Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 07/17/14

It was an abbreviated start to the week as many of the minor league teams were enjoying some time off during the All-Star break. The teams that were in play seemed to take it on the chin as Tennessee dropped a pair despite four RBI from Jae-Hoon Ha. Daytona had a 13-inning game on Monday with Albert Almora hitting for the cycle. Boise’s Mark Zagunis had his own cycle as the Hawks inched closer to first place. Meanwhile, Kane County had a rarity in losing two in a row as the Cougars said goodbye to Kyle Schwarber.

Along with summaries from the Dominican Summer League and the Venezuelan Summer League, here is today’s Down on the Farm.

Editor’s Note: Monday’s report will cover 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 (19–14)

Boise faced off with first place Spokane Monday and came away 11-6 winners. It ended up being a slugfest as the Hawks cut into a 4-0 deficit in the first inning as Jeffrey Baez (2-for-5) led off with a single and moved to third on a double from Rashad Crawford (1-for-4 with a double). A Mark Zagunis (4-for-5 with a double, a triple, a home run, and four RBI) triple drove in Baez and Crawford, and Zagunis scored on a groundout. Boise tied the game in the third after Zagunis singled and scored on a two out double from Justin Marra (2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI), and Marra scored on a base hit from Giuseppe Papaccio (2-for-4 with an RBI). The Hawks exploded in the fourth inning after Baez singled and was on board when Zagunis went yard with one out. Danny Canela (0-for-4) walked and Jesse Hodges (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled, and Canela crossed the plate on a double from Marra. Hodges scored on a wild pitch, and Marra scored on a home run from Jason Vosler (3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). Zagunis collected a double in the eighth inning to complete the cycle.

PrintTyler Ihrig needed to take the offense out to dinner after they provided him with so many early runs. Ihrig allowed six earned runs and struck out four in five innings. Both Brad Markey and Francisco Carrillo gave up a hit and struck out a batter as each pitcher tossed two scoreless innings.

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Boise has held their own against the team with the best record in the Northwest League as the Hawks beat Spokane in walk-off fashion 4-3 Tuesday. Boise took the lead in the sixth inning after Danny Canela (1-for-3) led off with a single, and Jason Vosler (1-for-4) had a one out base hit. A passed ball advanced the runners a base. A walk to Chesny Young (2-for-3) loaded the bases, and a double from Mark Malave (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) drove in Canela and Vosler. The Hawks added a run in the eighth after Young singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Successive base hits by Malave and Charlie White (1-for-4 with an RBI) scored Young. Young ignited Boise again in the tenth as he led off with a single and Malave walked. A one out balk advanced the runners a base, and Jeffrey Baez (3-for-6 with an RBI) chopped a single through a pulled in infield to plate Young with the game-winner.

Erick Leal had a fine performance as he allowed an earned run and struck out five in six innings. Ryan Williams had a little more trouble in his second outing than in his first as he gave up an unearned run and had two strikeouts in two innings. Sam Wilson surrendered the tying run but had five strikeouts in two innings for the victory.

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It was three wins in a row for the Hawks Wednesday as Boise defeated Spokane 8-4 with a late charge. The Hawks were behind 3-0 in the fourth when Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a double) doubled and went to third on a single from Justin Marra (2-for-3 with a double). A base hit by Jesse Hodges (1-for-4 with an RBI) plated Zagunis. Boise cut the lead in half in the seventh after Alex Tomasovich (1-for-3) singled and moved to third base on a single from Jason Vosler (1-for-4 with an RBI). A fielder’s choice wiped out Vosler at second but scored Tomasovich,  with a base hit from Rashad Crawford (2-for-5 with two RBI and a stolen base) driving in Calvin Graves (1-for-4 with two RBI). In the eighth, Marra led off with a walk and moved to third on a double from Chesny Young (1-for-2 with a double). Tomasovich walked. Both Marra and Young scored on a force that wiped out Tomasovich but allowed Vosler to reach. Graves singled in Vosler, and a double by Jeffrey Baez (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI) brought in Graves. Crawford singled in Baez.

Trevor Clifton started and allowed four runs (three earned) while striking out three in six innings. Tommy Thorpe tossed two perfect innings and had two strikeouts. David Garner closed it out with a scoreless ninth.

