Mark Zagunis was 1-3 with a double and run scored. Zagunis has done nothing but hit since being drafted by the Cubs in the 3rd round of the 2014 draft. He was signed for $0.6 million and aside from a 2-game, 9 plate appearance stint to begin his career, here are his wRC+ at each stop along with the way.
- 2014 A- (191 PA): 145
- 2014 A (62): 149
- 2015 AFL (66): 139
- 2015 A+ (512): 146
- 2016 AA (211): 154
- 2016 AAA (58): 162
He hasn’t hit for a lot of power and won’t for a lot of home runs if or when he gets called up to the big leagues. He’s done it with an impressive walk rate (16.2%, 16.1%, 15.6%, 14.2%, 13.8%). He also hits for a lot of doubles, which gives him a respectable to good ISO. He tends to put the ball in play too. There’s a lot to like about Zagunis.
Dan Vogelbach was 1-2 with a walk. In the comments, cerulean was advocating for the Cubs to call up Vogelbach and use him at 1st base. He was suggesting the Cubs give him the intro to Major League Baseball that they gave Kyle Schwarber a year ago. Rizzo is currently day to day with a sore back so it would have been a good time to do it, but I think there are at least a couple differences between Vogelbach and Schwarber.
First, Schwarber was only called up early last year because Miguel Montero was headed to the DL and the Cubs needed a second catcher behind David Ross. Second, Schwarber was a significantly better prospect. Schwarber’s wRC+’s were 197, 166, 188 and 173 before getting called up. His walk rate and strikeout rate were similar to Vogelbach. Vogelbach’s wRC”s have been 167, 189, 128, 166, 110 126, 140 and 155. At his best early on he was even better than Schwarber, but for the most part, he was a bit worse. I don’t think that’s too surprising. Schwarber had more power and was a better overall athlete. Third, and already mentioned, the Cubs had a clear need for Schwarber and no such need currently exists for Vogelbach.
Aaron Brooks pitched 3 innings, allowed 2 hits and struckout 1. Miguel Mejia pitched 2 innings and walked one while giving up 2 hits. He struckout 4. Corey Black picked up his first save with 1 inning, 1 hit and 1 strikeout.
The Cubs split this doubleheader and fell to 34-37.
Starling Peralta gave up 6 hits, a walk and 5 runs in 2.2 innings. He walked 1 and struckout 2.
Jacob Hannemann had quite a day. He was 2-4 with 2 home runs, which gives him 10 on the season. He also walked, struckout, drove in 2 and scored 2. Chesny Young was 2-4 with 2 strikeouts and a run scored. Billy McKinney was 1-3 with a walk, strikeout and run scored.
Yesterday I made the mistake of reading an article by Phil Rogers that was talking about Cubs prospects and in it he dismissed McKinney because he hasn’t had as good a season as people hoped. The same things were said about Albert Almora last year, which as I mentioned then, were unfair. They’re also unfair to McKinney this year.
While it’s true he has not hit as well as some hoped, he’s not yet 22 years old and has shown considerable improvement in some aspects in AA. His wRC+ is league average at 100. The only thing absent from McKinney’s game right now and his game from last year or the year before is that he’s hitting for less power.
I’m not really sure that’s his fault. McKinney had hit 10 home runs at the age of 20 in High A for the A’s before being traded. It was in 333 plate appearances, but he’s only hit 9 since in about 900 plate appearances. My guess is that he was rather lucky in hitting those home runs and we shouldn’t expect similar power from him. He’s still hitting fewer extra base hits this season and if I had to guess, I’d say some patience by us will be rewarded later on.
Ian Happ was promoted to Tennessee and got a pinch hit plate appearance in. He walked.
Tyler Skulina threw 2.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. He struckout none and allowed 2 home runs. Juan Paniagua continues to impress. He threw 1.2 innings, allowed no hits, a walk and struckout 2.
