The other 2/3 of the trade Dan Straily and Bill McKinney made their debuts today, but once again, it was the guys who have been here all year who stole the show.
Albert Almora was one of those players and it sounds like he's really excited about the acquisition of his friend Addison Russell, whom he knows from Team USA and the AZ Fall League.
- Dan Straily made his debut with the Cubs organization and ran into some trouble with two outs in the 4th after Kris Bryant made an error on what would have been an inning ending play. Straily went on to give up 4 unearned runs, the only runs he gave up. He otherwise pitched well, going 5 innings, walking one and striking out 3.
- Suddenly Arodys Vizcaino is struggling. It was bound to happen. He had his 2nd poor outing in a row, allowing 3 runs in 1 inning and raising his ERA to 14.40.
- Arismendy Alcantara went 0 for 2 but walked twice, raising his walk rate to 6.9%. Since mid-May over 53 games and 220 PAs, he has a 9.6% walk rate and has hit .343/.400/.599 with 8 HRs, 13 SBs, and has an improved 20% K rate in that time. Whatever his bench marks are, these last two months have to be pretty close.
- Javier Baez went 1 for 4 and the one was another booming HR. Baez continues to try and work the count, though the ump didn't cooperate with him on borderline calls. Suddenly Baez is slugging .456 (ISO .215) and has 14 HRs on the year. His walk rate is a more than respectable 8.5%, including a remarkable 16% since Kris Bryant joined the team 19 games ago. Things are coming together quickly for him right now.
- Kris Bryant went 1 for 3 with a walk.
- Pierce Johnson didn't have that great command, missing the zone (3 walks) and leaving the ball up (2 HRs) in what was his least effective start since coming back. Johnson lasted just 4 innings, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs overall, though he did strike out 6. He fell to 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA at AA.
- Addison Russell has hit the ball hard at times but went 0 for 4 and is still hitless (0-9) since joining the Cubs organization. He'll be fine.
- Jorge Soler went 3 for 4 and hit his 2nd HR in as many days. He's hitting .394 with 10 of his 13 hits going for extra base hits.
- Daytona stayed red hot and lead their division on the 2nd half, though it is still early. Tayler Scott started the first game and went 5 solid innings, allowing 2 runs. As usual he didnt miss many bats (2 Ks) but Scott also didn't walk anyone which is important for him. His ERA is at 5.08.
- LHP Austin Kirk allowed 2 walks and a run in 2 innings, but it was good enough to pick up the win. Steve Perakslis pitched a scoreless inning to pick up his 2nd save.
- In the second game, LHP Rob Zastryzny started for the first time in just over 2 weeks. He picked up where he left off, pitching 3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and walking none. He struck out 5. We love his peripherals and now his ERA is beginning to follow suit, hovering just over 5 at 5.05 after it was in double digits early in the year. The walk rate is just 2.17 while his K rate is a very good 9.39. His FIP dropped to 3.38. Zastryzny's biggest issue -- the long ball -- has also improved. He has given up 6 HRs but 4 of them were in April. His FIP since May 1st is 2.48 while his ERA is 3.15.
- Justin Amlung hasn't had as dramatic a turnaround but he has been pitching much better of late as well. He worked 4 innings and allowed just one run. He did not walk a batter and struck out 4 to move to 2-2 and dropped his ERA to an even 5.
- Albert Almora is red-hot. He went 3 for 7 with 2 HRs, 3 runs, 4 RBI and is now hitting a respectable .275 with 5 HRs. The OBP needs work but it is rising (.299) as is his slugging (.385). He is hitting .425/.455/.683 in his last 10 games. Almora left the game in the 2nd game of the twin bill, but it was just leg cramps and with Daytona up 5, it was the right move. He was fine after the game.
- The other big producer is the ever reliable Bijan Rademacher, who went 3 for 7 with 1 HR, 2 runs, and 2 RBI. He hit his 5th HR, tying Almora for 3rd on the team (the FSL is not a hitters' league) and is hitting .284/.394/.424 overall.
- Rock Shoulders hit his 6th HR of the year. He is 2nd on the team to Dan Vogelbach, who has 8 on the year.
- Bill McKinney went 2 for 6 over the two games, both singles.
- It was great to see Dillon Maples on the mound again. In his second start he was a bit wild, walking 3 in 2.1 innings while allowing 3 runs (2 earned).
- Great job by the bullpen starting with Victor Salazar. The 21 year old RHP from Venezuela retired all 5 batters he faced, striking out 2 of them. He has not allowed a run yet this year, but that only covers 3.2 innings.
- Tanner Griggs made his pro debut and allowed just a walk in 1 inning but that runner was cut down stealing, so Griggs faced the minimum.
- Luis Hernandez imploded in the bottom of the 8th, allowing 7 runs to put this game out of reach for the rookie Cubs.
- Not much offense. A player I like, Bryan Flete went 1 for 3 with a walk and is hitting .345 on the year as he rotates with Gleyber Torres, Ho-Young Son, and others.
- C Alberto Mineo is just 19 and is that rare player that hails from Italy. He is off to a great start this year and today went 1 for 4 with a double, run, and an RBI. He's hitting .351 with 4 doubles and 4 walks in 37 PAs.
- Joey Martarano played 1B and went 1 for 3
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap