Cubs Minor League Daily: Next Man Up?

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Next Man Up?

Chicago Cubs

logan-watkinsShould Brian Bogusevic or one of the other Chicago Cubs land on the disabled list, it is not exactly clear who would be next in line for promotion to the majors. The only outfielder in Iowa who is already on the 40 man roster is Brett Jackson, but he is on the disabled list.

Josh Vitters is also on the 40 man, and also on the disabled list. Junior Lake is rostered and active, but I doubt he would steal many third base at bats from Valbuena. Sitting on the bench would probably be counterproductive for Lake at this stage, particularly since he got off to a late start thanks to an injury in spring training. He is eligible for promotion, but I think he is unlikely right now.

That pretty much leaves Logan Watkins. Watkins has some additional advantages to go with being healthy and on the 40 man, mainly that he can play short, second, and in center field, and is pretty good with the glove at all three spots. His left handed bat is another bonus.

But Watkins is not exactly dominating Triple A. His OBP of .348 is nice (thanks to his 12.1% walk rate, but it comes with a strike out rate of 22.1%; that’s on the high side for a fairly-light hitting infielder. Worse, he has just seven steals in fifteen attempts. That strongly implies there are elements of the Triple A game he has not quite figured out yet. Like Lake, Watkins would probably be better off playing daily in Iowa than watching in Chicago right now.

That essentially exhausts the list of candidates. Szczur and Villanueva are on the 40 man, but I don’t expect either to be vaulted from Double A. If someone does need to come up, I think it might be Watkins by default.

Unless the Cubs make another move, of course. That is something we can never quite count out.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa scored twice in the ninth and four times in the tenth to rally for a 9-5 win.
Tennessee – Some really good pitching carried the Smokies to a 4-1 win.
Daytona – Daytona also enjoyed some good pitching in their 3-1 win.
Kane County – The runs came in bunches in Kane County’s 7-4 win.
Boise – Boise never led despite out-hitting Tri City in this 7-5 loss.
Arizona – It was a nail biter in the desert as the AZL Cubs took the 2-1 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] The bullpen turned in a nice performance for Iowa. Eduardo Sanchez allowed a hit and a walk in 2 innings of work, and Casey Coleman picked up the win by striking out two in 2 innings of 2 walk, no hit work.
  • [Iowa] Ty Wright finished this game 3 for 5. Since returning to Iowa from Double A he has an OPS over 1.000.
  • [Iowa] Junior Lake hit his fourth home run and drew a walk.
  • [Tennessee] Eric Jokisch had a very nice game. Over 6 innings he allowed a run on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 9. That will generally get the job done.
  • [Tennessee] Tennessee also got some excellent work out of the bullpen. P.J. Francescon struck out 2 in 2 hitless innings, and Tony Zych struck out 2 more in the final frame for his first save.
  • [Tennessee] Third baseman Christian Villanueva paced the offense with a 3 for 4 day that included a double. Matt Szczur hit his fourth triple as part of his 2 for 4 day.
  • [Daytona] Ben Wells did not wrack up the strike outs (just 3 in 7 innings), but he did limit the opportunities to just 2 hits and a walk. No one scored against him.
  • [Daytona] Dustin Geiger doubled and hit his 9th home run for the Cubs. Tim Saunders also homered (his 3rd) as part of a two hit game.
  • [Daytona] In addition to reaching twice on a single and a walk, Javier Baez also stole his 10th base.
  • [Kane County] Dillon Maples allowed two runs in his 3 innings of work, but those scored on a just one walk and just one hit. He also struck out three. Given his issues with locating the strike zone lately this was an encouraging outcome.
  • [Kane County] The 3 for 4 day of Gioskar Amaya included a double and his 4th home run. Dan Vogelbach and Marco Hernandez also had two hits.
  • [Kane County] Recently promoted outfielder Kevin Encarnacion stayed productive with a 1 for 3 game that included 2 walks.
  • [Boise] Second baseman Daniel Lockhart had a 3 for 4 game that raised his season average to .311.
  • [Boise] Yasiel Balaguert continued solid start to the year with a 2 for 5 game.
  • [Arizona] Daury Torrez struck out 3 over 5 innings of 4 hit ball in relief of Zak Hermans (who pitched the first inning). Luis Villalba and David Villegas pitched scoreless innings in relief.
  • [Arizona] Third baseman Jesse Hodges finished 3 for 4 with his first double.

Other News

  • Thanks to his blast yesterday Justin Bour has now homered in back to back games.
  • Despite their ten hits, Boise did not have any hits for extra bases.
  • The game temperature in Arizona yesterday was 103. Keep in mind that all AZL Cub games are played in the evening. I don’t know if that heat serves as an incentive for those players to step up their games so they can get out of there, but I know it would in my case. 103. Ugh.

Author: Luke Blaize

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