If Adbert Alzolay does get the call for the Cubs this weekend, he will be the first significant (borderline top 100 type) starting pitching prospect to come up with the Cubs since Kyle Hendricks. He will also represent the very leading edge of a still-developing wave of pitching coming through the middle ranks of the minors.
Following Alzolay in the next twelve to seventeen months could be a resurgent Duane Underwood (2.62 ERA, 3.31 FIP), as well as Thomas Hatch (2.97 ERA, 4.40 FIP), Matt Swarmer (2.51 ERA, 1.38 FIP, 11.69 K/9), Alex Lange (4.65 ERA, 2.94 FIP), Trevor Clifton (3.68 ERA, 3.66 FIP), Michael Rucker (3.75 FIP, 9.68 K/9), and Oscar De La Cruz (4.53 FIP, 9.46 K/9). Those pitchers right now spread between Iowa and Myrtle Beach, but all project to move quickly (if they can stay healthy) and I honestly think any of them could be an option for the Cubs by September if things go right.
Where will they all fit? Good question. If even two or three from that group stick in the majors in any capacity I think we should be pretty pleased. Even so, though, the Cubs’ rotation doesn’t have any holes in it for some time. At least, not yet (you plan, baseball laughs). Some could be traded, although I think that’s more an option next summer, and others will be ready to go should a hole appear. Problems of that nature have a way of working themselves out.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Round Rock 11, Iowa 4
Iowa 6, Round Rock 4
The Cubs lost the game started by Adbert Alzolay and won the game started by Jen-Ho Tseng. I suspect most fans thought those results would be reversed, but that’s baseball for you.
- Adbert Alzolay: 4.2 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 2 KK
- Cory Mazzoni: 1.1 IP, 2 K
- Mike Freeman: 2 for 4, 2B
- Stephen Bruno: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
- Game Two
- Jen-Ho Tseng: 5.1 IP, 4 R, 6 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- Anthony Bass: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB
- Ryan Court: 1 for 3, 1 BB
- Chesny Young: 2 for 4
- Efren Navarro: 3 for 3
- Thomas Hatch: 6.2 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 3 BB, 1 K
- Scott Effross: 1.1 IP, 1 R, 2 H
- Jeffrey Baez: 2 for 4
- Trey Martin: 2 for 4, HR
High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Pelicans had the day off.
- Cory Abbott: 5 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K
- Brendan King: 1.2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Jhonny Bethencourt: 2 for 4, 2B
- Jared Young: 1 for 3, HR
- Yeiler Peguero: 1 for 2, 2B, BB
- Game Two
- Erick Uelmen: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K
- Brian Glowicki: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Jhonny Bethencourt: 2 for 4, 2B, SB
- Austin Filiere: 1 for 3, HR, BB
- Nelson Velazquez: 2 for 4, SB
- Brandon Hughes: 2 for 3, 2B, HR, BB
- Rafael Narea: 1 for 4, 2B
- Zach Davis: 2 for 2, 2 BB, 2 SB
- Alzolay pitched around trouble in his start yesterday, except when he gave up the three homers. All of his runs allowed came on those long balls (two in the second, one in the fifth), and they were hit on a day without much wind. Regardless of that, though, I think he’ll be fine should he take the mound against the Reds.
- Keep an eye on South Bend outfielder Zach Davis. He stole bases number ten and eleven on the season yesterday, and he now has a line of .262/.398/.357 with 22 strikeouts and 13 walks. Davis is a switch-hitter with a near .400 OBP and the ability steal bags in bunches. He could be a nice player to have lurking in the system. He also plays center, and so far the results there are solid as well. A little more power wouldn’t hurt him any, and somewhat fewer strikeouts would be nice as well, but all in all the Cubs 32nd rounder from 2016 is off to a good start.