Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 04/29/13

In what can be considered an inconsistent end to this past week, highlighting the consistencies seems to put a positive foot forward. Kane County has been able to rely on players like Rock Shoulders and Bijan Rademacher. Outfielder John Andreoli and infielder Dustin Geiger have been rocks in the line-up for Daytona. Jae-Hoon Ha and Rubi Silva have been the go-to performers for Tennessee, while Brian Bogusevic and Ryan Sweeney have been persistent threats for Iowa. To find out how they all did, take a look inside of today’s Down on the Farm.

Please note a special announcement at the end of this report.

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

Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (8-11)

The threat of poor conditions canceled Wednesday’s game so Kane County traveled to Fort Wayne and lost 6-4 on Thursday. After trading runs in the first two innings, the Tin Caps exploded for five runs in the third off of starter Lendy Castillo. Castillo lasted six innings and allowed all six runs (five earned) while striking out three batters. Justin Amlung has begun to settle down after a rough start to the season. Amlung struck out two in a scoreless inning. Steve Perakslis also shut out Fort Wayne for an inning with a strikeout. The Cougars scored their first run in the second inning as Jeimer Candelario scored on singles by Marco Hernandez (1-for-3) and Willson Contreras (1-for-3 with a RBI) after walking to start the inning. Kane County mounted somewhat of a comeback in the eighth as Rock Shoulders (1-for-3) and Hernandez drew one out walks. An out later, Shoulders scored on a base hit from Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a RBI). Oliver Zapata (1-for-4 with two RBI) then doubled in Hernandez and Rademacher.

Kane County looked as if they had the game in hand against Fort Wayne on Friday. But a leaky bullpen resulted in a 6-5 loss in ten innings. The Cougars offense chipped away as Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-4) was hit by pitch to start the game. A single by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-5 with a RBI) and successive groundouts moved Chen around the basepaths and into the dugout with the first run of the game. Another manufactured run came in the second as Willson Contreras (1-for-4) led off with a triple and scored on another groundout. In the fourth, a ground rule double from Rock Shoulders (1-for-3), a walk to Contreras, and a wild pitch put runners on second and third. Shoulders scored on a double play ball from Marco Hernandez. Kane County added what they thought were two insurance runs in the ninth as Oliver Zapata doubled (2-for-4 with a RBI and a stolen base) and scored on a single from Yaniel Cabezas (3-for-4 with a RBI). Cabezas moved to third on a base hit by Chen, and touched home on a groundout.

Pierce Johnson seemed to have the Tin Caps under control as he charged with an unearned run while striking out seven in 5.2 innings. Jeffry Antigua set things up well as he struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings. But Nathan Dorris got into trouble in the ninth with the help of an error from first baseman Dan Vogelbach. Dorris allowed four runs (two earned) while recording only one out. Eddie Orozco closed out the inning thanks to a strike fired by Zapata to cut down a runner at third. However, Orozco wouldn’t be as lucky in the tenth. After inducing a double play, Orozco issued a pair of walks and gave up a single, and the game, to Fort Wayne.

In a reversal, Kane County took advantage of another team’s mistakes on Saturday as they rallied to beat Fort Wayne 5-3. After spotting the Tin Caps a two run lead in the first inning, the Cougars slowly climbed their way back into the game. A one out walk to Oliver Zapata (1-for-3 with a triple) and a single from Pin-Cheih Chen (1-for-3 with a stolen base) put runners on the corners in the third inning. A sacrifice fly by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-4 with a RBI and a stolen base) scored Zapata and cut the lead in half. Kane County tied the score in the fifth as Wes Darvill (2-for-4 with a RBI and a stolen base) led off with a base hit, and errors allowed Zapata and Chen to reach and load the bases. A force out at home reshuffled the runners, and Amaya took over on first base. Pinch-hitter Willson Contreras (0-for-3 with a RBI and a stolen base) put the ball in play and his groundout drove in Zapata. The Cougars then broke things open in the eighth as Amaya singled, and the sacks were full after walks to Jeimer Candelario and Rock Shoulders. A wild pitch brought in Amaya, and Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with a RBI) stroked a single and plated Candelario. Darvill then singled in Shoulders and capped the scoring.

Tayler Scott has had an uneven season so far, but Saturday may have been his most steady performance. Scott allowed two earned runs to start the game but settled down and held Fort Wayne in check. Scott completed with six innings while recording four strikeouts. Brian Smith was able to redeem himself after a shaky outing, as he went three innings and struck out three while giving up an earned run.

Click Here from Complete Box Score

High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (10-12)

After an inconsistent start to the season, Daytona now appears to be close to firing on all cylinders as the defeated Lakeland 5-3 on Thursday. The offense provided a cushion right away as Javier Baez (2-for-4 with a home run) blasted a solo home run in the first inning. Chad Noble (2-for-3 with a home run) added to the score with a two-out solo shot of his own in the second inning. The D-Dubs put two more on base as Anthony Giansanti (2-for-3) singled and Zeke DeVoss (1-for-3 with a RBI) was hit by a pitch. Tim Saunders (1-for-4 with two RBI) then delivered a two-run triple that increased the lead to 4-0. Singles by Ben Carhart (1-for-4) and Noble, and a walk to Giansanti loaded the bases to start the sixth inning. A throwing error on a grounder from DeVoss brought in Carhart to round out the scoring.

After appearing in relief in his last outing, Zach Cates was back in a starter’s role. Cates struck out four as he shut out the Flying Tigers over five innings. Yeiper Castillo replaced Cates and struck out the side in his inning of work. But Austin Reed continued his rough start. Reed gave up three earned runs in an inning of work. David Cales slammed the door over the final two innings while striking out four and picking up his first save since 2011.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Friday saw Daytona jump out to an early lead and pull away from Lakeland in route to a 7-3 victory. Starter Ben Wells caused a buzz when he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. That was all ended with a one out single, and Wells ended up allowing three runs (two earned) while striking out a batter in 5.2 innings.  Eduardo Figueroa provided a bridge for a tiring Wells by getting the final out in the sixth. But Figueroa got into his own trouble with one out in the seventh. Hunter Cervenka bailed out Figueroa and went on to strike out four over 2.2 scoreless innings. Cervenka picked up his second save.

Zeke DeVoss (1-for-3) walked but was erased when Tim Saunders grounded out to start the first inning. Javier Baez (2-for-4 with two RBI) singled and Saunders stole third base. John Andreoli (0-for-2 with two walks and two RBI) walked to load the bases for Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with three RBI). Geiger laced a two-RBI single that scored Saunders and Baez. Jorge Soler reached on a base hit and stole second in the fourth inning. Soler advanced to third on a groundout. Geiger then delivered again, and drove in Soler to put the D-Cubs up 3-0. Daytona added two more in the fifth as Javier Baez doubled in Chad Noble (2-for-4) and DeVoss, who had each singled. Daytona closed out their scoring in the seventh inning as singles by Noble and Taiwan Easterling (2-for-4) and a walk to DeVoss loaded the bases. Saunders reached on an error that scored Noble, and Andreoli walked with the bases loaded to bring in Easterling.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Daytona got into trouble early on Saturday and were never able to recover as they lost 5-1 to Lakeland. Austin Kirk served up a two-run homer in the first inning that put the D-Cubs behind the eight-ball. Kirk ended up surrendering four earned runs while striking out two in five innings. Luis Liria has had an awful time trying to get batters out this season, and this game was no exception. Liria allowed an earned run in an inning of work. Sheldon McDonald was finally able to quell the storm as he shut out the Flying Tigers over two innings. Rubber-armed Eduardo Figueroa finished the game out with a scoreless inning of his own. The only Daytona run came in the bottom of the first as Tim Saunders walked, stole second and scored on a single by John Andreoli (2-for-4 with a RBI).

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (13-9)

For the second straight game the bullpen let down the team as the Smokies dropped the final game of their series with Montgomery 5-4 on Wednesday. Tennessee played hide-and-go-seek with bad weather as rain caused an hour and eight minute delay. Matt Loosen started and was not as sharp in his second appearance. Loosen allowed two earned runs and struck out three in 4.2 innings. Marcus Hatley let the Biscuits tie it up as he allowed an earned run in 1.1 innings while striking out two batters. A.J. Morris took the mound to start the seventh inning, but Tony Zych replaced him after the rain delay. Zych was unable to hold off Montgomery. Zych gave up two earned runs on two hits with two walks in 2.2 innings. Frank Batista recorded the final two outs.

Tennessee took the lead 3-2 in the fifth inning as Rafael Lopez (1-for-2) led off with a double. A fielder’s choice by Elliot Soto erased Lopez, but a walk to Matt Szczur (1-for-4) put runners on first and second. Ronald Torreyes (1-for-5 with a RBI) singled in Soto, and one out later a Ty Wright (2-for-5 with two RBI) double scored Szczur and Torreyes. The Smokies tried to rally in the bottom of the ninth as Szczur led off with a base hit and stole second base. Szczur scored on a single by Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with a double, a RBI and a stolen base), but that would be it for Tennessee.

Tennessee played host to Pensacola on Thursday and came away with a 2-1 victory. With a reputation as a hard-luck pitcher, signs of things evening out for Dallas Beeler are starting to appear. Beeler scattered seven hits and struck out two in seven scoreless innings. Zac Rosscup gave up an earned run without striking out a batter in his inning of work. Brian Schlitter earned his first save of 2013 by striking out a batter in a 1-2-3 inning.

Catcher Rafael Lopez (1-for-3 with a RBI) is beginning to heat up as a double in the second inning scored Jonathan Mota. Ronald Torreyes (3-for-3 with a double) led off the third with a triple and trotted home on a Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-4 with a RBI) single that provided all the runs the Smokies would need.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

With a pitching staff that has caused manager Buddy Bailey to use more antacids than he probably has wanted to, Tennessee survived on Friday for a 5-3 win over Pensacola. Alberto Cabrera wiggled out of persistent trouble thanks to good defense and six strikeouts in six innings while allowing an earned run. Kevin Rhoderick continued his nightmarish season by giving up an earned run in 0.2 innings. A.J. Morris followed and gave a fairly typical performance. Morris let in an earned run while striking out a batter in an inning of work. Perhaps the most stomach-wrenching pitcher on the staff, Trey McNutt, came on and this time seemed focused. McNutt struck out a batter in 1.1 scoreless innings to earn his second save.

The offense made things nip-and-tuck as they finally got on the board in the fourth inning as Ty Wright (1-for-4) and Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-3) singled with one out. Rubi Silva (2-for-4 with three RBI) reached on a throwing error that plated Wright, and a base hit by Rafael Lopez (1-for-3 with a RBI) scored Ha. Silva then connected with his fourth home run of the season in the sixth inning with Ha on board. Ha walked to lead off the seventh, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Rubi Silva tripled in what would be the Smokies final run.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (7-14)

Iowa appeared to be rested and ready on Thursday after Wednesday’s travel day and the I-Cubs thrashed Omaha 9-3. It was the offense’s time to shine as they put up six runs in the first inning. Logan Watkins (0-for-2 with four walks) and Brent Lillibridge (4-for-5 with two RBI) started the game off with walks and advanced ninety feet on a groundout. Ryan Sweeney (4-for-5 with four RBI) then smashed his fourth home run. Brian Bogusevic (1-for-4) rebooted things by walking and stealing second. A base hit by Darnell McDonald (2-for-5 with a RBI) scored Bogusevic, and a J.C. Boscan (1-for-4 with a RBI) walk put two men on base. Edwin Maysonet (2-for-4 with a triple and a RBI) singled in McDonald. Watkins walked for the second time in the inning to load the bases. A single by Lillibridge scored Boscan, but Maysonet was thrown out at the plate. The I-Cubs tacked on three more runs as Lillibridge drove in McDonald, after he doubled in the seventh. In the eighth, a double by Boscan plated Sweeney. Alberto Gonzalez scored on the ninth as he reached on a fielder’s choice and came around on a Ryan Sweeney triple.

The benefactor of all this offense was Barret Loux as he fanned three and allowed three earned runs in 4.2 innings. Esmailin Caridad had a performance that was more like his Winter League standards as he also struck out three in 2.1 scoreless innings. Cory Wade and Rafael Dolis wrapped things up. Wade recorded two outs, one by strikeout, and Dolis picked up his first save with two strikeouts as he shut out the Storm Chasers for 1.1 innings.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The I-Cubs dropped Friday’s game to Omaha 5-4 in ten innings. What is becoming a typical game for Iowa, they received adequate starting pitching but an inept offense and bullpen failed to do their part. Once again, Chris Rusin pitched well enough to win. Rusin allowed two earned runs while striking out a batter in six innings. But the bullpen allowed the Storm Chasers to chip away as Hisanori Takahashi, Blake Parker, and Zach Putnam each gave up an earned run. Parker struck out three in two innings, while Putnam recorded only one out and gave up three hits, including the winning run. The offense revolved around Ryan Sweeney (2-for-5 with two RBI) and Brian Bogusevic (3-for-4). Sweeney cracked his fifth home run of the season with Brent Lillibridge (1-for-5) on board in the fourth inning that put Iowa ahead of Omaha 2-1. It looked like another loss in the ninth inning until Brad Nelson (1-for-1, two RBI) delivered a pinch-hit two-run home run with Bogusevic on that tied the game at four.

A train wreck is the best way to describe Iowa’s loss on Saturday as they were buried 13-2 by Omaha. Starter Drew Carpenter basically served up batting practice to the Storm Chasers as he was tagged for nine hits and eight runs (seven earned) in three innings. Pouring gas on the fire was Cory Wade. Wade was pummeled for another five hits and three earned runs in two innings. Casey Coleman got things under control a bit, but he also surrendered an earned run on three hits in two innings. The evening mercifully ended after Yoanner Negrin, who was also abused by Omaha hitters, gave up an earned run on four hits in his inning of work. The only Iowa runs came in the third inning as Alberto Gonzalez (1-for-3) led off with a single and scored on a triple by Logan Watkins (2-for-4 with a RBI). Brett Jackson (1-for-4 with a RBI) doubled in Watkins.

News and Notes

The Iowa Cubs assigned OF Ty Wright to Tennessee. The Tennessee Smokies assigned IF Anthony Giansanti to Daytona. Daytona Cubs placed RHP Ryan Searle on the 7-Day disabled list.

Top Prospect Watch

  • Javier Baez (SS) – .253/283/.495/.777 with six doubles, two triples, four home runs, 13 RBI, two stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Stephen Bruno (IF/OF) – .355/.437/.468/.904 with seven doubles, six RBI, two stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Jeimer Candelario (3B) – .243/.360/.324/.684 with six doubles, seven RBI (Kane County Cougars)
  • Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP, 18.0 innings pitched, seven earned runs, 21 strikeouts, six walks (Kane County Cougars)
  • Barret Loux (RHP) – 2-1 with a 5.74 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP, 15.2 innings pitched, 10 earned runs, 16 strikeouts, 10 walks (Iowa Cubs)
  • Tim Saunders (IF/OF) – .196/.283/.261/.544 with one double, one triple, four RBI, five stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Jorge Soler (OF) – .276/.354/.431/.785 with three doubles, two home runs, seven RBI, one stolen base (Daytona Cubs)
  • Christian Villanueva (3B) – .218/.291/.333/.624 with six doubles, one home run, 15 RBI, two stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) – .289/.337/.382/.719 with one double, two home runs, nine RBI (Kane County Cougars)
  • Logan Watkins (2B) – .243/.418/.429/.846 with three doubles, two triples, two home runs, four RBI, one stolen base (Iowa Cubs)
Don’t Forget

Another Tuesday’s with Tom U. Chat from 7:00pm CDT until 8:00pm CDT (that’s from 2:00pm to 3:00pm GMT for our international followers) will take place on Facebook tomorrow, April 30. Join us for a Q & A session.

The CCO has a Twitter feed dedicated to the Cubs minor league teams, prospects, and players @TheCCO_Minors … and minor league coverage has been included on the CCO’s Facebook page. Stay up to date with all minor league happenings by following Chicago Cubs Online on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. 

Special Announcement

Tom U. will be participating in the eighth annual Race to Wrigley 5K on May 11. If you would like to make a pledge, please visit our fundraiser page at Race to Wrigley 5K Run.

All donations go to Chicago Cubs Charities

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe