Blake Parker has been summoned to Wrigley; is he the first of a trend?
At some point the Cubs are going to need to evaluate what they have in the upper minors, and the Parker promotion could be an early part of that process. There are plenty of other candidates for a taste of the majors, though. Jay Jackson and Chris Rusin are both likely to get a major league try out, as are the top prospects Rizzo and Jackson. Adrian Cardenas is already in Chicago, but the Cubs are not using him very much. If an outfielder goes on the disabled list, that could create an opening for Dave Sappelt. And those are just the names near the top of the list. The shuttle to Iowa could be in for a busy summer.
Wood allowed just two runs on five hits in a solid seven inning start. His minor league ERA is down to 4.57. Jeff Beliveau was equally effective in his one inning of work, but Manny Corpas almost let this one get away in the ninth. Three runs crossed the plate before the veteran ended the inning.
The piano music must have agreed with Iowa’s hitters. Anthony Rizzo had a very Rizzo-like game that included his 14th home run, but he was not alone. Josh Vitters‘ again flashed a bit of his own power by launching his fourth home run this year. Not to be outdone, Brett Jackson picked up his own fourth homer of the season as he went a double short of the cycle. Dave Sappelt had two hits, including a double, and stole his third base of the season.
Brooks Raley went five innings as he won his second game of the season. Frank Batista, recently returned to the Smokies, and Casey Harmon pitched a scoreless inning apiece. Kevin Rhoderick then came in for the two inning save, his fifth.
Zach Cates had another rough start. He was lifted in the third for Hayden Simpson who once again could not find the strike zone. Eduardo Figueroa pitched a scoreless sixth and Joseph Zeller pitched a scoreless seventh, but Ryan Searle ended the string of zeros with a two run eighth.
Only three Cubs managed hits in this game, but two of them were big ones. The bulk of the offense came from Nelson Perez, who hit his sixth home run of the season, and Greg Rohan, who tripled as part of his two hit night. Rubi Silva also had a hit.
Patrick Francescon keeps rolling along with his fifth win of the season, and once again he did not allow an earned run. Larry Suarez and Jeffrey Lorick held on to the lead over the final three innings. Peoria did allow three runs to score, but none of them were earned.
Pin-Chieh Chen returned to the top of the batting order and had a two hit night. If Marco Hernandez keeps hitting like this, he’ll be hitting near the top of the order as well. The young switch hitter was two for three with a triple and a walk.