Ascanio: Where's the Stretch?

Jose Ascanio was brilliant this afternoon at Principal Park but he remains a pitcher in limbo.

 Ascanio tossed five scoreless innings at the Nashville Sounds on a drizzly day at the ballpark to lower his ERA to a minuscule 1.01. He didn't walk a batter and fanned nine, including the side in each of his last two frames. All of which begs a question as to why he was yanked after throwing 76 pitches, 51 of them strikes. His high water pitch count in six starts this year is 81 in his previous start, which was the only other time he lasted as many as five innings. He left the game leading 6-0.

Looks like the Cubs are grooming a helluva long man...

ALSO: Ascanio's opponent was the Nashville Sounds, Triple A affiliate of Milwaukee, managed by long-time Brewer 3B Don Money [great name]. Money showed he's still cat-quick at the hot corner when he made a slick barehanded grab in the 3B coaching box in the bottom of the first...the sacrificial southpaw the Sounds trotted out actually took the mound leading the PCL in walks with a BAA vs. lefties in excess of .500! I-Cub skipper Bobby Dickerson stacked his lineup accordingly which meant,among other things, that Jake Fox got the day off. Why then, if Dickerson wanted as many LH's as possible to hit, did switch-hitting SS Andres Blanco bat from the right side?...before striking out the side in the 4th and 5th, Ascanio whiffed somebody by the name of Tony Gwynn on a 12 pitch marathon AB in the 3rd...last night the I-Cubs finally got their first pinch-hit of the season in their 19th try...Jeff Stevens, obtained in the Mark DeRosa trade, entered the day's play unscored upon in nine appearances spanning 11 innings. He's permitted only three hits while striking out 12...in the wake of Randy Wells' call-up to start in place of Carlos Zambrano on Friday, reliever Greg Reinhard is slated to start on Saturday against Memphis. Reinhard has a 0.55 ERA in 16+ innings and 24 strikeouts versus a mere five walks...MW

Comments

In four innings last night for Norfolk (AAA), Rich Hill walked five and hit a batter. No runs, two hits, two strikeouts.

so in summary, Rich Hill is nearly unhittable. He just needs a bigger strike zone.

Thanks, Mike!

I look forward to seeing what Reinhard can do as a starter, the dude's numbers so far this year are SICK.

I also look forward to seeing what the rest of these Iowa pitchers do for the rest of the season. Looks like there's some good, live arms down there.

As you mentioned, Reinhard, Stevens, Waddell, Ascanio (and Wells and Fox) are all putting up good numbers (although it looks like the BB ratios are still a little high for a few of these guys).

I-Cubs win! I-Cubs win! A pitcher who's made six starts w/ an ERA of 1.01 just notched his 1st win of the year.

Iowa Mike:

What is the scouting report on Ascanio? It seems like he started well last year too, but kind of fell apart after his brother died.

Both Stevens and Reinhard looking good in stats so far.

Last year Ascanio was the closer & doing well until the personal tragedy you mentioned. I just don't understand why they would convert him to the rotation & then dead-end him @ a pitch count of 75-80. Today for instance, he seemed to be getting stronger in the 4th & 5th & they shut him down without even coming out to pitch to a batter in the 6th. I'm gonna try to ask Dickerson or Mason [the pitching coach] what the plan is before the homestand ends...

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  • Thanks for the updates Phil. Too bad about Frazier.

    Hagsag 1 hour 47 min ago view
  • The Cubs have released RHRP Scott Frazier (2013 7th round dfraft pick - Pepperdine).

    A Cubs pitching coach told me in Spring Training 2014 that he thought Frazier had the best pure stuff in the organization. Absolutely electric fastball & breaking ball combo. Other pitchers would gather behind the screen just to watch him throw "live" BP. That's how amazing he was. 

    Arizona Phil 6 hours 56 min ago view
  • Got a chance to see Diamondbacks RHSP Zack Greinke (15-day DL - strained oblique) throw a rehab start at Sloan Park Friday night. Four of the first seven AZL Cubs hitters singled and the Cubs did score an unearned run in the bottom of the 1st inning, but then Greinke got serious and struck out five in a row.

    ZACK GREINKE: 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 4/0 GO/AO, 49 pitches (34 strikes)

    Arizona Phil 7 hours 10 min ago view
  • Eloy Jimenez grand slam tonight. Hoping Soler power returns and gets hot but future looks bright in the outfield regardless.

    Eric S 11 hours 21 min ago view
  • Have fun - It may be good for Arrieta to be facing a team that doesn't know him as well as the NL teams. A nice shutout would do wonders for his confidence. He is confident in public but baseball is hard and he could use a boost, I'm sure.

    Old and Blue 12 hours 2 min ago view
  • Me too. I'll be at the game tomorrow and would love to see Good Arrieta.

    Brick 12 hours 27 min ago view
  • Last few games have been the April version of the Cubs that disappeared completely the past two months.
    Hope they can sustain it.

    blockhead25 12 hours 53 min ago view
  • Don't sell yourself short, Judge.

    Jackstraw 13 hours 20 min ago view
  • I love this team.

    Looks like Mother Nature is trying to call this fight.

    Rob Richardson 14 hours 49 min ago view
  • Hey! I remember this team!

    billybucks 14 hours 57 min ago view
  • The key for Heyward's offense: get early leads. Heard a stat on Mike & Mike on the way to work that his avg/power much better this year when the Cubs have the lead. And true to form he gets the two run dinger with Cubs winning 3-0 ...

    Eric S 16 hours 23 min ago view
  • I'm sorry - I was probably not looking at the correct line, or spot, or...who knows!

    I could blame it on the weed, but I stopped smoking many years ago.

    Fortunately, I can rely on the rest of you sober and astute folks to bring the correct info forth.

    The E-Man 16 hours 51 min ago view
  • Oh yeah! It just felt like one for some reason.

    Old and Blue 17 hours 57 min ago view
  • Agreed. I was not including Fowler or Heyward.

    I'm just not a fan of 2016 Coghlan.....

    Dusty Baylor 18 hours 3 min ago view
  • @Dusty Contreras if it's a Lester or Arrieta start. TLS is good PH too. You also forgot about Heyward, assume Fowler is CF.

    chitownmvp01 18 hours 5 min ago view
  • I expect Soler to get optioned as well when activated and Cahill to replace Grimm. It wouldn't surprise me if Coghlan and/or Soler is included in a trade.

    Maybe Coghlan is up to see if he can get on track before someone acquires him.

    This move could also be to assure that we have as much OF depth as possible to maximize Joe's ability to rest players in September once we've clinched.

    chitownmvp01 18 hours 7 min ago view