Bryant and Rusin Take Home Weekly Awards and Cubs News from Down on the Farm

Kris Bryant was named Southern League Hitter of the Week on Monday. Bryant hit .464 with one double, four home runs and 14 RBI. Bryant also collected the first multi-home run game of his career on May 7 against the Birmingham Barons and set a career high with six RBI in the same game.

For the year, Bryant is hitting .321/.426/.606 with nine doubles, 10 home runs and a 1.032 OPS. Bryant has scored 34 runs and driven in 29 with 83 total bases in 37 games. Defensively, Bryant has been charged with nine errors but has shown improvement at third base.

Chris Rusin pitched the first no-hitter in the Pacific Coast League since 2009 and was named PCL Pitcher of the Week on Monday. Rusin threw, what has been labeled as the NO-NO in NOLA last Wednesday. Rusin became the first I-Cubs’ pitcher since Reggie Patterson on August 21, 1984 to throw a no-hitter. Rusin allowed only three batters to reach base and threw 118 pitches, 72 for strikes.

For the second spring in a row, Rusin pushed for a spot in the Cubs Opening Day roster but ended up being optioned out just before the end of camp. Rusin has spent a majority of the year at Triple-A Iowa but he was called up on April 12 and spent the day with the big league team before being sent back down. Rusin is 2-4 in six starts with the I-Cubs this year with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

Javier Baez

Javier Baez has gotten off to a slow start with the I-Cubs, which has quieted the noise about the Cubs calling him up to the majors. Baez delivered the game winning hit, a walk-off single, on Monday night in Iowa’s 2-1 victory over the Sounds.

Baez has been working on putting together quality at bats and the results have not been there for him yet this season. Baez is hitting .153/.245/.276 with one double, one triple, three home runs and a .521 OPS … and reportedly has been visibly frustrated.

The front office is not worried about Baez’s struggles and thinks he will benefit in the long run for what he is going through now.

Video from Down on the Farm




News and Notes

The Smokies announced two roster moves on Monday. The Smokies placed RHP Ivan Pineyro on the 7-day DL with a strained right forearm. The Cubs have not addressed his injury and reports have not stated how long Pineyro could be out.

Joel Pineiro will take Pineyro’s spot in the Smokies’ rotation. The Cubs signed the veteran right-hander on April 1. Pineiro was expected to pitch in extended Spring Training for 10 days before reporting to Triple-A Iowa.

Jose Veras completed his third rehab outing with the Smokies on Sunday. Veras has allowed one hit in 3 2/3 innings with two walks and three strikeouts. Veras was placed on the DL on April 26, retroactive to April 25, with a strained left oblique. Carrie Muskat reported Monday the team has not set a timetable on when Veras will be ready to return to the Cubs’ pen.

Tsuyoshi Wada received a no decision on Monday after he allowed one run on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in seven innings to the Sounds. The I-Cubs won the game in walk-off fashion 2-1. Wada is 4-1 in seven games with a 1.29 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. In 44 1/3 innings, Wada has allowed six runs (five home runs) no 28 hits with nine walks and 46 strikeouts.

RHP Josh Conway pitched in his first extended Spring Training game on Monday. Conway reportedly threw his fastball in the 88-90 mph range and featured a hard breaking ball.

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax