It’s been an interesting week for the Iowa Smokies, er, the Tennessee Cubs. Wait, maybe it was the Daytona Hawks, or the Peoria Cubs, or perhaps the Boise Chiefs? Anyway, there has been a lot of movement. Along with News and Notes, a weekly recap of action in the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Rookie League.
Time for the update and to straighten this out, welcome to Thursday’s edition of the Down on the Farm Report …
Willengton Cruz was the story, as the right-hander seemed to blow through the line-up again, allowing an earned run while striking out five in five innings, as Boise defeated Everett on Sunday 3-1. This time, the bullpen held up as Joe Zeller, Dustin Fitzgerald, and Bryce Shafer slammed the door on the AquaSox.
Paul Hoilman provided all the scoring the Hawks would need, driving in Blair Springfield with his fifth homer of the season. Kenny Socorro’s sacrifice fly in the fifth drove in Yaniel Cabeza (2-for-3) with an insurance run.
Luis Liria’s performance on Monday didn’t seem to affect his status, as he was promoted to Peoria, as the Hawks lost to Everett 4-0. Liria allowed four runs (two earned) and struck out four in five innings. Kyler Burke threw four scoreless innings. Wilson Contreras was 3-for-4.
Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (41-48)
The “big opossum walks late” again on Sunday, as Peoria exploded for five runs in the sixth inning, then cruised to a 7-1 victory over Cedar Rapids. Ben Klafczynski had a great debut, slamming a two-run home run while going 2-for-4 with three RBI. Greg Rohan was 4-for-5 with a double and an RBI, while Richard Jones was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Rubi Silva also had a multi-hit game.
Starling Peralta built on a great debut performance, allowing an earned run and striking out three in 5.2 innings. Robinson Lopez came off the disabled list and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings. Dan Berlind mopped up by not allowing a run in his two innings of work.
Peoria’s young pitchers spoiled a great effort by Eric Jokisch on Monday, as the Chiefs lost to Cedar Rapids 2-1. Jokisch threw seven innings of shutout ball, striking out five batters. Pete Levitt allowed an unearned run in two innings, while P.J. Francescon gave up the game winner in the tenth. Elliot Soto was 2-for-4 with the Chiefs only RBI.
In his second start, Frank Del Valle showed the promise that had him promoted straight from rookie league, as the Chiefs defeated the Lake County Captains 4-2 on Wednesday. Del Valle pitched four scoreless innings, striking out five batters. Alvaro Sosa then came on and allowed two unearned runs in two innings. Yohan Gonzalez pitched two scoreless innings, while Brent Ebinger picked up his second save.
Ryan Cuneo was the big stick, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Rubi Silva was 2-for-3 with a run scored.
High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (56-33)
With yet another rainout on Sunday, the D-Cubs were forced to play a double-header on Monday. In game one, Dae-Eun Rhee turned in another complete game as Daytona defeated Charlotte 5-2. Rhee allowed two earned runs while striking out seven batters. Logan Watkins was smoking, as he went 3-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Evan Crawford was 2-for-4.
Game two saw surprise starter Casey Harman throw five scoreless innings, striking out four, as Daytona won 2-1. Juan Serrano allowed the only run in his inning of work, while Frank Batista picked up his 17th save. Once again, Evan Crawford and Logan Watkins lead the offense. Crawford was 2-for-3 with two doubles, while Watkins was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Dustin Harrington joined them by going 2-for-2.
Wednesday saw Angel Guzman start again, but he couldn’t hold down Fort Myers as Daytona lost 4-3. Guzman was unable to make it out of the second inning, allowing two earned runs in 1.2 innings. Jeffry Antigua tried to hold the Miracle in check, but was tagged for two unearned runs in 4.2 innings while striking out six batters. Aaron Kurcz cleaned up with 1.2 scoreless innings. Matt Szczur was 1-for-3 in his D-Cubs debut, while Logan Watkins and Justin Bour stayed hot with a 2-for-4 night each.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (52-37)
Tennessee allowed a three run lead to slip away on Sunday, as the Smokies lost to Chattanooga 6-4. Ryan Searle was outstanding, striking out eight and allowing only one hit in 5.2 scoreless innings. A usually reliable bullpen then let him down, as Kevin Rhoderick gave up two earned runs in 0.2 innings, while Jeffrey Beliveau served up three solo homers in an inning of work. Rafael Dolis allowed an insurance run to close out the eighth inning. The Smokies managed only four hits for the afternoon.
The Smokies returned to their old form on Monday, as Dallas Beeler kept them close by allowing two earned runs in six innings, as Tennessee beat Chattanooga 5-4. Beeler struck out three batters, while Marcus Hatley blanked the Lookouts for another two innings. Tennessee then survived a scare, as Rafael Dolis allowed two earned runs without recording an out in the ninth. Recently recalled Oswaldo Martinez bailed out Dolis by going 1-2-3 for his first save.
With the score tied 2-2, Tennessee rallied for three runs in the eighth inning. Leading the way was Nelson Perez, who was 2-for-2 with a two-run homer. Ryan Flaherty was 2-for-3, and Josh Vitters was 2-for-5, while Steve Clevenger drove in two with a double.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (41-50)
Alberto Cabrera pitched his finest game at Triple-A on Sunday, but it seems that his teammates took an early All-Star break as Iowa lost to New Orleans 2-1. Cabrera went five scoreless innings, striking out three batters. Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed an earned run in an inning of work, while Justin Berg threw two scoreless innings. Scott Maine allowed the winning run in the ninth without recording an out. Tyler Colvin provided all of the I-Cubs’ scoring with a seventh inning solo blast.
Rookie – AZL Cubs (11-7)
The AZL Cubs are currently second in the East Division, 2.5 games behind the AZL Giants. Infielder Gioskar Amaya continues to sizzle, hitting .393 with 12 RBI. Shortstop Marco Hernandez is right behind him, going at a .391, 17 RBI clip. Third baseman Dustin Geiger has “slipped” to .386 with two homers and 20 RBI. Outfielder Oliver Zapata is at .315, while 1B Ryan Durrence is batting .306 with a homer and 11 RBI.
Hunter Ackerman continues to be the strikeout leader, with twenty-five against a 3.72 ERA. Brian Smith has a 4.40 ERA after previously being the starter with the best ERA. Reliever Felix Peña has posted a 2.53 ERA in 10.2 innings over eight appearances.
Dominican Summer League
This week in the Dominican Summer League, the Cubs 1 team has a record of 15-21 and the Cubs 2 team is currently 20-16.
It may be sounding like a broken record, but OFs Mayke Reyes and Jeffrey Baez, along with OF-1B Xavier Batista continue to be the offensive leaders on C-1, however, time has affected each one of them. Reyes is now the only player on D-1hitting .300, with his.313 average and three home runs, along with 16 RBI. Baez saw his average go to .281. But along with two home runs and 19 RBI, he has 23 stolen bases. Batista continues to be the power and RBI man, hitting six homers and driving in 21, while hitting .273.
Right-handed pitcher Alexander Santana remains the top arm, sporting a 3-0 record with a 1.54 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, and 17 strikeouts. Reliever Roderik Pichardo has been promoted to the AZL Cubs, while Augusto Colinas has an ERA of 2.31 with two saves.
On C-2, 3B Jeimer Candelario continues to be the team leader, hitting .341 with 28 RBI and 28 walks. Candelario has been aided recently by OF Elieser Bonne, who has hit 3.42 with five RBI in nine games. Shortstop Carlos Penalver continues to be in the offensive mix with a .287 average, nine stolen bases and 22 RBI. Twenty year-old right-handed reliever Loiger Padron has risen to the top with a 4-1 record and a 1.76 ERA, along with twenty strikeouts and 0.98 WHIP, in 30.2 innings.
News and Notes
Outfielder Brett Jackson and IF-OF Ryan Flaherty were assigned to Iowa from Tennessee. Outfielder Ty Wright was assigned to Tennessee from Iowa. Tennessee placed SS Junior Lake on and activated RHP Rafael Dolis from the 7-Day disabled list. Tennessee activated SS Matt Camp.
Right-handed pitcher Oswaldo Martinez and OF Jae-Hoon Ha were assigned to Tennessee from Daytona. Left-handed pitcher Brent Ebinger was assigned to Peoria from Tennessee. Right-handed pitcher Luis Liria was assigned to Peoria from Boise. Third baseman Travis Garcia and C Yaniel Cabeza were assigned to the AZL Cubs from Boise.
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