Cubs Minor League Daily: Happy Underwood Debut Day!

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Happy Underwood Debut Day!

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

When Duane Underwood takes the mound tonight, he will be just the second pitcher drafted by this front office to start for the Cubs (Rob Zastryzny was the first), and he will be third pitcher and fifth player overall from the Cubs 2012 draft class to reach the majors. Albert Almora, Pierce Johnson, Paul Blackburn, and David Bote are the other members of that group.

As Brett noted in the previous link, Underwood walks the tightrope of being a weak-contact, flyball pitcher. He lives on his control, and everything seems to play off his fastball. When his fastball is too straight, he gets crushed. He’s had more life on it this year, and, as a result, this promotion is neither underserved nor a surprise, even if it happens to be coming because the Cubs need a fill-in starter. He had earned the call; it was only a matter of time.

Keep on eye on his fastball early in the game. If it is showing some movement and Underwood is able to locate it up in the zone, he could be in for a soild debut. If he really has a feel for his stuff, double digit strikeouts aren’t out of the question.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Colorado Springs 2, Iowa 0
Hang in there, Iowa fans.

  • Kyle Ryan: 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 K
  • Zach Hedges: 4 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Mark Zagunis: 0 for 2, 2 BB

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Mobile 9, Tennessee 0
Daniel Spingola, the outfielder, picked up the final four outs on the mound.

  • Matt Swarmer: 5 IP, 5 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 6 K
  • Daniel Spingola: 1.1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 K
  • Ian Rice: 1 for 2, 2B, BB

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 5, Lynchburg 3
Lynchburg 8, Myrtle Beach 0
At least one of the games didn’t invovle the Cubs’ affiliate being shut out.

  • Erich Uelmen: 5.1 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Erick Leal: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 1 K
  • D.J. Wilson: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
  • P.J. Higgins: 1 for 3, 2B
  • Connor Myers: 1 for 3, 2B
  • Game Two
  • Casey Bloomquist: 3.1 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K
  • Jhon Romero: 1.1 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 2 K
  • Andruw Monasterio: 1 for 3, 2B
  • Connor Myers: 1 for 3, 2B

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 10, Dayton 4
Now there’s a game we can smile about. Except that whole ‘Dayton had ten hits’ part.

  • Erling Moreno: 4 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Brendan King: 3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Garrett Kelly: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K
  • Austin Filiere: 3 for 5
  • Miguel Amaya: 1 for 3, HR, 2 BB
  • Michael Cruz: 1 for 3, 2 BB
  • Cam Balego: 3 for 5
  • Chris Carrier: 2 for 5, 2B, HR
  • Chris Singleton: 2 for 3, 2 2B

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Boise 5, Eugene 1
Despite nine hits, Eugene’s only run came in the ninth and scored on a wild pitch.

  • Brailyn Marquez: 3.1 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K
  • Yan De La Cruz: 2.2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 K
  • Jake Steffens: 3 IP, 2 H, 4 K
  • Fernando Kelli: 2 for 5, 2 SB
  • Jonathan Sierra: 2 for 4, SB
  • Gustavo Polanco: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Luis Diaz: 2 for 2, 2B

Rookie: AZL Cubs 1

Cubs 1 had the day off.

Rookie: AZL Cubs 2
Padres 10, Cubs Two 2
The Cubs only gave up nine hits and three walks. The Padres were really efficient with them.

  • Yovanny Cruz: 3.2 IP, 5 R (3 ER), 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K
  • Sucre Valdez: 2.2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Alonso Gaitan: 2 for 3, 2B
  • Richard Nunez: 1 for 1, 2B, BB
  • Henrry Pedra: 2 for 4, 2B

Other Notes

  • As both a starter and a reliever, Iowa lefty Kyle Ryan has done a nice job in Triple A this year. His groundball rate is a ‘there’s no way this this is sustainable, how is he doing this?’ 72.2%. The walk rate isn’t bad at just under 3 BB/9 and the strikeout rate is a solid 8.72 K/9. He came off the disabled list on June 18, so he may need a start or two before the Cubs look to bring him to the majors. He’s had success with Detroit in the Majors in past seasons, so I fully expect he’ll be part of the Chicago bullpen by the end of the year.
  • We see position players coming to the mound to finish off blowout games from time to time. The case of yesterday’s Tennessee game, though, still strikes me as somewhat unique. I don’t remember ever seeing the position player be brought in part way through an inning before.

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Author: Luke Blaize

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