Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/11/13

While the Boise Hawks slipped a little last week, four of the Cubs’ eight affiliates have stayed in first place. Iowa used some offensive explosion from Luis Flores and Logan Watkins.  Boise saw the debut of second round draft pick Rob Zastryzny, while Kane County and Tennessee struggled.

But the big news to end this week once again came out of Daytona as the CCO’s preseason Pitcher of the Year Matt Loosen tossed a no-hitter for the D-Cubs.

For more information, see what’s inside of this edition 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 (12-13)

The Hawks lost their fifth in a row on Sunday when they fell 3-1 to Tri-City in ten innings. Paul Blackburn continued his streak of going five innings in every game this season as he struck out four and allowed an earned run. Second round pick Rob Zastryzny made his professional debut and tossed a scoreless inning while striking out two batters. Andrew McKirahan picked up four strikeouts as he shut out the Dust Devils for 2.1 innings. Tyler Bremer recorded the final two outs in the ninth but gave up two earned runs in the tenth. The Hawks scored their only run in the first inning as Shawon Dunston Jr. (2-for-4) led off the game with a triple and scored on a groundout.

Boise halted their losing streak in a big way on Monday as they defeated Tri-City 11-3. Dae-Eun Rhee began a rehab assignment with the Hawks on Monday. Rhee was hit by a batted ball in the first inning which caused him to make a throwing error, but he was able to pitch around it an escape without allowing any runs. Rhee tossed two more shutout innings and struck out three batters. Regularly scheduled starter Loiger Padron then took the mound and was able to hold the Dust Devils to two runs (one earned) with three strikeouts in three innings. Tyler Skulina followed and tossed two scoreless innings, while Matt Iannazzo gave up an earned run in the ninth.

The Boise offense opened up the throttle and never looked back as David Bote (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) led off the game with a mammoth home run to straight away centerfield. Jacob Rogers (2-for-3 with a RBI) drew a two out walk and Rony Rodriguez (2-for-5) followed with a single. Jose Dore reached on a throwing error to load the bases. Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-2 with a RBI) was hit by a pitch and forced in Rogers. Rogers started the third with a single and Brockmeyer walked with two outs. Danny Lockhart (3-for-4 with two RBI) then singled in Rogers. Shawon Dunston Jr. (2-for-4 with a RBI) singled, advanced to second on a throwing error, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a single by Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-5 with a RBI) in the fourth. Brockmeyer led off the fifth with a single, moved to third on a base hit by Lockhart, and scored on a sacrifice fly. The Hawks added two more in the sixth as walks to Rogers and Dore were sandwiched around Rodriguez being hit by a pitch. Rogers scored on a force while Rodriguez came in on a throwing error. Not done, Boise came up with four more in the eighth as Rodriguez doubled and Brockmeyer walked. Rodriguez scored on a single by Lockhart, and Bote was hit by a pitch to load the bases again. Dunston walked to force in Brockmeyer, and a wild pitch scored Lockhart. Rogers singled in Bote.

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Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (4-13) (34 – 49)

Another week and another losing streak for Kane County as the Cougars lost on Sunday to Quad Cities 12-5. Tayler Scott kept Kane County in the game for the first five innings. Scott allowed three earned runs in the first five frames. But Scott got into trouble in the sixth and yielded to Armando Rivero with two on and two outs. Rivero walked the bases loaded and served up a grand slam. All totaled, Scott went 5.2 innings and allowed five earned runs with four strikeouts, while Rivero gave up three runs (two earned) in 1.2 innings. Steve Perakslis prolonged the drubbing by surrendering four earned runs in 1.2 innings.

The Cougars actually took the lead in the first inning after Albert Almora (3-for-4) singled and stole second base. A walk to Jeimer Candelario (2-for-3 with a RBI) and a base hit by Marco Hernandez (1-for-4 with a RBI) scored Almora. Kane County scored three more in the sixth after Almora walked and Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled to open the frame. Candelario lined a double to center that plated Almora and put Vogelbach on third. After a walk to Willson Contreras, a sacrifice fly scored both Vogelbach and Candelario. Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-5) reached on one out double in the seventh. Almora singled Encarnacion to third and he scored on a sacrifice fly.

