Cubs’ Minor League Daily: Offense In Season

Tuesday was not a good day for pitchers at any of the minor league games. We expected the Iowa game to be a high scoring one (and it was), but neither of the A-ball clubs had any trouble putting up runs of their own. In fact, Iowa had the fewest runs of any Cub farm team on Tuesday night.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 7 – 6
This game started well, but things quickly went sour. And then they got worse. When the final out was recorded, the Cubs had lost 13-6.

Chris Rusin gave up six runs in the first, but only two of them were earned. That was his only inning of work. Frankie De La Cruz came out for the second inning and actually pitched fairly well. He held the Isotopes to one run on five hits over four innings – not bad for an extended relief outing in Albuquerque. Nate Robertson did not fare nearly so well over the final three innings. In all, the Cubs’ pitchers allowed 20 hits. That was bad enough, but the three errors committed behind them didn’t help matters any.

The Cubs scored three quick runs in the top of the first, but that was the only time they led all game. In total, Iowa did earn ten hits. Luis Valbuena, Anthony Rizzo, and Adrian Cardenas all had two hits a piece. Brett Jackson hammered a triple in the first inning, his second of the year.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 6 – 6
The Smokies were rained out on Tuesday. We won’t have to wait long to make up the game up, though, as the plan is to play a double header today. Both games will likely last seven innings instead of the usual nine, baring extra innings. Dallas Beeler will pitch the first game, and Dae-Eun Rhee will handle the second.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 2 – 10
Daytona became the first team in the Cubs’ system to lose ten games. The Cubs fell to Dunedin… again… by a final of 8-7.

Hayden Simpson did not have anything close to his usual control, and the Blue Jays chased him in the third. After that, four relievers combined to allow just two additional runs the rest of the game, but those were runs the Cubs offense could not quite make up.

Daytona did manage to put together a couple of rallies in this one, including a two run burst in the ninth that fell just short of knotting the score.

Matt Szczur once again managed to score a run without getting a hit. This time he didn’t even have a walk. After reaching on a fielder’s choice, he scored from first on a wild pick off attempt in the fourth inning. Even Tony Campana could be proud of a play like that.

Elieser Bonne hit his first professional home run Tuesday evening while leading off the fourth. Greg Rohan also homered as part of his 2 for 3 night. He collected two walks, as well. Daytona’s nine hits marked one of their better offensive showings of the season, but their defense coughed up another two errors.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 6 – 6
It took four tries before Peoria found a pitcher who could keep Cedar Rapids off the boards, but the offense just kept putting up the runs. The Chiefs won an offensive nail-biter, 7-6.

Patrick Francescon gave up three runs and did not get out of the fourth. Bryce Shafer was worse, and Scott Weismann was not a whole lot better. Finally, Yao-Lin Wang was brought in for the eighth and pitched two innings of hit-less ball. Unless the Cubs are going to keep Wang in the pen with the intent of moving him up the farm system quickly, I suspect we will see the right hander rejoin the starting rotation in the second half, if not before. I’m not sure which starting rotation he will join, though; I can make a case for Peoria or Daytona.

Rafael Lopez got credit for a triple, his first of the season. That’s somewhat unusual given that Lopez is a catcher, a position not exactly known for producing fast base runners. Outfielder Pin-Chieh Chen had two extra base hits (a double and a triple) and scored twice. Brad Zapenas also had two hits and scored twice. The biggest story of the night, however, would have to be the surprising play of previously relative unknown Oliver Zapata. Not only did Zapata go three for four, he also stole a base and threw out a runner at home in the fifth. Zapata, 19, was an international signing a few years ago, tore up rookie ball last year, but then struggled to close the year with Boise.

There are some video highlights of the Chief’s win on Monday available on the website for the Peoria Journal Star, giving us our first glimpse of Zapata at the plate. I’m hoping some of our loyal readers in the Peoria area will be heading to the ballpark soon and can check this guy out in person.

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation. He can be found on Twitter as ltblaize.

39 responses to “Cubs’ Minor League Daily: Offense In Season”

  1. MichiganGoat

    Come on Simpson show us something to believe in.

    1. CubFan Paul

      Probably not going to happen for a couple years. It pains me because that pick could of been used on a better prospect but money was apparently a bigger concern (&obviously still is)

      1. Norm

        “(&obviously still is)”
        lol

      2. Cheryl

        Simpson was considered a good prospect at the time. At least two otherclubs were interested in him. Obviously his health has affected him. Will he ever overcome what he lost with mono and the elbow problem? Who knows. At the end of this year there should be some indication of how he will fare in the future. But for now, I hope that he shows something as MG says.

        1. Norm

          Two other clubs interested is just rumor. And let’s say it’s true…terrible. EVERY club should be interested in a player taken 16th overall.

  2. BillyWeen

    Carmen the Computer has some flaws.

    .167 IF player signed as IFA by Fleita, THEN move to keep list
    .189 IF player is Cuban and signed by Fleita, THEN move to keep list
    .191 IF player was a college football, THEN move to assume list of great baseball player
    .097 IF player was a college football, THEN move to assume list of great baseball player
    .182 IF player signed as IFA by Fleita, THEN move to keep list
    .192 IF player clone of Puckett body, THEN pay big bonus and move to keep list

    Those are the current batting averages of 6 outfielders at Peoria/Daytona

    IF player was D1 college star/AA on a bargain, THEN assume player stinks
    IF player was ACQ in trade, THEN assume player stinks

    Rostering based on sunk costs and politics means better players are not playing
    and lesser players get to play even if they hit the wall. Organizations that acknowledge
    baseball talent and tools first, keep them in the system seeking a diamond in the rough, or basically a bargain.

    Carmen and Theo chose a 1st rounder in 2006 that scouts said the swing was flawed, yet Carmen overruled baseball eyes, the money was spent(Boston/Theo), and player was a bust.

    Players with enough sample size in pro ball who keep doing the same thing badly are not going to have a revelation and turn into all-stars.

    Those 6 players above and their averages are real. One of the them is Perez, and his K rate historically is BAD, and obviously being demoted is a sign of his way out baseball, and has clogged a spot causing a release.

    Another player is a 25 year old Cuban who is one of Fleita boys and has no business on a A+ roster on ANY affiliate. This player Bonne clogged a spot.

    Those 2 Daytona spots should have awarded to Abreu and Klafczynski. Both are off the charts athletically, Klafczynski has a 70 plus arm from RF, Abreu was still young enough to work on using the entire plate, and Klafczynski raked in Mesa according to witnesses, current players, and Cubs instructors.

    With minimal financial investment, Klafczynski was sent packing and it was NOT because of baseball talent. Abreu was sent packing because he wasn’t signed by Fleita.

    The unfortunate thing is that a ST release is the worst time for a player to catch on with another club and it becomes a waiting game until others fail and a spot possibly opens up during the season.

    Scouts in my arena told me flat out that 3 outfielders stood out in ST Mesa up until the release. They were Ty Wright, Jae Ha, and Ben Klafczynski.

    In the meantime, they could keep parading out the same junk.

    1. MikeW

      how do you really feel?

      1. AB

        google Ben Klafczynski and see how many times this poster has posted the exact same rant under different screenames

        1. TWC

          Yeah, Ben Klafczynski’s relatives have GOT to find a new schtick.  This one’s getting old.

    2. Edwin

      Ben Klafczynski has a career .236/.296/.293 line at Boise, in 253 PA. He’s 22. I’m pretty sure Ben was sent packing becasue of his lack of baseball talent.

      Abner Abreu has a career .266/.310/.438 line, in 1620 PA. He is also 22. He is terrible.

      Ty Wright is 27, and is playing at AAA. You can look his numbers up for yourself. They’re bad.

