Day two; it’s winning time

No time like the present to get on a roll.  The Cubs once again take the field against the hapless (HAPP, amirite?) Marlins in Miami tonight at 6:10 PM CST.  Every team wants to get off to a good start and the Cubs are no different, they have a great opportunity to really put the screws to the Marlins tonight and take a big step towards a series win with a big effort.

Radio:  670 the Score
TV:  WGN

Kyle Hendricks takes the ball in what many believe could be a special year for the professor, as you can see from the image above, Kyle is jacked up.  The Cubs will face off against Caleb Smith who is someone that I have never faced so I have something in common with all the Cubs.  No Cubs hitter has any experience against Smith who has just two games started at the big league level.  Neither were very good, but he did have a strong year in the minors last year.

Player to watch:  It’s Hendricks, expectations have never been higher and I’m right there with the masses.  Time to take it to another level.

The pen and the power; Cubs roll in opener

One pitch, one loud noise, welcome to the 2018 championship season.  Ian Happ decided to send that special first pitch of the season baseball into the right field stands to set the tone today.  The Cubs’ bats were in midseason form as they cranked out three dingers en route to an 8-4 opening day victory.  Anthony Rizzo, and Kyle Schwarber supplied the rest of the power in this one as both launched solo shots.

https://www.mlb.com/video/share/must-c-happ-starts-2018-with-hr/c-1897931483?tid=11493214

Jon Lester didn’t have it, period.  It looked like the velocity wasn’t there, and he found himself nibbling the zone way too often, looking a lot like Jon Lester circa 2017.  I wouldn’t read too much into it, Lester typically starts slow and as Maddon said after the game the little extra finish on Lester’s pitches just wasn’t there today.

https://www.mlb.com/video/share/schwarbers-solo-homer/c-1897954583?tid=6479266

Aside from the power surge the strong work of the bullpen grabbed the rest of the headlines.  Newcomer Steve Cishek was tremendous as he was forced into early duty when Lester couldn’t get out of the 4th (my Dad shakes his head in disgust).  Cishek worked and inning and two-thirds giving up one hit while walking one, and striking out two.  The bullpen combined to go five and two-third scoreless innings while giving up just one hit.

Good start.  Welcome back, baseball.

Spring Training AC; Big Ninth Pushes Cubs to Victory

cubs-3-1Full Box Score

On the Mound:

  • Eddie Butler was solid in his Cubs debut, he worked two innings giving up one run on one hit while striking out one.
  • Ryan Williams was outstanding in relief, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit.
  • Jon Martinez struggled with command, he worked a scoreless inning while walking THREE, and striking out one.
  • Mario Meza worked two-thirds of an inning, he walked one and that was it.
  • Tommy Nance had a bounce back effort, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.
  • Duary Torrez was touched up a bit, he worked one inning, giving up one run on two hits while striking out one.
  • Juan Paniagua also struggled with his command, he worked one inning, giving up one run while walking THREE.

At the Plate:

  • Javier Baez went 1-for-3 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .364 on the spring.
  • Ian Happ was 1-for-2 in the win, he stole a base, and scored a run.
  • John Andreoli, Jacob Hannemann, Jeimer Candelario, Chesny Young, Albert Almora Jr., Eloy Jimenez, and Chris Dominguez all registered one hit, Jimenez with a double, and Andreoli with a triple.
  • Victor Caratini was strong once again, he went 3-for-4 with a run scored.

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Massive 2015 Cubs Draft Update (Stats, VIDEO)

Ian Happ Cubs

We are now about a month into the season, seems like a great time to take an early look back at the 2015 draft and how those players are performing in their first full professional season.

