Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/20/13

Daytona remained in the spotlight this week as Javier Baez and Tim Saunders each hit grand slams on Tuesday. Iowa received excellent pitching performances from Chris Rusin and Nick Struck. Pitching also took center stage for Boise, as Loiger Padron extended the team’s scoreless streak for starters. Kane County wrapped up the first half with a win, while Tennessee split a pair.

Along with recaps from the Dominican and Venezuelan Leagues and the Midwest All-Star game, see what’s inside of this version of the Down on the Farm Report.

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

Short-Season A – Boise Hawks (2-3)

Boise’s starting pitching just kept on rolling on Sunday as they defeated Eugene 8-2. Loiger Padron was the third starting pitcher for the Hawks to toss shutout baseball. Padron struck out three in 4.2 scoreless innings. Padron reached his pitch count and turned the game over to Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, who allowed an earned run in 1.2 innings. Matt Iannazzo was also touched for an earned run in his inning of work. Michael Hamann was asked to get the final five outs, and he did so by striking out two in route to his first save.

The Boise offense took a while to get going, but finally did in the fifth. Rony Rodriguez (1-for-3) was hit by a pitch with one out and scored on a double from fellow catcher Lance Rymel (1-for-3 with two RBI). Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with four RBI) walked to start the seventh and moved to third on a double by Rodriguez. Danny Lockhart (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Balaguert while Rodriguez took third and ended up scoring on a sacrifice fly. Walks to Carols Penalver and Jacob Rogers were sandwiched around a single by Kevin Encarnacion (2-for-3) to start the eighth. A single by Balaguert plated Penalver, while Encarnacion scored on a passed ball. Singles by Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4) and David Bote (1-for-5) started the ninth. After a sac bunt moved up both runners ninety feet, an intentional walk to Encarnacion loaded the bases. Balaguert then missed a grand slam by inches but wound up with a bases clearing triple.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The starting pitching streak came to an end on Monday as Boise lost to Salem-Keizer 8-6. Eighteen-year old, 2012 second round pick Duane Underwood sported a big fastball but was unable to keep the Volcanoes off the scoreboard. Underwood allowed three earned runs while striking out three in 3.2 innings. Veteran Orbandy Rodriguez got Underwood out of a jam in the fourth, but created his own two innings later as he gave up four earned runs in 2.1 innings. Ethan Elias saw his first action of the season and struck out four while letting in an earned run in two innings. Tyler Bremer came back after allowing a walk-off homer two nights earlier to strike out two in a scoreless inning of work.

The Hawks tried to keep themselves in the game as Trevor Gretzky (1-for-4) led off the third with a double and scored on a fielding error and a groundout. A two out single by Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-4) and a walk to Jacob Rogers (2-for-4) put two on for Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with three RBI) in the fifth. Balaguert laced and double and plated both Encarnacion and Rogers. Two more runs scored the seventh as walks to David Bote, Carlos Penalver (1-for-4) and Encarnacion loaded the bases. Bote scored on a wild pitch, while Penalver came home on a sacrifice fly. Walks to Danny Lockhart and Lance Rymel (1-for-3) started the eighth, Bote was hit by a pitch, and Lockhart scored on a wild pitch.

The Hawks spent more time chasing after the ball rather than playing baseball on Tuesday as seven wild pitches and two errors steered them toward a 9-2 loss to Salem-Keizer. Starter Trey Lang was the source of a majority of the wildness. Lang uncorked five wild pitches and committed an error in a single inning, and ended up with six wild pitches on the night. Lang ended up pitching four innings while striking out and allowing five runs (four earned). Jasvir Rakkar served up a three-run homer in two innings while Matt Iannazzo uncorked one of the wild pitches and gave up an unearned run with two strikeouts in two innings. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino tossed a scoreless inning with a strikeout.

Boise actually scored first as Shawon Dunston Jr. (2-for-3) walked to lead off the game and took second on a passed ball. A single by Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-3 with a RBI) scored Dunston. David Bote (1-for-4 with a home run) led off the eighth inning with a solo home run.

Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (30-36)

Kane County ended the first half of the 2013 campaign with a 5-2 victory over Wisconsin on Sunday. Starter Pierce Johnson had his good stuff and struck out five batters over seven scoreless innings. All-Star Nathan Dorris struggled a little bit as he allowed two earned runs while striking out a pair in an inning of work. Steve Perakslis has started to emerge as the closer and he worked around a walk and a hit to record his third save.

