I ended up bailing out on Hot Stove Cool Music. Too many things to juggle yesterday. I'm sure I missed a great time.
MLB Draft Updates
- OF Charles White (21) and SS Alex Tomasovich (20) will be joining the Boise Hawks tomorrow.
- 7th round pick James Norwood signed for $175K, which is almost $27K underslot. That bumps them to $613,900 below the pool allotment and $883,400 in non-penalty slot money to pay for Dylan Cease and just over $1.3M for Dylan Cease. They still have to sign their 9th and 10th picks which should be more significantly underslot. I think when all is said and done they'll have $1.5M. How much of that goes to Cease, I do not know, but it seems reasonable that the Cubs will have some money left over for 3B Joey Martarano (22) and RHP Brad Depperman (31).
Let's get to it...
- Kyle Hendricks is having a strong season and while there have been doubts all along the way as there always are with non-power pitchers, he has proven himself on every level. Is he an ace? No. But can he be part of an MLB rotation? Why not? He is missing more bats as he moves up and develops and I think he can fit in somewhere at the bottom of the Cubs rotation, perhaps as soon as this season. Hendricks pitched 7 innings, allowing just one run on 3 hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out 6. The numbers this year are very good considering he is in a hitter's league. He is 8-5 with a 3.55 ERA and a 2.94 FIP. That is an improvement over his performance last in AAA. Over two partial seasons at Iowa, he has pitched 128 innings, going 11-6 with an ERA of 3.23. The time is getting close as to seeing what he can do at the MLB level.
- A couple of debuts today. Armando Rivero struck out the only batter he faced while Arodys Vizcaino struggled allowing 4 hits, a walk, and 2 runs in just 1/3 of an inning. Perhaps Vizcaino got a little nervous when he realized just how close he is to making it back to the majors. Alberto Cabrera bailed him out to earn his first save.
- Arismendy Alcantara doubled twice and walked, scoring 2 runs. He played 2B today but was in CF yesterday, so you wonder if the Cubs are preparing to bring him into the majors and find more ways to get him into the game -- perhaps even similar to Bonifacio's role. The number I'm watching with Alcantara is the walk rate and the OBP. We know he can hit, slug, and run but if he can find his way on base more, he can become a real asset to the MLB team. The walk rate is at 6.3% and the OBP up to .327, both a little less than you want in a hitter's league like the PCL. On the bright side, it has been trending upward. Since May 15th (137 PAs), his walk rate is at 9.5% and his OBP is at .365. If he can sustain that through the trade deadline, then he should be called up -- perhaps even sooner.
- Welington Castillo is rehabbing and went 1 for 5 with an RBI.
- Javier Baez never needs a spark but may he has one right now with Kris Bryant in the same lineup. He went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI. Unlike Alcantara, Baez hasn't had a steady trend upward, instead improving in fits and starts. I'm not as confident he will see time with the Cubs in 2014 right now.
- Kris Bryant had about the worst game he's had all season, going 0-4 with 3 Ks.
- Fine game for utility man Logan Watkins. He played 1B of all places and went 1 for 3 with a walk, 2 RBI, and 2 Runs. The hit was his 2nd HR of the year. Watkins has fared much better in his second go round in the PCL, hitting .286/.369/.396.
- Matt Szczur went 2 for 4 with a double and stole his 12th base.
- Matt Loosen pitched 5 innings, walked 3, struck out 5 and allowed 2 runs. Not a bad performance, but not a particularly efficient one either. The result is the Cubs had to go to their middle relievers early and Jeffrey Antigua lost the lead when he allowed 2 runs in the 6th.
- Lendy Castillo (1.2 IP) and PJ Francescon (1.1 IP) held the fort for Jeffery Lorick, who pitched a scoreless inning to pick up the win.
- Jae-Hoon Ha singled and walked twice. It's been a relatively quiet season for Ha, who is hitting .197.
