The rainout on Wednesday didn't slow Willson Contreras down. He went 1-4 with a walk and hit his 9th home run of the season. He drove in 3 runs and scored 2. Dan Vogelbach and Albert Almora didn't miss a beat either. Vogelbach was 2-4 with a double and Almora was 2-3 with a sac bunt. I'm not sure why Almora is sacrificing when he's hitting this well, but I do imagine it will be something he'll be called upon to do at the MLB level more regularly than he has in the minors. At least initially. Arismendy Alcantara also had a good night at the plate. He was 2-4 with a double, walk, RBI and run scored. He struckout once.
Rob Zastryzny threw 5.1 innings, allowed 7 hits and 3 runs. He walked 2 and struckout 5. Zastryzny doesn't have a spot in the Cubs rotation anytime soon and he's a back of the rotation type starter anyway. I think his future with this organization is probably going to be in the bullpen and perhaps sooner than the Cubs would like. They could use a LOOGY at the MLB level and I wouldn't be opposed to seeing what Zastryzny could do in that role. His velocity would more than likely tick up a couple miles per hour and he'd always have the first time through the order advantage that relievers have. Travis Wood has turned a similar move to the bullpen into a fairly decent career and I think we'll eventually see the same thing here.
Until Contreras gets called up to MLB, I'm just going to say this each time at the end of the recap: Willson Contreras has nothing left to prove in the minors. I hate the idea of having 3 catchers on the roster, but in this case, I think it would be worth it.
Cael Brockmeyer was 2-3 with a double and a strikeout. Stephen Bruno was 1-2 with a walk. Jacob Hannemann and Mark Zagunis were each 1-4 with a double. Hannemann struckout twice while Zagunis struckout only once. Billy McKinney was also 1-4 and that's all the hitting the Smokies did. Jeimer Candelario was 0-4 again and this time he struckout 3 times.
Mark Zagunis is off to a great start at Tennessee. Prior to this game, he was hitting .311/.421/.457 with a wOBA of .411 and wRC+ of 157. His walk rate is 14.9% and his strikeout rate is 16.9%. These numbers are very similar to what he did last year at Daytona (.271/.406/.412/, .387, 146).
Zagunis is a corner outfielder without a lot of power. He was drafted in 2014 in the 3rd round (78th overall pick). He was drafted as a catcher, but couldn't throw any base-stealers out so he was moved to the outfield. He's been an extremely patient hitter who doesn't strikeout a whole lot. He doesn't have tremendous power. He hit 8 home runs last year for Myrtle Beach. He could be a 10-15 home run guy in his prime with lots of walks and not that many strikeouts.
He's not a top prospect or anything, but he's a good prospect and one worth watching in my opinion. He's 23 years old so it would be nice if he was moved to Iowa so we could get a better idea of his real talent level.
The Pelicans blew an 8-2 lead entering the bottom of the 5th. The Red Sox scored 5 in that half of the inning. The Pelicans added 2 in the 6th and the Red Sox scored a single run in the 6th and then 3 in the 7th. There were 30 hits in this one so the fans in attendance had some fun.
Gleyber Torres breaks out of his season-long slump. He was 3-4 with 3 doubles and a walk. More of that, please. Jason Vosler was 3-5 with 2 doubles and 3 RBI. Even Gioskar Amaya got in on the hitting. He was 3-5 with a double, triple and 3 RBI. Someone Shawon Dunston Jr. didn't ge the memo that he was supposed to rack up some hits in this one. He was 0-5 with a couple of strikeouts.
The pitching sucked in this one. They gave up 11 runs on 17 hits. Jonathan Martinez pitched 4.2 innings, allowed 8 hits and 7 runs. He walked 3 and struckout 2. Daury Torrez pitched 2 innings, allowed 8 hits and run runs. Jordan Minch wasn't scored upon. He threw 1.1 innings, allowed a hit and a walk. The Pelicans pitchers walked 5 in this one while striking out only 2.
The Cubs only had 6 hits in this game. They also took 3 walks and only struckout twice. P.J. Higgins was 1-3 with a walk. Donnie Dewees scored the team's only run after he doubled and Ian Rice (1-3, walk, RBI) drove him in. Eloy Jimenez had a rare night in which he didn't contribute. He was 0-4 and made an error in the field.
Preston Morrison had a solid start. He threw 6 innings, allowed 4 hits and a run (unearned). He walked no one and struckout 4. Kyle Miller allowed the other run in 2 innings of work. He gave up 3 hits, a walk and struckout 2.
Morrison is 22 years old. He'll turn 23 in July. He's a 6-2, 185 pound right handed starter. He was drafted in the 8th round of last year's draft (233rd overall). He appeared in only 9 games last season and threw 22.1 innings. He struckout over 12 batters per 9 and walked only 1.2. It wsa a very small sample though. So far this year in 50.1 innings he's walked 2.86 batters per 9 and struckout 7.5. He had struckout over 8.2 per 9 prior to the start last night.
Morrison was a 4-year player for TCU and had great numbers, but his velocity is, let's just say, not an important part of his game. Kyle Hendricks has outstanding velocity when compared to Morrison. He sat in the 84-85 mph range at TCU and has tried to add some muscle since being drafted. Word is the velocity has went up a couple miles per hour. He throws from a three quarters delivery and had pinpoint control in college. If he can get that velocity up even a little bit more it's entirely possible we see numbers fairly similar to what Kyle Hendricks did in the minor leagues.