Cubs Minor League Daily: Robinson Strikes Out 11, High-A Showdown Looms, Importance of a Playoff Chase

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Robinson Strikes Out 11, High-A Showdown Looms, Importance of a Playoff Chase

Chicago Cubs

Duncan Robinson not only a set a season high in strikeouts when he fanned eleven for the Smokies yesterday, he recorded double digit strikeouts for the first time in his professional career. And he walked no one for the third straight start.

The Cubs drafted this 6’6″ right-hander out of Dartmouth in the 9th round in 2016, and he has done nothing but perform since then. His worst ERA at any stop was the 4.19 he put in up 19 innings of relief for Eugene in 2016. This season, not only is he keeping it up on the ERA front (3.39), he has struck out 68 in 69 innings of work while walking only 10. Numbers like that after 13 starts bode very well for Robinson’s ability to keep succeeding up the ladder.

Nothing is certain, of course, but right now I like Robinson’s odds to get a chance to sneak into the back of a Major League rotation one day. Not bad for a 9th round senior signing.

Erick Leal also had a nice game. He pitched four no-hit innings for Myrtle Beach as the Pelicans won their ninth straight.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs

Iowa was rained out.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 3, Birmingham 2
A ninth inning single off the bat of Zack Short led to a walkoff win.

  • Duncan Robinson: 6 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 2 H, 11 K
  • Jake Stinnett: 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 K
  • Zach Hedges: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K
  • Vimael Machin: 2 for 4
  • Jason Vosler: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
  • Trent Giambrone: 2 for 4, SB

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 4, Salem 3
IF (month) == “June” THEN (Myrtle Beach Losses) == 0

  • Erick Leal: 4 IP, 1 BB, 4 K
  • Casey Bloomquist: 3 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Jhon Romero: 2 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 4 H, 3 K
  • Andruw Monasterio: 2 for 5, SB
  • Jhonny Pereda: 1 for 3, BB, SB
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
  • Connor Myers: 1 for 3, BB
  • Zach Davis: 1 for 4, SB

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 5, West Michigan 4
Not one of the four runs the Cubs allowed were earned.

  • Javier Assad: 5 IP, 4 R (0 ER), 6 H, 3 BB, 6 K
  • Manuel Rondon: 2 IP, 4 K
  • Jeffrey Passantino: 2 IP, 1 H, 3 K
  • Roberto Caro: 1 for 2, 3 BB, 2 SB
  • Jared Young: 2 for 5
  • Michael Cruz: 3 for 4, 2B

Other Notes

  • By winning their ninth straight, the Pelicans stayed two and a half games back of Winston-Salem in the division. They trail Buies Creek by a game.
  • And now Myrtle Beach has to hit the road to play… Winston-Salem. The first place team riding a three game winning streak against the hottest team in the league on a nine game winning streak in three game series with first place on the line in the final week of the first half of the season. Yes, please.
  • We know that pressure can do strange things to people, and there is no pressure quite like the pressure on baseball players in a playoff chase. The prospects the Cubs have in the farm system will hopefully be in that situation a lot when they reach the majors one day, and I can’t think of any way to better prepare them for it than for them to experience those must-win, season-on-the-line moments while in the minors. That’s why I think minor league playoffs chases and minor league playoffs matter. The championships are nice, and the Cubs’ five-year streak of organizational championships is cool, but the real benefit is the experience the players get having to perform in those situations. It isn’t the same as late September or October in the majors, but it is better than nothing.
  • And you’ve ever been in a small minor league stadium where fans are practically sitting on the field and the packed house is going nuts in a key late season game, you know that it can get plenty intense in those situations. That experience is invaluable. It will pay off down the road.
  • When the showdown in Winston-Salem begins tonight, the Pelicans will send Bryan Hudson to the mound. Alex Lange starts Tuesday, and Cory Abbott on Wednesday. If Myrtle Beach pulls off the sweep, they might just finish the series in first place.

Author: Luke Blaize

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