It's a rather light day as the Smokies were off and Daytona rained out. The Cubs got some good pitching today, including from one pitcher who could help them as soon as this season.
We also had our first recap as Sean, "The Sinister Urge" had a nice debut. If you missed it, you can check it out here.
In case you missed it, the meeting place for the UA game will be at Mullens on Clark Street. I will be there at 2 pm until about 3:30 or so at which time time I will leave to check out the HR Derby, which starts at 4. The game starts at 6. If you want a quick cheat sheet, you can read my take on all the players here.
Anyway, on with the recap...
- Maybe competition is bringing the best out on some of the Cubs upper level pitchers. First they have seen Kyle Hendricks, Tsuyoshi Wada, and Dallas Beeler have some success at the MLB level. Then the Cubs acquired former top prospects Felix Doubront and Jacob Turner. Lastly we have seen Eric Jokisch pick up the pace and vault himself into consideration for a roster spot. But we cannot forget about Dan Straily. The third man in the deal with the Oakland A's, Straily was sent to Iowa to get his bearings and after a couple of so-so starts, he has has really turned it on of late. He pitched 6 scoreless innings to give him 19 in a row to improve his record to 7-6 and lower his ERA to 4.06. Straily allowed just 2 hits, though he did walk 3. He also struck out 4. He has walked 3.4 batters per 9 IP at AAA while striking out 9.4.
- Zach Rosscup pitched a scoreless inning and for the 3rd straight outing, did not walk a batter. He lowered his ERA to 2.33.
- Armando Rivero struck out the side on 13 pitches. He is still walking around 4 batters per 9 innings, but he has been missing bats with startling regularity -- 14.1 batters per 9 IP. His ERA is at 1.61 in AAA and 1.58 between AA and AAA this year. He is putting himself in position for a call-up this year, but it's possible the Cubs save the roster spot until the offseason and let him compete for a job next spring.
- The reliable Blake Parker pitched a scoreless inning, lowering his ERA to 1,16 and earning his 23rd save.
- Matt Szcaur did a nice job out of the leadoff spot with 2 singles and a walk. He stole 2 bases, giving him 26 on the year. He also scored a run and added an RBI.
- Logan Watkins made it a solid 1-2 punch with a single, run scored,, and an RBI. Watkins and Szczur are both turning into solid role players at Iowa, though it remains to be seen whether they can hit enough to be useful at the MLB level.
- Nobody is doubting Jorge Soler much these days. He doubled and had one RBI today. Earlier Keith Law of ESPN suggested he may end up being the best of the so-called core 4. That would have seemed crazy just 2 months ago, but it suddenly seems like a very distinct possibility. Nobody in the Cubs system has a better combination of power, patience, and the ability to make contact.
- Josh Vitters had a pair of singles, stole his 4th base and scored a run.
- 7th round pick James Norwood stretched out to 4 innings today and allowed just one run. Norwood has one of the best present FBs in terms of velocity among the Cubs recently drafted pitchers but he will have to develop the rest of his game to have a shot at the rotation down the line. Norwood walked one and struck out 2 in lowering his ERA to 2.92. He has shown much better control since joining Boise, walking 2 and striking out 10 in 12.1 innings.
- Brad Markey pitched the next 2 innings to get credit for the win. It was his first pro win to go with his 3.00 ERA.
- Daniel Lewis, the undrafted free agent we are all rooting for, pitched another scoreless inning, walking one and striking out 2. He has yet to allow a run in his first 3 outings (3 IP).
- Charcer Burks is becoming an on-base machine. He singled and drew 3 more walks, giving him 10 in 65 PAs since joining Boise. That is a 15% rate and it has him at a .415 OBP to go with his .302 average. He also stole his first base in the NWL. He also has just 10 Ks, cutting down his K rate in half since his promotion. Burks hit well in the AZL but he is becoming a better all-around offensive player at Boise.
- Mark Zagunis went 2 for 4 with a walk and 2 runs scored.
- Big game for Danny Canela who went 3 for 3 with a walk. The big hit was a 3-run HR (6) and he drove in 4 runs overall. He has improved his walk (8.5%) and K rates (18.4%) since his demotion from Kane County and his hitting .309/.363/.466 on the season for Boise.
- David Bote went 2 for 5 with a run and an RBI and is hitting .333 since joining Boise.
- Bryant Flete has not skipped a beat since his promotion. The 21 year old middle infielder isn't much for power but he can get on base. Flete went 3 for 4 with a double and 2 runs scored, upping his average to .333 to go with a 10% walk rate that has his OBP at .394.
- OF Calvin Graves went 2 for 4 with a triple and 3 RBI. He also scored a run and is hitting .226
- Few of you may remember that Jose Paulino was the Opening Day starter for the AZL Cubs. He got off to a brutal start. He has shown signs of coming around of late. The 6'2" RHO had his best game of the season, working 6 scoreless innings while walking none and striking out 6.
- Ho-Young Son is starting to look like yet another find by the Cubs scouts. The 19 year old has hit better than expected, getting 2 hits to improve his average to .300 with a solid .364 OBP in is first 55 PAs. He has stolen 8 bases, though he was caught for the 3rd time today.
- 17 year old Gleyber Torres went 2 for 5 with 2 runs scored and an RBI. He continues to hold his own with a .282/.366/.387 line in his first 142 pro PAs.
- CF Kevonte Mitchell, a 13th round overslot pick, is proving to be worth the investment. He doubled and tripled as that power is beginning to show in games. He scored and drove in a run. Mitchell is hitting .327/.400/.373 on the year.
- Yasiel Balaguert is rehabbing and went 1 for 5 with a triple.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap