Since I started doing the Minor League Wrap in 2007, there has been one constant in these reports: J.R. Mathes has been on the mound for the Iowa Cubs. Mathes has been with the I-Cubs since 2007 and while he hasn't always been good, he's always been there. In those five seasons, Mathes became the Iowa Cubs all-time leader in wins with 42.
Today, that all came to an end as the Cubs released J.R. Mathes. I'm not going to pretend that he's a better pitcher than he is, but I do salute him for playing the game for so long and sticking with his dream as long as he has. I don't know whether he'll try to catch on with another club, play in independent ball, go overseas or retire. I do know that despite having never made the majors, he's had a nice career. He's a better pitcher than I ever was. He's a better pitcher than you ever were. So thanks for the memories, J.R. I'm sorry I made fun of your name in my first post about you, although I would still like to know how you get J.R. out of Alfred George. Wikipedia says you were named after J.R. Ewing by your grandmother, although they don't provide a source.
There were a bunch of other pitching moves in the minors today. I'll try to list them all. Marcus Hatley was promoted from Peoria to Daytona. Ryan Searle was promoted to Tennessee and Marco Carrillo was promoted to Iowa. Alberto Cabrera was announced as being promoted to Iowa on Sunday. No corresponding move has been announced for that. Larry Suarez, who seems like he's been around forever but is still only 21, was assigned to Peoria.
Tennessee's win streak came to an end tonight, but they started a new one. Geovany Soto had his rehab start, but a prospect left with an injury. Daytona's win streak reached ten games.
The Iowa Cubs were run over by the Round Rock Express, 3-1.
Jay Jackson started well tonight, but got the loss when he ran out of steam in the fifth inning and allowed three runs. Overall, Jackson went five innings and allowed three runs on six hits, including a two-run home run in the fifth. Jackson walked one and struck out one.
Second baseman Bobby Scales led off the game with a home run and Iowa never scored again. It was Scales' first home run this season. He went 2 for 2 with two walks tonight.
First baseman Bryan LaHair was 2 for 4.
The Smokies split a double-header with the Mississippi Braves, losing game one 3-2 and taking the second game 7-2.
In the first game, starter Chris Rusin threw five strong innings, allowing only one run on three hits. Rusin did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Rafael Dolis pitched the seventh inning and took the loss. He allowed one run on two hits and a walk. He did not record a strikeout.
In the first game, Ryan Flaherty plated both runs with a double. Flaherty was 1 for 3.
Geovany Soto went 0 for 3 in his rehab start.
In game two, starter Robert Whitenack left with an injury after 2.2 shutout innings. Whitenack gave up one hit and walked two. He struck out two. No word yet on what was wrong, but it didn't sound good. He apparently doubled over after throwing a pitch.
Ryan Searle got the win after allowing two runs over 2.1 innings. Both runs scored on a two-run home run. He allowed two total hits and walked one. He also struck out one.
Catcher Luis Flores hit his fifth home run in eight games since his promotion to Tennessee. It was a three-run bomb in the fifth inning. Flores was 2 for 3 and scored twice.
Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez was 2 for 4 with a double.
The Daytona Cubs fell behind 5-0, but roared back to sink the Bradenton Marauders, 9-5. It was their tenth win in a row and improved their record to 37-12.
Starter Jeffrey Lorick put the D-Cubs in a hole early as he allowed five runs on five hits over 4.2 innings. Lorick walked two and struck out four.
Jordan Latham relieved Lorick and allowed two inherited runners to score on a double. The then proceeded to throw three innings of relief without allowing another hit or run. Latham did not walk anyone and struck out four. Latham improved his record to 3-1.
Newly-promoted Marcus Hatley collected his first save for Daytona. He pitched 1.1 innings and didn't allow a hit or a walk. He struck out three.
Shortstop Junior Lake hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning that gave Daytona the lead. It was Lake's sixth home run this year. Lake also had a two RBI triple that gave him five RBI for the game. Lake was 2 for 5 overall and scored twice.
Third baseman Matt Cerda was 3 for 5 with a double and an RBI. Cerda also stole a base. Second baseman Logan Watkins was 3 for 4 with a triple. Watkins scored three times.
Daytona could now lose every game from now until June 25 and still be above .500. That would take them into the second half of the season.
The Peoria Chiefs were shut out by the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 2-0.
Austin Kirk allowed a two-run home run in the second inning and that was enough for him to earn the loss. Overall, Kirk threw six innings and allowed the two runs on four hits. He did not walk anyone and struck out four.
First baseman Richard Jones was 2 for 4 with a double.