8/9 Minor matters

In his first start for Triple-A Iowa, Kyle Hendricks gave up one unearned run over seven innings in a 2-1 win over Fresno. Hendricks struck out five and walked one. Brad Nelson hit his 17th home run.

Matt Szczur had four hits including his third home run, in Tennessee’s 9-8 win over Montgomery. Eduardo Figueroa gave up five runs over six innings and did not get a decision. Arismendy Alcantara and Rubi Silva each had two hits and a stolen base.

Dustin Geiger hit two home runs to help Pierce Johnson and lead Daytona to a 11-0 win over Clearwater. Johnson gave up two hits over five innings and struck out six. Geiger finished with three hits and five RBIs.

Starling Peralta gave up one hit over 5 2/3 innings in Kane County’s 7-0 win over Burlington. Peralta struck out five but also walked five. Dan Vogelbach hit his 17th home run and drove in three runs.

Kris Bryant hit his fourth home run and Yasiel Balaguert belted his sixth in Boise’s 7-5 win over Vancouver. Duane Underwood picked up the win in relief, giving up one walk and striking out two over three innings.

Mesa had the day off and resumes play Friday against the Angels.


Come Sept. 1 I’m hoping to see in Wrigley Field: Olt at 3B, Lake in LF, Szczur in CF, Soup Of The Day in RF, Watkins at 2B, Hendricks and Arietta in the rotation. Is that too much to ask for a reason to watch the last month??????

Why wait until September 1 when you can head out to Des Moines and see most of that now? I would love to see Mike Olt at third too, but right now he looks completely lost at the plate at AAA and the solution to that is not have him face major league pitching on a daily basis. I guess he’s got a few more weeks to figure it out. As for Szczur, they’ll probably keep him down at AA into September as Tennessee will probably make the Southern League playoffs and that will be a good chance to see how Szczur does in a higher pressure situation. Maybe you can call him up for the final week or two and give him a few starts to give him a taste of the Majors, but I would expect him to start 2014 in AAA anyway. It would be interesting to see Hendricks and Arietta, and Grimm or Raley or Cabrera, in the rotation at the end of the season, but you’ll need to create spots for them to fit in. And no, they aren’t going to tell Edwin Jackson or Travis Wood to simply take the final month of the season off. I don’t know if Wood, Samardzija, or Rusin are on some kind of innings limit this season, but if they aren’t then they probably won’t tell any of them to take a hike either. Villaneueva can probably go back to the bullpen and they can maybe dump Rusin there too if they’ve seen enough from him, but that would only create one or two spots. The Darwin Barney show is getting old, so I wouldn’t mind seeing Watkins a little bit more in the final month and a half. And Lake is already here and seems to be their main LF (or CF when they’re facing a lefty) so no worries there.

Afterthought: Watkins was only hitting in the .240s at AAA and is only up because Valbuena got hurt, so while it would be nice to see a little bit more of him, maybe the Cubs don’t want to over-expose him now. Maybe keeping him as a reserve and having him work with the major league coaching staff is what he needs now to prepare him for the possibility of starting with the Major League club in 2014?

What did working with the “major league” coaching staff gain Rizzo or Castro? Yikes! I say play the kid and give him a chance to hit better than Barney’s .216!!!! Even a minor league .240 hitter MAY hit better than .240 in the majors which would be a significant upgrade (offensively) at 2B.
2B or not 2B, THAT is the question!!

You have better resources at the major league level than you do at AAA, so how Rizzo and Castro are doing doesn’t matter. Besides, not everyone on the Cubs is having an awful year. Junior Lake is playing pretty well so far and Nate Schierholtz is having a career year, just to name two. My point is that sometimes you gain plenty of insight and experience simply by watching and being tutored rather than being thrown to the wolves. If Watkins was hitting .300 at AAA, then maybe he should be playing more. But if you’re hitting .240 at AAA, then obviously something is not quite right and you need a little more work still. That, combined with the fact that he wouldn’t even be up with the Cubs if it weren’t for Valbuena being hurt, means I am okay with them taking it slowly with Watkins. Like I said, you don’t want to over-expose him if he’s not ready yet.

There are no wolves, he can gain by PLAYING AND WATCHING…. instead of sitting and watching. Rizzo and Castro struggling doesn’t matter? Please. Lake IS doing well, a small window of time however. Both Castro and Rizzo did much better when first in the big leagues. One HAS to wonder if the MAJOR LEAGUE “resources” (of the Cubs) have done more harm than good with the young ones. Schierholtz is much more experienced and may have more lessons that stuck with him from other organizations. I think it is a shame that Watkins is sitting, watching, sitting, sitting…

Please review my post and reply on the hitting coache’s joey. If you didnt see it, you might enjoy it.

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