Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 08/02/12

The win-loss records improved across the system for the most part and several of the top prospects in the organization continue to play well. A couple of players made their organizational debut and several additions were made with the trades at the big league level.

Dillon Maples made his pro debut on Sunday and Pierce Johnson made his first appearance for the AZL Cubs on Wednesday. Dan Vogelbach launched his first homer in a Hawks’ uniform while Javier Baez just keeps on hitting.

Daytona kept on winning and added newly acquired Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva to their roster Tuesday. Junior Lake and Matt Szczur hit the ball when weather permitted but things are not so good in Iowa. The I-Cubs had a miserable road trip and have lost 12 of their last 13 games and are just 4-17 since the All-Star break.

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

Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (18-27)
Boise beat Tri-City 1-0 for the second day in a row on Sunday. Gioskar Amaya (2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and a stolen base) was responsible for the Hawks’ lone run. Amaya cranked his fifth homer of the season in the third inning.

Dan Vogelbach (0-for-3 with a walk) went hitless in the win while Rock Shoulders (2-for-4 with a double) doubled in four trips to the plate.

Ian Dickson had an excellent night. Dickson pitched five innings of shutout ball, struck out four and walked two in route to his third win of the season. Hunter Ackerman picked up his first save after tossing four innings of one-hit scoreless ball. Ackerman struck out six and did not issue a free pass.

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Monday was an off-day for the Boise Hawks.

The Hawks posted their fourth win in a row on Tuesday. Boise beat Spokane 10-9 in a slugfest. The two teams scored a combined 19 runs on 25 hits with four errors … only one miscue by the Hawks.

Jeimer Candelario (3-for-4 with a double, three RBI and a run scored) drove in the game winner with a double in the bottom of the ninth that plated Stephen Bruno.

Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) launched his first Single-A homer on Tuesday night, a three-run shot in the third inning. Stephen Bruno (3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored), Dong-Yub Kim (2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored) and Trey Martin (2-for-4 with a double) each had huge games while Marco Hernandez (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) hit his third longball, a two-run homer in the fourth.

The Hawks’ pitching staff struggled Tuesday night, especially non-drafted free agent Matt Iannazzo. Justin Amlung started the game and tossed two innings of scoreless ball. Felix Pena surrendered two runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in the five innings following Amlung. Iannazzo allowed six runs, five earned, on four hits with a walk in a third of an inning. Eduardo Orozco allowed two of Iannazzo’s runs to score, was hung with the blown save but ended up with his second win of the year.

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Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (50-56)
Peoria beat Beloit 10-6 in a slugfest on Sunday afternoon. The two teams pounded out 20 hits and the Chiefs took advantage of six errors from the Snappers.

Yao-Lin Wang had a decent start (two runs on three hits with a walk and a strikeout in four innings) but it was Justin Berg that allowed Beloit to get back into the game. Berg gave up four runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Larry Suarez picked up the win after tossing 1 2/3 scoreless frames.

Javier Baez (1-for-3 with two RBI, a walk and a run scored) had another good game while Pin-Chieh Chen (3-for-3 with two RBI, two walks and a run scored) reached base in all five of his plate appearances. Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, two runs scored and four RBI) drove in four and hit his 11th longball of the season.

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Peoria dropped Monday’s game to Beloit 5-3 after the Snappers scored three runs in the eighth off Sheldon McDonald. The Chiefs took a 3-2 lead into the eighth. After a leadoff double by Adam Peterson and a bunt single by Nate Roberts, Peterson scored on an error by Zeke DeVoss. Austin Reed replaced McDonald and gave up the game-tying hit to Miguel Sano. A sac bunt by Drew Leachman advanced both runners up ninety feet. Reed intentionally walked Kennys Vargas. Reed could not get a double play ball and the Snappers took the lead for good on a sac fly off the bat of Matthew Koch.

Pin-Chieh Chen led the way for the offense with a 4-for-5 night that included a RBI. Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a double) and Zeke DeVoss (2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored) also contributed early before the bullpen blew the game late.

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The Chief dropped Tuesday’s opener to Quad Cities 5-1. Peoria managed only one run on five hits. Javier Baez (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a double) combined for four of the Chiefs’ five hits.

Michael Jensen could not post his tenth win of the season. Jensen allowed two runs on three hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts in five innings. Jeffry Antigua tossed two innings of scoreless ball but Pete Levitt struggled again. Levitt allowed three runs on three hits with two walks, a wild pitch and two strikeouts in an inning of work.

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High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (47-60)
Daytona took the series finale with Bradenton 12-7 on Sunday afternoon. The D-Cubs pounded out 14 hits and committed only one error. Ronald Torreyes (3-for-4 with two RBI, two runs scored) stayed hot and so did Elieser Bonne (3-for-3 with a double, a RBI, a walk and a run scored). Eight of the starting nine collected at least one hit and Rafael Lopez (2-for-4 with a home run, a walk and two runs scored) hit his second round-tripper of the season in the ninth inning.

Matt Loosen had a rough outing by his standards but still picked up his 10th win of the season. Loosen allowed six runs, five earned, on six hits with a walk and three strikeouts in five innings. Scott Weismann gave up a pair of runs in 2 1/3 innings and A.J. Morris picked up his third save with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.

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The D-Cubs beat Fort Myers in Monday’s opener 8-4. Daytona scored seven of their eight runs in the first three innings while Fort Meyers did not get on the board until the ninth.

Daytona pounded out 14 hits with Ronald Torreyes (2-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and two runs scored), Rubi Silva (3-for-5 with a RBI), Rafael Lopez (2-for-5 with a double, a RBI and a run scored), Elieser Bonne (2-for-5 with a double) and Matt Cerda (2-for-5 with a RBI and a run scored) leading the way. John Andreoli swiped his 41st base of the season and Ronald Torreyes stole his 13th bag.

P.J. Francescon improved to 2-5 with six innings of shutout ball. Francescon allowed only three hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Frank Del Valle struck out four and walked two in two scoreless frames. Ryan Searle continues to struggle and allowed all four runs on four hits with two walks and a strikeout in the ninth.

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The D-Cubs collected 14 hits for the second night in a row and hung on to beat Fort Meyers 5-4 on Tuesday night. Daytona plated all five of their runs in the third and fourth innings.

Ronald Torreyes continues to pound the baseball. After a miserable start to the season, Torreyes has his average up to .271 with a .332 OBP. Torreyes went 2-for-5 with a double and two more RBI in Tuesday night’s win. Rubi Silva (2-for-4), Matt Cerda (2-for-4 with a double and a RBI), John Andreoli (2-for-5 with a triple, a RBI and a run scored) stayed hot as well. Tim Saunders added three hits in four trips to the plate. Saunders doubled and drove in a run.

Austin Kirk improved to 6-3 with a questionable five-inning performance. Kirk gave up four runs on four hits with five walks and five strikeouts. Hunter Cervenka continues putting up zeros. Cervenka tossed two scoreless frames. AJ Morris picked up his fourth save.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (53-55)
The Smokies spent Sunday making their way from Jacksonville back to Tennessee and prepared to host Pensacola for a five-game series that began with a doubleheader on Monday.

The Smokies won both ends of a doubleheader on Monday over Billy Hamilton and the Pensacola BlueWahoos. Eric Jokisch picked up the win in game one (6-3) with a complete-game seven inning performance. Jokisch allowed three runs on five hits without a walk and two strikeouts. Jokisch improved to 7-2 on the season.

The Smokies scored five of their six runs in the first inning. Matt Szczur went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored while Junior Lake (2-for-3 with a double, a RBI and a run scored) continued mashing the ball. Greg Rohan cranked his fifth homer, a three run shot in the first inning, his only hit of the game. The Smokies pounded out 12 this and did not commit an error.

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The Smokies hung on in game two and picked up a 3-2 victory over Pensacola. Tennessee took advantage of two errors in the fifth that allowed two runs to score.

Casey Weathers got the win after pitching a scoreless fifth inning. Casey Harman started the game and did not allow a run over the first four innings. Tony Zych surrendered a run over 1 1/3 innings and Frank Batista picked up his 19th save.

Matt Szczur drove in his first run at the Double-A level and scored another. Junior Lake had a rare 0-for night but did work a walk.

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The Smokies ended up winning Tuesday’s game against Pensacola on Wednesday. Tuesday’s game was suspended due to weather and unplayable field conditions in the bottom of the fourth with Tennessee up 2-1. The Smokies ended up winning the game 4-2 with Trey McNutt picking up the victory.

Matt Szczur stole his first base in a Smokies’ uniform and scored a run in three trips to the plate. Junior Lake walked a scored a run while Justin Bour (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in a run.

Something weird can always happen when a game is suspended. Greg Rohan started Tuesday’s game at third base for the Smokies and went 1-for-2 with a double. Rohan was promoted to Iowa on Wednesday and hit two home runs in his Triple-A debut. With Tuesday’s game becoming official on Wednesday, Rohan doubled and homered with two different teams at two different levels in the “same day“.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (42-69)
Iowa took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning of Sunday night’s game against New Orleans only to lose it 6-3 in 10. Rodrigo Lopez had a decent start and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits with a walk and five strikeouts in five innings. Ryan Rowland-Smith and Esmailin Caridad did their jobs and turned the game over to Michael Bowden. Bowden had a bad night and ended up walking in the tying run and blowing his second save. Jay Jackson took the hill in the tenth. Jackson gave up a leadoff double to Chris Aguila then struck out Cole Armstrong. Jackson walked Chase Lambin to put two on with one down in the tenth. Rob Brantly launched a bomb over the wall in right to end the game.

James Adduci (3-for-5) notched three hits and Welington Castillo (1-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two RBI) hit his sixth homer of the season in the loss. Adrian Cardenas (1-for-5) extended his hitting streak to 12 games and Josh Vitters (1-for-5) added a single while playing first base. Brett Jackson (0-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base) stole his 24th base of the season.

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Chris Rusin suffered his eighth defeat of the season in Iowa’s 5-3 loss to New Orleans on Monday. Rusin allowed five runs on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings. Alberto Cabrera struck out four over the last 2 1/3 innings without allowing any runs.

James Adduci (2-for-5 with a home run, a double and three RBI) is making the most of his promotion while Alfredo Amezaga (3-for-4) added another multi-hit game. Josh Vitters (0-for-5) went hitless in the loss. Dave Sappelt has really picked it up of late. Sappelt added a pair of hits and a walk in four plate appearances.

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With all of the changes at the big league level, Tuesday turned into a bullpen day and another loss for the I-Cubs. New Orleans pounded out 10 hits in route to a 5-3 victory over Iowa.

Frankie De La Cruz got the start and took the loss after allowing three runs on two hits with two walks and three strikeouts in four innings. Ryan Rowland-Smith continued to struggle while Jairo Asencio pitched a scoreless frame in his I-Cubs debut.

Brett Jackson went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and a RBI hitting out of the top spot of the lineup. Josh Vitters started at first and went hitless for the second game in a row. Dave Sappelt was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.

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Arizona Rookie League
Even with the constant roster changes, the AZL Cubs keep winning ballgames. The Cubs are now 22-10 on the season and hold a one game lead over the rookie league Athletics. Dillon Maples made his pro debut Sunday night and allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout in an inning of work. Paul Blackburn picked up his first win and is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP in four games, two starts.

Jorge Soler is hitting .250/.294/.469/.763 in eight games with a double and two home runs. Albert Almora went 3-for-4 with a stolen base and a run scored on Wednesday night and after seven game has a .269/.269/.462/.731 line with two doubles and a home run. Shawon Dunston Jr., who is determined to finish the season on a positive note, is hitting .254/.306/.403/.709 with three doubles, two triples and a home run in 15 games. Over the last 10 games, the Shawon-Jr-O-Meter is sitting at .268/.333/.439/.772.

News and Notes
The Iowa Cubs added OF Jeff Frazier to the active roster. INF Matt Cerda was promoted to Double-A Tennessee. RHP Ty’Relle Harris, C Juan Apodaca and INF Greg Rohan were promoted to Triple-A Iowa. Jairo Asencio accepted his assignment and reported to Triple-A Iowa.

RHP Jaye Chapman was assigned to Triple-A Iowa. RHP Kyle Hendricks and INF Christian Villanueva were assigned to High-A Daytona. The Smokies sent INF Dustin Harrington to Daytona. Daytona added INF Vladimir Frias to the roster from the Gateway Grizzlies (Independent League).

RHP Jacob Brigham was assigned to Double-A Tennessee.

The Cubs recalled Adrian Cardenas, Chris Volstad, Welington Castillo and Alberto Cabrera from Triple-A Iowa and optioned Casey Coleman to Triple-A Iowa.

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