Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/0912

It’s a hot time to be at the hot corner in the Cubs’ organization this week, as third base seems to be where it’s at.

Peoria’s Dustin Geiger tied a club record for home runs, while Boise’s Jeimer Candelario remained a hitting machine. Greg Rohan made a big splash in his debut at Tennessee, and Josh Vitters continues to be clutch for Iowa.

So trust your instincts and don’t guard the line. Take a look at today’s Down on the Farm Report, and we promise no bad hops.

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

Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (8-15)
While the Hawks outhit Tri-City on Wednesday, it didn’t translate to runs or a win as Boise lost 5-3. Chadd Krist and Rock Shoulders were each 3-for-4 with a double, with Shoulders driving in two runs. Starter Willengton Cruz had an off night, allowing five earned runs while striking out four in four innings. Felix Pena set a new personal high with four scoreless innings, and Eduardo Orozco blanked the Dust Devils in the ninth.

Thursday saw an end to the four-game skid as Boise came back in the ninth for a 7-6 win over Tri-City. Starter Jose Arias seemed to have the game in control as he went 5.2 innings, giving up an earned run while striking out three batters. However, Michael Hamann had a hard time getting outs, as he allowed four earned runs in 1.1 innings. Roderik Pichardo settled things down by tossing a scoreless inning, but Bryce Shafer set up the ninth inning dramatics by letting in an earned run.

The Hawks jumped out to a 4-2 lead as Bijan Rademacher (2-for-3, double) homered in the third inning, while a triple by Marco Hernandez (2-for-5, two RBI) brought in Gioskar Amaya (3-for-5, RBI) and Stephen Bruno (3-for-4, two RBI) doubled Hernandez home. Rademacher also scored on Hernandez’s single in the fifth. The ninth started with a single by Dong-Yub Kim (2-for-4), a walk to pinch-hitter Xavier Batista, and a sacrifice by Trey Martin. Amaya then drove in Kim with a single, and after a fielder’s choice by Hernandez, Bruno delivered the game winning hit.

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Boise let the lead slip away from them three times on Friday, as they lost to Tri-City 5-4 in 11 innings. The Hawks provided James Pugliese with a 2-0 lead in the first, but the starter would allow three runs (two earned) and strike out three in five innings. Pete Levitt then let the Dust Devils tie the score, as he gave up an earned run in two innings. Four strikeouts by Michael Heesch kept Tri-City in place over two scoreless innings. But Bryce Shafer couldn’t follow, letting in an earned run in the top of the 11th inning. Willson Contreras drove in two runs as he was 2-for-5. Jeimer Candelario and Bijan Rademacher were also 2-for-5, with Rademacher adding an RBI. Chadd Krist went 2-for-4 and brought home the Hawks’ other run.

It was double, double, toil and trouble for Yakima on Saturday, as half of Boise’s 12 hits were two-baggers in a 4-0 victory. Jeimer Candelario remains the offensive leader, as a double was part of his 3-for-5 evening that also included an RBI. Driving in two, Willson Contreras also had a double and was 2-for-5. The top of the order in Gioskar Amaya and Stephen Bruno were each 2-for-5 with a double, while the final doubles came from Dong-Yub Kim (1-for-3) and Xavier Batista (1-for-4, RBI).

Tayler Scott started for the Hawks and pitched a gem, being the first Boise pitcher to go six innings as he blanked the Bears and struck out four batters. Hayden Simpson completed the shutout. Simpson fanned three through three scoreless innings for the long save.

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Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (41-44)
Peoria faced down the starting pitcher in the All-Star game thanks to the efforts of their two hottest players, as the Chiefs defeated Burlington 8-2. Michael Jensen, an All-Star snub, won the duel with the Bees’ Drew Granier by striking out five and giving up two runs (one earned) in six innings. The struggling Austin Reed put things together, tossing two scoreless innings as he struck out three batters. Yao-Lin Wang finished the job, setting Burlington down in the ninth.

