Cubs Minor League Daily: A Reliever To Watch (UPDATE: Luke is Smart)

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Cubs Minor League Daily: A Reliever To Watch (UPDATE: Luke is Smart)

Chicago Cubs

kane county cougarsZack Godley has been incredibly successful as a late inning arm for Kane County this year. Through eleven games and fifteen innings he has struck out twenty five, walked seven, and given up just three runs. His GO/AO is a solid 1.22, and has both an ERA and a FIP way under 2.00. In a word, he’s been great.

So great, in fact, that I’m starting to wonder what he’s still doing in the Midwest League. When a reliever dominates to this extent, there really is not much point in leaving him in that league. That is even more so the case when the reliever, as in the case of Godley, was drafted out of college and probably should be dominating Low A.

Unless, that is, the Cubs plan to turn him back into a starter. Godley started for the University of Tennessee last year and had quite a bit of success in that role. Whether or not he could start as a professional comes down to his stuff, and I don’t have very much good data there, but if he has three pitches he can throw for strikes it would not surprise me if the Cubs intended to move him into a rotation in the later part of the year and see how he handles working every fifth day.

If they do opt to leave him in the bullpen, though, he could fly up the system in a hurry. It isn’t common for a pitcher, even a collegiate reliever, to jump from Low A to Double A, but in this case I would give it serious thought.

UPDATE (Brett): Wow, Luke, you are a smart man:

Also, hooray Vizcaino!

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa scored seven times in the ninth to put this one out of reach. The Cubs won 12-3.
Tennessee – An eight run third inning carried the Smokies to an 11-7 win.
Daytona – Daytona jumped out to an early lead, but could not hold onto it. They lost 8-6.
Kane County – Kane County overcame four errors in this 8-4 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Dallas Beeler was effective in his first start of the year. He needed just 79 pitches to toss 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 3.
  • [Iowa] Brett Jackson finished 2 for 5 with a double, his second home run, and no strikeouts. Chris Valaika also doubled, homered (his third) and did not strike out.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters homered for the second straight game and now has 4 for the year.
  • [Iowa] And Arismendy Alcantara continued his nice season with 2 hits, a double, and his 8th steal. Through small sample sizes, his splits against left handers (OPS of .798) and right handers (OPS of .786) are very close. That’s a good sign for a switch hitter.
  • [Tennessee] Ivan Pineyro struggled some in his 4.2 inning start (98 pitches). He finished with a line of 5 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits and 4 walks with 5 strikeouts.
  • [Tennessee] After hitting 2 more doubles in this game, Stephen Bruno is on a 4 game streak of doubling in every game.
  • [Tennessee] Rafael Lopez, 3 for 5 with a double, has been about has hot as any hitter lately. His OPS in his last ten games is a very robust 1.179.
  • [Daytona] Bijan Rademacher hit his 3rd home run and finished 2 for 2 with a walk for Daytona.
  • [Daytona] Jose Rosario struck out 6 over 5 innings in this one, allowing 3 runs (2 earned ) on 8 hits and a pair of walks.
  • [Daytona] Albert Almora did not walk again, but he only struck out once in his 1 for 4 game.
  • [Kane County] Tyler Skulina struck out 4 over 4 innings while allowing a run on 2 hits and 3 walks. Nathan Dorris followed with 3 innings of 2 run, 3 hit ball with 3 strikeouts.
  • [Kane County] Jacob Hannemann picked up 2 more singles and finished 2 for 5. He also struck out twice.
  • [Kane County] Cael Brockmeyer, in very limited time, is now hitting .500 on the season after this 3 for 3 game.
  • [Kane County] Yasiel Balaguert homered and walked on his way to a 2 for 3 night. Shawon Dunston tripled and finished 2 for 4.

Other News

  • Last year Rubi Silva put up some good numbers in Tennessee, except in the walk column. He finished with just 18 walks and a very low walk percentage of 3.7%. This season, though, he already has 7 free passes and that walk rate is up to 5.9%. His strikeout rate is also up (31.4% versus 20.2% last season), and his ISO is down (.065 versus .199 last season), but should those values return to their 2013 levels while the walk rate stays up, the Cubs will have a nice left handed hitting outfielder on their hands. Silva could yet be a candidate for an outfield platoon role or a bench slot in the future.
  • Shadows of Wrigley was at some recent Kane County games and picked up some pretty good video of two of the Cougars’ starters in action. Footage of right hander Jen-Ho Tseng, perhaps the best Cubs’ pitching prospect in the low minors, can be seen here, and the video of right hander Duane Underwood can be found here.

Author: Luke Blaize

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