The Cubs moved into a new era in their minor leagues as first round pick Kris Bryant joined many of his 2013 draftees in Boise. The Cubs also added pitchers Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards, along with infielder Mike Olt in the trade for Matt Garza … and more players should be added to the Cubs’ system over the next six days.
Iowa, Tennessee, and Daytona battled to keep their playoff hopes alive while Kane County looked for any kind of positives this week.
Along with updates from the Dominican and Venezuelan leagues, see what’s inside of this version of the 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 (1-0) (22-17)
It was all Boise on Sunday night as the Hawks dominated Everett 7-0. Starter James Pugliese had an outing that earned him Northwest League Pitcher of the Week, as he struck out three through five innings. Tyler Skulina was also impressive as he picked up five strikeouts over two no hit innings. Michael Wagner finished the game by striking out a pair in two innings.
The Hawks loaded the bases in the first after singles by Lance Rymel (2-for-4) and Rony Rodriguez (1-for-5) were sandwiched around a walk to Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with a RBI). Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-3 with a RBI) was hit by a pitch to force in Rymel. Balaguert scored on a sacrifice fly. In the second, Jordan Hankins (3-for-4) singled and was sacrificed to second. A base hit by Shawon Dunston Jr. (4-for-5 with two RBI) plated Hankins. Dunston was out on a force by Rymel, but a double by Balaguert scored Rymel. Brockmeyer led off the third with a triple and scored on a single by David Bote (2-for-3 with three RBI). The same combination clicked again in the fourth after Brockmeyer singled, Bote doubled and plated Brockmeyer. Boise added a run in the seventh when Hankins singled and scored on a base hit by Dunston.
The Boise Hawks finished the first half of the season in style as they blew out Everett 10-0 on Monday. It was the “two inning roll” for the Hawks again as four pitchers each tossed two scoreless innings. Rob Zastryzny started and struck out a batter and in his two frames. Sam Wilson followed and fanned four of the Aqua Sox and was credited with the win. Zack Godley had two strikeouts, as did Scott Frazier. Tyler Bremer mopped up in the ninth.
The Hawks kept the pressure up all evening as Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5 with a RBI) reached on a two out single in the first and scored on a double by Jacob Rogers (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). Jordan Hankins (2-for-5 with a RBI) led off the second with a double and scored on a base hit from Trevor Gretzky (1-for-4 with a RBI). A single by Lance Rymel (2-for-5 with a RBI) plated Gretzky. Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4 with two RBI) was hit by a pitch with one out in the third and scored on triple from Jose Dore (1-for-4 with a RBI). Carlos Penalver started the fourth with a single, went to second on an errant pick-off attempt and scored on a single by Danny Lockhart (2-for-5 with a RBI). In the seventh, Rogers hit a one out solo home run. Brockmeyer restarted things with a single, moved to second on an error, and scored on a base hit from Hankins. Two singles by Penalver and Lockhart and a fielding error that allowed Rymel to reach loaded the bases in the eighth. Another fielding error allowed Penalver and Lockhart to score. Rymel scored on a force out.
Boise began the second half the way they ended the first. The Hawks defeated Eugene 6-0 and picked up their third straight shutout. Dillon Maples started the game and put together his best out of the year. Maples struck out seven over five scoreless innings. Corbin Hoffner continued his fine season. Hoffner struck out two batters over three scoreless frames. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino closed the game by striking out the side in the ninth.
The Hawks welcomed first round pick Kris Bryant to the line-up, but Monday also marked the return of third round pick Jacob Hannemann (2-for-4). Carlos Penalver led off the third inning with a walk and a single by Hannemann moved him to second. Danny Lockhart (1-for-3 with two RBI) and Jacob Rogers (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) walked to force in Penalver. A passed ball scored Hannemann. David Bote (1-for-3) began the fourth with a double and stole third. Hannemann walked, then stole second and both runners scored on a single by Lockhart. Rogers belted a solo homer in the fifth. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4) doubled to start the seventh, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (7-22) (37–58)
On Sunday, Kane County was able to match Lansing run per run until they came out on top 6-5 in ten innings. After spotting the Lugnuts a run in the first, hot-hitting Gioskar Amaya (4-for-4) led off with a single and stole second. A triple by Albert Almora (3-for-5 with a RBI) scored Amaya, and a single from Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4 with two RBI) plated Almora. Reggie Golden (2-for-5 with a home run) clubbed his fourth home run of the season in the second inning. Down by two runs in the seventh, the Cougars tied it up on consecutive doubles by Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4) and Rock Shoulders (1-for-5 with a RBI). Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-4) singled to put runners on second and third and a sacrifice fly scored Shoulders. Golden led off the tenth with a double and scored on a single by Vogelbach.
Tayler Scott came off the disabled list and went six innings. Scott allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out a batter. Matt Iannazzo made his first appearance back from Boise, and was roughed up for two earned runs in 0.1 innings. Armando Rivero has settled down of late. Rivero went 1.2 innings and kept Lansing off the board as he struck out two batters. Michael Hamann tossed two scoreless innings and picked up his first victory for the Cougars.
Kane County never led on Monday as they lost 5-2 to Lansing. Juan Carlos Paniagua made his second start and didn’t fare much better than in his first outing. Paniagua allowed three runs (two earned) while striking out four in 3.1 innings. Sheldon McDonald also recorded four strikeouts as he surrendered an earned run in 1.2 innings. Justin Amlung pitched a scoreless inning, while Andrew McKirahan gave up an earned run in an inning of work. Nathan Dorris and Steve Perakslis each held the Lugnuts scoreless for an inning. The Cougars scored all their runs in the second inning after Willson Contreras (1-for-2) was hit by a pitch with two outs and was aboard when Reggie Golden (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) hit his second home run in as many days.
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (16-12) (51-43)
Daytona waited for three hours to start Sunday’s game due to rain, and then dropped a see-saw affair 7-5 to St. Lucie. The delay seemed to affect Ben Wells, who was not as effective with his sinkerball as he has been of late. Wells allowed three runs and struck out three in four innings. Yao-Lin Wang followed and gave up three earned runs in three innings while striking out two batters. Freshly promoted Lendy Castillo notched four strikeouts, but surrendered an earned run in the final two innings. The D-Cubs were aggressive early. Zeke DeVoss (2-for-3) walked and stole second. After a free pass to Wes Darvill (1-for-4), both DeVoss and Darvill pulled off a double steal. A sacrifice fly scored DeVoss, and a single by Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Darvill. Daytona took the lead in the fifth after consecutive one out singles by DeVoss and Darvill. Elliot Soto (1-for-3 with two RBI) singled in DeVoss. A passed ball brought in Darvill. The D-Cubs pulled within one in the seventh after Soto was hit by a pitch and scored on a double by Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with a RBI).
As is usually the case, a rainout on Monday meant a doubleheader on Tuesday. It was practically over before it began in game one as Daytona lost 5-3 to St. Lucie. Zach Cates hit the first batter, and didn’t record his first out until four batters later. In all, Cates allowed all five runs in 0.2 innings. Austin Reed tried to pick up the pieces by tossing 4.1 scoreless innings. Chang-Yong Lim held the Mets the rest of the way and struck out three in two innings. The D-Cubs inched closer in the first after Zeke DeVoss walked to start the inning and advanced to third on a single from Elliot Soto (1-for-3) and a throwing error. DeVoss then scored on a double play. In the fourth, Anthony Giansanti walked and advanced to second on a single by Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3). Both runners scored on a double by Wes Darvill (3-for-3 with two RBI).
