Cubs Prospect Notes: Smokies Starters, Injury Bug, Foreign Substances, More

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Cubs Prospect Notes: Smokies Starters, Injury Bug, Foreign Substances, More

Chicago Cubs

Fairly confident that Wednesday’s Myrtle Beach – Down East game had the craziest 5-batter sequence of the year, and I know it’s mid-April. Five batters into the second inning, starting pitcher Alex Lange was ejected when the umpire examined his left forearm for a “foreign substance.” This produced, apparently, quite a scene, one that also led to Pelicans manager Steve Lerud being tossed as well. Later that inning, first baseman Wladimir Galindo caught a shoulder to the face as he attempted a tag after fielding a bunt, causing Galindo to leave the game. And three batters later, in the top half of the third, Myrtle Beach hitting coach Ty Wright was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes.

Here’s some other notes from around the Cubs farm system …

  • Galindo was sadly not the only injury this week, as the bug hit each affiliate in a day or so. The worst news we know about so far is shortstop Zack Short, who was in Chicago yesterday getting his hand evaluated for a potential fracture, after being hit by a pitch in Iowa’s home opener on Tuesday. Short was hitting .368/.455/474 through his first 22 plate appearances. More from Tommy Birch:

  • Cristhian Adames has also hit the IL in Iowa, so the Cubs have temporarily called up utility infielder Vimael Machin, who was hitting .308/.471/.462 at Double-A Tennessee. The I-Cubs shortstop will now be Dixon Machado, whom the Cubs look smart to have signed days before the season. He’s hitting an insane .529/.636/.824 in five games, and just yesterday hit a walk-off in Iowa’s 5-4 win:

  • The other notable prospect injury is to righty Keegan Thompson, who hit the 7-day DL in Tennessee, and while we’re still waiting details, I have heard it’s nothing currently considered serious. It’s still unfortunate, as Thompson pitched so incredibly in his season debut.
  • Thompson briefly leaves behind a Tennessee rotation that is absolutely insane right now. Tom Hatch followed in Thompson’s footsteps last night with 5.0 no-hit innings, and the Smokies starters have allowed just nine hits and two earned runs in a combined 28.2 innings. Here are the individual numbers:
    • Hatch: 10 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K.
    • Thompson: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K.
    • Cory Abbott: 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K.
    • Justin Steele: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K.
    • Tyson Miller: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K.
  • So far, we were right to be excited about that particular rotation.
  • The Cubs released Jen-Ho Tseng yesterday after he formally cleared waivers. The team had the option to retain Tseng through the end of the 2020 season, but there was not an upper-level rotation slot available that he wouldn’t downgrade. I’m sure the decision was made that, rather than try and fit a square peg in a round hole somewhere as the last man in a bullpen, the right thing to do was allow the 2017 Minor League Pitcher of the Year to look for work elsewhere. Triple-A broadcaster Alex Cohen strikes the right sentiment here.

  • Let’s catch up on the wins and losses of the full-season squads.
    • Iowa is a division-best 5-2 with three one-run victories.
    • Tennessee is 4-2 with some come-from-behind victories.
    • Myrtle Beach is 1-7, with a team OPS of .511.
    • South Bend is 4-4.
  • I want to point out the two starts Cameron Sanders has had with Low-A South Bend. The Cubs spent Spring Training converting Sanders back into a starter, and it’s paying dividends. After struggling with walks in college, Sanders is throwing more strikes as a Cub, and it’s led to two 5-inning shutout performances. Command still needs work, but it’s coming along. Sanders topped at 93 mph in the first inning yesterday, and shows some solid deception and plus sink (which led to ten groundball outs against the Loons).
  • Early, early tiny samples:

  • Finally, a note on how Victor Caratini’s injury will almost surely change the catching situation at 3 levels of the organization:

Author: Bryan Smith

Bryan Smith is a Minor League Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @cubprospects.