That April 9 shutout was…
Only the third shutout involving multiple “homegrown” pitchers since 2011. Steele and Adbert Alzolay combined for one on Sept. 1, 2021, and Jeff Samardzija and Carlos Marmol authored another on July 23, 2012.
The first shutout featuring at least two players drafted by the Cubs since July 23, 2010, when Randy Wells and Sean Marshall teamed up to blank the Cardinals.
- The first combined shutout featuring at least three Cubs draftees (with no other pitchers appearing in the game) on record.
Thanks to Cubs historian Ed Hartig for assisting with that research.
“I love seeing that kind of stuff,” Steele said. “I know the grind that it takes to come up through the Minor Leagues and get to the big leagues. So, to see guys that are homegrown, coming up through the system step by step and finally making it here, it’s really special to see.”
Given some of the organizational changes in recent years within the scouting and player development departments, and within the team’s Draft processes, the Cubs believe more pitching prowess is on the way. The team’s Top 30 Prospects list features 11 pitchers (seven Draft picks, two acquired via trade, one international signing and one undrafted free agent).
Righty Caleb Kilian (acquired in the Kris Bryant trade last summer) is with Triple-A Iowa and has a shot to reach the big leagues this year. Lefty Jordan Wicks (the Cubs’ top pick in the ’21 Draft) is at High-A South Bend and could climb the ladder fast. Franklin is back from injury issues and is hitting triple-digits with his fastball.
“When you hear one name for a long time — Adbert Alzolay, over and over again,” Cubs manager David Ross said, “and then all of a sudden you come in and you start to hear different names coming through the system, you hear multiple names, that’s when you know you’ve got a really good farm system and things are trending in the right direction.”