It was all Daytona in game two as they righted the ship and beat St. Lucie 7-0. Pierce Johnson had his good stuff going and he held the Mets scoreless for five innings. Johnson struck out three batters. Frank Del Valle took the D-Cubs that rest of the way and picked up two strikeouts in two innings. Anthony Giansanti (1-for-3) and Dustin Geiger drew two out walks in the first and scored on a triple by Wes Darvill (2-for-3 with three RBI). A single by Taiwan Easterling (1-for-3 with a RBI) plated Darvill. Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-2 with a home run) launched his first home run of the season in the fourth inning. Daytona added three more in the fifth after Giansanti reached on a force and moved to second on a throwing error. Geiger walked, and a double from Darvill scored Giansanti. A single by Yaniel Cabezas (1-for-2 with two RBI) scored both Geiger and Darvill.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (18-12) (52-47)
It just wasn’t Tennessee’s day on Sunday as six errors contributed to an 8-1 loss to Jacksonville. A.J. Morris was pounded for ten hits and five runs (two earned) in four innings. Hunter Cervenka struck out two in two scoreless innings. Kevin Rhoderick followed and gave up three earned runs in an inning. Tony Zych tossed a scoreless inning, while infielder Nate Samson worked around two hits as he mopped up in the ninth. The Smokies scored their run in the sixth after Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4) reached on an error, moved to third on a double by Javier Baez (1-for-4), and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Tennessee appeared to have the game in hand on Monday, but defense and relief pitching failed them and the Smokies lost 5-4 to Jacksonville. Kyle Hendricks was his usual dominant self as he held the Suns scoreless for six innings. Two errors by Christian Villanueva opened the floodgates on Hendricks, who allowed two unearned runs and struck out six in seven innings. Zac Rosscup then served up a three-run homer in his 0.2 innings of work. P.J. Francescon struck out three as he went 1.1 scoreless innings. The Smokies scored first after John Andreoli (2-for-3) doubled with two outs in the third and scored on a single by Rafael Lopez (2-for-4 with three RBI). Justin Bour (2-for-4 with a home run) made it 2-0 when he led off the fourth with his tenth homer of the season. Singles by Villanueva, Rubi Silva (2-for-4), and Andreoli loaded the bases. A double by Lopez scored Villanueva and Silva.
Make it three losses in a row as Tennessee fell to Huntsville 6-4 on Tuesday. Eric Jokisch did not have his best stuff. Jokisch allowed six earned runs in six innings while striking out four batters. Marcos Mateo and Frank Batista each tossed a scoreless inning. Jokisch did contribute to his own case as he walked to lead off the sixth and later scored on a sacrifice fly. Matt Szczur (1-for-4) singled and scored on a home run from Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). In the seventh, doubles by Christian Villanueva (1-for-4) and John Andreoli (1-for-4, RBI) plated another run.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (50-54)
Iowa managed only four hits on Sunday as they lost 3-0 to Round Rock. Barret Loux was sharp against his former team. Loux struck out five over five scoreless innings. Alberto Cabrera returned to the I-Cubs and picked up two strikeouts as he held the Express scoreless for two innings. Usually reliable Brian Schlitter was hit hard. Schlitter allowed three earned runs in the eighth and took the loss. Logan Watkins was 2-for-4, while Donnie Murphy was 1-for-4 with a double and Josh Vitters went 1-for-2.
The I-Cubs were walloped by New Orleans 9-2 in a rain shortened seven inning game on Monday. Nick Struck pulled emergency duty as scheduled starter Chris Rusin was called up to the big club. Struck allowed seven earned runs and struck out four in five innings. Jeffry Antigua gave up another two runs (one earned) as he picked up three strikeouts in two innings. Donnie Murphy (1-for-4 with a home run) got Iowa on the board in the third with his 12th home run of the season. Back-to-back doubles by Brad Nelson (2-for-3) and Edgar Gonzalez (1-for-3 with a RBI) scored another run in the fourth inning.
The only run scored on Tuesday happened to be in the bottom of the ninth with two out, as Iowa beat New Orleans 1-0. Donnie Murphy (1-for-4) reached on an infield single to lead off the ninth, and a base hit by Darnell McDonald (1-for-4) moved him to third. A single by newly reinstated Edwin Maysonet (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Murphy with the game winner. Guillermo Moscoso had his strikeout pitch going as he punched out nine in five innings. Henry Rodriguez saw his first action for the I-Cubs and tossed an inning. Casey Coleman held the Zephyrs scoreless for two innings, while Brian Schlitter picked up the victory with a scoreless inning.
