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.
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.
- Williams Perez: 4 IP, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 4 K
- Ryan Williams: 2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 K
- John Andreoli: 1 for 3, BB
- Jeimer Candelario: 1 for 3, BB
- Victor Caratini: 2 for 4, 2B
- Taylor Davis: 1 for 4, 2B
- Todd Glaesmann: 2 for 4, 2B
- Trevor Clifton: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Brad Markey: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 K
- Charcer Burks: 1 for 2, BB
- Andrew Ely: 1 for 2, 2B, BB
- David Bote: 1 for 3, 2B
Tennessee 10, Birmingham 8
And this game was basically the completely opposite of a shutout.
- Daniel Corcino: 2.2 IP, 2 BB, 1 K
- Charcer Burks: 0 for 2, 3 BB, SB
- Jeffrey Baez: 2 for 4
- David Bote: 1 for 4, 2B
- Yasiel Balaguert: 2 for 4
- Ian Rice: 1 for 2, 2B, 2 BB
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 4, 3B
- Carlos Penalver: 3 for 4
- Erick Castillo: 2 for 4
- Tommy Thorpe: 2.1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Craig Brooks: 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 3 K
- James Norwood: 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 1 K
- Connor Myers: 1 for 5, 3B
- Eddy Martinez: 1 for 5, HR
- Matt Rose: 2 for 4, HR
- Jesse Hodges: 2 for 4, HR, BB
- Tyler Pearson: 2 for 4, 2B
- Bryant Flete: 1 for 3, 2 BB
- Robert Garcia: 2 for 3, BB
- Manuel Rondon: 5 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K
- Marc Huberman:2 IP, 3 H
- Pedro Silverio: 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Zack Short: 1 for 5, 2B
- Isaac Paredes: 2 for 4, 2B
- Chris Pieters: 2 for 3, BB, SB
- Darryl Wilson: 1 for 3, BB, SB
- 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.
- 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:
— Tennessee Smokies (@smokiesbaseball) April 21, 2017