So. Kyle Schwarber has already hit his way out of his first minor league assignment. He is on his way to Kane County and, given today’s KC off-day, will probably make his debut there tomorrow or Friday.
So what does this mean?
It means if you live in the area and you haven’t yet purchased your tickets to see Kane County (now with Schwarber) play this weekend, then you might want to hurry. As an already very good, first place team near the major metro area that houses their parent organization, the Cougars already sell pretty well. Toss in a recent first round draft pick with connections to a major regional university like Indiana, and who is apparently out-hitting everyone not named Bryant lately (and, technically, maybe Bryant, too), and I think it is a safe bet that Kane County probably has a weekend of sellouts on their hands.
What does it mean for Schwarber?
Not much, actually. Unless he struggled mightily (which was always unlikely given that he came into the league as an advanced college hitter), there was little chance that he would stay in Boise all season. I thought the Cubs would leave him there to get some more regular catching duties through Boise’s first half before moving him up, but I can’t argue with the decision to test his bat in the Midwest League sooner rather than later.
I don’t think Schwarber will hit his way out of Kane County in just five games, nor do I think he’ll continue to post the same ridiculous line he was putting up in Boise, but he will probably hit pretty well while splitting time between catcher and left field.
And on that note, keep an eye out for another roster move. The Cougars already had three catchers (or part time catchers) who were hitting pretty well in Will Remillard, Ben Carhart, and Cael Brockmeyer. Remillard is doing the best of the bunch and would probably be a candidate to head to Daytona (though he’s currently on the DL). Carhart hit pretty well in Daytona as a third baseman last year, and even though his OPS is just .709, I would not be stunned to see him sent up to Tennessee for a time. Brockmeyer has the fewest plate appearances of the three and is probably the most likely to stay in Kane County for at least a time. One of those players, though, is probably going to be moved somewhere; I don’t see Kane County trying to find time for four catchers.
I suspect the Cubs are going to want to get Schwarber as many at bats as they can, and I think that means they will try to line him up on a team that will make the playoffs. Barring a major reversal of fortunes in Daytona, that means he is likely staying in Kane County. I suppose if he continues something similar to his Boise wave of pitching destruction the Cubs may move him up to Tennessee at the tail end of the season, but I doubt it. That is a tremendous jump in difficulty for a guy who has already leapt from amateur to professional baseball this summer.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa rallied late, but lost it 8-5.
Tennessee – Thanks to the All-Star Game, the Smokies had the night off.
Daytona – In a great pitchers duel, the Cubs came up short 1-0.
Kane County – The Cougars were also off for an All-Star break.
Boise Hawks – The Hawks hammered five home runs on their way to this 12-3 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Matt Szczur doubled and finished 2 for 4.
- [Iowa] Javier Baez homered (his 11th) and struck out once as he finished 1 for 4. Chris Valaika also homered (his 6th).
- [Iowa] Eric Jokisch had an odd night. On the one hand, he pitched 6.1 innings and struck out 10. On the other hand, he allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks.
- [Daytona] Rob Zastryzny gave up a run on 3 hits and a walk in 6.2 innings. He struck out 6. Michael Jenson struck out 4 and gave up 3 hits and a walk in 2.1 scoreless frames of relief.
- [Daytona] Not a lot of offense for the Cubs in this one. Bijan Rademacher and Marco Hernandez both reached base twice with a single and a walk each, and as a whole the team finished with 4 hits.
- [Boise] Kyle Schwarber, in left for this game as well, doubled, homered twice, and walked to finish 3 for 4. He finishes his Boise career with the improbable line of .600/.625/1.350 with four home runs, two walks, and two strikeouts.
- [Boise] The Hawks remaining homers came from Jeffrey Baez (his first), Daniel Cabela (his first), and Justin Marra (his second).
- [Boise] Trevor Graham did not even need all that run support. Through 5 innings he allowed a run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 7. Greyfer Eregua struck out 3 in 2 innings of 2 run, 3 hit ball.
- When dealing with prospects, patience is a good place to start. Take the case of Rob Zastryzny. His early season results were not good. An April ERA of 8.46 was followed by a May ERA of 6.08, and after allowing four runs on nine hits on May 7, he did not pitch again until May 20 because of a minor injury on a comebacker. That day he pitched two scoreless frames. And five days later he pitched three scoreless. May 30th saw a hiccup as he allowed 5 runs on 7 hits, but on June 4 he allowed two runs over five innings. On the ninth the outcome was two runs on four hits over seven innings, and last night he allowed a run on three hits in six and two thirds. Suddenly Zastryzny is getting a lot more grounders, striking out about a man per inning, and has cut his batting average against dramatically. If you last looked up Zastryzny six weeks ago, you should take another look.
- Kris Bryant singled in five at bats as the number three hitter in the North Division Lineup for the Southern League All-Star Game. P.J. Francescon walked three and allowed a run in his inning of relief, but Hunter Cervenka and Armando Rivero both pitched scoreless frames.
- Jordan Hankins was hitless in two at bats for the Midwest League West Division off the bench in his All-Star game.