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Cubs Minor League Daily: A Lot of Wins, and Some More Good Stuff from Manuel Rondon

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

We expected the South Bend Cubs to be good this year, and after a bit of a slow start they are starting to play very good baseball indeed. Given that they are a blend of the 2016 Northwest League Champions and some good college draftees, that really comes as no surprise.

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One of the pitchers doing well early is left-hander Manuel Rondon. He pitched very well for Eugene last summer, finishing with an ERA of 1.10 in twelve starts, but he isn’t usually mentioned when it comes time to talk about the Cubs’ pitching prospects. That may change. Through three starts, he has held batters to a .157 average and struck out 19 in just 14.2 innings of work. The sample size is small and it is early, but Rondon appears to be picking up right where he left off a year ago.

Rondon’s work on the mound can be seen amongst all the offense in South Bend’s highlight video from last night’s win:

The Cubs acquired Rondon (and IFA slot money) from the Angels for catcher Rafael Lopez in mid-2015.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
New Orleans 7, Iowa 3
The Cubs fell behind early, and that’s pretty much the story.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 4, Birmingham 0
Another shutout for the Smokies, but one in which they were actually out hit.


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Tennessee 10, Birmingham 8
And this game was basically the completely opposite of a shutout.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 11, Down East 7
The Pelicans used a six run fifth to take a lead they never gave up.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 8, Dayton 3
They took the lead with a six run second, and the pitching did the rest.

Other Notes

  • A sign of the amount of pitching depth the Cubs packed into Iowa: the Triple A Cubs have already used seven different starting pitchers this season, and we are over a week away from May 1. A total 18 pitchers have appeared for Iowa, and all of them have pitched in at least two games.

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  • Robert Garcia is not usually listed among the Cubs’ best outfield prospects, but he may be worth keeping an eye on. A switch hitter, Garcia spent last season playing for Eugene where he put up an OPS of .763. The Cubs had him skip South Bend, though, and sent him straight to Myrtle Beach where so far he has held his own with a line of .321/.387/.321 (sample size alert). I’m not sure if he will hang around when Eloy Jimenez is ready to go, but for now at least he’s playing pretty well.
  • Last night it was the Smokies turn to hold their World Series ring ceremony:


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Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.

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