Ian Happ – OF/2B (1st Round Draft Pick, 9th Overall, 21 Years Old)
Ian Happ

Donnie Dewees – OF (2nd Round Draft Pick, 47th Overall, 22 Years Old)
Donnie Dewees

Bryan Hudson – LHP (3rd Round Draft Pick, 82nd Overall, 18 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

D.J. Wilson – OF (4th Round Draft Pick, 113th Overall, 19 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Ryan Kellogg – LHP (5th Round Draft Pick, 143rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Ryan Kellogg

David Berg – RHP (6th Round Draft Pick, 173rd Overall, 23 Years Old)
David Berg

Craig Brooks – RHP (7th Round Draft Pick, 203rd Overall, 23 Years Old)
Craig Brooks

Preston Morrison – RHP (8th Round Draft Pick, 233rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Preston Morrison

Tyler Peitzmeier – LHP (9th Round Draft Pick, 263rd Overall, 23 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Vimael Machin – SS (10th Round Draft Pick, 293rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Matt Rose – 3B (11th Round Draft Pick, 323rd Overall, 21 Years Old)
Matt Rose

P.J. Higgins – 2B (12th Round Draft Pick, 353rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
PJ Higgins

Kyle Twomey – LHP (13th Round Draft Pick, 383rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Kyle Twomey

Scott Effross – RHP (15th Round Draft Pick, 443rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Scott Effross

Michael Foster – CF (16th Round Draft Pick, 473rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Casey Bloomquist – RHP (17th Round Draft Pick, 503rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Casey Bloomquist

Kyle Miller – RHP (19th Round Draft Pick, 563rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Kyle Miller

Blake Headley – 3B (20th Round Draft Pick, 593rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Jared Cheek – RHP (21st Round Draft Pick, 623rd Overall, 23 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Alex Bautista – OF (22nd Round Draft Pick, 653rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

 John Williamson – LHP (23rd Round Draft Pick, 683rd Overall, 23 Years Old)
John Williamson

Sutton Whiting – SS (24th Round Draft Pick, 713th Overall, 23 Years Old)
Sutton Whiting

Marcus Mastrobuoni – C (25th Round Draft Pick, 743rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Angelo Amendolare – 2B (27th Round Draft Pick, 803rd Overall, 23 Years Old)
No longer with Organization

Ian Rice – C (29th Round Draft Pick, 863rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Ian Rice

Tyler Payne – C (30th Round Draft Pick, 893rd Overall, 23 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Daniel Spingola – OF (31st Round Draft Pick, 923rd Overall, 23 Years Old)
Daniel Spingola

M.T. Minacci – RHP (33rd Round Draft Pick, 983rd Overall, 20 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Donnie Cimino – OF (37th Round Draft Pick, 1103rd Overall, 22 Years Old)
Has not played in 2016 yet

Most of the players that have the “has not played in 2016 yet” note will start up in June with the Eugene Emeralds, or play in the Arizona Rookie League.  Ian Happ, and Donnie Dewees appear to be living up to their draft status as they have both started 2016 very well, the production from Happ has been impressive, and Dewees is racking up the total bases without hitting a dinger.  The trio of pitchers taken in the top 10 rounds are finding success in the early going, all three (Kellogg, Berg, and Brooks) have been awfully impressive.  It will be fun to check back in on this list down the road once all the teams get their season going, and also see the progress these guy make throughout the year.

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Riding the Bus (Cubs Minor League Reports): April 20, 2016

Riding the Bus Header 2016

WEDNESDAY APRIL 20, 2016

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Full Box Score

After trailing all night the Iowa Cubs were able to tie the game up at two in the eighth only to see New Orleans walk-off in the bottom of the ninth for a 3-2 win.

At the Plate:

  • Juan Perez got a chance out of the lead-off spot and came through; he went 2-for-5 with his first homer of the year, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Albert Almora is really swinging it right now; he went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, an RBI, and a run scored; he’s now hitting .368 on the season.
  • Matt Murton (!) got the start in left tonight; he went 2-for-4 in the loss.
  • Munenori Kawasaki was 1-for-2 with two walks; clearly he has taken the approach of the major league club down to Iowa with him.

On the Mound:

  • Drew Rucinski was brilliant last night, but had to settle for a no-decision. He worked six innings, giving up two runs on five hits while walking two, and striking out ten.
  • Carl Edwards Jr. had a nice bounce back effort last night; he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.
  • Spencer Patton struggled with command but battled through it; he worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out one.
  • Brandon Gomes took the loss in this one; he worked just 1/3rd of an inning, giving up one run on two hits.

