Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/03/13
It wasn’t a good end to the week as both Kane County and Iowa are on losing streaks while Tennessee had all sorts of problems in Birmingham. Daytona flexed their offensive muscles thanks to Javier Baez, Ben Carhart, Dustin Geiger, Chadd Krist, and Jorge Soler. Now, if the D-Cubs could only get their pitching on the same roll. For more details, take a look at Down on the Farm.
Editor’s Note: Monday’s report covers games from Wednesday to Saturday. Thursday’s report covers games Sunday through Tuesday.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (24-29)
Wednesday saw Kane County manage only five hits as they lost to Quad Cities 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel. Pierce Johnson moved into second place in the league in strikeouts as his seven in 5.2 innings would give him sixty on the season. The only earned run Johnson gave up was a solo home run in the sixth inning. Justin Amlung relieved and met the same fate. Amlung served up a solo home run while striking out two in 2.1 innings. A bid to come back by the Cougars was cut short as Gioskar Amaya (2-for-4) laced a two out single and made it to second on a throwing error. Carlos Escobar (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Amaya with a base hit.
After a rainout on Thursday, Kane County was never in the game on Friday as they lost 5-2 to Cedar Rapids. Jose Rosario was responsible for all of the Kernels’ runs. Rosario allowed five earned in five innings while striking out three batters. Eddie Orozco was able to set down the side in order in the sixth. Brian Smith went the rest of the way, striking out three in three scoreless innings. The Cougars bookended their runs, scoring one each in the first and ninth inning. Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-3) led off the game with a walk and moved to third on a groundout and wild pitch. Chen scored on a single from Dan Vogelbach (1-for-5 with a RBI). Kane County tried to rally in the ninth as Gioskar Amaya walked to start the inning. One out later, Amaya moved to third on a double from Reggie Golden (2-for-4), and scored on a double by Marco Hernandez (1-for-4 with a RBI). However, with the bases loaded, Albert Almora struck out and Dan Vogelbach grounded out to end the game.
It wasn’t a very happy birthday on Saturday as Kane County was pounded by Cedar Rapids 15-2. South African Tayler Scott got the nod on his 21st birthday and allowed seven earned runs and struck out four in four innings. Long man Ian Dickson was greeted just as rudely. Dickson surrendered five earned runs in three innings. Lefty Nathan Dorris restored some semblance of order with a scoreless inning. But out of pitchers and with Bijan Rademacher hurt, infielder Davis Bote added pitcher to his growing résumé. Bote pitched an inning and gave up three earned runs. The Cougars scratched out two runs in the fifth inning as one out singles by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3) and Albert Almora (2-for-4) along with a throwing error scored a run. Almora later scored after a groundout and wild pitch.
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (27-26)
After winning in dramatic fashion the night before, Daytona settled on sheer pitching domination on Wednesday as they shut out Tampa 3-0. Zach Cates scattered five hits over six innings while striking out five batters. Yao-Lin Wang took over and got his second save of the season the hard way as he struck out five while tossing three innings. The D-Cubs broke the ice in the third inning as successive two out singles by Taylor Davis (1-for-3), Zeke DeVoss (2-for-4), and John Andreoli (2-for-3 with a RBI) scored Davis. Daytona then put away the Yankees in the sixth inning, as a single by DeVoss and a double from Andreoli put runners on second and third. DeVoss scored on a sacrifice fly, while a Dustin Geiger (1-for-3 with a RBI) single scored Andreoli and added to his league leading total of 43 RBI.
Daytona could not make up enough ground in time on Thursday as they lost 5-4 to Tampa. The Yankees pulled out to a 3-0 lead before the D-Cubs could score their first run in the fifth inning. Walks to Chadd Krist, Taiwan Easterling, and Wes Darvill loaded the bases, with Krist scoring on a groundout. It took one swing in the sixth to put Daytona within one run as Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a home run) hit his eighth home run of the season. Losing 5-2 in the eighth, Tim Saunders (1-for-3 with a stolen base and a RBI) led off with a single and got the free walk home as Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) belted his second home run of the season. Ben Wells struck out five but he is usually effective when he keeps the ball down, but the Yankees connected with four hits that scored three runs. Sheldon McDonald gave up two runs (one earned) in an inning of work. Luis Liria continues to lower his ERA as he held Tampa scoreless for two innings while striking out three batters.
On Friday, Daytona used 12 walks to build a six run lead, only to see it evaporate as they lost 10-9 to Brevard County in ten innings. Middle relief was the undoing of the D-Cubs as both the front end and back end pitched well enough to win. Kyler Burke was the starter and allowed three earned runs while striking out six in five innings. Eduardo Figueroa started a succession of pitchers throwing an inning and giving up two earned runs as Jeffrey Lorick and Larry Suarez followed the same pattern. Frank Del Valle worked around a double in the ninth, but was unable to escape in the tenth. Del Valle allowed an earned run and struck out two in 1.1 innings. Things began well for the Daytona offense as Zeke DeVoss (0-for-2 with three walks) and Tim Saunders (1-for-3 with three walks) led off the game with walks, while Jorge Soler (2-for-4 with a RBI) had a one out single but DeVoss was thrown out at home. Dustin Geiger (2-for-5 with three RBI) then stepped up and launched a three run, opposite field home run to extend his league RBI total to 46. In the third inning, Soler walked and stole second and Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a RBI) reached on a force out. Chadd Krist (1-for-5 with two RBI) was hit by a pitch and Taiwan Easterling walked to plate Soler. DeVoss then drew a two out walk to bring in Carhart. Daytona upped their total to seven in the fourth inning as Javier Baez and Soler walked and both moved up ninety feet on a wild pitch. Krist lined a single off an infielder’s glove that scored Baez and Soler. The D-Cubs started the sixth with singles by Soler, Geiger and Carhart that scored Soler. Daytona tied the game in the ninth as Wes Darvill (2-for-4) led off with a single, Saunders walked, and Baez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A force out by Soler drove in Darvill.
After blowing a six run lead the night before, Daytona made sure of things on Saturday as they wiped out Brevard County 14-5. P.J. Francescon was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst as he struck out six and allowed only an earned run through six innings. Austin Reed showed some cause for concern as he gave up three earned runs while striking out three in two innings. Sheldon McDonald had some control issues in the ninth and walked in a run.
The D-Cubs got busy in the first inning as Tim Saunders (1-for-4) led off with a single, and doubles from Ben Carhart (3-for-6 with two RBI) and Javier Baez (5-for-6 with a home run, three doubles and six RBI) brought him home. Daytona never looked back after the second inning as a one out single by Taylor Davis (2-for-5) and a walk to Saunders put two runners on base. Both Carhart and Baez hit back-to-back doubles again as Davis, Saunders, and Carhart scored. One out later, Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with a RBI) doubled to plate Baez, and he scored on a single from Chadd Krist (2-for-3 with three RBI). Daytona continued to pummel Manatees’ pitching in the third as Wes Darvill (3-for-4) and Davis singled to start things off. A one out base hit by Carhart scored Darvill, and the bases were wiped clean as Javier Baez clubbed his ninth home run. A single by Jorge Soler (2-for-5 with two RBI) and a double from Geiger restarted the inning, and both scored on a double by Krist. The D-Cubs capped their scoring in the fourth as Baez laced a two out double and got the free walk home on Jorge Soler’s eighth home run of the season.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (28-26)
In a game commemorating America’s oldest ballpark, Rickwood Field, Tennessee let the game get away from them in the early innings as they fell to Birmingham 6-3 on Wednesday. Yeiper Castillo gave up the most runs he has ever allowed in an appearance in 2013. Castillo was tagged for five earned runs while striking out four in 3.2 innings. A.J. Morris got the call as the long man and allowed an earned run and struck out five in 3.1 innings. Trey McNutt worked a 1-2-3 eighth while striking out a batter. The Smokies scored all of their runs in the sixth inning, as Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-4) led off with a single, but was forced out at second on a fly ball by Ty Wright (1-for-4). A single from Rubi Silva (1-for-4) moved Wright to third, and a double by Christian Villanueva (1-for-4 with two RBI) scored both runners. A line drive to center was Lance Rymel’s (1-for-3 with a RBI) first Double-A hit and RBI as he plated Villanueva.
Pitching gave Tennessee the upper hand on Thursday as they beat Birmingham 5-1. Alberto Cabrera had everything working for him as he struck out seven and allowed only an earned run in six innings of work. Tony Zych kept the Barons off the board for 1.1 innings and recorded a strikeout. Zac Rosscup finished things off by striking out two in 1.2 innings.
The Smokies jumped out ahead in the first as Matt Szczur (2-for-4) led off with a triple and was driven in by a single from Ty Wright (2-for-4 with two RBI). In the second, Anthony Giansanti (2-for-4) laced a two out double and scored on a single by Chad Noble (2-for-4 with two RBI). It stayed that way until the sixth inning when Wright singled to score Ronald Torreyes (1-for-5), who had tripled. Two more runs scored in the seventh as Rubi Silva (2-for-4) started things off with a single and moved to third on a double from Giansanti. Noble plated both runners with a single.
Tennessee was never in the game on Friday night as they lost 11-3 to Birmingham. Starter Eric Jokisch was coming off of two solid performances, but laid an egg as he allowed seven runs (six earned) and struck out six in five innings. Hunter Cervenka continued his struggles after his promotion by giving up four runs (one earned) in two innings. Kevin Rhoderick was able to work around two hits to shut out the Barons in the eighth. The Smokies managed their first run in the sixth as Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4) hit a two out single and scored on a double from Rubi Silva (2-for-4 with a RBI). Tennessee added two more runs in the ninth, with Silva and Christian Villanueva (3-for-4) singling and scoring on a double from Rafael Lopez (1-for-4 with two RBI).
The Smokies were on the wrong end of a blowout again on Saturday as Birmingham beat Tennessee 9-3. Matt Loosen was the loser for Tennessee, but he had some help. Loosen pitched 5.1 innings and gave up eight runs, but only four of them were earned as the Smokies committed three errors. Frank Batista was brought in to stop the onslaught and he held the Barons scoreless for 1.2 innings. Trey McNutt relieved and allowed an earned run on a solo home run in an inning of work. Birmingham pitching has put the Tennessee offense into a funk, as the Smokies relied on the long ball for all of their runs. In the sixth inning, Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a RBI) worked a two out walk and scored on Christian Villanueva’s (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) fourth homer of the year. Alcantara added a solo shot of his own, his ninth of the season, in the eighth inning.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (24-30)
Iowa was not able to survive some early offense from Nashville on Wednesday as they lost 4-3. Nick Struck was unable to get through the first two innings. Struck gave up two earned runs in the first two frames and ended up allowing four runs in five innings with three strikeouts. Casey Coleman no-hit the Sounds the rest of the way while recording two strikeouts in three innings of work. The I-Cubs made a late charge and scored two runs in the fourth inning. Brian Bogusevic (1-for-4) led off with a walk and scored on a double from Dave Sappelt (1-for-3 with a RBI). A single from Brad Nelson (1-for-1 with a RBI) plated Sapplet. Iowa narrowed the gap to one as J.C. Boscan (1-for-3) started the inning with a walk, moved to third on a double by Struck and scored on a single from Logan Watkins (1-for-5 with a RBI).
It was one of those nights when the Iowa offense just decided not to show up as they lost to Nashville 6-1 on Thursday. The lone run came in the eighth inning as Darnell McDonald (1-for-4) singled, took second on defensive indifference, and scored on a base hit by Brian Bogusevic (1-for-1 with a RBI). Started Brooks Raley even tried to kick-start the offense with a single of his own in the fifth inning. Raley lasted six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out four batters. Marcus Hatley got into trouble with one out in the seventh as he gave up a single and walk, with catcher J.C. Boscan ejected after arguing the call. After another walk, Hatley was tagged for a grand slam, as ended up going only 0.2 innings. Hisanori Takahashi got the last out in the seventh, while Blake Parker struck out the side in the eighth.
Once again, the offense scuffled against one of the worst teams in the Pacific Coast League as Iowa lost 3-1 to Nashville on Friday. Yoanner Negrin was given his second start and allowed only an earned run through six innings until the wheels came off the cart in the seventh. After spending a good part of the top of the inning on base, Negrin couldn’t seem to find the plate upon taking the mound in the bottom half. Negrin gave up three hits and a walk, along with two more earned runs. Brian Schlitter was able to hold the Sounds scoreless for two innings while striking out a batter. The only run for the I-Cubs came in the third as Logan Watkins (1-for-3) and Brian Bogusevic (2-for-3) led off the third with singles, and Watkins scored on a sacrifice fly.
The I-Cubs failed to put away New Orleans on Saturday and allowed them to peck away at a five run lead as New Orleans ended up beating Iowa 7-6 in 13 innings. The Iowa offense showed some signs of life after going silent in Nashville. Logan Watkins (1-for-6) led off the game with a double and scored on a groundout. Brett Jackson (1-for-5 with a home run) then slugged his third home run, but Ian Stewart (1-for-3 with two RBI) flied out to end the inning with two runners on base. Brett Jackson walked and scored on a double from Dave Sappelt (3-for-4 with a RBI) in the third. Brad Nelson followed with a walk and Sappelt touched home on a double by Brent Lillibridge (4-for-6 with a RBI). Stewart doubled in Nelson and Lillibridge. Starter Guillermo Moscoso continued to run hot-and-cold as he struck out ten in 5.2 innings, but allowed four runs (three earned). Hisanori Takahashi blanked the Zephyrs for 0.2 innings, while Casey Coleman added another 1.2 scoreless innings. But New Orleans tied the game off of Eduardo Sanchez, who gave up two earned runs in his inning of work. Marcus Hatley bounced back from a rough outing and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Newly promoted Jeffry Antigua struck out four in his Triple-A debut, but allowed the winning run in two innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs designated RHP Alex Burnett for assignment; assigned RHP Michael Bowden to the Iowa Cubs; selected the contract of RHP Blake Parker. The Iowa Cubs placed RHP Barret Loux on the 7-Day disabled list. The Kane County Cougars activated OF Reggie Golden from extended spring training; assigned C Yaniel Cabezas to the Daytona Cubs.
Top Prospect Watch
- Albert Almora (OF) – .444/.487/.583/1.071 with five doubles and four RBI (Kane County Cougars)
- Javier Baez (SS) – .277/.319/.519/.838 with 15 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 35 RBI, four stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
- Jeimer Candelario (3B) – .250/.338/.354/.692 with 17 doubles, a home run, 17 RBI (Kane County Cougars)
- Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP, 53.0 innings pitched, 17 earned runs, 60 strikeouts, 15 walks (Kane County Cougars)
- Dillon Maples (RHP) – 0-1 with a 9.18 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP, 16.2 innings pitched, 17 earned runs, 16 strikeouts, nine walks (Kane County Cougars)
- Tim Saunders (IF/OF) – .183/.282/.246/.529 with two doubles, two triples, one home run, 10 RBI, 15 stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
- Jorge Soler (OF) – .295/.367/.509/.876 with 11 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 28 RBI, five stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
- Christian Villanueva (3B) – .259/.319/.429/.747 with 18 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 29 RBI, four stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
- Dan Vogelbach (1B) - .279/.341/.428/.768 with 10 doubles, seven home runs, 36 RBI, three stolen bases (Kane County Cougars)
- Logan Watkins (2B) – .228/.350/.397/.747 with eight doubles, four triples, five home runs, 14 RBI, five stolen bases (Iowa Cubs)
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