Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 08/01/13

The Cubs’ system had mixed results this week. Kane County has started winning ballgames and the Smokies moved back into first place with Wednesday’s night victory. Iowa dropped their sixth game in a row on Wednesday despite a decent start from Justin Grimm. And Daytona rode an excellent outing from Ivan Pineyro to a win on Wednesday.

Javier Baez went deep for the 11th time in a Smokies’ uniform on Wednesday night and has hit safely in seven of his last nine games while reaching base in all nine games. Between Daytona and Tennessee, Baez has hit 28 home runs this season, one off the minor league lead.

Brett Jackson has responded well to his Double-A assignment and Matt Loosen was solid in his return to the Smokies on Wednesday.

Gerardo Concepcion made his first appearance of the season and tossed two scoreless innings with a strikeout and no walks for the AZL Cubs on Wednesday night. And appears that Boise is exactly what Dillon Maples needed to get on track.

Short-Season A – Boise Hawks (4-5) (25-22)

(W) Boise topped Spokane on Sunday night 3-1 behind an excellent start from Dillon Maples and a three RBI night from Kris Bryant.

Dillon Maples has really responded since his demotion from Kane County, similar to the way that Matt Loosen pitched after he went down from Tennessee to Daytona. Maples allowed one run on five hits and hit a batter in five innings on Sunday night. But more importantly, Maples did not walk a batter while striking out five. The lone run he surrendered was in the fifth after tossing four innings of shutout ball. Spokane hit three straight singles that accounted for the run.

Corbin Hoffner has been very good this season and tossed three more scoreless innings. Hoffner allowed only one hit and struck out two batters. Tyler Bremer worked out of a jam in the ninth after giving up a pair of hits and a walk. Bremer struck out the side and according to his teammates, pumped his fist and fired up the entire team after he recorded the 27th out.

The Hawks have a very good pitching staff. On Sunday night, the Hawks struck out 10, walked one and allowed eight hits … all singles.

Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a home run, SF and three RBI) hit a two-run homer in the fourth, his second of the season, and hit a sac fly in the seventh that plated Danny Lockhart (2-for-4) with the Hawks’ third run. Jacob Rogers (1-for-4), Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-3 with a walk) and Jordan Hankins (2-for-4) also collected hits.

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(L) It took 11 innings on Monday night to decide the fourth game of the five game series against Spokane. The Hawks tied the game in the eighth but lost in 11 by a final of 5-2. Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a double, a walk, a run scored) doubled in Danny Lockhart (0-for-3 with two walks and a run scored) with the Hawks first run in the eighth. Bryant advanced to third on a fielder’s choice and scored on a sac fly off the bat of Yasiel Balaguert (0-for-4 with a SF RBI). The Hawks managed only two hits on the night but walked nine times.

The typically solid Hawks’ pitching staff had a rough night after Tyler Skulina departed the game. Skulina tossed three innings of shutout ball and became the first 2013 draft pick to pitch three innings in the process. Skulina gave up two hits with two strikeouts and no walks. Michael Wagner gave up a run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 3.1 IP. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino was hung with the loss after he was charged with three runs in the 11th. The Hawks gave up 10 hits in 11 innings but also struck out 12 batters while issuing only four free passes. The Hawks staff throws strikes.

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(W) Boise used a five-run sixth inning on Tuesday night to defeat Spokane 5-3. The Hawks pitching staff had a good night led by second round pick Rob Zastryzny. The southpaw tossed two more innings of scoreless ball and struck out two while allowing only one hit. In 12 innings this season, Zastryzny has struck out 11 batters while walking only three and allowing 10 hits.

Sam Wilson walked two and struck out two in his two innings of work. Wilson gave up four hits and two unearned runs. Zack Godley picked up his second professional win after completing two innings and allowing one run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Scott Frazier earned his first save with three shutout innings.

Kris Bryant (2-for-4 with a double and a run scored) led off the sixth with a double. Jacob Rogers (2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored) walked and moved up ninety feet when Yasiel Balaguert grounded out to first. Rony Rodriguez (1-for-4) doubled in Bryant and Rogers and tied the game at two. Jordan Hankins (1-for-4) singled in Rodriguez with the go ahead run. Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4 with a run scored) singled and both runners moved up a base on a Carlos Penalver groundout. Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-3 with a walk) singled in Hankins and Rodriguez but was thrown out at second to end the inning.

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(L) Boise could not overcome an early deficit and a rough outing from Duane Underwood and lost 7-4 to Everett on Wednesday night.

Paul Blackburn started the game and gave up two runs on two hits with a walk and a strikeout in two innings. Kyle Petty hit a two-run homer off Blackburn in the first inning that tied the game at two. Underwood replaced Blackburn and was charged with four runs on four hits with two walks, two hit batsmen and two strikeouts in four innings. Underwood took the hill in the third with a 4-2 lead that quickly evaporated. Underwood issued a one-out walk, a single and hit a batter to load the bases. After giving up a two-run single, Underwood caught Austin Wilson looking for the second out. Underwood then hit his second batter of the inning that re-loaded the bases. Bryan Brito singled in the third run of the inning. Trey Masek struck out five batters in his two innings of work.

Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) hit a two-run homer in the third and Kevin Encarnacion (3-for-5) collected three hits. Jacob Rogers (2-for-3 with a walk) drove in a run while Kris Bryant (1-for-4) and Danny Lockhart (1-for-5) each reached base.

Rogers singled in Encarnacion with the Hawks first run and Balaguert gave Boise a 2-0 lead with a first inning single that plated Lockhart. But the Hawks could not push across another run after Balaguert’s two-run homer in the third.

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Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (12-25) (42-61)

(L) The Cougars were pummeled by Peoria on Monday night 14-1. The Cougars lone run came off the bat of Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4 with a home run). Vogelbach hit his 16th Vogelbomb of the season in the sixth inning. The Cougars managed only three other hits.

Jose Rosario had a start he surely would like to forget. Rosario gave up 13 runs, all earned, on 13 hits with four walks, a wild pitch and one strikeout in 4 2/3 innings. Rosario threw strikes (91 pitches, 51 strikes), just too many that were apparently very hittable. Al Yevoli surrendered another run on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in 2.1 IP. Andrew McKirahan tossed a scoreless eighth.

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(W) Kane County scored two runs in the seventh and eighth inning and held on for a 4-2 victory over Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Reggie Golden (1-for-4 with a home run) put the Cougars on the board with his sixth homer of the season in the second inning. Marco Hernandez (1-for-4) singled to center to start the fourth and advanced to second on a one out single by Carlos Escobar (2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored). Oliver Zapata (2-for-4 with a triple) bunted both runners up ninety feet and Hernandez scored on a passed ball.

Dan Vogelbach (0-for-1 SF RBI and two walks) drove in the Cougars third run in the seventh with a sac fly that plated Carlos Escobar. The Cougars’ fourth run scored in the eighth after Carlos Escobar worked a two-out walk and Oliver Zapata tripled him in.

Justin Amlung got the start and tossed three innings of shutout ball with no walks and three strikeouts. Nathan Dorris allowed two runs on six hits in four innings and Stephen Perakslis picked up his fourth save with two scoreless innings.

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(W) The Cougars posted their seventh win in 11 games on Wednesday afternoon when they topped Wisconsin 6-3. Kane County scored all six runs in their final three at bats and a three-run eighth ended up being the difference in the game.

Rock Shoulders (2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two RBI) and Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) led the way on Wednesday. Candelario and Shoulders hit back-to-back homers in the eighth and drove in four of Kane County’s six runs. Gioskar Amaya (2-for-4 with a double) just keeps hitting. Amaya drove in a run and scored another. Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored) scored on a Shoulder’s single in the sixth and was on board for Candelario’s homer in the eighth.

Felix Pena put together a solid outing but received a no decision. Pena allowed three runs, one earned, on seven hits with three walks and a strikeout in seven innings. Sheldon McDonald pitched a scoreless eighth and Michael Hamann picked up his fourth save with a scoreless ninth. Hamann has not allowed a run in his seven games with the Cougars.

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High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (21-14) (56-45)

(L) Daytona started their four game series with Fort Meyers with a 5-0 loss on Monday night. Scott Baker made his first rehab appearance with the D-Cubs and gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits (one home run), two walks and two strikeouts in 3.1 IP. Baker threw 66 pitches, 40 for strikes. Yao-Lin Wang recorded the final two outs in the fourth before turning the game over to regularly scheduled starter Pierce Johnson.

