Happy Labor Day to everyone from the CCO!
As the minor league season entered its final weekend, both the Iowa Cubs and the AZL Cubs were eliminated in their desperate attempts to make the playoffs. Meanwhile in Tennessee and Daytona, both teams are preparing for post-season as the bats of Javier Baez and Dustin Geiger have stayed hot. Boise put themselves in a must-win situation for their final two games after being no-hit on Saturday. As for Kane County, the Cougars wrap up their season on Monday.
For all of the highlights, check out today’s 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 (20-16) (41-33)
(W) Boise moved into sole possession of first place on Wednesday with a 10-6 victory over Salem-Keizer. The Hawks started slowly before exploding. Justin Marra (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) doubled to lead off the second inning and scored on a double by Carlos Penalver (1-for-3 with a RBI). Kevin Encarnacion (4-for-5) singled in the third and was on board when Jacob Rogers (3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) smacked his eighth home run of the season. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) followed Rogers with a solo shot of his own. Boise put the game away in the fourth after Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-5) singled and advanced to second on an error. A base hit and a stolen base by Encarnacion put runners on second and third. Rogers walked to load the bases and Dunston scored on a groundout. Marra then cleared the bases as he hit his sixth homer of the season. David Bote walked and scored on a wild pitch after a single by Lance Rymel (1-for-4). The Hawks added another run for good measure in the seventh. Penalver walked, stole second, and scored on a double by Danny Lockhart (1-for-5 with a RBI).
It was a staff effort for Boise. Michael Wagner was given the start and went three scoreless innings. Sam Wilson had some trouble as he allowed three earned runs and struck out three in two innings. Juan Carlos Paniagua also had a difficult time, but recorded four strikeouts while allowing three earned runs in two innings. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino recorded his fourth win by striking out three in two scoreless innings.
(L) It was a dead heat for first place in the division after Boise lost 10-8 to Salem-Keiser on Thursday. The Hawks’ pitching simply could not hold the Volcanoes back. Paul Blackburn allowed five runs (one earned) and struck out three in three innings. Loiger Padron had all sorts of trouble and gave up five earned runs in 2.1 innings. Tyler Bremer worked 2.2 scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Eddie Orozco struck out two batters in mop-up duty in the ninth. Boise actually scored the first run after Danny Lockhart (2-for-3 with two RBI) doubled, moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout. The bases were loaded in the third after Jordan Hankins walked, Carlos Penalver (2-for-3) was hit by a pitch, and Shawon Dunston Jr. (2-for-4) walked. A wild pitch plated Hankins and a sacrifice fly scored Penalver. Kevin Encarnacion (2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI) then launched his ninth homer with Dunston on board. The Hawks tied the score at six in the fifth after Jacob Rogers was hit by a pitch and scored on a single by Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-5 with a RBI). A wild sixth that saw the ejection of pitching coach Dave Rosario started when David Bote (1-for-2) singled and advanced to second on an error. Penalver had a base hit and Dunston reached on a fielder’s choice with Bote out at home. A single by Lockhart drove in Penalver. After a double steal, Dunston scored on a base hit by Encarnacion.
(L) Boise slipped out of first place on Friday with a 10-6 loss to Salem-Keizer but still had a shot of making the playoffs by winning two of their last three games. It was pitching and fielding mistakes that did the Hawks in. Duane Underwood allowed eight runs (four earned) due to errors by outfielders Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-5) and Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4 with two RBI). Underwood did strike out four in three innings. Jasvir Rakkar has been improving of late. Rakkar recorded five strikeouts and gave up an earned run in three innings. Zach Godley was able to hold the Volcanoes scoreless for two innings, while Carlos Martinez-Pumarino surrendered an earned run in the ninth. Boise tried to keep pace in the first inning after Danny Lockhart (2-for-5) reached on a dropped third strike. Encarnacion and Jacob Rogers (1-for-3 with a RBI) singled and plated Lockhart. Justin Marra (1-for-4 with a RBI) doubled in Encarnacion and Rogers scored on a groundout. Rogers was hit by a pitch and David Bote (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled to start the sixth, with both runners scoring on a triple from Jeffrey Baez. Boise made a small attempt at a comeback in the ninth after Carlos Penalver (1-for-4) singled and scored on an error.
(L) Boise’s post-season bid took a big hit on Saturday after they were no-hit and lost 5-0 to Hillsboro. The game wasn’t without some controversy as a third inning hit by Danny Lockhart was later changed to an error on the Hops’ left fielder. Starter Dillon Maples was the victim of a couple of errors by the Hawks and he allowed four runs (two earned) with six strikeouts in five innings. Corbin Hoffner gave up an earned run with three strikeouts in three innings. Newly recalled Trey Lang struck out the side in the ninth.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (23-44) (53–80)
(W) Kane County is trying to end their season on a high note and they defeated Cedar Rapids 9-1 on Wednesday. Scott Baker put together his most impressive rehab start. Baker blanked the Kernels for five innings with two strikeouts. Jose Arias took over in the sixth and allowed an earned run while striking out three in 2.2 innings. Steve Perakslis had two strikeouts in 1.1 scoreless innings.
The Cougars got on the board in the third inning after Trevor Gretzky (1-for-4) and Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3) were in board with singles when Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) launched his 11th homer of the year. It was the long ball again in the fourth as Carlos Escobar (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) went deep with Jose Dore (1-for-3 with a RBI) on base following a walk. In the seventh, a single from Brad Zapenas (1-for-4) was sandwiched by walks to Amaya and Candelario. A base hit by Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with a RBI) scored Amaya but Zapenas was thrown out at home. Candelario scored on a base hit from Dore. A walk to Zapenas and a double by Candelario started the ninth, and Zapenas scored on a sacrifice fly. A fielding error allowed Candelario to score.
(L) Kane County could not put any offense together on Thursday and lost 5-2 to Cedar Rapids. The Cougars were limited to only four hits until the ninth inning when Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4) singled and scored on a double by Rock Shoulders (1-for-3 with a RBI). Consecutive singles from Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-4) and Marco Hernandez (2-for-4 with a RBI) plated Shoulders. The night saw the Single-A debut of the CCO’s 2012 Short-Season Pitcher of the Year Daury Torrez. Torrez struck out two and allowed three earned runs in five innings. Brian Smith gave up another two earned runs in two innings, while Matt Iannazzo picked up a strikeout in a scoreless eighth inning.
(L) It was a long night for Kane County on Friday. The Cougars scored two runs in the first inning but lost 8-2 to Cedar Rapids. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-4) led off the game with a double and moved to third on a single by Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4). A base hit from Willson Contreras (1-for-4 with a RBI) plated Amaya. A Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-4 with a RBI) single scored Candelario. Starling Peralta allowed eight earned runs in three innings while Al Yevoli, Matt Iannazzo, and Andrew McKirahan each tossed a scoreless inning. Player-coach Kenny Socorro was able to set down the side in the eighth.
(L) Kane County managed only five hits on Saturday and the Cougars were shut out 9-0 by Peoria. James Pugliese was touched for five earned runs in three innings while striking out two batters. Steve Perakslis also gave up an earned run in his two innings of work. Michael Hamann picked up two strikeouts in two scoreless innings. Once again, player/coach Kenny Socorro was called on to eat some innings and he gave up three runs (one earned) in two innings. Rehabbing outfielder Ryan Sweeney (1-for-4), Giuseppe Papaccio (1-for-4), Rock Shoulders (1-for-4), Luis Valbuena (1-for-3) and Trevor Gretzky (1-for-3) collected hits.
