Yoanner Negrin (also sometimes “Yoannis”) was signed by the Cubs out of Cuba last August and had spent much of this season pitching in the Mexican League, a league that considered roughly equivalent to Triple A (where he is now pitching for the Cubs). He pitched pretty well primarily as a starter for Tabasco (3.32 ERA, .261 Opp AVG, 1.93 GO/AO) although he did walk a few too many for my taste (51BB / 104 IP).
Since he was pitching in Mexico we do not have very many good scouting reports on this guy yet. Based largely on rumor and past reports, I believe he pitches in the low nineties, commands an array of both fastballs and breaking pitches, tends to work down in the zone, and relies on his control to get outs rather than his raw stuff, but I would consider all of that information subject to change pending verification.
He is a relatively polished pitcher, and is already 28; do not be surprised if you hear a lot about him in spring training. I could imagine a role for him as a starter or in the bullpen, particularly if he can cut back on the walks somewhat. For the time being I think we can list him as a potential 7/8th inning reliever or a potential 3/4 starter, depending on his ability to continue to force ground balls in the majors.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Beating the Cardinals is always a good thing. Iowa scored six times in the first two innings and sailed to Sunday’s 6-3 triumph.
Tennessee – Tennessee won the first of five against Chattanooga by a final of 6-5.
Daytona – Lawns in Florida must be very well watered. Sunday’s scheduled doubleheader (which included a makeup for Saturday’s rain out) was itself rained out after a single inning in game one.
Peoria – It stayed close, but Peoria pulled out the 4-3 win.
Boise – Boise lost the first of three in Yakima by the score 4-3.
Arizona – The Arizona Cubs were off on Sunday.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Yoanner Negrin made his first Triple A start in this game. He limited Memphis to just one run on six hits and two walks while striking out three over four innings.
- [Iowa] Ryan Searle pitched four good innings in relief. He allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out three. I don’t think Searle will be a serious candidate for a job out of spring training in 2013, but he could be in another year.
- [Iowa] Greg Rohan just keeps on hitting. He finished this game 2 for 3 with a double and his third home run.
- [Tennessee] Remarkably, the Cubs managed to win this game despite having only one extra base hit. That hit was a pinch hit double off the bat of Michael Burgess.
- [Tennessee] Justin Bour and Matt Cerda both had two hits for the Cubs.
- [Peoria] Yao-Lin Wang pitched into the seventh inning and struck out seven. He allowed just two runs to score on five hits and two walks. Opponents are only hitting .195 off him as a starter.
- [Peoria] Pin-Chieh Chen singled twice and stole his 30th base. Timothy Saunders reached twice on a single and a walk and stole his eighth bag of the year.
- [Peoria] Dustin Geiger added another to his home run tally. He has now hit 16 long balls for the Chiefs in roughly a half a season.
- [Boise] The big bats for the Hawks were largely silent in this game. Jeimer Candelario, Daniel Vogelbach, Albert Almora, and Gioskar Amaya were a combined 0 for 15. Candelario did reach base twice on a walk and a hit by pitch.
- [Boise] Trey Martin was the only Chief to put together a multi-hit game. He finished with two singles.
Other Minor League Notes
- Greg Rohan is another name to remember when spring training roles around. After vaulting from Daytona to Iowa in short order, he has been cranking out the hits. Should he continue to hit, particularly if he can produce off the bench as a pinch hitter, his right handed power and his ability to play any of the corner positions could make him a serious contender to land on the roster out of Mesa. A bench that features the flexible talents of both Rohan and Steve Clevenger would definitely be an asset for Dale Sveum, if both of those players are able to hit consistently.
- The Daytona Cubs and the Tampa Yankees will meet on Monday to decide whether to try to reschedule Sunday’s games, or just to cancel them out right. The two teams are scheduled to meet again before season ends, but available days for makeup games are rapidly becoming scarce.
- Has anyone been following the Little League World Series? If you were paying attention a decade or so ago, you may have seen a current Cubs’ farm hand play a prominent role in one of the more memorable LLWS of all time. ESPN did a very nice story a few years back on the Cubs’ Matt Cerda and his place in Little League History. You have probably seen it before, but it is well worth reading again.
- If you would like to see Jorge Soler play, now is your chance. The Peoria Chiefs are in Wisconsin through Tuesday, and that means they can be seen on MiLB.TV. If you have that service or you feel dropping a few bucks on it, I would recommend you check out the Peoria games while you have the chance.