The Iowa pitchers were not overpowering on the radar gun, but starter Caleb Kilian mixed in his full repertoire to keep hitters off balance, and then the trio of Brandon Hughes, Erich Uelmen, and Eric Stout did a good job working their low-90s fastball on the edges of the zone and then attacking with really good sliders inside and outside the zone.
I have some concern regarding Kilian because he wasn’t throwing with his normal velo, most of his fastballs were in the 91-93 range (T95 early, not sure we saw it after 2nd) and too many ended up in the middle of the plate. His velo also seemed to decline as game went on. He was getting good movement on most 2S and used his cutter a lot, so I wonder if the game plan was to not use the 4S much this outing after doing so frequently in early outings. Worth monitoring.
The bullpen trio was more impressive. Hughes barely broke a sweat during his two inning AAA debut. Hitters just don;t pick up his pitches well. Uelmen got a little wild for a couple of batters and allowed an unearned run, but he continued his impressive run with not allowing an earned run to open the season (10.2 IP).
Stout also extended his scoreless streak (10.1 IP). He’s been absolute death to lefties this year thanks to his crossfire delivery, 3/4 arm slot and sweeping breaker. Righties don’t seem to pick up the breaking ball well either. His fastball looks fairly straight and in the 90-93 range, but thus far he’s commanded it and its been effective against hitters from both sides.
Stout has faced 11 LHB, not hits allowed, 3 BB, 6 K— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst) April 27, 2022
Only 6 of 29 RHB have reached against him (12 K) as well.
The offense has been scuffling for Iowa of late, but a couple of guys may be breaking out. Robel García in particular looks like he’s comfortable and starting to take aggressive hacks. He hit a 475 homer the other day and a few hard line drives today. He can put an offense on his back for stretches when he gets hot. And with the way most guys are swinging the bat, the team may need him to do that.
Brennen Davis is really caught in between right now. Behind the fastball, lots of defensive swings against breaking ball. Been a rough past few games.— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst) April 27, 2022
Meanwhile, it looks like Robel García is getting locked in, and when he does that…a string of bombs tends to follow.
The game winning runs came off the I-Cubs coldest bat to begin the year. Veteran Esteban Quiroz was just 4-for-36 and without a base hit entering yesterday’s game. Hopefully, his two run bomb to RF gets him going, because Iowa needs it. He’s a career .283/.396/.469 hitter at the AAA level.
A shoutout to John Hicks too. He flailed badly at some good curveballs his first couple of times up, but the veteran catcher made a veteran play when he dropped down a surprise bunt to open the 7th inning. He beat the throw to first, then displayed some savvy baserunning throughout the inning to get himself to 3rd on a pair of groundouts, and then eventually scored on a wild pitch. Not easy to score a run in an inning on nothing but a bunt single, but he pulled it off, as a 32-year old catcher too.
- Caleb Kilian: 4 IP, 3 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K (1.72)
- Brandon Hughes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (0.00)
- Erich Uelmen: 2.0: H, R, 0 ER, BB, 0 K (W, 2-0, 0.00)
- Eric Stout: IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (S, 1, 0.00)
- Esteban Quiroz: 1-3, HR (1), R, 2 RBI (.128)
- Robel García: 2-3, R (.279)
- John Hicks: 1-3, R (.143)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
With Brandon Hughes and Nelson Maldonado now in Iowa, Levi Jordan was sent down to Tennessee to make room.
Normally there isn’t much to talk about in a 6-2 loss, but when the two runs come off back-to-back homers in the 1st by a couple of top 20 prospects in the system, it is of note:
Christopher Morel starts off the scoring with a solo HR. Not the best of video feeds in Chattanooga. pic.twitter.com/9grihW9jPX— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 27, 2022
Nelson Velazquez gets in on the action for back-to-back homers with Morel. pic.twitter.com/tHyE4QjeY5— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 27, 2022
Also, Cam Sanders had perhaps his best outing of the season in this one. Sanders is highly unlikely to stick in the rotation in the Majors, but there is a good chance he earns a spot on the 40-man roster in the 2nd half of the season or offseason at latest. In this modern era of 2-3 inning bullpen appearances being so valuable, Sanders is a prime candidate to fill such a role. He’s still got work to do, his control and consistency can still be spotty, and LHBs get to him a little too much, but some of those concerns likely lessen a bit once he’s going max effort once through a batting order as opposed to working as a starter.
I love Cam Sanders day. pic.twitter.com/5WDyMyFxJJ— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 27, 2022
Nice outing from Cam Sanders tonight. 6 Ks through 4.2 IP pic.twitter.com/XaPWsaIuIe— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 28, 2022
Cam Sanders’ 5th K to end the 4th. pic.twitter.com/Ddt0tf5ujx— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 28, 2022
- Cam Sanders: 5 IP, H, R, 3 BB, 6 K (4.40)
- Nelson Velazquez: 1-3, HR (7), R, RBI, BB, SB (1) (.279)
- Chris Morel: 2-4, HR (4), R, RBI, CS (1) (.274)
- Andy Weber: 2-3, 2B, BB, SB (1) (.259)
- Bryce Ball: 2-4 (.254)
South Bend got off to a good start. Yohendrick Piñango jacked a two-run shot to RF in the 1st (always good to see him turn on one). In the 3rd, back-to-back singles by Alexander Canario and Matt Mervis brought home Bradlee Beesley and Piñango. D.J. Herz struggled with his control through three innings, but remained difficult enough to hit that he worked through it relatively unscathed.
Unfortunately, piggybacker Didier Vargas got lit up in his 3.2 innings, and the Cubs offense couldn’t keep pace.
- Yohendrick Piñango: 2-4, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI, BB (.286)
- Matt Mervis: 3-5, 2B, RBI (.286)
- Alexander Canario: 3-5, RBI (.286)
- Luis Verdugo: 2-4, 2B (.289)
- Bradlee Beesley: 2-5, 2 R, SB (2) (.227)
- D.J. Herz: 3 IP, 4 H, R, 3 BB, 6 K (1.29)
- Jeremiah Estrada: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R< BB, 4 K (1.42)
Myrtle Beach 5, Columbia 4 (Game 1)
Myrtle Beach 3, Columbia 1 (Game 2)
Myrtle Beach took both halves of the doubleheader to extend their winning streak to seven games.
Leading the way on offense was a pair of red hot hitters and top prospects, James Triantos and Pete Crow-Armstrong. One of the two seemed to be involved in every scoring play throughout both games.
In game two, they had to share the spotlight with big lefthanded starter Luke Little. He faced 9 batters, and sat all 9 down, 6 via strikeout. Can’t get much better than that. Coming from his 6’8″ frame, his uper-90s heat and sweeping breaker can’t be a comfortable for hitters, especially fellow lefties. If he can throw enough strikes, he’s got a big league future, take a look:
Luke Little you’re nasty! pic.twitter.com/9skHFKZTeD— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 27, 2022
Luke Little up to 5 Ks pic.twitter.com/hlRXRhPN3s— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 27, 2022
Lol. Luke Little is a cheat code! pic.twitter.com/W1CgCnSPLc— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB) April 27, 2022
Jacob Wetzel secured the win in the second game with a flourish:
- James Triantos: 5-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB (.283)
- Pete Crow-Armstrong: 4-7, 3 R, CS (2) (.360)
- Juan Mora: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, SF, SAC, BB (.308)
- B.J. Murray Jr.: 1-3, R (.133)
- Luke Little: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K (3.86)
- Jake Reindl: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (S, 1, 0.00)
- Jose Gonzalez: 3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K (W, 2-0, 3.97)
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap