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kyle hendricks iowa cubsKyle Hendricks would be the ace of a good Iowa rotation were it not for the incredible numbers being posted by Tsuyoshi Wada. Even Wada, though, might envy the work turned in by Hendricks on Thursday. Not only did the Cubs right hander pitch eight shutout innings against a pretty good Round Rock team, he walked no one in the process and struck out eleven. Through eight games his Triple A strikeout to walk ratio now reads 54 to 11.

Meanwhile, if you are a fan of the minors, you are probably also a fan of the more interesting uniforms and hats that are frequently seen in the minors. If you would like to help pick the best of those hats, then head on over to Minor League Baseball’s Clash of the Caps and vote until your mouse finger just can’t vote any more.

Only three Cubs affiliates are in the Top 100 on the Caps leaderboard, and Boise is the highest of the three at just number 31. I think we can raise that up a few notches.

And even if not, there are some seriously cool looking hats on display. It is well worth checking out.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Thanks to some great pitching Iowa scored twice as many runs as they needed to in this 2-0 win.
Tennessee - The Smokies tied it in the eighth, but lost in eleven innings by a final of 6-5.
Daytona - Daytona was rained out.
Kane County - Kane County was shut out 7-0.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Kyle Hendricks struck out 11 in 8 innings of 3 hit ball, and walked no one. All the hits he allowed were singles.
  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara walked, doubled, and tripled as he finished 2 for 3.
  • [Iowa] Javier Baez, on the other hand, finished 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts.
  • [Tennessee] John Andreoli singled twice and stole 2 bases. He finished the game 2 for 4 and with 20 steals for the year.
  • [Tennessee] A double by Kris Bryant and a homer by Rafael Lopez were the only extra base hits for the Smokies in this one.
  • [Tennessee] Joel Pineiro made his Smokies debut. He lasted 5 innings and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 8 hits.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Rogers, with 2 hits, had the only multi-hit day for Kane County.
  • [Kane County] Carlos Penalver singled and stole his 10th base.
  • [Kane County] Jose Arias pitched the final 2 innings and allowed just one hit while striking out a pair.

Other News

  • Hendricks needed just one hundred pitches to work his masterpiece on Thursday. Of those hitters who were retired on balls in play, the ratio of ground balls to fly balls was seven to two. That is a very nice ratio.
  • Jorge Soler was 0 for 2 at the plate when he was replaced in the field by Jae-Hoon Ha. It was apparently “hamstring tightness.”
  • Although Kane County was shut out, they only struck out four times while earning four free bases. The final outcome was still undesirable, but that aspect was nice to see.
  • Holes02

    Soler was pulled due to hamstring tightness, per Brett in an earlier post.

  • ssckelley

    Can we panic about Baez yet?

    • Jason P

      At some point, you kind of have to start. I’ll give him 2 more weeks until June 1st, but he’s shown absolutely no signs of adjusting.

      • HeadAndHeart

        He was always a high risk high reward guy though right? No need to panic. if he reaches his incredibly high ceiling I will be pleasantly surprised. If he doesn’t? Prospects flame out. That’s why we need lots and lots of them.

        • Jason P

          Baez failing would still be a massive hit to the rebuild.

          • HeadAndHeart

            If one prospect failing is a massive hit then they are doing it very wrong. Were they banking on a guy with that much of a chance of flaming out? I doubt it. With Castro at SS and guys like Alcantara and Bryant there is plenty of redundancy prospect wise on the infield.

          • ari gold

            That’s why they need to trade him for an established player. Get something in return for him.

          • ssckelley

            I agree, I think we all had Baez penciled into the Cubs lineup next month. Now I doubt we will see him in Chicago at all this season.

            • Scott Landrum

              Who makes it to Chicago first: Baez or Bryant? Considering Bryant’s K problems in the context of Baez struggles at AAA do they leave Bryant in AA until he drastically cuts down on the K’s?

    • ari gold

      Yeah honestly I hope he turns it around enough to trade him. He just strikes out too much. It’s a shame because he has enormous talent.

    • Darth Ivy

      ok, so I might be a little youtube-happy right now due to the awesome change in video links. I’ll make my adjustment and be more selective

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibpgmloW0eU

  • Johnny Five

    Any word on why Hendricks’ K rate is up this year? Did he add velocity to his FB or is he using his cutter as an out pitch?

    According to http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140421&content_id=72905164&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb, he abandoned the cutter and curve after his first few starts. Odd.

    • Jason P

      At one of the games, there was a report he hit 95, but it could have just been a hot gun.

      • HeadAndHeart

        Lots of guys these days are throwing mid-90s. An increase in K rate likely has more to do with secondary offerings I would think.

