Thursday marked the beginning of the season for the Chicago Cubs’ minor league affiliates. On Thursday, the Iowa Cubs; Tennessee Smokies; Daytona Cubs; and Kane County Cougars all began their respective seasons.
Being that the minor league system is such an important part of the Cubs current plan, Da Windy City will be providing daily recaps of the Cubs’ minor league games in order to follow the organization’s top prospects throughout the season. With that said, lets take a look at the first minor league recap of the season.
Memphis Redbirds 10, Iowa Cubs 2
- Chris Rusin struggled in his first start of the season for the Iowa Cubs. Rusin only lasted 3 2/3 innings against the Redbirds on Thursday while allowing 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks.
- Josh Vitters played left field for the I-Cubs on Thursday and had a successful day at the plate. Vitters went 2-for-4 on the day while hitting his first home run of the season.
- In this triple-A debut, shortstop Javier Baez went 0-for-3 on Thursday while walking once and striking out twice.
Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6, Tennessee Smokies 5
- Cubs third base prospect Kris Bryant wasted no time in getting acclimated to the double-A level. In his first at bat with the Smokies, Bryant belted out a 2-run home run. Bryant finished the day going 1-for-3 with 2 RBIs and 1 walk.
- Cubs outfield prospect Jorge Soler was pulled from the game after showing signs of being slowed by his hamstring injury. Soler suffered the injury during Spring Training.
- Dae-Eun Rhee was the starting pitcher for the Smokies. Rhee lasted 4 innings while allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 2 hits and 4 walks.
Brevard County Manatees 1, Daytona Cubs 0
- Cubs reliever Aroyds Vizciano, who is only with Daytona in order to pitch in a warmer climate, pitched a scoreless inning on Thursday while allowing one hit.
- Cubs outfield prospect Albert Almora went 0-for-4 on Thursday.
- Cubs second baseman Gioskar Amaya went 2-for-2 in Daytona’s opening game. Amaya was the only Cubs player to have 2 hits on the day.
Kane County Cougars 8, Quad Cities River Bandits 4
- Cougars right fielder Yasiel Balaguert went 4-for-5 on Thursday with 3 doubles and 2 RBIs.
- Paul Blackburn was the opening day starter for the Cougars. Blackburn allowed 4 runs on 9 hits while striking out 3 batters.
- Cougars shortstop Carlos Penalver went 3-for-3 for against the River Bandits to go along with a RBI, a walk, and a run scored.