Cubs' Minor League Daily: Rizzo's Potential Lake Effect

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Cubs’ Minor League Daily: Rizzo’s Potential Lake Effect

Chicago Cubs
Photo By Scott Jontes

There is a lot of speculation regarding Junior Lake the potential time table for promoting him to Iowa, and there are a couple of trends lining up that could point to that promotion taking place next month. Baring an injury, within the next three weeks Lake will play in his 100th game at Double A. That milestone will take place within a few weeks, at most, of Anthony Rizzo‘s anticipated mid-June promotion to Chicago. That could set the stage for Lake to take Rizzo’s place on the Iowa roster.

When Lake does go to Iowa, they will likely want him to continue to play both shortstop and third base, primarily third base. That causes a problem for Josh Vitters, the full time third baseman and still a decent prospect in his own right. However, if the Cubs wait to send Lake to Iowa until Rizzo has gone to Chicago, that would allow Vitters to spend some time playing first, thereby keeping his bat in the lineup on the days Lake plays third.

So, between Lake and Vitters, which one plays third base in the majors? Both of them will, at least some, along with some likely time in the outfield. However, I think only Lake will do so with the Cubs. The way things look now, I expect the Cubs will be willing to include Vitters (who still has a fair amount of value) in trade talks in July. I have no doubt that there are plenty of teams who would be more than happy to add Vitters to their farm system, likely as part of a larger deal.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 19 – 27
Iowa’s hitters had a tough time scoring runs in an 8-2 loss.

Chris Rusin had a bad start. He only lasted four innings and gave up four walks while allowing four runs on his way to his fourth loss of the season. His record now stands at 4-4. Manny Corpas was decent in three innings of relief, but once again Nate Robertson struggled.

Anthony Rizzo had to settle for a double in this game. Luis Valbuena doubled twice to account for all the Cubs’ extra base hits. Brett Jackson and Ty Wright both had two hits for the Cubs. In the bad news department, Josh Vitters’ hitting streak came to an end.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 20 – 28
The Smokies’ game was a good one, except for the final score. Tenneessee lost 3-2.

Dallas Beeler struck out five, walked five, and gave up five hits in his six innings of work. He took the loss, his fourth of the season. Brian Schlitter finished the game by striking out three batters over the final two innings.

James Adduci‘s solo home run was the only extra base hit earned by the Smokies. Junior Lake, now batting third instead of lead off, had another two hit game.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 18 – 27
This is getting depressing. When the farm system has a day like Thursday, it seems I’m writing about loses for ever. In any event, Daytona falls again, 5-2.

Ryan Searle pitched three and two thirds innings and allowed three runs as the Cubs lost by three. Hayden Simpson pitched two and a third and somehow escaped having allowed just one run despite giving up four hits and four walks. Eduardo Figueroa gave up another run in his two innings, and Ty’relle Harris finished the game with a scoreless outing.

Greg Rohan was three for four with a double and his eighth home run of the season. Rohan, due largely to his age, is a fringe prospect at best, but there is nothing fringe about what he has been doing in Daytona lately. He should get a crack at Tennessee at some point, and we’ll be watching when he does. I don’t expect him to emerge as a second Bryan LaHair, but you never know.

Arismendy Alcantara also doubled, and catcher Micah Gibbs hit his first home run of the season. Richard Jones and Ronald Torreyes both had two hits in the losing effort.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 21 – 26
We have a winner! Peoria survived a ninth inning rally to beat Clinton 4-3.

Kyler Burke finally picked up his first win of the season as he pitched six innings of two hit ball. He also walked four (which is a bit of a problem) and struck out four (which isn’t). His season ERA is down to 2.31.

Sheldon McDonald collected five scoreless outs before handing the ball over to Yao-Lin Wang. Wang eventually earned his third save, but only after two runs scored on him.

Three different Chiefs, including Oliver Zapata, Taiwan Easterling, and Paul Hoilman, all doubled. Zapata’s two bagger was part of a three hit night. Easterling, along with Marco Hernandez, had two hits in the game.

Peoria had all the hits they needed to break this game open, but they were just 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

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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.