Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/22/13

“That’s Baseball” is usually the response when something out of the ordinary happens in the game we love, but even the most diehard fans couldn’t expect to see the declared tie Daytona experienced on Saturday. A slew of recently drafted pitchers have helped Boise to a seven game winning streak, while weather played havoc with both Daytona and Kane County. Tennessee and Iowa came back from All-Star break with mixed results.

To see what else strange and unusual has happened, check out today’s 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 (18-16)

The Hawks seem to be adapting well to their organizational role of getting some of the recently drafted college pitchers ready for professional baseball as Boise defeated Hillsboro 5-1 on Wednesday. Tyler Skulina made his first professional start and struck out a batter in two scoreless innings. Fifteenth round pick Michael Wagner made his debut and allowed an earned run while also fanning two in two innings. Loiger Padron appears more comfortable in his role of long reliever than he did as a starter. Padron notched two strikeouts as he shut out the Hops for three innings. Rehabbing closer Eddie Orozco returned to Boise and struck out the side in his first inning with the Hawks since the 2012 Northwest League Championship game. Tyler Bremer finished off the game with two strikeouts in an inning of work

Boise took advantage of Hillsboro miscues in the second inning after Rony Rodriguez led off with a walk and advanced to second on a passed ball. Jordan Hankins drew a one out walk and Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-3) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Another passed ball allowed Rodriguez to score, while a single by Carlos Penalver (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Hankins and Brockmeyer. The Hawks added two in the ninth when Brockmeyer started the inning with a single and stole second base. A base hit by Penalver scored Brockmeyer, and Penalver moved to second on a throwing error and later stole third. A single by Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Penalver.

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Boise was one better than Everett on Thursday as both teams scored all their runs in the seventh inning. And the Hawks came out on top 3-2. After the Aqua Sox took the lead, Lance Rymel (1-for-4) singled and Jacob Rogers was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch advanced both runners. Rony Rodriguez (1-for-3 with a RBI) singled in Rymel but Rogers was thrown out at home. After Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-3) singled to center, Everett’s catcher tried to pick off Rodriguez at third. The ball ended up in the outfield and both Rodriguez and Brockmeyer scored on the error.

The Hawks continued their two innings and out developmental policy as Rob Zastryzny started and held Everett scoreless. Sam Wilson struck out three as he continued the shutout. Zack Godley picked up two strikeouts as the scoreless game moved into the seventh. Scott Frazier had some trouble as he allowed two earned runs but struck out four in two innings. Jasvir Rakkar pitched the ninth and struck out two to pick up his first save.

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The Hawks made it seven in a row on Friday and cruised to a 9-2 victory over Everett. Dillon Maples made his first start in over a month and demonstrated some of the promise that made him one of the organization’s top pitching prospects. Maples tossed three innings and allowed an earned run while striking out three batters. Corbin Hoffner drew long duty and shut out the Aqua Sox over three innings while striking out three batters. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino gave up a solo home run to Seattle’s number one draft pick, but was able to strike out two in two innings. Tyler Bremer mopped up in the ninth and recorded two strikeouts.

The Hawks came out swinging and never let up as Lance Rymel (3-for-5 with a RBI) and Rony Rodriguez (2-for-4) singled in the first inning. A double by Cael Brockmeyer (3-for-4 with three RBI) scored both runners. David Bote (2-for-3 with two home runs and three RBI) busted out of his slump in the second by launching his fourth home run of the year. Brockmeyer led off the fourth with a single, stole second base, and later scored on a sacrifice fly. A walk to Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4) started the fifth and a double from Rymel moved Dunston to third. Jacob Rogers (2-for-4 with two RBI) then delivered a single that plated both runners. It was David Bote again in the sixth as he cracked his fifth home run. Consecutive singles by Rogers, Rodriguez, and Brockmeyer in the seventh scored Rogers. With two outs in the eighth, consecutive singles by Carlos Penalver (1-for-3), Dunston, and Rymel scored the Hawks’ final run of the evening.

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Boise ran into a buzzsaw on Saturday as they managed only three hits through the first six innings and lost 8-7 to Everett. The Hawks offense couldn’t put together anything against the Aqua Sox starter, but the offense came alive in the seventh when Jose Dore (1-for-4), Justin Marra (1-for-4), David Bote (2-for-4 with a RBI), and Trevor Gretzky (1-for-4 with a RBI) all singled to start the inning. Dore and Marra both scored. Shawon Dunston Jr. (3-for-5 with two RBI) followed with a one out base hit that plated Bote. Boise mounted a comeback with two outs in the bottom of the ninth after Carlos Penalver (1-for-4) singled and moved to second on a throwing error. A base hit by Dunston plated Penalver, while Danny Lockhart (2-for-4) moved Dunston to third with a single. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5 with a RBI) singled in Dunston and Jacob Rogers (1-for-5 with two RBI) singled in both Lockhart and Balaguert. Duane Underwood got the start on his 19th birthday and allowed four runs (three earned) with a strikeout in four innings. Trey Masek struck out three in his scoreless outing. Eddie Orozco gave up two earned runs and struck out a batter in two innings, while Jasvir Rakkar also surrendered two earned runs in the ninth.

Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (6-21) (36–57)

A couple of roster moves made it a bullpen day for Kane County on Wednesday as they lost 8-2 to Great Lakes. The Cougars sent pitchers Dillon Maples and Eddie Orozco out while placing Tayler Scott on the DL. In their place, Juan Carlos Paniagua made his long awaited debut and allowed three runs (two earned) while striking out two in 2.1 innings. Justin Amlung then took over and also surrendered three runs (two earned) with two strikeouts in 3.2 innings. Armando Rivero had his best outing of the season. Rivero struck out two batters in two scoreless innings. Just back from rehab, Andrew McKirahan was rudely greeted with two earned runs in an inning of work. Kane County was down 6-0 when they scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, after Willson Contreras (1-for-3 with a home run) and Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-2 with a home run) hit back-to-back solo home runs.

In a tight game on Thursday, Kane County came up one run short as they lost 3-2 to Great Lakes. Starter Jose Rosario has yet to win a game this season. Rosario tossed five innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out three batters. Sheldon McDonald went two innings and gave up an unearned run with three strikeouts. Steve Perakslis went the final two innings and recorded two strikeouts. Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-2) led off the sixth inning with a single and moved to second on a throwing error. A triple by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-4 with a RBI) scored Encarnacion, and a single by Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Amaya.

It was another rough time for a rehabbing pitcher on Friday as Kane County lost 8-6 to Great Lakes in a rain shortened game. Scott Baker made his second rehab start and struggled with his command. Baker allowed six earned runs in 2.2 innings of what was to be a five inning stint. Nathan Dorris recorded the final out of the third inning then gave way to scheduled starter Michael Heesch. The big lefty did well all things considered and gave up two earned runs with two strikeouts in 4.1 innings. The Cougars chipped away at the lead starting in the first when Gioskar Amaya (2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) singled and Albert Almora walked to start the game. A single by Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) drove in Amaya. Carlos Escobar (1-for-2) singled with one out in the second and scored on Amaya’s fifth homer of the season. Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-4) led off the fourth with a single, and a walk by Marco Hernandez and a base hit by Reggie Golden (1-for-3) loaded the bases. A sacrifice fly scored Papaccio. Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4) started the fifth inning with a single and got the free walk home on Jeimer Candelario’s sixth home run of the year.

Kane County benefited from the poor weather on Saturday as they defeated Lansing 8-4 in six innings. Felix Pena went the entire way for the Cougars and allowed four runs in six innings while striking out four batters. Kane County answered the three runs by Lansing in the first inning with four of their own. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3), Albert Almora (1-for-3), and Dan Vogelbach (2-for-2 with a RBI) loaded the bases with singles. A walk to Jeimer Candelario forced in Amaya, and a sacrifice fly scored Almora. Vogelbach scored on a wild pitch. Marco Hernandez reached on a force, stole third and scored on a throwing error. The Cougars put things out of reach in the fifth inning after Albert Almora reached on an error and scored on a double by Dan Vogelbach. Walks to Candelario and Rock Shoulders loaded the bases, and a wild pitch once again scored Vogelbach. A single by Willson Contreras (1-for-2 with a RBI) plated Candelario, and Shoulders scored on a force out and error.

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High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (15-10-1) (50-40-1)

In what looks like a pattern of judgment, Daytona once again fell victim of leaving a pitcher in too long on Wednesday and they lost 4-3 to Charlotte in 11 innings. Yao-Lin Wang pitched good enough to post a win after allowing two earned runs with a pair of strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Austin Reed held the Stone Crabs in check long enough for the D-Cubs to take the lead, but gave up the tying run in the ninth. Dayan Diaz shut down Charlotte in the tenth, but served up a walk-off homer in the eleventh. Daytona scored runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. A single by Chadd Krist (2-for-3 with a RBI) and a double from Ben Carhart (1-for-5 with a RBI) led to the D-Cubs first run. A one out triple by Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-4) and a fielding error scored another run. A walk to Wes Darvill and singles by Dustin Geiger (3-for-5) and Chadd Krist gave Daytona the temporary lead.

Weather played havoc with the rest of Daytona’s schedule, as Thursday’s game was rained out and Friday’s game was suspended. Play resumed on Saturday in the seventh inning of a scoreless game. The game ended up going 13 innings with Daytona coming out on the losing end of a 1-0 score. Ivan Pineyro and Eduardo Figueroa each pitched masterful games. Both pitchers went six scoreless innings. Pineyro struck out three batters while Figueroa fanned two. Frank Del Valle surrendered the winning run in 0.2 innings. Both Elliot Soto and Taiwan Easterling went 2-for-5, while Zeke DeVoss was 2-for-6.

Saturday’s regularly scheduled game resulted in something rarely seen in baseball, a declared 2-2 tie in 15 innings. Matt Loosen started and surrendered two earned runs while striking out seven in six innings. Larry Suarez and Chang-Yong Lim each tossed a scoreless inning. Jeffrey Lorick did yeoman’s work as he held the Stone Crabs scoreless for four innings and struck out two batters. Dayan Diaz also extended himself by striking out four in three scoreless innings. The D-Cubs never led in the game as they answered a Charlotte run in the second inning after Bijan Rademacher (3-for-5) tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly. Daytona tied the game in the eighth when Taylor Davis (1-for-6 with a home run) led off the inning with a solo home run.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (18-9) (52-44)

A furious comeback by Tennessee on Thursday fell short as they lost 7-6 to Jacksonville. Eric Jokisch had a decent outing. Jokisch allowed three earned runs and struck out six in five innings.  Marcos Mateo tossed a scoreless inning, but PJ Francescon had all sorts of trouble as he gave up four earned runs in 0.2 innings. Hunter Cervenka went 1.1 scoreless innings while Kevin Rhoderick pitched a scoreless ninth. The Smokies scored in the fifth inning after Rafael Lopez (1-for-3 with a home run) led off with a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A double by Nate Samson scored Lopez. In the eighth, Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez drew walks while Justin Bour (2-for-4) reached on a throwing error. A groundout by Christian Villanueva (1-for-4 with a RBI) scored Alcantara. Baez and Villanueva scored on a triple from Rubi Silva (1-for-4 with two RBI). A groundout scored Silva, and Lopez clubbed his sixth home run.

