Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/18/13

For the second straight week, four of the Cubs eight affiliates are in first place, and a fifth is in second place as both Iowa and Tennessee headed into their All-Star break. Iowa had marathon game on Sunday with a light’s out pitching performance from Jake Arrieta.  Boise saw the first start of second round draft pick Rob Zastryzny and went onto win three straight. Tennessee and Daytona maintained their first place standing, while Kane County actually won a game thanks to Willson Contreras.

Along with updates from the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues, see what’s inside of this version of Down on the Farm Report.

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

Short-Season A – Boise Hawks (16-16)

Boise ended their five-game trip north of the border with a 3-0 win over Vancouver on Sunday. It was a glimpse of the future as four 2013 draftees combined for the shut out. Second round pick Rob Zastryzny started and worked around some trouble. Zastryzny struck out two batters in two innings. Eighth round lefty Sam Wilson followed and picked up three strikeouts in two innings, while tenth rounder Zack Godley had a strikeout in two innings. Sixth round pick Scott Frazier also struck out a batter in his two innings of work. Matt Iannazzo slammed the door with two strikeouts in the ninth for his third save.

The Hawks took the lead in the second as the now hot-hitting Jordan Hankins (2-for-4) lined a single and went to second on a balk. Hankins then scored on a base hit by Danny Lockhart (3-for-4 with two RBI). Boise got some breathing room in the eighth when Trevor Gretzky (1-for-4) singled and moved to second on a throwing error. A base hit by Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4) moved Gretzky to third and he scored on a double by Jacob Rogers (2-for-4 with a RBI). Dunston was thrown out at the plate. An insurance run was added in the ninth when Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-4) singled with two outs and scored on a single by Lockhart.

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Back in the states after a five game road trip to Canada, Boise made their first visit to new Hillsboro Stadium and beat the Hops 7-4. Duane Underwood pitched his best game of the season. Underwood allowed an earned run and struck out a batter in five innings. New arrival Dillon Maples replaced Underwood and got a quick hook after walking the first three batters he faced. Corbin Hoffner worked out of his bases loaded jam without allowing any runs. Hoffner struck out three in two scoreless innings. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino had a rough time after coming back from the disabled list and gave up three runs in an inning of work.

The Hawks got their offense going in the fourth inning when Danny Lockhart (2-for-5 with a RBI) hit a one out double. Jacob Rogers (1-for-3 with a RBI) picked up a two-out RBI after he drove in Lockhart with a single and moved to second on the throw home. Jose Dore (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) then drilled a double that plated Rogers. Justin Marra (1-for-4 with a home run) led off the fifth with a solo homer, his second of the season. In the sixth, Rogers drew a two out walk and scored on Jose Dore’s second home run of the season. Boise added another run in the ninth on back-to-back doubles by Carlos Penalver (2-for-4) and David Bote (1-for-5 with a RBI).

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Boise evened their season record on Tuesday by defeating Hillsboro 3-0. The game was scoreless until the top of the ninth when Lance Rymel (2-for-3) led off with a walk. A wild pitch advanced Rymel to second, and he scored on a double from Carlos Penalver (1-for-3 with a RBI). Another wild pitch moved Penalver to third, and Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4) drew a walk. Dunston then stole second, and a single by Danny Lockhart (2-for-5 with a RBI) brought home Penalver. Dunston scored on a groundout.

After having some trouble his last time out, James Pugliese was back in form as he struck out six through six scoreless innings. Trey Masek extended the shut out for two more innings while striking out three batters. Matt Iannazzo picked up his third save by striking out the side in the ninth.

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Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (5-18) (35 – 54)

Things are going so bad for Kane County this season they couldn’t even win with a major leaguer pitching on Sunday as they lost 5-2 to Western Michigan. Scott Baker got a rehab assignment and allowed four earned runs in his first inning. Baker settled down and gave up only two more hits over three innings, but the damage had already been done. Sheldon McDonald provided a bridge but surrendered his first earned run for the Cougars in an inning of work. Regularly scheduled starter Michael Heesch took over and struck out three in four scoreless innings. Kane County had some minor success on offense in the fourth inning as Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-4) reached on an error and scored on Carlos Escobar’s (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) second home run of the season.

Kane County had to wait out an hour and forty-five minute rain delay, but they were able to record their first victory since July 5 on Monday by beating Western Michigan 7-4. Starter Felix Pena was able to get an inning in before the delay. Pena allowed two runs (one earned) and struck out a batter. Lendy Castillo took the mound when play resumed and he gave up two earned runs and struck out two in four innings. Nathan Dorris halted the Whitecaps for 2.1 innings with two strikeouts. Michael Hamann came in and closed out the game with 1.2 scoreless innings for his second save.

It had the looks of another feeble output by the Cougars’ offense before a big seventh inning. Gioskar Amaya (3-for-5 with a RBI) led off the third with a walk and scored two batters later on a double from Jeimer Candelario (1-for-6 with two RBI). Willson Contreras (3-for-5 with two RBI) and Reggie Golden (1-for-5) singled with one out in the fourth, and Contreras scored on a groundout. Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-5) began the seventh by reaching on an error and he advanced to third on a double by Carlos Escobar (2-for-3). A triple by Contreras scored both runners, and a single by Amaya drove in Contreras. Consecutive singles by Albert Almora (2-for-5 with a RBI) and Dan Vogelbach (3-for-5) loaded the bases. Both Amaya and Almora scored on a force play due to a throwing error.

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High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (15-8) (50-39)

It was another team victory for Daytona on Sunday as the D-Cubs defeated Jupiter 6-2. The D-Cubs have overcome the loss of most of their offensive producers through injury and promotion with great pitching and an all-hands-on-deck approach at the plate. Ben Wells once again had the Hammerheads beat the ball into the ground. Wells recorded 11 groundouts and struck out three batters in five innings while allowing two runs. Yao-Lin Wang followed and struck out a batter in two scoreless innings.  Eduardo Figueroa tossed the final two innings and had two strikeouts while shutting out Jupiter.

Daytona cut the lead in half in the fifth inning when Chadd Krist (2-for-3 with a home run) led off with his second home run in as many days. The D-Cubs then pulled away in the sixth as Dustin Geiger (2-for-3) and Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4) led off with singles. A double by Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Geiger and moved Rademacher to third. Walks to Krist and Taiwan Easterling forced in Rademacher and Carhart scored on a walk to Zeke DeVoss. Elliot Soto (2-for-4 with a RBI) then drew a walk to bring in Krist, and a force plated Easterling.

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Daytona was in over its head on Monday after giving up three quick runs in an 8-4 loss to Jupiter. Zach Cates remained inconsistent and allowed four runs (three earned) while striking out two in five innings. Chang-Yong Lim gave up his first earned run of 2013 as he pitched an inning and struck out a batter. It was two runs (one earned) and two strikeouts in an inning for Jeffrey Lorick, while Larry Suarez gave up another earned run in his inning of work. Frank Del Valle was able to keep the Hammerheads off the board for an inning. The D-Cubs tried to make a game of it in the sixth after Chadd Krist (1-for-3) and Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4) led off with singles. A double by Taiwan Easterling (2-for-4 with two RBI) plated both runners, and Easterling scored on a double from Zeke DeVoss (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). Daytona also scored a consolation run in the ninth thanks to a leadoff homer by Zeke DeVoss.

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (16-8) (50-43)

The Tennessee Smokies’ game on Sunday with Jackson was cancelled due to wet playing conditions. Tennessee is on All-Star break and resumes play on Thursday.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (48-50)

Iowa closed out the first half of the season by losing a marathon 18-inning game to Albuquerque 5-1. The I-Cubs answered the Isotopes’ run in the sixth in after Junior Lake (1-for-6) doubled with one out, stole third, and scored on a single by Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-4 with a RBI). Jake Arrieta pitched well enough to win the game after he allowed an earned run and struck out nine in six innings. Brooks Raley, Eduardo Sanchez and Brian Schlitter each tossed a scoreless inning, while Marcus Hatley struck out two in two shutout innings. Jeffry Antigua held the Isotopes without a run for six innings before giving way to Casey Coleman. The wheels came off for Coleman as he allowed four runs (three earned) in the final inning.

Iowa is on the All-Star break and resumes play on Thursday.

Rookie League – AZL Cubs (10-11)

The Cubs used the long ball on Sunday as they scored four runs in the ninth and beat the A’s 6-4. Xavier Batista (3-for-4 with two RBI) and Erick Castillo (1-for-5 with two RBI) both went deep while Kelvin Freeman went 3-for-4 and Carlos Penalver was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Anthony Prieto started and allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out three in two innings. David Villegas notched his third save.

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It was a big night for Alberto Mineo, unfortunately the same could not be said for the Cubs as they lost 8-4 to the A’s on Monday. The 19-year old catcher from Italy went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI. Recent draftees Charcer Burks and Kelvin Freeman each went 2-for-4. Eric Leal was hit hard for the first time and surrendered six earned runs while striking out three in three innings.

Dominican Summer League

The DSL Cubs maintained a four game lead for first place in the Boca Chica South Division and are now 26-11 on the season after going 5-1 over the past week. Second baseman Dalfis Otiz is now tied for 11th in the league with a .333 average that includes a home run, 20 RBI, and 10 stolen bases.  Third baseman Adonis Paula moved in to a tie for sixth with 24 RBI to go along with a .234 average and two home runs. Outfielder Jenner Emeterio remains second in the DSL with 24 stolen bases while batting .220 with a home run and 11 RBI. The Cubs are eighth in the DSL in team ERA. Jose Zapata is ninth with a 0.87 WHIP to go along with a 1.45 ERA and has a 2-0 record that includes 28 strikeouts in 31 innings. Reliever Gilberto Abreu is tied for eighth with five saves. Abreu has a 1-0 record with a 0.71 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, including seven strikeouts in 12.2 innings.

Venezuelan Summer League

While the VSL Cubs remain 9.5 games out of first place with a 26-24 record, they moved into second place by going 4-0 over the past week. Infielder/outfielder Roney Alcala remained fourth in the league in hitting with a .339 batting average that includes six homers and his 32 RBI remain good enough for second place. Outfielder Delbis Arcila is tied with Alcala for fourth in the league with six home runs, seventh with 27 RBI, and ninth with a .312 average. Outfielder Arnaldo Calero is now tied for seventh place with 27 RBI and is hitting .256 with five home runs and 10 stolen bases. Shortstop/second baseman Bryant Flete also remained in fourth place with 14 stolen bases, and is hitting .294 while driving in 20 runs. Right-hander Francisco Carrillo is now second in the league with 47 strikeouts and his 2.22 ERA is good enough for fifth in the league. Carrillo is also tied for third in the league with a 0.96 WHIP and is 703 on the season. Eighteen-year old right-handed pitcher Adbert Alzolay has taken the league lead with a 1.34 ERA and is tied for third with a 0.96 WHIP. Alzolay has a 3-2 record and 35 strikeouts.

News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs assigned C Chad Noble to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua to the Kane County Cougars from the AZL Cubs; assigned C Lance Rymel to the Boise Hawks from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned RHP Dillon Maples to the Boise Hawks from the Kane County Cougars; assigned RHP Trey Masek, IF Carlos Penalver, and OF Yasiel Balaguert to the Boise Hawks from the AZL Cubs; assigned RHP’s Orbandy Rodriguez and Ethan Elias, IF Jesse Hodges, and OF Kevin Brown to the AZL Cubs from the Boise Hawks.

The Kane County Cougars placed RHP Tayler Scott on the 7-Day disabled list; activated LHP Andrew McKirahan from the 7-Day disabled list; sent RHP Eddie Orozco to the Boise Hawks on a rehab assignment.

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

    Thanks as always for the information Tom!

    Good news on Arrieta. From what I’ve read a lot of people familiar with him believe he has all the talent in the world and can be a #1 or 2 starter if he can figure out how to command his pitches. There was a quote from Buck Showalter saying they may live to regret trading him away. Speaking of that trade I sure was impressed with Strop against the Cardinals. He too had command issues but his easy delivery and the movement on his pitches was pretty incredible. He makes throwing 95 look as easy and smooth as most guys throwing 80.

    On another note. When are we gonna get this Garza deal done? Kept hearing it would happen by Saturday and the 48 hour countdown has begun. I keep checking my phone updates and this website several times a day expecting to hear the trigger has been pulled. Hearing Profar could be in the deal yesterday was pretty exciting. That would be incredible but I’m not getting my hopes up. I’d love to see Navarro, Soriano and others get moved in the next few days too. I don’t know why they wouldn’t take offers on Scherholtz, especially with DeJesus coming back, but maybe that statement was simply posturing.

    • daverj

      I’d put the chances of Profar coming to the Cubs at much closer to none than very slim.

      I’m skeptical that a Garza deal happens before Saturday’s artificial deadline. I think the Cubs wait this one out until either a team meets the asking price or it gets close to July 31.

  • DWalker

    Almora has 188 at bats in 45 games, a .335 avg and OPS of .855. With themid season breaks and being so close to 200 at bats with that record, is he now a canidate to be moving up shortly?

    • Tom U

      The short answer is no. The key number you put out there was 45 games. The front office probably won’t consider a promotion until that number is near 100.

      Almora will reach 80 games around August 23, if he plays every game and every game is played. That leaves 8 games left in the season. Unless the front office has a major change in policy, expect Almora to finish the season with Kane Co.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Good that means I can go to the game and see him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Scott Baker will make his 2nd rehab start for Kane County on Friday night. Expected to pitch 5 innings.

  • Tom U

    With the Cubs’ brass confident in IF Cody Ransom, don’t discount the Darwin Barney trade rumors. Management could easily move Luis Valbuena over to second and get an extended look at Junior Lake as a third baseman, with Ransom backing up both positions.

  • SomeGuy27

    Tom:

    Couple of questions:

    DWalker asked about Almora moving up. I believe what you said would be correct regarding the organizations strategy but I was curious in your opinion whether late season movement to Daytona or the FSL in general is a good idea simply because of the weather. It seems to me that beginning in late July through August all it does is rain. At least in TN there would be somewhat of a guarantee of consistent playing time.

    Regarding the rumors of Garza for Profar; I haven’t seen Profar play but I’ve looked at his numbers and frankly based solely on that, I don’t see what all the hype is. I’ll also admit I still look at BA, K’s, BB’s and RBI’s as the primary numbers to determine player value, am I missing something? Apparently, he has intangibles and is projectable otherwise all these evaluators wouldn’t be nuts about him but based solely on his numbers he looks kind of mid to just above average to me.. What is it I’m missing?

    • Tom U

      Some Guy, sorry to be replying so late. As far as late season call ups go, I have always bee an advocate of moving a player up a level while they are hot. You can never control the weather.

      As far as Profar, he profiles in a similar fashion to Manny Machado. If you look at Machado’s minor league numbers, they are very similar to Profar’s.