At The Plate – The Iowa Cubs scattered nine hits in the loss, and were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position in suffering their third straight loss. Newly acquired Ryan Sweeney got things going right away as he was 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a walk, and a run scored. Brad Nelson was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.
On The Mound – Brooks Raley got the start and was rough up in four innings of work. He gave up four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three, he was tagged with the loss. Yoanner Negrin was solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings giving up no hits while walking one and striking out three. Zach Putnam and Rafael Dolis were both touched up as they gave up a combined four runs over the last two innings.
At The Plate – You wouldn’t know it by the score, this was a pitchers duel up until the top of the 12th when the Smokies scored 8 times to win this one. Matt Szczur was terrific from the lead-off spot again going 2-for-7 with three RBI’s, and a run scored. Jae-Hoon Ha continued his hot start going 3-for-5 with two RBI’s, a stolen base, and a run scored.
On The Mound – The Smokies had to use five pitchers to get through this one and all were effective as they totaled 15 strikeouts in twelve innings. Eric Jokisch got the start and was solid going six innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out seven. Kevin Rhoderick, Marcus Hatley, Frank Batista, and Brian Schlitter all had scoreless appearances with Batista getting the win.
At The Plate – It was the Jorge Soler show in this one as he went 2-for-3 with a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored. Timothy Saunders also had a solid night going 3-for-4. Stephen Bruno was 2-for-3 with a run scored, Javier Baez had a rough night going 0-for-4 with an error.
On The Mound – The trio of Austin Kirk, Yao-Lin Wang, and Frank Del Valle shut down the Manatees. Kirk got the start and went three innings giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits while walking two and striking out two. Yao-Lin Wang was awesome going three innings only giving up a single, while walking one and striking out four. Frank Del Valle was even better going three innings only allowing one hit while walking one and striking out six to earn the save.
At The Plate – Fireworks everywhere as the Cougars trailed 7-0 and 8-1 before tying it at ten in the ninth before falling 13-10 in eleven innings. The Cougars pounded out 19 hits with seven guys having multi-hit nights. Daniel Vogelbach was 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI. Rock Shoulders had a huge game going 4-for-6 with two RBI’s and a run scored. Oliver Zapata was outstanding going 3-for-6 with a triple, a home run, five RBI’s, and a run scored.
On The Mound – Obviously not much good here. Cougars pitchers gave up 17 hits in the loss. Jose Arias got the start and got the brunt of the River Bandits attack. Arias only went 1.2 innings giving up seven runs, six earned, on seven hits while walking none and struck out two. Nathan Dorris was the most effective Cougar going 2.1 innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out three. Ian Dickson was solid but had no command, he went five innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out four.
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As you will see by the Iowa roster, there is a reason why there are so many solid arms at Tennessee, they are blocked from Iowa basically due to the pitching depth up there. Trey McNutt might be a surprising name on this list as he was thought to be in the mix, a long shot, but in the mix for the big league pen, but ends up in Tennessee. I still think he comes out of the pen, but him going to Tennessee might give him the chance to start, but I doubt it. My buddy Brett over at Bleacher Nation also mentioned the conspicuous absence of Ronald Torreyes ..
“So many reactions to the Tennessee roster. First, where’s Roni Torreyes? He may have been late to arrive to Spring Training, so this could be a simple extended Spring Training situation to get him ready for the season (I’ve not heard anything about an injury). He was expected to be the regular second baseman at Tennessee this year, and there isn’t an obvious starting second baseman on the roster right now, so I still expect him to end up there eventually.”
Another guy to keep an eye on is Matt Szczur, big, big year for him. I think he either breaks out, or ends up off the Cubs, I really don’t see any middle ground there given the glut of talent the Cubs seem to be building in the outfield throughout the system. Here is the whole roster for your enjoyment.
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Not much has gone right for the Mesa Solar Sox as they currently sit at 6-16 which is good for dead last in the AFL East. Wanted to bring you up to speed on how the Cubs prospects are doing, it’s been a rough go of it.
I’m actually happy with what Szczur has done with the Solar Sox so far. He’s not driving the ball much, but he is getting on base at a .353 clip, and is stealing bases, something a good lead off hitter does.
What a weird season for Baez, his average was way down and so was his OBP. His power numbers were through the roof however, as he blasted four home runs and drove in 16 during his injury shortened AFL season. Not thrilled with the OBP, but it’s hard not to be impressed with his production.
It’s been a tough AFL season for Silva, but I expected that as he is not playing every day and is finding it hard to find a groove. Silva is not making enough contact, but that’s why these players are here, to learn and develop.
Watkins was a late addition to the AFL roster, he was summoned after Javier Baez was injured. Watkins is showing outstanding plate discipline early, something he has done all year, and what a year it was for the Cubs minor league player of the year. It’s nice to see the patience, I know the organization is loving that too.
Really like the innings Rhee has been able to throw down in Arizona, the results, not so much. Command has been spotty for Rhee, and it shows with the 6 walks and 22 hits in just under 17 innings.
Struck has been able to wiggle off the hook many times already during the AFL season. Command has gotten him in trouble as he as walked 8 guys in just 12 innings. However, his ERA hasn’t really taken a hit as it sits at a respectable 3.75 for the season.
Zych has been really good down in Arizona, he has given up more hits than innings pitched but he doesn’t walk guys. Zych has only walked one guy in 10 innings of work, and sports a sparkling 2.70 ERA on the season.
Rhoderick has been very good for the Solar Sox, his 4.82 ERA might suggest otherwise, but he’s been dominant at times. In just over nine innings of work Rhoderick has stuck out 14 and only walked two, he’s only given up seven hits. The long ball has hurt him as he has given up two home runs which have accounted for the majority of the runs he has given up.
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When things are going well teams find ways to win, especially in games where they aren’t their best, or don’t deserve to win, this is the opposite of that. The Mesa Solar Sox are beyond struggling and this latest loss pretty much sums up the first 13 games this season. Things were going well enough for the first seven innings as the Solar Sox held a 3-0 lead heading to the 8th inning. The Scorpions scored once in the 8th and three times in the ninth to walk away with a 4-3 victory, what’s worse is the blown save and loss were registered to Cubs prospect Kevin Rhoderick. Rhoderick pitched the ninth inning and didn’t have anything working as he allowed three runs on two hits while walking one and striking out one. On the bright side Nick Struck had a dominant performance, he worked two innings and struck out three without allowing a base runner. Matt Szczur had a decent day at the plate going 1-for-4 with another walk and a run scored. Rubi Silva was the only other Cubs position player to get into this one as he went 1-for-4 in the loss.
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Mesa came storming back to tie the game in the ninth with a two-out single off the bat of Matt Szczur. Unfortunately Salt Lake won the game in the bottom of the 10th. Szczur ended the game 2-for-5 with an RBI and two stolen bases. Rubi Silva was back in the lineup, hitting second and playing RF. Silva did not have a hit, but stole his third base of the season. Javier Baez also got another start and went 1-for-5 with a run scored. Both Kevin Rhoderick and Nick Struck pitched scoreless innings, with Rhoderick striking out two.
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It usually goes like this when you are struggling as a team, once the hitting picks up the pitching disappears, and that’s exactly what happened in this one. It was also a terrible day for Cubs prospects not named Kevin Rhoderick, Rhoderick tossed a scoreless inning of relief in this one. Nick Struck wasn’t so lucky as he battled command issues all day, he gave up three runs on two hits it just .2 innings while walking three. It didn’t get much better at the plate, Javier Baez had another 0-for-4 performance which drops his average to .212 in the AFL this season. Matt Szczur returned to the lineup and finished the day 0-for-5, Rubi Silva was productive in a back up role today going 1-for-2 with a triple and an RBI. The Solar Sox can’t buy a win right now, with the loss they drop to 3-7 on the year.
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Sunday October 14, 2012
Monday October 15, 2012
A six run fifth was too much for Mesa as they lost to Peoria 9-2. Matt Szczur led off and was really good on Monday going 3-for-4 with a double bringing his average up to .368. He also scored a run, drove one in, and stole his fourth base of the AFL. Javier Baez got another start at shortstop and went 0-for-4 with an RBI. There were no pitchers from the Cubs system who pitched on Monday.
Tuesday October 16, 2012
Mesa dropped another to Peoria on Tuesday losing 4-2. The Cubs system was well represented on Tuesday as five different players made appearances. After a great game on Monday Matt Szczur led off once again this time going 0-for-4. Rubi Silva got the start as the DH and just like Szczur was 0-for-4. Javier Baez started as well, this time at third base. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI and is now hitting .280 with nine RBIs this fall. Kevin Rhoderick pitched a scoreless inning in relief, allowing only one hit and striking out two. Nick Struck also got an inning of work, pitching a scoreless ninth for Mesa.
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