If it hadn’t been for the first two batters, it may have been an easy win for Tennessee on Friday. Instead, it was a struggle as the Smokies beat Jacksonville 3-2 in ten innings. Dae-Eun Rhee returned to Tennessee for the first time since April, and gave up solo home runs to the first two batters he faced. Rhee then settled down and went 3.2 innings with two earned runs and three strikeouts. Yeiper Castillo was able to eat up some innings and tossed 3.1 scoreless with five strikeouts. Tony Zych held the Suns without a run for an inning, while Zac Rosscup struck out two in two scoreless innings to earn the victory.

The Smokies started their comeback in the fourth inning after Justin Bour (1-for-4) singled and scored on a double by John Andreoli (3-for-4 with a RBI). Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a home run) tied the game in the eighth with his fourth longball in a Smokies’ uniform. Matt Szczur walked with two outs in the bottom of the tenth ahead of a walk-off double by Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-5 with a RBI).

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Sometimes it pays to be lucky as Tennessee’s offense showed up early and gave them a 7-4 victory over Jacksonville. Starter Austin Kirk was not at his best, but still ended up with a W after allowing four earned runs while striking out three in five innings. Marcos Mateo held the Suns in check for two innings and recorded two strikeouts. Frank Batista picked up his 12th save by striking out two in two scoreless innings.

The Smokies answered a Jacksonville run with three in the first after Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-4) doubled and moved to third on a single by Javier Baez (2-for-5 with two RBI). Justin Bour (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) followed with his ninth home run with Alcantara and Baez on board. After the Suns tied the game in the second, Tennessee roared back in the bottom of the inning after Matt Szczur (2-for-4) reached on a force and moved to third on a single by Alcantara. A double by Baez scored both Szczur and Alcantara. The Smokies added a run in the third after Christian Villanueva (2-for-5) led off with a double, went to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout. The Smokies plated an insurance run in the fifth when John Andreoli (1-for-3) reached on a bunt single and went to second on a throwing error. A base hit from pinch-hitter Nate Samson (1-for-1 with a RBI) scored Andreoli.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (49-52)

Iowa got their bats out late on Thursday and scored all their runs in the final four innings in routed to a 6-3 victory over Round Rock. Faced with a 3-0 deficit in the top of the sixth, Logan Watkins (1-for-3) was on second after a bunt single and a throwing error when Donnie Murphy (2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI) launched his eleventh home run of the season.  J.C. Boscan (1-for-4) and Tim Torres (1-for-4) singled to lead off the eighth, and Watkins was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Back-to-back doubles by Murphy and Ty Wright (1-for-4 with two RBI) scored four runs.

Guillermo Moscoso put forth a typical effort and allowed three earned runs with five strikeouts in five innings. Marcus Hatley and Yoanner Negrin each halted the Express for an inning, with two strikeouts apiece. Both Eduardo Sanchez and Brian Schlitter struck out the side in their inning of work and Schlitter picked up his 12th save.

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It was Iowa’s turn to blow a lead in the late innings on Friday as they lost 10-4 to Round Rock. Brooks Raley looked fine until the fifth inning when he was hammered for five earned runs. Raley turned the game over to Nick Struck after 4.2 innings. Struck allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out two in 1.1 innings. Jeffry Antigua surrendered another two earned runs in an inning of work, while Casey Coleman pitched a scoreless inning. The I-Cubs took the lead in the second inning after Brad Nelson (1-for-3) singled and Edgar Gonzalez (2-for-4) reached on an error. Back from rehab, Josh Vitters (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) singled to load the bases and Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-4, RBI) delivered an RBI base hit. Gonzalez later scored on a passed ball. Iowa drew within one run in the sixth after Gonzalez led off with a double and Josh Vitters hit his fourth home run of the season.

