Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/07/12

While some are still coming down from draft day, there was still baseball taking place in the minor leagues. The Southern League announced their All-Stars, with James Adduci, Justin Bour, Frank Batista, and Kevin Rhoderick representing the Tennessee Smokies. The Dominican Summer League also opened play, with shortstop Luis Acosta putting on an offensive display.

Meanwhile, John Andreoli, Arismendy Alcantara, Nelson Perez, and Rubi Silva are heating things up for Daytona. But pitching woes still plague Iowa, where the offense provided by Anthony Rizzo and Ty Wright was squandered.

So make today’s Down on the Farm Report your number one selection, for all your minor league news.

Note: Monday’s report will cover games from Wednesday to Saturday. Thursday’s report covers games Sunday through Tuesday.

The CCO’s Prospect Watch will be replaced today by a weekly recap of the Dominican Summer League.

Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (26-32)
The rally caps couldn’t help the entire way on Sunday, as the Chiefs lost to Kane County 6-5 in ten innings. Peoria was down 5-3 in the sixth inning when Javier Baez entered the game defensively for Anthony Giansanti (1-for-3, double). Two innings later, Baez delivered an estimated 450-foot two-run homer to tie the game. The Cougars jumped out ahead on starter Kyler Burke, scoring five runs (two earned) in five innings. Felix Pena and Hunter Cervenka each tossed two scoreless innings to allow the offense to come back. Oliver Zapata (1-for-4) slugged a solo homer run while Zeke DeVoss (1-for-5) and Wes Darvill (2-for-4) drove in runs. Starling Peralta was touched for an earned run with two out in the home half of the tenth.

The Chiefs were off to the races on Monday, as five stolen bases helped contribute to a 2-0 victory against Kane County. Peoria had only five hits, but made them count as they were more aggressive on the basepaths. Leading the way was Pin-Chieh Chen, who scored one of the runs and was 2-for-3 with a stolen base. Javier Baez doubled and was 1-for-3 as he, too, pilfered one. Also stealing bases were Zeke DeVoss, Wes Darvill, and Oliver Zapata.

It was a bullpen day for the pitching staff, as Ben Wells got the starting nod and completed two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Luis Lira and Larry Suarez followed, each pitching two scoreless innings. Sheldon McDonald struck out three as he shut down the Cougars for two innings. Yao-Lin Wang picked up his fifth save by striking out two in a scoreless ninth.

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High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (25-31)
What can you say when your team gets one-hit? Daytona ran into a buzz-saw on Sunday as the dropped a 4-0 loss to Fort Myers. Whatever Miracle pitcher Madison Boer and his 9.39 ERA had going for him the D-Cubs couldn’t catch up with it as Greg Rohan was able to notch the only hit. PJ Francescon allowed four earned runs in five innings, as AJ Morris and Jeffrey Lorick held Fort Myers scoreless the rest of the way.

Winners of five of their last six games, Daytona can be considered on a role as they defeated Fort Myers 8-3 on Monday. Hitting has been the key, as the D-Cubs had 15 hits for the evening. The first six batters in the lineup had multi-hits, including John Andreoli (2-for-4, double), Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-5, double, two RBI), Nelson Perez (3-for-4), Greg Rohan (2-for-5, double, two RBI), Rubi Silva (2-for-5, triple), and Taylor Davis (2-for-5, RBI).

Starter Frank Del Valle was workman-like, striking out two and allowing an earned run in six innings. Joe Zeller had a little trouble, giving up two earned runs in his two innings. Tony Zych had a somewhat uneventful ninth, recording a strikeout in a scoreless inning.

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Daytona’s new found confidence served them well on Tuesday, as they came from behind to defeat Bradenton 6-5. Coming up big in the rally was Taylor Davis, who is now playing third base regularly. Davis was 1-for-2 with two walks and two RBI. Nelson Perez continues to be an offensive force, as he was 2-for-3, including his tenth home run. Rubi Silva went 2-for-4 with a double, while Micah Gibbs and Ronald Torreyes added an RBI apiece.

Austin Kirk had another dominant performance, striking out seven and allowing only one earned run over six innings. Jeffrey Lorick had a bumpy ride, as he gave up three runs (two earned) in an inning of work. Ryan Searle came on in the eighth and gave the D-Cubs a scare by letting in an earned run in the top of the ninth, but held on for the victory.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (26-33)
The second inning was the undoing for the Smokies on Sunday, as the offense failed to show up again in a 3-2 loss to Montgomery. Nick Struck had one bad inning, giving two home runs and three earned runs in the second, as he went 5.2 innings altogether and struck out seven batters. Casey Harman, fresh off the disabled list, held the Biscuits hitless for 2.1 innings while striking out four. Tennessee was held to five hits, as Logan Watkins (1-for-3) and Michael Brenly (1-for-4) scored, with Rebel Ridling (1-for-3) and Justin Bour (1-for-4, double) driving them in.

Tennessee had a win on Monday night that harkened back to the glory days of 2011: great pitching, a late arriving offense, and a shutdown bullpen as they defeated Montgomery 7-4. It had the look of a typical 2012 Smokies game, as Dallas Beeler allowed two earned runs over 5.1 innings. Usually that would be the end of the story, as the Tennessee offense would have trouble keeping pace. But the offense exploded for six runs in the seventh inning, as Tennessee took a 7-2 lead. Justin Bour was the big contributor, going 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI. James Adduci was 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Logan Watkins also drove one in as he was 2-for-5.

Marcus Hatley took over for Beeler and started to dominate like a 24-year old in his second year in the league should. Hatley blanked the Biscuits for 1.2 innings. All good things have to end, and Frank Batista was finally touched for two earned runs in an innings of work. Alberto Cabrera then came in and earned his fifth save in a 1-2-3 ninth.

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Whoa! Where has all this offense been for Tennessee this season? The Smokies thoroughly destroyed Montgomery Tuesday night 12-3, and it wasn’t even that close! Justin Bour had an explosion, as he was 4-for-6 with a double and two RBI. Jae-Hoon Ha drove in three as he was 2-for-3, including a triple. Logan Watkins plated two as he doubled and went 2-for-4. Michael Burgess was 2-for-6, while Matt Cerda was 2-for-4.

Eric Jokisch didn’t have his strikeout pitch working, punching out only one batter, but had everything else as he went seven scoreless innings. Brian Schlitter got into trouble, allowing two runs (one earned) in 0.2 innings. Ty’Relle Harris bailed him out, letting in one more earned run.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (25-32)
The Iowa offense couldn’t pull the pitching out of the fire on Sunday, but made things close as they lost 6-5 to Oklahoma City. On the good side, Brooks Raley struck out eight batters in five innings; on the bad side, he gave up two home runs and five earned runs total over that span. Manny Corpas pitched a scoreless inning, but Jeff Beliveau allowed an earned run in his inning of work. The I-Cubs scratched their way back with Ty Wright leading the way as he was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Brian Esposito and Diory Hernandez also had RBI doubles, while Juan Apodaca drove one in with a pinch-hit. Rafael Dolis kept the RedHawks from scoring in the eighth, but there was nothing left from the offense.

Getting a consistent effort has been the bugaboo for Iowa. On Monday, the offense provided enough runs to win, and the starting pitching wasn’t great, but still didn’t lose the game, but the relief corps didn’t do their job as the I-Cubs lost 6-5 to Oklahoma City. The offense put up five runs in the first six innings, as Anthony Rizzo led the way going 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI. Ty Wright matched Rizzo, as he went 3-for-5 with a double, and drove in a run with his third home run. Matt Tolbert was 2-for-4and an RBI, and pitcher Chris Rusin tried to help his cause by going 2-for-2 while plating a run. Rusin, however, was also his own worst enemy as he allowed five earned runs, but struck out three, in five innings. Inheriting a mess from Rusin, veteran Esmailin Caridad failed to stem the tide as he allowed what would be the winning run, striking out three in two innings. Mike MacDougal kept the RedHawks from scoring, but the damage had already been done.

In what could be considered a copy of the day before, Iowa relief pitching failed to come through, as they lost 4-3 to Oklahoma City. The I-Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead, as Luis Valbuena (1-for-4) doubled and came home on a sac fly by Blake Lalli in the second. After Diory Hernandez (1-for4) doubled, he scored on a bunt attempt that the RedHawks’ second baseman missed, but starting pitcher Frankie De La Cruz was hurt on the play. Pinch runner Anthony Rizzo would eventually score on another error. After pitching two shutout innings, De La Cruz was replaced by Jay Jackson, who allowed an earned run and struck out four in five innings. Scott Maine got a hold, as he struck out two in a scoreless inning. But Rafael Dolis wasn’t able to close things out, giving up three earned runs in the ninth on a homer by Brad Snyder to let Oklahoma City escape with a victory.

Dominican Summer League
Play began in the DSL this past Saturday, with the schedule in full-swing on Monday. The Cubs-1 team lost its opener 8-1 to the Rockies. Third baseman Adonis Paula was the bright spot offensively, going 3-for-4, while centerfielder Robert Caro was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. C-1 split their next two games, beating the Rockies 8-5 while losing to the Twins 2-1. Adonis Paula remained hot, and is now hitting at a .455 clip. Eighteen year old right-hander Gilberto Abreu had a decent outing, going 2.2 innings and striking out two batters. Catcher Wilfredo Petit was 2-for-3 with a double and triple. On Wednesday, 16-year old lefty Carlos A. Rodriguez struck out seven and allowed an earned run over five innings.

Over in Boca Chica South, the Cubs-2 team handled the Pirates 7-1 in their first game. C-2 seems to be where the prospects are, as shortstop Luis Acosta was 3-for-4 with three doubles and four RBI. Leadoff hitter and centerfielder Kelvin Encarnacion was 2-for-4 with three runs scored; and second baseman Bryant Flete was 2-for-3 with a stolen base. Right-handed pitcher Daury Torres was the winner as he went five innings and struck out four, allowing an earned run. C-2 also split its next two games, losing to Pirates-2 6-3 and defeating the Phillies 13-1.

Twenty-one year old righty Amalio Reyes had a good start on Tuesday, striking out five while allowing an unearned run in five innings. Luis Acosta continued to look impressive on Wednesday, maintaining his average at .400 and adding his first home run. Third baseman Mark Malave was 2-for-4 with two doubles. Eighteen year old DH Edwin Contreras was 3-for-4, including a double and an RBI. Loiger Padron started and struck out four in three innings, allowing an earned run.

News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs outrighted RHP Michael Bowden to the Iowa Cubs; recalled RHP Manny Corpas from the Iowa Cubs. The Peoria Chiefs placed IF Ryan Cuneo on the 7-Day disabled list; IF Dustin Geiger was assigned to the Peoria Chiefs.

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