Rookie League – AZL Cubs (13-13)
Kris Bryant made his professional debut on Sunday but rehabbing players David DeJesus and Greg Rohan were part of the story as well in the Cubs 10-9 loss to the Dodgers. Bryant went 0-for-3 with three errors, while DeJesus and Rohan each went 1-for-4. DeJesus hit a double and Rohan drove in a run. Anthony Prieto allowed five runs (two earned) and struck out three in 3.1 innings.
An intense game came down to David DeJesus and Krist Bryant as the Cubs defeated the Royals 2-1 on Monday. DeJesus scored all the runs by going 2-for-4 with a double, while Bryant drove him in as Bryant went 1-for 3 with two RBI. Josh Davis tossed 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his second win, while Trevor Graham picked up his first save by striking out a batter in two scoreless innings.
Thanks to a six run seventh inning, the Cubs were able to pull off a 7-2 victory on Tuesday. Rehabbing pitchers Jose Arias and Starling Peralta were the big news, with Arias striking out two in two scoreless innings while Peralta allowed two runs (one earned) in 3.1 innings. Six different Cubs picked up a RBI, with Kelvin Freeman went 1-for-4 with two runs scored.
Dominican Summer League
The DSL Cubs increased their lead in the Boca Chica South Division to five games as their record now stands at 29-13 after going 3-2 over the past week. Second baseman Dalfis Otiz moved into tenth in the league with a .329 average that includes a home run, 22 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. Third baseman Adonis Paula is now tied for tenth in the league with 26 RBI to go along with a .239 average and two home runs. Outfielder Jenner Emeterio remains in second place in the DSL with 25 stolen bases but saw his average drop to .202 with a home run and 11 RBI. The Cubs improved to fourth in the DSL in team ERA, however, none of their pitchers qualified to be among the league leaders. Jose Zapata remains the staff leader with a 0.87 WHIP to go along with a 1.45 ERA and a 2-0 record that includes 28 strikeouts in 31 innings. Reliever Gilberto Abreu is tenth in the league with five saves. Abreu has a 1-0 record with a 0.93 ERA and 0.88 WHIP that includes 14 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.
Venezuelan Summer League
The VSL Cubs pushed their record to 30-27 by going 4-3 over the past week but remain in second place, 11.5 games out of first place. Infielder/outfielder Roney Alcala moved to fifth in the league in hitting. Alcala is batting .332 with six homers, while his 36 RBI rank him third in the league. Outfielder Delbis Arcila is fifth in the league with seven home runs, eighth with 30 RBI, and seventh with a .315 average. Outfielder Arnaldo Calero is now tenth in the league with 28 RBI, as he is hitting .268 with five home runs and 11 stolen bases. Shortstop/second baseman Bryant Flete remained in fourth place with 17 stolen bases, and is hitting .292 while driving in 21 runs. Right-hander Adbert Alzolay remains the league leader with a 1.34 ERA and is second with a 0.93 WHIP. Alzolay has a 4-3 record and 48 strikeouts, good for fourth in the league. Francisco Carrillo has an 8-3 record and is now third in the league with 51 strikeouts. Carrillo is fifth with a 0.99 WHIP and a 2.22 ERA.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs optioned RHP Justin Grimm to the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP C.J. Edwards to the Daytona Cubs; assigned OF Anthony Giansanti to the Daytona Cubs from the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Lendy Castillo to the Daytona Cubs from the Kane County Cougars; assigned IF Kris Bryant and OF Jacob Hannemann to the Boise Hawks from the AZL Cubs.
The Iowa Cubs activated IF Edwin Maysonet from the 7-Day disabled list. The Daytona Cubs placed RHP Ben Wells and C Taylor Davis on the 7-Day disabled list. The Kane County Cougars activated RHP Tayler Scott from the 7-Day disabled list. The Boise Hawks placed C Rony Rodriguez on the 7-Day disabled list
The Cubs minor league updates will be posted next week but I will be with the family as vacation time has rolled around again. I will remain in touch on Twitter @TheCCO_Minors with updates, and I’ll see you again on August 5.