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kane county cougarsZack Godley has been incredibly successful as a late inning arm for Kane County this year. Through eleven games and fifteen innings he has struck out twenty five, walked seven, and given up just three runs. His GO/AO is a solid 1.22, and has both an ERA and a FIP way under 2.00. In a word, he’s been great.

So great, in fact, that I’m starting to wonder what he’s still doing in the Midwest League. When a reliever dominates to this extent, there really is not much point in leaving him in that league. That is even more so the case when the reliever, as in the case of Godley, was drafted out of college and probably should be dominating Low A.

Unless, that is, the Cubs plan to turn him back into a starter. Godley started for the University of Tennessee last year and had quite a bit of success in that role. Whether or not he could start as a professional comes down to his stuff, and I don’t have very much good data there, but if he has three pitches he can throw for strikes it would not surprise me if the Cubs intended to move him into a rotation in the later part of the year and see how he handles working every fifth day.

If they do opt to leave him in the bullpen, though, he could fly up the system in a hurry. It isn’t common for a pitcher, even a collegiate reliever, to jump from Low A to Double A, but in this case I would give it serious thought.

UPDATE (Brett): Wow, Luke, you are a smart man:

Also, hooray Vizcaino!

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Iowa scored seven times in the ninth to put this one out of reach. The Cubs won 12-3.
Tennessee - An eight run third inning carried the Smokies to an 11-7 win.
Daytona - Daytona jumped out to an early lead, but could not hold onto it. They lost 8-6.
Kane County - Kane County overcame four errors in this 8-4 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Dallas Beeler was effective in his first start of the year. He needed just 79 pitches to toss 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 3.
  • [Iowa] Brett Jackson finished 2 for 5 with a double, his second home run, and no strikeouts. Chris Valaika also doubled, homered (his third) and did not strike out.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters homered for the second straight game and now has 4 for the year.
  • [Iowa] And Arismendy Alcantara continued his nice season with 2 hits, a double, and his 8th steal. Through small sample sizes, his splits against left handers (OPS of .798) and right handers (OPS of .786) are very close. That’s a good sign for a switch hitter.
  • [Tennessee] Ivan Pineyro struggled some in his 4.2 inning start (98 pitches). He finished with a line of 5 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits and 4 walks with 5 strikeouts.
  • [Tennessee] After hitting 2 more doubles in this game, Stephen Bruno is on a 4 game streak of doubling in every game.
  • [Tennessee] Rafael Lopez, 3 for 5 with a double, has been about has hot as any hitter lately. His OPS in his last ten games is a very robust 1.179.
  • [Daytona] Bijan Rademacher hit his 3rd home run and finished 2 for 2 with a walk for Daytona.
  • [Daytona] Jose Rosario struck out 6 over 5 innings in this one, allowing 3 runs (2 earned ) on 8 hits and a pair of walks.
  • [Daytona] Albert Almora did not walk again, but he only struck out once in his 1 for 4 game.
  • [Kane County] Tyler Skulina struck out 4 over 4 innings while allowing a run on 2 hits and 3 walks. Nathan Dorris followed with 3 innings of 2 run, 3 hit ball with 3 strikeouts.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Hannemann picked up 2 more singles and finished 2 for 5. He also struck out twice.
  • [Kane County] Cael Brockmeyer, in very limited time, is now hitting .500 on the season after this 3 for 3 game.
  • [Kane County] Yasiel Balaguert homered and walked on his way to a 2 for 3 night. Shawon Dunston tripled and finished 2 for 4.

Other News

  • Last year Rubi Silva put up some good numbers in Tennessee, except in the walk column. He finished with just 18 walks and a very low walk percentage of 3.7%. This season, though, he already has 7 free passes and that walk rate is up to 5.9%. His strikeout rate is also up (31.4% versus 20.2% last season), and his ISO is down (.065 versus .199 last season), but should those values return to their 2013 levels while the walk rate stays up, the Cubs will have a nice left handed hitting outfielder on their hands. Silva could yet be a candidate for an outfield platoon role or a bench slot in the future.
  • Shadows of Wrigley was at some recent Kane County games and picked up some pretty good video of two of the Cougars’ starters in action. Footage of right hander Jen-Ho Tseng, perhaps the best Cubs’ pitching prospect in the low minors, can be seen here, and the video of right hander Duane Underwood can be found here.
  • WernerT

    If you already explained this, forgive. Why was Baez sitting yesterday? And Vizcaino is now up in Tennessee, yes? Would he skip AAA?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Possibly, but probably not. The Cubs aren’t hurting for bullpen help right now, so there is no need to rush Vizcaino.

      • Head and Heart

        He’ll just make his way further north as the weather warms up?

      • http://www.chicagocubsbleachertickets.com Cub Fan Dan

        Is service time an issue with Vizcaino? I noticed his ML service time is 2 yrs 50 days (via Cot’s). Super 2 status is typically 2 years & about 120-140 days (via MLBTR).

        If Im correct, it would give him about 60-70 days on the MLB 24 man roster this year before he might qualify for super 2 & arbitration in 2015. So they probably might wait until after the trade deadline to bring him up & keep that extra year.

        Thats if Im understanding it correctly?

        • bbmoney

          He’s currently accruing MLB service time as he was originally injured while on the 25 man. So it doesn’t really matter if he’s on the 25 man or not, he’s getting service time.

  • Jon

    That’s quite the surname as well

  • cjdubbya

    He just got promoted to Daytona and Vizcaino is on his way to Tennessee. Nice.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Looks like I wasn’t the only one wondering why he was still in the Midwest League.

      • cjdubbya

        Well played, good sir.

  • JonKneeV

    Speaking of Godley, Godley to Daytona and Vizcaino to Tennessee.

  • Norm

    Just looked at the stats of each minor league’s offense…what a disappointing start on the prospect front.

    • itzscott

      Norm….

      Baseball Prospectus has the Cubs ranked as the 2nd best minor league system behind only the Twins. Not sure if I agree about the disappointing start, but I think what would be more telling would be if the Cubs minor league system overall is playing up to the expectations of a #2 compared to other team’s minor league systems.

      • Norm

        Baez’s start: Disappointing
        Solers’s: Disappointing
        Almora’s: Disappointing
        Bryant’s: Solid
        Alcantara’s: Disappointing
        CJ Edwards’: Disappointing
        Pierce Johnson: Disappointing
        Dan Vogelbach’s: Disappointing
        Mike Olt’s: Disappointing

        • ced landrum

          Norm how is Alcantara’s start disappointing? The walks are down, but overall he is doing just fine. He will pick up the walks and the OBP will go up.

          • Kyle

            .295 OBP in the PCL is not good.

            • ced landrum

              right which is why I noted the walks are down. Yet he is slugging nearly .500 and he has an ops just short of .800. I don’t think those numbers will stay quite that high, but I am also pretty sure his walks will go up and the SO numbers will come down. He won’t strike out 11 times in a week too often.

          • Norm

            27..4% K
            2.7% BB
            280/295/495 with a .368 BABIP

        • bwin

          Bryant is not solid. On pace for 40 plus errors.

          • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

            Ya the 1.000 OPS is just plain awful…

            • Aaron

              Yeah, and we all know that there is no place on the Cubs’ roster for a guy that walks 13.6% of the time.

            • Kyle

              I’m not *that* concerned about Bryant, but I wonder how many times we have to see a great OPS with a bad K-rate at AA turn into bad performance at higher levels before we stop shrugging it off?

              • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

                This is not a discussion of his future outlook, it is one of how he has performed this year so far. Yes, the K rate does concern me a little though

                • Norm

                  Yes, and his performance thus far would be excellent, but the K rate brings him down to “solid”, IMO.

              • Head and Heart

                What is the threshold where a reasonable K rate becomes a bad one? Bryant right now is at 29% I believe. What does he need to bring that down to in the next month or so to relieve some of the concerns? 24%?

                Also, this is Bryant’s first time through AA so he is seeing a lot of these pitchers for the first time. This past series against Chattanooga was the first time the Smokies had played a team that they have played previously this season. I wonder if soon Bryant will start to see more guys that he has seen before and if that will help.

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

                  To relieve the concerns? Sustain a sub-20% K rate for a long while.

                  He is looking like a non-1B Ike Davis.

                  If I were running the Cubs I would be very open to the idea of trading Bryant and Baez. Both of their K rates scare the crap out of me.

                  • Head and Heart

                    Lots of guys with big time power strike out a lot. I wouldn’t trade them because of the K rate. There is plenty of evaluation going on at all times by the Cubs I am sure. If they see things that give them cause for concern then I am sure they will take the appropriate steps.

                    • Kyle

                      Very few guys who strike out a lot *in the minors* go on to be productive major leaguers.

                      If you strike out at 25% in the majors but are productive, who cares?

                      If you strike out at 25% in the minors but are productive, it’s still frequently, it’s a bad sign.

                      We just went through this with Brett Jackson, and Rangers fans went through it with Mike Olt before we inherited him.

                  • ari gold

                    Hansman, your comment on being open to trading Baez and Bryant, I haven’t agreed more on a comment. I think one of them is going to be a bust and potentially both of them.

                  • Kyle

                    I wouldn’t go that far. I keep telling myself that power, age and pedigree are all important indicators too, so as long as they have those on their side they can overcome the K-rates. Stanton K’d 29% of the time in his first taste of AA, but that was at 20 and he adjusted quickly later (22% while repeating AA the next year).

                    But it’s possible that I’m just being a homer and burying my head in the sand.

                    • ari gold

                      I’m going that far and I’m usually pretty positive when it comes to our prospects and the overall plan of the organization. Everyone was saying the same thing about B-Jax. Baez might have more power but does it really matter if you can’t hit the ball.

          • Thomas

            Baez had 44 errors last year and he had an amazing season.

        • another JP

          C.J. has been disappointing? How so? And Olt isn’t even a prospect anymore. I have a different list for you…
          Vizcaino: Solid
          Godley: Solid
          Rademacher: Solid
          Andreoli: Solid
          Lopez: Solid
          Tseng: Solid
          Blackburn: Solid
          Amaya: Solid
          Rivero: Solid
          Remillard: Solid

          • Norm

            Olt was a prospect entering the season.
            CJ is hurt. That’s disappointing.

            • another JP

              What minor league team has Olt played for this season? How is CJ being hurt his fault?

              • Kyle

                Edwards’ injury is an outgrowth of his likely inability to handle the rigors of being a starting pitcher. It’s not his “fault” in a responsibility sense, but it significantly impacts his status as a prospect.

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

                  There’s some speculation in that post of yours, Kyle. Big, tall, strong, 200+ innings a year pitchers also have shoulder soreness. You don’t know that it is due to “his likely inability hand the rigors of being a starting pitcher.”

                  That is a possibility, but the jury is still out on that.

                  • Kyle

                    Big strong 200+ innings pitchers who miss half a year with shoulder soreness are *also* bad bets long-term to be durable starting pitchers.

                    The “you don’t know” game is, as always, pointless. Sure, in a Descartian manner, we don’t *know* anything. But there’s enough available evidence to make it inductively the most reasonable assumption, and it’s also a bit moot because pitching injuries are *themselves* a negative indicator of future durability regardless of cause.

              • Norm

                Perhaps you didn’t read the BleacherNation Top 40 prospects for this year:
                http://www.bleachernation.com/2014/04/03/the-bleacher-nation-top-40-chicago-cubs-prospects-for-2014/

          • Brocktoon

            You have a list full of middling prospects who are unlikely to ever be big league starters.

    • CubsFaninMS

      If you focus on our Top 10, yes. If you look at invidividual performances, we have some reason for excitement. Pena, Rademacher, Amaya, Godley, Vizcaino, Andreoli, Lopez and fresh faces in the majors like Grimm, Ramirez, and Rondon. The pieces are being assembled. Things will get very interesting over the next 12 months I would think and some of our prospects with “upside” (some mentioned above) may be in our Top 10. Stay thirsty, my friends.

      • Kyle

        There’s more than 100 players in the minors. Of course a few of them are having good seasons.

        That doesn’t mean it’s not been a bad start to the year.

        • CubsFaninMS

          Because your Top 10 prospects are the ones scouts believe have the greatest chance of having an impact on the MLB team, yes I agree that it’s been a bad start in general. I’m just looking at the more optimistic side of the equation. It’s not ALL doom-and-gloom and each of them have plenty of time to pick it up. Most of our Top 10 were promoted over the offseason and are making adjustments. Under those circumstances, I believe you can allow for a little more patience. The next month will be important to see if many of those guys begin to adjust and turn it around.

        • another JP

          And once again you are full of it. With the exception of Soler and Vogelbach every prospect on Norm’s hit list has been performing at a higher level after a promotion. Most of those players on the list are also among the youngest in their entire league. New teams, new coaches, new league for young players = some struggling. Soler, Edwards, and Johnson have been injured. Almora’s father has had health issues.

          Despite some struggling amongst the top prospects, Iowa and KC lead their leagues and the Smokies are second.

          Bad start for the farm my ass.

          • Jon

            “Despite some struggling amongst the top prospects, Iowa and KC lead their leagues and the Smokies are second. Bad start for the farm my ass.”

            Seriously? Nobody gives a flying fart about how the minor leagues perform as a team. It’s all about individual performances.

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Exactly, I’m as positive as it comes when it’s about the farm system, but outside of Bryant, the top prospects have underperformed (or have been injured) so far. That’s not to say that other guys haven’t emerged, but among the guys who have the largest chance of impacting the big leagues, the first month has been pretty disappointing. I’m still confident in a lot of those guys, and for most or all of them is doesn’t really impact their development much, but a bad month is a bad month.

            • another JP

              B.S. Ask anyone in the organization or the players themselves whether their team performance matters. If that were the case all of the minors would be run like EXST.

              • bbmoney

                OK…the teams themselves care and some of the local fans care. But it doesn’t have much to do with development of prospects.

              • Jon

                It may matter to the players and as it should. But a high level, from a fan analyzing the farm system, to organization strategy, management of top prospects trumps everything else. Player promotions and movement are designed on what best serves the player, not the particular team. There are hard pitch counts, picky bag starts with one goal in mind, keep the arm healthy, not win that particular day.

            • Brocktoon

              Not a fan of top prospect Chris Valaika?

          • Norm

            That’s a great excuse that the likes of Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor, Xander Boegarts, Gregory Polanco, and numerous others don’t need to use.

            Sugarcoat it any way you want, their starts have been disappointing.

            • roz

              As much as I want to be upbeat about everything, I’m not sure how you can disagree with this. Baez, Almora, and Soler’s starts have all been very disappointing. Now, I don’t think this says anything real definitive about their future, but their seasons right now are not what anyone wanted.

              • bbmoney

                I think that’s a pretty perfect summary. Disappointing. But, it’s too soon to make anything approaching definitive conclusions that they will in fact continue to be disappointments.

              • Head and Heart

                My question at this point is who cares? As far as I have seen no one has yet shown a decent reason why we should care if they are off to a slow start or not.

                • Brocktoon

                  Because we have all of our eggs in these baskets, and slow starts are causes for concern?

