Cubs Minor League Daily: Take A Look At The Tennessee Smokies Bullpen

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Take A Look At The Tennessee Smokies Bullpen

Chicago Cubs

A travel day for Myrtle Beach and a rain out for South Bend meant yesterday was fairly light on minor league action.

Once again, though, the story was the pitching. Both Iowa and Tennessee pitched eight shut out innings in their respective games. The difference is that Tennessee also did some scoring of their own and Iowa didn’t.

Heading into this season, I expected the starting pitchers in South Bend or Myrtle Beach to the be the standout group, but I think thus far it might just be the Tennessee bullpen. Right now the Smokies have four relievers with an ERA under 1.00 (Daury Torrez, James Norwood, Dakota Mekkes, and Zach Hedges) and another at just 2.45 (Jake Stinnett). Craig Brooks and Scott Effross lack the sparkling ERA (both at 4.00), but both are striking out more than a batter per inning. All in all, it has been an impressive bunch.

Particularly when you consider that there isn’t a lefty on the list. That’s right, every pitcher on the Smokies roster, starter or reliever, healthy or injured, is a right handed pitcher.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Memphis 3, Iowa 0
After his rough first inning, Mills allowed just three hits through the seventh.

  • Alec Mills: 7 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 3 K
  • Alberto Baldanado: 2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Stephen Bruno: 2 for 4

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 2, Jacksonville 1
Smokey pitchers held Jacksonville to just four hit, but did allow seven walks.

  • Thomas Hatch: 5 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 5 BB, 5 K
  • Craig Brooks: 2 IP, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Jake Stinnett: 1 IP, 1 H
  • Dakota Mekkes: 1 IP, 2 K
  • Jeffrey Baez: 1 for 3, HR
  • Trent Giambrone: 2 for 3

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Pelicans had the day off.

Low A: South Bend Cubs

The Smokies were rained out.

Other Notes

  • The fact that Alec Mills is already throwing through seven innings and ninety pitches is good news for the Cubs. He could still stand to get some work in after basically losing last season to injury, but it looks like he is already built up enough to pitch deep into games. If the Cubs have a serious need for a fill in starter on short notice, I think we can go ahead and consider Mills a candidate.
  • Last season Dakota Mekkes delivered an impressively long scoreless game streak with Myrtle Beach that ended at 15. His no-earned-runs streak is already up to five games this year.

Author: Luke Blaize

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