The Dominican Summer League is underway, and the Cubs have two teams to watch. There is plenty of talent on both DSL Cubs 1 and DSL Cubs 2, but Cubs 2 definitely has more of the higher ceiling and well known players.
I will not be covering the Dominican Summer League on a daily basis in this space, but I will keep an eye on things and report back any trends as they develop. Among the names I will be watching the most closely are LHP Jose Paulino, LHP Chris Pieters, LHP Frailyn Figueroa, SS Luis Acosta, 3B Mark Malave, 3B Roney Alcala, OF Jeffry Baez, and OF Ricardo Marcano.
Players in the DSL are among the youngest players in professional baseball. Even if we see Jeimer Candelario like performances from a few prospects on the island this summer, do not expect to see those prospects in Chicago any time soon. At best these guys are three to four years away from the majors. In most cases, six years is more likely.
Rodrigo Lopez allowed four runs in his five innings of work. That’s not a great day, but it looks fantastic compared to what his bullpen accomplished. Ryan Rowland-Smith and Mike MacDougal combined for a total meltdown in the seventh inning. By the time the horror show was over, Oklahoma City has scored seven times and MacDougal was in line for the loss. Scott Maine did pitch a nice, scoreless eighth inning, but by then the damage was done.
Iowa had a good night, scoring eight runs, but with fourteen hits they had chances for more. Josh Vitters stayed hot with his ninth home run of the season, but Brett Jackson is hotter. Not only was Jackson 3 for 5, all three of his hits went for extra bases (two doubles and a triple). He also stole his tenth base of the season. In his last ten games Jackson has an OPS over 1.000. We’ve been waiting all season for him to get going; that wait might finally be over.
Anthony Rizzo made his return from the Sore Wrist Tweeted ‘Round The Blogosphere. He had a typical Rizzo game, 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. Blake Lalli also doubled twice in the game. Luis Valbuena and Ty Wright had two hits apiece.
Dae-Eun Rhee pitched well for five and two thirds innings, giving up three runs on five hits with two walks and a strikeout. Best of all, his ground out to fly out ratio for the game was 12 to 3. Jeffry Antigua and Brian Schlitter both pitched very well in relief, but Ty’relle Harris had trouble finding the strike zone. He ultimately took the loss.
Eduardo Figueroa and Ryan Searle each threw three pretty good innings, resulting in Searle winning his second game of the season. Knuckleballer Joseph Zeller did not have his good stuff and gave up two runs on four hits in his inning of relief. Scott Weismann allowed two more runs to score in his two innings of work.
John Andreoli and Rubi Silva both had three hits (and both hit a double) in this game. Andreoli also stole his 16th base of the season. Catcher Micah Gibbs enjoyed a two hit night, as did Nelson Perez and Arismendy Alcantara. Alcantara, who doubled and tripled in this game, is now hitting .305. That’s fairly impressive in the Florida State League.
Jose Rosario was very, very good. He threw seven innings, struck out ten, walked four, and gave up just three hits. By the time Larry Suarez and Sheldon McDonald arrived to pitch in relief, this game was all but over. On any other night Rosario’s performance alone would have been the headline, but in this game he was just about upstaged by his own offense.
That offense used 14 hits and 10 walks to pound out 15 runs. Javier Baez was 3 for 5 with his first home run of the season… and a well-deserved hit by pitch. Here’s a hint for all the baseball players out there: when your team is up by 13 in the late innings, don’t swing at a 3-0 pitch. Kane County’s manager wanted to be extra sure that Baez learned that lesson, so he went to the mound immediately after Baez swung. The next pitch drilled Baez in the ribs. The pitcher and manager were ejected (and rightfully so) and Baez took his base. Hopefully he won’t need a second lesson.
Pin-Chieh Chen was batting lead off in this game and had an effective if unusual day. He finished 1 for 1 with four runs scored and five walks. He also stole a base. Paul Hoilman nearly matched Chen; he drew four walks.