Minor League Stat Gazing
A quick look at how some of our minor leaguers are doing with less than a month to go on the minor-league season. My apologies in advance for any typos in the stats.
Iowa - AAA (70-52 1st place by 6 games)
(note: assuming they hang on, it's likely that most of the September call-ups will wait until the Iowa Cubs playoff run is over, although I think Koyie Hill will get called up immediately to give the Cubs a 3rd catcher.)
Notes: Hoffpauir was just named PCL player of the week. Felix Pie was out with another injury to his hand for about a week but has recently returned. He has hit .359 over his last 10 games played. Justin Berg was acquired in the Matt Lawton trade to the Yankees in 2005.
Tennessee - AA (25-25 in the 2nd half, 7 GB in 2nd place; 52-68 overall)
Notes: Reinhard was acquired in the Jae-kuk Ryu deal last year from Tampa Bay. Spears was acquired from Baltimore with pitcher Carlos Perez for Corey Patterson. Lalli had a .913 OPS in 261 PA's for Daytona before being promoted and has played split duties between catching and first base. (UPDATE:) He was demoted back to Daytona yesterday. I have no idea what's wrong with Sam Fuld's legs. While never a burner, he'd steal 10 to 20 bases and keep it above 75%. He's been caught five times in AA with just 2 successful swipes.
Daytona - Hi-A (27-20 in 2nd half and tied for first; 62-55 overall)
Notes: Carillo is now up in AA and has had one start where he threw five innings and gave up four runs. Russell got sent back to Daytona after putting up a 6.36 ERA in AA. Marquez Smith had an .838 OPS in Peoria in 241 PA's before being promoted with 14 HR's. Latham threw up a 1.93 ERA in Peoria before getting a promotion with 59 K's in 60.2 IP. Parker had a 1.33 ERA in Peoria with 51 K's in 47.1 IP and just 2 HR's allowed. He also had a brief emergency call-up to Iowa earlier in the season. Jay Jackson (full name is Randy Jackson) was the Cubs 9th round pick in the 2008 draft out of Furman University and struck out 37 in 24 IP in Peoria before being promoted. The righty now has 60 K's in his minor league career, against just 7 BB's and 4 HR's in 37 IP.
Peoria - A (25-25 in the 2nd half, 5.5 GB tied for 5th place; 55-63 overall)
Notes: Ridling was drafted in the 25th round out of Oklahoma State in the 2008 draft and had a 1.061 OPS in 80 PA with 4 HR's for Boise before being promoted. Harrison, the Cubs 6th round pick this year, had a .971 OPS in Boise before being promoted and stole 12 bases along with 11 doubles in 144 PA's.
Boise - Short-Season A (31-23, 7 GB in 2nd place)
Notes: Cashner has had three appearances for Boise; 1.2 IP with 4 BB/3 K, 1.0 IP with 5 BB/0 K, and 3.0 IP with 3 BB/2 K.
AZL Cubs - Rookie League (7-6 in the 2nd half, 3 GB in 4th place; 25-16 overall)
I know he's struggles against lefties but Schwarber seems zoned in - hope he starts tonight.
Awesome stuff, Phil.
listening on ESPN 1000, caller says Bill Welke will be the home plate ump today. Supposedly his reputation is for having an even bigger strike zone than last night's Phil Cuzzi. Some of the issues with bad umpiring come from an inconsistent strike zone. Hoping at least for consistency. Last night's called strike on David Ross was outright embarrassing for Cuzzi.
That might work out in favor of Kyle Hendricks, who benefits much from a large strike zone.
it's kind of mesmerizing to watch
should Theo add some Ted Abernathy videos for minor league pitching coordinator's use?
sadly, Ted passed away in 2004 from complications of Alzheimers. I always loved the Cub bullpen trio of Phil Regan, Ted Abernathy and Hank Aguirre. As a kid, I even worked on both Phil Regan (very quirky delivery) and Ted Abernathy (extreme submarine) imitations when throwing a rubber ball against a wall. It wasn't a good imitation unless I could scrape my knuckles off the ground. I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for submariners.
HAGSAG: Chris Pieters was sent to instructs to develop his hitting, bunting, and outfield play (he is already a decent first-baseman).
Pieters is tall and rangy , a "long-strider" in the same mold as Trey Martin and Rashad Crawford. He is a very patient hitter (unusual for a hitter with his lack of experience) and has an outstanding (almost uncanny) eye at the plate, and he is a fast runner with unusually good baserunning instincts, and he is a good basestealer, too.
I doubt we will see Pedro in any more "high leverage" situations this series. With Hendricks and the pen today, we need Bryant-Rizzo-Castro to get going ASAP.
One funny thing to see before the game was the two submariner pitchers (David Berg and Corbin Hoffner) playing catch with each other. Both pitchers throw "submarine" even when they play catch, and it's kind of mesmerizing to watch, even for the other players.
CUBSTER: One of the points of emphasis at "basic" Instructs this year was teaching the position players the art of baserunning and base-stealing, like getting a good primary and seconday lead, reading the pitcher, cutting bases sharply, and different ways to slide to maximize the baserunner's chance to arrive safely.
Brooksbaseball.net has some interesting stats/graphs on pitch and strike zones and you can dial up individual games/pitchers. I'd love to see some comments from readers who can interpret this better than I can. I thought the Ump was really inconsistent with a very wide zone. Does this info seem to match up with my eyeball perception? Also, looking at the graphs, Lackey was not throwing as many pitches below the K-zone (certainly more above) while Lester was clearly getting his pitches down and not many above.
As I was fearing in my post yesterday, Maddon keeps trotting Strop out against the Redbirds and he constantly fails. I understand the psychology behind this, but in a series where there is a finite lock on who moves on, why does he keep riding the wrong horse?
AZ Phil: Agree, this must have been a really fun game to watch. There was a lot of base stealing going on. Are the pitchers not holding runners or is the catching still a work in progress?
Cuzzi has long been known as having the biggest strike zone among all umpires.
AZ Phil, give me a scouting report on Chris Pieters since he has become a 1B/OF.
I think it's probably hard to adjust to an ump's zone mid-game, as least for hitters. Pitchers can locate to an ump's zone, but hitters have minimal time to react.
But, whatever. Umps are going to miss calls. Let's beat up on the non-Lackey starters.
Watched a little of Mets-Dodgers.
Jason deGrom -- oh, my.
Cubs 3-4-5 hitters are 0-21 so far in the post-season.
Let's change that in a big effin' way tomorrow, boys.