- Stephen Bruno went 2 for 6 and is now at .298/.382/.470 for the season. I wonder if the Cubs would be bold enough to call up Bruno if Alcantara gets called up. It's no guarantee as the I-Cubs can just slide Logan Watkins into that spot.
- Christian Villanueva went 1 for 3 and walked 3 times. Good to see from Christian.
- C Charles Cutler also walked 3 times, scoring 2 runs and driving in one.
- OF Rubi Silva went 2 for 5 with a triple and his 6th HR.
- LHP Nathan Dorris has struggled with 2 promotions at once -- one to the FSL and one from the bullpen to the rotation. He pitched well today, though, going 5 solid innings, allowing just 2 runs, walking 2 and striking out 5. He is at 2-4 with a 5.58 ERA since getting the call to Daytona. The bullpen let this one get out of hand as Jose Rosario (3 IP, 5 R, 4 ER) and Zach Godley (1 IP, 2 runs) both seemed to struggle with command.
- Albert Almora went 1 for 5 with an RBI.
- Dan Vogelbach is still showing signs of breaking out of his season long slump. He had two more hits today, including a double and drove in 2. Vogelbach is hitting .269/.355/.417.
- Jordan Hankins make his debut but went 0 for 4.
- Juan Paniagua had been pitching pretty well of late, but he gave up a 2 run HR early, then went 4 scoreless before the Kernels added a couple more unearned runs on in the 6th, both of which scored after reliever Corbin Hoffner was brought into the game. Paniagua went 5.1 innings in all, walking 2 and striking out 5. His ERA is 3.26, including 2.64 in his last 10 games. In his last 5, Paniagua has cut his walk rate down to 2.7 per 9 IP while maintaining an 8.5K rate. He certainly seems to be making progress.
- As for Corbin Hoffner, he did not get any runs charged to him as he really settled in after that first inning, not allowing a hit in the next 2 innings while walking one and striking out 2. He was charged with a blown save but picked up the win when the Cougars rallied.
- Tyler Bremer continued his steady work with a scoreless inning (1K), earning his 9th save.
- Jacob Hannemann hit his 2nd HR in as many days with this one leaving the yard over the RF fence. It was his 4th HR to go with his .242 season. He has had something of an odd season, hitting 277/.333/.392 combined in April and June and just .194/.283/.279 in a horrific May. He has slugged particularly well so far in June with 6 doubles and 2 HRs (.476).
- Kyle Schwarber coninues to smash baseballs even at his new level. He went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk and his first HR in the MWL, giving him 5 overall in his first 7 games. He was behind the plate today but Theo Epstein indicated he would play mostly LF the rest of the year -- and that if he continued to hit the way he has, implied they will not slow his ascent by having him learn catching. He'll be a LF'er -- so really, if you want to see Schwarber sooner (and see him have this kind of success) you can count on him not sticking behind the plate.
- Ben Carhart caught yesterday and played 2B today as he morphs into a super utility role for the Cougars. Wherever he plays, he hits and was 2 for 4 today with an RBI. He's hitting .292/.340/.373.
- Yasiel Balaguert went 2 for 4 with a run scored while Jacob Rogers also got two hits, including a triple, and scored twice.
- Trey Martin has slowly climbed out of the hole he dug for himself early on as he shook off rust after missing nearly an entire season. He had two more hits and is now up to .233 and may be someone to watch in the 2nd half.
- Eric Leal did not build on a solid debut, getting hit pretty hard with 8 base hits, including a HR, and 8 runs overall (6 earned). He fell to 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA.
- Rashad Crawford singled, walked, stole his 3rd base and scored a run. He is hitting .250 in the early going.
- Kevin Brown doubled twice and drove in 3 runs while scoring 2. He is one of the Boise hitters who will have to pick up the slack for Schwarber, along with Justin Marra and Jeffrey Baez.
- Speaking of Justin Marra, he was the DH today and went 1 for 4 with a walk.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap