Ben Badler of Baseball America published an article today ($) about the Smokies. It's a pay article and I'm not going to repeat the whole thing because I don't spend $66 for a Baseball America subscription just so you can get all the good stuff for free. Get your own subscription. It's worth it. But I'll republish here what I wrote in a comment in a fanpost
He loves Jackson. Jackson says his swing has changed from his college days. He’s also working hard on developing into a leadoff man with good results so far. His swings and misses are still a concern. His speed is very good (This fits with what I’ve seen too).
Vitters is still working on going deeper into counts. He understands it’s a problem, but it’s a work in progress.
Flaherty crushed one over the 25 foot wall in center field in Zebulon. He’s hitting to all fields. The big negative is what I’ve been saying: where is he going to play? He says he’s getting more comfortable at third base.
Dolis throws hard but struggles to repeat his delivery, leading to control problems. Cabrera threw hard, although not as had as Dolis (90-94 on Cabrera as opposed to 94-96 on Dolis) with a slider that was effective at times, but sometimes got lazy and became a little slurvy.
The Iowa Cubs were tarred and feathered by the Memphis Redbirds, 4-3.
The big news today was the start of Jay Jackson, and he was solid going 6.2 innings and allowing one run on four hits. Jackson walked only one but only struck out one as well. He also hit a batter. He threw 89 pitches, 50 of which were for strikes.
Despite this performance, I got an email from someone at the game today and he told me that Jackson's fastball was only sitting 87-89 and touching 90, so he's apparently not back to full strength yet.
He left the game with the lead, but unfortunately John Gaub got lit up as he blew his first save of the year Gaub gave up three runs on four hits, two walks and a wild pitch. He had one strikeout, which was the only out he recorded.
The hitting star for the I-Cubs this afternoon was . . .pitcher Jay Jackson! Jackson was 3 for 3 with two doubles and a run scored.
First baseman Bryan LaHair was 2 for 4 with a double. Left fielder Lou Montanez went 2 for 5 with a double and an RBI, which dropped his average to 435.
The Tennessee Smokies blotted out the Jacksonville Suns (Marlins), 6-1.
Trey McNutt started and picked up his first win of the year. McNutt allowed one run on seven hits over five innings. McNutt walked one and struck out four.
Right fielder Matt Spencer had a big game. He was 4 for 5 with a double and a triple. Spencer had two RBI and scored once.
Shortstop Ryan Flaherty stayed hot, going 3 for 5 with a triple and two runs scored. D.J. LeMahieu was 2 for 5 with a steal and a run scored. Blake Lalli was 2 for 5 with an RBI.
Heading home. They take on the Tampa Yankees tomorrow.
The Peoria Chiefs chopped down the Clinton LumberKings (Mariners), 10-1.
Starter Austin Kirk was pretty impressive tonight, going six innings and allowing only one run on four hits. He didn't walk anyone and he struck out six. He was pulled after 76 pitches.
The Chiefs have been scoring a ton without hitting any home runs, but DH Anthony Giansanti broke that string tonight with a two-run home run in the ninth inning. It was his first of the season. He also had two sacrifice flies, giving him 4 RBI for the game.
Shortstop Arismendy Alcantara went 2 for 5 with a double and four RBI. Catcher Micah Gibbs continued his strong start to the season by going 2 for 3 with a double and two walks.
Third baseman Greg Rohan was 3 for 5 with a double. Center fielder Matt Szczur went 2 for 6 with a double and an RBI.