Round Rock Express 8 @ Iowa Cubs 5
The number one through eight hitters each had a hit last night. Munenori Kawasaki was 1-5 with an RBI. Willson Contreras was back from his foot injury after a few days and was 1-4 with a couple strikeouts and a run scored. Dan Vogelbach was 1-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
Two players in the lineup were making their AAA debuts. 23 year old right outfielder Mark Zagunis and 22 year old 3rd baseman Jeimer Candelario were promoted from Tennessee to Iowa. Zagunis was batting second and he was 1-5 with a strikeout. Candelario is the more highly touted prospected. He was 2-4 with with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored and a strikeout.
Zagunis is a high walk, low strikeout batter who had a great start to the 2016 season. He hit .302/.408/.453 with a .403 wOBA and 153 wRC+ at Tennessee. His walk rate was 14.2% and strikeout rate was 17.1%. It was 15.6% and 16.8% the year before in High A and has been about the same throughout his career. Candelario was much better in AA last year at the end of the season than this year, but he probably didn't have a lot left to prove at that level. Despite the low average, Candelario still had a .328 wOBA and a wRC+ of 102.
Rob Zastryzny got the loss after throwing 5.2 innings and allowing 5 hits and 5 runs. He walked 3, struckout 6 and gave up a home run. Gerardo Concepcion threw 1.1 innings, allowed no hits or walks and struckout 2. C.J. Edwards pitched 0.1 innings, allowed 2 hits and 3 runs. He walked 3. Dallas Beeler had a clean inning and Miguel Mejia pitched 0.2 innings and walked a batter while striking one out.
A year ago I'd have laughed at the idea of Concepcion being an MLB pitcher, but here we are. Clayton Richard is terrible and Concepcion has turned in a really good season so far. He was very impressive at AA to start the year and has thrown 13 innings at AAA now. He threw 17.2 innings in AA so we're still talking small samples, but I don't think there's ever been a 30 inning stretch where Concepcion was anything other than terrible so this is real progress. He's striking out a lot of batters and while he's walked quite a few at AAA, I'm thinking it's time to give him a shot and release Clayton Richard.
Tennessee Smokies 0 @ Mississippi Braves 3
The Smokies had only 6 hits in this game. Their top two guys, Jacon Hannemann and Chesny Young combined to go 0-10 with a strikeout. Victor Caratini had half of the team's hits. He was 3-5 with a strikeout. Billy McKinney was 1-4 with a double, walk and strikeout. Daniel Lockhart was was also 1-4 with a double. Pitcher Jen-Ho Tseng was 1-2.
Caratini is a 22-year old, switch hitting catcher. He's 6-1, 205 and will turn 23 in August. Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2013 draft by the Atlanta Braves, the Cubs acquired him in 2014 for Emilio Bonifacio. He doesn't have much power, but he walks a lot and doesn't strike out much. After the trade to the Cubs in 2014, he was in A ball for 14 games. In 2015 he went to High A and in 453 PA he hit .257/.342/.372 with a wOBA of .335 and a wRC+ of 111. He hit just 4 home runs, but did add 31 doubles and a triple. So far in 2016 at AA, he's had 203 PA prior to yesterday's game and has hit .296/.399/.391 with a .373 wOBA and a wRC+ of 132. His walk rate last year was 10.8% and it's jumped to 14.3% this season. His strikeout rate has remained about the same and he's struckout in 17.7% of his PA this season.
MLB.com ranks Caratini 25th in the Cubs system. He's apparently expected to stick behind the plate, but still needs a little work, which isn't surprising since he's only 22. If Willson Contreras takes over as the full time catcher in the near future, the Cubs could use a backup catcher. Caratini could be that guy and it's a bonus that he's a switch hitter. He can also play 3rd base so you'd have a utility player as your backup catcher enabling Joe Maddon to carry more relievers. Everybody wins!
Jen-Ho Tseng had a really good start. He threw 5 innings, allowed just 2 hits and a walk. He struckout 5. Juan Paniagua continues to pitch well in relief for the Smokies with a scoreless inning, though it wasn't without drama. He allowed 2 hits and a walk. David Garner and James Farris pitched 2 shutout innings each. Both allowed a hit and Farris struckout 3. Nick Sarianides got the loss with 0.1 innings, 1 hit, 2 walks and a game-losing 3-run home run.
Myrtyle Beach Pelicans 3 @ Lynchburg Hillcats 9
The Pelicans only had 5 hits, but 3 of them were extra-base hits and they also walked 5 times. They still only scored 3 runs. Rashad Crawford was 0-3 with a walk, run scored and a strikeout. Gleyber Torres was 1-3 with a 2-run home run and a walk. Ian Happ was 1-4 with 2 strikeouts. Gioskar Amaya was 1-2 with a double and 2 walks. Jeffry Baez was 1-4 with a double and 2 strikeouts.
2014 2nd round pick, Jake Stinnett continues not impress. He's 24 years old and in High A and not very good. He started and threw 5.1 innings, allowed 7 hits and 3 runs. He did strikeout 6 and walk none so there's that. Daury Torrez gave up 4 hits anf 4 runs over 1.1 innings. Dillon Maples is still a thing. 0.1 innings from him with a hit allowed a run scored. A lot of disappointment in this game with Stinnett and Maples. Daniel Lewis gave up a hit, walk and a run in 1 inning of work.
Dayton Dragons 2 @ South Bend Cubs 5
P.J. Higgins had a rough night at the plate going 0-4 with 3 strikeouts. Donnie Dewees was 2-3 with a triple and a walk. He also scored 2 runs. Eloy Jimenez did Jimenez things. He went 2-4 with a double, RBI, 2 runs scored and a strikeout. Eddy Martines also had 2 hits. He was 2-4 with 2 doubles and an RBI. He struckout twice.
Ryan Kellogg threw 7 innings, allowed 5 hits and 2 runs. He walked nobody and struckout 5. He did surrender a home run. Scott Effross picked up the win in relief, improving to 4-0, with 2 innings pitched and 2 hits allowed. He walked 1 and struckout 2.
Kellog was a 5th round pick in 2015. He's a 22-year old left-hander who so far hasn't struckout a ton of batters, but also has shown good command. John Sickels wrote a good article on him last year.
However, the hoped-for fastball velocity gain never really happened. He was upper-80s in high school and has picked that up just a tiny bit, working at 88-91 most of the time and topping at 92. It played in college due to his strong secondary arsenal, but there's no guarantee that will happen at the highest levels, which is why he lasted until the fifth round this spring.
All that is the standard report on Kellogg, but here is the unsubstantiated prediction part.
I think his velocity WILL increase, not up to 97 or anything, but into the 90-94 range. Add that to his three strong secondary pitches and his mound instincts and you have a mid-rotation starter with advanced command who will zip through the minors fairly quickly. I think pro instruction and a mechanical tweak or two will add that extra zip to the heat Kellogg needs to live up to his full potential. And I think that velocity gain will be obvious and in place by the end of 2016.
The Cubs1 team fell to 0-5 with this loss and it was the Pirates only win. Herson Perez (DH) was 2-3 with 2 walks, an RBI and a run scored. Orian Nunez (SS) was 2-4 with a home run. Yonathan Perlaza (2B) and Samir Lara (CF) had the other two hits.
Yunior Perez got the loss with 4.1 innings of work. He gave up 2 hits, walked a batter, surrendered 3 runs (2 earned) and struckout 3. Freddy Tineo pitched 2 innings, allowed 4 hits and 2 runs (1 earned). He walked 3 and struckout 1. Aneuris Rosario pitched 1.2 innings, allowed 2 hits and a run. He struckout 2.
Fidel Mejia (SS) was 2-4 with 3 RBI. Luis Diaz (2B) was 2-4 with a strikeout and Henrry Pedra (3B) was 2-2 with a double, RBI and 3 runs scored. Miguel Amaya (C) and Fernando Kelli (LF) had the other two hits.
Andres Bonalde threw 4 innings, allowed a hit and a walk and one run. He struckout 4. Omar Ventura threw 2.1 innings, allowed a hit and a walk. He gave up 2 runs (1 earned) and struckout 1. Fauris Guerrero picked up the with 2.2 scoreless innings. He allowed a hit, walked none and struckout 4.