Tenn4-20

Full Box Score

A tough loss for the Smokies as they rallied to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the eighth then watched as the Biscuits scored three times in the ninth en route to a 5-4 victory.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Tyler Skulina got the start and struggled with finding the plate; he worked 3.2 innings, giving up three runs on three hits while walking four, and striking out one.
  • Gerardo Concepcion might actually be figuring it out; he was good again last night. Concepcion worked 2.1 scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out two.
  • Juan Paniagua was also solid in relief; he worked two scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking one.
  • David Garner had a rough go of it, and was hung with the loss. Garner worked one inning, giving up three runs on three hits while walking one, and striking out two.

MB4-20

Full Box Score

The Pelicans didn’t have much going offensively in this one, but they found just enough as they scored three times in the eighth to beat the Winston-Salem Dash 4-1.

At the Plate:

  • Ian Happ has had a really solid start to the year; he went 1-for-3 with a walk, and is now hitting .296 on the season.
  • Yasiel Balaguert was one of the offensive heroes last night; he went 1-for-4 with two RBI’s, and has now knocked in eight on the season.
  • Daniel Lockhart went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored in the win.
  • David Bote provided the big blow in this one; he went 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Brilliance from Zach Hedges; he worked seven innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking one, and striking out four.
  • James Farris was just as good in relief, and picked up his second save of the season. Farris worked two scoreless/hitless innings while walking one, and striking out three.

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Full Box Score

Eight runs over the first three innings put this one to bed early.  The South Bend Cubs pounded out thirteen hits and eight runs on their way to an 8-4 laugher last night.

At the Plate: (There’s a lot)

  • Eloy Jimenez had a solid game; he went 2-for-3 with a walk, and two runs scored.
  • Eddy Martinez broke out of a small slump; he was 2-for-4 with two RBI’s, he now has seven RBI’s on the season.
  • Daniel Spingola has been red hot as of late; he went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s, and a run scored; he’s now hitting .405 on the season.
  • Tyler Alamo has been great in the early going this year; he went 3-for-4 with a double, and an RBI; he’s now hitting .455 on the season.
  • Sutton Whiting, P.J. Higgins, Donnie Dewees, and Matt Rose all finished the night with one hit a piece.

On the Mound:

  • Justin Steele has had a rough start to 2016, but last night was a step in the right direction. Steele worked five innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits while walking one, and striking out six to pick up his first win of the year.
  • Craig Brooks was good once again in relief; he worked two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while walking one, and striking out five.
  • Scott Effross was also solid; he worked two innings, giving up one run, unearned, on three hits while striking out two.

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Riding the Bus (Cubs Minor League Reports): April 18, 2016

Riding the Bus Header 2016

MONDAY APRIL 18, 2016

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Full Box Score

The Smokies’ pitching was outstanding last night as they completely shut down the Biscuits allowing only three hits en route a 4-0 victory.  Maybe more impressive was their approach, they walked ten times last night, clearly they have been watching the Major League club.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann got things going from the lead-off spot; he went 1-for-4 with a walk, and his sixth stolen base of the season.
  • Chesny Young was 1-for-3 with two walks, and two stolen bases in the win.
  • Bijan Rademacher continued his hot start; he was 1-for-2 with a walk, two runs scored, and he had an outfield assist. Rademacher is now hitting .444 on the season.
  • Carlos Penalver had another solid game; he was 2-for-3 with a double, three RBI’s, and a walk.

On the Mound:

  • Paul Blackburn turned in a brilliant start to pick up his second win of the season; he worked seven scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking three, and striking out three.
  • Corey Black was solid in relief; he worked a scoreless inning while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Andury Acevedo worked a strong ninth inning; he allowed one but also struck out the side.

MB4-18

Full Box Score

Myrtle Beach built a 6-1 lead in the seventh thanks to a huge night from Ian Happ, and hung on to beat Winston-Salem 6-4.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Tommy Thorpe got the start tonight, and picked up his first win of the season; he worked 5.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits while walking two, and striking out two.
  • Daury Torrez struggled in this one; he worked 1.2 innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits while striking out two.
  • David Berg was terrific out of the pen to pick up his second save of the season; he worked two scoreless/hitless innings while striking out one.

