Good to see Edwin Jackson pitching well. Kudos to our writer Adam Brown and @Joe_MLB_MAN, who wrote a guest post on the Cubs right-hander Both posts were bullish on EJax and he is beginning to prove them right.
Meanwhile, the Cubs got another outstanding performance just 40 miles outside Chicago and could things finally be coming together for Javier Baez and Albert Almora?
- Dallas Beeler had a great first outing, then a horrible second start, so maybe it's fitting that this one fell somewhere in between. Beeler went 5.1 innings, walking 2 and striking out 6, but he did allow 3 runs.
- Eduardo Figueroa had gotten off to a good start but this time he lacked good control, walking 2 and allowing 3 hits and 3 runs to take the loss.
- Alberto Cabrera only gave up one hit and one walk, but he did allow a run plus 2 inherited runners to score, resulting in a blown save. Cabrera started the season well, but has cooled off a bit of late and has seen his ERA shoot up to 4.74 and his FIP was a sky high 6.14 entering this game.
- Arismendy Alcantara is getting his batting eye back, walking twice and now has walked 4 times in his last 11 PAs to get his walk rate over 5%. He still has a ways to go to get it to last year's levels but he's starting to see the ball well. He hasn't had any trouble hitting the ball with authority this year and tonight he went 1 for 2 with a double, his 13th of the year. He has a .479 slugging pct. and a very good ISO of .204. On top of all that, he stole his 9th base. If Alcantara can continue to increase his walk rate and get his OBP closer to an average range (.330 to .340, currently it's back over .300 at .309 ) then the Cubs will have that dynamic offensive player they were hoping for when the season started.
- Javier Baez also appeared to be seeing the ball very well today, hitting his 4th HR and drawing a walk. He worked the count well all day, which was encouraging to see. It's a little thing but I liked that when he came up in a game situation late in the game, Round Rock had a conference on the mound. It seems that Javy is still feared and I imagine the conversation went something like, "Don't give this guy a 1st pitch fastball because he'll put it into orbit." So they didn't -- and Javy took the pitch, which appeared to be a breaking ball on the outside corner. Good pitch, hats off to the pitcher but I also like that Javy seemed to know that was coming and didn't force the issue. He ended up having another solid AB but unfortunately it ended in a strikeout.
- Logan Watkins continued his solid season in his new role as a super sub type player. He doubled, singled, scored a run, and drove in another. He is hitting .304
- Matt Loosen followed up a poor start with a solid outing, allowing just 2 hits, but one of those was a 2 run HR and Loosen didn't help himself when he walked 4 batters, but all in all he kept things close, allowing 3 runs in 6 innings and leaving with the score tied.
- Usually you can rely on PJ Francescon to bridge the gap and then let the Smokies offense pummel the other team's middle relievers but today it was the reverse. Francescon gave up more runs today (5) in 1.2 innings than he had all season (3), raising his ERA to 2.88 from 1.16. In some ways we could have expected it, Francescon had been outpitching his peripherals all season and it finally caught up to him.
- C Charles Cutler hit a 2-run HR and drew a walk. The Smokies backup catcher is hitting .308/.425/.446 on the season.
- Kris Bryant continues to be remarkably consistent this season. He singled, walked and scored a run.
- A wild game as Tayler Scott started with 4 scoreless innings before the wheels came off in the 5th. Scott allowed 5 runs and was unable to finish the minimum 5 innings to qualify for the win. It's hard not to like Scott -- great makeup, athletic, nice curve -- but you just wonder if he will ever miss enough bats. I'm hoping he does.
- Michael Jensen has a pretty good curve as well to go with a good approach as well. I haven't seen him pitch since I saw him in Peoria before his TJ injury. Back then he was throwing low 90s with a big breaking curve that missed a lot of bats. I'd be interested to know how his stuff looked if you were at the game. Jensen is certainly getting results, including today when he pitched 2.1 scoreless innings to pick up the win. Jensen is 2-1 witha 3.44 ERA with 6 walks and 17Ks in 18 IP this season.
- Three singles and 3 RBI for the speedy Zeke DeVoss. He is struggling to hit in Daytona after a fast start in Tennessee this season, hitting just .200 in the FSL after dropping to .120 in AA. DeVoss is a smart player with a great approach and a flair for the spectacular on defense, but his hit tool just hasn't come around.
- Gioskar Amaya had 3 more hits and raised his line to .322/.406/.370 walking 13 times vs. 14Ks. Great approach, great contact skills but Amaya has struggled to hit for power in the spacious FSL ballparks. He did show some pull side power at Kane -- may be a candidate for a strength program? The kid can hit and has a good glove at 2B.
- Two more hits for Albert Almora who also made a spectacular diving catch in CF (h/t @JoePietrzyk) as things seem to be clicking on all cylinders for him lately. He's hitting .317/.364/.488 in his last 10 games.
- Pin-Chieh Chen came in to sub for Bijan Rademacher who came out of the game after one PA (a walk) and did a pretty good impression, getting a walk, triple, single, RBI, and 3 runs scored. No word as to why Rademacher left the game. UPDATE: Caps tells us he was hit in the elbow by a pitch, finished the inning but then was taken out of the game.
- Dan Vogelbach doubled twice and drove in 2 runs. He has shown some signs the last 3 games that he could be getting on track, but we'll hold off for now until he does it for a longer stretch.
- Chadd Krist is the guy you want behind the plate to handle your pitching prospects so when he hits, it's a nice bonus. He doubled, singled, walked, scored 2 and drove in 2.
- Jeimer Candelario is looking to find his groove this season and did get 2 hits, including a double, and a walk. Candelario is hitting just .180 but has walked 19 times and shown flashes of extra base pop (6 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR).
- Tyler Skulina was brilliant today, pitching 7.1 innings of no-hit ball before reaching his pitch count. He walked 2 and struck out 5. Mauricio was at the game and tells me that Skulina was 88-91 with a decent curve, but that he didn't have a consistent arm slot and so-so command. That's remarkable in it's own way. If he can pitch this well when he's not at his best, I would love to see what he can do when he is.
- Nathan Dorris came on in relief and closed the deal with 1.2 no-hit innings of his own, giving Cougars the combined no-hitter. Dorris retired all 5 batters, striking out 2 of them.
- It's a good think the pitchers were dealing because the Cougars managed just 5 hits of their own. Jacob Hannemann did not get one of those hits but he managed to contribute with 2 walks, a run scored and an RBI on a sac fly. Hannemann had gotten off to a promising start but has struggled and has dropped down to .210/.304/.312 on the season.
- Carlos Penalver singled and drove a run. He also stole his 11th base of the year.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap