Did the Cubs make a trade today?
The Cubs picked up two minor league right-handed pitchers from the Dodgers in the Lilly/Theriot swap. While neither one is a Top Ten Prospect with either the Dodgers or us, both of them are potentially very useful players.
The bigger prospect of the two is Brett Wallach, the son of former major leaguer and current Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach. Wallach was a third-round pick last season for the Dodgers who throws a hard, 89-91 mph sinker. He's also got an above-average fastball, a good changeup and promising breaking ball. His biggest issue is that he hasn't been able to get the breaking pitches over the plate for strikes. He didn't concentrate on pitching until after he turned pro, so he's still raw. But like Chris Archer before him, the Cubs think that they can fix his control problems. His upside is probably a mid-rotation starter. I've also been told that the Cubs have had their eye on Wallach for some time now. I'm not saying he was the key to the deal or anything, but they do like him a lot.
The other pitcher is Kyle Smit, who was a fifth-round pick of the Dodgers in 2006. Smit struggled as a starting pitcher in their system for four seasons. This year they made him a reliever and he's thrived in that role. He's got a 5-3 record with a 2.49 ERA and six saves for Inland Empire in the Cal League, and if you know anything about the Cal League you know how tough it is to pitch there. He's got a 91-93 mph fastball and a hard curve. He's also been working on a splitter. Unlike Wallach, Smit throws strikes already: he's walked only ten batters in 53.2 innings this year. He was promoted to AA just before the trade, so I'd expect to see him start in Tennessee. His upside is probably middle-reliever, but potentially a good one.
Everyone won today.
Bryan LaHair hit three home runs as the I-Cubs blasted the Oklahoma City RedHawks, 15-7.
Starter Jeff Samardzija pitched five innings and was great in four of them. Of course, that third inning was a doozy, when he allowed six runs. The Shark went five innings total and allowed six runs on five hits and three walks. Samardzija struck out four. With the win, Samardzija improved his record to 8-1.
LaHair homered in the first, third and ninth inning. He now has 17 home runs this year. LaHair was 4 for 6 with 7 RBI. That's pretty good, isn't it?
Center fielder Sam Fuld was 2 for 4 with two walks and double. Fuld scored twice and had two RBI. He also stole two bases. Shortstop Darwin Barney went 2 for 6 with a double. Barney also scored twice and knocked two in.
Right fielder Ty Wright went 2 for 6 with a double and one RBI. DH Jason Dubois was 2 for 4 with two walks. Dubois scored three times and had one RBI. Catcher Welington Castillo was 2 for 4 with a double and a sac fly. He scored once.
The Smokies buried the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx, 9-1.
Apparently starter Chris Archer is human, although just barely. Archer won his fifth game is six starts in AA, although this time he did give up his first AA earned run. Archer pitched five innings and allowed one run on three hits. He did walk four batters, but he struck out six.
The Smokies banged out 15 hits tonight and were paced by left fielder Brett Jackson, who was 3 for 4 with a double and a triple. He also walked once. Jackson scored twice and batted one in.
Center fielder Tony Campana was 2 for 4 with two steals. Campana walked once and scored once. Campana now has 36 steals on the season.
Two Smokies went deep tonight. The first was catcher Robinson Chirinos, who hit a two-run home run in the third inning. Chirinos was 2 for 5 with three RBI. It was Chirinos's 15th home run of the season, which gave him the team home run lead all by himself until the eighth inning, when Russ Canzler hit his 15th of the season. Canzler's homer was also hit with a man on. He was 2 for 4 with three total RBI and two runs scored. Canzler was also hit by a pitch.
Right fielder Brandon Guyer was 2 for 3 with a hit-by-pitch and a stolen base. Guyer scored once and had one RBI. DH Blake Lalli was 2 for 5 and scored a run.
Ryan Flaherty's second home run of the game in the bottom of the tenth inning gave the D-Cubs their 13th win in a row, beating the Bradenton Marauders, 6-4.
Trey McNutt started and pitched five shutout innings tonight. McNutt allowed only two hits. He didn't walk anyone and struck out seven.
James Leverton was in line for the loss when he pitched the top of the tenth and allowed a run on two hits. He got his third win instead when Flaherty won the game in the bottom of the inning. Leverton didn't walk anyone and struck out one.
Flaherty was clearly the big hero, hitting his fifth and sixth home runs for Daytona tonight. He finished the game going 2 for 4 with a walk and the two home runs. He had four RBI and he scored three runs.
Second baseman Jake Opitz was 3 for 4.
The Peoria Chiefs won their sixth game in a row, shutting out the Beloit Snappers, 7-0.
Jeffry Antigua pitched the first three innings and allowed two hits and two walks. He struck out four.
Su-Ming Jung got the win because Antigua didn't go five, but he earned it. Jung pitched four innings and gave up only two hits. Even better, he struck out eight Snappers and didn't walk anyone.
Catcher Luis Flores hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning, his fourth home run of the season. Flores was 1 for 4 with a walk.
Second baseman Logan Watkins was 2 for 4 with a walk and a stolen base. Watkins scored once.
RIght fielder Nelson Perez went 2 for 4 with a double and a walk. He scored twice. Right fielder Jae-Hoon Ha was 2 for 5 with a bases-loaded triple. He just had the three RBI.
The Boise Hawks scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth and beat the Vancouver Canadians, 5-4 in 12 innings, snapping their eight game losing streak.
Juan Yasser Serrano started and gave up three runs on six hits over five innings. Two of the six hits were home runs. Serrano walked one and struck out six.
Carlos Rojas pitched four shutout innings to get the win in extras. Rojas allowed three hits. He walked one and fanned three.
Alvaro Ramirez was 3 for 6 with a run scored and an RBI. Jesus Morelli was 2 for 6 with a double and a run scored.
Third baseman Dustin Harrington and second baseman Arismendy Alcantara were both 2 for 5. Alcantara also scored once.
DH Pierre LePage was 2 for 5. He scored the winning run in the 12th on a throwing error by Vancouver.
Had the day off.