szczur is off to a good start, particularly when it comes to getting on base. He did it two more times with a single and a walk.
- Jae-Hoon Ha had a big day with 3 hits, a stolen base, an RBI, and two runs scored.
- As good as that day was, it may have been topped by Christian Villanueva, who drove in 4 runs with 2 RBI singles and a two-run double.
- 2012 RBI machine Justin Bour knocked in his first run of 2013 with a double. He also scored twice.
- It wasn't just the bats but the pitching came up big as well today as well. Starlin Peralta got the start and though he was a bit wild (3 walks and a HBP), he proved pretty tough to hit. Peralta pitched 4 scoreless innings on one hit, striking out 5. Good to have him back after nearly losing him to Arizona in the Rule 5 draft.
- Minor league vet Ryan Searle piggybacked the start and completed the shutout with 5 scoreless innings of his own..
- Zeke DeVoss was one of my sleeper prospect picks after coming off a tough year. One thing he did do was see a lot of pitches and perhaps that experience is beginning to pay off this season. DeVoss singled, doubled, and tripled. He also walked twice and stole his 2nd base of the season. DeVoss is also playing CF this year where he has shown a penchant for making spectacular plays and was outstanding on balls in the air as a 2B as well, as the following play from last season will show...
- Javier Baez hit a HR in his first plate appearance and went 2 for 5 overall with 2 RBI. The downside was a couple more strikeouts as he continues to be aggressive at the plate.
- If there is one thing John Andreoli can do as well as anyone in the system, it's get on base. After putting up a .402 OBP last season, Andreoli shows no intentions of slowing down. He got on base 4 times today on 3 singles and a walk. The Cubs hope to see him add a bit more pop to his game this season.
- The Cubs inserted Ben Carhart at 3B today and showed why I've called him one of the more underrated hitters in the system. He went 3 for 5 and scored a run.
- 1B Dustin Geiger didn't get a hit today but it's encouraging to see the aggressive power hitter coax a couple of walks.
- The best news today was Tayler Scott's performance. He went 6 innings and allowed just one unearned run, didn't walk a batter, and struck out 6. He was at 87-89 mph and flashed a good breaking ball at times. I asked Sahadev Sharma, who was at the game, and he said it looked like a slider, though Scott's main breaking pitch is a curve. Makes me wonder if he either has developed a slider or whether he tightened up his curve and is throwing it with more velocity. Whatever it was, he was outdueled by Astros 2012 supplemental 1st round pick Lance McCullers.
- Rock Shoulders has all 3 RBI for Kane County this year. He drove in his 3rd run of the season with a double.
- Kane County scattered 10 hits overall, 3 by utility infielder Wes Darvill, who is back from Iowa, and 2 by catcher Chadd Krist.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap