19-year old Shortstop Gioskar Amaya made the jump all the way from Rookie League last year and Extended Spring Training to AAA Iowa on Sunday. In a corresponding move, Casey Coleman was recalled to Chicago on Saturday, so it is probable that it was a move made simply to occupy a roster spot.
Iowa Cubs – Before going 0 for 3 on Sunday with 3 strikeouts and a walk, Brett Jackson had been benched for at least the two previous games, likely due to his contact issues that are more evident than ever in 2012. Meanwhile, Anthony Rizzo has reached the double digit plateau in home runs and Josh Vitters is really beginning to heat up. Chris Rusin has been dominant on the mound, going 8 shutout innings allowing just 5 hits and 2 walks before the bullpen nearly blew Iowa’s 4-0 lead in their 4-3 win over the Sacramento River Cats on Sunday.
Tennessee Smokies – The Smokies had a dreadful week collectively, going 2-4 before Sunday’s game was cancelled due to weather. Tennessee’s normally-dominant pitching staff had a decent week, allowing twenty-four runs, or four per game, but nine of those came in Saturday’s 9-2 loss to the Jackson Generals. The pitching staff averaged three runs per game in the other five games.
Daytona Cubs – Matthew Szczur has finally turned it on, bringing up his batting average to a modest .250. Sean Marshall trade-piece Ronald Torreyes has yet to do so, batting just .184. From the mound, Eric Jokisch and Austin Kirk have been dominant starters, with a 2.90 and a 1.83 ERA respectively. 2010 first-round draft pick Hayden Simpson has had a dismal season, going 1-3 with a 6.41 ERA. Cashner-Rizzo trade-piece Zach Cates is 0-5 with a 10.55 ERA. Former Cub Brian Schlitter has a 1.80 ERA, and Derrek Lee trade-piece Ty’relle Harris has a 2.70 ERA through 12 relief outings.
Peoria Chiefs – The Chiefs went 4-3 this week and a new pitching star may be blooming in Central Illinois, as Patrick “PJ” Francescon is 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA in 8 games. Francescon has an impressive stat line with 39 strikeouts as opposed to just 12 walks; however, he has also hit 6 batters. Most impressive is Francescon’s 0.80 WHIP, and of all standard stats (besides those involving runs), WHIP has correlated best to runs since 2002 at the MLB level, which is a great sign.