Luke is traveling today, so you’ll have to get your minor league fix by way of this morning’s Javier Baez goodness and the following …
- Yeah, no-hitter! For the second time already this year, a Chicago Cubs affiliate has tossed a no-hitter. Chris Rusin did the trick himself a couple weeks ago for the AAA Iowa Cubs, and this time it was a combined effort from Tyler Skulina and Nathan Dorris down at Low-A Kane County. Skulina walked two and struck out five in his 7.1 innings (removed due to pitch count) and Dorris cleaned up with no walks and one strikeout over his 1.2 innings. It’s a great feather in their caps, and something they’ll probably always remember.
- You may recall that Skulina was the Cubs’ fourth round pick last year (sign for over slot), and is generally placed in the top 20/25ish of Cubs prospects. He’s a huge beast of a man (listed at 6’5″, 255 lbs), and he’s got mid-rotation upside if everything clicks. So far, in his first full professional season, I think you’d have to say the results have been mixed. To be certain, the numbers aren’t bad: 3.19 ERA over 42.1 innings, with 17 BB and 32 K. But, for a 22-year-old college pitcher in Low-A, especially one who was relatively touted like Skulina, ideally you’d like to see more strikeouts and fewer walks. You also have to keep in mind that the Midwest League skews pitcher-friendly.
- (Fellow college arm from the 2013 draft, second rounder Rob Zastryzny, was sent straight to High-A to start the year, for what it’s worth. The other two “name” college arms the Cubs took in the early rounds last year, Scott Frazier and Trey Masek, are at extended Spring Training, suggesting that, if healthy, they’ll start their year at short season Low-A Boise.)
- Don’t look now, but Albert Almora is really heating up at Daytona: he’s hitting .317/.364/.488 over his last ten games, and, in his last four games, alone, he’s got nine hits. All four of his walks this year – something of a bugaboo in the early going – have come in his last twelve games.
- Jorge Soler has still not been placed on the disabled list after exiting a game on Thursday night with hamstring tightness. I’m still expecting that a DL stint is coming, though.
- Dan Vogelbach is still lagging in the power department at High-A (for what it’s worth, the league as a whole, and the place the Daytona Cubs play, aren’t an easy place to hit lots of homers – his road split is actually not too shabby (.311/.386/.392)), but he did double twice yesterday.
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