Kevin Alcantara – Picture by Todd Johnson

Today was a pretty busy day with all the transactions that were made in between Arizona and Iowa. You can click on our post from today to get all caught up on who went where.

We do have a bit of award  news as Myrtle Beach Pelicans pitcher Michael, Arias was named the Carolina League pitcher of the week for his five inning no hit performance with 6 Ks.

Let’s get to the action

The Return of Devers

This 2023 debut didn’t start out so well for the Cubs 2022 minor league pitcher of the year. Devers struggled in his first game since September. It looked like he was going to get out of some early trouble after a force out and a pick off. He was just one out away from heading to the dugout when he proceeded to walk four players and gave up a couple of hits. Next thing you know, Lansing had four runs. When he left, he still had two guys on and they would both come around to score and all six runs were earned.

Card of the Day

Early this morning, it was announced that Ed Howard was returning to action a little over a year after his horrific hip injury, and subsequent surgery. Not surprisingly, he get in the game at shortstop. It was a good night for Ed. He went 3-for-5.

As for the rest of the game. Down 7, South Bend scored nine unanswered runs to take the lead before giving up 6 runs to lose 13-9. It was wild! Kevin Alcantara went 4-for-6 with a HR while Jacob Wetzel went 2-for-4 as did Yohendrick Pinango.

Starting Pitcher of the Day

Not that you should be surprised, but Grant Kipp showed again why he is ready for South Bend. He went six innings and allowed one run. He scattered four hits and a walk and struck out six to lower his ERA to 2.98 on the year. The Birds won 8-1.

Koen Moreno threw another scoreless inning. He walked one but did not allow a hit.

At the plate, some guys are st

arting to heat up. Parker Chavers went 3-for-4 while Moises Ballesteros hit a three run Jack.

Pedro Ramirez continues to be impressive since his return from Arizona and EXST as he went 2-for-3 on the night to raise his season average to .257. Since his return, he is hitting .462. That’ll do!

Tennessee Stays in First

The Smokies played a seesaw game with the Trash Pandas tonight. Jordan Wicks did not have his best stuff as he gave up 4 runs in 4 innings but struck out 6. However, Blake Whitney was the man for the Smokies as he went 2 scoreless with 3 Ks. His ERA at Tennessee is now 2.57. Cole Roederer’s homer put the Smokies in front at 5-4 and they would add 3 more runs via a triple by PCA and a single by Luis Vazquez. Several Smokies had two hits on the night including PCA, Andy Weber, Owen Caissie, Haydn McGeary, and BJ Murray.

As for Iowa…

They were a half a game back of St. Paul heading into the night against St. Paul. The Cubs took a 4-1 lead before 9 straight runs from the Saints. The only highlight for Iowa was a 3-run jack from Yonathan Perlaza, who should be playing in Chicago.

Rookie League Disclaimer

The Cubs in the Arizona and the Dominican rookie leagues will get their own weekly writeups on Sundays from Rich Biesterfeld and myself. Occasionally, though, there might be a performance worthy of mention at press time. Today, that was Drew Gray “officially” beginning his rehab in Mesa. He struck out 7 in 2.2 IP. That’ll do. I am excited to see him in Myrtle Beach soon…most likely after the first half.