Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/26/14

Winning seems to be the key word across the minor leagues to start the week as Iowa received excellent pitching performances from Dallas Beeler and Tsuyoshi Wada, while Kris Bryant provided the muscle. Tennessee evened their season record thanks to the hot hitting of Stephen Bruno, Rubi Silva, and Christian Villanueva. Daytona moved into first place with the bats of Albert Almora and Dan Vogelbach coming to life. Meanwhile, Kane County keeps chugging along thanks to Jacob Hannemann and Kyle Schwarber. Even the AZL Cubs are off to a good start, while the DSL Cubs remain contenders.

The rest? Well, you’ll just have to take a peek inside today’s Down on the Farm Report.

Editor’s Note: Monday’s report covers games from Thursday to Sunday. Thursday’s report covers games Monday through Wednesday. Late Games by the Boise Hawks and the AZL Cubs will be carried on the following report.

Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (4–8)

Boise was not able to match offenses with Spokane on Monday as the Hawks lost 12-6. Starter Trevor Graham was battered around by the Indians and allowed seven earned runs while striking out two in three innings. Greyfer Eregua also had trouble with Spokane as he gave up an earned run with a strikeout in an inning of work. Seeing his first action of the season, Trey Masek was hit hard. Masek surrendered four earned runs with a strikeout in 1.2 innings. Francisco Carrillo finally held the Indians scoreless and struck out six in 2.1 innings. The Hawks started the game out right after Oliver Zapata (2-for-4 with a double) drew a one out walk and scored on a double from Kevin Brown (2-for-4 with a double, triple, and two RBI). Alex Tomasovich (1-for-4 with a double) started the second with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly after a groundout moved him to third. In the fourth inning, Danny Canela (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) blasted a solo home run. The fifth inning began with a double by Zapata and he scored on a triple by Brown. A sacrifice fly plated Brown. Boise got a gift run in the sixth after Zak Blair (1-for-4) reached on an error, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly, and scored on a wild pitch.

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PrintPitching betrayed the Hawks on Tuesday as Boise lost 7-3 to Spokane. In his fourth season, more was expected from Ben Wells as he struck out four and allowed two earned runs in four innings. Recently returning to Boise, Jasvir Rakkar looked unprepared to take the mound as he gave up five earned runs with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Trey Lang continues to have success and he tossed 1.1 perfect innings with a strikeout. The Hawks played catch up from the get-go as Varonex Cuevas (1-for-3 with a double) doubled with one out in the third and scored on a single from Jeffrey Baez (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) to cut the lead in half. Behind 5-1 in the seventh, Boise fought back after Mark Malave (1-for-3) walked with one out and scored on a home run from Jesse Hodges (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI).

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Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (49-27)

It looked a little hairy for Kane County early Tuesday, but the Cougars stepped on the gas and blew past Wisconsin 9-3. Jacob Hannemann (3-for-4 with a triple, two RBI, and two stolen bases) led off the game with a single and stole second base. Carlos Penalver (2-for-5 with an RBI) had a base hit and Kyle Schwarber (1-for-3 with a double) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A force out and a throwing error allowed Hannemann and Penalver to score. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the third, Schwarber walked and scored on a double by Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5 with a double and two RBI). A single by Jacob Rogers (2-for-5) put runners at the corners and Balaguert scored on a groundout. A passed ball advanced Rogers to third and he scored on a double from Jeimer Candelario (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI). A groundout and a wild pitch allowed Candelario to score. Fresh off the disabled list, Will Remillard (1-for-3 with an RBI) walked to start the fifth inning. A base hit by David Bote (1-for-4) moved Remillard to second and a two out single from Hannemann plated Remillard. Trey Martin (2-for-3 with five stolen bases) got into the action with a one out single and stolen base in the seventh. Martin scored on a triple from Hannemann. A base hit by Penalver plated Hannemann.

Paul Blackburn did not have the best of outings, but it was good enough as he allowed three earned runs and struck out two in five innings. Michael Wagner had four strikeouts in three scoreless innings, while Michael Heesch struck out the side in the ninth.

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Kane County came out on the short end of a pitcher’s duel Wednesday afternoon as they lost 3-2 to Wisconsin. Tyler Skulina had another stellar effort as he allowed an earned run and struck out five in five innings. Zak Hermans struggles and gave up two runs (one earned) in only 0.1 innings. Corbin Hoffner got the Hawks out of the jam by tossing 2.2 scoreless innings. Tyler Bremer took over and kept the Timber Rattlers off the board while recording a strikeout. The Cougars drew first blood in the third inning after Kyle Schwarber (2-for-4 with a home run) cranked a solo shot. Kane County regained the lead in the fifth after Jacob Hannemann (1-for-3 with two stolen bases) led off with a walk, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and stole home.

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High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (31-44)

Daytona regressed back to their earlier ways Monday as they were shutout by Tampa 8-0. Tayler Scott continues to lack consistency as he gave up six runs (five earned) with a strikeout in only 2.1 innings. Stephen Perakslis kept the Yankees off the board for 3.1 innings, while the recently activated Yao-Lin Wang had two strikeouts and gave up two earned runs in 2.1 innings. The Daytona offense was able to manage seven hits, but weren’t able to put any of them together as both Pin-Chieh Chen and Albert Almora were 2-for-4, while Dan Vogelbach went 1-for-4. Jordan Hankins (1-for-3 with a double) had the only extra base hit and. Gioskar Amaya was 1-for-1.

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A see-saw affair Tuesday had Daytona coming out on top 6-5 over Dunedin. The first inning started for the D-Cubs with a one out walk by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-4 with an RBI) and a single from Albert Almora (3-for-5 with a home run). A groundout with a throwing error allowed Amaya to score. Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a double) and Rock Shoulders (1-for-4) led off the second inning with base hits and Rademacher scored on a one out double from Marco Hernandez (2-for-4 with an RBI). Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Shoulders with a single. Chen reached second on a two-out bunt single and throwing error in the sixth and he scored on a base hit from Amaya. The seventh saw Rademacher doubling with two out and scoring on a single from Shoulders. Almora added the punctuation in the eighth with a solo home run.

Felix Pena put together a good effort as he tossed five innings with two strikeouts and allowed three earned runs. Starling Peralta fanned five as he gave up two runs (one earned) in 2.1 innings. Andrew McKirahan recorded the final five outs with a strikeout in 1.2 scoreless innings.

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It was a pitching gem for Daytona Wednesday as they shutout Dunedin 7-0. Jose Rosario was back in the rotation and he recorded four strikeouts while scattering three hits in six innings. Austin Kirk took over in the seventh and struck out three in two innings. Zack Godley closed things out with a strikeout in the final inning.

It was the “big fly’ that drove the offense for the D-Cubs as they began the game with Albert Almora (1-for-5 with an RBI) reaching on an error and scoring on a double from Dan Vogelbach (3-for-4 with a double, home run, and two RBI). Vogelbach started the fourth with a single and scored on a one out homer from Rock Shoulders (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). Chadd Krist (1-for-4 with a home run and an RBI) followed and went back-to-back with Shoulders. Krist hit his second home run of the season. Gioskar Amaya (2-for-4) restarted the inning with a base hit and Marco Hernandez (0-for-3) reached on an error. After a groundout advanced the runners, Amaya scored on a single by Wes Darvill (1-for-4 with an RBI). Vogelbach went yard with his seventh home run to lead off the fifth inning. A single by Amaya and a walk to Hernandez started the sixth, and two outs later a single from Almora plated Amaya.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (38-38)

