By now we are used to seeing Cubs pitching prospects not piling up high strikeout totals in the minors. With the exception of a few games here and there, the story tends to be lower K/9. Whether that is due to a lack of stuff or a different organizational philosophy when it comes to pitcher development is open to debate (I favor the philosophical theory in general), but the trend certain keep repeating itself.
And then we have the Iowa Cubs, who are leading the Pacific Coast League in strikeout rate at 9.4 K/9. The top three in that category all hail from the bullpen: Spencer Patton, Felix Pena, and Carl Edwards, Jr.
That is great news for the Chicago Cubs, given that they will almost certainly be needing bullpen support before the season is out (such as Patton, who has already been called up).
- Stephen Perakslis: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 BB< 3 K
- Felix Pena: 2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K
- Albert Almora: 3 for 4, 3B
- Willson Contreras: 2 for 4
- Kristopher Negron: 1 for 2, 3B, 2 BB, SB
- Munenori Kawasaki: 1 for 1, 2 BB, SB
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Mississippi 3, Tennessee 2
I can’t think of any other match-ups that have more pairs of double letters in their names than Mississippi versus Tennessee. This bit of meaningless trivia was not brought to you by Pat Hughes, although it probably would have been if he covered the minor leagues.
- Duane Underwood: 5 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Juan Paniagua: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Gerardo Concepcion: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K. The ERA is still 0.00.
- Chesny Young: 0 for 3, BB. A hitless day for Young is a rare sighting.
- Mark Zagunis: 1 for 1, 2 BB
- Kelly Dugan: 1 for 1, HR. This pinch hit homer was all the scoring the Smokies had.
- Trevor Clifton: 5 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 8 K. The strikeouts are a nice sign.
- Gleyber Torres: 1 for 4, 2B
- Charcer Burks: 1 for 3, 2B
- Kyle Twomey: 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K
- P.J. Higgins: 2 for 4, 2B
- Daniel Spingola: 1 for 3, 2B
- Eloy Jimenez: 2 for 4
- Jesse Hodges: 1 for 2, 2B, BB
- Through 15 innings, Pena has struck out 23 and has an ERA of 0.60. He’s been doing this as a reliever, often a multi-inning reliever, and that is a role that I can certainly see him taking on in Wrigley this summer. Remember, this isn’t coming out of nowhere, as Pena really started to break out last year.
- Almora picked up his fifth error in this game, but we aren’t worried about that in the slightest because we know better than to look at minor league error numbers as a way of measuring how good at defense a prospect is. Almora remains awesomely excellent in the outfield.