The Daily CCO: All Eyes on the Cubs Minor League System

Kris Bryant made his Triple-A debut Thursday night and after rain delayed the start for over an hour, Iowa played a solid game and beat El Paso 6-2. Tsuyoshi Wada had another good outing and was an umpire’s missed call away from completing a full seven innings.

All eyes were on Kris Bryant as he suited up for Iowa for the first time. Bryant did not disappoint and launched a two-run homer to right in his fourth and final at bat of the night. Bryant worked the counts in each plate appearance and ended up 1-for-4 with a home run, two RBI and a strikeout. Bryant flied out to center and flied out to right in his other two at bats.

While Kris Bryant garnered the headlines, Javier Baez (1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and a run scored) recorded Iowa’s first hit and scored their first run. Baez led off the fourth with a single to center, moved to second on a Chris Valaika single, tagged and went to third on a medium-depth fly out to center by Kris Bryant and scored on a single to right by Josh Vitters.

Arismendy Alcantara played centerfield for the fourth time Thursday and went 2-for-5 at the plate with a RBI and a stolen base. Alcantara is 11-for-35 over his last 10 games with two doubles, one triple, four walks, seven strikeouts and five stolen bases (.314/.385/.429/.813).

Iowa has a very good team, on paper, and it will be interesting to watch the prospects grow together over the next two and a half months.

The I-Cubs were front and center, for the most part, Thursday. But Kyle Schwarber and Dan Vogelbach had good games as well.

Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber went 1-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored in his Kane County debut Thursday night. Schwarber played left field in the Cougars rain shortened 7-0 victory over Cedar Rapids.

Tony Andracki spoke with former catcher and current Cougars manager, Mark Johnson, about Kyle Schwarber prior to Thursday’s game. And Schwarber’s skipper is “very excited to work with him behind the plate.”

According to the report from Comcast SportsNet, Schwarber will play mostly left field and will see time as a designated hitter while he is playing at Kane County. But he might catch once a week. Johnson told Comcast SportsNet, “We saw him in the spring for one game [catching] and we both thought that was something there that we could work with behind the plate. We’re not just going to throw him in left field and use him for nothing but his bat. He’s a good athlete. He can move around and I think he’s going to be more versatile than a lot of people make him out to be.”

Mark Johnson said catching is a “rare commodity and tough to find nowadays” and “you can’t really give up on a guy catching.” Schwarber wants to improve his defense and realizes “he was drafted more for his bat that his glove.”

Kyle Schwarber told Comcast SportsNet, “I want to be a player that can contribute every day. And if I want to do that, I need to work on some things and there is always room to improve.”

Minor News and Notes

Dan Vogelbach went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run and two RBI on Thursday night. Vogelbach has hit in two straight and despite going hitless for six games, Vogelbach is 16-for-55 over his last 16 games with six doubles, two home runs, 11 walks and 10 strikeouts … .291/.418/.509/.927.

Christian Villanueva knocked in the game winning run Thursday night for the Smokies. Villanueva was returned to Double-A officially prior to Thursday’s game.

The Boise Hawks made several roster moves late Thursday night, early Friday morning. David Bote was promoted from Boise to Kane County. C Erick Castillo was added to Boise’s roster from Mesa. INF Alex Tomasovich and OF Charlie White, two recent draft picks, have been added to Boise’s roster.

Jorge Soler is getting an up-close and personal view of Manny Being Manny according to the Tribune.

News and Notes

A scoring change in Tuesday night’s game was announced Wednesday morning … and two runs that were charged as earned runs to Jeff Samardzija have been changed to unearned runs.

Due to the rain delay and wet field at Principal Park Thursday night, Welington Castillo was scratched from Iowa’s starting lineup. Castillo was scheduled to get four at bats or play seven innings. Castillo is expected to be in Iowa’s starting lineup for Friday’s game.

According to a report from Peter Gammons, pitchers are athletes; let them be baseball players … and he uses Travis Wood as an example of why.

Major League Baseball and the MLBPA formally announced Thursday the creation of Puerto Rico Summer League, a joint initiative to develop baseball in Puerto Rico.

The Padres announced Thursday former Cubs outfielder Jacque Jones resigned as hitting coach for Triple-A El Paso. Jones cited personal reasons for his decision to step down.

Tony Gwynn

The baseball world lost one of the greatest hitters of all-time this week. And the tribute to Mr. Padre was well done.


This Day In Cubstory

2007 – Cubs traded Michael Barrett and cash to the Padres for Kyler Burke and Rob Bowen

2007 – Sammy Sosa hit the 600th home run of his career off the Cubs’ Jason Marquis, who wore No. 21 for the Cubs at the time. Sosa became the fifth player in Major League history to hit at least 600 career home runs

2005 – Cubs released Shane Halter

2003 – Cubs traded Mark Bellhorn to the Rockies for Jose Hernandez

2001 – Cubs recorded their first victory at Busch Stadium in 13 games over two seasons with a 9-4 win over the Cardinals. Sammy Sosa hit a two-run homer and a grand slam. Gary Matthews Jr. hit a three-run homer.

1974 – Rick Reuschel pitched a 12-hit shutout as the Cubs blanked the Pirates, 3-0, at Wrigley Field. The Pirates put at least one runner on base in every inning.

1972 – Paul Bako, born

1968 – The Cubs lost to the Cardinals 1-0 for their fifth shutout in a row. During the streak, Ferguson Jenkins allowed one run in 18 innings and lost a game and received a no-decision.

1963 – Larry Jackson allowed just four hits to Houston and Billy Williams cracked two home runs and a double as the Cubs beat the Astros 5-0. Former Cubs’ pitcher, Dick Drott took the loss.

1961 – Gary Varsho, born

1957 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Dick Bertell

1882 – Pitcher Larry Corcoran hit two singles, a double and the first grand slam home run in Cubs history in a 13-3 romp over Worchester at Lakefront Park

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Quote of the Day

"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth