Loosen Tosses a No-Hitter, Paniagua Receives Visa and Other Cubs Minor League News

Matt Loosen pitched a nine-inning no-hitter on Monday afternoon for the Daytona Cubs. Loosen and the D-Cubs beat the Dunedin Blue Jays 7-0. Loosen struck out nine batters and walked two.

Matt Loosen became the first D-Cubs hurler to throw a complete game no hitter since David Hutcheson in 1994. The last D-Cubs no-hitter was on August 24, 1996 when Kerry Wood, Darold Brown and Brandon Hammack combined to throw a no-no.

Matt Loosen began the year in the Smokies rotation but struggled with his command and was sent down to get on track. Loosen is 3-2 in six starts with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP with the D-Cubs. Loosen has 41 strikeouts and 11 walks in 36 innings.

Juan Carlos Paniagua

According to a report from Ben Badler, Juan Carlos Paniagua received his visa and has reported to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa. Paniagua was pitching for the Cubs’ team in the Dominican while awaiting his visa.

Paniagua started four games for the Cubs’ Dominican Summer league team. In 12 1/3 innings, Paniagua did not allow a run while surrendering just four hits with two walks and 13 strikeouts.

The Cubs signed Paniagua for $1.5 million last July and he pitched in the states for a short time after receiving his visa. Major League Baseball cleared the right hander last year in order for the Cubs to sign him but ruled that Paniagua’s age was undetermined. Paniagua’s history of background questions delayed his visa for this year and cost him half a season of development time.

Ivan Pineyro

The Cubs acquired Ivan Pineyro and a PTBNL from the Nationals for Scott Hairston, cash and a PTBNL on Monday. The 21-year old right-hander has been assigned to the Daytona Cubs and is expected to join the D-Cubs rotation in the coming days.

Pineyro spent two seasons in short-season ball prior to this season. Pineyro pitched in two different levels (Low-A and High-A) this year prior to the trade. Pineyro impressed the Nationals according to Baseball America with his quick recovery from a line drive to the face during extended spring training in 2012.

Ivan Pineyro reportedly has good command, throws his fast ball in the 90-94 mph range. Pineyro’s change-up was described as solid to average and he throws a fringy breaking ball.

Baseball America Mid-Season Top 50 Prospects

The top three prospects in the Cubs’ system cracked Baseball America’s mid-season top 50 prospect list.

Javier Baez (10), Albert Almora (16) and Jorge Soler (18) made the cut and according to Baseball America, the Cubs have three of the top 20 prospects in the game.

Smokies All-Stars

Four of the six Smokies on their way to the Southern League All-Star game on July 17 will be in the starting lineup. Arismendy Alcantara will lineup at shortstop and follow Matt Szczur at the top of the North Division All-Star lineup. Christian Villanueva will hit sixth and Kyle Hendricks is slated to start the game.

Rafael Lopez and Alberto Cabrera are also on the North Division roster.

The game takes place on July 17 at Bragan Field at the Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.

It will be a busy week for Arismendy Alcantara as he will participate in the SiriusXM Futures Game at Citi Field on Sunday, July 14.

Kris Bryant

As reported over the weekend by the CCO, the Cubs are confident they will be able to sign Kris Bryant by Friday’s deadline. Jed Hoyer told the beat reporters on Monday the team still has time to work out a contract with Bryant and Hoyer reiterated the Cubs will be fair with Bryant but if he wants to play professional baseball he will sign with the Cubs.

Scott Boras is Kris Bryant’s advisor. Boras advised Albert Almora last year and the Cubs’ first round pick signed at the deadline.

Minor League Signings

The Cubs signed non-drafted free agent shortstop Trevor Stevens from Northwestern. The Glenview, IL native was a two-time All-Big 10 shortstop. Stevens joins fellow Wildcats LHP Eric Jokisch and catcher Chad Noble in the Cubs’ system.

The Cubs have not announced the signing, but the Cubs’ 24th round pick in the draft, catcher Tyler Alamo did. Alamo posted on his twitter account over the weekend he signed a contract with the Cubs. The Cubs signed the 6-foot-4, 200 pound high school catcher in what should be considered one of the surprise signings once it is made official. Alamo had committed to Cal State Fullerton.

The Cubs signed non-drafted free agent RHP Josh Davis out of Belmont University. Davis reported to the Cubs’ facility in Mesa shortly after signing at the end of June. Davis was a two-way player for the Bruins while pitching 44 2/3 innings out of the pen and picking up 12 saves this past spring.

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