Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Wisdom blasts two homers as Iowa offense explodes; Herz dazzles; Velazquez records another multi-hit game
today at 9:31 am
I didn’t get a chance to check this game out, but I wish I had. Not only did the offense explode but Kohl Stewart turned in another fine pitching line. I’ve missed all of the former 4th overall pick’s starts this season. A sinker baller who has struggled to miss bats and walked a few too many guys at times throughout his career, has seemingly been dialed in through three starts. He’s walked just four in 16 innings while keeping the ball on the ground for the strong Iowa infield defense.
As for the offense, Patrick Wisdom hadn’t recorded a hit in his first four games since joining the Iowa active roster this week, but the veteran power hitter made up for it last night. He blasted two home runs, walked twice and was hit by a pitch, reaching safely in all five plate appearances.
He was joined in the homer barrage by Taylor Gushue, Jose Lobaton and Rafael Ortega, but this was really a top-to-bottom effort by the I-Cubs lineup. Sergio Alcantara and Abiatal Avelino continued their hot starts (I still really like both of these offseason acquisitions, they look good at the plate and in the field). Even Andrew Romine chipped in with three hits.
- Patrick Wisdom: 2-2, 2 HR (1, 2), 4 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, HBP (.125)
- Taylor Gushue: 2-5, HR (2), 2 R, 3 RBI (.317)
- Jose Lobaton: 2-5, HR (1), R, 4 RBI (.200)
- Rafael Ortega: 1-5, HR (4), 2 R, 3 RBI (.235)
- Andrew Romine: 3-5, 2B, R, RBI (.225)
- Abiatal Avelino: 2-4, 2B, 2 R, HBP (.306)
- Sergio Alcantara: 2-5, 2 R (.317)
- Trayce Thompson: 1-4, 2B, 2 R, BB (.296)
- Kohl Stewart: 6 IP, 5 H, R, BB, 5 K (W, 1-1, 3.38)
The Tennessee offense got off to a strong start in their first handful of games, but has cooled off over the past ten. With Jared Young injured and Brennen Davis still in Mesa, the team is struggling to hit for power, and thus is reliant on stringing hits together. On top of that the pitching staff hasn’t been quite as sharp as expected early on. It’s an experienced staff, with plenty of AA/AAA veterans, but they haven’t found their groove.
- Connor Myers: 1-2, 2 BB (.262)
- Christian Donahue: 2-5 (.211)
- Grayson Byrd: 1-3, R, BB (.240)
- Nelson Maldonado: 1-3, BB (.250)
- Wyatt Short: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, HBP, 3 K (4.91)
- Bryan Hudson: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (3.00)
- Nelson Velazquez: 3-4, RBI (.550)
- Chase Strumpf: 1-3, RBI, HBP (.400)
- Yonathan Perlaza: 1-3, 2B, R, BB (.220)
- Delvin Zinn: 1-4, R, BB, SB (11) (.255)
- D.J. Artis: 1-4, BB, CS (1) (.143)
- Emilio Bocchi: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, HBP, 3 K (6.23)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
The recent return from injury by Nelson Velazquez has been a welcomed one. South Bend has been struggling mightily on offense, mostly due to their inability to hit home runs (the team has just 2 in total). Velazquez already recorded one of the team’s two homers in his first 5 games, while recording four consecutive multi-hit games. There just isn’t much power in the South Bend lineup outside Velazquez and Chase Strumpf, who has also missed time. Everyone else in the lineup tops out as gap power hitters.
Delvin Zinn is now 11-for-11 on stolen base attempts so far this season (14 games). The athletic utility man was 30-for-38 in 2019.
First the hype:
— Cubs Zone ™️ (@CubsZone)
Next, the rest:
A very young (6 regulars are 20-years-old-or-younger) Myrtle Beach (7-8) lineup continued it’s struggles. Two days ago their lineup did not feature a single batter above the Mendoza Line. After yesterday’s game they now have two (Jonathan Sierra and Yohendrick Pinango) but their inexperience shows, especially when they face older pitchers. As a group they are overly aggressive and often get themselves out on pitcher’s pitches.
It will get better. There is talent with this group, but it is clearly going to take some time, as they wait for the young hitters to make some adjustments. In the meantime, the club will need some of the older players to carry some of the burden: Edmond Americaan (24), Matt Mervis (23), Sierra (22). Unfortunately, Sierra is the only guy with significant full-season experience (101 G with South Bend in 2019). Americaan spent most of 2019 in Eugene, and Mervis is just 9 games into his professional career.
- D.J. Herz: 4 IP, 2 H, R, 0 BB, 8 K (1.08)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
As bad as the Pelicans offense (.168/.243/.257, 52 runs in 15 G) has been, its actually only the third worst offense among the twelve team Low-A East league. There are four teams with batting averages below .200 and OPS below .600. Kannaplois (36 R) and Fredericksburg (39 R) have had even greater struggles pushing runs across than the Pelicans. A sign of the Pelicans inexperienced approach is they trail all teams in walks (38) by a huge margin (second worst is 55), while also striking out at the third highest amount (176).
The Pelicans pitching is middle of the pack overall, but they have the third lowest batting average against (.204). Defense and a few too many walks and hit batters are keeping them from moving higher.
Daily Cubs Minors Recap