      I assume by “Jae Ha” you mean Jae-Hoon Ha. He’s playing at AA. His career OPS is .715 in 1174 PA. Apparently he plays great defense. But his hitting is terrible. I doubt he ever makes it past AAA, if he even gets there.

    3. T C

      …you know it’s only been like 8 games, right?

    4. Shawon O'Meter

      How about this…instead of writing epic “BEN WAS WRONGED” essays, try to help him get a new job. I’m sure ALL of us have felt jilted by an employer at one point or another, or in my case several times (new ownership, bankruptcy, re-location, downsizing…you get the picture), but nothing is ever gained by incessant bitching and moaning…tell the little buckeroo to get back on his horse. Adopt the theory that things happen for a reason and go out and prove your doubters wrong! Sheesh!!!

  3. Drew

    This is getting rediculous. Every team sends dozens of guys packing each year, and I would venture to say each one could have some sort of argument made in their favor. I hate to break it to you guys, but 99% of the time, they just werent good enough.

    It’s a business fellas. If these guys are any good, they will be signed by someone else.

  4. AB

    Hmmm…The Brett Jackson strikeout train continues onward.

    1. ari gold

      Brett Jackson’s strikeouts will hold him back from being an above average MLB player. He’s going to strikeout over 200 times per year, but won’t have the power typical of a high strikeout player.

      1. King Jeff

        The record for strikeouts in a year is barely 200. Nobody strikes out even close to an average of 200 times per year. It’s nice that you can prognosticate Brett Jackson’s future strikeout records, and can tell that he won’t have a power bat, now we don’t have to waste all of this positive energy looking forward to seeing him play.

        1. ari gold

          I realize that since he’s a Cubs prospect he’s automatically destined for superstardom, but would it honestly surprise you if he came up and batted .230? Maybe 200 strikeouts are a bit much, but with a K rate of 33% (which is about what he’s done at AA and AAA), were looking at 175 strikeouts. That’s a lot of swing and miss, and will hold him back.

          1. Norm

            I’m with ya on the 200+ K’s.
            The guys that have K’d 200 times in a season (Drew Stubbs, Mark Reynolds) didn’t strike out nearly as much as BJ has in the minors.

            1. Cory

              You just said it Mark Reynolds and Stubbs 2 guys that only hit fastballs and only hit for power Jacksons speed will get him on base more then they have ever dreamed of. If your going to compare him to someone how about a poor mans BJ Upton?

              1. Norm

                Stubbs walks as much as Jackson and also has more speed than Jackson (and is also a better defender).

                1. Cory

                  Woops was thinking of someone else my fault stubs would be a valid comparison but I still would like to think jackson will have a better obp

          2. hansman1982

            Please learn how to calculate K rate. It is strikeouts divided by Plate Appearances, not at bats.

            In AA he K’d at a 25% clip – AAA he is sitting around 30%. The 30% is alarming and would put him with nearly 200 K’s but he would also have about 85 walks. The K’s aren’t coming from swinging and missing as much as being overly patient as evidenced by his 13% walk rate.

            Everyone seems to agree that he should be able to hit around 20 homers, given the walk rate he should make for a decent player, especially so during his cost controlled years. Kind of a Carlos Pena of CF.

            1. ari gold

              Whether you use PA or at bats, you’re getting to the same projection of 200 strikeouts

      2. hogie

        His OPS will still be plenty respectable. With good defense and speed he would still be an above average center fielder with the high K-rate, not a superstar, but above average in my book.

      3. Diesel

        At this point I would put up with his strike outs if it meant I don’t have to watch Marlon Byrd do nothing at the plate.

  5. wow and wow

    I guess Ryne Sandberg could manage the minor league system well .yet he manages for the Phillies kingdom. Pretty soon small sample size will be replaced will the phrase bad is bad.

  6. cubsin

    Regarding the Brett Jackson versus Carlos Pena discussion, there was no mention of the simple facts than CF is a more important defensive position than 1B, Bjax is a vastly superior baserunner or that the Pena earned $10 million last year (which I still believe was much too much).