That’s a lot of headline material.
The biggest, and likely the most analyzed, of the night is definitely the promotion of Soler. He has been playing incredibly well for the Smokies, but given his hamstring issues the most important part is that he was playing regularly. I honestly thought the Cubs would leave him alone no matter how well he hit and allow him a chance to just get comfortable and pack on some at bats until the season ended and he was brought to Chicago (largely to pack on still more at bats). In the end, I suspect it wasn’t his 1.352 OPS in Tennessee that sent him to Iowa. No, I think the answer here is Manny Ramirez.
Soler and Ramirez established a very good working relationship when they were both in Arizona, and now that Ramirez is in Iowa it does make sense to allow Soler to rejoin Ramirez and let that teaching continue. After all, if a team is going to sign one of the best pure hitters of a generation as a hitting coach, it only makes sense to maximize the time he spends with the best prospects. I am surprised by the move, but I can’t argue with it.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – The pitching saved the day in this 1-0 win.
Tennessee – Tennessee scored in the eighth to tie it up, then won it in the bottom of the tenth 8-7.
Daytona – Dayton lost this one by a final of 9-3.
Kane County – Kane County had Tuesday off.
Boise Hawks – Boise was shut out 6-0.
Arizona – The Cubs rallied for a 7-6 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Dallas Beeler struck out 7 over 7 innings and 99 pitches. He walked one and gave up just 6 hits. Zac Rosscup and Blake Parker completed the shutout.
- [Iowa] The Cubs only had two hits in this one, both singles by Matt Szczur and Brett Jackson.
- [Tennessee] Jorge Soler concluded his Smokies stint with a 2 for 4 game that featured his first triple.
- [Tennessee] Charles Cutler (No 4), Dustin Geiger (No 12), and Luis Flores (No 2) all homered. Cutler finished 3 for 5, and Geiger’s homer came as a pinch hitter.
- [Tennessee] Jae-Hoon Ha doubled home the game winner and walked twice to finish 1 for 4.
- [Daytona] Albert Almora homered for the 7th time and finished 2 for 3 in his final High A game.
- [Daytona] Billy McKinney doubled and finished with 2 hits. Wes Darvill doubled and finished with 3.
- [Boise] Mark Zagunis, as a catcher, singled and walked twice.
- [Boise] Tommy Thorpe struck out 4 in his 2 innings of hitless relief.
- [Arizona] Eloy Jimenez homered (his 2nd), doubled, and finished 3 for 5 with a stolen base.
- [Arizona] Adonis Paula doubled as part of his 2 hit game. Kevonte Mitchell and Roney Alcala also finished with 2 hits each.
- [Arizona] Ivan Pineyro pitched 2 innings of a rehab start in which he allowed 2 hits and struck out a pair.
- [Arizona] Justin Steele put up 2 more scoreless innings, allowing 4 hits and earning 2 strikeouts in his time on the mound.
- In all honestly, Soler’s promotion to Iowa did not exactly make my day. I was a week and a half from seeing him first hand. A week and a half. Getting a look at Almora isn’t a bad thing, but Soler was the hitter I was looking forward to the most. Oh well.
- Almora’s promotion comes as he has been hitting pretty well in the second half. His post-All Star break OPS is over .900, and more importantly he has been showing more power lately. That’s an indication that he is finally squaring up the ball on a more consistent basis. I would not expect him to put up huge numbers with the Smokies, particularly not when there are still questions about his selectivity at the plate, just getting out of the Florida State League could have a positive impact on his numbers.
- If the Cubs do call up someone to Daytona to replace Almora, candidates could include Mark Zagunis or Jacob Hannemann.