I-Cubs Ride Hot Streak in Nevada
The I-Cubs are off today and on their way home to begin a binge of games in Des Moines over the next six weeks after a junket to Nevada where they cleaned up by going 7-1 in Las Vegas and Reno. Seems like a good time to check up on them.
In the last 10 days the club has raised its team BA about 25 points. While winning eight of their last nine they've pummeled the opposition by a count of 74-26. Chad Tracy didn’t play in yesterday’s 6-1 getaway win in Reno, but Iowa is 7-0 in his starts since he was demoted in the Castro shuffle. He’s hitting a little league-esque .581!
Thomas Diamond was yesterday’s winning pitcher. He didn’t walk a man in six one-run innings while running his record to 3-0 and now sports a flashy 2.08 ERA for the year. He’s only given up more than two earned runs once in eight starts, and then only three, but hasn’t stretched out too far yet, logging only 43 total innings. He also bears a striking resemblance to golfer Hal Sutton even though his middle name is Nicklaus [yes, that’s how it’s spelled].
Jay Jackson threw another scoreless inning yesterday as he preps for a possible role in the Wrigley relief corps. In contrast to the parent club, the I-Cubs’ bullpen has compiled an ERA of 2.89 in 123 innings.
Another contrast between the siblings is that Iowa is 17-3 when outhitting their opponent. After last night’s mini-sweep of the Rockies the C-Cubs are only 11-9 in that category, another indication of their penchant for wasted opportunity.
Behind the plate Wellington Castillo continues his one-man speed trap for PCL base stealers. He leads the league with a 58% CS rate [10-17].
Micah Hoffpauir finally nudged his BA north of .200 on the road trip, but even when he struggles, he produces. For the year he’s managed to drive in 29 runs with only 28 hits. Very soon he’ll own the team record for career doubles.
Darwin Barney has gotten hot enough to be hitting just over .300 for the year, but he’s fanned 22 times while drawing only five walks. He would seem like a nice accent to a trade package given the talent above and below him in the organization at SS.
Cashner should pitch the Sunday matinee here after winning his first two Triple A starts on the road and I hope to have my first look at him then.
Just read that when Hendricks starts the Cubs have won 33 times in his first 50 games which is the best for any Cubs starter since the 1940s. So he might not be getting a ton of wins but he's at least leaving the team in a winnable spot
That and we've had a lot of terrible teams.
I agree, but just wanted to point out that Hendricks didn't really have a significant difference between his first and second half like Hammel did. Instead he had alternating good and below average months last year, without much fluctuation in his peripherals except a BB-heavy August and some up-and-down in opp avg. Mostly the team just couldn't win games for him in the months he pitched well. His 16 starts in May, July, and Sep/Oct (in which he limited opponents to OPS+ of 88, 75, and 44) resulted in a 4-2 record.
I think with Hammels and Hendricks struggles the 2nd half we forget how dominate of 1st halves they had and how many games they won us as the offense was struggling. We also forget they are back of the rotation guys and we can't be expecting ace quality there.
Maybe it's just Werth & Ross I'm noticing. Weird.
CRAIG: Jose Albertos is not chunky like Fernando. He's built more like Dylan Cease. Exact same body type. And his delivery is free & easy. He's definitely not a "max effort" guy.
Hendricks after 50 MLB starts: 17-11, 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Not bad for a #5 starter. He may be a 6-inning max guy, but, if he can keep those stats up, I will gladly take it.
Speaking of WHIP -- last year, he was tied for 11th in the NL. Tied with Hammel.
Last year's NL rank in WHIP: Arrietta 2nd, Lester 9th, Haren 10th, Hammel T11th, Hendricks T11th. Wow.
I went to a Nats game in DC two years ago while looking at colleges with my son -- it's a fun park, worth a visit if you are in the area.
I also saw the "slowness" thing -- particularly Werth, who would mosey out of RF about 5 seconds before the inning started.
It's Dusty's fault. It'll be the end of them.
Speaking of how teams "look", my take on the Nats- It's really weird, but the pace of the entire team seems slow. Slow walking to the plate, slow on the mound, even on some routine groundouts, it looked as if there wasn't a ton of hustle. Don't get me wrong, when the ball is hit to their outfielders, they get after the ball, I'm really referring to non-critical action- they mosey around. It's kind of odd. Maybe that "calm power" is part of the Nats ethos, idk.
My favorite moment of Hendricks' performance last night was the last strikeout he rung up- the cajones it took to throw a high, 86MPH fastball to Zimmerman on a 0-2 count. And he swung the bat like it was a 96MPH heater. I literally laughed out loud.
In listening to Maddon's post-game, he is interested in how these other teams "look" to him. He is assessing for today...and tomorrow. I love this guy.
One observation from last night: Joe Ross is incredibly slow. 20-30 seconds between pitches at times. Hendrix had a nice, peppy rhythm which is great to see.
I know there are plenty of purists here which I applaud, but the game just will not sustain itself unless change of pace rules come into play. Pitch clock, improve the shit-ass reviews, mound visits (there is a clock for this), batter time outs, etc.
Thanks, Phil. Albertos at 17, and having gotten a good signing bonus ($1.5, even though as Mexican prospect I think his team gets half of that?), throwing in the 90's and showing some command of a curveball sounds pretty interesting, even if that control is only for a dozen-pitch sample.
What kind of a frame does he have? Is he on the stocky and short-ish side (I'm recalling Fernando Valenzuela!), or somewhat taller? A lot of 17-year olds have projection, "when he fills out" projection. Would that apply at all for Albertos?
I definitely hang around here looking to reply to your comments as noticed by my nearly year long absence.
there's a fine line between posting something relevant, useful or at least humorous versus posting something irrelevant, useless or unfunny...actually it's rather quite a thick line and easy to see for most people not named crunch.