cubs-bullpenTake a couple extra minutes today to pop open the box scores (just click on the scores) and check out the work done by the bullpens in yesterday’s games. The starters for Iowa and Myrtle Beach both struggled, and in both games the bullpen handled the extra workload quite well. Tennessee and South Bend received solid performances from their starters, and in most cases the bullpen still delivered anyway.

Notice as well the number of multi-inning relief appearances. Only in Triple A did a reliever not pitch at least two innings, and even in that game Armando Rivero pitched 1.2. We know the Cubs like to have a stable of multi-inning, multi-role bullpen arms available (super utility pitchers, if you will), and the best way to ensure a stead supply is to develop them from within. We noticed that trend last year, and in the very early going it looks like it is continuing.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Round Rock 9, Iowa 3
Iowa remains the only team in the organization without a win.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 1, Mobile 0
This was just a beautifully pitched game on all sides, and one in which Markey picked right up where he left off in 2014.



High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Frederick 6, Myrtle Beach 0
An excellent game by Happ provided something of a silver lining.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 5, West Michigan 3
The Cubs’ starter was a towering lefty, and he got his season off to a good start.

Other Notes

  • It is very early to be checking on stats, but I’m going to do it anyway. The story in the past on Almora has been that he couldn’t take a walk. Last season we saw that change, but last season the fear was that his strong second half was an aberration. Three games is not much to go on, but so far he has looked right at home in Triple A. His three total hits include a double, he’s walked twice, and we’re still waiting on his first strikeout. If he keeps up like this for another thirty games or so, we’ll have the makings of a very good story. For now, it is at least good to see him off to a positive start.
  • Rashad Crawford left the Myrtle Beach game following an outfielder collision with Shawon Dunston Jr.
  • The parade of interesting South Bend starting pitchers continues. Today it is Adbert Alzolay, a young right-hander who primarily worked in relief for Eugene in 2015, but pitched very well in that capacity.  Today’s game is an early afternoon start.



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