Daniel Palencia – Picture by Todd Johnson
In terms of wins and losses, today was just not a pleasant day. All four affiliates lost and it happens once in a while. There were some performances that are worth talking about in a few minutes and there were others that you just shake your head, forget about, and just move on.
Newcomer Hayden Was Neske did not have a good debut. The only positive he can say about his start was that he was in the upper 90s for most of the day. He just did not look comfortable on the mound. It’s just one start. He’s going to have lots of others. Anyone can have a crappy day. Let’s move on.
Close to Chicago Awards
This is a new award that I’m starting today. And it goes out to three players who are getting pretty close to being ready to get called up to Chicago. They are first baseman Matt Mervis, Pitcher Ben Leeper, and pitcher Cam Sanders. Matt Mervis leads all the minor leagues with a 92 RBI. While Sanders has really adjusted well to coming out of the bullpen. Since coming off the development list, he’s pitched five innings and allowed one run and struck out five. Leeper has just been lights out the last 10.2 innings as he has 19 Ks in that span. Right now, none of them have a spot on the 40 man roster. To be honest, I don’t know if the Cubs are ready to start the clock on them being in Chicago just yet.
There are some people who are ready to call them up right now. But service time is an issue. It’s a huge issue especially with a rebuilding club. You don’t want to call a player up just to call them up to get a look at them. They can get a look at them in Des Moines. You want to call them up because you think they can help the big league club not to audition them. Then again, if they’re not being challenged in Triple-A, there’s only one logical step.
Hitter of the Day
It was just not a big day of offense. Of the three early games, there were only a handful of hitters who had two hits. Three of them were in South Bend, Luis Vazquez was the only one at Tennessee, and Matt Mervis was the solo guy in Iowa. Mr. Mervis hit a three run home run today as well as he went 2-for-4 and is today’s hitter of the day.
Parker Chavers is healthy and starting to hit!
Starting Pitchers of the Day (Yes, Plural)
Daniel Palenica had the whole Internet abuzz today as he returned from the disabled list after missing exactly three weeks. Palencia came out chugging with his fastball as he sat 101 and 102 miles an hour. But what’s even more impressive was that he was hitting spots. Pablo Aliendo did not have to move his glove very often after Palencia threw the ball. He mixed his changeup and low 90s slider, which is just not fair, well to keep hitters off balance. He completed 3 scoreless and struck out 7.
Jordan Wicks is the other starting pitcher of the day. While he did not throw 100 mph, he shut Rocket City down for the second time this week. Because it was his second outing, the Cubs had him on a strict pitch count that he met after four innings. He did not allow a run today and struck out seven. That gives him nine innings this week with no runs and 15 strikeouts. That’s a pretty good week. We’ll talk more about him in the morning.
Debuts of the Day
Jeremiah Estrada made his debut at Iowa today. He made it through the inning without giving up a run but he did give up a couple of hits and a walk but he got out of it. Now that that’s over, he can go about his business because I would like to add him to the aforementioned list at the top of the post.
Saul Gonzalez also debuted at Myrtle Beach. He struck out the first batter he faced. He did go 2.1 innings and allowed 1 run, but struck out 2.
Relief Pitcher of the Day
Ben Leeper went 1.1 earnings today and struck out two. It was not the best day for relievers in the system just like yesterday. I hope this isn’t becoming a trend because the Cubs have had some pretty good relief efforts all year long.
I will be back in the morning with “The Breakdown” to talk about how Alexander Canario should be near the top of everyone’s prospect lists. I’ll also break down where everybody stands in the playoff chase. Plus, I will take a look at who were this week’s players of the week. I am still undecided if there’s going to be a team of the week.
Interview of the Day
If you were wondering where the organization is heading, Jed Hoyer talked about it a little bit on the Marquee Sports Network this afternoon. It’s interesting…to a point. That point is he is still playing his cards close to his vest so that only he can see.