Another day, another win in the final at bat. This time Peoria was the scene for the late inning dramatics, and it this one was as dramatic as they come. It was a good thing that Peoria found their bats in the ninth; they were the only Cubs’ farm team to come up with a win on Tuesday.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 8 – 12
Travis Wood struck out eight, but the Cardinal’s top prospect Shelby Miller and an army of relievers were better. The Iowa Cubs were shut out 4-0.

Wood had a pretty good outing (7H, 2BB, 8K). He gave up two runs, but only one earned, in his six innings of work. The remaining Cardinal runs were scored off Esmailin Caridad in the ninth. In between those two Jeff Believaeu kept Memphis off the board for two innings.

The Cubs did not have a lot of offense in this one. Brett Jackson walked twice (and struck out twice), Luis Valbuena and Welington Castillo both had two hits, and that was pretty much it. Sometimes a team runs into a great pitcher, and that was the case on Tuesday. Shelby Miller is as good as they come.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 10 – 10
Two first inning errors by the Smokies led to five Chattanooga runs and Tennessee could not quite make up that gap. The Smokies fell 7-5.

Dae-Eun Rhee‘s day looks bad in the box score, but most of the damage was done in the error-filled first inning. He did strike out five in his five innings of work. Scott Weismann, recently arrived from Peoria, pitched three innings of scoreless relief in his Double A debut.

Jae-Hoon Ha had one of those first inning errors, but with his 3 for 5 day (including two doubles), he almost made up for it. James Adduci, Michael Burgess and Nate Samson also doubled, but Ha had the only multi-hit day. Weismann’s good day continued at the plate where he collected a base hit in his lone at bat.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 5 – 13
It was a windy night in Florida, and the box score reflects that. Early in the game both offenses were relatively held in check, but late in the game both exploded. Lakeland got the best of things and defeated Daytona 13-5.

Hayden Simpson walked just one batter in his first 10 innings of work this season. He has walked 11 in his last seven, including seven in his four and a third innings last night. Even Simpson’s critics admit he has good command, and 11 walks in seven innings is not good command. Something is not right here. We’ll keep an eye on this trend as the season progresses.

Neither Eduardo Figueroa nor Brett Wallach pitched all that well when they came into the game, walking a combined four batters and giving up nine hits in the final three and two thirds.

At the plate, Matthew Szczur is starting to heat up. He had a 2 for 3 night that included a double and two walks and has raised his average to .225. Rubi Silva was 2 for 5 with a triple, his second of the season. Sergio Burrell (2 for 4, double) and Dustin Harrington (2 for 3, double) also had good nights.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 8 – 11
Drama was king in Peoria. For eight innings the game was knotted at zero, and then the bats arrived. Lansing took a two nothing lead in the top of inning, but Peoria tripled that tally on their way to a thrilling 6-2 win.

First of all, let’s credit the pitching. Kyler Burke was fantastic through six innings in his first start of the season (3H, 1BB, 4K). Benjamin Wells wasn’t too far behind him in three innings of relief. He did give up two runs in the ninth, but those runs were aided by an error.

For eight innings the Peoria bats were all but silent. And then, trailing by two in the ninth, a pair of singles and an error loaded the bases for Wes Darvill, and Darvill delivered a two run double to tie the game. After an intentional walk, Paul Hoilman sent five thousand fans home happy with a grand slam.

Minor League Debut
Gerardo Concepcion, the prize Cuban pitching prospect signed by the Cubs over the winter, is scheduled to make his American professional debut for the Peoria Chiefs at Lake County. Game time is 5:30 local time, and as always you can listen to the action for free online. If Concepcion does well in four or five starts for the Chiefs he is likely to be rapidly moved up the system. If you are in the Eastlake, OH area and are going to be at the game, be sure to drop by the Message Boards and give us your scouting report on the young lefty.

  • ETS

    Likely to move up rapidly? They gain an option year if Concepcion stays all year in single A ball. That and his relatively young age makes me think he won’t be rushed too quickly.

    • Luke

      He can still be jumped to Daytona.  A lot of us thought he’d start there to begin with.

  • mark

    Good to see Szczur heating up. His numbers–except for his BA–are actually pretty decent. OBP is .345, SO rate is quite acceptable and BB rate more than acceptable. In his last few games, he seems to be starting to drive the ball a bit.

  • Edwin

    If Hayden Simpson wasn’t a first round pick, would anybody even care about him? It’s not his fault that the Cubs drafted him so high, but he clearly isn’t a good prospect. The Cubs made a huge mistake drafting him so high. If he had been drafted in the 5th round, he’d be just another no-name player who quietly drops off the map.

  • Cheryl

    As Luke says, there’s something wrong with Simpson. He isn’t the same player that was drafted. It almost seems like he should get away from baseball for a year or two. He should be back at full strength but apparently isn’t. Its as if he’s lost all feel for the game.

    • SecoconJose

      players that all of a sudden lose velocity and/or end up going under the knife this early after high school usually means what?

      Take you biCYCLE OFF its rack

  • rcleven

    Nice to see Wood have a good game.

  • Luke

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – The Iowa Cubs are off today.

    Tennessee – Brooks Raley.

    Daytona – Frank Del Valle.

    Peoria – Gerardo Concepcion.

    Three very interesting and very promising lefties on the mound today.  All eyes will be on Concepcion, but these other two guys are well worth watching themselves.

  • Puma0821

    Is there any update on the guys in EST? Namely Baez, Vogelbach, Lake, ect…

    • Luke

      No new news.  We know they’ll be playing somewhere no later than mid June when the short season leagues begin, but that’s about it.

    • Norm

      Re Baez: since his cycle on April 16th, he was 0-17 with 8K’s (as of Monday)

  • TWC

    The iPhone feed kept cutting out during the Peoria game.  I was bummed because I wanted to listen to more of Simpson’s start.  I flipped over to the Tennessee game in the 1st… uuuuugly.  Then I missed the Cubs game last night.  Pfft.  Baseball, for me, wasn’t meant to be yesterday.

  • Jeremy

    Any chance that we could see Trey McNutt work his way up to the big leagues here soon. He seems to be pitching outstanding at double A through 3 starts.

    • Ryno G

      Not a chance. He struggles to go deep into games and also struggling with blisters again. It’s still early, but it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll be a late inning bullpen arm.