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Full Box Score

A huge fourth inning saw the South Bend Cubs plate six runs to break open a 2-2 game on their way to a 9-3 drubbing of Bowling Green.

At the Plate:

  • Every single player in the lineup for the Cubs had at least one hit as they pounded out thirteen in the win. J. Higgins went 2-for-5 with his third double of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Donnie Dewees went 1-for-4 with a walk, two RBI’s, a run scored, and his fourth stolen base of the season.
  • Eloy Jimenez went 1-for-4 with his third double of the season, a walk, and an RBI.
  • Daniel Spingola had a huge night; he went 3-for-5 with two stolen bases, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .357 on the season.
  • Matt Rose chipped in with some power; he went 1-for-4 with his first homer of the year, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Andrew Ely went 2-for-4 with a run scored in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Carson Sands struggled early, but settled in to pick up his first win of the year. Sands worked five innings, giving up two runs on five hits while walking one, and striking out two.
  • John Williamson was brilliant in relief; he worked two scoreless/hitless innings while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Greyfer Eregua cleaned things up; he worked two innings, giving up one run on two hits while striking out two.

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Riding the Bus (Cubs Minor League Reports): April 17, 2016

Riding the Bus Header 2016

SUNDAY APRIL 17, 2016

Tenn4-17

Full Box Score

A late rally was all for not as the Smokies fell to the Montgomery Biscuits 5-3.  Entering the eighth inning the Smokies were trailing 3-0 and were able to tie things up heading to the ninth, but they gave two runs back in the top half and fell to 4-7 on the season.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann smacked his fourth double of the season; he finished the day 1-for-5.
  • Billy McKinney has been struggling of late; he went 1-for-4 with a walk, and a run scored.
  • Victor Caratini had a solid game; he went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.
  • Carlos Penalver chipped in with some offense out of the ninth spot; he went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s.

On the Mound:

  • Rob Zastryzny got the start, and was pretty solid in picking up a no decision; he worked six innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits while walking two, and striking out four.
  • Gerardo Concepcion is having a renaissance; he worked two scoreless innings while striking out one.
  • Josh Conway was roughed up as he was hung with the loss in this one; he worked 1/3rd of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Juan Paniagua stopped the bleeding late; he worked the final 2/3rds of an inning while striking out one.

MB4-17

Full Box Score

A thrilling victory for the Pelicans on Sunday as they fell behind 3-0 in the third before scoring once in the fourth, and putting up three in the seventh en route to a 4-3 victory over the Mudcats.

At the Plate:

  • Rashad Crawford got things started from the top as he usually does; Crawford went 2-for-5 with his fourth double of the season, and a run scored.
  • Ian Happ had a solid game; he went 2-for-3 with two walks, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
  • Yasiel Balaguert went 2-for-5 with an RBI in the win, his fifth of the season.
  • Jason Volser has had a solid first two weeks; he went 3-for-5 with two RBI’s, and is now hitting .324 on the season.
  • Jeffrey Baez and Shawon Dunston Jr. each finished the day with one hit.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Stinnett had a really solid effort in picking up his first win of the season; he worked six innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits while walking two, and striking out four.
  • Jose Rosario was outstanding in relief; he worked two scoreless innings while striking out two.
  • James Farris was perfect in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

SB4-17

Full Box Score

A back and forth affair saw the South Bend Cubs blow a 3-0 lead in the seventh only to score twice in the eighth to beat Fort Wayne 5-4.

At the Plate:

  • Donnie Dewees for President! Dewees was 2-for-3 with two doubles (four on the year now), a walk, and a run scored, he’s not hitting .421 on the season.
  • Eloy Jimenez had a really nice game; he went 2-for-4 with his second double of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored.
  • Tyler Alamo and Bryant Flete each went 1-for-4 in the victory.

On the Mound:

  • Adbert Alzolay got the start, and was solid throughout; he worked 6.1 innings, giving up three runs on three hits while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Scott Effross was touched up a bit, but ended up getting the win; he worked 1.2 innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Craig Brooks battled through some trouble to pick up his first save of the season; he worked one inning while walking two, and striking out one.

*** IOWA WAS POSTPONED

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