jake arrietaJake Arrieta pitched 3.2 innings in the start for the Smokies yesterday. On a rehab assignment, Arrieta threw 66 pitches and allowed no runs on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4. This was his second rehab appearance with Tennessee, and between the two he has now struck out 7 over 6.2 innings without allowing a run.

Normally this would be about the time that I would project him moving up to Iowa for a start or two before heading to Chicago, but that Iowa rotation is so crowded the Cubs may opt to leave him in Tennessee. The Smokies rotation is also crowded, but at least with the Smokies they’ve already shuffled him into a slot.  I can’t really argue with either plan, but I suspect the Cubs will wait until he throws more than 90 pitches in a game before the call him north.

Speaking of pitchers making rehab starts – fans living near Eastern Tennessee may want to keep a careful eye on their schedules next week. Taijuan Walker, one of the best young pitchers in the game, has been sent to Jackson for a rehab assignment by Seattle. Jackson visits the Smokies next week. If you do get the chance to see Walker pitch while the Generals are in town, I strongly recommend you take it. It isn’t too often you can see pitchers of his potential for the price of a minor league ticket.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Iowa climbed back to .500 with this 5-1 win.
Tennessee - The Smokies were shut out, 1-0.
Daytona - It was not a good day in Daytona as the Cubs lost 12-2.
Kane County - Kane County moved to one game over .500 with this 7-5 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Kyle Hendricks pitched a good one. Over 7 innings he allowed a walk and 5 hits while striking out 5. Neil Ramirez struck out one in the eighth and Blake Parker fanned two more in the ninth to preserve the win.
  • [Iowa] Matt Szczur singled twice and stole a base for the Cubs. Batting second was Arismendy Alcantara who doubled and singled. Chris Valaika also had a two hit game that included a double.
  • [Iowa] He had just one hit, but that hit happened to be the second homer of the season for Javier Baez. He also struck out once.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters had another good game. He scored twice on a single and two walks while striking out once.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva walked twice. No joke. The outfielder whose 2013 season was marred only by his inability to take a walk has now walked three times in his last two games. He also stole his first base of the year.
  • [Tennessee] Stephen Bruno (double and a walk) had the only extra base hit for the Smokies. Zeke DeVoss and John Andreoli joined Silva in chipping in a steal, and Kris Bryant matched Silva by walking twice.
  • [Tennessee] On the mound, the Smokies were actually fairly effective. After Arrieta’s start, Lendy Castillo pitched a third of an inning and then handed the ball to Dae-Eun Rhee for 4.2. Rhee was charged with the only run of the night, but finished with a line of 4 H, 1R, 1 BB, 3 K. That’s really not bad at all. Tony Zych got the final out.
  • [Daytona] On an ugly day for Daytona, one bright spot was Bijan Rademacher. He finished 3 for 3 (all singles) with a walk. He was the only Cub to come up with a multi-hit game.
  • [Daytona] Tayler Scott had a very bad day. He lasted just 3 innings, and in that time coughed up 8 runs (only 4 of them earned) on 11 hits and 3 walks. He struck out just two. Austin Kirk and Austin Reed gave up two runs each.
  • [Daytona] The only Daytona pitcher who did not give up a run? Arodys Vizcaino. No hits, one walk, one strikeout, and his ERA remains flawless.
  • [Kane County] The good news is that Tyler Skulina struck out 6 over 5.2 innings. The bad news is that he also allowed 6 hits and a walk, and gave up 5 runs as a result. Justin Amlung followed up Skulina with 2.1 innings of scoreless ball, and Tyler Bremer pitched the ninth for his first save.
  • [Kane County] Carlos Penalver was batting second in this game, and he doubled, singled, and stole his third base of the season. Daniel Lockhart, the leadoff hitter, also finished 2 for 5 with two singles.

Other News

  • Even though they managed no runs, the Smokies walked seven times as compared to seven strikeouts. Normally I like seeing a team have as many or more walks in a game than strikeouts. It doesn’t often happen that a team walks seven times while being shut out, so all in all I’ll still take that as a good sign.
  • Kane County also matched their walks to their strikeouts with 5 in each column. Good times.
  • Yasiel Balaguert finished the day with 3 RBIs, but he did so despite his lone hit being a single, not walking in a run, and not hitting a sacrifice. The first RBI came when Balaguert reached on an error in the first inning and two runs scored on the play. His other two RBIs came in the second when he singled to center and plated two runners in the process. He actually factored into another run, as he was at the plate in the second when a wild pitch allowed Trey Martin to score.
  • Ready for more of Dylan Heuer’s photographs of the Iowa Cubs in action? Well, here you are! This edition features a cool shot of a golden domed building in the background, a Javier Baez home run just milliseconds before the ball hits the bat, the same Javier Baez home run apparently just after what was probably the bat flip to end all bat flips, and more pictures of Josh Vitters looking angry after doing good things. And for a special challenge for those of you who fancy yourselves baseball experts – Look at the next to last shot on that page. What pitch would you say Blake Parker was throwing?
  • ssckelley

    Looks like a split finger fastball to me. But what is really impressive is that he is singing while throwing it.

    • nate1m

      Oh come on. That’s a grunt-yell. It adds 3mph to any pitch and makes a curve or splitter dive like crazy out of pure fear. Everybody knows that

      • Edwin

        Very true. The sound waves affect the flight of the ball.

        • Funn Dave

          Just ask Venus and Serena Williams.

  • nate1m

    It is rapidly becoming apparent that there is nothing Vitters can do in Iowa to prove himself. I don’t know if he can play in the majors but he has three years of hitting in AAA that look good. I don’t know what else you can say.

    • jp3

      I guess he could stay healthy and play 130 games one year but you’re right there isn’t much left to prove as far as statistically speaking wise.

      • nate1m

        I agree with the health but I don’t think they wait the year out to see if he can stay healthy

    • ssckelley

      I agree, but right now I think the issue is finding a place for him to play at the MLB level. Unless an early trade gets made I doubt we see Vitters until after the TDL. IMO, Ruggiano is creating the biggest road block for Vitters.

      • TK

        I don’t all of our OF are going to stick. I could easily see an OF or 2 going away before very long. Also, if they ever let Olt play REGULARLY and he flops, he could possibly be sent down. If there’s 1 thing that should be consistent this year, its that our roster has the ability to remain fluid, and should do so as necessary.

    • Blackhawks1963


      1. He can learn how to play the outfield to a capable enough level
      2. He can demonstrate the ability to stay healthy for a change

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        I’m not sure the ability to stay healthy is actually an ability that can be demonstrated, but he can certainly show that he is healthy now.

        And repetitions in the OF are good too.

  • Edwin

    Very nice picture of the splitter. Brooks Baseball also confirms that it’s a splitter, although he throws them quite rarely.

    • Ron

      Nice, I was thinking 2 seam fastball but his fingers would be together I think. What is Hendricks throwing in the first picture a circle change?

      • Edwin

        Could be, but with the ball already being that far out it’s hard to know for sure. I’m not very good at that type of thing anyways. The only reason I’m confident Parker’s is a splitter is because the picture is right as the ball is leaving the hand, and because Brooks Baseball confirms that Parker throws a splitter.

        You’re right about the 2 seam having the fingers closer together:


        • Ron

          Nice, thanks.

  • jp3

    Whatever pitch it is that face may start tipping that pitch.

    • Petey28

      I think he does that with most pitches

  • Petey28

    Dylan Heuer tweeted this out after the Baez bomb; I got a good chuckle:

    Javy pimped that one so good that McCann is on his way here now.— Dylan Heuer (@dylan_heuer) April 10, 2014

  • thrilho

    “After a strong 2014 debut, Tyler Skulina once again started strong, allowing just one run through 5.2 innings before unraveling with one out to go in the 6th. It spoiled what whould have otherwise been another strong outing. Skulina allowed 3 straight hits and had 4 baserunners score after he coudn’t get that last out. Still, we have to be encouraged by his start so far. Skulina allowed 5 runs in 5.2 innings in this outing, walking one and striking out 6. He still got the win.”

    That’s from Arguello at Cubs Den. There have been a few other starts this year the have been great but the last inning killed the stats. Tseung had one of these the other day. I love the wrap, but it would be great to hear about this kind of stuff that you can’t find in the box.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      You can find it in the box – it’s even linked for you.

      In this particular case, click on the score link for Kane County in the “Scores from Yesterday” section. That will pull up the box score for the game. In the upper right of that page there is a link that says “Recap”. Click that.

      And now you have a play by play log everything that happened in the game, including how Skulina finished up.

      • thrilho

        That was kind of my point. Anyone can click the box score and find out that Alcantara was 2-4 with a double. I was trying to note that it I like the way Arguello provides a lot that you can’t get from the box score.

        I know it’s a lot of work to accumulate this, but if you were monitoring the game and knew he wore down at the end, you could pass it on. Or if you were watching the game and knew what kind of stuff a pitcher was working with. That’s the kind of stuff that I think adds a lot of value.

        Again, this is great, so not trying to be a negative Nancy, but just trying to provide some customer feedback.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          The exact information you mentioned Arguello providing is in the “Recap” section of the box score page I link to. The directions I gave were for accessing that information.

          I get requests to include more information like this from time to time, along with more stats on the individual players, the start time and starting pitcher for the next game for each time, links to the radio feed, the upcoming schedule of games, and more.

          If I provided all of that, these articles would take most of my day to write and would be so long no one would ever read them.

          Instead, I try to link to any information you may want that I don’t provide in the article.

          What more player stats? Click the player name.
          Want to know who is pitching today? Click on the team name.
          Want specific play-by-play information? Click the box score and pull up the recap.
          Want video replays? The best I can do there is the team pages, but I’m always looking for more and better sources.

          I agree it would be great if I could combine all that information for all the games in the Daily itself. But if I can give readers the links to allow you to access it easily, that’s proven to be a workable compromise.

          I’m always looking for feedback on the Daily, though, and I appreciate the comments.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Getting Arrieta back into the starting rotation will be a good thing. Villenueva can move back to the bullpen and, hopefully, stabilize a big weakness right now.

    I hope Schlitter is shipped back to Iowa in the process. And that if Russell and Wright continue to be flaming piles of dung, that Neal Ramirez and Zach Rosscup are on the way to Chicago.

  • David

    My prediction….. cubs will a .500 team in the 2nd half of the year.

  • wkranz

    Really enjoying the pictures! Dylan Heuer, you are insane! Great stuff.

  • Jon

    I get trying to keep his arm warm, but at this point Vizcaino is just a men among boys done in Daytona. I’m not sure how much more productive that can be going forward.

    • CubFan Paul

      “I get trying to keep his arm warm”

      Yeah, there’s all kinds of specialized Under Armour for that, especially for athletes.

      Keeping guys in the south, early season should be moot now

      • bnile1


        Is there a service time consideration here for Vizcaino as far as arbitration eligibility(ala Rizzo). I suspect if there is that Vizcainos rehab will likley end Just after that deadline. Not that there is anything wrong with that, there’s no need to rush him back after being out 2 years, but for a frame of referrrence, it would provide a pretty reasonable “arrival” date.

        • ssckelley

          According to BR he already has 2 years and 50 days of service time, I doubt they screw around with him over service time.

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

        You do realize it’s going to be in the 30′s and 40′s again in the Midwest next week?

        Right now, he is pitching in June-type weather. No sense in trying to have him throw when it’s 40 degrees and a 30 degree wind chill.

        • CubFan Paul

          Under Armour.

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

            It helps but pitching in 80 degree weather > than 40 degree weather + Under Armour.

            For Vizcaino, it’s just about getting work in and not getting an injury. The best place to do that is in the minors and somewhere warm. There will be 4 months of warm weather where he can get work in against better opponents.

  • Unlucky 13

    “It isn’t too often you can see pitchers of his potential for the price of a minor league ticket.”

    I actually paid more for tickets to the Smokies (about $7), than I did for the Pirates (about $5 outfield) two summers ago! MLB prices vary wildly, I know.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I suspect you had better seats at the Smokies game, though.

  • scorecardpaul

    I agree, I love the pictures. Nicely done!

  • miggy80

    Luke, that gold domed building is the Capital building. They give free tours, if you’re in town I would check it out.

    • ssckelley

      I agree, our capital building is neat if you get into old buildings and artwork. You are able to walk through the governors office and take pictures. Well worth the time to get a tour.

      • miggy80

        My favorite part is the Library.


        • headscratchin

          That IS a beautiful old building!

      • Alan Griffin

        People shouldn’t underestimate Iowa. The Capitol is a palace. That is real gold-leaf adorning every inch of the dome. I always took it for granted when I was a kid, but I’d truly like to see it’s rival. That goes for state capitols and national ones. What a work of art.

        • Edwin

          I’ve always enjoyed Wisconsin’s. One of my goals is to visit more state capitals on road trips. Iowa looks great.

  • MightyBear

    Has anybody heard what the plan is for Arodys Vizcaino? Is he just going to stay in high A and dominate hitters that are three levels below where he should be? Anybody? Beuhler? Beuhler?

    • Edwin

      I wouldn’t say he’s dominating hitters at this point. 3 IP, 1 BB, 2 K’s. I’d assume the plan with Vizcaino is to put him wherever they think he can get the most reliable IP to build up arm strength, get back into form, and see how he handles pitching back to back days. Who knows, weather might also play a factor.

  • 5412


    Leave Arrieta in TN until it gets warmer.


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