It was not meant to be on Saturday as Iowa gave up four early runs and lost 5-2 to Round Rock. Jake Arrieta struggled on Saturday and allowed four earned runs with three strikeouts in five innings. Yoanner Negrin followed and gave up an earned run in an inning of work, while Marcus Hatley held the Express and struck out a batter in an inning. Eduardo Sanchez finished the game with a strikeout and a scoreless inning. The I-Cubs scored in the third when Logan Watkins reached on a force, stole second, and scored on a single by Ty Wright (2-for-5 with a RBI). Iowa added a run in the seventh when Josh Vitters (2-for-3) led off with a double and consecutive single by Luis Flores (1-for-4) and Darnell McDonald (2-for-4 with a RBI) plated Vitters.

Rookie League – AZL Cubs (11-12)

There was no late inning comeback for the Cubs on Wednesday as they lost 5-3 to the Diamondbacks. Starling Peralta struck out three in three scoreless innings of a rehab assignment. Zak Hermans gave up three earned runs and picked up two strikeouts in two innings. Both Jesse Hodges and Wilfredo Petit went 1-for-3 with an RBI, while Garrett Schlecht was 2-for-4 with a triple.

The Cubs broke a tie in the top of the ninth and defeated the Royals 3-2 on Thursday. It was Jesse Hodges and Garrett Schlecht again. Hodges was 2-for-4 with an RBI while Schlecht drove in a run and went 1-for-3. Alex Santana stared and allowed two earned runs in 1.1 innings. Tyler Ihrig struck out four in two scoreless innings while Dave Villegas earned his fourth save.

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News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs recalled IF/OF Junior Lake from the Iowa Cubs; sent RHP Henry Rodriguez outright to Iowa; assigned RHP David Garner to the AZL Cubs; assigned LHP Matt Iannazzo to the Kane County Cougars from the Boise Hawks; assigned OF Jacob Hannemann to the AZL Cubs from the Boise Hawks

The Chicago Cubs sent OF David DeJesus on a rehab assignment to the AZL Cubs. The Tennessee Smokies placed RHP Carlos Gutierrez on the 7-Day disabled list retroactive to July 17. The Kane County Cougars placed LHP Brian Smith on the 7-Day disabled list.

The Cubs released RHP Esmailin Caridad, RHP Luis Liria and catcher Sergio Burruel.

Top Prospect Watch

  • Albert Almora (OF) – .323/.364/.465/.829 with 13 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 20 RBI, four stolen bases (Kane County Cougars)
  • Javier Baez (SS) – .213/.260/.489/.749 with one double, four home runs, eight RBI (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Paul Blackburn (RHP) – 0-2 with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP, 26.0 innings pitched, seven earned runs, 25 strikeouts, 12 walks (Boise Hawks)
  • Trevor Gretzky (OF) – .232/.259/.268/.526 with two doubles, three RBI (Boise Hawks)
  • Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 2-1 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP, 22.0 innings pitched, seven earned runs, 21 strikeouts, 15 walks (Daytona Cubs)
  • Dillon Maples (RHP) – 0-2 and a save with a 8.31 ERA and a 1.85 WHIP, 34.2 innings pitched, 32 earned runs, 34 strikeouts, 31 walks (Kane County Cougars) 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA and a 2.67 WHIP, 3.0 innings pitched, one earned run, 3 strikeouts, 5 walks (Boise Hawks)
  • Juan Carlos Paniagua (RHP) – 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA and a 0.67 WHIP, 3.0 innings pitched, no earned runs, four strikeouts, no walks (AZL Cubs) 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA and a 2.57 WHIP, 2.1 innings pitched, two earned runs, two strikeouts, four walks (Kane County Cougars)
  • Duane Underwood (RHP) – 1-2 with a 6.21 ERA and a 1.93 WHIP, 29.0 innings pitched, 20 earned runs, 20 strikeouts, 16 walks (Boise Hawks)
  • Christian Villanueva (3B) – .256/.309/.444/.753 with 24 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, 48 RBI, four stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) - .290/.358/.456/.814 with 18 doubles, 14 home runs, 60 RBI, four stolen bases (Kane County Cougars)

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