The Cubs are playing well enough lately that they're suddenly in danger of losing out on a protected top 10 draft pick next year. They've got three days to trade away talent though, and I'd be shocked if the team finished the year in that mediocre 10-20 range Theo mentioned wanting to avoid at the beginning of the season.
RizzoWatch: Anthony was 0-4 last night, and it's starting to get pretty ugly. Starlin Castro was 2-4. Hooray! The Junior Lake Show was 0-3 with a walk. Nate Schierholtz was pretty much the whole offense, blasting a solo homer in a 1-4 day that won the game. All in all, the offense was tepid as hell.
Thankfully Chris Rusin decided he wanted to be awesome for a change of pace, doling out 7 shutout innings on 3 hits and 2 walks. He only struck out 3, but who cares. Pedro Strop loaded the bases with 0 outs in the eighth, then proceeded to extricate himself from the trouble without allowing a run to score. Magic. Kevin Gregg did the same with one out, and was saved by a 3-6-3 double play. Thank god for good defense.
Iowa got 4-hit last night, struck out 14 times, and nobody got past first base. Logan Watkins was 1-4. Mike Olt was 0-3 with a walk. Edwin Maysonet had the best day by going 2-4, and then proceeded to get picked off both times. Congratulations on winning the Ryan Theriot Memorial Dance Fever Award for today, Edwin Maysonet.
Barret Loux was basically a 40 degree day. 6 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 4 Ks. If you missed it, he had a really nice, interesting NYT piece written about him being the player drafted after Matt Harvey. Worth a read. Alberto Cabrera worked 2 innings in relief, which is a bizarre thing that's been happening since Cabrera came up to Des Moines. Cabrera had a ton of success in the Southern League this year as a starter, but he is getting just a bit old (age 24 season) and walks a few more guys than you'd like to see. They might just want to ease him into the PCL, which can be tough on pitchers. Or maybe this precedes a September bullpen callup to the majors? Just a guess. No idea what's going on.
Has it been fully articulated how stacked this Tennessee lineup is? They've become the lineup I was expecting Kane County to be all season, just a fun player at almost every position. Javier Baez was 0-3 but took 2 walks! Fuck you Keith Law! Arismendy Alcantara was 0-4 with a walk and 3 Ks. He is ice cold of late. Justin Bour is not, however, going 1-5 with a home run for his 4th homer in as many days, and his 6th in his last ten. Nice work Justin Bour. John Andreoli also went deep in a 1-5 day.
Rubi Silva had the game of the day though, going 3-4 with a homer and a triple. Silva's having a weird season in the Southern League, posting a .285/.305/.496 line. He has just 11 walks on the year for a career high 3% rate. He's not gonna make anything of himself with that kind of aggressiveness, but it's always interesting to me when a guy can manage an .800 OPS despite barely cracking .300 in OBP.
Kyle Hendricks continued his dominating ways last night, tossing 7 innings of 6-hit, 2-run (1 earned) ball on a walk and six strikeouts. Zach Rosscup worked the 8th and allowed a hit while striking out one. Tony Zych got an out in the ninth before allowing a run on 2 walks and a hit and being replaced by Frank Batista, who got the final two without incident and closed out the game. Trade somebody so Hendricks can go to Iowa already.
Eduardo Figueroa scattered 6 hits across 5 innings and kept it scoreless on 2 walks and 5 Ks. Zach Cates worked the 6th, allowing a hit and nothing else. Jeffry Antigua finished off the last three, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out 3.
Dan Vogelbach hit his 15th homer of the season in a 1-4 day. That was the extent of the offense for KC. Rock Shoulders did go 2-3 with a double and a walk. Tayler Scott continued the season-long trend of Cougars SPs not named Johnson being terrible, allowing 4 runs in 5 innings on 9 hits, 2 BBs, and 0 Ks. Sheldon McDonald worked 3 innings and didn't allow a run, giving up a hit and a walk on 1 K.
James Pugliese is having a nice go of it in his second time through the Northwest League. Last night he worked 6 innings, allowed 5 hits and an earned run while striking out 4. He's got a 38:8 K:BB rate in 47 innings and has a 2.23 GO/AO rate. He turns 21 in two weeks. I'd give him a taste of Kane County, especially given the pitching situation there, but what do I know.
On the pitching side, Anthony Prieto worked 4 innings and gave up 2 hits, 3 walks, and no runs on 3 Ks. Then it was turned over to 2013 draftees, as Tyler Ihrig worked the 5th and 6th, allowing a run on a hit and 2 Ks. Trevor Graham took the bump for the next two, gave up 2 hits, a walk, and struckout 4 with no runs allowed. Josh Davis worked the last, and allowed a hit and no runs, striking out 1.