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LotW: Promotion Well Deserved


For this week, the Line of the Week goes to a player who has just received a well earned promotion. Eric Jokisch has been one of the best pitchers for the Low A Peoria Chiefs all season. While Austin Kirk has received a great deal of praise for his no hitter earlier this year, Jokisch has arguably been the most consistent of the Chief’s pitchers all season.

And now he gets a chance not at Daytona, but in Double A Tennessee.

The Cubs have had several left handed pitchers perform well in the minors this season, but Jokisch might have raised his stock more than any of them. His performance in Boise in 2010 was not especially good. His ERA was over seven, and opposing batters were hitting nearly .330 off him. The only clue then that he would enjoy a much better season in 2011 was his Ground Out to Air Out rate of 1.84. If a pitcher can induce twice the number of ground balls he can fly balls, things will usually turn out well for the pitcher.

This season opposing batters have been hitting just just .239 off Jokisch. He is striking out just under one per inning and giving up roughly one home run every other game.

The jump to Double A will be a tough one, but if Jokisch can handle it he will have placed himself on the fast track to Wrigley. He will also get some extremely valuable post season experience with the Smokies, who have already qualified for the Southern League playoffs. There are plenty of reasons to think that Jokisch will do well in Tennessee. His strikeout to walk ratio is very healthy, he avoids the long ball, and his GO/AO ratio at Peoria was a very impressive 2.14 as a starting pitcher.

Best case on Jokisch has him starting 2012 in Double A and finishing the year in Wrigley. It is much more likely that we won’t see him in Wrigley until 2013 at the earliest, and then I’m not sure if he’d arrive as a starter or a reliever. Regardless, Jokisch has caught the attention of the Cubs front office, and we’ll be keeping a close eye on throughout next season.