Willson Contreras didn't have the best night at the plate, but still managed to go 1-6 with a double. He struckout twice. Dan Vogelbach was 2-4 with a double and an RBI. Juan Perez got the start in CF and went 2-4 with a walk. Albert Almora shifted to LF and was 1-5. Perez is 29 years old so the only reason I can think of why Almora would be in LF is to get him familiar with the position in case he gets called up to MLB.
Alex Sanabia got the start for Iowa and lasted 5.2 innings. He allowed 4 hits and he walked a batter. He gave up 2 runs on solo shots and struckout 4.
Gerardo Concepcion gave up his first run in AAA this year. He pitched an inning, allowed a couple of hits, walked a batters and gave up 1 run. He struckout a batter. He's thrown only 7.2 innings at Iowa. He's given up 4 hits and a run. He's walked 4 batters and struckout 6. At Tennessee this season he threw 17.2 innings, allowed just 5 hits and 4 walks (one intentional). He gave up no runs and struckout 17.
C.J. Edwards pitched 2 innings, allowed a hit and struck a batter out. Brandon Gomes pitched 1.2 innings, gave up a hit, 4 walks and 3 runs.
Chesny Young just keeps hitting. He ws 2-5 with a strikeout. The Smokies had 14 hits on the night and several players with multi-hit games. Mark Zagunis was 2-5 with 2 doubles and a strikeout. Jeimer Candelario was only 1-4, but he got on base twice thanks to a walk. Billy McKinney was 2-4, Victor Caratini was 2-3 with a double and a walk and David Freitas was 3-4 with a triple, home run and 4 RBI.
Duane Underwood Jr. got the start and he lasted only 4 innings. He gave up 7 hits and 2 walks. eh gave up 3 runs, a home run and struckout 3. Underwood is the 4th ranked prospects in the Cubs organization by mlb.com and 72nd overall. Both rankings seem a little high to me, but he is young. He'll turn 22 on July 20 so this is his age 22 season. His strikeout rate has always concerned me and it's pretty low in 2016 too. Prior to last night's game he was striking out just over 6 and walking just under 5. I expect the walks to decline, but I also expect the strikeouts will. That's not a good sign. To his credit, he was very difficult to hit last year at High A. He allowed only 52 hits in 73.1 innings. He's allowed 30 in 26 so far this year. He's walked 14 and struckout 18. Here's his scouting report from mlb.com:
Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55
Though he flashed a 98-mph fastball and overpowering curveball as a high school senior, Underwood fell to the second round of the 2012 Draft because he lacked consistency. He had only sporadic success in his first two pro seasons after signing for $1.05 million, but began to take off in 2014 after dedicating himself to improved conditioning. He continued to progress in 2015, emerging as the Cubs' top pitching prospect despite missing two months with elbow inflammation.
Underwood's fastball is notable for both its 92-96 mph velocity and its late life, which makes it difficult to square up for hitters. Both his curveball and changeup show signs of becoming plus pitches but neither is fully reliable yet. Getting in better shape has helped his control, as he has cut his walk rate from 4.7 per nine innings in his first two years as a pro to 3.0 in his next two.
Underwood doesn't miss as many bats as his stuff indicates he should, demonstrating his need to get more consistent with his secondary pitches and his command. If he can do that, he'll reach his ceiling as a No. 2 starter.
Juan Paniagua continues his very good season with 2 innings and no runs allowed. He gave up 2 hits and struck a batter out. Corey Black picked up his 6th save of the season, but he gave up a hit, 2 runs and 2 walks in an inning of work.
The Pelicans scored their 2 runs on a total of 4 hits, though they did walk 5 times. They also struckout 10 times. A lot of guys with no hits in the lineup, including Gleyber Torres and Ian Happ. Happ was 0-2 with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts. Happ was also caught try to steal a base. Jason Vosler had the best night at the plate going 2-4 with a double that drove in both of the team's runs. That was Vosler's 11th double of the year.
Vosler was drafted in the 16th round of the 2014 draft. He's a guy who doesn't have a ton of power, but last year afte rhis promotion to High A, he did manage to hit 6 home runs in 157 plate appearances. His ISO was .197, though it appears to be out of line with the rest of his stops. He had a 149 wRC+ as a 21 year old 3rd baseman in High A. That's pretty good. That's even better if we ignore the two stops before High. They weren't bad. His debut season in 2014, he hit .266/.361/.372 with a .351 wOBA and 111 wRC+ in Low A. He had 109 PA that year. He hit only 1 home run and had an ISO of .106. His walk rate was 11% and he struckout only 14.7% of the time. He had an 82 wRC+ over 276 PA last season in A ball before his promotion. This season he's had 176 PA, hit a home run, walked in 9.7% of his PA and struckout in only 11.4% of them. His ISO is .113 and he's hitting .285/.364/.397 (.354, 118 wRC+).
Jeremy Null allowed 10 hits, a walk and 5 runs in 5.2 innings. He struckout 1. Daniel Lewis allowed 4 hits, a walk and 5 runs in only an inning. That was the 25-year old Lewis's first outing of the season.
Dillon Maples is still pitching. He threw an inning, walked 2 and nobody scored. he struckout no one. Maples was picked in the 14th round of the 2011 draft, but that's quite misleading. He had first round potential, but was committed to go to college. The Cubs spent a ton of money on the draft in Jim Hendry's last season and Maples got a very nice signing bonus and signed with the Cubs. He had a ton of potential, but could never stay healthy.
Shortstop Bryant Flete was the only player in the lineup with multiple hits. He was 2-3 with a walk. The Cubs had 5 doubles in the game. P.J. Higgins was 1-3 with a double and 2 walks. Eloy Jimenez was 1-3 with a double, 2 RBI and a walk, Eddy Martinez was 1-4 with a double and Ian Rice was 1-4 with a double.
Adbert Alzolay threw 5 innings, allowed 5 hits and 4 runs. He walked a batter, struckout 4 and gave up 2 home runs. That was Alzolay's first loss of the season. Alzolay just turned 21 years old and prior to last night's start he had thrown 39.1 innings, allowed only 26 hits and 10 walks. He'd given up just 1 one run and had struckout 20 batters. He's had a very low strikeout rate, which is an organizational flaw at this point. To be fair though, it was 8.32 per 9 last year so maybe it will improve.