The Cubs went 0 for 3 on the farm yesterday. The bullpens again pitched well, but even I’m getting tired of me continually pointing out how well the Cubs’ relief prospects are doing in the early going. That’s not going to stop me from continuing to point it out, of course.
Yesterday, though, that’s about all that went right. The Cubs’ two top pitching prospects got shelled on the mound and completed just 3.2 innings between the two of them. The Tennessee offense didn’t perform badly, but the South Bend offense simply disappeared. It wasn’t a good day.
Hopefully today will be better. Particularly so because Adbert Alzolay makes a road start against a very, very good Oklahoma City team. Right now Oklahoma City can field a lineup that contains five hitters with an OPS over .900. They have seven guys with an OBP over .400. Small sample sizes make those numbers suspect as season numbers, but they do point out that Oklahoma City is playing very good baseball lately. This will be a good test for Alzolay. The game starts at 7:05 PM CT on Milb.tv.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa had the day off.
- Oscar De La Cruz: 2.2 IP, 5 R, 5 H, 5 BB, 4 K
- Zach Hedges: 4.1 IP, 2 H, 2 K
- Scott Effross: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
- Jeffrey Baez: 1 for 3, 3B, BB, SB
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 4, 2B, HR
- Eddy Martinez: 2 for 4, HR
High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Pelicans were rained out.
- Cory Abbott: 7 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 6 K
- Game Two
- Jose Albertos: 1 IP, 8 R (7 ER), 4 H, 4 BB, 2 K
- Enrique De Los Rios: 2 IP, 2 K
- Bailey Clark: 3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Roberto Caro: 2 for 3
- Austin Filiere: 2 for 3, 2B
- Once again, the Smokies bullpen pitched very well. This time they allowed just three hits and a walk over six and a third scoreless innings.
- In South Bend’s first game, Cory Abbott pitched about as well as anyone could have hoped. Unfortunately, one of the two hits he allowed through seven innings was a solo homer, and that was enough to force extra innings.
- Fortunately, Albertos did not throw all fifty one of his pitches in just one inning. He pitched to six batters in the second without retiring any of them.
- In case you missed it yesterday, the Cubs look likely to sign a few very well-regarded International Free Agents when the signing season opens this summer, and that is a very good thing. I am curious how the Cubs are spreading out their IFA dollars this year, based on these reports. Typically teams spend heavily on one or two players, then sign half a dozen or more in the six figure range, and then exhaust the rest of their budget with smaller deals. It is possible that the Cubs are figuring that their dire need for impact talent is so dire that they are going to spend a higher than normal percentage at the very high end of the market. Perhaps the Cubs are already planning to trade for some additional pool space.
- As good as this news is, though – and it is very, very good – some amount of a check on expectations is probably in order. Even though the Cubs are connected to the top pitchers in this signing class, these prospects are not generally considered to be in the elite tier. In other words, these signings wouldn’t exactly comparable to signing Eloy Jimenez and Gleyber Torres in the same class. They will provide some badly needed impact potential to a badly depleted farm system, but they won’t single-handedly restock the organization or impact the overall assessment of the Cubs’ organization. Not for a couple of years, anyway.