jorge soler cubsJorge Soler returned to the Tennessee Smokies lineup yesterday, his official first game since leaving with a hamstring injury after one at bat on April 3. Given that he doubled in that one at bat, it is only fitting that his line from yesterday includes a double as part of a two hit, two walk performance.

The Smokies had Soler hitting cleanup, just behind Bryant and ahead of Geiger, and playing right field. That gives Tennessee a lineup that opens with Andreoli and his .400+ OBP and gobs of steals, Bruno and his .400+ OBP and penchant for doubles, Bryant and his 1.067 OPS, Soler, and then Geiger, a legitimate power bat in his own right. That is a very scary top of the lineup for a Double A team.

How long will it stay together? Probably not long. Soler, Bruno, and Geiger are likely in Double A for the duration of the season. Andreoli, though, is overdue for a trip to Iowa in my book, and Bryant really isn’t being challenged at all right now and could move up sometime soon. If you want to see this very prospecty offense in action, get to a Tennessee game soon.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – It was a quiet day for the offense as the Cubs lost 9-1.
Tennessee – The Smokies picked up their twentieth win of the season in this 5-4 game.
Daytona – Daytona was shut out, 7-0.
Kane County – Kane County took it into extra innings before pulling away for the 5-2 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Javier Baez went hitless in this game, but he walked twice and did not strike out. Of his 9 season walks, 7 have come in the last 8 games.
  • [Iowa] Kyle Hendricks allowed 4 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings. He struck out 6.
  • [Tennessee] Kris Bryant had another multi-hit with homer night. This time he went 3 for 4 and clubbed his 9th homer.
  • [Tennessee] John Andreoli walked and stole his 17th base of the season. If he kept up this stolen base pace over a full 140 game minor league season, he’d finish with 74 steals.
  • [Tennessee] As mentioned above, Jorge Soler went 2 for 2 with 2 walks in his Double A return. Combine that with his double before he went down with the hamstring injury, and he’s currently sporting a 1.000 OBP on the season. You cannot get him out. Ever.
  • [Tennessee] Pierce Johnson turned in a nice start in this one. Over 6 innings and 94 pitches he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks while striking out 8.
  • [Tennessee] Jose Veras allowed nothing and struck out one in his inning of rehab relief.
  • [Daytona] Dan Vogelbach and Gioskar Amaya had the only two hits for the Cubs.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Hannemann has decided to join the walking party. He took 3 free passes in this game, and stole his 11th base as well.
  • [Kane County] Ben Carhart, playing DH in this one, doubled twice in his 6 at bats.
  • [Kane County] Shawon Dunston finished 3 for 5 with a triple, his third. After a slow start, Dunton has suddenly started hitting very well. In May (sample size alert) he now has an OPS of 1.097 with 2 walks, 2 strikeouts, and 2 triples.

Other News

  • Alberto Cabrera appeared in the seventh inning of the Iowa, gave up five straight hits including two home runs, and left without recording an out. That is unusual, to say the least, and when pitchers and unusual get together, injury is often lurking nearby. It is something to keep an eye on.
  • The Stephen Bruno consecutive games with a double streak is over. Bruno did keep the hitting streak alive, going 1 for 3 with a walk, but he did not double.
  • How good has Bryant been lately? In the month of May (eight games, small sample size) he has as many home runs as he does walks (four), and more hits (fourteen) than he has walks and strikeouts combined (four and nine respectively). So far in May he is slugging .900 and has an OPS of 1.429. And all of that despite going hitless in three of those eight games. Those are some impressive numbers.


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