3 Up and 3 Down: Iowa Pitchers Edition

Last week, I took a look at the Iowa Cubs’ stats for hitters and updated you on three players with good months, and three other players with not-so-good months. Today (belatedly), I take a brief look at the pitchers.

It was not a great month overall for Iowa pitchers in May. Team-wide, the staff posted a 3.99 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Having said that, there were some performances over the course of the month worth noting.

3 Up:

1. Donn Roach – Roach has been pretty good all year long. In May, he started 6 games, going 3-0 with a 2.10 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. He had 5 quality starts out of those 6, and none of them were cheap (6 IP and 2 ER on May 18 was probably the worst of the lot). We can go ahead and chuck out the other start, where he lasted only one-third of an inning before leaving with an injury (he did not miss a start). Overall, Roach has been the ace of the Cubs’ roster, and may be looking at an opportunity to get a spot start or two down the stretch, even with the increasingly crowded Cubs rotation options.

One of the major knocks on Roach, however, is his K rate, which in May sat at only 3.41/9. His full-season numbers aren’t any better either (3.39). All this means that, despite his low walk rates, FIP isn’t exactly impressed with his body of work (3.67 for the month of May). Still, it’s a results-oriented game, and we can’t ignore that he had an excellent May and is having an excellent season for the I-Cubs.

2. Armando Rivero – Rivero shook off a tough (very small sample) April to post an outstanding May. Rivero allowed runs in only 2 of his 11 appearances (3 total, 2 earned), and posted a 1.35 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP for the month. He also posted a very healthy 10.13 K/9 and a K/BB rate of 3. Overall, it was an excellent month for Rivero, who may get placed into higher-leverage situations going forward.

3. Blake Cooper – Cooper also posted excellent numbers in May, with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Aiding in these numbers were healthy peripherals, as Cooper K’d 8.27/9 while walking only 2.76/9. He also did a nice job keeping the ball in the yard, yielding 1 HR in 16 1/3 IP. His ERA was saved, however, from significant damage because the 4 runs he gave up on May 15 were all unearned.

Honorable Mention: Eric Jokisch – Jokisch started 4 games for the I-Cubs in March, going 2-2 with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He struck out 5.64/9 and walked 2.01/9. He also allowed only 1 HR in 22 1/3 IP. His best start came on May 4, where he went 6 IP with 1 ER, striking out 5 and walking 1. Jokisch did not have a great start to his season, so hopefully he can build on a solid May and have a better time of it as the weather heats up.

3 Down:

1. Dallas Beeler – Well, his 6 May starts were technically better than his April start, but it was still a rough month for Dallas Beeler. That he started 6 games and still only managed 24 IP for the month should tell you where this is going. For the month, Beeler posted a 9.75 ERA and a 2.08 WHIP. Control was a significant issue for Beeler (as was giving up hits in bunches), but he also struck out batters at a reasonably good rate (7.5/9), so it is likely still a work in progress for Dallas. FIP was slightly kinder to him, it should be noted, at 5.24.

2. Felipe Paulino – It’s tough to knock a player who only signed with the organization on May 11, but it hasn’t exactly been the smoothest start to Paulino’s Cubs tenure either. In 3 starts in May, Paulino allowed 10 ER (7.71 ERA) and has had significant control issues, averaging nearly 7 walks per 9. His May 31 start did, however, offer some encouragement, as he went 4 and gave up only 1 earned.

3. Hunter Cervenka – Man, I really seem to enjoy picking on players when they’re down. As many of you already know, Cervenka was released by the organization on May 30. It really just wasn’t working out for Hunter in the organization. What he did, he did in bunches. He K’d a bunch of guys (13.5/9), but also walked a bunch of guys (7.27/9, which was actually down from his April rate) and gave up hits in bushels (16.62/9). It’s too bad it didn’t work out, and I for one wish Hunter the best, which sounds like a form letter rejection from a job application (I know, I’ve had my share!).

(Dis)Honorable Mention: Yoervis Medina – OK, now I’m just picking on the new guy. So… maybe it’s just the transition? At any rate, Medina, acquired as part of the deal that sent Wellington Castillo to Seattle, has had a bit of a rough start. Like others on this list, control has been a problem. But that was already a known issue with Medina. On the upside, his K rates looked good in May, and I know we’re all hoping for a turnaround. Let’s give the guy another month or two to settle into the Central Time zone, okay?


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