Cubs Minor League Daily: The Cubs Still Have A Lot Of Pitching Prospects

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Cubs Minor League Daily: The Cubs Still Have A Lot Of Pitching Prospects

Chicago Cubs

In recent days the Cubs have sent off two pitching prospects for Major League pitching help: Rollie Lacy and Tyler Thomas. And it’s possible another will be joining them when the final tallies are announced.

Don’t worry. Even though the farm system as a whole is down right now, there is still a lot of pitching left where that came from. The Cubs have so many pitching prospects at the A ball level right now they almost have trouble finding enough innings to go around.

Rollie Lacy, had he stayed in the system, would definitely have made the mid-season Top 40 (probably somewhere in the back half) and would have been a contender for the Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Year based on his results. His groundball/strikeout stuff should play well as he moves up the Texas system, and I won’t be in any way surprised if he makes the majors one day.

But there really is plenty of pitching left in the system. An incomplete list of names you may become very familiar with in the next few years (if you aren’t already), not including anyone from the 2018 draft, would include Brailyn Marquez, Faustino Carerra, Javier Assad, Jesus Camargo, Brendan King, Brendon Little, Erling Moreno, Jake Steffens, Cory Abbott, Bryan Hudson, Alex Lange, Bailey Clark, Erick Leal, Jose Paulino, Tyler Peyton, Justin Steele, Erich Uelmen, Thomas Hatch, Zach Hedges, Duncan Robinson, Michael Rucker, Wyatt Short, Matt Swarmer, Keegan Thompson, Daury Torrez, Trevor Clifton, and Dakota Mekkes.

Not to mention the injured Adbert Alzolay, the suspended Oscar De La Cruz, and the mysteriously unable to throw strikes but still in possession of great stuff Jose Albertos.

Most of the names I listed won’t make the majors, as is the case with all prospects, but that isn’t the point here. The point is that the Cubs still have pitching prospects, a lot of pitching prospects, who are playing well to various degrees and in various roles. The kinds of trades they have made so far this year are absolutely the kinds of trades they can afford to make.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Fresno 5, Iowa 4 in ten innings
Iowa’s two errors led to a pair of important unearned runs.

  • Jen-Ho Tseng: 6 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 4 H, 1 BB, 4 K
  • James Norwood: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Stephen Bruno: 3 for 5
  • Ryan Court: 1 for 4, 2B, BB
  • Jason Vosler: 3 for 5, 2B
  • Bijan Rademacher: 2 for 4

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 7, Birmingham 3
After nine straight losses, the Smokies finally got a win.

  • Matt Swarmer: 5.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Scott Effross: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 K
  • Zack Short: 2 for 4, 2 2B, BB
  • Yasiel Balaguert: 3 for 5, 2B
  • P.J. Higgins: 2 for 5
  • Connor Myers: 3 for 4, 3B

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Carolina 1, Myrtle Beach 0
Despite solid pitching and eight total hits, the Pelicans lost a very winnable game.

  • Manuel Rondon: 4 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Tyler Peyton: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Jose Paulino: 1.2 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Andruw Monasterio: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Wladimir Galindo: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Yeiler Peguero: 2 for 4
  • Jose Gutierrez: 1 for 3, 2B

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Lansing 2, South Bend 1
At least the Cubs three errors did not result in an unearned run.

  • Javier Assad: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Garrett Kelly: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 3 K
  • Yapson Gomez: 1 IP, 1 K
  • Delvin Zinn: 3 for 4, 2B
  • Clayton Daniel: 1 for 3, BB

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 3, Salem-Keizer 2
Eugene took a no hitter into the seventh.

  • Paul Richan: 3 IP, 4 K
  • Casey Ryan: 2 IP, 1 K
  • Yan De La Cruz: 2 IP, 3 H, 3 K
  • Levi Jordan: 0 for 2, 2 BB
  • Nelson Velazquez: 2 for 4, SB
  • Luis Diaz: 1 for 3, 3B
  • Fernando Kelli: 2 for 3, 2 SB

Rookie: AZL Cubs 1
Cubs One 5, Angels 4
The Cubs tied it up in the eighth and scored the go ahead run in the ninth.

  • Didier Vargas: 4 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 BB, 2 K
  • Raidel Otta: 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Fauris Guerrero: 3 IP, 1 R (0 ER), 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Edmond Americaan: 3 for 5, 2B
  • Andy Weber: 1 for 5, 2B
  • Josue Huma: 2 for 3, BB

Rookie: AZL Cubs 2

Cubs Two had the night off.

Other Notes

  • This could get interesting. On August 22 the Tennessee Smokies will be giving away free beer from the first pitch until the other team scores. If the game opens with a first pitch homer, this is the worst promotion ever. If the Smokies pitch a no hitter, Tennessee may find themselves footing a monster of a bar tab. It is too early to figure out who will be pitching that day, but I do kind of want to see what happens if the Smokies pitch a shut out.
  • The Smokies were in first place when their losing streak began. Now they are in fourth, five games under .500 in the second half, and six game behind Birmingham. Unless they have a long winning streak or two in them, they are going to have a hard time digging out of that hole.
  • Updated mid-season top prospects list have now arrived for both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline and I think we need to talk about Richard Gallardo. The Cubs just signed Gallardo as part of the 2018 International Free Agent class and he probably won’t pitch a single professional inning for the team until sometime next year, likely in the Dominican Summer League. Baseball America has him ranked No. 10, and MLB Pipeline 27 with a mid-rotation starter projection.
  • While it is possible that Gallardo has the mix of stuff and polish to justify a top ten ranking this fast, I’m skeptical. That said, normally I’d defer to Baseball America over anyone when it comes to international prospect evaluations. I’m not sure where that leaves us, and I won’t be until Gallardo logs some professional innings in a league that produces some tape on him, but we should definitely not read his Baseball America extremely aggressive ranking as a condemnation of the pitching prospects in the system. He isn’t ranked that high because he has no competition. I’m just not entirely sure why he is ranked that high.
  • The Mid-Season Bleacher Nation Top 40 will be ready soon, after the trade deadline, and because he has not pitched professionally in the United States there will be no ranking at all for Richard Gallardo. As for the rest of list, I think we can safely say there are some changes from the pre-season version.


Author: Luke Blaize

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