I went to check out Kane County today and got a second look at LHP Michael Heesch and another look at many other Kane County players. I'll share those thoughts in that portion of the recap.
Meanwhile, Ryan Sweeney will get the call to Chicago while Dave Sappelt will get optioned back to Iowa. Sappelt was tabbed to be the RH complement to David DeJesus, who struggles against LHP, but he hasn't done the job. I'm uncertain as to what role Sweeney will play or how the Cubs plan to get him ABs, but they did have to call him up at some point or risk losing him. Perhaps the Cubs will have to make a trade to make room in the near future.
- 29 year old swingman Guillermo Moscoso started the first game but couldn't get to the 5th inning. He went 4 innings and allowed 4 hits, 3 walks and 2 runs. Esmalin Caridad pitched the 5th inning to pick up the win.
- Kyuji Fujikawa made his rehab appearance and pitched a scoreless innings, walking one and striking out two. Fujikawa had some trouble locating his FB however and threw just 11 of his 21 pitches for strikes overall. He may have been a bit rusty after the layoff.
- Blake Parker finished the game with a scoreless 9th for his 3rd save, though it did have some drama as Parker allowed a single and a walk before retiring the side. He struck out 2.
- In the 2nd game, LHP Brooks Raley pitched 5 solid innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out 4. He allowed 2 runs, both on a HR.
- Cory Wade picked up the loss when he gave up a run in the 10th.
- Josh Vitters went 5 for 8, including his first HR, a 2-run shot.
- Catcher JC Boscan had the other 2 RBI in Game 1 and went 1 for 2 in that game.
- Bryan Bogusevic doubled twice, walked twice, and had 4 hits overall over the two games. He also had an RBI and scored a run. He's hitting .418/.500/.571 on the year.
- Tough outing by Kyle Hendricks in that he managed to give up 9 hits in 5 innings, leading to 5 runs (2 earned). This could have been some luck evening out after the last outing in which he fell behind hitters all day and had a little BABIP luck. On the bright side, Hendricks did not walk a batter and struck out 5.
- Marcus Hatley (1 walk, 2Ks) and Zach Rosscup (1 K) each pitched a scoreless inning but Trey McNutt gave up a run on 3 hits in his one inning of work. Hatley lowered his ERA to 2.31 and Rosscup lowered his to 1.46.
- Only 5 singles today by the Smokies including one each by Rony Torreyes and Matt Szczur, who also walked and stole his 9th base.
- Offseason pickup Yeiper Castillo was dominant today with 6 scoreless innings in which he walked just one and struck out 7. Castillo has solid stuff -- a 91-94 mph FB with an average curveball and a good change-up. His command is average and he doesn't do one thing particularly well, but his combo of skills may be enough to get him to the majors as a middle reliever.
- LHP Hunter Cervenka pitched 2 scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.98 on the year. The downside is he's walked 10 in 13.2 innings, but just 1 hitters in his last 4 innings, so perhaps he's finding his rhythm.
- Luis Liria took the loss by giving up a run in the 9th.
- The D-Cubs managed just 3 singles, one each by John Andreoli, Dustin Geiger, and Ben Carhart.
- Today was my second look at LHP Michael Heesch and his stuff wasn't quite the same as when I saw him last time, but he was still plenty good, especially his command. He didn't have as much arm side run on his fastball and it was 88-89 as opposed to 90-91 last time out. But Heesch is fun to watch. He knows he depends on his defenders so he works quickly, attacks the strike zone, and has enough movement on all his pitches to keep hitters from getting too comfortable. He struck out 5 hitters and walked none in 7 innings -- but he really didn't give up any hard contact, particularly for the first 6 innings. In his last two innings especially the 8th, he didn't locate as well and was hit harder than he had been all day but he managed to survive and keep the shutout and the lead intact. I think Heesch has a shot to be a big league pitcher. He's not ace material, but he knows how to pitch, has a good approach on the mound, and his stuff is good enough to get by at the higher levels. In all he went 7.1 scoreless innings and allowed 4 hits, no walks, and struck out 5. Heesch has a 3.08 ERA on the season with 6 walks and 24 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.
- LHP Nathan Dorris was about 87 mph on his fastball and showed a solid curveball in working the last 1.2 innings of the game for his 2nd save. He has a 2.19 ERA and 3 walks in 13 Ks in 12.1 innings. His specialty has been getting the ground ball, as shown by his 4.75 GO/AO ratio.
- 2B Gioskar Amaya seems to be seeing the ball well of late. After a slow start he's slowing making his way back up to more familiar numbers. He had a couple more hits today, including a hustle double in which he was running hard out of the box and took advantage when the OF briefly bobbled the ball.
- DH Dan Vogelbach showed a good eye, walking twice against a pitcher who'd only walked 1 hitter all year. I've been most impressed with Vogelbach's approach this year in that he's less pull happy. He seems more content to take what the pitcher gives him and take it the opposite way from time to time. Today he did that again, taking an outside pitch and hitting a line drive to LF for a double. He's not always given credit for being a smart hitter, but that's exactly what he is -- he has a pretty good idea of what he wants to do up there. And here's another thing about Vogelbach -- the guy loves to win. He's up on the dugout steps pretty much the whole game and when Kane County recorded the final out, he was the first player out of the dugout and out to the mound to congratulate Nathan Dorris as he picked up the save.
- Rock Shoulders and Jeimer Candelario can hit it a long way but both showed a lot of hustle today, getting infield hits on taps to the mound. Something that doesn't show up in the box score but it's impressive when you see your big middle of the order guys run hard on what should have been easy outs.
- Both Bijan Rademacher and Oliver Zapata have been providing some punch at the bottom of the lineup, even carrying the team as some of the heavy hitters have fallen into a bit of a rut. Both had two hits today. Zapata has hiked his average up to .280 now while Rademacher has stayed hot and is hitting .333.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap