Suddenly it looks like fortunes have changed. It's Tennessee that seems headed for the playoffs while Iowa's recent tailspin has them on the outside looking in. That is good news for those who want to see Jorge Soler come up sooner rather than later. Soler, however, is in a tailspin of his own. An 0 for 4 day left him 2 for his lat 28 and 5 for his last 39.
Promotion note: 2nd round pick Jake Stinnett is on his way to Boise.
On with the recap...
- Chris Rusin got rocked for 6 wins in 6.1 innings, allowing 9 hits, including 2 HRs and walking 3 in the process. Rusin fell to 7-13 with a 4.12 ERA. Considering other starters seemed to have passed him on the depth chart, his spot on the 40 man roster could ultimately be in jeopardy depending on how many player the Cubs want to protect and acquire in the offseason.
- Junior Lake went 0 for 4 in his first day back at Iowa though he did draw a walk, steal a base. score, and drive in a run.
- Logan Watkins was a key to the offense today, doubling twice including one with the bases loaded that drove in 3 runs. After a good run earlier in the season, Watkins is back down to .257/.329/.367. Watkins is a good athlete who can play multiple positions, run, and take a walk but he is going to have to hit to have an extended career as a major league utility player.
- Rafael Lopez went 2 for 4 with a run scored.
- Ryan Kalish went 3 for 4 with a walk, run, and an RBI.
- In case you were at all worried, Kris Bryant was well enough to pinch-hit today. He drew a walk and then was removed for a pinch-runner.
- A better start for Corey Black in that he walked just 2 batters, striking out 4 and allowing just a run on a solo HR over 5 innings. It was good enough to earn him his 6th win 13 decisions and lower his ERA to 3.06, though his FIP is significantly higher at 4.46 in large part because of a walk rate that is just below 5 per 9 IP.
- The Smokies got shut down relief the rest of the way with PJ Francescon (0.2 IP, 1 BB) and Hunter Cervenka (0.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) working scoreless outings, while the newly acquired Blake Cooper went 1.2 innings, walking one and striking out 3. LHP Andrew McKirahan finished up with another scoreless inning with 1 K.
- Albert Almora is turning the corner at AA. His ABs were more disciplined (though he did not draw a walk) and made hard contact all day, going 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored while also nearly pulling a HR down the LF line before it went foul. Almora upped his AA average to .236 and has hit .306 in his last 10 games. He also made a nice defensive play in CF.
- Addison Russell went deep for the 9th time since joining the Cubs in early July. He went 2 for 5 overall with a double to go with the 2-run shot. He is hitting .297/.346/.534 in 38 games.
- Christian Villanueva doubled twice, scored and drove in a run. The doubles power remains consistent with the strong defensive 3B. It was his 33rd of the year between AAA and AA but it's been a struggle otherwise. He has hit .227/.297/.380 with 10 HRs between the two leagues.
- This wasn't vintage Jen-Ho Tseng as he was just 87-90 and may be wearing down in his first pro season, but Tseng knows how to pitch, he throws strikes, and he still has the hammer curve as a go-to pitch. That was enough to keep the Bees at bay for 6 innings. Tseng allowed just one run on a solo shot, walked none, and struck out 5. Tseng got a no-decision but lowered his ERA to 2.45.
- LHP Michael Heesch pitched 2.1 no-hit innings, though he did walk 2. He also struck out 4. Heesch has been a load out of the bullpen for Kane County and if he can pitch with better control, he has a shot to progress up the system.
- Jasvir Rakkar has been a revelation for the Cougars bullpen. He bounced around as an org pitcher early but has found a home in Kane County, working his way into a high leverage innings role. He worked the final 1.2 innings to earn the win and keep his ERA a spotless 0.00 in 12.2 innings so far.
- The ever-improving Shawon Dunston went 2 for 3 with a walk, run scored, RBI, and he even threw out a runner at home -- of vital importance considering the close-knit nature of this game. Dunston's line is at .284.323/.404
- Another bumpy start for Trevor Clifton, who walked 3 and allowed 6 hits in 4 innings but showed some moxie in limiting the damage to 2 runs. Clifton struck out 3 and his ERA stands at 4.41.
- Ryan McNeil allowed a 2-run HR in his one inning of work and that tagged him with the loss in this one. It's been a tough road back for McNeil, he is 0-5 with a 10.13 ERA.
- Charcer Burks went 3 for 4 with a triple, run, and RBI. Burks improved his line to .316/.423/.418 at Boise and .313/.389/.431 overall this season in 44 games.
- Kevin Brown hit a 2-run shot, his 3rd HR at Boise.
- SS Bryant Flete went 1 for 3 with a double and walk. In 43 games this season between Boise and AZ, the 21 year old Flete has hit .307/.390/.358.
- Adbert Azolay pitched an inning to start the game and allowed a run. That was enough to put him on the losing end of the decision. He is 2-3 with an 8.02 ERA this year.
- The bright spot today was another strong outing from Jesus Castillo who showed great control with no walks and while he isn't missing a ton of bats, he isn't getting squared up either, allowing one hit despite just one strikeout. Castillo has a 2.30 ERA, allowing hitters to bat .242 against him. He's a wprk in progress, however, as the walks are high at 15 in 27.2 innings.
- 3B Adonis Paula was the offense for the 2nd straight game, going 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap