The bulk of the content found on Cubbies Crib is in relation to the Chicago Cubs’ major league team. Though, this season is unlike any season that the Cubs have recently had. Reason being there is newly-found emphasis on the Minor League system. Under the previous regime, the Minor League system was not a priority. One could argue that the previous regime did not really have an emphasis on the Minor League system. For that reason, the Cubs’ Minor League teams of old went unnoticed. But, the 2012 season is different. The Iowa Cubs are being talked about to the same degree that the Chicago Cubs are being talked that. For that reason, Cubbies Crib will now be featuring daily minor league content.
The bulk of Cubbies Crib Minor League contend will come in the form of game wrap ups. While the Tennessee Smokies, Daytona Cubs, and Peoria Chiefs feature a handful of soon to be top prospects for the Cubs, the game wrap ups will focus solely on the Iowa Cubs.
The Iowa Cubs opened up a series against the Memphis Redbirds on Monday. Though, unfortunately for the Iowa Cubs, the game was over quickly after it began as the Redbirds beat the Cubs 6 to 2.
What Went Right: Iowa Cubs center fielder and top prospect Brett Jackson, along with first base prospect Anthony Rizzo each had two hits in the game. Jackson, who has added attention after the Marlon Byrd trade, was 2 for 4 while scoring a run out of the leadoff spot for the Iowa Cubs. The encouraging stat for Jackson was no strikeouts. One of the final hurdles that is keeping Jackson from the Major League team is his high strikeout ratio, something Jackson needs to improve upon before making his Major League debut. Rizzo, who is hitting .380 on the season, was 2 for 3 with a double and a base on balls.
Reliever Frank Batista, who was called up prior to Monday’s game from Tennessee, pitched in two innings of reliever giving up no runs on two hits while striking out two batters. Prior to his debut with the Iowa Cubs on Monday, Batista tossed 6.2 innings of shutout baseball with the Smokies.
What Went Wrong: Starting pitcher Jay Jackson was once a highly regarded pitching prospect for the Cubs, but the 24 year old has taken a step back in the past couple of seasons. Jackson made the start for the Iowa Cubs on Monday giving up 5 runs (4 of which were earned) on 8 hits and 1 walk in 5 innings pitched. Jackson had no strikeouts. It is still too early to give up on the 24 year old Jackson, but the pitching prospect has been with the Iowa Cubs on a full-time basis since the 2010 season. One would have expected Jackson to have made his Major League debut by now.
What Was Interesting: Josh Vitters made his fourth error of the season on Monday. Vitters got off to a hot start with the Iowa Cubs but has since regressed as the third baseman is hitting .259 on the season. It is no secret that Vitters is going to hit. But, the question has always come up about whether Vitters’ defense will ever come around. That is what led to Vitters’ name being mentioned in various trade rumors over the course of his professional career. Vitters may not be the third baseman of the future that Cubs’ fans once thought he would be.