Joe Nathan is out on rehab assignment with the Cubs and in his first appearance this year outside Arizona, he threw an inning, allowed no hits and struckout 2.
The Pelicans had 7 hits and two players had two each. Gleyber Torres was 2-4 and Charcer Burks was 2-3 with a double. The only other extra base hit belonged to Daniel Spingola who was 1-3 with a double and Spingola scored the Pelicans only run.
Jonathan Martinez dropped to 3-5 after 7.1 innings of 2-hit baseball. He walked 3 and struckout 8, but he gave up a home run and 2 runs in total. Jordan Minch threw the final 1.2 innings and allowed no hits and struckout 10.
South Bend improved to 42-28 after beating up on Dayton. The Cubs had 11 runs on 11 hits and they took 9 walks as well. Dayton also committed 3 errors. Oddly enough, this was a 1-1 game entering the 8th. Unhappy with the score, the Cubs made it 11-1 entering the bottom of the 8th with a sweet 10-spot in the top half of the 8th.
Eloy Jimenez has been playing so well so far it’s surprising he hasn’t been promoted yet. He was 2-5 with a double, home run, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored. We could complain that he’s not walking all that much, but he’s killing the baseball right now. He might have to be a little more challenged to begin to learn to lay off some pitches.
Spokane put up an 8-spot in the 5th to take a 9-2 lead, but the Emeralds wouldn’t quit. It was 9-5 after the 5th before the Indians scored a couple more to take a 11-5 lead after the top of the 7th. Eugene tried to come back, but it was too big of a lead. They had 16 hits and their starter was outstanding.
Andruw Monasterio was 3-5 with 2 RBI, 2 runs scored and a strikeout. Wladimir Galindo was 2-5 with 3 strikeouts. Yeller Peguero was 3-4 with a walk and 3 runs scored. Robert Garcia was 2-5 with a triple, 2 RBI, 2 strikeouts and a run.
Dylan Cease was as good as you could have hoped for last night. He threw 4 innings, allowed 3 hits and a run. He walked none while striking out 7. It was his second start of the season. The 20-year old right-hander was drafted in the 6th round in 2014 and signed for 1st round money ($1.6 million). No one threw harder than him among high school pitchers in the draft and only an injury to his elbow allowed the Cubs to draft him in the 6th round. They’ve taken it slowly with him for good reason. He was hitting 98 easily last night and got a lot of ground balls.
The next three pitchers were terrible so let’s just skip ahead to Scott Frazier who threw the final 2 innings of the game and allowed a hit, walked nobody and struckout 4.
Weird day at the plate for the Cubs. They scored 6 runs on 5 hits, but the Dbacks only made 1 error. The Cubs only took 5 walks, but struckout 13 times.
Luis Ayala was 2-5 with a triple, 2 RBI, a strikeout and a run scored. Rafael Mejia was 1-2 with 2 walks, a strikeout and a run scored. Ruben Reyes was 1-3 with a double, walks, 2 RBI, a strikeout and 2 runs scored.
Former first rounder Aaron Crow (2009 Royals, 12th overall) is trying to get healthy with the Cubs. He threw the firs inning and allowed a hit and a strikeout. He’s now 29 years old and hasn’t pitched in MLB since 2014, but like Joe Nathan, if he could make it back this season, he could provide quite a boost to a bullpen that needs a little help. I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible.
Allt he other pitchers were either just OK or terrible so let’s move on.
Yunior Perez got the start and threw 4 innings, allowed 6 hits and 2 runs. he didn’t walk anybody, struckout 4 and gave up a home run. Edison Novas pitched 3 innings, allowed a solo home run (no other hits), a walk and struckout 3. Fernando Calderon struckout the side in the 8th.
The Cubs2 team scored only 1 run on 4 hits in this loss and both teams were 11-6 after the game.
Emilio Ferrebus fell to 0-2 after a rather bad start. He gave up 5 runs (3 earned) in 2.2 innings. He allowed 7 hits and struckout 3.