High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (11-6) (46-37)

Daytona had a hard time generating offense on Sunday as they lost 5-2 to Dunedin in a rain shortened game. The D-Cubs managed only six hits and scored their first run in the fourth inning. Wes Darvill (1-for-4) doubled, Dustin Geiger (1-for-4) reached on a fielding error and Darvill scored on a double play. Taiwan Easterling (1-for-3 with a home run) smacked his second home run of the season in the seventh inning. Yao-Lin Wang got the call to face major leaguers Kyle Drabek and Sergio Santos and held the Blue Jays scoreless for two innings. Wang ended up allowing four earned runs while striking out a batter in five innings. Carlos Gutierrez held Dunedin scoreless for two innings, while Larry Suarez served up a solo home run in 0.2 innings before the rains came.

A Monday matinee turned out to be a historic event as Daytona shut out Dunedin 7-0. The day belonged to Matt Loosen as he struck out nine in nine innings and notched the first no-hitter for the D-Cubs since 1994.

Daytona applied the pressure early as Zeke DeVoss (1-for-3) led off the game with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly. Bijan Rademacher (1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI) drew a one out walk in the second and Taiwan Easterling reached on a fielding error. A single from Yaniel Cabezas (1-for-3, RBI) scored Rademacher, and a passed ball moved the runners up ninety feet. A wild pitch allowed Easterling to score, and DeVoss walked to put runners on the corners. DeVoss stole second, and a single by Elliot Soto (2-for-5 with two RBI) drove in both Cabezas and DeVoss. After Dustin Geiger (2-for-4) singled to start the third inning, Rademacher slugged one out and Rademacher’s two-run home run put Daytona up 7-0. That would be more than enough for Loosen who allowed only two base runners all day.

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It appears that Daytona went with their starter one inning too many as the lost on Tuesday 4-3 to Lakeland. Ben Wells cruised through six innings and allowed only one hit and no runs while striking out four. However, Wells hit the first batter he faced in the seventh and walked the next man. Frank Del Valle replaced Wells and he couldn’t put out the fire. Lakeland scored all four of their runs in the seventh and the D-Cubs could not mount a comeback.

Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in one of the D-Cubs three runs and stole two bases on Tuesday night. Zeke DeVoss (1-for-3 with a RBI) plated a run.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (10-8) (44-43)

Rain on Sunday meant a doubleheader on Monday and Tennessee dropped game one to Huntsville 2-0. It was Kyle Hendricks’ turn to receive no run support as he allowed two earned runs and struck out five in five innings. Zac Rosscup added to his strikeout total by fanning a batter in a scoreless inning, while Tony Zych worked around a hit in the seventh. The Smokies managed only two hits. Arismendy Alcantara went 1-for-3 while Rubi Silva was 1-for-2.

Game two saw a valiant effort by Tennessee to tie the score at three in the seventh, only to lose to Huntsville 6-3 in eight innings. A.J. Morris had another impressive performance. Morris allowed only one earned run and struck out three in five innings. Hunter Cervenka also struck out three but gave up two runs (one earned) in two innings. Frank Batista had a bad outing as he surrendered three earned runs in the eighth. The Smokies tied the game at one in the fifth after Christian Villanueva (1-for-3) singled and went to second on a balk. Rubi Silva (2-for-3) reached on a fielder’s choice, and Villanueva scored on a sacrifice fly. Justin Bour (1-for-3 with a home run) brought Tennessee a run closer in the seventh with a solo home run. Silva singled, stole second and third base, and scored on a throwing error.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (47-46)

Iowa broke open a close game in the seventh on Sunday and defeated Albuquerque 8-5. The I-Cubs scored in the opening inning when Donnie Murphy (1-for-1 with a home run) hit his tenth home run of the season. Iowa didn’t score again until the seventh when J.C. Boscan (1-for-4, RBI) led off with a single. Pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald (1-for-1 with a RBI) reached with a hit and a walk to Logan Watkins (1-for-4) loaded the bases. Boscan and McDonald scored on a double by Anthony Giansanti (1-for-3 with two RBI). A single from Ty Wright (1-for-3 with two RBI) scored both Watkins and Giansanti. With the bases loaded, Junior Lake (1-for-5 with a RBI) singled and Brad Nelson walked. Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-4, RBI) then drew a free pass to force in Wright and a walk by Boscan forced in Lake. Nelson ended up scoring on a sacrifice fly.

Guillermo Moscoso was a little wild in his six innings. Moscoso walked five and allowed two earned runs with five strikeouts. Michael Bowden picked up two strikeouts in a scoreless inning. However, Casey Coleman had a rough time. Coleman gave up three earned runs in only 0.2 innings. Brian Schlitter earned his ninth save with two strikeouts in a scoreless inning.

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After spotting New Orleans a couple of early runs on Monday, it ended up being all Iowa and the I-Cubs posted a 5-2 victory. The I-Cubs put together a big third inning. Luis Flores (2-for-4 with a home run) led off the third with a solo home run. Starting pitcher Chris Rusin (1-for-3) cracked a double, and Logan Watkins (2-for-4 with a RBI) doubled Rusin home. Tim Torres (1-for-4) walked, and Brad Nelson (3-for-4 with two RBI) hit the third double of the inning that plated Watkins. A groundout scored Torres. Consecutive singles by Torres, Ty Wright (1-for-5), and Nelson in the fifth scored Torres. Rusin was impressive again for Iowa. Rusin allowed two earned runs and struck out two in six innings. Back in the bullpen, Yoanner Negrin added two more strikeouts to his total over two scoreless innings. It was Brian Schlitter again in the ninth as he recorded his tenth save with a perfect inning.

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It was an inauspicious start for the newest I-Cub as they lost 9-0 to New Orleans on Tuesday. Jake Arrieta made his first full start after his first outing was rained out last Friday. Arrieta allowed seven runs (three earned) while striking out three in 3.1 innings. Marcus Hatley drew the first straw and tossed 1.1 scoreless innings. Jeffry Antigua followed and gave up two earned runs in an inning, while Eduardo Sanchez and Casey Coleman each shut out the Zephyrs for an inning. Iowa had only three hits. Ty Wright was 1-for-4 with a double, Brad Nelson went 1-for-4, and Anthony Giansanti had a pinch hit.

Rookie League – AZL Cubs (7-9)

Anthony Prieto gave up two runs (one earned) in the tenth inning as the Cubs lost 4-2 to the Mariners on Sunday. Chang-Yong Lim and Marcos Mateo each tossed a scoreless inning while Starling Peralta gave up an earned run and struck out three in two innings. Jeffrey Baez and Zak Blair each went 1-for-4 with a RBI, while Kelvin Freeman was 2-for-4.

The Cubs were back in action on Tuesday as Chang-Yong Lim pitched another scoreless inning while Trey Masek was hammered for four earned runs in 1.1 innings as they lost to the Diamondbacks 5-1. Jeffrey Baez went 1-for-4 with a double and Francisco Sanchez drove him in with a single for the only run.

Dominican Summer League

The DSL Cubs opened up a four game lead at the top of the Boca Chica South Division with a 21-10 record. The DSL Cubs went 4-1 this past week. Outfielder Jenner Emeterio remains the only offensive player to rank among the league leaders. Emeterio held onto second in the DSL with 21 stolen bases while batting .253 with a home run and 10 RBI. Third baseman Adonis Paula moved in to a tie for eleventh in RBI (19) to go along with a .209 average and a home run.  Second baseman Dalfis Otiz remains the team leader with a .327 average that includes a home run, 15 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.  The Cubs are sixth in the DSL in ERA. Jose Zapata is 12th in the league with a 1.38 ERA to go along with a 2-0 record and a 0.92 WHIP (25 strikeouts in 25.2 innings). Reliever Gilberto Abreu is tied for sixth with five saves with a 1-0 record with a 0.71 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.