Reggie Golden (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) got the Cougars on the board in the third inning as he launched his second home run of the season. In the fourth inning, Rock Shoulders (2-for-4 with a home run) slugged his league leading 13th home run with two outs. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-2) restarted the innings with a single, and scored on a double from Carlos Escobar (2-for-3 with a RBI). Golden tripled in Escobar.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (34-31)

Daytona resumed play after the All-Star break on Monday and lost 9-2 to Clearwater. Zach Cates had trouble locating the plate as he walked five and gave up five hits while allowing four earned runs in four innings. Austin Reed let in five runs (four earned) in two innings. Jeffrey Lorick did not allow a run over the final two innings. The only runs for the D-Cubs came in the fourth inning as Javier Baez reached on a throwing error and stole second. Baez trotted home when Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) went yard.

Whatever got into the Daytona Cubs on Tuesday, manager Dave Keller may wish to bottle it as the D-Cubs destroyed Clearwater 14-8. The score wasn’t as close as the numbers indicate as the D-Cubs put things on cruise control for the final two innings. John Andreoli (3-for-4 with two RBI) led off the game with a single and scored on a triple from Zeke DeVoss (2-for-6 with a RBI). DeVoss scored on a sacrifice fly. A one out single by Andreoli in the third allowed him to score Daytona’s third run as he crossed the plate after a single by Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with two RBI). Two more runs scored in the fourth as Chadd Krist (1-for-4) singled and went to third on a double by Tim Saunders (3-for-5 with four RBI). A groundout scored Krist, while Saunders came in on another base hit from Andreoli.  Geiger drew a one out walk in the fifth went to third on a double by Ben Carhart (1-for-5). Krist was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Saunders, who crushed a grand slam to clear the bases. The seventh was also grand as the sacks were full with a Taylor Davis (1-for-3 with a RBI) walk and singles by Taiwan Easterling (2-for-5) and DeVoss when Javier Baez (1-for-5 with a home run and four RBI) delivered a grand slam of his own. Andreoli completed the night by drawing a bases loaded walk that forced in Carhart in the eighth inning.

The offensive explosion was fortunate for Kyler Burke as he really struggled. Burke allowed four earned runs with only one strikeout in four innings. Yao-Lin Wang came to the rescue as he blanked the Threshers for two innings while striking out two … Wang picked up his second victory. Frank Del Valle was subjected to some of the lackadaisical play that crept in to the game as he gave up three runs (one earned) in two innings, while Sheldon McDonald let in an earned run in the final inning.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (34-35)

The ineffective Tennessee offense squandered some great pitching on Sunday as they lost 4-1 to Mississippi. A.J. Morris continues to be stretched out as a starter, and showed that he may have a future there as he tossed four scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Yeiper Castillo has moved to the pen and he allowed an earned run while striking out three in three innings. Hunter Cervenka appeared to be settling in for the Smokies, but he gave up three earned runs in two innings. The only run scored in the second as Rubi Silva (3-for-4) and Christian Villanueva (2-for-4) reached with one out singles and Silva scored on a groundout.

Tennessee had 12 hits but managed only two runs on Monday, but that was good enough for a 2-1 victory over Mississippi. The only runs for the Smokies came in the sixth inning as Jonathan Mota (2-for-4) and Anthony Giansanti (2-for-4) singled to lead off. A bunt attempt by Chad Noble forced Mota, but Giansanti and Noble moved to second and third on a throwing error.  Pinch-hitter Ty Wright walked to load the bases, and a single from Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5 with a RBI) scored Giansanti and Noble.

Eric Jokisch had one of his better outing of late. Jokisch struck out three and allowed an earned run over six innings. Trey McNutt and Tony Zych each tossed a scoreless inning. Frank Batista recorded his ninth save by striking out two in the ninth.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (34-37)

Lack of offense seemed to be the theme of the minor league system on Sunday as Iowa was not able to support their pitching in a 3-1 loss to Omaha. Guillermo Moscoso did well enough to pick-up a win in most situations by allowing three earned runs while striking out four in five innings. Hisanori Takahashi continues to be a steadying force as he tossed a scoreless inning. Michael Bowden kept the Storm Chasers off the board for two innings as he struck out two batters. Marcus Hatley finished things out a scoreless inning. The I-Cubs’ only run came in the first as Edwin Maysonet (1-for-3 with a home run) hit a solo home run.

On Monday, starter Chris Rusin took the bull by the horns and tossed a complete game shutout as Iowa defeated Omaha 2-0. Rusin struck out eight and pitched the first complete game shutout for Iowa since Sergio Mitre in 2004. The only runs came off of solo home runs, as Donnie Murphy (1-for-3 with a home run) went deep in the fifth inning while Brian Bogusevic (1-for-3 with a home run) slugged his ninth of the season in the eighth inning.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

For the second night in a row, Iowa received a dominant pitching performance as they beat Nashville 7-0. Nick Struck carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up allowing three hits over 6.2 innings with three strikeouts. Casey Coleman bounced back from a poor outing to hold the Sounds scoreless for 1.1 innings. Eduardo Sanchez completed the shutout by striking out two in the final inning.

The I-Cubs clung to a 1-0 lead as Dave Sappelt led off the second with a single, stole second base, and scored on a double by Donnie Murphy. Iowa broke the game open in the seventh as Brent Lillibridge singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Logan Watkins walked and Brian Bogusevic was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A passed ball scored Lillibridge, and a single from Steve Clevenger plated Watkins. A double by Sappelt drove in Bogusevic and Clevenger. The I-Cubs added two more runs in the eighth as pinch-hitter Tim Torres reached on a fielding error, and singles by Watkins and Bogusevic scored Torres. And Dave Sappelt drove in Watkins to complete the scoring.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Dominican Summer League

The DSL Cubs went 3-4 this past week but remain tied for second place with an 8-7 record in the Baseball City North Division. Second baseman Dalfis Otiz remains the team leader with a .356 average, with a home run, nine RBI, and four stolen bases. Outfielder Jenner Emeterio has dropped to third in the DSL with 10 stolen bases, but improved his batting to .286 with a home run and six RBI. Nineteen-year old right-hander Jose Zapata has moved into a tie in the league lead with a 0.00 ERA, and is 1-0 with nine strikeouts in 13 innings and a 1.00 WHIP. Eighteen- year old righty Luis Hernandez now has a 0.77 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 11.2 innings with nine strikeouts. Prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua was able to get some work in as he awaited approval of his visa. Paniagua tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and struck out two batters.

Venezuelan Summer League

The VSL Cubs had a 2-2 record over the past week to make them 14-15 for the season as they moved to third place. Infielder/outfielder Roney Alcala moved back into fourth place in the league in hitting. Alcala is batting .356 with two homers, while his 17 RBI are good for fifth place. Outfielder Arnaldo Calero has jumped up into sixth place with 18 RBI, as he is hitting .313 with two home runs and five stolen bases. Shortstop/second baseman Bryant Flete dropped down to third place with ten stolen bases to go along with his .279 average and 12 RBI. Outfielder Delbis Arcila tied teammate Miguel Rico for second in the league with five home runs and Arcila improved his average to .293 with 16 RBI. Right-handed pitcher Greyfer Eregua continues to lead the league with a 0.75 ERA, but his 0.86 WHIP now ranks second in the league.

Midwest League All-Star Game

It was a somewhat mixed bag for most of the Cubs’ prospects as the West team lost 6-5 to the East in the Midwest League All-Star game on Tuesday. Designated hitter Dan Vogelbach had an RBI and went 2-for-2. Vogelbach was replaced by Rock Shoulders, who along with right fielder Bijan Rademacher was 0-for-2 in the game. Pitchers Tayler Scott and Nathan Dorris did their jobs. Scott picked up a strikeout in 0.2 scoreless innings while Dorris retired the only man he faced. Pitcher Felix Pena was named to the squad but did not see action in the game.

News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs assigned IF/OF Tim Torres to Iowa from Tennessee; assigned RHP Larry Suarez to Iowa from Daytona; assigned OF Pin-Chieh Chen to Daytona from Tennessee. The Iowa Cubs placed IF Edwin Maysonet on the 7-Day disabled list. The Daytona Cubs placed OF Jorge Soler on the 7-Day disabled list.

The Cubs released RHP Chad Martin, LHP Hunter Ackerman and outfielder Dong-Yub Kim

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Quote of the Day

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  • Tony_Hall

    After Barrett Loux’s outing last night, in his last 7 starts his ERA is 1.92 and this is in the PCL.

    • Tom U

      Tony, Iowa starting pitching as a whole has seemed to turn the corner. Hopefully, they can continues this way and it not just as function of the schedule.

    • Ray Ray

      I thought I may have missed something with Loux…..but talking about grasping at straws. He still has a 5.05 ERA and here are his last starts. He had a great start last night but other than that???
      6/19 5 IP 1 Hit 0 ER as a said a very good start.
      6/15 3 IP 5 Hits 1 R 0 ER ( 3 innings pitched)
      6/12 1 IP 1 ER
      6/8 3 IP

      5/26 6 IP
      5/21 5.1 IP

      We can compliment last nights start but there isn’t much else to jump up for joy about

      • Tom U

        Ray, Loux has had a rough season, going on the DL twice already. However, he has shown some improvement. Remember, I said earlier in the season that they may have pushed Loux up too soon, and this is one time in which I wished the organization stuck with their overly conservative way of operating.

        • Ray Ray

          I agree Tom. He has looked better but I was saying how misleading Tony’s post was. I was thinking we might have a pitcher ready to come up and contribute. He hasn’t pitched many innings at all. That is all I am saying. Nothing to jump up for joy about yet.

          • Tom U

            But maybe a reason to smile a little.

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

            Last 7 games he’s been good. That’s all Tony posted.

          • Ray Ray

            He said starts and I was assuming that he pitched 5 or 6 innings for 7 straight games and had these quality starts. That is what I am saying. Totally misleading. For a pitcher to have 7 straight starts with a 1.92 ERA would’t you think that he could be ready for a call up?

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

            Agreed…

          • Ray Ray

            sure….if I have to. :) I would love to get excited about some prospects we have pushing for mlb jobs….we just don’t have any at the moment.

      • Tony_Hall

        Yeah, I didn’t have much time this morning. Should have said appearances as they have brought him back slowly after he had to miss a start.

        But really, I almost think you would be upset if this guy actually turns into a major league SP.

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

      I’ve pulled for this guy. I have a feeling he can be a starter for the big league club. I’d like to see him come up in September.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Kane County announces Cuban pitcher Armando Rivero will join team while top pitching prospect Pierce Johnson gets moved up to Daytona.

    • Tom U

      Thus starts the promotion carousel.

  • Tom U

    The last team in the Cubs’ system, the AZL Cubs, start their season tonight at 7PM PST.

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

    What is Reggie Golden hitting? It seems like in every report he’s got some hits. I’m really pulling for him, I wish he had gotten enough votes to be in the report. Speaking of the report, where is the stats of our top 10?

    • Tom U

      Golden is hitting .295 with 2 HR and 6 RBI. The stats come out on Monday, with recaps of the foreign leagues and the rookie league on Thursday.

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

        Thanks Tom! I was thinking maybe stats where only on Monday because I had noted some pattern but couldn’t put my finger on it.

        Really happy to see he’s almost to .300. I want to see him stay healthy and fit and move up the ranks.

  • Ray Ray

    Here is something worth posting about a pitcher at Iowa. Chris Rusin’s last 3 starts.

    6/7 8 IP 3 hits and 2 ER

    6/12 7 IP 5 hits and 0 ER

    6/17 9 IP 5 hits and O ER

    Now that is something to get excited about. He looks like he wants a shot after the Feldmans and Garza’s get traded.

    • John_CC

      In all likelihood he will be getting the first call.

    • Tony_Hall

      I thought you said there was no one to get excited about at AAA…..

      Rusin, Raley, Loux, Cabrera are all in line to get a few starts in August and September.

      • Ray Ray

        That is worthy to post…not Loux pitching 3 innings per start. And of course I want Loux to succeed but he has a 5 plus ERA in AAA and he isn’t close. Rusin is a back end starter but he is pitching great right now. Hopefully he gets another shot. He looks deserving if he keeps it up.

        • Tony_Hall

          Loux has a higher ceiling than Rusin, that is why I want Loux to succeed. Rusin is another Sean Marshall type (we can hope), who might get a chance to start for awhile, but ultimately will be a lefty in the pen.

