This team just got a lot more interesting. I put Mike Olt at #6 on the Cubs top prospects list, which is more a compliment to the Cubs farm system than a diss an Olt, who I think is an Top 80-100 type (Alcantara is a Top 80-100 type too). Justin Grimm has every chance to turn into a righty Travis Wood, also, and he likely won't be in Iowa very long. The Iowa staff is actually really crowded right now, with Rusin, Raley, Arrieta, Moscoso, Cabrera, Grimm, Negrin, Loux, and Struck all competing for starts. Rusin was a chance to stay up with the big club in the interim, while I assume Arrieta/Moscoso/Grimm are all locks for the rotation. I have to assume Cabrera is also (though he took a relief appearance in his last go). I imagine either Loux or Raley is the #5 starter on the squad, but I wouldn't be surprised if the situation…resolves itself soon, if you know what I mean.
Logan Watkins had his typical day. Donnie Murphy went deep but struck out twice. Josh Vitters also struck out twice, but walked once too. He's probably pretty sad these days, and will probably move to LF (where his bat won't play) or to another team in a throw-in (maybe with Soriano to the Yankees, who also crave a 3B). Brad Nelson went 2-3 with a double. Edgar Gonzalez doubled as well.
Both Alcantara and Baez were hitless in this game. The only damage was a solo shot by Justin Bour and a 3 run double by Rafael Lopez. They both singled also. Rubi Silva had a 2-hit game, and John Andreoli doubled, singled, and walked.
Another start for Kyle Hendricks, another 0 run performance (though he allwoed 2 unearned runs). He went 7, allowed 4 hits, walked none, and struck out 6. This guy is awesome. Zach Rosscup and an uncharacteristic blowup, allowing 3 runs in 0.2 innings (a 3-run blast by Mark Canha). P.J. Francescon cleaned it up.
Junior Lake was the man, going 4-5 with a HR and 3 RBI. Castro-watch: 2-5, SO, 2B. Rizzo-watch: 0-3, BB, SO. No one cares about anyone else.
Cubs pitching was very dominant. Chris Rusin went 5 and allowed 2 on 2 hits and 2 walks. That'll do nicely. Blake Parker, James Russell, Matt Guerrier, Pedro Strop, and Kevin Gregg all combined for a total of 4 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 SO, 0 R. I'll take that any day of the week.
For the first time in forever Gioskar Amaya did not get a hit. He walked twice, though. Albert Almora was similarly hitless but walked once. Dan Vogelbach also walked twice but singled as well. Jeimer Candelario was 1-5 as was Rock Shoulders (who doubled). Reggie Golden homered.
After a putrid beginning to the year, Gioskar Amaya is up to a .281/.356/.425 line. After the ASB, he's been .370/.453/.580, which is awesome. His star has still diminshed significantly (you could have argued before the season that he was a better prospect than Alcantara), and his power is no longer very impressive, but it's nice to see him bounce back after a terrible first half to the season.
Juan Paniagua took the start and was pretty poor again. He lasted 10 outs and allowed 8 baserunners, not a very good ratio to have. He allowed 3 runs, 2 earned, and struck out 4 (of his 18 plate appearances). A bunch of flotsam/jetsam relieved with various degrees of success.
Everyone had at least one hit, and only Yasiel Balaguert, Jose Dore, and Trevor Gretzky didn't have exactly 2 (they all had 1). Jacob Rogers had the best day, with a double and a HR. 1-8 in the lineup each had exactly 1 RBI (sorry, Carlos Penalver). Dore did triple and walk.
Rob Zastryzny pitched 2 innings of shutout ball. He allowed a hit and fanned 1. Sam Wilson pitched the next two and walked one, striking 4 out. Zack Godley was up next, pitching 2 and allowing a hit and punching out 2. Scott Frazier also pitched 2; he allowed no baserunners and terminated 2. Tyler Bremer pitched the ninth and allowed a single hit.
Kris Bryant went 1-3 with a double and 2 RBI. He committed no errors. David DeJesus was 2-4 with a double and 2 runs scored in his rehab assignment. Jacob Hannemann didn't get a hit; in fact, the only other hit was a single by Wilfredo Petit.
Erick Leal started and threw 3.1 innings. He allowed a single run on 4 hits, but did not walk a batter and struck out 2. If he turns into anything I'll be tickled pink with the Campana trade.