        • Jason P

          Yeah, that has to be part of it, especially since I’m not sure the velocity rise is even legit.

          • HeadAndHeart

            If he abandoned his cutter that could indicate that he added something? Or adjusted his grip on his slider? The cutter grip is not far off from the slider.

  • PejaO42

    When will Lopez get called up to AAA? Heck, I would welcome him over John Baker’s .063 BA in the majors right now

  • D_Smith

    I still think Hendrick’s stuff has a better chance of working at the major league level than Wada’s. Then again I learned to never underestimate crafty LH pitchers after Jamie Moyer.

  • Carter

    Baez is sort of worrying me. I mean his K rate is crazy high and there is no sign of him adjusting to Triple AAA. Thoughts?

    • Darth Ivy

      I’m falling back on the idea that he’s still young and has time to struggle for a while and still turn it around. Even if he struggles for the entire season and doesn’t get called up, I’d still be optimistic that he could be fine next year. Maybe that’s a little too optimistic, but hey, whats the alternative? I’m sick of being let down by things like playoff sweeps and a top prospect who can’t stay healthy.

    • Scott Landrum

      Isn’t it good in a way that he gets a giant dose of FAIL now at his age rather than when he is older and in the majors? Having to learn now how to make adjustments might be better for him in the long run than discovering later that he can’t continue to hack away carefree all the time. Moustakas in Kansas City is a guy who is showing no signs of making adjustments. I’d rather Baez fail miserably at his age in his first try at AAA than get all the way to Chicago and end up like Moustakas!

  • Scott Landrum

    Baez struggles aside…..when does the hammer fall on Brett Jackson?

    • Norm

      Happened long ago.

    • Jason P

      He’ll probably be released whenever Andreoli or Silva are ready for a promotion and they need the outfield AB’s.

    • Segal27

      I know he doesn’t deserve it but I hope he gets one more crack at the big club. We don’t really have anything to lose and I think RR can help

  • NorthSideIrish

    Rough outing for Underwood…still so inconsistent. But another strong outing for Concepcion in relief…he’s looked really good the last few weeks.

  • Javier Bryant

    It’s obviously looking like Alcantara will get called up before Baez. If he’s at 2B, do they move Baez to 3rd? Or have Alcantara convert to CF in the off-season?

    • Darth Ivy

      they platoon Alcantara and Olt at 3B……kidding, kidding

    • ari gold

      I guess I don’t get the calls for Alcantara to come up. He’s sub .300 OBP. Striking out a ton and not walking. He needs the whole year in AAA.

  • mjhurdle

    Are we still allowed to post ‘Like’ under someone’s comment, or do we have to use the up arrow? Or, can we go crazy and do both?

    • DarthHater

      Knock yourself out.

      • mjhurdle

        Like

      • mjhurdle

        +1

      • mjhurdle

        Agreed

      • SirCub

        I’m neutral towards this comment.

    • Darth Ivy

      Go crazy? (seriously, I promise to get calm down with these links. But I’m still young and it’s better that I fail now than later)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7g0862r2qU

      • DarthHater

        Embedded videos? Woohoo!

    • Kyle Mayhugh

      I am so excited to have arrows that I up’d everything in this thread.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com/ Brett Taylor

        Hey, there’s Kyle. Someone was asking about you.

      • Coop

        Kyle and his egg of logic?

        • Coop

          My gravatar avatar seems to be lagging, so maybe that is Kyle’s issue as well…

          • Kyle Mayhugh

            I’m logging in via Facebook, so I don’t have an avatar.

            It’s the Indifferent Egg of Glibness from here on out.

            • HeadAndHeart

              Well then this whole site update has been one massive failure.

  • thisisit

    The best hat in the minor leagues? That is easy! The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) added a new line of uniform this year which includes a hat featuring none other than “A strip of Bacon”. That’s right…Bacon! If there was ever motivation to make it to The Show, it’s that you don’t have to take the field wearing a hat with bacon on it.

    • DarthHater

      Adding new incentive to the old: “I’ll eat my hat…”

  • Justin Jabs

    I really don’t know how that Iron Pigs alternate cap is in the twenties. That BA chihuahua is pretty cute, though. My favorites are probably the Legends, Lookouts, and TinCaps. (Is that an apple?)

    • mjhurdle

      I like the Legends stache, but i can’t vote against the Isotopes.

    • Tommy Meyers

      The TinCaps hat is great. My Aunt lives down in Fort Wayne and I went to a game last year, one of the nicest Minor League stadiums I’ve seen. It is absolutely fantastic!

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