Did you know there are a large number of Cubs prospects on Twitter? If you were following Bleacher Nation last night (you are following @BleacherNation (and @ltblaize) aren’t you?), then you witnessed a Twitter explosion as the internet rallied to #FollowACubsProspect. Some of the future Cubs, including Dustin Geiger and Anthony Giansanti, were even giving away signed memorabilia to some of their new followers. See what happens when you follow Bleacher Nation? You get to participate in the single largest sports related media event of the evening!
What’s that? There was also some sort of a draft last night? It couldn’t have been that big of a deal; the baseball Amateur Draft isn’t until June.
Frankie De La Cruz went five innings and allowed just four hits. Manny Corpas pitched three innings of two hit baseball, and Blake Parker nailed down the ninth. Any one of these pitchers could be in Chicago’s bullpen by the end of the season, and all three are pitching fairly well.
With two hits and two runs batted in, Anthony Rizzo had a good night. Adrian Cardenas, playing third base in this game, had a great night. Cardenas went two for three with a walk, a double, and four RBIs. If Ian Stewart continues to struggle at third as we move into the summer, Cardenas could be a short term option for the Cubs. He isn’t as good defensively as Stewart, but when you put the total package together he might just be an upgrade … if Stewart continues to struggle, that is.
Alfredo Amezaga also had a two hit night. The switch hitter has not had a lot of at bats in Iowa just yet, but he is crushing lefties when given an opportunity. If Darwin Barney goes on the DL, Amezega would be an option at second base.
Nick Struck did not have his good stuff last night, but Marcus Hatley and Casey Weathers were very good in relief. Weathers, as I’m sure you remember, was the other player who came back to the Cubs in the Ian Stewart trade. He has a great fastball, but he has also had some serious control issues. On Thursday night he struck out the side and only walked one in his inning of relief. If he can keep that up, he too could be a member of the Cubs bullpen in the next year or so.
Justin Bour launched another home run, but that was the only significant highlight for the Smokies’ offense. They only managed five hits all night.
And in the tenth, Ty’relle Harris, who had been so good in the ninth inning, gave up a two run homer. Starting pitcher Austin Kirk pitched six great innings that included six strike outs, and Joseph Zeller had another good outing of his own. Not many were talking about Zeller before the season started, but so far opposing batters are hitting just .205 off him.
Wes Darvill hit his first home run of the season as part of his two for six night. Pin-Chieh Chen was two for five with two runs scored and Zeke DeVoss reached base three times, raising his OBP to .370. Eduardo Gonzalez helped out with a triple and a run scored.
On the mound, starter Michael Jensen did not have his best game. He pitched five innings and allowed five runs on six hits, striking out four. Luis Lira and Willengton Cruz pitched three scoreless innings of relief before Jeffry Lorick and Austin Reed allowed the decisive runs late in the game.