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happy kid at computerThe four full season leagues (that would be Triple A, Double A, High A, and Low A for those new to following the minor leagues) got underway yesterday, and that means the Minor League Daily is back. [Brett: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEeeee!!!!!]

If you haven’t read it already, you might kick off your 2014 minor league coverage by looking over the 2014 edition of the Bleacher Nation Top 40 Prospects List.

Or, if you’re the impatient type, you can dive directly into last nights’ results.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Iowa did not have a good day. The were blown out in their home opener 10-2.
Tennessee - The Smokies gave up two runs late to fall on the road 6-5.
Daytona - Daytona lost a close one on the road, 1-0.
Kane County - The Cougars opened their season with road win, beating Quad Cities 8-4.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters and Christian Villanueva got their seasons off to good starts. Vitters finished 2 for 4 with his first homer of the season, and Villanueva doubled on his way to a 2 for 4 night.
  • [Iowa] Javier Baez and Brett Jackson, on the other hand, were both hitless. Between them they accounted for 5 of the team’s 8 strikeouts (3 of those for Jackson). Baez did draw a walk, though. He also had a throwing error. Still, the walk.
  • [Iowa] The best news on the mound for the Cubs was Yoanner Negrin. Over three and a third scoreless he struck out four and allowed just one hit.
  • [Tennessee] Zeke DeVoss led off, played center field, and had the only multi hit day for the Smokies. Even better, one of those hits was a triple. Maybe that No. 37 ranking was a little low…
  • [Tennessee] Kris Bryant got his first Double A homer off Mat Latos, and then got his first Double A hit by pitch, also off Mat Latos. I wonder what Latos will do when Bryant homers off him in the majors. Charge the plate?
  • [Tennessee] And after Bryant got hit? He stole second. Because that’s what 6’5″, 215 lbs sluggers do, of course. Stephen Bruno and John Andreoli also had steals in that game.
  • [Tennessee] Jorge Soler doubled in his one at bat, and then left the game with some hamstring tightness. After the game it appeared the move was more precautionary than a sign of a serious issue, though Soler did miss time late in Spring Training with a hamstring issue. We’ll see what happens.
  • [Daytona] There was not a lot of offense for the Cubs last night. Gioskar Amaya had two singles and a walk, but his was the only multi hit game. Amaya also stole a base.
  • [Daytona] Dan Vogelbach and Jeimer Candelario did both reach base twice, though, with a single and a walk each.
  • [Daytona] Felix Pena had a very nice start for the Cubs. Over 6 innings the right hander struck out three and allowed just one run on three hits and a walk.
  • [Daytona] Zach Cates followed with two strikeouts in a scoreless frame. Arodys Vizcaino allowed just one hit in his scoreless inning.
  • [Kane County] There were some steals in this Cougars game. Trey Martin had one, Carlos Penalver had two, and Danny Lockhart got caught in his one attempt.
  • [Kane County] Yasiel Balaguert led the Kane County offense with 4 hits, including 3 doubles. Jacob Hannemann had a pair of singles and Penalver had 3 singles and a walk.
  • [Kane County] Paul Blackburn allowed 9 hits in his 4 inning start, but he limited the damage to just 4 runs in part by not allowing a walk. Nathan Dorris and James Pugliese each pitched two scoreless frames in relief, and Jose Arias pitched one. Combined the four pitchers struck out 10.

Other News

  • Iowa also had some not so good pitching performances yesterday. Chris Rusin did not get out of the fourth inning in a miserable start, and Casey Coleman gave up as many runs as Rusin did in just a single inning a little later. This one outing does not hurt their long term status with the Cubs any, or not much, but it is never good to see pitchers open the season with rough games.
  • The drilling of Bryant was the lowlight in what was an otherwise a miserable night for Mat Latos. Over four innings the Cubs Double A lineup lit him up for 5 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 2 walks. He struck out just three. Let’s hope he has that same stuff when he returns to the majors.
  • Friend of the site and baseball photographer extraordinare Dylan Heuer was at the Iowa Cubs opener and he once again got some fantastic pictures. You should definitely take a look at these photos, if nothing else to marvel at how small Alcantara looks in that third shot. And the fifth shot. I’ve watched him play a few times and I never realized he was that small. He plays bigger than that, if that’s a thing. Is that a thing?
  • And, seriously, how awesome is it that Bryant took Latos long, and then got revenge for being deliberately hit by stealing second? If that’s not part of the Cubs’ Way handbook, then Jed needs to get on the phone to the printer and order up a new edition. That’s what I call baseball revenge done right.
  • Sandberg

    I am stoked!

    • Diehardthefirst

      Check ur blood pressure

  • Diehardthefirst

    Your idea of trading Castro for 3 good minor league pitchers may get traction if the change of scenery reason rises and minor league pitching falls

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Nice try diehard, but I don’t recall ever specifying the exact return the Cubs should get in a trade. That sounds more like something you would do.

      • Cizzle

        He said that yesterday.

        • C. Steadman

          and the day before that

  • http://www.w2wn.net Cerambam

    This is one of my favorite parts of BN, glad to see it back.

    • Cubbie in NC

      I have missed these as well

    • half_full_beer_mug

      I had to look at the formatting twice, for a minute I thought you were talking about Diehard comments.

  • scorecardpaul

    Dylan Heuer is one fantastic photographer. Thanks for the great pics. I almost feel like I was at the game. fun fact… Ardsma is alphabetically the first player for lots of teams in the majors.
    Thanks again Luke, yesterdays article was awesome!

    • Spriggs

      Totally agree about Dylan being fantastic. Today’s photos top the ones from yesterday! Just awesome stuff.

      (Fun Fact II: “Not if he spelled it like that!”)

  • Edwin

    Did Latos seriously hit Bryant for hitting a HR? What an ass.

    • baldtaxguy

      If it was a Cub pitcher hitting an opponent after a HR….?

      • Jon

        But, it wasn’t . And it’s bush league no matter the team

        • baldtaxguy

          Meh. It’s not.

          • Edwin

            Intentionally throwing a baseball at 90+ to hit someone becuase of them hitting a home run is being a big baby.

            • Jon

              I call it being a “Beth Murphy”

              • Edwin

                Being a Beth Murphy would be saying telling the batter that they’re not allowed to hit HR off you because of that agreement you signed with one of their teammates a few seasons back.

                • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

                  Mon being a Beth Murphy would be whining about how the other player can’t hit a home run because you are the pitcher. There’s an unwritten rule that the little pitcher – Witcher can’t have players take advantage of him and hit home runs. It unfair! Then to prove the point you rummage through their trash every day hoping to find something to make the hitter looks bad.

          • Edwin

            So explain to me, what part about a pitcher hitting a batter after that batter has hit a HR off them earlier is ok?

            • baldtaxguy

              I said it was “Ok?” Expecting a pitch inside after a homerun, and a greater possibility of getting hit by that inside pitch, happens quite a bit. Byrant made the most of it, and Latos is otherwise a jag, but….overblown.

              • Edwin

                I’m fine with a pitcher pitching inside. If that was the case, then whatevs. But if Latos intentionally decided to plant a fastball in Bryants back, it’s an asshole move.

          • Jon

            I suck at my job. I can’t get you out. So here, I’ll bean you.

          • half_full_beer_mug

            Before we dismiss it out of hand, it would help to know HOW he hit him. If it was truly intentional then it’s Bush League, if it was a pitch that got away not so much.

            Not to mention he wanted nothing to do with him after the 1st, after the HBP he walked.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              A warning was immediately issued, so it was probably intentional.

      • Edwin

        Then the Cub pitcher would be an ass.

        • baldtaxguy

          Right.

  • baldtaxguy

    Bryant’s stealing 2b after the HBP is pretty cool, but the HBP is getting a bit overplayed.

    • ssckelley

      You have made this point about 3 times now. Obviously you think it is fine that a MLB pitcher beans a minor league player with a 90+ mph fastball simply because the minor league player knocked a homer off you. Then you turn around and think we would be fine with it if it was a Cubs pitcher! You must be new here, stuff like this does not set well with most of the frequent Cub fans that visit this site. People here still bring up what Soler did over a year ago.

      • baldtaxguy

        Only your first and last sentence is correct.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Uhh there’s no crying in baseball — don’t get mad- get even

    • JCubs79

      I wish you were the GM of the Cubs Diehard. For real.

      • mjhurdle

        I have a feeling that, if DieHard was the GM of the Cubs, his version of the International Free Agency would be signing a bunch of Cricket players out of England and India because they show good rotation and quick hands through the zone.

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          He’d get busted trying to bribe someone so all the IFA’s come to the Cubs. He’d claim that was what MLB does and he is just the fall guy.

        • ssckelley

          I wonder who would be playing shortstop? Because Castro would have been gone for a bag of balls awhile a go.

          • Chef Brian

            If it was up to Diehard, Castro would be manning CF and then after he failed would be traded for a bag of balls.

        • ssckelley

          Shark would have been traded to the Braves for that fringy minor league guy. Nick Struck would have been our opening day starter, probably for the 2nd year in a row.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Was anyone else having issues attempting to watch the Kane County and Tennessee games on MiLB.tv last night? I paid a pretty penny to be able to view it on my laptop… because I was upgrading to iOS 7 so I could download the app to watch it on my phone. Ugh. Technology… the new “women” (can’t live with it, can’t live without it).

    • Eric

      yes I had some. Didn’t load most of the time. Got it once or twice. Not much issue with Iowa. I thought it was my adblocker so I disabled that temporarily and I got Tennessee to load once.

  • MoneyBoy

    I believe I read elsewhere that Bryant stood for a moment or two and admired his HR. Not that it’s justified but it might explain why he got plunked next AB.

    • half_full_beer_mug

      a moment or two? or a second or two? The first, yeah he night deserve a message pitch. The second, pretty much every hitter with a long swing does this now-a-days.

    • Edwin

      I don’t even like it when pitchers use that as the justification. If a player crushes a HR, I have no problem with them admiring it for a few moments. It’s an exciting play.

      • CubChymyst

        I’m not a fan of hitters admiring the home runs, but for a pitcher to hit them because of it is stupid. I see no difference between a batter admiring a home run and a pitcher go crazy after a strike out to end an inning.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Tactically, it is just dumb, anyway. Don’t give the other team free base runners!

      • CubChymyst

        Luke, Vitters might make your ranking of him look pretty good by years end.

  • CubsFaninMS

    Yes, Mat Latos got lit up, but it’s still exciting to see Bryant hit his first AA home run off of a LEGIT Major League pitcher. Now that we all know the history behind these two, I will be giggling like a little girl when he smashes one onto Waveland off of Latos in a year or two. And how does a 6’5 215-lb human being get his wheels turning fast enough to gain moment to steal a bag? The fact that Bryant has “moderate” speed is impressive given his size (IMO).

  • TommyK

    Dear Baez. Please stop striking out so much. It gives me nightmares.

  • C. Steadman

    I wonder if the SB came off a bunt attempt or fake bunt by Andreoli…can mess up the catcher a tad enough to give Bryant the advantage…if it was a straight steal then that’s really impressive given that the pitcher(Latos) and catcher(Devin Mesoraco) will both be playing in Cincinnati in a few weeks.

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  • dAn

    Eli Whiteside has lovely fingernail polish.

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