Results tagged ‘ Kris Bryant ’

Riding the Bus; Cubs Minor League Reports (4/21/2014)

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MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2014

Kane County 4-21-14

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The Cougars built an early 3-1 lead only to watch it slip away at the hands of some suspect defense in the late innings.  The Cougars committed three errors, and gave up three unearned runs in the loss, wasting another solid start from 19-year-old Jen-Ho Tseng.

At the Plate:

  • Carlos Penalver had a tremendous game today, he went 2-for-3 with a walk, and two runs scored in the loss.
  • Ben Carhart had another solid effort, he went 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .259 on the season.
  • Yasiel Balaguert continues to be a threat at the plate, he went 1-for-4 with two RBI’s, he now has fourteen RBI’s on the season.

On the Mound:

  • Jen-Ho Tseng continued his strong 2014, he worked five innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on seven hits, while walking one, and striking out three.  He lowered his ERA to 2.93 on the season.
  • Tyler Bremer was fantastic out of the pen, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Josh Davis took the hard luck loss in this one, he worked two innings, giving up two runs, both unearned, on two hits, while walking one, and striking out one.

Smokies 4-21-14

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The Smokies struck early and often in this one as they scored ten runs in the first six innings to cruise to a 10-5 victory over the Barons.  The Smokies did get some help from the Barons, even if they didn’t need it, as Birmingham committed three errors and allowed three unearned runs.

At the Plate:

  • John Andreoli got things started from the lead-off spot in this one, he went 2-for-6 with a triple, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
  • Rubi Silva was productive today, he went 2-for-5 with his first home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Kris Bryant was 1-for-5 with a walk, and an RBI, he’s now hitting .286 on the season.
  • Jae-Hoon Ha went crazy today, he was 3-for-5 with a double, his first home run of the season, an RBI, and three runs scored.

On the Mound:

  • Dae-Eun Rhee got the start tonight, and picked up his first win of the season despite some control issues.  Rhee worked five innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while walking five (see?), and striking out four.
  • Austin Kirk did some solid work out of the pen, he was able to get through three innings, giving up two runs on four hits, he didn’t walk or strikeout anyone.
  • Tony Zych cleaned things up in this one, he worked one inning, giving up one unearned run on two hits.

Iowa 4-21-14

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Kyle Hendricks, and the rest of the Iowa pitching controlled this one from start to finish as the I-Cubs took care of Round Rock, 5-1.  Offensively, it was the top of the Iowa order doing the heavy lifting as the one-two-three hitters combined to go 6-for-13 with two RBI’s.

At the Plate:

  • Matt Szczur did the job at the top of the order tonight, he was 3-for-4 with a triple, a stolen base, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Arismendy Alcantara provided some power, he was 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored.
  • Javier Baez returned to the lineup yesterday, and was effective tonight, he went 1-for-3 with a run scored in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Kyle Hendricks was brilliant tonight as he picked up the win to move his record to 3-1 on the season.  Hendricks worked six scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while walking two, and striking out six.
  • Yoanner Negrin was solid per usual out of the pen, he worked a scoreless inning, while striking out one.
  • Brian Schlitter worked two innings to pick up his third save of the season, he gave up one run on two hits, while walking two in his two innings of work.

Daytona 4-21-14

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The Daytona Cubs pulled this one out late after both teams scored early and often tonight.  After four innings it was all tied at five, and no one could find the scoreboard again until the D-Cubs pushed across the winning run in the eleventh.

At the Plate:

  • Pin-Chieh Chen has had a great start to 2014, he was 2-for-5 with an RBI, he is now hitting .294 on the season.
  • Chadd Krist put together a solid game, he was 3-for-5 with a double, and a run scored.
  • Rock Shoulders provided some production, he was 1-for-2 with two walks, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Jeimer Candelario found some success tonight, he was 2-for-4 with two doubles, a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Arrieta made what is thought to be his final rehab start, and was effective.  Arrieta worked 5.2 innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on five hits, while walking two, and striking out seven.
  • Andrew McKirahan only faced one hitter, but it was a big out as he got out of the sixth inning for Arrieta to keep the game tied.
  • Jose Rosario picked up the win out of the pen, and he deserved it.  Rosario worked four scoreless innings, giving up three hits, while striking out four.
  • Arodys Vizcaino worked the last of the eleventh to pick up his fist save of the season.

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Riding the Bus; Cubs Minor League Reports (4/18/2014)

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FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014

Iowa 4-18-14

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The Zephyrs got a lead-off home run from Josh Rodrgiuez, and that was it, unfortunately that was it for both teams.  The very first hitter of the game decided this one as New Orleans squeaked by Iowa, 1-0.

At the Plate:

  • Chris Valaika had one of the two hits on the night for Iowa, he went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Logan Watkins, who didn’t start tonight, had the other hit for Iowa.  He went 1-for-1 off the bench, the I-Cubs were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.  Just one of those nights.

On the Mound:

  • Tsuyoshi Wada was brilliant, and almost untouchable for the second straight outing, unfortunately he took the loss in this one.  Wada worked eight innings, giving up one run on three hits, while walking one, and striking out five.
  • Marcus Hatley continued his spotless work out of the pen, as he worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit in the process.

Smokies 4-18-14

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Thud.  Such a tough loss for the Smokies as they held a precarious 2-0 lead heading to the ninth, that’s when Jackson scored five times to steal a win right out from under Tennessee.  Tough break for Ivan Pineyro who was stellar in this one, but walks away with a no decision.

At the Plate:

  • John Andreoli is starting to swing the bat better, he went 1-for-4 with a walk, a double, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Kris Bryant continues to mash the baseball, he was 2-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Jeudy Valdez had another solid game in this one, he went 2-for-4 from the nine spot in the order.

On the Mound:

  • Ivan Pineyro did everything he could to get the win tonight, he worked 6.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while walking one, and striking out eight.
  • Ryan Searle came on in relief, and was good, until the ninth.  Searle worked 2.1 innings, giving up five runs on five hits, while walking two, he took the loss.

Kane County 4-18-14

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That other thud you heard tonight was the Kane County seven game winning streak coming to a crashing halt.  It was a good run though, and there really wasn’t much doubt about tonight as the Cougars were chasing all night long, and just couldn’t find their way back in it.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann went 1-for-4 with a strikeout from the lead-off spot tonight.
  • Carlos Penalver had a solid game, he went 1-for-2 with two walks in the loss.
  • Daniel Canela, Danny Lockhart, and Shawon Dunston all went 1-for-3 with a single.

On the Mound:

  • Juan Paniagua got the start tonight, and struggled with his command right off the hop.  Paniagua worked five innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while walking four, and striking out one.
  • Justin Amlung struggled mightily out of the pen, he worked just 1.2 innings, giving up four runs on five hits, while walking one.
  • Josh Davis was able to calm things down but it was too little too late.  Davis worked 1.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, and striking out one.

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Riding The Bus; Cubs Minor League Reports (4/17/2014)

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THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 2014

Iowa 4-17-14

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Iowa jumped out to a 3-0 lead early on in this one before having to fight back with two in the seventh to beat New Orleans 5-4.  Definitely not how you draw up a typical win as the Iowa Cubs defense made six (SIX!) errors in this one, I guess a win is a win, time to forget that defensive “effort” .. yikes.

At the Plate:

  • Matt Szczur did a solid job from the lead-off spot, as he went 1-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Arismendy Alcantara has been swinging it well lately, and he was good again today.  AA went 1-for-5 with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Chris Valaika is making a big push to get the call to the Majors, he was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.  He is now hitting .361 on the season.
  • Christian Villanueva had an encouraging day at the plate, the third baseman was 1-for-2 with two walks, a double, and a run scored.
  • Logan Watkins made up for a rough day at the field with a solid day at the plate.  Watkins went 2-for-2 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored to go along with his two errors.
  • Eli Whiteside also joined in the fun as he went 2-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI.  The Cubs walked seven times in this one, good to see.

On the Mound:

  • Eric Jokisch got the start today, and was pretty good, except for fielding the ball as he made two errors as well.  Jokisch worked 5.2 innings, giving up three runs, all unearned, on three hits, while walking two, and striking out five.
  • Alberto Cabrera was the first guy out of the pen for the Cubs, and earned his second win of the season.  Cabrera worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he gave up one hit, while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Neil Ramirez had a solid outing today, he worked a scoreless inning, while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Brian Schlitter worked a bumpy ninth to pick up his second save of the season.  Schlitter gave up one run on one hit, while walking one to close it out.

Smokies 4-17-14 Game One

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Rough go of it for the Smokies in game one, as they could only manage one hit as they were shut out by the Jackson Generals, 4-0.  Command, or lack thereof, doomed the Smokies staff, but not much you can do when you get no runs of support.

