Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

jeremy null south bendIndividual performances in All-Star games are sort of like most individual performances in spring training: something fun to talk about, but not generally all that meaningful in most cases. That disclaimer is important because some Cubs’ prospects did very well in the minor league All-Star games yesterday.

In Double A, the North Division (featuring some Smokies) stomped all over the South Division 9-0. Willson Contreras caught about half the game and finished 1 for 2 with a walk at the plate. Dan Vogelbach was the lone first baseman, and he also hit the lone home run for the North. He finished 1 for 4 with a walk and three batted in.

On the mound, four Smokies’ pitchers contributed to the shutout. Frank Batista pitched the third inning and allowed a hit and a walk, Felix Pena gave up nothing and struck out one in the fourth inning, Corey Black got the last two outs of the eighth inning without giving up anything and by striking out one, and P.J. Francescon allowed two walks and earned a strikeout to open the ninth. In total, that is one third of a Double A All-Star game shutout pitched by Cubs’ pitching prospects.

The High A All-Star Game between the Carolina League (featuring some Pelicans) and the California League ended in a 9-2 loss for the Carolina League. Duane Underwood pitched the second inning and allowed the first California run to score on a hit and a walk, and Jonathan Martinez tossed a scoreless seventh that included a hit and a strikeout.

At the plate, the two Cubs’ prospects contributed forty percent of Carolina’s hits. Mark Zagunis, the leadoff man, finished the game two for five with the only RBI in the lineup, and Jeimer Candelario doubled as he finished two for four. Zagunis also picked up an outfield assist on a play at second base.

And in the Midwest League, it was the East Division (featuring some Cubs) who shutout out the West 5-0. Jeremy Null was the starter for the East, and in his one inning of work he allowed a hit and struck out three. The Cubs’ closer, James Farris, struck out the first two batters in the ninth. That means, even though they accounted for just one and two thirds of the nine innings pitched, the Cubs’ pitching prospects tallied five the East’s sixteen total strikeouts.

The Cubs were quiet at the plate, though. Gleyber Torres (who was batting second) struck out and went hitless in three at bats. Charcer Burks walked in his two trips to the plate, and Cael Brockmeyer struck out twice.

All in all, it was a pretty great day for the Cubs’ representatives. A lot of them played, and a lot of them played pretty well. That doesn’t mean anything, but it is a lot of fun to see.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The Cubs never recovered from a first inning deficit as they lost 4-2.
Tennessee – All-Star break.
Myrtle Beach – All-Star break.
South Bend – All-Star break.
Eugene – The Emeralds lost their home opener 4-2.
Arizona – The Cubs got their first win of the season in this 8-4 final.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Felipe Paulino put up zeros after allowing 3 runs (2 earned) in the first inning. Over 5.2 he allowed those runs on 6 hits and a walk while striking out 6.

  • [Iowa] Carl Edwards Jr. struck out 3 and walked one over 2 hitless innings of relief.
  • [Iowa] John Andreoli hit his 2nd homer of the season.
  • [Eugene] Ian Happ doubled and walked on his way to a 2 for 3 night. He also picked up his first steal of the season.
  • [Eugene] Ho-young Son walked and finished 2 for 3 at the plate.
  • [Eugene] Adbert Alzolay struck out 4 and allowed an unearned run on 2 hits in his 2 inning start.
  • [Eugene] Greyfer Eregua pitched 4 innings of relief in which he struck out 7. He also allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and a walk. Pedro Araujo struck out 4 and allowed just one hit over the final 3 frames.
  • [Arizona] Jesus Camargo struck out 3 and allowed a run on 3 hits in his 5 innings on the mound.
  • [Arizona] Jose Paniagua doubled and tripled on his way to 2 for 4 night. Andruw Monasterio also tripled as part of his 1 for 2 game that included 2 walks.
  • [Arizona] Miguel Rico and Carlos Sepulveda both finished with 2 hits.

Other News

  • Kyle Schwarber went hitless in his Iowa debut. Defensively, for what it’s worth, there were three steals against him (and he caught one), and he gave up a passed ball. He also nailed a runner at second as part of a double play.
  • For more on Schwarber, check out this pretty good article from the Des Moines Register. The upshot: Schwarber can and will hit, but still has some work to do behind the plate.

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