After 4 games, 4.2 innings, and 9 strikeouts in a Smokies uniform, Allen Webster has been sent to Iowa. I can think of just one reason the Cubs would be pushing him up the organization this fast, this late in the year: he is being considered for a September call-up.
Any why not? The Cubs can probably find the 40-man roster space, and Webster has pitched very well since leaving Arizona. One more arm out of the pen down the stretch can only be a good thing. And if it turns out he can handle high leverage situations? Suddenly a good Cubs’ bullpen looks even better.
And Webster wasn’t the only arm getting the bump to Iowa: starting pitcher Duncan Robinson, who’s been a breakout success this year, is also now on the Iowa Cubs roster. The 24-year-old righty was the Cubs’ 9th round pick in 2016 – a senior out of Dartmouth – and he put up a 3.31 ERA in 130.2 innings at Tennessee this year, with solid peripherals. He was recently named by Baseball America as having the best control in the Southern League.
Iowa was swept, but the Cubs did see some good work from probable September call ups. Rob Zastryzny pitched three scoreless, and Dakota Mekkes added one of his own. Allen Webster also made his Iowa debut.
Keegan Thompson not only struck out 8 over 7 innings of work (2 runs allowed), he also doubled and drove in two runs at the plate.
Luis Ayala had four hits on the day, including two doubles. Jared Young also doubled as part of a three hit day. Tyson Miller stuck out 8 in a 7 inning complete game in Game 2, and Bailey Clark returned with two scoreless in the first contest.
After Brendon Little did not get out of the first inning, the bullpen did not give up a run the rest of the game.
Eugene has now lost three straight and are one game out of the playoffs.
The Cubs were held to just four hits in this one.
There were 31 total hits in this game, including 16 from the Cubs. Three of those hits were home runs by Luis Verdugo, Cole Roederer, and Fidel Mejia. Roederer stole two bases, and Luis Diaz swiped three.
- All of the sudden Fernando Kelli has a six game hitting streak and has two hits in each of his last two games. Random hot streak? Adjustments starting to pay off? Unfortunately the season will probably end before we can say for sure. Given his elite speed, you’d love to see the bat starting to develop.
- If the same team wins both the first and second half titles in the Arizona Rookie League, the second playoff team will be the team with the next best season record. For AZL Cubs 2, that means they are a game and a half behind Indians 2 for the second playoff spot as we head into the final days of that season.