The Cubs are developing a nice little problem. It appears the “what if” scenario many of us had in our heads is beginning to play out. Bryan LaHair is hitting the ball well in Chicago and Anthony Rizzo is absolutely raking in Iowa. He hit his 3rd HR in two days, including two on Monday night. There was nothing cheap about either HR as the RF didn’t even flinch either time as the ball sailed way over his head.
Here is the rest of the recap from around the Cubs…
Iowa 10 – Albuquerque 6
- Travis Wood started the game with 3 perfect innings before the Isotopes started getting to him. They got 4 hits over the next 3 innings, 3 of them doubles to put 3 runs on the board. He won the game with 6 innings pitched while giving up 3 runs. He walked one and struck out 6.
- Manny Corpas did his best imitation of the big league bullpen, which isn’t a good thing. With Iowa up 9-3, Corpas let the Isotopes back in the game with 3 runs over just 2/3 of an inning.
- Fortunately, Esmalin Caridad came in and shut the door. He has pitched very well in the early going, having yet to give up a run. Perhaps just as importantly, his velocity is back up in the 93-94 mph range and he’s throwing strikes. He threw 1 1/3 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts.
- Blake Parker pitched a shutout inning to close the game.
- Anthony Rizzo was 3 for 3 with a walk. He had the 2 HRs and 3 RBI on the day. He’s hitting .474 with 3 HRs so far this season. It looks like Rizzo intends to test the Cubs patience.
- Iowa’s other top prospect, Brett Jackson really struggled in going 1 for 5 with a meaningless soft single to LF on his last AB. He struck out twice.
- Josh Vitters, the forgotten prospect, has quietly gotten off to a good start. He had 2 hits today and his first 2 RBI of the year. He’s at .357.
- Offensive oriented keystone combo Luis Valbuena and Adrian Cardenas were stinging the ball for the second straight day. Each had a ringing double while Valbuena added a walk and Cardenas added a single.
- Even Travis Wood got into the act with a mooonshot HR deep beyond the LF wall.
Tennessee 3 – Chattanooga 2
- Finesse lefty Brooks Raley bobbed and weaved his way through 6 1/3 innings of 2 run baseball. He gave up 6 hits but walked just one and struck out 4. A good 2 way player in college, Raley even contributed a key RBI.
- Alberto Cabrera is off to a strong start. He just may be the most talented RP at the upper levels. If he continues to throw strikes, as he has in his first two outings, that 97 mph with wicked movement is going to make him awfully tough. I think he’s got a chance to pitch in Chicago before the year is out. He pitched 1 2/3 perfect innings with 2 strikeouts. He also stranded a potential go-ahead baserunner when he relieved Raley. He definitely earned this win.
- Frank Batista got the save with a scoreless 9th and 2 strikeouts.
- Logan Watkins and Matt Cerda, who were featured earlier today, each had a hit. Cerda had a triple and scored a run.
- Jae Hoon Ha had a 2 hit day. He’s off to a .333 start.
- Rebel Ridling, who put up some nice numbers last season in Daytona (though he was a bit old for the league), got a pair of hits as well.
- Michael Burgess continues his nice start with a hit and a walk. A third mediocre season in high A ball had lowered his stock a bit, but Burgess is looking to put himself back on the prospect map. Big power, good discipline, and lots of strikeouts. He might get a better look with this front office than he did with the last one.
Dunedin 8 – Daytona 7
- There’s no way to sugar coat this. Zach Cates was throwing batting practice up there. His velocity was down and Dunedin teed off on him, getting 7 hits (3 of them for extra bases) and 6 runs.
- Organizational arms Eduardo Figueroa and Brian Schlitter came in and shut the door with 5 scoreless innings of relief which allowed Daytona to mount a rally. Figueroa was clutch with 4 innings of one hit ball.
- AJ Morris, one of the arms the Cubs acquired in the Tom Gorzelanny trade, gave up 2 runs in his one inning of work, although he was victimized by bad defense. Neither run was earned. Overall Morris allowed 2 hits and no walks versus one strikeout, so he deserved better.
- Tyrell Harris, one of two arms acquired for Derrek Lee, took an adventurous route toward 2 scoreless innings. He walked 4 batters but allowed no hits and struck out two.
- 3B Greg Rohan, who’s not really considered a prospect, was the offensive hero with a HR and 4 RBI.
- Top 5 prospect Matt Szczur had a hit and a walk to break out of his slump. He also stole a base and scored 2 runs.
- 2B Ronald Torreyes bounced back somewhat with a hit off the bench today.
- Daytona’s unlikely top hitters this year have been 2B-OF Rubi Silva (.412), OF John Andreoli (.500 with 4 walks), and SS Arismendy Alcantara (.467, 1 HR). Today Alcantara had another solid day with 2 hits (single, double) and 2 runs scored. Andreoli contributed a hit and his 2nd SB while Silva pitched in with an RBI single.
Quad Cities 8 – Peoria 3
- Ben Wells started and got touched up a bit, although his defense didn’t lend much support. A throwing error by 3B Wes Darvill resulted in 2 unearned runs. Wells line was 4 innings, 7 hits, no walks and 3 Ks. He was charged with one run.
- Converted strong armed RF’er and now LHP Kyler Burke came in and pitched 4 scoreless innings of two hit baseball. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 3. The performance was important because Peoria rallied to tie the game, but…
- 23 year old RHP Bryce Shafer was all over the place today. He walked one batter and hit 2 others. Combined with the 3 hits he gave up, Shafer wound up allowing 5 runs to not only lose the lead, but put the game completely out of reach.
- Rafael Lopez is a 24 year old catcher who has the catch and throw skills plus enough bat to make the majors as a backup one day. The trouble is, he’s old for his league and probably needs to move up a level or two. He made his case today with 3 hits, including a double, to bring his average to .400.
- Wes Darvill had a couple of knocks and is off to a .313 start. His bat shows some potential and he has some athleticism. The Cubs liked this kid a lot when they drafted him, but he’s been slow to adjust to pro ball. Perhaps things are starting to click.
- Top 20 prospects 2B Zeke DeVoss, SS Marco Hernandez, and RF Reggie Golden all pitched in with a hit apiece. All three of them also scored a run.
- Speedy CF prospect Pin-Chieh Chen had a single.