            • another JP

              Bogaerts isn’t in the minors. Lindor is at AA- where Baez has already dominated. Correa hasn’t even hit AA yet… where plenty of other prospects have struggled.

              Plus it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. What do you care to wager that all the players on your list don’t finish with better seasons than they currently have?

              • Head and Heart

                Correa actually has 5 hits in his last two games. Three days ago he actually was struggling a little to adjust to high A ball. Not that it matters in terms of his overall prospects.

              • Norm

                JP, you don’t understand the definition of a prospect.

                • another JP

                  Nice try… you don’t understand how to evaluate the performance of them.

          • Kyle

            Oh my, the prospects got *promoted*?

            Well that explains *everything*. Players who become good major leaguers always gak and fall apart when they go through the harrowing process of an offseason promotion.

            • another JP

              Explain how those players have “gak and fall apart”. Is that what happened to you in Pony League? Is that why you’re such a piss-ant about everything related to the Cubs?

              • Kyle

                Yes. Everything is actually *awesome* with the Cubs and I can’t see it because of childhood slights.

            • CubsFaninMS

              That is exactly what I said….that promotions explain everything. Extreme terms like “everything”, “nothing”, “always”, and “never” are great tools to distort an argument. I was only mentioning it as an important factor, not *everything* with cute little asterisks around them.

    • Jon

      Not all prospects will pan out. News at 11.

      • salesguy

        Thanks Captain Obvious!

        • KHRSS

          Which is why I am against trading Shark. At some point you need to keep major league talent and stop gambling on prospect living up to expectations.

  • salesguy

    But seriously, (as I hit the post button too soon) some will, so can we just give them a minute, before we declare all of them a bust. Not talking to you specifically Jon, just seems to be a lot of pessimism on guys with a lot of talent one month into the minor league season.

  • J

    Clearly, Cubs follow Luke’s advice. Maybe the team should start paying him?

  • another JP

    This thread is a great example of exactly what is wrong with this particular website and so called “Cub fans” like Kyle, Norm, and Jon. Whenever good news such as a prospect promotion or Cub victory against the Cards is the topic of discussion, they will invariably deflect from the subject and attempt to bring up anything negative. Their trolling and baiting tactics are on display daily at BN and is the only bad experience about coming here.

    It’s a shame because Brett and Luke provide such a great service to Cub fans with this blog.

    • CubFan Paul

      Pot.meet.kettle.

    • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

      JP read my comment above, as well as the one roz posted. I think they both encapsulate what has gone in the first month in the farm system.

      • another JP

        Whoops- forgot to mention you among the “happy bunch”.

        • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

          You do realize that I am one of the most positive posters on this site right?? If you’re lumping me in with Kyle and Jon, you clearly having some reading comprehension issues.

          • Kyle

            RINO

            (Rebuilder in Name Only)

            • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

              Huh? Not sure if this is supposed to be an insult or not

              • Kyle

                It’s just a joke.

                • Sandberg

                  I LOL’d

          • another JP

            That comment was actually meant for CubFanPaul and was posted under your message- sorry about the mispost.

            At any rate, I read your message and you have a point. Likewise- it’s been one stinking month with less than 100 ABs for these guys. I find it ironic how expensive FAs can go through similar struggles without any scrutiny but prospects aren’t given the same leeway.

            Moreover, it’s really just a more roundabout method of bashing this front office- which is the #1 topic of discussion around here. The same people that complain on a daily basis about the rebuild are the same ones bitching for the past hour.

            • CubFan Paul

              “they will invariably deflect from the subject and attempt to bring up anything negative.”

              That’s not me after a promotion or win

              Keep my name out of your mouth unless we’re talking baseball.

              Thank You. Bye. Kisses.

              • another JP

                If you won’t butt into a conversation I wouldn’t bring up your name big boy. And don’t think for a moment you’ll intimidate me into not replying to you for any reason- got it?

                Your welcome.

                • CubFan Paul

                  “If you won’t butt into a conversation”

                  …I was the 1st reply to you

                  “big boy”

                  Jiggle my balls when you say that.

                  “got it?”

                  Internet tough guys are sexxxy.

    • bbmoney

      There’s nothing wrong with this particular website. Sure some posters are annoying and overbearing…this is the internet after all.

      But for the most part people just have different opinions and look at things differently.

    • roz

      You don’t make yourself look very good either when you accuse Kyle of being a piss-ant because he couldn’t hack it in Pony League.

      • CubFan Paul

        This is the 1st time I’ve laughed today.

      • another JP

        Please. This guy goes on every Cub web site he can find to bash the team and makes condescending remarks to any other poster that challenges his takes. If that is such a bad comment I suggest he or anyone else get some thicker skin before coming here.

        • Kyle

          Didn’t bother me. Mostly because you’ve given me no reasons to have any respect for your opinions at any point that I can recall. So carry on with my blessing.

    • Brocktoon

      It’s the “Minor League Daily” thread, not the fawn over our relief prospects thread.

  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

    Kris Bryant pulled from the Tennessee game in the 3rd inning. Promotion?? The broadcasters didn’t see anything that look like he could have been injured.

    • willis

      I hope it is something along those lines and not an injury, but where is he going to play if he is promoted? I suppose they could move Vitters to 1st and play Bryant in left? Or move Villanueva over to 1B?

      Any time I hear someone’s been lifted early though, especially someone of huge importance, I cringe.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        You don’t often see a guy lifted early for a minors-to-minors promotion.

        If I had to guess, I’d lean towards a ‘felt some discomfort, abundance of caution’ type move rather than a promotion at this stage.

        Hope I’m wrong.

        • Voice of Reason

          You’re exactly right, Luke.

          The only reason they would pull him from the minor league game if they wanted him in Wrigley for tonight’s game. That’s so not possible.

          Olt down and Bryant up? lol

      • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

        Not sure, will post if I hear anything else

    • Kyle

      Maybe he’s skipping Iowa and coming straight to the majors?

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        That would be aggressive.

        Exciting, but really, really, really aggressive.

        • cubbiekoolaid2015

          It would also take a lot of the pressure off of Javy. I would be on board with Kris skipping Iowa.

        • willis

          Was just going to say, that would be wildly aggressive, but it got me giggly for a minute. But I can’t see that this early. I wouldn’t hate it, but tough to see.

          I’m guessing small injury or something like a migraine/stomach bug.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        On the other hand, do we have a corresponding move to Vizcaino going to Tennessee yet? I could be wrong, but I don’t think they had a roster spot open.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Veras went to Tennessee today, too.

          • Aaron

            Hmmm….. something doesn’t add up.

            • willis

              Let the imaginations and speculation run wild :)

              I still think it’s something small. I’m just hoping it’s that or a promotion, not an injury.

              • Jon

                Pulling in game for a promotion doesn’t make any sense. It’s likely an injury

                • willis

                  I agree. I’m just hoping it’s minor.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

            Yep. I missed that one. Thanks.

        • Spriggs

          Soler should be arriving there very soon too – I would think.

          • Spriggs

            When he comes off the DL, do they have to open a spot for him too (Soler)?

  • http://fullcount1544.blogspot.com FullCountTommy

    Jesse Rogers saying Bryant has the stomach flu

    • willis

      Ding ding, I said stomach bug first. I win.

    • Aaron

      [img]http://replygif.net/1045[/img]

    • Aaron

      [img]http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4quwkYADy1rn95k2o1_500.gif[/img]

    • Karl Groucho

      There’s an Angel Pagan joke to be made in here somewhere…

  • ssckelley

    OMG, ALMORA GOT A WALK!

  • SenorGato

    I was impressed by Underwood’s arm speed in that video. OTOH, neither Tseng or Underwood do it for me as prospects. They need plenty of time and work.

    I really hope they draft Tyler Beede.

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