All the runs the Chiefs would need came off the bat of Dustin Geiger, as he was 2-for-3 with a solo and a two-run home run. Oliver Zapata joined in the fun, belting a three-run homer while going 2-for-4, including a stolen base. Taiwan Easterling was also 2-for-4 as he cracked two doubles and drove in a run.

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The Chiefs made four hits count for them on Thursday, as they came out on top of a pitcher’s duel with Burlington 2-1. Zach Cates gave the type of pitching performance many expected when he was acquired from the Padres organization. Cates struck out five in 4.2 scoreless innings. Zach Rosscup also recorded five strikeouts and he shut down the Bees for three innings. While he gave up and earned run, Luis Liria picked up his fourth save as he struck out two in 1.1 innings. Dustin Geiger brought the thunder, as he hit his third home run in two nights as part of a 1-for-2 performance. Javier Baez scored the other run. Baez went 1-for-3 with a stolen base.

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Friday saw the Chiefs literally throw one away, as four errors contributed to an 8-3 loss to Burlington. While Dustin Geiger (1-for-4, two RBI) homered in his third straight game, his three errors helped lead to four unearned runs for starter Starling Peralta. Peralta struck out five in five innings and let in two earned runs. Larry Suarez made his own trouble, allowing two earned runs in 1.2 innings. Striking out four batters, Sheldon McDonald went 2.1 scoreless innings. Taiwan Easterling was 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI, while Javier Baez went 2-for-4.

Peoria played long ball on Saturday, as three home runs were the difference in a 5-3 win over Cedar Rapids. Tying a club record, Dustin Geiger (1-for-5) homered in his fourth straight game. Javier Baez went 3-for-4, also clubbing a solo home run. However, Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4) provided the winning margin, as his three run homer in the eighth gave the Chiefs the edge.

Jose Rosario started and allowed two earned runs and struck out five in 5.2 innings. Hunter Cervenka would get credit for the win, as he tossed two scoreless innings while striking out three batters. While he gave up an earned run in the ninth, Yao-Lin Wang held on to pick up his 11th save.

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High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (38-47)
The D-Cubs made a lot of Fourth of July noise, but weren’t able to bring home a victory as they lost 5-2 to Dunedin on Wednesday. Daytona had nine hits, with Rebel Ridling driving in both runs as he was 2-for-4, including a double. Joining Ridling in going 2-for-4 with a double were Rubi Silva and Ronald Torreyes, while Elieser Bonne added a pair of singles in four at bats (2-for-4). The D-Cubs will just have to grin a bear it when Robert Whitenack takes the mound, as the rehabbing pitcher gave up all five runs (four earned) and struck out five in 3.1 innings. Spot starter Eduardo Figueroa took over and blanked the Blue Jays for 3.1 innings and struck out two batters. Jeffrey Lorick was better than in previous outings. Lorick struck out over 1.1 scoreless innings.

Thursday was a carbon copy of the previous day’s game, as eight hits netted only two runs as Daytona lost to Dunedin 5-2. Kyler Burke struck out four, but allowed three runs (two earned) in the start. Another victim of defense was AJ Morris, as only one of the two runs he gave up were earned in his inning of work. Brian Schlitter tossed two scoreless innings. The main offensive threat was John Andreoli, as he was 3-for-4 with his 29th stolen base, and also had an outfield assist. Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Daytona’s pitching staff was dealing for the most part on Friday, as they throttled Dunedin 5-1. Matt Loosen had his strikeout pitch going. Loosen fanned ten in seven scoreless innings. Ryan Searle didn’t have the same success, allowing an earned run while failing to record an out. Matt Spencer bailed Searle out with a scoreless inning, and Scott Weismann struck out two to finish things off.

Rubi Silva was on for the D-Cubs, as he went 4-for-5 with an RBI. Arismendy Alcantara would fall a single short of the cycle, as he was 3-for-5 with a double, triple, home run and two runs driven in. Ronald Torreyes also had an RBI as part of a 1-for-2 performance that included a double.

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Pitching once again betrayed the D-Cubs, as they lost 6-5 to Lakeland on Saturday. Starter PJ Francescon had a tough time with the Flying Tigers. Francescon allowed five runs (four earned) in five innings. Eduardo Figueroa stopped any further damage by going 1.1 scoreless innings. However, Jeffrey Lorick gave up what would be the game winner. Lorick struck out three in 1.2 innings. Rubi Silva remained hot, going 2-for-4. Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3) and Taylor Davis (1-for-4, two RBI) each homered.

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (42-45)
A ninth innings rally fell short on Wednesday, as Tennessee lost 4-3 to Jacksonville. The Smokies got behind the eight ball as Dallas Beeler allowed four runs (three earned) over 4.1 innings and allowed an early 2-0 lead to slip away. Casey Harman and Ty’Relle Harris kept the Suns in check the rest of the way, Harman pitching 2.2 innings and Harris going two scoreless innings. Greg Rohan put the Smokies ahead by belting his first Double-A home run, as he was 1-for-4 with two RBI. Justin Bour helped them inch closer with a 2-for-4 performance that included a RBI. Elliot Soto was also 2-for-3 on the night.

With a rainout on Thursday, Friday saw a doubleheader with Jacksonville that ended in a split … a 5-1 Smokies’ victory in game one and a 3-1 loss in game two. The opener saw Eric Jokisch baffle the Suns, allowing an earned run over six innings with two strikeouts. Marcus Hatley then added his own strikeout and finished the game with a scoreless inning. The Smokies distributed five hits between five players, as Justin Bour collected two RBI as he was 1-for-3. Michael Burgess was also 1-for-3 and two runs driven in. Greg Rohan had Tennessee’s only extra-base hit. Rohan had a double and an RBI in his 1-for-3 afternoon.

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In the nightcap, the Smokies manage only four hits, with Juan Apodaca driving in the only run as he was 1-for-2. Nick Struck had his tenth win of the season elude him again as errors by Logan Watkins and Junior Lake led to two unearned runs. Struck allowed three runs, including an earned run, and struck out six in five innings. Tony Zych struck out the side in his inning, while Frank Batista tossed a scoreless inning.

Both teams brought out their hitting sticks on Saturday, but Chattanooga ended up prevailing over Tennessee 6-3. The game saw 23 hits with the Smokies recording 11 of the 23. Logan Watkins went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. However, nobody else was able to produce runs, as Junior Lake went 2-for-5, Michael Burgess was 2-for-4 and Juan Apodaca was 3-for-4 with a double. Dae-Eun Rhee had one of his better outings, allowing two earned runs while striking out four in five innings. Kevin Rhoderick continued his recent struggles, as he gave up an earned run in two innings. But Casey Harman provided what would be the winning edge as he let in three earned runs in the ninth inning.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (37-53)
Iowa provided the holiday fireworks for the visiting club, as they lost Wednesday 11-2 to Omaha. Once again, it was the veteran pitchers that failed to show up, as starter Rodrigo Lopez allowed eight runs (six earned) in 4.1 innings. Esmailin Caridad helped the Storm Chasers add to their total by giving up an earned run in 2.2 innings, while Mike MacDougal let in another two earned runs in his inning of work. The only hurler untouched was Jeff Beliveau, as he tossed a scoreless ninth. Brett Jackson was moved down to the sixth spot and went 2-for-4 with two RBI and two stolen bases. Matt Tolbert was also 2-for-4 while Adrian Cardenas went 2-for-3.

On Thursday, the Iowa offense could not string together an attack, as they were shutout by Omaha 3-0. The I-Cubs had six hits, with Diory Hernandez (2-for-3) leading the way, as the team placed runners in scoring position only once. Brooks Raley was his own worst enemy, as his error provided two unearned runs to the Storm Chasers. Raley also gave up an earned run and struck out four in 6.2 innings. Alberto Cabrera and Ryan Rowland-Smith kept it close the rest of the way, pitching 1.1 and one scoreless inning apiece.

The I-Cubs rallied to take a lead on Friday, only to ride a rollercoaster as they brought in a 5-4 victory over Omaha in 11 innings. Recently back from the parent club, Casey Coleman looks like he is being stretched out again for a starting role, as he went three innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out three batters. Frankie De La Cruz provided a piggy-back for Coleman, as he tossed four scoreless innings. Since moving to the bullpen Jay Jackson has allowed only one earned run in his last 8.2 innings. Jackson added another shutout inning to his total. Michael Bowden blew the save by giving up the tying run in the ninth, but acquitted himself by tossing two more scoreless innings in order to earn the victory.

The sometimes wheezing attack of Iowa got a jolt from Welington Castillo (1-for-3, two RBI), whose seventh inning home run tied the score. Dave Sappelt was 2-for-5, while Blake Lalli went 2-for-4. Alfredo Amezaga (2-for-6) singled in the bottom of the 11th to bring home Lalli with the game winner.

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Veteran leadership and clutch performances against Omaha helped bring Iowa a 5-4 win on Saturday. Alfredo Amezaga took over the leadoff spot for an ailing Brett Jackson and went 3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI. Dave Sapplet continued his quiet rise by going 2-for-4 and driving in two runs. Just called up from Tennessee, James Adduci also went 2-for-4 with a RBI, while saving a run with a diving catch. However, it was Josh Vitters (1-for-4) delivering a clutch, two-out double in the seventh to tie the score and extend his hitting streak to nine games.

A bullpen day saw Esmailin Caridad start and go three innings, as he was touched for an unearned run. Ryan Rowland-Smith followed with an earned run and three strikeouts in four innings. Although he was shaky in his two innings, allowing two earned runs, Jeff Beliveau hung in and was able to secure the win.

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News and Notes
The Iowa Cubs placed OF Ty Wright on the 7-day disabled list; assigned OF James Adduci to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies.

The Peoria Chiefs assigned LHP Zach Rosscup to the Tennessee Smokies; LHP Jeffry Antigua was assigned to the Peoria Chiefs.

According to Baseball America, the Cubs released RHP Ricardo Estevez, RHP Ramon Garcia, RHP Shane Lindsay and LHP Hung-Chih Kuo.

CCO’s Prospect Watch

  • Javier Baez (IF) – . 305, three doubles, two triples, five home runs, 13 RBI, 13 stolen bases (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Jeimer Candelario (3B) – . 349, four doubles, four home runs, 15 RBI, stolen base (Boise Hawks)
  • Zeke DeVoss (2B) – .237, 14 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 21 RBI, 21 stolen bases (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Junior Lake (IF) – . 287, nine doubles, two triples, four home runs, 15 RBI, eight stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Matt Szczur (OF) – .273, 15 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 23 RBI, 26 stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Ronald Torreyes (2B) – .239, 14 doubles, two triples, four home runs, 21 RBI, six stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Josh Vitters (3B) – .299, 24 doubles, triple, 13 home runs, 48 RBI, two stolen bases (Iowa Cubs)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) – . 356, seven doubles, triple, three home runs, 15 RBI (Arizona Cubs)
  • Robert Whitenack – 0-3, 5.47 ERA, 24.2 innings, 16 strikeouts, seven walks, 1.70 WHIP (Daytona Cubs)
  • Tony Zych (RHP) – 0-0, 3.00 ERA, 3.0 innings, five strikeouts, two walks, 2.33 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)

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Quote of the Day

"Remember, today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday." - Dale Carnegie

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  • Ripsnorter1

    WOW!

    The Cubs made it out of the hole Sunday. Houston has won as many games, but lost one more. Meanwhile we are tied with the Rockies at 33-52, with the beloved San Diego Padres are close on our heels at 34-53.

    It is shaping up as a four team hunt for the bottom of MLB’s cellar, and these are all NL teams. Seattle is 36-51.

    The recent Cubs’ surge again shows us that the Cubs could have been competitive this year with one bat. Rizzo’s hot start out of the gate has pushed the Cubs on a nice little streak. Earlier in the year LaHair provided a push, but the league adjusted to him.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I’ve been looking at Adam Dunn. Sure is nice to have 25 HRs, but a .208 BA, and he’s striking out almost every other AB! 134 K’s in 298 AB (364 PA) with 68 BB. He leads the league in both SO and BB. .357 OBP means he is still getting on base.

    He’s not all there anymore.

    • Zonk

      He has exactly 25 HRs, and 25 singles. He’s batting .208, but has an .859 OPS I love Adam Dunn, he is a statistical wonder!

    • John_CC

      I agree with Zonk. You have to look past BA. I mean, what does it tell you? If he is still getting on base 36% of his at bats and if he ends the year with 48 HR and 130 RBI and 90 Runs scored, again, who cares if his BA is .200? He does his job.

      • cubs1967

        except by striking out he is missing outs that are productive such as sac flies or groundouts that score runs. by having a high OBP due to walks; he is only advancing 1 base at a time, the runner is not if already on 2nd or 3rd, if compared to another hitter with the same OBP who has a higher avg by hitting singles and doubles that does move the runner……so yes batting avg still does matter in the sabermetric world.

        • John_CC

          OK fine, but there are very few players that can hit 50 HR these days, let alone with a high BA. I don’t hear people moaning about what a crappy hitter Jose Bautista is because he is a .240 hitter. Producing runs is what matters and Dunn produces a lot of runs 100+ driven in and with all the walks it puts him on base to score 100 Runs. There are very few Hamiltons, Kemps, etc these days.

          Dunn does his job and does it well.

          • paulcatanese

            Thats what Rip says all the time, he loves Dunn:):):), actually I like Dunn, when he’s at the plate he keeps the sun off the first two rows of the stands, and provides a cool breeze when he swings and misse’s. (all kidding aside he has been a force for the Sox).

          • Brp921

            I agree totally.

        • cc002600

          Thank you, cubs 1967

          I will NEVER understand the theory that I hear espoused by many sabremetrics geeks today that strikeouts are no different than any other type of out.

          When the game is on the line in the 8th or 9th and there is a man on 3rd w/ 1 out, let me know how that “strikeout” works out.

          making contact does matter. I don’t care what anyone says.

          • Zonk

            Most sabermaticians, though, appreciate that Ks are very bad. If you put the ball in play, you’ll reach base 30% of the time on average. If you strikeout, that falls to about zero.
            You have to put the ball in play or hit for power to be effective

          • cc002600

            ok, totally agree.

            but haven’t you heard some people say that strikeouts are no different than groundouts or flyouts ? (i.e “an out is an out”)

            Whenever I hear someone say that, I wanna scream. Makes no sense.

          • gary3411

            Actually if you think about it, teams hit into about .75 double plays per game. While only about .25 sac flies happen per game. I don’t know the numbers, but let’s say around once per game a runner is moved up from a ground ball somewhere.

            That comes to .5 bases per game gained from ‘putting the ball in play’ that are not included in the statistics. Pretty darn small. I’d much rather my teams strikeout a few more times and walk a few more times than trying to gain .5 of a base on average while also recording an out.

            8th or 9th inning tie game and runner on 3rd with 1 out, only situation a team should stress putting the ball in play. This happens maybe a couple times a year.

          • John_CC

            I have to agree with you on this Gary. And @2056c807ad3ab0fb8ad79bcac01b5d7c:disqus I never said and out was an out, but I think Gary’s reasoning above is sound. My main point is that there are many different types of hitters yet we have all been conditioned to look first at BA, at least all of us older than 30 years old. It was THE standard to tell you how “good” of a hitter someone was. Now it is easier to see that there are a lot of other statistics to judge success at the plate. And hitters like Adam Dunn and Jose Bautista are very successful hitters by driving in runs.

            Today’s game is specialized in every area. I’ve heard baseball people say that IF Adam Dunn wanted to hit .300 he easily could. He has the eye and patience to do it. But he is a big dude, doesn’t run well, AND has the ability that not very many hitters do have – to hit the ball a very long ways. To the man on 3rd with one out argument – of course a strikeout is the worst case. But you are only assuming that because Dunn has so many Ks that that is what he will do. But all of his outs come on either Ks or flyballs. I can find a stat on the number of sac flies he has hit this year, but I bet it’s high.

            A question; do you think Dunn would be more productive if he hit .305 with 20 HR because he tried to make contact, or if he hits .245 and 50HR? What does that presence in the lineup do?

            Last tidbit on great hitters, Miguel Cabrera looked at a 3rd strike for the first time since May 22. He is a rare hitter!

  • Vivid_Reality

    Tom, do you know much about Rosscup? He has intrigued me ever since the Garza trade and he seems to be dealing as a reliever now. Also, even though Torreyes has been slow to start I have been rather impressed with his season. He has a 7.6% walk rate with only a 6.6% K rate. If he can put it together with the bat we might have something there. Hopefully he will improve since he is still young for his level.

    • Tom U

      Sorry for the late response Vivid.

      Rosscup, 24 was acquired in the Matt Garza deal. He had a bicep issues that cut last season short and wasn’t ready to start this year.

      He has a fastball that tops out around 90 MPH, along with a curve and a change. The key is that he throws them for strikes.

      Torreyes was a mystery to me going into the season, as he only played in half of the SIngle-A games last year, with no mention of injury. He has played better of late, but I see him repeating this level next year, and possibly getting lapped by either Tim Saunders or Gioskar Amaya.

  • John_CC

    I’m gonna throw a name out: Franky Liriano. What do you think of acquiring him? He won’t command much due to his injury and sketchy history. He could be good replacement for Marmol…or he could be just like Marmol.

    • paulcatanese

      John, no worry, no one could be like Marmol, he is in a class all by himself, where that class registers is anyone’s guess:)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Baseball America: Cubs agree w/1st-rder Albert Almora on $3.9 mil (pick value=$3.25 mil). Florida HS OF w/lots of tools & polish.

    • Cloycub13

      Guess Aaron owes Bryan a Pizza! Great news! The rebuild is coming along!

  • gocubs

    Neil, why isnt Brett Jackson ever included on the “CCO’s Prospect Watch?”

    • Tony_Hall

      gocubs – I’m not Neil, but the reason is that the list was a vote among all CCO readers, who cast their votes for the Top 10. Guys like BJAX get enough press and most people were looking for new and more under the radar guys. Next off-season I bet Tom will ask us all for input again.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    What’s Reggie Golden up to? He seems to always be injured but I’ve always found him intriguing. Does he have a chance to make it to “the show?”

  • Zonk

    I’m not sold on Junior Lake. There was alot of excitement when he got off to a hot start, but recently we see his weaknesses: Lack of patience, lack of defensive position, too many Ks, and not enough power to offset the other weaknesses.
    He looks to me like a less patient Jeff Baker, at best.

  • coachdon

    Zeke DeVoss is the guy that I thin k gets passed by some of the new guys. He is fast and athletic but I’m not sure he is a good baseball player.

  • ChadAudio

    I don’t think I’m sold on him either, but it was impressive what he was able to carry-over from the AZ Fall league.

    Although he doesn’t have a position, he is at least athletic enough to find one (at least RF maybe even 3B).

    All that being said, I think they have him at SS right now because the new regime sees him as trade bait. The marketing department has continued to hype him to raise his value, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go the way of Tyler Colvin (another high strike-out guy) and see him traded this offseason.