Cubs Minor League Daily: First Weekend Edition

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Cubs Minor League Daily: First Weekend Edition

Chicago Cubs

jorge soler peoria chiefs cubsThere was a lot of good baseball played in the Cubs’ farm system this weekend, particularly in Daytona. The High A Cubs won some games in impressive fashion, and No. 1 prospect Jorge Soler was a big part of that scoring. Kane County wound up in extra innings on both Saturday and Sunday, but this is a team that is still looking for it’s first win. Meanwhile, up in Double A the Smokies were demonstrating a mix of prolific offense and effective pitching that could produce a pretty good season.

And then we have Iowa. It isn’t just that Albequerque beat the Cubs three times over the weekend (and thirteen in a row going back for practically ever), it is more that none of the games were particularly close. I think things will get better for Iowa, but right now it seems that very little is going right for this team.

With twelve games to cover today, it will take even more impressive exploits than usual to appear in the Performances of Note section, but the farm system left me no shortage of candidates. If you want all the details, though, be sure to click through to all the box scores below.

Scores From The Weekend

Friday – Another big inning sunk the Cubs in this 10-6 loss.
Saturday – This one got away late, and it ended in an 8-3 Cubs loss.
Sunday – The Cubs found a bit of offense late, but that only narrowed the margin to a 7-3 loss.

Friday – The Smokies used 12 hits to pull away for an 8-2 win.
Saturday – It took twelve innings for the Smokies to find their offense, but the result was a 9-1 win.
Sunday – The Smokies rallied late, but could not quite come up with enough. They lost 5-4.

Friday – Two pitchers combined on a three hit shutout as the Cubs won 8-0.
Saturday – Don’t look now, but Daytona may have a pretty good pitching staff. Three pitchers combined to strike out 12 in this 4-2 win.
Sunday – Daytona is starting to look like the best ticket in the organization. The Cubs won another blowout, this time by a final of 9-0.

Kane County
Friday – Ten hits only turned into one run for the Cougars. They lost 4-1.
Saturday – If you like offense, you loved this game. Kane County lost in eleven innings by footballish score of 13-10.
Sunday – Another extra inning game in Kane County, but again it was the Cougars who came up short. The final in 13 was 3-1 against KC.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins reached base five times on Friday thanks to three hits (including a triple) and two walks. He cooled off a bit over the weekend, but, thanks to his ability to draw walks, he was still able to get on base at least once in all three games.
  • [Iowa] Ryan Sweeney opened his Iowa career by doing a pretty good Anthony Rizzo impression. Three hits on Saturday were followed by two more on Sunday, including a home run. Sweeney is currently batting .883 (aren’t early season numbers fun?).
  • [Tennessee] With three hits on Friday, three more on Saturday, and one on Sunday, Jae-Hoon Ha put to rest any fears that he might get off to another slow start. Matt Szczur, who reached base twice in each of those games, is not too far behind him on the stat sheet.
  • [Tennessee] Remember Zach Rosscup? He was the other pitcher who came back to the Cubs in the Garza trade. Now recovered from elbow surgery, Rosscup is a member of the Tennessee bullpen. He struck out five in two innings on Friday night. For now, at least, he has my attention.
  • [Tennessee] Alberto Cabrera did pretty well on Friday himself. In his return to the starting rotation, the right hander struck out nine over six innings while coughing up just two earned runs. The next night Eric Jokisch struck out seven in his six innings of work.
  • [Daytona] Starling Peralta and Ryan Searle each tossed 4+ innings of a three hit shutout on Friday. They combined to strike out eleven while issuing just three walks (all by Peralta).
  • [Daytona] Not to be outdone, the Saturday pitching staff of Austin Kirk, Yao-Lin Wang, and Frank Del Valle struck out 12 (half by Del Valle) as each hurler tossed three innings.
  • [Daytona] Have I mentioned that Daytona has some pitching? On Sunday, P.J. Francescon struck out six in five innings of one hit ball. Yeiper Castillo (3K, 2 IP), Luis Liria (1 IP) and Austin Reed (1 IP) completed the Cubs’ second shutout of the weekend.
  • [Daytona] With five hits, including two home runs, over the weekend, Jorge Soler seems to be having no trouble with High A. With seven hits, including a triple, speedster John Andreoli is just about keeping pace with the more highly touted Soler.
  • [Daytona] It’s early, but, through 17 plate appearances, Javier Baez has yet to draw a walk. He does have a homer, though.
  • [Kane County] So far this season the best slugger on the Cougars has not been Vogelbach, it has been 1B/LF Rock Shoulders. The lefty slugger currently has a line of .471/.500/.706 with just four strikeouts in 18 trips to the plate.
  • [Kane County] Fellow outfielder Oliver Zapata is at it again. Last season this guy appeared almost out of nowhere, tore up the Midwest League for about a month, then faded. He picked up five hits, including a triple and a homer, over the weekend. Hopefully this is the beginning of a true breakout performance.
  • [Kane County] Tayler Scott took the mound for the Cougars on Friday, and the results were encouraging. He allowed one run (unearned) on four hits over six innings while striking out six.

Other News

  • Josh Vitters made his season debut as a pinch hitter on Sunday. It is probably safe to expect him to get back into regular action as the Cubs head for Round Rock.
  • I recently wrote that the Cubs do not have a much in the way of catching prospects currently in the farm system. Naturally, the Cubs’ catching prospects promptly opened the season by going on a hitting binge. Chadd Krist (KC) has an OPS of 1.417, Willson Contreras (KC) is right behind him at 1.271, and Micah Gibbs (Daytona) has jumped out to an OPS of 1.250. I’m not recanting anything yet, but if these guys are still hitting when June and July roles around I may have to rethink the lack of catching on my Top 40.

Author: Luke Blaize

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