jorge soler cubsThere were two stories in the Cubs farm system yesterday that, on the surface anyway, could be considered candidates to be the headliner for the Daily. Only one was actually a significant story.

The true headliner from yesterday was the absolute gem of a game tossed by Kyle Hendricks in Tennessee. In Game Two of the doubleheader Hendricks took a no hitter into the sixth inning and finished with the nice line of 6 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 8K. For the season Hendricks has 23 Ks in 26 innings.

Hendricks, who came over with Christian Villanueva in the Ryan Dempster deal last year, was frequently overlooked during the off season prospect ranking season (I know I overlooked him), but he is rapidly emerging as a pitching prospect we cannot ignore. It is too early to start tossing around the “Breakout” label, but I will say his early season reminds quite a bit of the spring Robert Whitenack had a few years ago. If I were to redo my Top 40 today, Hendricks would be on it. I’m not sure where he would be on it, but he would be on it.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The wind was blowing out to left, and the run total shows it. The Cubs lost this slugfest 10-9.
Tennessee – Pitching was on display all day in the Smokies. Tennessee lost Game One 3-0, but won the nightcap by the exact same score.
Daytona – The rains arrived in Daytona, but only after enough ball had been played to secure Daytona a 2-1 win.
Kane County – Kane County also had a doubleheader on Monday, but they dropped both games. The final in Game One was 7-6, and Game Two ended 4-2.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins had another Logan Watkins kind of game. He reached three times on two hits and a walk. Brad Nelson and Ryan Sweeney also enjoyed multi-hit games.
  • [Iowa] Brett Jackson‘s home run meant this was his third straight game with an extra base hit. On the downside, he had two more strikeouts.
  • [Iowa] Despite the wild conditions, Blake Parker was able to strike out two as part of a hitless ninth.
  • [Tennessee] Hendricks gets the headlines for his pitching gem (and rightfully so), but don’t loose track of the other hero in that game. Jae-Hoon Ha sent fans home happy with a two out, three run blast in the bottom of the seventh. It was his first home run of the year.
  • [Tennessee] Tony Zych and Frank Batista both pitched well in relief in Game One. That is bad news for the rest of the Southern League. Once Tennessee irons out their bullpen issues, their one Achilles heel will be pretty much gone.
  • [Daytona] Dustin Geiger hit his third home run of the year for half the Cubs scoring, and John Andreoli knocked in the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth.
  • [Daytona] Keep an eye on Yeiper Castillo. He struck out eight in four innings of work in his first start of the season.
  • [Kane County] With a home run in both games Daniel Vogelbach raised his season total to four. Rock Shoulders also went long; it was his fifth of year.
  • [Kane County] Michael Heesch struck out seven in five innings in Game Two of the twin bill, but he also coughed up six hits and a walk.

Other News

  • Yes, Jorge Soler was benched as a disciplinary measure. As Brett indicated, though, there really is not much of a story here.* Players, even the highest rank of prospects, get benched in the minors just like anyone else when they deserve it. This does not mean that Soler is a bad person, a failed prospect, an expensive mistake, an irresponsible player, is too lazy to succeed, is too emotional to succeed, should be traded, will definitely be traded, or any of the other over reactions that, while perhaps understandable, really have no place in the conversation. It means he is a young baseball player in the minor leagues and, like any other young player, he has some work to do. It means that the Cubs have an organization that is going to do the best it can to make sure he, just like any other prospect, becomes as good as he can be. That’s pretty much it. This probably won’t be the last time he is benched, and he won’t be the only highly touted prospect in the organization (not to mention all the other organizations in the game) to be benched. I know it makes a juicier to story to spin it into a potential catastrophe or to paint Soler as a flawed personality on the edge of a spectacular flame out, but there really is nothing here. Prospects get benched. It happens. This just happens to be one of the very, very few cases where someone writes about it.
  • *[Brett: As it relates to Soler, specifically, I totally agree. It’s a non-story. As it relates to The Cubs Way, and sending the right messages to your young players, it’s a great story. But that’s not what Luke’s talking about.]
  • BluBlud

    John Andreoli just crossed the 600 PA level at Daytona. 601 to be exact.

    In 499 at-bats, he has 147 hits for a .294 average.
    92 BB and a .401 OBP and over a .780 OPS and has been on base 243 times.
    63 SB and 10 3B.

    He needs to be in Tennessee ASAP

    • Luke

      The Cubs really need to make some OF moves higher up in the organization. Ha, Szczur, Andreoli, Chen,and probably Solver could all stand to be promoted.

      • BluBlud

        I definitely agree. It good to see so many of our young OFers performing so well early in the season. The question is what do we do with Brett Jackson.

        • Luke

          He’s starting to heat up as well. Thanks to his toe injury, he’s about a week behind still.

      • Jp3

        Definetly Luke, I think Sweeney would be a nice 4th or 5th OF if we had room and as well as Bogusivic is swinging the bar maybe try to trade him for anything really but we know what he is and isn’t. Time to promote the AA guys and see what they do with fringe major league pitching in AAA. Rock S probably needs a bump with Vogelbach not far behind him.

      • Josh

        You will not see any moves until they trade 1-3 of their major league OFers. DeJesus, Soriano, and Schierholtz all could get moved before all is said and done (but let’s be honest, the likelihood of all 3 is low). When those moves happen then the carousel begins. Sweeney to MLB, Jackson to MLB, Ha and Sczuzr to AAA, Andreoli and Soler to AA, and so on. There is just to much of a logjam right now.

      • Spriggs

        Is “Solver” that Silva/Soler clone I heard they created? I would have prefered a Baez/Watkins clone.

        • Dynastyin2016

          What would you call that? ‘Bakins’?

          • BluBlud


  • Jp3

    Can we call Vogelbach McLovin? I think it’s an awesome nickname for him, if anyone has seen the movie Superbad. Anyways, he’s starting to drive the ball, 3 HRs in his last 6 games I believe. Not that I thought his power outage would last to start the season but its just nice to see him turning it on.

  • cubchymyst

    Compared to what happened with Yasiel Puig, Soler benching is small potatoes.

    The cubs have so many 4-5 types arms in the upper minors that the hope was one of them would show the possibility of being a little something more. It is good to see Hendricks start off as good as he is, hopefully he can keep it up.

  • JR

    To me the bigger concern than hustling for Soler is that he’s not crushing High A pitching. I know it’s early, but I had hoped this level would be pretty simple for him..

    • Luke

      He was crushing High A pitching before his suspension. He cooled off when he came back, but there are still no real warning signs in his numbers. He’s just in a bit of a slump right now.

      • JR

        Oh yeah, I’m not freaking out about his hitting. But rather just stating that what he does at the plate is way more important than hustling in my opinion.

  • Myles
  • Dynastyin2016

    Looking at the Iowa box from yesterday, I was shocked to see the name Neal Cotts. I had no idea he was still around. I had no idea he is just 33. Another Hendry move that didn’t quite work out.

  • Joepoe321

    I had Hendricks in my top 15 at the end of last year I thought he was going to be a stud so far so good…