The Cubs’ system is not dull at all this year, not in the slightest.

The day began with two morning tilts. In South Bend, Alexander Canario and Matt Mervis stayed hot as each homered again en route to a 6-3 victory over Peoria, the Cubs’ second win in a year. In Tennessee, the big bats came alive as Chase Strumpf and Nelson Velazquez homered as the Smokies took it to the Barons 10-3. Four Smokies collected two hits including Nelson Velazquez, Chris Morel, Andy Weber, and Levi Jordan. Strumpf wound up with 3.

Yet, not one of those performances was in contention for Hitter of the Day when the night games got going.

That honor is going to go to a Pelican.

When I began writing this post, the Birds had totaled 20 runs. By the time I finished the Starting Pitcher section, it was 24.

This is where things get weird.

Joe Nahas is going to win the Starting Pitcher of the Day. Small problem, though…He didn’t start. However, Nahas did throw six innings while only allowing 1 run and striking out 7 in what is his best outing of the year. His outing brought his ERA down from 7.50 a week down to 4.82 after two decent outings in a row. For the time being, Nahas will piggybacking for Kohl Franklin.

Joe Nahas – Picture by Todd Johnson

As for the Reliever of the Day, that honor goes to Jeremiah Estrada who worked a clean 1-2-3 inning for South Bend with 1 K for the save for South Bend. Good for him! I talked to him last week and he’s excited about how he is pitching. His ERA for the year so far is a paltry 1.08 and he is striking out about 1,5 batters per inning. If he can keep that pace up, Estrada will be in Tennessee fairly quickly.

Jeremiah Estrada – Picture by Todd Johnson

Now that the Pelicans are done, Peter Matt get today’s Hitter of the Day. That’s what happens when you crush two HRs and drive in 7 while going 3-for-5. His teammates were all in contention. PCA went 3-for-6, Cole Roederer went 4-for-7, BJ Murray was 3-for-5 with 5 RBI, and Reggie Preciado basically doubled his average (literally) today going 4-for-6 with 6 RBI. What a day!

I will be back in the morning with the first affiliate update of the year as I examine the South Bend Cubs with 10 Things I Think.