Why is Rob Zastrynzy in AAA? Wasn’t he pretty shitty in AA?
He was OK in AA. 19.2% strikeout rate and 8.2% walk rate. Not a great strikeout rate for AA, but not horrible. Same for the walk rate. He’s a backend start, but I think it’s more likely we see him as a reliever. I think it’s possible he could be the guy the Cubs call up eventually to replace Richard. I like his control better than Concepcion and Edwards. As a reliever his velocity should tick up 2-3 mph and he could be pretty effective one inning at a time. Especially against lefties. This rotation seems set for the time being, but he’s also a guy who could fill in if needed. I wouldn’t mind it if they called him up to replace Richard right now. I also wouldn’t mind them calling up Concepcion, but he could end up walking half the batters he faces.
That’s not funny. I can see Contreras and Caratini being the catchers and the Cubs carrying 9 or 10 relievers. I think at that point my appreciation of Joe Maddon would fall considerably.
Oh yeah, users should now be able to edit their comments for something like 5 minutes after you posted it. I think it’s the same thing we had before the move, but with the login problem, I didn’t want to have it active. Let me know if it works.
Don’t tell me what to do
Also, it looks like it works.
Wish I could disable it for admins since we can already edit comments. I’ll see if I can do that.
Never mind. It fits right in line with the reply/quote so it won’t annoy me with the page moving up and down. (dying laughing)
I’ll edit the necessary file later today to allow users to post images again. WP is set to automatically update so I’ll need someone to remind me when that no longer works. SK is usually good about whining about the inability to post images. (dying laughing)
I know this is dumb, but I’ve always been biased against Rob Z because I thought his scouting report when he got drafted was stupid, and that Cubs Internet Nation way overvalued him based on that scouting report.
I mean, some of Rob Zombies older music was pretty cornball and monotonous, but his latest album has a bit more spark.
I think that was true, and Zastrysny hasn’t been very good, but I think as a reliever he could work. For what it’s worth, I agree that Cub Internet Nation overvalued him. i think they overvalue every draft pick. The Cubs could pick a random 19 year old in the 3rd round and Cubs Internet Nation would go bonkers over how good the guy is.
We used to make fun of those Cubs fans way back. I’m not sure why we stopped.
So Alcantara and Dunston the Younger are gone. The Cubs farm system doesn’t blink.
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i was trying to figure out (via google) how long TLS is going to be out for and found out that apparently his nickname is “3 a.m.”
so i guess my question is, how long is he out for? is he expected back on day 16?
If we take last year as the sample size, then sometime in October
The Cubs have been pretty quiet on the severity of the hamstring injuries for both Soler and La Stella. I have no idea what that means or what the Cubs could gain by secretive. It’s not like this is football or basketball and keeping something like that quiet would give you a competitive edge by making the other team prepare for someone who may not be available. So your guess is as good as mine. I didn’t see the La Stella injury, but from what I saw of the Soler injury, it didn’t look that bad.
(dying laughing) that would mean that Soler will hit the DL again and again, which we’ve already been anticipating anyway.
I didn’t see the game nor read up on it, but from the box score and comments here I just assumed it was one of those days when the bullpen wasn’t available and the starter had to do a certain number of innings no matter how many runs he gave up. Most teams seem to average about one of those games per season.
We all have our own unique contribution to the community.
That could be, but I came to the conclusion awhile back that all managers just suck at using their bullpen. It’s really a question of which one sucks the least. In this day and age it’s kind of crazy that’s the situation, but here we are.
It’s one of those things where people ascribe all kinds of pop psychology to. It’s like most everything else they go more by ability, but apparently pitchers are all delicate flowers.
Although I know with closers the motivation is $$. That’s probably more to the point, like pitchers will get mad if they aren’t utilized a certain way since bullpen guys come and go so frequently they may by worried about job security.
series preview will auto-post at 11 am
new shit: http://obstructedview.net/series-preview-chicago-cubs-41-17-atlanta-braves-17-42/