Cubs’ fans in search of something to look forward to saw a lot to like in Sunday’s Arizona Cubs game. The first three pitchers in that game were three of the youngest and best pitching prospects in the farm system.
Dillon Maples finally made his long awaited professional debut in a one inning start. He had a little trouble, but no more than I would expect from a guy in that situation. He was followed by Ryan McNeil, who pitched 1.2 innings, and then by Paul Blackburn, who pitched 2.1 innings.
All three of those guys are going to spend a lot of innings in the minors over the next few years. They will struggle mightily at times, odds are good they will probably be injured, and no doubt many Cub fans will label all three of them a bust at some point or other. Despite that, all three have the potential to be a quality major league starting pitcher. They may not reach that potential (odds are they will not), but the potential remains. When the Cubs’ farm system once again begins to produce high quality pitching, I think at least one of these three pitchers will be among the headliners.
That future is a long way off, though. The Cubs have a lot of games to play before this particular wave of talent arrives.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – The game went into extras, but Iowa lost 6-3 in ten.
Tennessee – The Smokies had Sunday off.
Daytona – The Cubs enjoyed a rare offensive outburst in this 12-7 win.
Peoria – The Chiefs scored ten times on twelve hits in this 10-6 win.
Boise – The Hawks won a 1-0 shutout.
Arizona – The Cubs had their chances to score more runs, but ultimately lost 7-3.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Esmailin Caridad pitched another two good innings of relief. Batters are hitting just .167 off right hander since the All-Star break.
- [Iowa] Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters both had a stolen base in this game. For Jackson, it was his 24th. For Vitters, it was his fourth.
- [Iowa] Welington Castillo hit his fourth home of the season and his second in the past week.
- [Daytona] He has only been in Daytona for 12 games, but catcher Rafael Lopez has already hit two home runs. His second was a two run shot that came in the ninth inning.
- [Daytona] Elieser Bonne and Ronald Torreyes have both been hot lately, and both continued that success with three hits each in this game.
- [Daytona] It was a high scoring Daytona game, so you know I’ll start talking about steals at some point. Eliser Bonne picked up his 19th steal on the season, but that accomplishment was blown away by John Andreoli. Andreoli collected three steals in the game (two of them were steals of third) to reach 40 on the year. And he still has a couple of weeks to play. This guy could realistically finish the season with more than 50 steals.
- [Peoria] Yao-Lin Wang‘s conversion back into a starting pitcher continued in this game with a four inning performance. Wang allowed two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out one.
- [Peoria] Larry Suarez struck out three and walked two in his 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.
- [Peoria] Dustin Geiger has power, there is no doubt about that. He hit his 11th home run in just 43 games on Sunday.
- [Peoria] Pin-Chieh Chen had a great game. The speedy center fielder reached base five time on three hits and two walks. He is hitting .309 in the second half of the season.
- [Boise] Ian Dickson pitched the first five innings, gave up three hits, and struck out four. Hunter Ackerman completed the shutout by allowing one hit and striking out six over the final four innings.
- [Boise] Gioskar Amaya was the hero again. The second baseman gave the Hawksthe lead with his fifth home run. He also collected his eighth stolen base. Rock Shoulders was the only other Hawk to have two hits in the game.
- [Arizona] Dillon Maples allowed a run on two walks and no hits while striking out one in his one inning professional debut.
- [Arizona] Ryan McNeil allowed a run on four hits while striking out three in his 1.2 innings. Paul Blackburn recorded the next seven outs while giving up just two hits and striking out two.
- [Arizona] Jorge Soler‘s first career double was the Cubs’ only extra base hit.
- [Arizona] Trevor Gretzky, Carlos Penalver, and Albert Almora all had a stolen base in this game.
Other Minor League Notes
- James Adduci is off to a very good start in Iowa. The left handed hitting minor league veteran outfielder has an OPS of .953 through 16 games at that level.
- Today begins Brett’s 30 consecutive hours of blogathon magic. Best of luck with that Brett, and just in case you need some extra baseball to keep you awake, remember that the radio feed for all the Cubs’ minor leagues from Boise on up are streamed for free on line. Unfortunately the Hawks are off tonight; they often play past 1 AM Eastern time.
- And while I’m at it, let me add a special thanks to those of you that donated all the funds (and more) that it will take to keep the servers running for another year. Once again, you have proved that we have the best community on the Internet right here at Bleacher Nation.
- [Brett: And, while I'M at it, a big thanks to Luke for all he does. He's a huge part of this place, and we're all thankful.]
Farm System Standings
AAA – Iowa Cubs : 42 – 67.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Fourth Place: 22.0 Games Behind.
AA – Tennessee Smokies : 15-20
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 6.0 Games Behind
High A – Daytona Cubs : 16-21
Florida State League North Division – Sixth Place : 6.0 Games Behind
Low A – Peoria Chiefs : 15-20
Midwest League Eastern Division – Sixth Place : 6.0 Game Behind
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks : 4-2
Northwest League East Division – First Place (tie) : 0.0 Games Behind
Rookie League – AZL Cubs : 20 – 10
Arizona Rookie League East – Second Place : 1.0 Games Behind