So, suddenly those upper level prospects are doing what we'd always hoped they would. 2014 may not be the year but the Cubs premium prospects are inching closer to Chicago.
Here's the recap...
- Eric Jokish seems to be back on track. He was a strike throwing machine today and he was locating well. He nearly finished the game before reaching his 100 pitch count with 2 outs to go in the 9th, allowing just 3 hits and one run. He walked just one batter and struck out 4. Jokish is now 4-4 with a 3.59 ERA and has walked just 1.4 batters per 9 IP and striking out a solid 7.4/9IP. He even went 2 for 3 with a double, walk, and 2 RBI.
- Matt Szczur was back at the top of the lineup and responded with a double, single and two runs scored to raise his average on the year to ,252.
- If you don't write neatly and leave enough space, Arismendy Alcantara can clutter up your scorecard. He doubled, tripled, singled twice, and walked, getting on base in all 5 PAs. He also drove in 2, stole his 10th base, and scored 4 runs. The day left him at .281/.321/.520 for the year. While his walk rate is still in that 5% range, I'm encouraged that it is closer to 9% in May (8.7%).
- Remember, back in the day, when you were worried about Javier Baez? Well, Javy found your lack of faith disturbing. He had 3 more hits today, including 2 doubles (one of which almost left the yard),stole his 4th base, and played very good defense at SS. Suddenly Javy Baez is approaching an .800 OPS (.725) with a line of .225/.287/.437. That's incredible when you think of where he was just 11 games ago. In the past 10 games, Baez has hit .439 with a .927 slugging percentage. 12 of his 18 hits have gone for extra bases, including 4 HRs, and has scored 11 runs and driven in 14 runs.
- Chris Valaika has hit from day one and it continued with a 4 for 4 day. The versatile 28 year old infielder is hitting .312/.381/.459.
- Joel Pineiro was better this start, pitching 6.1 solid innings, allowing 3 runs with all 3 runs coming in on 2 HRs. He walked 1 and struck out 2.
- PJ Francescon had a great April but has posted a 5.03 ERA in May with a dip in his control numbers being one of the causes. He has walked 8 batters in 14,1 innings, including one in the 2/3 of an inning he pitched today. Francescon allowed the winning runs to score after the Smokies had gone into the 9th with a 4-3 lead. His ERA is up to 3.25.
- Just because Javy found his groove, we shouldn't forget about Kris Bryant, not that he would allow that to happen. After a rare 0 for 4 day, Bryant went 2 for 3, inlcuding his 14th HR. He also walked. We could read you the numbers but you all probably have them somewhat memorized by now, so we'll give you the traditional stats today. Bryant is hitting ,337 with 14 HRs and 43 RBI in 49 games.
- Justin Amlung got his 2nd start and once again had an impressive outing. He allowed just one run (on a solo HR) in 5 innings while walking one and striking out 4. Amlung (3-0, 1.76 ERA) is filling in for Jen-Ho Tseng but you have to wonder if he'll get a bump to Daytona once Tseng gets back. I think he has the stuff to start and deserves a chance to keep doing that.
- LHP Michael Heesch made his 2014 debut and allowed a pair of runs in 1.1 innings. He walked 2 and struck out 2. The big-bodied lefty works with an 87-89 mph 2 seamer with good plane and good sink along with some arm side run.
- Three shutout innings for James Pugliese who lowered his ERA to 0.89.
- Jose Arias picked up the win despite allowing the go-ahead run in the 11th. The Cougars rallied for 2 runs in their half, winning the game on a walk-off HR by Jordan Hankins in his only AB of the game.
- Jacob Rogers had a pair of hits, including his 4th HR, and drove in a pair of runs. It's not been a great year for the 24 year old 1B when it comes to power He has hit .243/.355/.402 overall.
- Cael Brockmeyer only had one hit but it was a big one. He doubled in the 11th and eventually came around to score the tying run on a David Bote (o for 3, 2 RBI) ground out.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap