The 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.
- 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.