It was over almost before it began Monday night as Tennessee was embarrassed by Chattanooga 7-3. The score was not indicative of the game as the Smokies were never really in it. The Smokies scored three late runs and managed only four hits. Tennessee scored all their runs in the seventh inning after Charles Cutler (1-for-4) singled with one out and Dustin Geiger (1-for-3) walked. A wild pitch advanced the runners up a base and a groundout scored Cutler. Anthony Giansanti (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch and Elliot Soto (0-for-3) walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Taylor Davis (1-for-1 with two RBI) singled in Geiger and Giansanti. Joe Gardner had his worst outing since joining the team as he allowed four earned runs with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings. Jeffry Antigua was touched for an unearned run as he struck out three in three innings. Lendy Castillo set down the only batter he faced, but Jeffrey Lorick gave up two runs (one earned) as he only pitched 0.1 innings. Tony Zych is finally starting to show some of his promise as he recorded three strikeouts in 1.2 scoreless innings.

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Tennessee was in control early Tuesday as the Smokies took to the road to defeat Jackson 6-2 in a game that was called after seven and a half innings. Stephen Bruno (2-for-3 with an RBI) laced a one out single in the first inning and moved to third on a double from Christian Villanueva (3-for-4 with three doubles and two RBI). Dustin Geiger (0-for-4) reached on a fielder’s choice and a single by Rubi Silva (1-for-4 with an RBI) scored Bruno and Villanueva. Bruno reached on a fielding error with two outs in the second and came around on another double from Villanueva. It was the same pair again in the fifth with Bruno singling and scoring on Villanueva’s third double of the game. The Smokies took advantage of a couple of errors in the sixth that allowed Jeudy Valdez (0-for-3) and Elliot Soto (0-for-3) to reach, as Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) doubled to drive in both runners.

Dae-Eun Rhee was able to limit the damage of three hits and three walks by allowing an earned run while striking out three in 5.2 innings. Hunter Cervenka gave up an earned run and had two strikeouts in an inning of work while Lendy Castillo picked up his first save by striking out the only batter he faced.

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The Smokies were able to even their record by making a late push to defeat Jackson 4-2 Wednesday afternoon. Matt Loosen had one of his better efforts of the season by striking out five and allowing an earned run in six innings. Jeffrey Lorick gave up an earned run with a strikeout in two innings. All he does is save ballgames, as Frank Batista picked up his first for Tennessee as he worked around a hit in the ninth.

Tennessee took the lead in the sixth after Stephen Bruno (1-for-4) and Christian Villanueva (2-for-4) started the inning with consecutive singles. Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) drilled a one out double that plated Bruno and a single by Rubi Silva (1-for-4 with an RBI) scored Villanueva. Geiger later scored on a groundout. The Smokies added an insurance run in the ninth after Anthony Giansanti (1-for-3 with a home run) smashed his second home run of the season.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (39-36)

A Monday afternoon game saw Iowa jump out to a lead and then hold on for a 4-3 victory over Albuquerque. In the first inning, Javier Baez (2-for-4 with a stolen base) laced a two out single followed by a walk to Chris Valaika (1-for-3 with a double). Baez stole third and scored on a throwing error. Consecutive singles by Matt Szczur (2-for-4) and Brett Jackson (1-for-4) began the second inning and Szczur scored on a base hit from Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with an RBI). Ryan Kalish (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Jackson with a single of his own. With the game all tied at three in the bottom of the fifth, Kris Bryant (1-for-2 with a home run) broke the deadlock with a solo home run.

Dallas Beeler provided a typical effort as he allowed three earned runs but struck out two in six innings. Arodys Vizcaino was better his second time out at Triple-A as he had a strikeout in an inning of work. Zac Rosscup fanned two, while Blake Parker also had two strikeouts as both pitched an inning. Parker picked up his 16th save.

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The legend continues to grow as Iowa defeated Albuquerque Tuesday afternoon. Kris Bryant (1-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) thumped his fifth home run in an I-Cubs uniform as he put Iowa in the lead 3-1. Prior to Bryant’s blast, Ryan Kalish (0-for-1 with two walks) reached on a one out walk and Josh Vitters (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) singled with two outs. Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-3 with a double, RBI, and a stolen base) led off the third inning with a double and was bunted over to third. A two out double by Vitters drove in Alcantara. In the fourth, Luis Flores had a one out base hit and was bunted over to second. A single by Alcantara allowed Flores to score, as Kalish followed with a walk, Javier Baez (1-for-2 with an RBI) delivered a two out single that plated Alcantara.

Tsuyoshi Wada tied a career high with ten strikeouts while allowing an earned run in six innings. Alberto Cabrera relieved and gave up an earned run with a strikeout in his inning of work. Armando Rivero worked around two hits with two strikeouts as he pitched an inning. Marcus Hatley struck a batter in a perfect ninth.

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Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (3–1)

The A-Cubs put four on the board in the top of the 11th on Sunday to secure a 15-11 win over the Diamondbacks. Shortstop Gleyber Torres provided the big blow, a two-run home run as he was 3-for-6 with a triple and four RBI. Shamil Ubiera also had a home run as he went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBI. It was a four pitcher effort, with Yomar Morel tossing 2.2 scoreless innings and striking out four for the victory.

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The AZL Cubs used a five-run sixth inning to surge past the Angels 9-6 Monday night. Centerfielder Charcer Burks had a huge night. Burks went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI, and a stolen base. Infielder Ho-Young Son was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base. Big Jefferson Mejia carried the load on the mound. Mejia went five innings and struck out nine while getting nicked for two unearned runs.

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Nineteen-year old Luis Hernandez had two strikeouts and pitched five shutout innings Tuesday to help the A-Cubs defeat the Angels 4-2. Outfielder Shamil Ubiera had two RBI and was 1-for-3 while catcher Tyler Alamo was 2-for-4 with an RBI.

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Dominican Summer League

The DSL Cubs remain in the hunt for first place in the Boca Chica North Division as their 16-5 record puts them one game behind the DSL Rangers. Only one offensive player ranks in the league top ten in any category. Infielder Jenner Emeterio (.269/.437/.404/.840) is fourth with 13 stolen bases. Infielder Carlos Jimenez is leading the regulars at .342/.386/.468/.855 and 16 RBI, and is tied for the team lead with two home runs. Outfielder Roberto Caro has a home run and 15 RBI along with a .300/.462/.529/.990 line. Right handed pitcher Santiago Rodriguez is tied for the league lead with a 0.00 ERA as he is 3-0 with a 0.92 WHIP (14 strikeouts in 26 innings). Oscar De La Cruz is sixth in the league with a 0.43 ERA and he has 15 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP along with a 3-0 record in 21 innings.

Venezuelan Summer League

The VSL Cubs remain in the cellar as they have a record of 13-23 despite having several players among the league leaders. Outfielder Luis Hidalgo ranks in the top ten in the league in all three major categories: second with a .355 batting average, fifth with three home runs, and ninth with 15 RBI. Third baseman Wladimir Galindo is tied with teammate Miguel Rico for the lead with four home runs and is seventh in the league with 20 RBI, while hitting .287. Corner infielder Rico is eighth with 17 RBI and is batting .256. Switch-hitting infielder/outfielder Humberto Garcia remains the league leader with 14 stolen bases. Lefty Yapson Gomez remains in fourth in the league with a 1.85 ERA, fourth with a 0.91 WHIP, and is 2-0 with 20 strikeouts in 34 innings. Enrique De Los Rio is tenth in the league with a 3.23 ERA and is eleventh with a 1.37 WHIP, along with a 0-2 record and 21 strikeouts in 30.2 innings.

News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs optioned LHP Tsuyoshi Wada to the Iowa Cubs; assigned C Luis Flores to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs; assigned C Lance Rymel to the Daytona Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned RHP Jasvir Rakkar to the Boise Hawks from the Daytona Cubs; assigned C Antonio Valerio to the DSL Cubs from the Kane County Cougars.

The Kane County Cougars placed C Antonio Valerio on the 7-day disabled list; activated C Will Remillard from the 7-day disabled list; sent RHP Jose Arias to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment.

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