Game: 4/26 South Bend Cubs and Quad Cities River Bandits
Final: Cubs 8, River Bandits 2
Summary: A Game You Would Expect From South Bend
Jordan Wicks started the game for the South Bend Cubs and went 4 innings, giving up 1 run, 4 hits, 1 walk, and struck out 5 batters. Eduarnniel Nunez went an inning of no run ball and picked up the win, Bradford Depperman went 2 innings of no run ball and struck out 4 batters, and Bailey Reed finished the game with 2 innings of 1 run ball. The hitters for the South Bend Cubs displayed a lot of power against the Quad Cities River Bandits hitting four homers total between Alexander Canario (2), Jake Washer, and Bradlee Beasley.
Player of the Game: Alexander Canario
Canario went 3-4 with two home runs, a single, a walk, and a stolen base. He looked like the Canario that we acquired the first week of the Kris Bryant trade, attacking the baseball early in the count and generating a ton of bat speed. When Canario hits a baseball it just sounds different. This game on April 26th was by far Canario’s best game of the week, but overall he put together a really nice week. What we are looking for in Canario is consistency on a week to week basis. So far this year he has already shown us two sides of the coin, the Canario that will strikeout 10 times in a week, and the Canario that will homer four times in a week. Strikeouts have been an issue for Canario, but he only struckout once on April 26th, and he cut back on strikeouts all of this year. Hopefully, that’s something he can build on for the rest of the season. The bat speed Canario can generate is some of the best in the system. If he can barrel more baseball he could turn into one of the better prospects in the system.
Who You Might Have Missed: Eduarniel Nunez
Eduarniel Nunez might have the best stuff in the South Bend Cubs bullpen this year. Unfortunately, his first few outings were shaky. When he’s on, Nunez has a high 90’s fastball that has touched 100 with an absurd 12-6 curveball in terms of movement and spin rates. He has an easy low effort delivery that he seems to repeat well, but command has been a problem so far this year. When he’s missing, he was missing a lot over the plate, and he had a couple rough outings earlier in the year that ballooned his ERA. During the game of the week however, Nunez was on. He got ahead of batters early on in the count, and while he did give up some hard hit balls, it was nice to see him unafraid to go after hitters with his plus stuff. He even battled the final batter he faced and struck him out on a full count for his first scoreless inning of relief. Nunez also added another scoreless inning of relief this week on April 30th where he struck out 2.
Who to Keep an Eye On: Fabian Pertuz
The very first game of the season Pertuz homered, and he’s been hot ever since. Even when he goes hitless, he seems to find a way to get in on the action. During the game of the week, Pertuz walked twice and scored two runs. The walks are encouraging because Pertuz did not walk often for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Combine the low walk rate with the high strikeout rate he had last year and that’s not a recipe for success. This year though, Pertuz has seemed to figure a few things out. The strikeouts are still a little high, but that is something Pertuz has done since playing in full season ball and probably won’t drop significantly during his pro career. What Pertuz has done though is hit the ball for a lot more authority and work longer counts and draw walks so far this year. He is already one homer away from tying his season total last year, he’s hitting the ball in the air more frequently, and he is slugging almost .100 higher than he did in Myrtle Beach in 2021.
Feature photo of Alexander Canario by Todd Johnson (@CubsCentral08)