kane county cougarsThere were just two games in the farm system yesterday. Hopefully these few-game days are few and far between in the coming days. I suspect I might be watching a bit more baseball than I really plan on soon.

Over the past week roughly half the people in my department at work have gotten sick, and yesterday my wife came down with something. I suspect I’m doomed.

Keep in mind that we had a very long, very cold, very snowy winter here in Baltimore (just like the entire Midwest did) and I did not get anything more than a mild cold. Now that the weather warms up a bit and spring looks like it might be here to stay, on come the diseases.

At least it waited until baseball season was underway. If I’m going to be sick, I’d rather be sick when I can enjoy a half a dozen ball games a day than when there is no baseball. Hacking up a lung is never fun, but it’s less un-fun when you’re doing it between innings.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa lost at home 4-1.
Tennessee – The Smokies were traveling yesterday, or rather were recovering from traveling from Pensacola to Kodak by bus. That’s ten hours, by the way. That’s the minors.
Daytona – Daytona was postponed due to inclement weather.
Kane County – The Cougars took advantage of 5 Fort Wayne errors on their way to a 4-3 win in twelve innings.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] The Marcos Mateo recovery tour continues. Mateo struck out one in a hitless inning of relief as he looks to rebound from injuries and get back to the Chicago bullpen.
  • [Iowa] Chris Rusin had a decent start. Through 6 innings he allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 7 hits while striking out five. On the less good side of things, four of those seven hits went for extra bases.
  • [Iowa] Christian Villanueva doubled and scored the Cubs only run in this game.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Hannemann picked up two more hits and his fourth steal on his way to a 2 for 5 night. Trey Martin doubled and swiped his second base of the year.
  • [Kane County] Jen-Ho Tseng had some great stuff according to the observers; his stat line reads 5 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 5 K. The best part? Only one of those hits went for extra bases. A guy who doesn’t walk anyone and gives up just singles is going to keep his team in the game nearly every night.
  • [Kane County] Gerardo Concepcion pitched three good innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three. Tyler Bremer fanned two in his two hitless innings of relief, and Zack Godley got the win with two innings of one hit ball.

Other News

  • Other Iowa players you are probably interested in: Javier Baez finished 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts and a throwing error, Brett Jackson finished 1 for 3 with a strikeout, and Josh Vitters did not play even though the manager indicated pre-game that he could be available for pinch hitting duty if necessary.
  • It is way too early for stats to mean anything, but let’s take a look at them anyway. The farm system leader in batting average right now is Daytona second baseman Gioskar Amaya with an even .500. Ben Carhart, the converted catcher playing for the Cougars, comes in second at .375. Kris Bryant (.692) leads the system in slugging over Vitters (.647) and Jeimer Candelario (.643). Meanwhile, on the mound, Tayler Scott (0.430), C.J. Edwards (0.500) and Tyler Skulina (0.500) lead the pack in WHIP. Again, these numbers are basically meaningless right now, but fun to look at all the same. [Brett: Agreed. Fun is fun, damn it.]
  • ssckelley

    A good first start for Tseng, I think, they did not score on him until the 5th inning. Very encouraging outing for Concepcion, pretty much dominating the hitters for 3 innings last night.

    • cms0101

      Tseng looked real good. He started to run out of gas in the 5th inning, but he had a nice fastball, good breaking stuff, and he did not want to walk anyone. Many of the hits he gave up early in the game were on full counts or at least with ball 3 on the hitter. Then he’d groove one down the middle and the batters would single. The last inning he gave up a deep extra base hit, but it was clear he was at the end of the line. And I’d have to agree with earlier commenters that Concepcion looked good too. He had a nice curve, was hitting upper 80’s – low 90’s on the fastball. And he showed command of the strikezone. In posts earlier this week we were all throwing him away, but the pitcher I saw last night can certainly be salvaged at 21-22 years old. Too bad the Cougars rotation is stacked right now, because I’d like to seem him start at some point. Hopefully some of these guys push their way up. Not a ton of offense to speak of on this team though. Hanneman looked ok. Balaguert seems to be the only live bat in that lineup worth watching at this point. Watching this team will be all about the pitching this year, versus Almora, Vogelbach, Candelario, etc. last season.

      • MightyBear

        Kyle better pray Concepcion doesn’t make it to the Cubs bullpen effectively.

        • DarthHater

          Why? He’d just change his position and say: “I was wrong then, but I’m right now.” 😛

          • Edwin

            …and? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?

  • Don Eaddy

    please dont group baez with a pair of former top prospects when he is struggling….thank you!

  • CubChymyst

    Concepcion could be interesting this year. He had mono either last year or the year before. If he is back to full health a decent season is a possibility. Hannemann is making that 3rd round pick look good so far.

    • ssckelley

      If Hannemann keeps hitting he will not stay at Kane County very long. I think they want to get him to Daytona as soon as possible.

      • Jon

        To sit behind Almora?

        • ssckelley

          Of course not, gee that was dumb to even suggest that.

          Almora sits behind Hannemann…….DUH!!!!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          If Almora and Hannemann were on the same team at the same time, one would just slide over to a corner slot. Likely they’d both get time in center. Wouldn’t be a problem.

          • ssckelley

            Hopefully Almora does not stick around Daytona for very long either.

            Hopefully Hannemann gets that K rate down.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              Way too early in the season to be worried about Hannemann’s K%.

          • Webb

            If Almora and Hannemann were in the same outfield there wouldn’t be a need for corner spots! You could play 5 infielders and they’d still blanket the outfield!

          • Jon

            For both those guys, everything about them profiles best as a CF. I can’t see them moving either off the position unless absolute necessary. No reason Hanneman just can’t hang out a level below Almora.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              Playing part time in center and part time in right while in the minors is not the same thing as moving off the position permanently. The Cubs could do that and both guys would still be considered center field prospects.

        • CubChymyst

          He could always play some RF or LF if needed

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      No one going to mention Hannemann’s near 50% K rate?

      • ssckelley



      • JCubs79

        Through 5 games Brett? No reason too. (If this is sarcastic, my bad)

      • CubChymyst

        I saw that but last year he K% rate was under 20.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Yeah, I was like 75% joking.

        • ssckelley

          Lies!!!! You have been doing this to us all season long. You told me that Bryant was going to hit like 300 homers.

  • ari gold

    serious question, but doesn’t K and BB rates begin to normalize around 50 AB’s?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      In the majors, that seems to be the trend.

      I’m less sure about the minors. It isn’t uncommon to see a player struggle for a few weeks at a new level (which, keep in mind, means new teammates, coaches, stadium, fans, and bed as well as more difficult competition), and those struggles don’t always clear up in time for a norm to be established after 50 PA.

      Individual player improvement also throws a wrench in the works that we don’t have to account for at the major league level.

      After 50 PA I start to watch more carefully, but I usually don’t start treating numbers from the minors as being statistically valid until we have 100 PA or so. Sometimes more depending on the situation. And even then we can’t assume that today’s 100 PA numbers will be next months. As we saw dramatically with Baez last season, players do make adjustments and improve during the season in the minors, so it can come in handy to keep an eye on the delta as well as the overall statistical picture.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        I’m with Luke. I try not to worry about rates until 100 PA, and even then, it’s just a start. So much adjusting takes place.

  • GoCubsGo

    Really love these and look forward to them almost more than the MLB stuff with this year being basically a throw away.

    Fun is fun!

    • TimBeam

      “Fun is fun!” is officially the BN motto of the 2014 Chicago Cubs season.


  • C. Steadman

    Any BN’ers going to the Kane County game this Saturday?…I’m thinking I might and wouldn’t mind someone to talk to since it’ll just be me going if I do…Paniagua is the tentative starter

  • ssckelley

    No but I am trying to talk my wife into heading to Chicago The following weekend. Ticket prices are really good on stubhub. I am not sure if I can talk her into watching a game in 50 degree weather, seems reasonable to me.

    • C. Steadman

      I took my fiance to a Cubs game in April last year because tickets were only 8 bucks for infield terrace…we soon learned why they were only $8…real chilly…the forecast looks good for Saturday and 5th Third Ballpark is only 40 minutes from my apartment so I’m heavily considering it

      • ssckelley

        I was wondering if there is a better side to sit on to maximize the afternoon sun.

        • YourResidentJag

          1b side–I believe.

          • C. Steadman

            Yeah, 1B side…RF Outfield terrace will stay in the sun longest

          • ssckelley

            Thanks, I was wondering if that was the reason why there are so many 3rd base side available.