The Rundown: Schwarber Hits First MLB HR, Cubs Sign 1st-Round Pick Ian Happ and 9 Others, Eugene Emeralds Kick Off Season, 2 Low-Level Prospects Suspended for PEDs

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that last night’s 4-3 loss to the Indians was not as fun as the 17-0 drubbing the Cubs put on them on Wednesday.

It was a tough loss, but possibly could have been worse out of the gates, as Jason Hammel had a rough first inning. He gave up two quick runs and had Michael Brantley on third base with no outs.

But Hammel was able to escape with no further damage by striking out the next three hitters.

Things looked great when Kyle Schwarber hit a bomb — his first MLB home run — to the opposite field to tie the game at 3-3 in the fifth inning.

Then the rains came, knocking out both starting pitchers and changing the face of the game. Unfortunately, the Cubs didn’t do any further damage the rest of the way out.

We get to see Schwarber for three more games against the Twins before he’s sent down to Triple-A. His first two starts certainly have been entertaining. Let’s enjoy it while we can.

And just for fun…doesn’t Schwarber bear a strong resemblance to a young John Kruk?


Other notes

* Cubs hitters struck out seven times between the 6th and 8th innings of last night’s game. That was not very good.

* Jason Hammel tells Gordon Wittenmyer that this is the best group of young players he has played with. He especially had some nice things to say about Kyle Schwarber after last night’s game. “He’s a tough out right now. That’s pretty impressive for a young guy that’s just coming up and getting his feet wet,” Hammel said. “We were expecting to maybe just get a look at him, but he’s actually made a pretty big impact in just the few games we’ve had him.” Wittenmyer points out that Hammel has definitely played with a solid number of young players while with the Rays, Rockies and Orioles, so his statement is significant.

* The Cubs have officially announced the signing of first-round pick Ian Happ, along with nine other picks: LHP Ryan Kellogg (fifth round), RHP Dave Berg (sixth round), RHP Craig Brooks (seventh round), INF Vimael Machin (10th round), INF Blake Headley (20th round), RHP Jared Cheek (21st round), LHP John Williamson (23rd round), C Marcus Mastrobuoni (25th round) and INF Angelo Amendolare (27th round).

* The short-season A-ball Eugene Emeralds had their inaugural game last night. Exciting young outfielder Eloy Jimenez went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Unfortunately that was about the extent of the offense. 2014 fourth-rounder Carson Sands got the start and gave up three runs (two earned) over five innings.

* Two Cubs prospects have been suspended for the performing-enhancing drug Stanozolol, according to Patrick Mooney. RHPs Assael Aquino and Luiz Escanio, of the Dominican Summer League Cubs, will be out for 72 games. Both players are 22.


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