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can rainYesterday was a sad day for the Cubs farm system.

  • It rained out Iowa.
  • It rained out Kane County.
  • Tennessee lost the game in the ninth inning.
  • Daytona wasted a complete game pitching performance and was shut out.
  • Albert Almora left the game early.
  • If you were at one of those games, your hot dog probably fell in the mud. It was just one of those bad, bad days.

Some good news appeared immediately, though. While Almora left early with a nosebleed, the rumors that he was dealing with a more serious issue were quickly squashed. As confirmed by the Daytona Cubs on Twitter, all Almora had was a bloody nose.

When a bloody nose qualifies as the highlight of the day, you know it’s been a terrible day.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – It was raining in Memphis, and this game was postponed.
Tennessee – The Smokies gave up three runs in the ninth to lose 6-4.
Daytona – Daytona held Dunedin to just three hits, but it wasn’t enough. The Cubs lost 1-0.
Kane County – It was also raining in Bowling Green, and this game did not happen either.

Performances of Note

  • [Tennessee] C.J. Edwards struck out 7 over 5 innings and 80 pitches, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk. Those concerned about his durability might be interested to note that two of those strikeouts came in his fifth and final inning, including one on his final pitch. Two of the runs came on bloopers and dinkers, too.
  • [Tennessee] Austin Kirk also pitched well. Through 2.1 innings of relief he allowed just two hits. Tony Zych finished off the game, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and ultimately blowing the save.
  • [Tennessee] The offense in this game was provided by Kris Bryant (a double), Dustin Geiger (a double and a homer), and Rafael Lopez (a single and a homer).
  • [Daytona] Tim Saunders accounted for half of Daytona’s hits, and his double was the Cubs lone extra base hit. He finished 3 for 5 with a pair of strikeouts.
  • [Daytona] Dan Vogelbach picked up two hits in this game. That makes Monday his first multi-hit game of 2014. Chadd Krist had the other hit for the Cubs, and also reached on a walk.
  • [Daytona] The star of the night was Felix Pena. The Cubs right handed starter put on a clinic of pitching efficiency. He pitched all 8 innings, allowed a run on just 3 hits and 2 walks, struck out one, and needed only 75 pitches to do it.

Other News

  • Felix Pena is the current best example of how worthless wins and losses are as a pitching stat. His record this season is 0-3, but in those three games and 20 innings he’s allowed a total of 3 runs on 11 hits and 3 walks. That means this winless pitcher has an ERA of 1.35, a WHIP of 0.700, and is holding opposing hitters to just a .162 average. That is a very, very good start to the season no matter what the pitching W/L column says. I can’t fault a pitcher for getting absolutely no run support, and that is exactly what Pena’s Win-Loss record does. Wins are the single most important team stat, but they are useless when used as a tool to evaluate pitchers.
  • Interestingly, as much success as Pena is having this spring (sample size alerts apply), he is doing it largely without the strikeout. We know that strikeouts are not the most efficient way to get outs, and if a pitcher is focused on keeping down his pitch count and working deep into games he will go after weak contact rather than trying to strike every one out. What we don’t know, though, is if a pitcher who does not rack up the strikeouts in the minors is doing so out of a desire to be efficient, or because he lacks excellent swing-and-miss stuff. History hasn’t exactly been kind to pitchers who posted lower K/9 numbers in their minor league campaigns. Despite that history, though, it is hard to deny that Pena is doing quite well. He has never racked up the strikeouts at any level, but here he is mowing through High-A lineups anyway. At this stage I think he’s worth keeping an eye on, but not someone we need to elevate on pitching prospect charts just yet. If he eventually recreates this success in Double A, though, we may have reconsider that verdict.
  • Sandberg

    Pena obviously does not have TWTW.

  • nate1m

    Come on Luke. Its way to earlier to get people riled up like that.

  • Spoda17

    I’ve noticed last year and now this year… I know we have some power hitters, but the Cubs minor leagues hit a lot of home runs. I watch the Wilkes-Barry Scranton Yankees quite often, and I just don’t recall many home runs they hit…

    I wonder how we ranked last year and now this year in home runs hit in the minors compared to other organizations…

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    You know what the weather is like in Baltimore this morning? Rain.

    Lots of it, actually.

    • Spoda17

      …lots of rain in northeast PA also… since last night… and very windy…

    • Funn Dave

      You know what the weather is like in Wisconsin this morning? Snow.

      Enough of it to coat the ground, actually.

      • Edwin

        Yeah, I’m in Milwaukee. Not fun.

        • Boogens

          Not fun because it’s Milwaukee or because it’s snowing? ;-)

      • Brocktoon

        There was ground cover last night in Chicago. Woke up at 2 to try and catch the eclipse, found snow on the ground, and clouds blocking my view.

  • Edwin

    If a pitcher wants to keep their pitch count down, they should focus on cutting down walks.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Pena did that too. Just two walks yesterday.

  • Jon

    Sounds like Cubs/Yanks will have to be a day/night DH tomorrow

  • Spriggs

    What’s wrong with Amaya? I haven’t seen his name in a box score recently (Rizzo doesn’t know)

    • ced landrum

      I saw he was taken out of a game last week with an injury but never heard what it was.

      • Spriggs

        Thanks, Ced. He was off to a nice start too, dang it.

        BTW, I wish Dunston would play a little more at Kane County.

  • Steve

    I keep hoping Almora will reach AA by the time they come to Chattanooga the 1st part of May.

    Looks like it ain’t happening.

    However, I get to see that dreamy Bryant man-child.

    Le sigh….

  • JB88

    SIAP, but this is just insane:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=23307

    BP is ranking the top 30 U25 players (ML and MiL) by division and just came out with their list for the NL Central. Cubs are checking in with 9 players on that list, more than any other team in the division by a couple.

  • OlderStyle

    Karen Carpenter had special quality to her voice. It was the deep melancholy that even belied their sunnier songs.

  • KHRSS

    I have yet to find a person who uses W/L as a statistic to see how good a pitcher is, yet it’s always mentioned in post.
    I think in the end if anyone cares about W/L its pitchers who must get disillusioned every time they pitch a good game only to see their bullpen blow or the team not score enough runs.

    • Brocktoon

      How old are you? I’m 30 and don’t run into it much among people my age, but anyone discussing baseball at work seems to obsess over it. That and White Sox fans, but they’re just following their buffoonish leader on that one.

  • AA Correspondant

    I was at the Tennessee Smokies game last night and wanted to let you know that CJ Edwards actually pitched much better than the box score would indicate. He was snake bitten by 4 hits that were ridiculously lucky and were not hard hit…(from swinging bunts, to check swing loopers over the infielders head). bad luck. He did throw a fastball that was tattooed for a HR, but that was about it. He looks very very good here in the early going. Only thing I see is that when there are runners on base his demeanor changes, and he nibbles a little bit more. It is not that big of a deal, but definately something that is very noticeable.

    I officially have #Geigerfever. The guy can hit and very nearly (by a matter of a few feet) tied the game with a HR but it fell for a Ground Rule Double in the 9th. Kris Bryant does not miss mistakes. Fun to watch. He has been succeptable to the strikeout on down/away pitches though. Not surprising. Rafael Lopez is swinging a hot bat, and if there was an openign at AAA he would be a god bet to go. But he is the everyday catcher here for now, and has embraced the role. Also, his throwing behind the plate appears to be MUCH BETTER this season. He has thrown out several base stealers already. Looking good.

    Really liking the looks of this Smokies team. Should be a fun year!

    • MoneyBoy

      Thank you, Brandon. It’s always a treat to read your first-hand reports. I look forward to what you have to say this year.

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