Pierce Johnson did not have a bad outing, just a short one. Johnson threw the final four innings, all that were available, and allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

The D-Cubs offense had chances but could not string together any hits, plus Dustin Geiger (0-for-2 with a walk and a HBP) made two outs on the bases (picked off and thrown out). Zeke DeVoss (3-for-4 with two doubles) collected three of Daytona’s five hits and Taiwan Easterling (1-for-4 with a triple) recorded his second three-bagger of the season.

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(L) Daytona dropped the second game of the series against Fort Meyers 5-2 on Tuesday. The D-Cubs pitching staff struck out 14 batters in eight innings but also issued seven walks. Zach Cates gave up two runs on one hit with three walks and one strikeout in two innings. Kyler Burke did not issue a free pass but gave up three runs on four hits in two innings. Dayan Diaz tossed three scoreless innings. Diaz struck out seven batters and walked three. Jeffery Lorick did not allow any runs in the eighth.

The D-Cubs scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. Anthony Giansanti (2-for-4 with a home run and a walk) hit his first homer of the season in a D-Cubs’ uniform in the fifth. And Taiwan Easterling (1-for-4) led off the sixth with a single and ended up scoring on a wild pitch.

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(W) Daytona pulled one out on Wednesday night in Fort Meyers behind another excellent start from Ivan Pineyro and beat the Miracle 2-1. Pineyro bounced back nicely from his previous outing and tossed six innings of shutout ball. Pineyro struck out seven, did not issue a free pass and allowed only three hits. Austin Reed could not hold the one-run lead but ended up picking up the victory after allowing one run on one hit and a walk in two innings. Frank Del Valle closed it out with a scoreless ninth.

Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with a home run) hit his 11th longball of the season in the fourth. Daytona pounded out 12 hits but could not push across another run until the ninth. Elliot Soto (1-for-4) drove in Pin-Chieh Chen (3-for-3) with a two-out single in the ninth.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (23-15) (57-50)

(W) Tennessee doubled up Birmingham on Monday night behind a strong start from Dae-Eun Rhee and beat the Barons 8-4. Dae-Eun Rhee took a shutout into the seventh before allowing two runs in his final inning of work on one big fly. Rhee issued a one out walk then served up a two-run shot to Brandon Jacobs, the player the White Sox received from Boston for Matt Thornton.

The Barons scored a run in the eighth off Hunter Cervenka and one in the ninth against Frank Batista.

The Smokies jumped out to an early lead and scored all eight of their runs in the first five innings. The Smokies kept the ball in the park, a rarity of late. Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-4 with a walk) had a pretty good night. Alcantara drove in four of Tennessee’s eight runs.

Alcantara delivered a single with the bases loaded in the fourth that plated John Andreoli (1-for-2 with a walk and three runs scored) and Rafael Lopez (2-for-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored) then capped the four-run fifth inning by singling in Andreoli and Lopez again. Alcantara was caught in a rundown in between first and second and tagged out to end the inning.

The Smokies pounded out 10 hits with five walks and only four strikeouts … and moved into first place with Monday’s victory.

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(L) It took 13 innings on Tuesday night to decide the game between the Smokies and the Barons. Tennessee’s pen gave up four runs in the 13th and the Smokies lost 9-6. The Smokies outhit the Barons 14-9 but three Smokies errors led to four unearned runs and a loss.

Yeiper Castillo pitched the first 3.2 innings and gave up three unearned runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. P.J. Francescon allowed two runs on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts in three innings. Zac Rosscup and Tony Zych kept the Barons off the board but Kevin Rhoderick could not find the strike zone. Rhoderick walked seven batters in 1.2 innings and Nate Samson had to record the final out in the 13th.

The Smokies hit the ball all over the park. Christian Villanueva (0-for-5 with a walk and two RBI) was the only starter that did not hit safely in the game. Matt Szczur (2-for-7), Javier Baez (1-for-6 with a walk) and Brett Jackson (2-for-6 with a walk) collected hits while Justin Bour (3-for-6 with a double and a walk) and Rafael Lopez (3-for-6 with a walk) reached base four times. Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-5 with a double and two walks) not only knocked in two runs but he notched his Southern League leading 29th double of the season in the loss.

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(W) The Smokies moved back into first place with Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over Birmingham. Matt Loosen returned to the Smokies rotation and put together a decent outing. Loosen did not allow a hit until the fourth inning but he lasted only 5.1 innings after he started struggling with his command. Loosen gave up two runs on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Loosen also uncorked a wild pitch and hit two batters. Jeffry Antigua picked up the win after he allowed the Barons to tie the game. Antigua walked three and struck out three in 2.2 innings. Frank Batista nailed down the win with a scoreless ninth.

Javier Baez (1-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and a walk) drove in two of the Smokies’ three runs with one swing of the bat. Baez launched his 11th homer in a Smokies uniform in the third inning. Brett Jackson (1-for-2) scored the go ahead run in the seventh. Jackson singled to center to start the inning then swiped second base. Jackson advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a single by Jonathan Mota (1-for-3).

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (51-61)

(L) Iowa took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth on Monday night but Henry Rodriguez could not hold the lead and the I-Cubs lost 4-3 to Oklahoma City. Henry Rodriguez allowed the RedHawks to tie the game in the eighth after he served up a leadoff double to Che-Hsuan Lin. A sac bunt and suicide squeeze tied the game at three. George Springer led off the ninth with a triple and scored the winning run on a Henry Rodriguez wild pitch.

Rodriguez’s command issues wasted a very good effort from Brooks Raley. The southpaw pitched into the seventh inning before turning the game over to Rodriguez. Raley allowed two runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts in 6.2 IP.

Logan Watkins (2-for-4 with a double) and Edgar Gonzalez (2-for-4) had a good game at that plate but it was Ty Wright (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) that came through on Monday night. Wright tied the game at one in the fourth with his third longball of the season then singled in Donnie Murphy (1-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI) with the go ahead run in the eighth. Mike Olt (0-for-4) went hitless in the loss.

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(L) Iowa dropped the opener in Salt Lake City on Tuesday night 5-4. Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-4 with a home run and a double) had a big night and drove in half of Iowa’s runs. Edwin Maysonet (1-for-4 with a double) and Luis Flores (1-for-3 with a double) also had run scoring hits. Mike Olt (1-for-4) reached base with a single.

Yoanner Negrin had a rough start and allowed five runs on nine hits with a walk and six strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Alberto Cabrera had a good outing and tossed 1.2 innings of scoreless ball with two strikeouts. Chang-Yong Lim gave up a hit in the seventh but struck out a batter and kept the Bees off the board. Iowa’s pitching staff struck out 11 on Tuesday night and issued only one free pass.

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(L) Iowa could not right the ship on Wednesday night and lost 6-3 to the Bees despite a solid outing from Justin Grimm. Grimm put his last start behind him and allowed two runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts in five innings. Marcus Hatley gave up four runs on five hits in 0.2 innings. Marcos Mateo struck out three over 1.1 innings.

Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-3 with a walk) recorded another two-hit game. Darnell McDonald (2-for-4 with a double) and J.C. Boscan (2-for-3 with a double and a walk) drove in two of Iowa’s three runs.

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Rookie League – AZL Cubs (16-16)

(L) The AZL Cubs were thumped on Sunday night 12-3 by the Diamondbacks. The Cubs scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning on run scoring hits by Jesse Hodges (1-for-4 with a double and a run scored) and Kevin Brown (1-for-3 with a walk and two RBI). Charcer Burks (2-for-4 with a double) collected two more hits and Brett Jackson (0-for-4) went hitless and struck out two times.

Luis Villalba was the only Cubs’ pitcher that did not allow any runs. Jose Arias gave up three runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. The D-Backs torched Ethan Elias for six runs on five hits and a walk in an inning of work. Erick Leal lasted four frames and surrendered three runs, one earned, on seven hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

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(L)) The AZL Cubs returned to action on Tuesday following Monday’s scheduled off day and were shutout 8-0 by the Angels. The Cubs managed only three hits, one each by Jeffrey Baez, Kelvin Freeman and Charcer Burks. Daury Torrez had a rough outing. Torrez gave up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts in four innings. David Garner allowed a run on two hits with a pair of strikeouts in his two innings of work. Trevor Clifton made his second appearance and tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts.

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(W) Gerardo Concepcion made is 2013 debut on Wednesday night in a 2-1 victory over the Giants. Concepcion tossed two scoreless innings, gave up a hit and struck out a batter. Kelvin Freeman (3-for-4 with two doubles) scored one of the two runs and Alberto Mineo (1-for-3) scored the other.

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News and Notes

Cubs assigned OF Brett Jackson to Double-A Tennessee. RHP Eduardo Figueroa was promoted to Double-A Tennessee. RHP Marcos Mateo was promoted from Double-A Tennessee to Triple-A Iowa.

The I-Cubs placed IF/OF Josh Vitters on the 7-day DL with a strained right hamstring.

RHP Tyler Skulina and OF Jose Dore were promoted to Kane County. RHP Juan Carlos Paniagua and OF Kevin Encarnacion were returned to Boise.

The Boise Hawks placed OF Shawon Dunston Jr. on the 7-day DL and activated C Rony Rodriguez from the 7-day DL.

The Smokies placed LHP Eric Jokisch on the 7-day DL and Jeffry Antigua was assigned to the Smokies from the Daytona Cubs.

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Quote of the Day

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  • Ripsnorter1

    Checking Brett Jackson’s AA performance thus far….3 for 10 with 4 K’s, and 1 BB. All singles thus far.

    Note to Neil: your report says Brett Jackson has 1 SB in AA. Baseball Reference says 0 SB.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Cubs were 14-13 in July 2013.

    This is the first winning month since July, 2012.

    SALARY DRIVES and….(ahem)…”I hope to get traded drives”…enhance performances.

  • Ripsnorter1

    ESPN expects the Cubs to beat the Dodgers today.

  • J Daniel

    Unless Baker is going to resign, that deal did not work well for the Cubs. I would hope he will be fair with them next year.

    Bryant looks to be off to a good start as does Zastryzny.

    • cubtex

      Even if he does resign with the Cubs it cost them 5.5 mil for zip this year.

      • Brp921

        I think it speaks well of the ownership that they were willing to spend the money to roll the dice on the chance it could work out.

        • Theboardrider

          If he resigns it was a good move. Maybe he has some loyalty, he also could help layer this month.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I did see a story go by in saying Baker did want to resign as he felt he owed it to the team for showing faith in him. Kind of like Ian Stewart, but hopefully with much better results.

  • 07GreyDigger

    Neil, speaking of draft picks, did you ever get your story up on the Cubs draft picks? I hope I didn’t miss it!

    • Neil

      I have not posted it, sorry. Every time I get time to get back on it, something else happens and pulls me away. I’m about half way through it.

  • Thomas D

    Are we going to have the mid season prospect watch update soon neil or tom(not sure when you are getting back)?

    • Neil

      Tom and I have not discussed posting one yet.

      • Thomas D

        If I remember right haven’t you guys been doing that though

        • Neil

          We’ve posted pre-season prospect rankings, not mid-season in the past.

          The prospect list that the readers voted on is updated every Monday with current stats.

      • JasonOfTheBurbs

        Hey Neil,
        I saw Zastryzny mentioned above…and obviously Kris Bryant gets all the buzz, but is there any early thoughts/results on the other 2013 draft picks that seem particularly promising?

        • Neil

          The pitchers they selected in the draft are off to very good starts, granted it is Short-Season A ball, but they are throwing a lot of strikes.

          Outside of Zastryzny, Tyler Skulina has already been promoted to Kane County. Trey Masek and Scott Frazier are throwing well and so has Sam Wilson and Zack Godley.

          I would have to say I’ve been happy with the results I am seeing from the draft picks. Again it is very early, but still a good start.

  • GaryLeeT

    Of course time will tell, and it’s probably been mentioned here before, but Scott Hairston for Ivan Pineyro appears to be the steal of the Cub’s trading season.

    • Theboardrider

      One pf many I’d say. But kosy benefited both trams. We’ve gotten a lot deeper.

  • Theboardrider

    Lots of solid pitching from the new draftees! Glad too Concepcion contribute.

    Olt not so hoy. Bryant…hot