I tend to think concerns over C.J. Edwards’ durability are premature, but those already invested in that aspect of his development will interested to know that he threw 95 pitches in yesterdays’ game. Four of the hits and three of the walks he allowed did come in his last three innings on the mound, something those who believe he should be moved to the bullpen could perhaps point to as evidence that he was rapidly tiring. Given that hitters typically do have better success the second time they see a pitcher in a game and that Edwards gave up just one extra base hit on the night (a double in the first), I don’t really find that argument compelling. For me, Edwards is a starter until he proves he isn’t, and limiting a Double A lineup to a single run on a day when he did not have his best control does not give me any reason to argue that he should head for the bullpen soon.
That’s not to say that I’m not interested in seeing how he holds up as he is asked to pitch deeper into games. That is one of the story lines on Edwards for this season, but I do think it is too early to be concerned by it. It is not uncommon for teams at any level to need to use their bullpens a little more this time of year. It will be a few more weeks before I start to give durability data on Edwards (or Corey Black) careful scrutiny.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa - The Cubs had a nice game on both sides of the ball as they won 6-1.
Tennessee - The Smokies took advantage of four Chattanooga errors on their way to a 3-1 home win.
Daytona - Daytona played a doubleheader yesterday, and lost them both. The final of the makeup game was 6-4, and they lost the schedule contest 1-0.
Kane County - Kane County played into extra innings again, but they lost to Fort Wayne 7-4 in ten.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Carlos Pimentel pitched a great game. Over 6 innings (85 pitches) he allowed just one run on a solo homer and struck out 10. Zac Rosscup struck out 4 more in his two innings of relief, and Marcus Hatley finished the game with two more strikeouts in his inning of work.
- [Iowa] Javier Baez had a two hit night, including a double, and struck out once.
- [Iowa] Josh Vitters, still batting cleanup, hit his second homer of the season, walked, and struck out once. Brett Jackson had two strikeouts, but he also launched his first home run of the year.
- [Tennessee] C.J. Edwards had a good, but not great, game. He struck out 5 in 5.2 innings, and allowed just one run on 5 hits, but he also walked 4.
- [Tennessee] P.J. Francescon and Jeffrey Lorick pitched well in relief, but once again it was Armando Rivero who nailed down the game. He struck out three in 1.1 hitless innings to notch his second save.
- [Tennessee] Stephen Bruno and Rafael Lopez both had two hits on the day. Lopez, with a double, had the team’s only extra base hit.
- [Daytona] Felix Pena pitched very effectively in the 1-0 contest for Daytona, allowing just the one run on 5 hits and striking out 5.
- [Daytona] Albert Almora finished the two games with three hits, all of them singles. Pin-Chieh Chen totaled two hits including a double, and Dan Vogelbach launched his first Vogelbomb of the year.
- [Kane County] Jacob Hannemann hit his first triple of the season. Given the positive reports of his speed coming from first hand observers (including this from Harry Pavlidis), I suspect we will be seeing quite a few more triples out of Hannemann.
- [Kane County] Paul Blackburn got the start and allowed 2 runs on 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4 over 5 innings. James Pugliese struck out 2 more in his 2.1 innings of relief.
- Rubi Silva earned his first walk of the season in yesterday’s game. That puts him on pace for 23 walks on the year, a figure that would represent a career high. Sample size issues make projecting a pace this early a fairly pointless endeavor, but who doesn’t like to have fun with early season stats?
- Kane County did not walk at all yesterday, but I like the fact that they struck out just four times. That probably is just one of those statistical flukes, but it is a statistical fluke that makes me smile.
- Dylan Heuer brings us more excellent photography from the Iowa Cubs game. Ever wanted to know what color of sunglasses is preferred by the Triple A Cubs? Click on over to find out! While you’re there, be sure to check out the picture of Vitters being congratulated on his home run as he rounds the bases. Have you ever seen a guy look so angry after hitting a home run? I haven’t. That’s Baez-swinging-at-a-pitch level of angry on his face, I think. And if Arismendy Alcantara ever releases a jazz album, that picture of him gazing off into the distance is destined to be on the album cover. Be sure to take a look at the full collection. Lots of good stuff there.