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (39-20-1) (74-51-1)
(W) Another doubleheader meant another pair of wins for Daytona on Wednesday, and the D-Cubs defeated Dunedin 6-2 in game one. C.J. Edwards had his strikeout pitch working again. Edwards fanned five and allowed two earned runs in 4.1 innings. Lendy Castillo mopped up, and picked up a strikeout in 2.2 scoreless innings. Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-2 with a RBI) led off the game with a walk, stole second and scored on Dustin Geiger’s (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) 16th home run of the season. Geiger was on board with a walk in the third inning when Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) launched his fourth big fly for Daytona. Wes Darvill reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second, and scored on a single by Chadd Krist (1-for-3 with a RBI). After a wild pitch and a walk by Bijan Rademacher, Chen drove in Krist.
(W) Game two saw another dominant pitching effort as Daytona beat Dunedin 3-0. Yao-Lin Wang went through some procedural moves and ended back with the D-Cubs to start the nightcap. Wang struck out three in four scoreless innings. Ryan Searle shut out the Blue Jays the rest of the way and allowed only one hit while striking out four in three innings. Daytona would get all the runs they would need in the second inning. Anthony Giansanti reached on an error and Wes Darvill (3-for-3) doubled. Bijan Rademacher (1-for-2 with two RBI) singled in both runners. The D-Cubs added an insurance run in the sixth when Darvill singled and scored on a base hit from Yaniel Cabezas (1-for-3 with a RBI).
(W) Daytona made three runs in the first inning stick as they defeated Brevard County 3-2 on Thursday. Bijan Rademacher (2-for-5) singled with one out and Dustin Geiger reached on a force attempt. Walks to Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3) and Anthony Giansanti (1-for-3 with a RBI) scored Rademacher. A single from Chadd Krist (1-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Geiger and Vogelbach.
Corey Black was hitting his spots and he struck out six while allowing an earned run in six innings. Jeffrey Lorick went the long way to collect his third save. Lorick pitched three innings, gave up an earned run and struck out three batters.
(W) The D-Cubs used a big inning to pull out an 11-6 victory over Brevard County on Friday and won their tenth game in a row. The game was tied at six in the eighth when Daytona exploded for five runs. Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) broke the tie with a solo home run to start the inning. Yaniel Cabezas (1-for-4) then singled, stole second, and scored after Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) launched his second home run of the season. Zeke DeVoss (2-for-5 with a home run) followed with a solo home run. Ben Carhart (1-for-4) doubled and scored after two wild pitches. Daytona jumped out ahead in the first inning after DeVoss singled and stole second base. Walks to Carhart, Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with a home run), and Anthony Giansanti brought in DeVoss. A sacrifice fly drove Carhart home, and a single by Rademacher scored Geiger. Kris Bryant (1-for-4 with a home run) added a solo home run in the third inning. Dustin Geiger chipped in his 17th homer of the season in the fifth inning.
Ivan Pineyro started and allowed four earned runs while striking out five in five innings. He was relieved by Sheldon McDonald, who gave up two earned runs with a strikeout in two innings. Austin Reed earned the victory as he pitched two scoreless innings to close out the game.
(L) All good things must come to an end as Daytona lost for the first time in two weeks on Saturday 5-1 to Brevard County. The D-Cubs started Yao-Lin Wang, who went three shut-out innings and struck out four batters. However, Ryan Searle had a more difficult time and allowed four earned runs in four innings with three strikeouts. Lendy Castillo gave up an earned run and struck out two as he worked the final inning. Daytona’s only run came in the second inning after Dan Vogelbach led off with a walk and scored on a double by Wes Darvill (3-for-4 with a RBI).
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (41-26) (75-61)
(W) It was pitching that keyed a 5-0 victory over Chattanooga on Thursday. Neil Ramirez made his organizational debut and went 4.2 innings while striking out five batters. P.J. Francescon recorded three strikeouts in 1.1 innings. Yeiper Castillo went the rest of the way and struck out a batter in three perfect innings.
The Smokies waited until the fourth inning to get on the board. Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4) tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly. Christian Villanueva (1-for-4 with a home run) then blasted his 17th home run of the season. With one out in the eighth, Matt Szczur (1-for-4) singled and Alcantara doubled. Javier Baez was intentionally walked to load the bases, and Justin Bour (1-for-4 with three RBI) cleared them with a double.
(W) Tennessee absolutely steamrolled Chattanooga on Friday and the Smokies won 12-1. Eduardo Figueroa had another fine effort as he struck out five in six scoreless innings. Armando Rivero allowed an earned run with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings, while Tony Zych recorded the final two outs.
Matt Szczur (3-for-4) led off the game with a single and was on board when Justin Bour (3-for-5 with a home run and six RBI) hit his 18th home run of the season. The Smokies then put the game away in the second after Rubi Silva (1-for-5) singled and scored on a double from Brett Jackson (2-for-3). Rafael Lopez and Szczur walked, and a base hit by Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 and two RBI) scoring Jackson and Lopez. Javier Baez walked and Bour’s base hit drove in Szczur. A double by Christian Villanueva (2-for-5 with two RBI) scored both Alcantara and Baez. Jackson led off the fifth with a double and scored on a groundout. Eduardo Figueroa (1-for-3) singled. Szczur followed with a base hit and Alcantara walked. Justin Bour cleared the bases with a double.
(W) Tennessee scored three runs in the first inning on Saturday and held on for a 4-3 victory over Chattanooga. After a one out single by Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-5), Javier Baez (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI) clubbed his 19th homer for the Smokies. Christian Villanueva (1-for-3 with a home run) hit his 18th longball of the season one out later. Tennessee scored the eventual game-winner in the fifth after singles by Baez and Justin Bour (1-for-5) and a walk to Villanueva loaded the bases. John Andreoli (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Baez.
Nick Struck started and allowed three runs with a strikeout in five innings. A.J. Morris held the Lookouts scoreless for two innings, while Hunter Cervenka worked around a hit to strike out the side in the eighth. Frank Batista recorded his 19th save with a strikeout in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (65-77)
(W) Iowa remained in the playoff hunt on Wednesday as the I-Cubs defeated Omaha 5-2 and a superb pitching effort left them three games out of first with four left to play. Kyle Hendricks shook off allowing two earned runs in the first inning and held the Storm Chasers scoreless the rest of the way. Hendricks went eight innings and struck out four batters. Brian Schlitter pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save.
The I-Cubs regained the lead in the fourth inning after Brad Nelson (1-for-4) singled and Edgar Gonzalez (2-for-4) doubled to start things off. A single by Ty Wright (2-for-4 with three RBI) scored both runners and Wright took second on the throw. After a walk to Mike Olt (1-for-2), Wright scored on an error. A single by Tim Torres (1-for-3 with a RBI) drove in Olt. Gonzalez doubled with two out the fifth inning and scored on a base hit by Wright.
(W) Iowa finished their 2013 home schedule with a 44-28 record after they completed the sweep over Omaha with a 4-2 victory on Thursday. Casey Coleman continued to make quality starts and he allowed two earned runs with three strikeouts in six innings. Alberto Cabrera, Marcos Mateo, and Eduardo Sanchez each pitched a perfect inning to seal the victory.
The I-Cubs grabbed the lead in the first inning after Julio Borbon (1-for-3) singled and scored on a double from Dave Sappelt (1-for-4 with a RBI). Edgar Gonzalez (2-for-3 with a RBI) singled in Sappelt. Brad Nelson (1-for-3), Gonzalez, and Ty Wright (2-for-4) started the sixth with singles and sacrifice flies scored Nelson and Gonzalez.
(L) The I-Cubs were officially eliminated from the playoffs on Friday after they lost 3-2 in Nashville. Brooks Raley struck out three and allowed an earned run in five innings. Marcus Hatley gave up two earned runs in an inning of work. Chang-Yong Lim and Zac Rosscup each notched two strikeouts as both relievers tossed a scoreless inning. Iowa got on the board first after Julio Borbon (1-for-4) doubled with one out in the third inning. A single by Brad Nelson (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) plated Borbon. Nelson hit his 20th home run of the year in the fifth inning.
(L) Iowa could not keep pace with Nashville on Saturday and the I-Cubs lost 7-2 to the Sounds. Starter Yoanner Negrin was able to go only 1.2 innings and allowed two earned runs with two strikeouts. Jeffry Antigua took over and gave up two runs (one earned) with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Marcos Mateo had a little more trouble. Mateo went two innings and surrendered three runs (two earned). Eduardo Sanchez picked up a strikeout in a perfect eighth inning. The I-Cubs cut the Sounds’ lead in half in the third inning by grinding out a run. Dave Sappelt (2-for-4) singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Sappelt then stole third and came home on a throwing error. Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-3) and Edgar Gonzalez drew two out walks in the sixth, pulled off a double steal and Ha scored on a passed ball.
Rookie League – AZL Cubs (14-13) (27-28)
(W) The Cubs closed out their season on a high note on Thursday as they beat the Diamondbacks 8-1. Rehabbing players Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena contributed three RBI, while Tyler Alamo was 1-for-2 with two RBI. Trevor Clifton struck out three in two scoreless innings, as did Tyler Ihrig.
News and Notes
The DSL Cubs ended their season on Saturday with a 2-1 loss to the DSL Tigers. They dropped the best-of-3 series 2-1 to the Tigers, eliminating them from the Dominican Summer League playoffs.
The Chicago Cubs sent OF Ryan Sweeney, IF Luis Valbuena, and RHP Rafael Dolis to the Kane County Cougars on a rehab assignment; assigned RHP Yao-Lin Wang to the Daytona Cubs from the AZL Cubs; assigned RHP Daury Torrez to the Kane County Cougars from the AZL Cubs; assigned OF Jeffrey Baez and RHP Trey Lang to the Boise Hawks from the AZL Cubs.
The Kane County Cougars placed RHP Tayler Scott on the 7-Day disabled list; activated SS Kenny Socorro from the 7-Day disabled list. The Boise Hawks activated LHP Kyle Shepard from the 7-Day disabled list.
Top Prospect Watch
- Javier Baez (SS) – .295/.349/.633/.982 with 14 doubles, 19 home runs, 51 RBI, eight stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
- Paul Blackburn (RHP) – 2-3 with a 3.33 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP, 46.0 innings pitched, 17 earned runs, 39 strikeouts, 28 walks (Boise Hawks)
- Reggie Golden (OF) – .227/.282/.384/.667 with seven doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 29 RBI, a stolen base (Kane County Cougars)
- Trevor Gretzky (OF) – .310/.326/.357/.683 with one triple, one RBI (Kane County Cougars)
- Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 6-1 with a 2.22 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP, 48.2 innings pitched, 12 earned runs, 50 strikeouts, 21 walks (Daytona Cubs)
- Dillon Maples (RHP) – 5-2 with a 2.14 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP, 42.0 innings pitched, 10 earned runs, 41 strikeouts, 19 walks (Boise Hawks)
- Juan Carlos Paniagua (RHP) – 0-0 with a 11.25 ERA and a 2.92 WHIP, 12.0 innings pitched, 15 earned runs, 16 strikeouts, nine walks (Boise Hawks)
- Duane Underwood (RHP) – 3-4 with a 4.97 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP, 54.1 innings pitched, 30 earned runs, 36 strikeouts, 27 walks (Boise Hawks)
- Christian Villanueva (3B) – .261/.318/.467/.785 with 41 doubles, two triples, 18 home runs, 71 RBI, five stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
- Dan Vogelbach (1B) - .255/.435/.426/.861 with two doubles, two home runs, five RBI, one stolen base (Daytona Cubs)