Venezuelan Summer League

The VSL Cubs stayed around the .500 mark with a 2-3 record over the past week. The Cubs are 22-24 on the season and in fourth place in the league. Infielder/outfielder Roney Alcala dropped down to fourth in the league with a .355 batting average that includes six homers. Alcala has driven in 31 runs this season, second most in the league. Outfielder Delbis Arcila is tied with Alcala for fourth in the league with six home runs and he improved his average to .309. Outfielder Arnaldo Calero remained in ninth place with 25 RBI. Calero is hitting .261 with four home runs and nine stolen bases. Shortstop/second baseman Bryant Flete moved down to fourth in the league this week with 14 stolen bases, and is now hitting .302 while driving in 20 runs. Right-handed pitcher Greyfer Eregua has retaken the league lead with a 0.87 WHIP, and his improved 1.66 ERA ranks second in the league. Eregua has 36 strikeouts in 38 innings. Right-hander Francisco Carrillo has moved to third in the league with 39 strikeouts and 2.45 ERA is good enough for eighth in the league. Carrillo is 5-3 this season and his 1.06 WHIP ranks as the fifth best in the league.

News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs recalled LHP Brooks Raley from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Carlos Gutierrez to Tennessee from Daytona; assigned RHP Ivan Pineyro to Daytona; assigned IF Brad Zapenas to Daytona from Tennessee; assigned RHP Sam Wilson, IF Jesse Hodges, and OF Kevin Brown to the Boise Hawks from the AZL Cubs; assigned RHP’s Trey Lang and Trey Masek, IF Carlos Penalver, and OF Yasiel Balaguert to the AZL Cubs from the Boise Hawks.

The Daytona Cubs placed IF Tim Saunders on the 7-Day disabled list. The Kane County Cougars assigned RHP Jose Arias to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment.

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Quote of the Day

"Failure seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure." – W.J. Slim

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  • TheWrongGuy

    Is there a reason Paul Blackburn and Shawon Dunston Jr. haven’t been advanced yet? It looks like Blackburn has been dominating and Dunston has improved his plate discipline, maybe I am wrong? But my thought on this is simple: If we move Dunston up to KC Almora could move to Daytona, Blackburn to KC and I am not sure which pitcher there is ready for advancement. Just something I have noticed. Anyone else’s thoughts?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Tom knows better than I ….but just looking at his stats, he’s only had 95 PA and 82 official AB. His stats are good, but it is a small sample size. Probably he needs more seasoning in Boise.

    • Tom U

      Wrong Guy, the organization likes to stick to a “100 games per level” rule, or in this case, a full season.

      Since that is 76 games and Dunston has already played 42 games at Boise between last year and now, expect a promotion in about a month at this current rate.

      Blackburn will probably be in Boise for at least half the season, unless there is some sort of emergency at Kane Co.

      • TheWrongGuy

        Thanks Tom, for the info AND for all your reports and time.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Music, boys!

    “The party’s over….and the heartache begins….”

    The 2012 World Champion SF Giants sport a 40-50 record, not only 10 games under .500, but they also have the joy of knowing that Your 40-49 Chicago Cubs are ahead of them in both the standings, and W-L record.

    Congratulations to all those SF Giants fans!

  • Ripsnorter1

    It seems the Cubs are on their annual “let’s play well before the trade deadline so we can be dealt to a winner” drive.

    There is a possibility that the Cubs could touch .500 by July 31–provided they keep the ball away from Henry Rodriguez.

  • gary3411

    Why was Balaguert moved down? Wasn’t he on fire? Odd, unless that’s making room for a few college draft picks?

    • Tom U

      Gary, Balaguert and several other of the Hawks were moved down because they didn’t have the credentials to cross the border and play in Vancouver. Once the road trip is over, several of the players will be back. I’ll address that more in another post shortly.

      • gary3411

        Ohhhh makes sense. thanks.

  • Theboardrider

    With the way the team has played lately, despite the beginning of the fire sale. Should we be giving some credit to Sveum? We certainly fillet him when things are going bad?

    Personally I think it’s players making plays and when things are going badly it’s the opposite. But coaching definitely factors in. If nothing else in how comfortable a clubhouse is and individual players.

    • cubtex

      Who is overperforming? Castro? Rizzo? I would say Travis Wood is but that is probably more on Bosio but I think the credit with the way the team has been playing lately rests on the shoulders of Soriano and Garza. If and when those 2 are traded, you will see this team fall 20 games plus below .500.

      • Theboardrider

        I agree with you as when Soriano gets hot this team wins games. Not really over-performing but somehow they’re winning games. I think some pressure must be relieved because they aren’t making so many mental mistakes and dumb errors.