  • Tom U

    Some early impressions on the Boise Hawks:

    Shawon Dunston Jr. appears to have become more mature since last season, and is approaching the game with a sense of purpose.

    Carlos Penalver has lived up to his billing as a great defender. While not flashy, Penalver has impressed enough to draw some comparisons to fellow Venezuelan Omar Vizquel. If he continues on this pace, he has then early line on Best Defensive Infielder for the system.

    With some of the high profile players drawing attention, Yasiel Balaguert has emerged as the offense’s main man. He already has nine RBI in the first week.

    Pitchers James Pugliese and Paul Blackburn look like the real deal, and may not stay in Boise for long.

    Two sleepers on the pitching staff have emerged, Loiger Padron has used his savvy while Corbin Hoffner may have closer potential.

    While still a little green, Duane Underwood looks as if he will claim the title of the Best Fastball in the system.

    • calicub

      As always, top notch analysis Tom!

    • paulcatanese

      Wow, that comparison of Penalver to Vizquel
      is very rare, and if so, I would love to see him play. Love the magicians at shortstop.

  • paulcatanese

    Just a little blurb on the Cubs first round draft. An article
    stated (in essence ) that since the Cubs need pitching
    so badly, why draft Bryant as their first pick?
    IMO, that’s not any kind of a viable argument. Why pick
    a pitcher that will impact every five days when they picked a player that can impact or contribute each and every day, whether with the glove or with the bat?
    One pick, and then a lot of others to follow for pitching.
    How does that go? “pick a peck of pickled peppers”.
    Corny, but then so was the article.
    Tom, love the articles.

  • John_CC

    I sure would like to see Bogusevic get a call. I know he’s a lefty and all of a sudden for the first time in a decade the Cubs are left-hand heavy but still I don’t care. The kid deserves a shot, his power and speed are intriguing. I like Clevenger too, but I guess at this point I’d rather just see some new faces.

    • calicub

      Lol JH and Lou would have killed for this kind of Left handed depth

      • John_CC

        True that!

  • John_CC

    Small Sample alert…but, Javy Baez has 8BB to 9K in the month of June. He is showing much progress in the patience department…and we are seeing what happens when pitchers have to throw strikes…he ruins them!

    Tom, in your estimation, how far away are either Baez or Soler from being promoted and who do you think will be first? I read a rumor that thought that Soler was close before the injury.

    • Tom U

      Despite the wishes of many, I believe that both are in Daytona for the duration, unless they go on some crazy tear.

      Both are barely meeting their offensive expectations, if not a little bit under. And don’t believe the hype about Baez’s defense. He needs s lot of work to reach passable.

      • SomeGuy27

        Tom:

        Re.: Baez’s defense. Is he kicking the ball or throwing the ball all over the place? I have read one report that inferred that he gets to a lot of balls others don’t get to but gets hung with an error for kicking it or a hurried throw.

        Which is it?

        • Tom U

          Someguy, sorry to respond to this so late. Baez has 28 errors, 16 fielding 12 throwing. If a player has more fielding than throwing errors, and you don’t have any further information, its safe to say that as many as half of his throwing errors are actually fielding errors in which he hurries or throws wildly in order to bail himself out.

          I know that management has spun that Baez is getting hung with a lot of tough errors, but that is not what I have heard.

          My information comes from the advance scouts of other organizations. Their livelihood depends on them providing accurate information. I doubt that they would be feeding me something that isn’t true.

          The scouts said that Baez has problems even with balls hit directly at him, and that he seems to lose concentration in the field. One even felt that Baez had no future as an infielder.

          Sorry to report this, but that’s the information I have gotten.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs confirmed these signings …

    Cubs today signed two of their selections from the 2013 MLB Draft, 3rd-round pick, OF Jacob Hannemann & 7th-round selection, RHP David Garner.

  • Ray Ray

    Just off the wire…..The Rockies just waived Chris Volsad! Anyone? Anyone?

    • Ray Ray

      C’mon who ever voted down. That is RIP’s favorite pitcher. He would love to see him back on the mound at Wrigley getting lit up every start.

      • 07GreyDigger

        I’ll give you a boost Ray. I’m surprised Rip hasn’t mentioned that Scott Feldman is a poor man’s Chris Volstad in a while.

        • calicub

          Well done sir