I-Cubs Still Looking for Way Out

Round Rock hasn't had any trouble getting into the jet stream above Principal Park. The Express have belted four homers in two games including a back-to-back pair Friday night off of Casey Coleman that were the difference in the 4-3 contest. But the home team remains homerless, having split the first half of a four-game set to open the season.

RR started southpaw Martin Perez and the only hit he surrendered to an Iowa lefty in six innings of work was Brett Jackson's two-out, opposite field, off-the-wall triple in the fifth that went for naught. Jackson later drew a bases-loaded walk.

Trailing 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh Iowa mounted a threat that brought Anthony Rizzo to the plate with the bases loaded, one out and the score 4-2. Rizzo, facing LH reliever Mike Kirkman, singled to center. With Tony Campana the runner aboard at second the score was sure to be tied, right? Wrong! Instead the crowd was fit to be tied when CF Leonys Martin gunned Campana down at the plate on the play that decided the outcome.

For the second night in a row Campana was in the middle of everything, like a brat at a birthday party. Twice he was thrown out on the bases, having been caught stealing earlier after drawing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first. Later he played a liner perfectly off the wall and turned a sure double into a 7-4 putout with a strong throw. In the middle of the seventh inning sequence he laid down his second bunt hit in as many games. 

Wellington Castillo almost got the I-Cubs off and (home) running with a double high off of the center field wall that scored Ty Wright in the fourth but that was it other than the uprising snuffed out by Martin's erasure of Campana.

Coleman was working in the mid-90's and fanned five without walking anyone in his five innings but four of the five hits off of him were doubles or home runs so he remains who we thought he was.

The Iowa bullpen hung up four more zeroes. That's seven in two games. I'm wanting to start calling them the Goose Egg Gang but it's early. 

Comments

Muskat tweets...
Cubs lineup vs Nationals: (Gio Gonzales is a lefty, so it's an all righty lineup)

Johnson RF, Mather 3B, Castro SS, Soriano LF, Baker 1B, Soto C, Byrd CF, Barney 2B, Garza P
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Lopez is in Cubs clubhouse and available today. Corresponding move won't be made until game time

However, Luis Valbuena is not on Cubs lineup sheet. May be waiting to see if clears waivers

LaHair is better and could pinch hit today. Expected to start Sunday.

A lineup that includes Johnson, Mather, Baker and Barney. It happened sooner than I thought it would.

Mike: couple things:

- What kinds of speeds and movement is Maine showing?

- Is Corpas using the Swiss Army arm-slot approach still as AZ PHIL mentioned? Is he so far just using smoke and mirrors for his outs, or is he really keeping the ball down with some velocity?

Coleman was working in the mid-90's

I think the gun is a little hot there in Iowa.

The speed gun at Iowa typically registers 2-3 miles slower than the one in Chicago. Noticed this when guys have been promoted from Iowa

it is generally thought to be a couple miles slow & I factored that into my report; maybe it's been recalibrated for this year...

fair enough, Coleman has a lot trouble topping 90, so mid-90's would be major news.

I was maybe being inadvertently sensational...maybe now it's running hot; he was hitting 94 on the scoreboard speedometer, fwiw...

whatever the velocity the meat of the RR lineup found it to be just right!

Is Corpas using the Swiss Army arm-slot approach
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I predict. Manny Corpas will wind up as the Cubs closer by July.

(puts Blue Kool-aid pitcher down)

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-9UxnYUDzvcw/TzMjYZZ...

if Swiss army slot means sidearm/slingshot then yes, he is...Maine has generally been effective @ Iowa & done poorly when called up...he looked strong Thursday night

Coleman was working in the mid-90's and fanned five without walking anyone in his five innings but four of the five hits off of him were doubles or home runs so he remains who we thought he was.
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Coleman is who we thought he was. And that's why we took the damn field. If you want to crown him, then crown his ass!

~clap~ ~clap~

Nice :)

exactly...

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  • Thanks, Phil!

    Charlie 13 min 15 sec ago view
  • Well executed!

    I've been wracking my brain to work a "Room With a View" reference in there but I just haven't gotten it to work.

    JoePepitone 1 hour 32 min ago view
  • Bryant might be playing SS during an infield shift, no? Usually he is moved to 2B but it could happen.

    Cubster 1 hour 43 min ago view
  • I won't really be happy until I see Bryant at shortstop.

    Old and Blue 1 hour 45 min ago view
  • Yeah, Underwood impresses the internet scouts more than the opposing hitters. Blackburn and Williams have pitched well but they would be more interesting if they missed more bats.

    Myrtle Beach has a couple of guys--Trevor Clifton and Jake Stinnett--worth keeping an eye on.

    South Bend has the best record in the Midwest League but it's more about their bats than their starting pitching.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 36 min ago view
  • Thanks Steve, I always forget about that.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 39 min ago view
  • Maddon spins the wheel-o-lineups and Bryant is playing 1B.

    The line-ups, by the way, appear in the Twitter box on the left and usually very soon after they are made available.

    CTSteve 2 hours 42 min ago view
  • Looks like no Heyward or Rizzo in the lineup today.

    Rob Richardson 2 hours 58 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Kevonte Mitchell has shown some improvement in 2016. He takes a lot of walks, shows occasional power, and he's an athletic defender capable of making the big play in the OF.

    However, he strikes out way too much, he doesn't always take the most-direct-route to get to balls hit into the air, and he sometimes runs himself into outs on the bases. He is still very raw.  

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 59 min ago view
  • E-MAN: I don't think Dallas Beeler has a long-term future with the Cubs, but (when healthy) he has gotten the call over the past couple of years as the "26th man" when the Cubs needed an extra starter in a doubleheader. 

    Arizona Phil 3 hours 13 min ago view
  • PHIL: Thanks for the wrap. A 2010 early-ish round Hendry draft pick, why do you surmise the new management team just doesn't cut bait on Beeler? Not shown that much as a starter. Does he have a power arm when right? Is he another Schlitter? Or, is he rosyer filler while the org waits out the lower-level arms to surpass him?

    The E-Man 3 hours 59 min ago view
  • Ryan Kellogg is still a fringy prospect despite being very old for low-A. He's putting up very good numbers no matter who he's facihg.

    John Beasley 7 hours 16 min ago view
  • Great article on Yosh and Nobe. Thanks for including it Trans.

    Hagsag 7 hours 34 min ago view
  • Phil, it looks like Kevonte Mitchell has made some progress this Spring. Your thoughts please, thanks.

    Hagsag 7 hours 39 min ago view
  • so far ryan williams (AAA) is the only system prospect on the "could be ready soon" horizon doing well...that said, he's not very exciting and he's assumed to be an end-rotation talent at best.

    paul blackburn is getting great early returns in AA, but he's getting surprisingly low K numbers doing it. he throws lot of low/sinking stuff with good control...also assumed to be an end-rotation guy, but he's got room to be better, especially given his control as base to build on.

    crunch 12 hours 55 min ago view
  • Speaking of pitching -- another ugly outing for Underwood at AA. Through 6 starts: 5.19 ERA, WHIP 1.69. Yikes!

    Man, do we need starting pitching depth. Our best hopes are still hanging with AZ Phil in Arizona. Very scary.

    billybucks 13 hours 53 min ago view