        Wood has made a believer out of me. I don’t think he’s over-performing as much as living up to his potential. I expect to have him at this level for several years. He’s young, doesn’t rely on heat and has good mechanics. Barring catastrophe I expect Wood will be starting games in the show for the next 10-12 years.

      • DWalker

        Soriano is on a tear for sure, and is making up for lost time. Some of the other guys who we never expected to play to par are doing very well as well, but not really differnt from the rest of the year. I’ll be honest though, i think the key change was Marmol and Camp. Those two alone were a major factor in A. not blowing saves, B. not putting a late inning rally out of reach, and C. not bringing the whole team down on their failures. That said, i don’t think there is anything Sveum can get credit for in this. Castro and Rizzo are still struggling, Soriano usually struggles til it warms ups, and Marmol and Camp weren’t his job to get rid of. He still has yet to show he really can utilize a bullpen and he still likes playing funky lineups. Having Navarro catch Garza may be the one call he has made that may be a major positive factor.

    • BosephHeyden

      I’ll give Sveum credit if the Cubs actually do something worth getting credit for. So far, they have not. Castro’s slumping. Rizzo’s slumping. Samardzija has become a headcase. And the pen isn’t performing even remotely well anymore. Players aren’t really progressing, I don’t care how loose they are.

  • cubtex

    After hitting a HR in his first at bat at AA…..Javier Baez is 0-17.

    • John_CC

      O great … you’re back to point out small sample sized stats of players in slumps. Or in this case a 20 year old that just got a promotion to AA.

      • cubtex

        ? A little sensitive are we John? I simply pointed out that he is 0-17 after hitting a HR in his first at bat? Does that mean that he is a bust or won’t make it? No! Not at all. I like Baez and think he will be very good. OK….lets try this. Shhhhhhhhhh! Let’s just keep that a secret between you and I.

      • Tom U

        John, the one thing that will be interesting in this promotion is that all of Tennessee’s games are on Everyone will be able to see what Baez is doing and there is no way that his “people” or the organization can “spin” things.

        • Theboardrider

          It’s still just baseball…he’s got to be pressing.

          • Neil

            Baez struggling should not be a surprise. The biggest jump in the minors is from High-A to Double-A. I don’t think he’s pressing, just learning. He will be fine.

  • Tom U

    AZL Cubs/Boise Hawks notes:

    The recent road trip across the border has forced the organization to make 7 roster moves due to inadequate paperwork to allow some players to go to Vancouver.

    With the signing of first round pick Kris Bryant, one of the players not returning may be SS Carlos Penalver. Only 19 years old, Penalver has opened eyes with his defense but is struggling at the plate. The organization could take the same tack they did with Shawon Dunston Jr. last year and keep Penalver back in order to regroup offensively.

    If that happens, Boise is still well stocked with David Bote and Danny Lockhart at SS. Jordan Hankins may move over to second to accommodate Bryant, and infielder Zak Blair may get the call from Arizona.

    Yasiel Balaguert is assured of coming back to Boise when they return, as he is the Northwest League leader in RBI. The same may not be true for Trevor Gretzky. At 20 years old, Gretzky has struggled for playing time, and the front office may want to look at 22 year old draftee Kevin Brown. Both are left handed hitters.

  • Theboardrider

    Regarding Shark last night. I think I should have seen that performance coming. He psyches himself out.

    Between Feldman leaving and the talk about Garza I think Shark is getting ahead of himself and is already down in the dumps about the rest of the season. I imagine when he hit the dugout and saw that line-up they were running out there he just lost every ounce of confidence and the start was over before it even began.

  • Theboardrider

    Tim Dierkes has an interesting take on Schierholtz today. I agree with him that he should be a hot commodity and bring back a quality prospect. He’s controllable past this year and has a great contract. My gut tells me that he is going to be dealt before the deadilne. I like having him but it will get Borbon more time and Sweeney when he comes back. With DeJesus on the mend he steps in and takes one spot. I would have preferred having Scheirholtz stick around and DeJesus gone but the injury bug has dictated that it may be the opposite of that.

    I would link the article but I don’t think that would be right to do on Neil’s website. I feel sort of bad even mentioning it, but I thought people may like to read it.

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