Cubs Minor League Daily: What To Expect From Jen-Ho Tseng If He Gets the Call Today

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Cubs Minor League Daily: What To Expect From Jen-Ho Tseng If He Gets the Call Today

Chicago Cubs

There is a possibility that Jen-Ho Tseng will be the starter for the Cubs today, now that Yu Darvish is on the disabled list. Tseng was the scheduled starter yesterday for Iowa, but was scratched very late, forcing Iowa into a bullpen day (and possibly setting Iowa up with a pitching conundrum of their own today). So what can we expect from Tseng?

If he gets through five innings while the Cubs still have a reasonable chance to win the game, celebrate. That is really all we can hope for – after a fantastic 2017 in which he was named the organization’s minor league pitcher of the year, this year has not been kind to Tseng.

Tseng, 23, has given up at least four runs in every game he has started other than his first start. He gave up seven in his last start, and four in each of the two before that. He currently sports an 8.04 ERA. The peripheral numbers aren’t much better. His walk rate is high (3.73 BB/9), his home run rate is really high (1.72 HR/9), and his line drive rate is at a career high (25.5%). Based on how he has been pitching lately, I don’t think Tseng would have been the Cubs’ first choice for a spot starter. Unfortuantely, sometimes teams can’t be picky.

For the optimists out there, I’d focus your thinking on three areas. First, he’d be facing a Marlins team that is the worst team by wOBA in baseball (.279). By pretty much any standard, Miami is in the running for worst hitting team around. That’s good for Tseng.

Second and third, there are a couple positive numbers. His groundball rate is decent at 47.1%, and he is striking a minor league career high 9.19 K/9 this season. So if he can get plenty of weak grounders into the Chicago’s excellent infield defense, and if he can pick up a double handful of strikeouts along the way, then maybe any contact he does give up will be on the soft side by virtue of the fact that the Marlins just aren’t very good hitters.

Then again, this is baseball we’re talking about, so don’t be surprised if he carries a perfect game into the eighth.  That sort of thing seems like it happens all the time.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 6, Round Rock 5

  • Brad Markey: 2 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Alberto Baldonado: 2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Randy Rosario: 3 IP, 2 K
  • Justin Hancock: 1 IP, 2 K
  • Dillon Maples: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Mike Freeman: 2 for 4, 2B, BB
  • David Bote: 1 for 5, 2B
  • Chris Gimenez: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Chesny Young: 2 for 3, BB, SB

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 3, Jacksonville 0
This was probably the best game of Clifton’s career.

  • Trevor Clifton: 6 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 9 K
  • Scott Effross: 2 IP, 1 H, 4 K
  • James Norwood: 1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Jeffrey Baez: 0 for 4, BB, SB
  • Zack Short: 2 for 5, 2 2B
  • Charcer Burks: 3 for 4, SB
  • Trey Martin: 1 for 4, HR

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 3, Down East 0
That’s the second time this month the Pelicans have won a shutout.

  • Keegan Thompson: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K
  • Bailey Clark: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB
  • Austin Upshaw: 2 for 4, 2 2B
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 2 for 4
  • Daniel Spingola: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Aramis Ademan: 1 for 2, 2B

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 5, Burlington 3
The Cubs got five excellent innings from their starter and a semi-normal looking outting from Albertos in relief.

  • Cory Abbott: 5 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 8 K
  • Jose Albertos: 2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Roberto Caro: 3 for 4, 2B, SB
  • Jared Young: 2 for 4
  • Austin Filiere: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Jhonny Bethencourt: 2 for 4, SB
  • Yeiler Peguero: 2 for 2, BB

Other Notes

  • The odd thing about Bailey Clark’s relief work for the Pelicans is that he had no strikeouts. Normally strikeouts are part of his game, but yesterday he relied on a steady supply of grounders to get the job done. That’s probably a good thing. The more ways he has to get people out, the better.
  • Yes, I consider that two run outting from Albertos encouring. He tied his season high for strikes thrown in a game (24), walked the fewest in any game since April 18 (3), matched his season high in strikeouts (3), and matched his season high in innings worked (2). For a guy who lost his control so badly he walked 13 batters in 3.2 innings over his last three appearances, this is progress. Hopefully he’ll be back to his old self in another few weeks.
  • If Randy Rosario hadn’t managed to make his 31 pitches for Iowa last three innings, the Iowa Cubs bullpen would really be in bad shape for today. As is, they need a long a start from scheduled starter Michael Roth. He’s only pitched six innings once this year, and only reached the fifth in one of his last three starts. Position players in Iowa might need to loosen up their arms before this one is over.
  • David Bote’s multi-hit game streak ended yesterday at five. His hitting streak continued, though, and is up to nine games.

Author: Luke Blaize

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