It was the 4th, so we were doing the BBQ, beers, and fireworks thing while catching a few innings of the Mesa game in between. This is the last day of my parent’s visit, so please consider this a catch-all post until the recap after the game.
Some promotion news:
Jorge Soler gets the call and will be in the lineup today. Matt Szczur goes down to Iowa again.
- C Taylor Teagarden also got the call to temporarily back up Montero.
- LHP Michael Heesch to AAA Iowa
- Catcher Cael Brockmeyer to AA Tennessee
- RP David Berg to Class A Myrtle Beach
- RP Brad Markey to Class A Myrtle Beach
Like the MLB recap, this will be a short one and we’ve followed up on a request to get more pics of the group at Mesa. My wife joined me and brought her camera, so they are of much better quality as well. Click the score links for more detail.
And scroll down to the gallery at the bottom of this page for some great pics….
- Frank Batista seems to be able to dominate AA but can’t get over the hump in AAA. He just doesn’t miss enough bats, allowing 11 hits, struck out none, and gave up 5 runs in 5 IP.
- The offense was completely shut down today — Mike Olt was hitless again and his average dropped to .214 at Iowa. Kyle Schwarber went 0 for 3 but managed to draw a walk. Behind the plate he gunned down the only runner trying to steal and played clean defense overall.
- Felix Pena had gotten off to a hot start but the 6’2″ RHP with the 89-92 mph FB, good curve, and change has fallen back a bit. He walked 4 and gave up 4 runs in 6 innings to fall to 5-4 with a 3.81 ERA.
- Only hits for the Smokies. Jacob Hannemann got on with a double and then scored on Bijan Rademacher‘s double. Hannemann also walked.
- LHP Michael Heesch came on for Jonathan Martinez who got knocked out in the 2nd inning after allowing 3 runs. Heesch picked up the pieces and went 4 innings of two hit, one walk baseball, allowing just one run and improving to 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA.
- I am not sure with Juan Paniagua is still in A ball considering his age and success there this season. Perhaps he is in line for a promotion soon. He pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief to improve his ERA to 2.73.
- Jeimer Candelario (4 for 6, double, triple, 3 RBI, 3 runs), Daniel Lockhart (2 for 5 double, run, 3 RBI), and Trey Martin (2 for 3, double, 2 BBs, run, 2 RBI) all got things rolling with 2 run doubles in the very first inning.
- Jacob Rogers (3 for 6) hit his 10th HR, scored twice and drove in 4. He also doubled.
- Chesny Young, Pin-Chieh Chen, and Carlos Penalver all had a pair of knocks. One of Young’s hits was a double. Victor Caratini scored 3 runs, doubled, and walked.
- I always thought Michael Wagner was miscast as a reliever because he has solid stuff across the board, a big pitcher’s body, and a good idea of how to pitch. I think he needs a bigger canvas. He is getting that chance with South Bend and so far, so good. He pitched 6 scoreless innings (2 hits, 2 BBs, 2 Ks) to pick up the win and improve to 1-0 with a 0.63 ERA in two starts.
- Good relief work from Ryan McNeil, who pitched 2 scoreless innings to drop his ERA to 3.19. The former 3rd round pick is improving rapidly as the season goes on. I’d like to see him get stretched out next season. The sidearming Corbin Hoffner seems to have found a relief niche. He pitched a scoreless inning for his first save and has yet to allow a run at South Bend.
- OF Jeffrey Baez provided all the offense South Bend needed with a solo HR (2), but it has been a rough year overall.
- 10th round pick Vimael Machin rapped two doubles.
- Andin Diaz can throw pretty hard (mid 90s when I saw him) but he seemed to have little idea of where it was going today with 6 walks that led to 3 runs (2 earned) in 4 innings. He did strike out 6. He’s a bit of a high effort type who generates velo with great arm speed and doesn’t have great size, so I see him as bullpen arm down the line.
- Jae-Hoon Ha is having some success as a reliever so far. One inning pitched with no walks and one K knocked his ERA down to 3.52 at Eugene.
- Solid day for Donnie Dewees who went 2 for 5 with an RBI but most of the offense was provided by the 5-6-7 hitters. Tyler Alamo doubled, singled and scored twice. Ian Rice singled twice, walked, scored twice and drove in a run. He also stole a base. SS Ho-Young Son knocked in two and went 1 for 3 overall.
- I missed Dylan Cease‘s 3 inning start (no hits, 1 walk, 3 Ks), but our good friend AZ Phil told me he was sharp — even better than the last time we saw him, using his FB (96-97) while mixing in more curves and change-ups. As I’ve said here before, I think Cease can start. The delivery is athletic and fluid for the the most part, though there is a slight hitch at the top that I don’t think is a problem and may even add some deception. The arm action is clean. It almost reminds me of a golf swing in how it starts slowly as it goes back and then accelerates and whips through on the follow through. I think he can sustain it over a starter’s workload. The floor is he can be a late inning reliever, of course, but he and Duane Underwood have the best shot at cracking the top of the Cubs rotation some day.
- This was my first look at new acquisition Manuel Rondon. The LHP was acquired for catcher Rafael Lopez and showed a 90-92 mph FB, low 80s change, and a mid 70s curve. He got knocked around a bit, however, in his 4 innings of work (5 hits, 4 runs, 3 earned) but did not walk a batter and struck out 3.
- Not much to show on offense. Wladimir Galindo hit a couple of balls hard but was just 1 for 4 and 37th rd pick Donnie Cimino had the only other hit. Alex Bautista drove one to the LF-CF warning track…but yeah, not much to talk about here.