At the Plate:

  • Dustin Geiger had the lone hit for the Smokies, as he went 1-for-2 to raise his average to .289 on the season.  The Smokies walked just twice in this one, while striking out eleven times.

On the Mound:

  • Corey Black got the start tonight, and the loss, as he couldn’t find the zone consistently enough.  Black worked four innings, giving up three runs on two hits, while walking five (see?), and striking out three.
  • Austin Kirk kept the Smokies in things as he worked two innings, giving up one run on one hit, while striking out one.
  • Tony Zych mopped things up in this one, and also saw the plate dancing around on him as he worked one scoreless inning, giving up two hits, while walking two, and striking out one.

Kane County 4-17-14

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It was all Kane County, all the time in this one, as the Cougars had a 10-0 lead by the fourth inning en route to their seventh straight win, a 13-1 thrashing of the Dragons.  The Cougars pounded out nineteen hits in the win, and only allowed two against, pure domination.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann got things off on the right foot from the lead-off spot all night, he went 2-for-6 with an RBI, a stolen base, and a run scored.
  • Carlos Penalver was solid once again, as he went 2-for-5 with an RBI, his sixth stolen base of the season, and a run scored.
  • Ben Carhart played a big role in the production tonight, he went 2-for-6 with two doubles, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.
  • Yasiel Balaguert has been the catalyst for catastrophe for this club, he went 2-for-5 with a walk, and an RBI, his twelfth of the season.
  • Jacob Rogers also enjoys hitting doubles, he was 3-for-6 with two doubles, and two runs scored.
  • Danny Lockhart was on base all night, and scored most of the time as well.  Lockhart went 2-for-3 with two walks, and four runs scored.
  • Will Remillard had a huge game from the bottom of the order, he went 4-for-5 with two doubles, and FIVE RBI’s in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Daury Torrez didn’t want to give the hitters all the spotlight in this one as he was flat out brilliant in picking up his second win of the season.  Torrez worked eight innings, giving up one run on just two hits, while walking one, and striking out four.
  • Nathan Dorris worked the ninth and was able to hang onto that twelve run lead.

Smokies 4-17-14 Game Two

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The Smokies were able to exact some revenge in game two as they fought back from an early 2-0 deficit to beat the Generals 3-2.  The Smokies got a lot of help from the Generals defense as they committed two errors, and allowed two unearned runs to score, at that was the difference.

At the Plate:

  • Kris Bryant has been showing some solid patience at the plate as of late, he was 0-for-1 in this one, but had two walks.  He now has walked eight times this season, and struck out thirteen times.
  • Charles Cutler was 1-for-2 with a double, his second of the season, and a run scored.
  • Jeudy Valdez had one of the bigger hits of the night, as he went 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Taylor Davis was able to drive in the other Smokies run, he went 1-for-3 with said RBI.

On the Mound:

  • Dae-Eun Rhee got the start in game two and held his own after some early struggles, he worked four innings, giving up two runs on six hits, while walking one, and striking out four.
  • Hunter Cervenka picked up the win out of the bullpen, and was solid in doing so.  Cervenka worked two scoreless innings, giving up three hits, while striking out three.
  • Armando Rivero made things interesting in the seventh (Doubleheaders in AA are seven innings), but was able to pick up his third save of the season.  Rivero gave up one hit, and walked one, while strking out the side to close it out.

Daytona 4-17-14

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It’s been a season of discontent for Daytona, and that continued tonight as they fall to the Yankees 6-5 after erasing a four run deficit.  The loss dropped Daytona to 2-12 on the season, just nothing going right.

At the Plate:

  • Tim Saunders continued his hot start to 2014, as he went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, a walk, a stolen base, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Nice to see Albert Almora back in the lineup, he went 1-for-5 with a run scored.
  • Bijan Rademacher had a solid game, he went 1-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored in the loss.
  • Rock Shoulders seems to be getting hot, he went 3-for-4 with a walk, and an RBI in this one.  The D-Cubs were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

On the Mound:

  • Rob Zastryzny got the start tonight, and was wild in the strike zone, as he worked four innings, giving up four runs on nine hits, while walking none, and striking out one.
  • Zach Cates was really good out of the pen, as he worked four innings, giving up one run on two hits, while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Arodys Vizcaino continues to impress in the early going, he worked one scoreless inning, giving up one hit, while walking one, and striking out three.  Vizcaino topped out at 98 MPH tonight, a very good sign.
  • Andrew McKirahan ended up taking the loss as he worked one inning, giving up one run on three hits, while striking out one.

