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Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Tseng to DL, Johnson throws 4 no-hit innings but exits early, Ruggiano on the mend

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Tseng to DL, Johnson throws 4 no-hit innings but exits early, Ruggiano on the mend
Tseng

Update on Jen-Ho Tseng as he was placed on the DL with what was termed as an upper extremity issue, but we know that it is shoulder discomfort.  But before you hyperventilate, it seems that Tseng felt well enough to pitch.  It appears the Cubs are just being cautious with the 19 year old -- and understandably so.

On with the recap.  It was a light day in terms

Round Rock 4- Iowa 2

  • Chris Rusin pitched 7 innings, allowing 9 hits and 4 runs (3 earned) to fall to 2-4 with a 3.91 ERA.
  • Javier Baez doubled and scored a run.    He's 5 for his last 15 with just 2 Ks --small sample and nothing to scream about at any rate, but hopefully it signals a trend in the right direction.
  • Josh Vitters went 2 for 4 with an RBI but is still hitting just .216 on the year with not much change in his approach or power numbers.
  • Justin Ruggiano is on his way back and it seemed he was starting to put together some good ABs before he got hurt.  He singled twice and scored a run.

Tennessee 3 - Mississippi 1

  • Pierce Johnson pitched 4 no-hit innings (2 walks, 2 Ks) -- but left after just 47 pitches.  No word as to why as of this writing.
  • Tony Zych pitched the next 2 innings, allowing just one run to get the win.  He has seen his role diminish a bit with the waves of arms hitting the minor leagues.  He pitched 2 big innings today, however, and moved to 1-2 with a 5.30 ERA.
  • Arodys Vizcaino is one of those new arms and he came in to pitch a scoreless 7th  He walked none and struck out 1.  He now has pitched 5 scoreless innings at AA, allowing just 2 hits, no walks while striking out 8.
  • The second half of the Smokies 1-2 punch cleaned up.  Armando Rivero went 2 scoreless, no-hit innings of relief.  He did walk one batter but struck out 2, lowering his ERA to 1.85 ERA and earning his 8th save.  He has struck out 4 batters per every walk (36 to 9) in 24.1 innings.
  • Kris Bryant find a way to contribute even when he doesn't start. pinch-hitting for Johnson and hitting a 2-run double, driving in Wes Darvill (2 for 3) and Anthony Giansanti (1 for 3).
  • The other run today was driven in by another pinch-hitter, Charles Cutler, who drove home Jae-Hoon Ha (2 for 4) with a sac flu.

Daytona 4 - Fort Meyers 2

  • Yao-Lin Wang pitched 5 innings of one-hit, scoreless ball.  The 23 year old swingman walked 3 and struck out 4.  Wang has stalled in A ball after a promising start to his pro career.  He's a high 80s-low 90s two-seamer type who can turn it a couple of notches with the 4 seam FB.  He has an effective change-up as well.  Part of the reason for the stall may be that Wang just wasn't a projectable guy and wasn't able to improve as he moved up the levels,  He was good today though.
  • LHP Nathan Dorris made his FSL debut and he got the win -- but it was a shaky outing as he gave up both runs, losing a one run lead in two consecutive innings.  The D-Cubs, however, rallied for 2 more just before he was removed from the game, so he gets credit for the win.  Dorris walked 2 and struck out 2.
  • Austin Reed pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball to pick up his 2nd save and lower his ERA to 2.95.
  • Good game from Pin-Chieh Chen from the leadoff spot where he doubled twice, walked, scored, and drove in a run.  Chen has been solid this year from the top of the order, putting up a line of .268/.350/.417 on the year.
  • Albert Almora had two hits and also threw out 2 runners at home plate.  That gives him 6 assists in the year, so even if his offense slumbered for a while, defense never rests.  Almora has at least 2 hits in 6 consecutive games (13 for 28).  What is impressive is that Almora was hitting the ball well versus a top pitching prospect in Jose Berrios, who was hitting 96 mph.
  • One of the reasons I like Wilson Contreras is that he has a quick bat to go with strong forearms/wrists -- and so he can handle anybody's fastball -- that was the case today as he singled twice, walked, and drove in 2 runs.  Unfortunately Contreras approach wavers and he struggles with breaking pitches, so he has been exposed a bit in the FSL (.191 BA).

 

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  • fb_avatar

    according to one report I read, Bryant didn't start because he was ill. Yet comes off the bench hits a double(coughmichaeljordancough). This kid is hitting with one arm tied behind his back - time to bring him up to iowa already, I really think worrying about 25% strikeouts in a guy with a 400+ OBP is getting pretty nitpicky.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    Ha! I agree.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Actually, don't agree with the last part. Why? It just seem so Hendry. You're doing great after 6 weeks! You get a promotion...you get a promtion..and you get a promotion!

    Bryant has not yet mastered offspeed pitches, particularly the change-up, why send him to a league where they do that so much better?

  • In reply to SKMD:

    The only reason I could think of is if they want him to just get familiar with facing the same pitchers 2 or 3 times. He has spent more time in AA than he has at any level, but it might do him some good to see some of the same guys a couple times. That being said, I hope he is to Iowa by at least the end of June; if not sooner!

  • I think that's part of the reason. Give him a chance to adjust as league adapts. They haven't had time to do that.

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    Good to see Almora heating up. Now I'm ready for a Baez to turn things around. Then the Cubs draft Rodon ...

  • Saw Almora during ST and the kid carries himself like he belongs in the majors. A couple weeks of struggling in Daytona won't mean anything in regards to his prospect status. .. In fact it may enhance it in the same way as Baez.

  • In reply to Paulson:

    I think it is the first time he has struggled in his life and it 's good to see him come out of it quickly.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Have his struggles coincided with his father's health issues? If yes then that is an OK reason to struggle for me. WOW he is on a tear right now, 13 out of 28

  • In reply to John57:

    The timing aligns that way and while Almora is a tough kid with great makeup, he is extremely close to his father, so it could have been weighing on him. We'll never know as I know Almora will never use it as an excuse.

    Whatever the case, he is hitting now. And that makes us all happy.

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    Almora, IMO, is the most likely prospect to reach his ceiling. All he needs is time.

    In the long run, I think he will look like a brilliant frirst draft pick for this FO.

    And considering his youth, I think when he finally reaches the show will be an interesting time to evaluate how far we've come.

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    I live 20 minutes away from Trustmark Park where the Mississippi Braves play. A few things noticed by an untrained eye...

    Jae Hoon Ha made a fantastic catch out in right field. Wes Darvill continues to look pretty sharp at shortstop, although his light hitting will obviously be a detriment to his chances of sniffing an MLB roster. Bruno's triple was 10 feet or less from being a home run to straight center field. He got every ounce of it. Our AA hitters seem more patient than when I watched them last season, certainly Rubi Silva. Silva reverted back to his old ways on one at bat, though, fanning on 3 straight pitches. Lopez gunned down two runners (2 for 3) and nearly picked someone off. I've not heard much of Lopez's defense but came away impressed. Pierce Johnson has great stuff but his accuracy needs refinement. He was all over the place, even when warming up. Tony Zych hit two batters in a row, tattooing the umpire on the second one. He was extremely lucky to get out of his inning unscathed. And Bryant? What do you say? I was disappointed seeing Giansanti starting third but with two runners on, Bryant's pinch hit double was worth the wait. He scolded the ball the left field, the LFer had no chance. Rivera and Vizcaino looked unhittable. I was more excited seeing Vizcaino pitch but wow.... I came away more of a Rivera fan. I saw Rivera's fastball clock in at 97 and his breaking stuff completely fooled the Braves hitters.

  • In reply to Joe Stallings:

    Great stuff Joe, thanks!

  • In reply to Joe Stallings:

    It really is getting to the point where something should happen with Rivera. I know there is probably some value in keeping him in a group with Soler and Silva, but he is 26 years old and is clearly dominating AA hitters. I realize he will probably have to wait until the trade deadline when the Cubs open up a couple of spots in the pen by trading some of the veterans (Veras, Russell, Wright, Villanueva and maybe Strop) and some of those spots will probably go to Rosscup/Parker/Rusin/Schlitter first, but Rivera should make his MLB debut absolutely no later than September.

    This is going to be so nasty next year:
    Rosscup
    Ramirez
    Rondon
    Rivera
    Vizcaino

  • In reply to Joe Stallings:

    Thanks for the report , Joe. The time is arriving for the young studs to be at Wrigley. Rondon, Ramirez, Rivero, the 3 R brigade, and Vizciano. The new Nasty Boys.

  • Out of the five mentioned above, only Rosscup and (for health reasons) Vizcaino need to be in the bull pen. The others should at least be tried next spring as starters (and we should toss in Grimm.)

    We have a long (and getting longer) line of potential power relievers in the minors. Skulina, Masek, Godley and others from last year's draft, and we are likely to get a slug of them in this year's draft.

    Somebody has to start, and several of them have the potential to do so. Moving to relief should be a last resort.

    For what it is worth, assuming he stays healthy, after next year in the pen, I think the Cubs will look at Vizcaino as a starter also.

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