Kind of late getting to the blog this evening. Lots going on, including a chance to meet U.S. Olympic gold-medal swimmer Conor Dwyer on the field before the game. Anyway, Chris Volstad goes for the Cubs in a few minutes as he tries to get off the schneid, or the “snide,” as former manager Lou Piniella used to call it. Volstad is 0-8 and hasn’t won since July 10, 2011 while with the Marlins.
Volstad’s last 2 starts have been of the quality variety.
“I think he's built a lot of confidence in himself,” said manager Dale Sveum. “The two starts in the big leagues and his last start in Triple-A have been pretty impressive. I think he's learned some things and learned to be a little more conviction orientated when the catcher puts down a sign and I think that helps him out. It takes the thinking process out of everything to where you can visualize the pitch that the catcher put down.”
The other news of interest was that the Cubs promoted Albert Almora, this year’s top draft pick, from Mesa (Rookie) to Boise (A). We talk about his day yesterday below in the minor-league roundup.
"He has done a real nice job the last week to 10 days,” said team president Theo Epstein. “For him, it was really a matter of getting his timing down. He's got a leg kick a pretty significant leg kick, and sometimes those guys have to see a lot of live pitching to get their timing locked in. He's been driving the ball all over the field recently. We think he's pretty advanced for an 18-year-old. So it's a good time to move him."
Sveum was not kidding last night when he said he would go with the same lineup, except for the pitcher’s spot:
We’ll do a more lengthy blog tomorrow. Chime in with any comments or questions.
Pretty quiet day in the minors yesterday with Daytona and Tennessee off. Let's start from the bottom where the Mesa Cubs (Rookie) pounded out 25 hits in beating the Reds 11-7. Albert Almora, this year's top draft pick, extended a hit streak to 10 games, going 5-for-6 with 3 runs, a triple and 3 RBI. He's 19-for-46 during the streak. Paul Blackburn pitched and worked 2 innings, giving up 5 hits and 4 runs, 3 earned.
Boise (A) lost 11-4 to Salem-Keizer. Jose Arias had a quality start, working 6 innings and giving up 6 hits and 2 runs. He walked none and struck out four. Marco Hernandez went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 18 games. Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-5 with a steal. Jeimer Candelario was 3-for-4.
Peoria lost 3-2 at Beloit. Yao-Lin Wang got a no-decision, pitching 6 innings and giving up 3 hits and 2 runs while walking one and striking out four. Jorge Soler has a four-game hitting streak; he went 2-for-3 with a double.
Class AAA Iowa lost 14-7 at Las Vegas. Ryan Rowland-Smith pitched 4 innings, giving up 4 hits and 5 runs while walking five and striking out three. Tony Campana was 3-for-4 with a walk, 3 runs and 2 steals. Greg Rohan was 1-for-4 with a walk and 2 RBI. Chicago-area boy Jim Adduci was 1-for-3 with 2 walks.