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April 2012

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The Farm Report: 4/22

Written by , Posted in General

TRIPLE-A: Iowa 2, Memphis 1

Chris Rusin got the start for the Cubs and pitched masterfully to help snap a five game losing streak for Iowa. He picked up win number two on the season, going eight strong innings of shutout ball while scattering just two hits and striking out four. Blake Parker came in for a save in the 9th, allowing a run in the process. Thankfully that was the only damage as the Cubs offense was, for the most part, non-existent. Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson were a combined 0-for-7. Both are less than impressive at the plate so far. Anyone thinking that the deal to move Marlon Byrd means that Jackson is packing his bags for Chicago is sorely mistaken. Jackson, to put it kindly, is not ready.

DOUBLE-A: Tennessee 6, Chattanooga 7

Down two runs heading in the bottom of the ninth, the Smokies were primed to at least send the game into extras.  Jim Adduci and Elliot Soto led off the inning with back-to-back singles.  Logan Watkins brought home Adduci with a fielder’s choice, cutting Chattanooga’s lead to 7-6.  After Jae-Hoon Ha flew out and Justin Bour singled, Rebel Ridling stuck out to end the game. Ryan Searle gave up three runs over the third and fourth innings to give the Lookouts a 4-3 lead.  Searle allowed four runs on seven hits in four innings of work.

HIGH-A: Daytona 6, Lakeland 2

I didn’t get a media release on this game so I’m not quite sure the reason for this note, but it makes me scratch my head just a little. Matt Loosen made a start on April 5th and went 0.1 innings, allowing 3 ER thanks to 4 BB. It’s a quick hook, but he probably looked terrible. His next outing was yesterday, almost three weeks later. He went two innings, allowing no earned runs and was done for the day. My only thought is that either A) He was hurt after that first start (though I don’t remember seeing him go on the DL) or B) He just hasn’t built up arm strength, but then why wait almost three weeks in between starts?

LOW-A: Peoria 2, Lansing 0

PJ Francescon turned in the first quality start by a Chiefs pitcher not named Michael Jensen Sunday earning his first win of the season. The right-hander went a career-high seven innings, allowing just one hit, walking one and striking out five. The shutout was the first of the season for the Chiefs. The game lasted a season-low two hours and seven minutes (my kind of game). Zeke DeVoss was 2-for-2 out of the leadoff spot with a walk and a run scored.

  • Norm Bothwell

    “Jackson, to put it kindly, is not ready.”
    But Dale said he was…

    • Jedi

      Just Norm, picking a fight like always.

      • Joe Aiello

        I don’t see this as picking a fight. He’s just being sarcastic with how a lot of Cub fans feel.

      • Jedi

        If the post from a last week didn’t exist I’d be more inclined to agree with you…he’s beating a dead horse, we already went 58 comments deep about it.

      • Norm Bothwell

        I am? I thought everything Dale said was true? He obviously can’t make up his mind, or is confused or doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
        Or he says thing to the media that might not necessarily be 100% truthful. You make the call.

  • Norm Bothwell

    “Jackson, to put it kindly, is not ready.”
    But Dale said he was…

    • Jedi

      Just Norm, picking a fight like always.

      • Joe Aiello

        I don’t see this as picking a fight. He’s just being sarcastic with how a lot of Cub fans feel.

      • Jedi

        If the post from a last week didn’t exist I’d be more inclined to agree with you…he’s beating a dead horse, we already went 58 comments deep about it.

      • Norm Bothwell

        I am? I thought everything Dale said was true? He obviously can’t make up his mind, or is confused or doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
        Or he says thing to the media that might not necessarily be 100% truthful. You make the call.

  • Chetwest

    .250 hitter with a bunch of strikeouts, can you say Vitters?

    • Norm Bothwell

      Maybe a .250 hitter, but not a lot of strikeouts. Making a lot of contact is one thing he does pretty well.

  • Chetwest

    .250 hitter with a bunch of strikeouts, can you say Vitters?

    • Norm Bothwell

      Maybe a .250 hitter, but not a lot of strikeouts. Making a lot of contact is one thing he does pretty well.

  • Noah_I

    I will say this positive about Jackson: he has only struck out once in the last five games.  Of course, he’s also only walked once.  I’m curious if the Cubs have said that they really want him to work on cutting down the Ks, and he’s struggling a bit with the project at the beginning (making weak contact early in counts, etc.) or if it’s just a random small sample.  Something to keep watching.  If he can’t continue to walk and hit for power without all the Ks, his ceiling drops significantly.  I think the Cubs, though, will live with a combo of Campana, Johnson, Mather and Sappelt in CF until they really think Jackson is ready.

  • Noah_I

    I will say this positive about Jackson: he has only struck out once in the last five games.  Of course, he’s also only walked once.  I’m curious if the Cubs have said that they really want him to work on cutting down the Ks, and he’s struggling a bit with the project at the beginning (making weak contact early in counts, etc.) or if it’s just a random small sample.  Something to keep watching.  If he can’t continue to walk and hit for power without all the Ks, his ceiling drops significantly.  I think the Cubs, though, will live with a combo of Campana, Johnson, Mather and Sappelt in CF until they really think Jackson is ready.

  • Buddy

    I’m not too worried about how Jackson makes outs, I just want him to make as few as possible. His career on-base percentage in the minors (four seasons) is .390, which is very encouraging. 

    • Norm Bothwell

       Totally agree Buddy, K’s in and of themselves aren’t an issue…but it is a sign of a lack of contact. And if you lack contact skills against the pitchers in AAA, well, that’s not very encouraging.
      Even MLB players that have set the K record in recent years, Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds, only K’d in about 22% of their plate app’s in AAA. Jackson is over 30%.

      But, in his last 6 games covering 24 PA, Jackson only has 1K.
      He only has 1 walk as well, but perhaps this is a sign that he’s working on that contact.
      Hopefully it all clicks.

  • Buddy

    I’m not too worried about how Jackson makes outs, I just want him to make as few as possible. His career on-base percentage in the minors (four seasons) is .390, which is very encouraging. 

    • Norm Bothwell

       Totally agree Buddy, K’s in and of themselves aren’t an issue…but it is a sign of a lack of contact. And if you lack contact skills against the pitchers in AAA, well, that’s not very encouraging.
      Even MLB players that have set the K record in recent years, Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds, only K’d in about 22% of their plate app’s in AAA. Jackson is over 30%.

      But, in his last 6 games covering 24 PA, Jackson only has 1K.
      He only has 1 walk as well, but perhaps this is a sign that he’s working on that contact.
      Hopefully it all clicks.

  • Buddy

    Agreed. A strikeout rate of more than 30 percent (over a long period of time) is something to be worried about. So far, his career minor league rate is around 23 percent. Higher at AAA of course, but that’s only about 300 plate appearances. 

  • Buddy

    Agreed. A strikeout rate of more than 30 percent (over a long period of time) is something to be worried about. So far, his career minor league rate is around 23 percent. Higher at AAA of course, but that’s only about 300 plate appearances.