Minor Matters and Other Cubs News and Notes

The Cubs minor league system had another good week. Several of the top prospects in the organization continue to improve and the front office has started promoting players with a month of games left to be played.

Kyle Hendricks earned a promotion to Triple-A Iowa and was replaced on the Smokies’ roster by Dayan Diaz. Albert Almora keeps hitting and received a day off on Saturday … and Kris Bryant extended his hitting streak to nine games on Saturday night.

Dan Vogelbach

The Cubs named Dan Vogelbach the minor league player for the month of July on Friday. Vogelbach is quietly having a very good season the Kane County Cougars.

Vogelbach hit .330/.417/.500/.917 in 27 games in July with four doubles and four home runs. Vogelbach walked (17) more times than he struck out (12) in 94 at bats.

For the season, Dan Vogelbach is hitting .288/.366/.458 with 20 doubles and 16 home runs. In 105 games (462 plate appearances), Vogelbach has walked 53 times with only 69 strikeouts and had managed a .823 OPS.

Matt Loosen

The Cubs named RHP Matt Loosen the minor league pitcher for July on Friday. Loosen started the season in the Smokies rotation, struggled and went down to Daytona and turned his season around. Loosen pitched a no hitter and went 5-2 in nine starts with the D-Cubs that included two complete games. Loosen struck out 56 batters, walked 17 and allowed 34 hits in 54 innings (1.83 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP). Loosen has made only one start since being bumped back up to Tennessee.

Kyle Hendricks

Kyle Hendricks has been added to the Mesa Cubs roster and is expected to be promoted to Triple-A Iowa in the coming days. Hendricks came to the Cubs last July in the Ryan Dempster deal with the Rangers and has been very, very good in his first year in the organization.

The 23-year old Hendricks is 10-3 in 21 starts this season with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. In 126 1/3 innings, Hendricks has allowed only 107 hits with striking out 101 batters and walked 26.

Julio Borbon

Dale Sveum addressed the decision to designate Julio Borbon for assignment following Friday’s game. Sveum said that Borbon was released because of his baserunning mistake in the ninth inning, and it wasn’t his first mishap on the bases this season. Sveum pointed out that it was also a message to the rest of the team about careless play.

Minor League Notes

Corey Black made his organizational debut on Friday night. Black started for Daytona and allowed four runs on three hits, two home runs, with three walks and eight strikeouts in four innings.

The I-Cubs placed RHP Henry Rodriguez on the 7-day DL on Saturday with right elbow tendinitis.

Zach Putnam had bone spurs removed from his pitching elbow on Friday. Putnam has been on the DL since June 12 and was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 28. No word on when the Cubs expect him to start throwing again.

RHP Dallas Beeler spoke with Smokies radio about the injury that has derailed his season. Beeler tore a tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand in May and has been on the DL since May 23. Beeler has begun throwing again and is hopeful to be on the mound again in the near future.

Scott Baker and C.J. Edwards were scheduled to pitch on Saturday night in Daytona. But rain cancelled the game and it will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Sunday. Scott Baker will start the second game of the doubleheader and C.J. Edwards will pitch the first game. Pierce Johnson was pushed to Monday.

Dayan Diaz was promoted to Double-A Tennessee and struck out three batters over two shutout innings in his debut on Saturday night.

Albert Almora went 3-for-5 on Friday night and received a day off on Saturday. Almora is hitting .332/.379/.470 in 60 games for Kane County with 17 doubles, four triples, three home runs and a .849 OPS.

News and Notes

According to Elias Sports, Thursday marked the first time the Cubs lost a game in which at least two players hit two home runs for the first time since April 16, 1955. Junior Lake and Anthony Rizzo both hit two solo home runs on Thursday … and it was Ernie Banks and Randy Jackson that both hit a pair of home runs in a 12-11 loss to the Cardinals at the first Busch Stadium. Banks went 3-for-6 with two home runs, one walk and three RBI. Jackson was 4-for-7 with two home runs, one double, three RBI and three runs scored. Hank Sauer was in left field hitting fourth, one spot ahead of Jackson and two in front of Banks.

Anthony Rizzo is the first Cubs player since Ron Santo to have two 15 home run seasons before the age of 24.

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  • J Daniel

    Sounds like Hendricks might have a shot at a rotation spot next year.

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

      Absolutely! An ERA under 2 at AA? That is extremely impressive. Given te improvements most of our pitchers are making once Bosio gets his hands on them there is no telling what he may do once he gets to work with him regularly. Bosio seems to really work wonders with the young, impressionable hurlers.

  • Tom U

    Good Morning! Minor League Notes:

    It may not be too far-fetched to see Kris Bryant in Daytona by Wednesday. Boise finishes a series with Everett today and then is on All-Star break. Everett is about 30 miles outside Seattle. Daytona has an off-day on Tuesday then plays at Clearwater, which is just across the bay from Tampa. There are direct flights between the cities. Bryant has a 9 game hit streak and has batted .294 with 3 HR and 9 RBI in his last 10 games.

    Getting hot at the right time is Jae-Hoon Ha. The 22-year old OF has hit .306 with a HR and 4 SB in his last 10 games for Iowa. Ha could be bucking for a September call-up.

    The stars are in line for the Cubs to make an entire system push with their relievers. Closer Kevin Gregg and set-up man James Russell could be dealt and replaced by Chang-Yong Lim and Brooks Raley. That could start a chain-reaction of promotions with Frank Batista and Zac Rosscup, Yao-Lin Wang and Frank Del Valle, and Michael Hamann and Nathan Dorris all moving up a level.

  • Bredstik

    Was able to take in the Tennessee Smokies game that Matt Loosen pitched while on vacation this past week. Very nice venue there – had a really nice time! Was great seeing some former Peoria Chiefs play again.

    Loosen was wildly effective for the most part but got himself in trouble when he hit batters on back to back pitches. Jeff Antigua came in and was able to minimize the damage. Hopefully Loosen will get readjusted to AA but he didn’t look like the July pitcher of the month on this night.

    I did come away very impressed with Matt Szczur again. He covers a LOT of ground in CF and made some very nice plays, which it sounds like he does regularly. Baez crushed a HR to straight away CF that was half way up the hill – 426ft. The ball just sounds different when it comes off of his bat. He was jawing with the home plate ump the whole game though, which I’ve seen before. Also made a key error in the 9th that almost allowed the Barons to rally. Brett Jackson looked rusty but did have a base hit and scored the winning run. Bour & Alcantara didn’t do much, but Villanuena made a few nice plays at 3B and hit the ball hard all night & looked good.

    Smokies held on and won 3-2. Game ended with the Barons loading the bases with 2 outs, ball went through Mota’s legs at 1B, but 2B Alcantara was somehow able to get to it and throw to the P covering 1B to end the game. Crazy finish to a fun game.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Thank you for posting this. Always good to read first hand accounts from the park.