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Riding The Bus; Minor League Reports for April 9, 2014

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 

Iowa 4-9-14

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At The Plate:

A much better day all around for Iowa as they found some offense to go with the solid pitching to beat Nashville 6-1.  Javier Baez seems to be rounding into form at the plate, he was 2-for-4 with a double off the center field wall, and two runs scored.  Josh Vitters was able to return to the lineup today, and he continued his hot hitting, he went 1-for-3 with his second home run of the season, two RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.  Chris Coghlan also joined the fun as he went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Vitters didn’t have the only home run today, Brett Jackson also went deep, and finished the day 1-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

What an outstanding day for Iowa pitching, collectively they struck out sixteen hitters, and only walked one.  Carlos Pimentel was dominant, he worked six innings, giving up one run on three hits, while walking one, and striking out ten(!).  Zac Rosscup was brilliant out of the pen today, he worked two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, and striking out four.  Marcus Hatley closed things out with a scoreless inning, he allowed only one hit, and struck out two more.

Kane County 4-9-14

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At The Plate:

Everything looked great for the Cougars in this one until the 8th inning, and that’s when things started to unravel as the Cougars blew a late 4-2 lead and lost 7-4 in ten innings.  Weird box score, the Cougars had eight hits in this one, each of the first eight hitters in the lineup had one hit, odd.  Jacob Rogers was 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Shawon Dunston looked to have the game winning hit in this one, a two-run single in the sixth, he finished the day 1-for-4 with two RBI’s.

On The Mound:

Some good things early, some bad things late.  Paul Blackburn made his second start of the season and was solid, he worked five innings, giving up two runs on two hits, while walking two, and striking out four.  James Pugliese was sailing right along through two innings of relief then ran into some trouble in his third inning of work.  Pugliese worked 2.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits, while walking two, and striking out two.  Nathan Dorris was able to come on and get Pugliese out of the jam, he worked the final two-thirds of the eighth without giving up a hit or run.  Jose Arias had a rough go of it today, he worked two innings, giving up four runs, one earned (oops), on three hits while walking one, he blew the save, and took the loss.

Daytona 4-9-14 game one

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At The Plate:

Nothing going right for the Daytona offense as they could only manage four hits in game one as they were shut out.  Albert Almora continued to do his part however, as he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, he’s now hitting .364 on the season.  Marco Hernandez, and Pin-Chieh Chen were the only other D-Cubs to get a hit in the loss.

On The Mound:

Really good outing from Felix Pena in this one, unfortunately he fell to 0-2 on the season, but lowered his ERA to 1.50.  Pena worked six innings, giving up one run on five hits, while walking no one, and striking out five.  Michael Jensen finished this one off as he worked a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, and striking out one.

Daytona 4-9-14 game two

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At The Plate:

Still nothing doing offensively for Daytona, however, they did push four runs across the plate in game two, but only had five hits in the loss.  Pin-Chieh Chen had another solid game, he was 1-for-2 with a double, a run scored, an RBI, and a walk.  Albert Almora continued his own personal hit parade, he was 1-for-3 with a run scored in the second game.  Dan Vogelbach finally connected in this one, he was 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

The offense finally finds some runs, and the pitching falters, such is the life of a struggling ball club.  Jose Rosario got the start and the loss, he worked five innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits, while walking three, and striking out four.  Starling Peralta really struggled, he was only able to get through one-third of an inning, giving up four runs, two earned (errors!), on three hits, while striking out one.  Andrew McKirahan did a great job keeping the D-Cubs close, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while striking out three.

Tennessee 4-9-14

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At The Plate:

The Smokies found just enough offense in this one as they scored three runs on seven hits to take care of the lookouts.  Stephen Bruno had a solid game, going 2-for-4 with two singles.  Kris Bryant was back in the lineup, and went 1-for-4 with a run scored in the win.  Rafael Lopez was the difference maker as he went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

I love C.J. Edwards nights, the mini flame thrower was on full display tonight and didn’t disappoint.  Edwards worked 5.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits, while walking four, and striking out five, walks drove his pitch count up for sure tonight.  P.J. Francescon was solid once again out of the pen, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he didn’t give up any hits, struck out two, and took home the win.  Jeff Lorick worked two-thirds of an inning late, giving up one hit, and striking out one.  Armando Rivero was brilliant to close this one out, he worked 1.1 scoreless, hit-less innings, while striking out three to earn his second save of the season.

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Riding the Bus; Minor League Reports for April 4, 2014

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Friday, April 4, 2014

 ** Kane County was postponed, they will play a DH tomorrow

Daytona 4-4-2014

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At The Plate:

Still not much going on for the Daytona offense in game two, but it was nice to see them come back from a 3-0 deficit to force extra innings.  Pin-Chieh Chen had a solid game from the lead-off spot, going 3-for-5 with a double, and RBI, and a run scored.  The middle of the order came up empty again tonight, but the bottom of the order was productive.  Bijan Rademacher was 2-for-4 with a double, run scored, and was caught stealing.  For the second straight game Gioskar Amaya was solid, he went 1-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

Jose Rosario got the start for Daytona, and struggled with his command for most of the night.  Rosario worked four innings, giving up three runs on five hits, while walking three, and striking out five.  Michael Jensen, and Andrew McKirahan each worked two scoreless innings out of the pen to get the game into extra innings.  Austin Reed took the loss for Daytona, he worked two innings, giving up one run on one hit, while walking one, and striking out three.

Tennessee 4-4-14

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At The Plate:

Not a lot of offense in this one, but just enough for the Smokies to win their first game of the season.  It was Kris Bryant once again, Bryant went 1-for-4 with his second home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger was able to get his first hit of the season, he went 1-for-4 with a single in the win.

On The Mound:

The other big news of the night was C.J. Edwards making his double A debut, and he didn’t disappoint.  Edwards worked four scoreless innings giving up one hit, while walking one, and striking out four, outstanding.  The rest of the Smokies staff was untouchable as well, P.J. Francescon took over for Edwards and took home the win.  Francescon worked three scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one, and striking out two.  Armando Rivero was just about perfect in the late innings of this one, as he earned his first save of the season, Rivero worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit, while striking out four.

Iowa 4-4-2014

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At The Plate:

The Iowa Cubs are mirroring the big league club with the bats, and that’s not a good thing, they came up empty in a 9-0 loss to Memphis tonight.  Matt Szczur lead-off for Iowa and was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a stolen base.  That was it, Iowa only had two hits in the loss, they did draw five walks but were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

On The Mound:

Three bad innings, that’s all it took tonight as Memphis scored once in the fourth, three times in the fifth, and five times in the sixth.  Carlos Pimentel got the start for Iowa, and also took the loss, he worked five innings, giving up four runs on five hits, while striking out six.  Jonathan Sanchez was much worse, he worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up five runs on one hit (ONE HIT), while walking three, and striking out three.  Marcos Mateo, Blake Parker, and Zac Rosscup all had scoreless appearances out of the pen, but it was too little too late.

Thanks for reading!

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Riding The Bus; Minor League Recaps for April 3, 2014

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Welcome to “Riding the Bus” —  How about that graphic, eh??  We’re excited, as usual, to bring you recaps of every Cubs minor league game, every night.  Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy it.

 

Kane County 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

The Cougars brought their bats with them in the opener as they pounded Quad Cities pitching to the tune of eight runs on eleven hits.  Jake Hannemann did a nice job out of the lead-off spot tonight, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored.  DH for the evening, Ben Carhart was all over the base paths, Carhart was 1-for-2 with three walks (CUBS WAY!), an RBI, and three runs scored.  Dr. Doubles, I mean, Yasiel Balaguert was locked in tonight, he went 4-for-4 with three doubles, and two RBI’s.  The ninth spot in the order also got a spark tonight, Carlos Penalver went 3-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

All in all, a pretty solid effort from the Kane County staff tonight.  2012 first round draft pick Paul Blackburn made his single A debut tonight, and it was hit and miss.  Blackburn worked four innings, giving up four runs on nine hits (not so good), while walking none (good), and striking out three.  The pen was tremendous, Nathan Dorris, James Pugliese, and Jose Arias all had scoreless appearances.  Dorris got the win, as he worked two innings giving up one hit, while walking one and striking out three.

Daytona 4-3-2014

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At The Plate:

The Daytona Cubs mirrored the Major League club in this one as they dropped a tough 1-0 game to the Manatees.  The D-Cubs could only manage five hits while getting shut out by a quartet of Brevard County pitchers.  Dan Vogelbach was one of the few Cubs to register a hit, he was 1-for-3 in the loss.  Jeimer Candelario, and Marco Hernandez also finished the night going 1-for-3 with a single.  Gioskar Amaya was seeing the ball the best as he went 2-for-2 with a stolen base, and a walk.

On The Mound:

Nothing but good things from the Daytona staff in this one, unfortunately it wasn’t good enough.  Felix Pena got the opening day start and was great, he worked six innings giving up one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out three.  Zach Cates, and Arodys Vizcaino each worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.

Tennessee 4-3-14

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Grumble, grumble, grumble.  A tough opening day loss for the Smokies as they built a 5-0 lead early, then lost it late.  Zeke DeVoss, a personal favorite, went 2-for-5 out of the lead-off spot with a triple, and an RBI.  Kris Bryant!  Bryant, making his AA debut tonight went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a walk, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored.  Fun fact here, Bryant went deep off Reds starter Mat Latos who was making a rehab start, then Bryant swung at a 3-0 pitch later in the game, then Latos hit him, sucks getting torched in AA doesn’t it, Mat?  Jorge Soler was 1-for-1 with a double in this one, he left early, and I think that was the plan ahead of time as he is coming back from a couple of injuries.

On The Mound:

Tough go of it for the Smokies pitching in this one as they seemed to lose their command as a group.  Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and was solid early, then the plate started jumping around on him.  Rhee worked four innings giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking four, and striking out four.  Ryan Searle took over and was actually pretty good, he worked three innings giving up one run on one hit, while walking three, and striking out five.  Tony Zych took the loss in this one as he worked one inning, giving up two runs on five hits, he didn’t walk or strikeout anyone.

Iowa 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Not a lot went right tonight for the Iowa Cubs as they had trouble scoring, and keeping Memphis from scoring.  Javier Baez made his triple A debut tonight, going 0-for-3 with a walk, and an error.  A rededicated Josh Vitters has a solid night, he went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Christian Villanueva, the new Iowa third baseman went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored in the loss.

On The Mound:

Not so good.  Chris Rusin, who just lost out to Carlos Villanueva for the number five start spot in Chicago, struggled.  Rusin worked 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while walking four, and striking out two.  Yoanner Negrin was lights out tonight, he worked 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, walking none, and striking out four, stellar.  Casey Coleman, yes, he’s still here, wasn’t sharp, he worked one inning, giving up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two, and striking out one.  Mop up duty belonged to Marcus Hatley, and he did a fine job, working one scoreless innings while striking out two.

Thanks for reading!

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Spring Fever: Cubs lineup, Broadcast Info for March 5, 2014

The Cubs go for their third straight win this afternoon as they take on the Rockies at Cubs Park in Mesa.  Jeff Samardzija will make his second start of the spring looking to build on his strong debut from last week, expect three to four innings for Shark.

1.  Kalish – LF
2.  Valbuena – 3B
3.  Lake – CF
4.  Roberts – 1B
5.  Baez – SS
6.  Kottaras – C
7.  Jackson – RF
8.  Valaika – 2B
9.  McDonald – DH

SP – Samardzija

The Cubs bench looks a little more exciting than the lineup:

  • Baker
  • Lopez
  • Watkins
  • Coghlan
  • Alcantara
  • Flores
  • Cunningham
  • Olt
  • Almora
  • Soler
  • Villanueva
  • Szczur
  • Bryant
  • Vitters

No TV today, but there it MLB.com radio.

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2016, the Cubs arrive?

Jim Callis, formerly of Baseball America, and currently of MLB.com appeared on the David Kaplan Show on Tuesday night (Listen to the whole interview here) and couldn’t say more good things about the Cubs system, specifically their bats.  During the interview, Callis said that he can’t remember a minor league system having four high level position players all at once.  Callis has been around a long time, and is an expert when it comes to minor league baseball, and Major League baseball prospects, so hearing that should get a lot of people excited.

Many Cubs fans have this notion that Javier Baez is the Soler Daytonabest all around player in the history of ever, while I like that enthusiasm, he is just as bad defensively as Castro.  Fans thinking Baez will supplant Castro at short could be mistaken and Callis touched on that as well.  He thinks Baez can be an okay short-stop but a great third baseman.  The same thought was shared in regards to Bryant he can be an okay third baseman, or a great right fielder.  Bottom line, guys are going switch positions and most likely play wherever allows their bat to get in the lineup.

When asked which Cubs prospect would be the one that Callis trades for pitching he responded with Jorge Soler.  Some scouts feel that Soler has not given 100% effort during his time in the minor leagues.  I think I can agree, but I can also see why they could be saying tha.  Soler is being paid like a major league ballplayer, and wouldn’t be surprised if he’s becoming disinterested with the Minor League lifestyle, competition, etc.  I don’t think that Soler is lazy but I understand what Callis is saying, the effort supposedly isn’t there and could translate to different levels so the Cubs could trade him for arms.

Finally, Kaplan asked Callis about when the Cubs will contend, and when will we stop hearing about the Cubs prospects and hear more about winning at the Major League level?  Callis agreed that this upcoming season could be pretty ugly, but you never know when you have a young team.  The middle to end of 2014 is when we will start seeing some of these prized prospects hit the North Side and by 2016 he feels the Cubs can become legit contenders.  He doesn’t rule out 2015 necessarily and he thinks the 2015 team is when the Cubs start becoming an “interesting” ball club, that’s usually a good thing.  Spring training can’t get here soon enough.

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Cubs land 7 players on MLB.com Top 100

Last night MLB Network aired a special to unveil the MLB.com top 100 prospects for 2014, and the Cubs were all over that list.  It was fun listening to the likes of Jim Callis, and Jonathan Mayo gush about how many good, young players the Cubs have waiting in the wings.  A total of seven players graced the list, here is a breakdown of each player, and some analysis.

** Players are graded on a 20-80 scale for future tools — 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average (MLB.com/Prospects rating scale)

Pierce Johnson Top 100

#100 – Right handed pitcher, Pierce Johnson (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Johnson was drafted in the supplemental round of the 2012 MLB Draft, 43rd overall by the Cubs.  2013 was Johnson’s first full professional season, and it was impressive.  Johnson pitched over two levels and actually found more success with Daytona which was the higher level.  Overall for 2013 Johnson went 11-6 with a 2.74 ERA while starting 21 games and appearing in 23.  In 118.1 innings Johnson only allowed 109 hits, 5 home runs (5!), while walking 43 and striking out 124.  I mentioned more success at Daytona, with the D-Cubs, Johnson worked 48.2 innings allowing only one home run with a sparkling 2.22 ERA.

Arismendy Alcantara Top 100

#89 – 2B/SS, Arismendy Alcantara (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: 
Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

Alcantara seemingly came out of nowhere in 2013 but in reality the talent has always been there it was just a matter of everything coming together at once.  With a brilliant 2013 season Alcantara cemented his status as the Cubs second baseman of the future, and will probably be seen on the North Side this upcoming season.  Alcantara played all of 2013 with the Smokies at the double A level and really showcased his all around game.  In just under 500 at bats Alcantara hit .271 with a .352 on base percentage and a .451 slugging percentage which was good for an .804 OPS.  Couple those on base numbers with the 31 stolen bases he had and he becomes a legitimate threat at the top of the order.  Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus says that Alcantara reminds him of Jose Reyes-lite, well, that works.

Jorge Soler Top 100

#49 – OF, Jorge Soler (21 years old)
Scouting Grades: 
Hit: 55 | Power: 65 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 55 | Overall: 60

Now we start getting into the meat and potatoes of the Cubs prospects, first up Jorge Soler.  I’ve seen Soler play in person a number of times, and he is an impressive specimen.  He looks more like a football player than a baseball player, but he makes it work.    Injuries derailed his 2013 season as he was only able to get 210 at bats with the Daytona Cubs.  Soler produced for the Minor League team of the year as he cracked 8 home runs, and had 35 RBI’s.  Those numbers are down a bit, again he is still adjusting to the professional game, and is only 21.  Jason Parks chimed in on Soler as well saying that his is slow to adjust, is the most likely of Cubs prospects to “miss” which I think makes sense given his raw ability, still a high ceiling though.

CJ Edwards Top 100

#42 – RHP, C.J. Edwards (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: 
Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 60

Oh, hello CJ Edwards.  That’s right, after an amazing 2013 season, Edwards has vaulted past Jorge Soler on this list.  Baseball Prospectus also had Edwards ranked as the #3 player in the Cubs organization, ahead of Soler, and Albert Almora.  Edwards wasn’t even with the Cubs at this time last year, he was one of four, yes four players acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza deal.  The 2013 season saw Edwards give up one home run, one, just one…. take that Pierce Johnson.  For 2013 Edwards tossed 116.1 innings combined at the high A level for Texas and Chicago, he only gave up 76 hits.  He finished with a 8-2 record and a 1.86 ERA while walking 41 and striking out 155, goodnight!  Jason Parks doesn’t see Edwards with a huge ceiling but Jim Callis said that Edwards could be the top of the rotation guy the Cubs need.

Albert  Almora Top 100

#18 – OF, Albert Almora (19 years old)
Scouting Grades: 
Hit: 65 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 75 | Overall: 60

When it’s all said and done Albert Almora might the favorite player of a lot of fans.  While Almora doesn’t have any tools that jump off the page at you (except for his glove I guess) he plays well above them, that’s exactly what Jim Callis said last night.  Almora is a baseball player, run through the wall, do whatever it takes to win, baseball player.  Because of his 100% all the time playing style he suffered a number of injuries in 2013 which kind of disjointed his season.  Almora spent all of 2013 at Kane County but only got 249 at bats due to said injuries, but he made the most of them.  He hit .329 with 17 doubles, four triples, three homers, and 23 RBI’s.  His slash numbers were even more impressive, he had a .379 on base percentage, and a .466 slugging percentage which was good for an .842 OPS.  I think Almora will become more patient at the plate as he gets older but right now he’s fine, he walked 17 times last year and only struck out 30 times, expect to see Almora on the North Side in 2016.

Kris Bryant Top 100

#9 – 3B, Kris Bryant (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 70 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 65

Kris Bryant seems to be on the fast track, one reason is that he is far more advanced than the other Cubs prospects on this list, the other is he mashes the baseball.  Bryant made it to three different levels in just 36 games, that’s ridiculous, he also hit at every level.  Then he went on to the Arizona Fall League and destroyed the ball in earning accolades such as the MVP award.  Bryant had 128 at bats in 2013 not counting the Arizona Fall League and his a combined .336 with 9 home runs, and 32 RBI’s, extrapolate that, good Lord.  Walking is something that Bryant hasn’t done a lot of right now, but it’s hard to argue with the .390 on base percentage, .719 slugging percentage and 1.106 OPS.  The numbers are eye-popping, and the Cubs aren’t shy about moving Bryant wherever he deserves to go, and many believe that could be as early as 2015.  Given Bryant’s defensive ability and bat it’s not out of the question that he moves to right field to keep 3B open for Baez, either way the Cubs will find a spot for that bat.

Javier Baez Top 100

#7 – SS, Javier Baez (21 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit:
60 | Power: 70 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 50 | Overall: 65

If you’re not excited about Javier Baez, first off, where have you been, secondly, it’s about time you are.  Baez destroy minor league baseball last year at both high A and double A.  There wasn’t a more feared hitter in baseball, in 517 at bats Baez crushed 37 home runs, and had 111 RBI’s with a total of 75 extra-base hits.  He has been burdened with high expectations and all he has done is create new ones which are even higher.  Surveying the top prospect lists for 2014 the number seven ranking is going to be the “worst” for Baez.  Jason Parks slots him at number four but said there really isn’t a good reason why he shouldn’t be number one, that’s in all of baseball.  Many people are expecting Baez to make his Cubs debut this upcoming season, the plan right now is for him to start in triple A as Iowa’s shortstop.  Moving forward, given Baez’s defensive issues he might move to 3B but again, that really has a lot to do with how other players develop as well.

Prospects are just that, a young player that has expectation or is projected to have some sort of impact at the Major League level.  There really is no such thing as a sure thing in this game, and that goes for Cubs prospects as well.  As good as these players are there is no guarantee that any or all of them will make it to the Cubs, and be an impact player like they are projected.  That said, Cubs fans have had little to get excited about recently and this is definitely a list that you can not only get excited about but truly believe that there is some hope in the near future.

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MLB.com Top 100 Prospect List airs Tonight at 9 PM CST

Baez 2014

The Cubs minor league system had a tremendous year in 2013, it was so good that Jason Parks (@ProfessorParks) of Baseball Prospectus has vaulted them to the second best system in all of baseball.  Parks continued the Cubs prospect love fest on Twitter saying that Javier Baez could easily land the #1 overall prospect spot, those are big words.

Tonight there should be even more light shined on the Cubs system as MLB Network is airing their top 100 prospects announcement at 9:00 PM CST.  Not only that, but some of the prospects that are on the list will be live tweeting during the broadcast, including Cubs prospects Albert Almora (@Albertalmora), and Kris Bryant (@KrisBryant_23).  As these list’s come out I will be back with a full rundown of who said what, and where the Cubs prospects rank in baseball.  Make sure you tune in tonight and follow Albert and Kris on Twitter tonight, and don’t be surprised if you don’t hear Javier Baez’s name until the top 5.

Here’s a link to the mlb.com story about tonight’s broadcast.

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