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Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (62-33)

Kane County began the work week by dropping the last game in a set with Beloit 3-2 on Monday afternoon. The Cougars looked as if they were going to eke out a win after they took the lead in the fifth when Kevin Brown (1-for-3) and Trey Martin (1-for-3) drew two out walks and both scored on a double from David Bote (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI). Daury Torrez started for Kane County and gave up an unearned run while striking out four in seven innings. Michael Wagner served up a two-run homer in the ninth as he went two innings and struck out two batters.

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The Cougars returned to action Wednesday after traveling to Lansing. Kane County lost 8-4 the Lugnuts. Juan Carlos Paniagua had a rough go of it as he allowed five earned runs and struck out five in five innings. Corbin Hoffner didn’t fare much better as he gave up three earned runs in an inning. Zak Hermans tossed two scoreless innings with a strikeout. Behind 8-0 in the seventh inning, Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-2 with an RBI) was hit by a pitch and David Bote (1-for-3) walked. A single by Carlos Penalver (1-for-3 with an RBI) loaded the bases and a groundout scored Brockmeyer. Jeimer Candelario (1-for-5) had a one out single in the eighth and Jacob Rogers (1-for-3) walked. A single by Brockmeyer scored Candelario, and a base hit from Bote loaded the bases. Rogers scored on a groundout. Kane County manufactured a run in the ninth after Trey Martin (1-for-4) singled, took second on defensive indifference, moved to third on a ground out, and scored on a sacrifice fly.

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High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (41-51)

It was a wild contest Monday as Daytona outlasted Jupiter 13-8 in 13 innings to claim sole possession of first place. Marco Hernandez (3-for-7 with a home run) and Albert Almora (5-for-7 with a double, a triple, a home run, and five RBI) started the game off right in the first inning as they went back-to-back with home runs. But the D-Cubs would not score again until the seventh inning when Gioskar Amaya (2-for-7 with a double and two RBI) had a one out double and scored on a single from Willson Contreras (1-for-7 with an RBI). Daytona added two more in the eighth after Almora singled and scored on a home run from Bijan Rademacher (2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). Daytona thought they had the game put away in the ninth after Jordan Hankins (3-for-6 with a double) reached on had a two out double and went to third on a single by Hernandez. A double by Almora scored Hankins and Hernandez, and Almora scored on a base hit from Dan Vogelbach (3-for-7 with two RBI and a stolen base). It remained tied eight until the 13th inning when Hankins and Hernandez reached with one out singles. Both scored when Almora hit a triple to complete the cycle. A base hit from Vogelbach plated Almora, and Zeke DeVoss (0-for-1 with a stolen base) was hit by a pitch. Vogelbach and DeVoss pulled off a double steal, and Billy McKinney (2-for-5) walked to load the bases. A single by Amaya scored both Vogelbach and DeVoss.

It wasn’t one of the best nights for starter Felix Pena as he allowed five runs (four earned) and struck out seven in 5.1 innings. Michael Jensen finished the sixth inning with a strikeout. Tyler Bremer worked two scoreless innings, but Starling Peralta surrendered three earned runs as he had three strikeouts in three innings. Zack Godley and Austin Kirk each tossed a perfect inning to finish off the game.

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A new face could not improve the Daytona offense Wednesday as they lost 5-1 to Fort Myers. The D-Cubs received 2014 first round draft pick Kyle Schwarber (0-for-2 with two walks) and scored their only run in the seventh inning. Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4) led off with a single but was thrown out at home on double from Billy McKinney (2-for-4 with a double). McKinney took third on the throw and scored on a groundout. Jose Rosario started and allowed four earned runs with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Tyler Bremer relieved and had three strikeouts in 2.1 scoreless innings. Yao-Lin Wang pitched the ninth and gave up an earned run.

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Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (46-49)

It seems Tennessee cannot put together a complete game with all three phases clicking at the same time as the Smokies lost 6-5 Monday to Jacksonville. And the Smokies have trouble gaining any momentum as either hitting, pitching, or defense fails to show up in practically every game. On Monday, it was the pitching staff’s turn to take the night off, making a bad situation worse. Jeffry Antigua was pressed into service as an emergency starter and fared well. Antigua allowed an earned run while striking out a batter in four innings. But Tony Zych surrendered four earned runs and in only 0.1 innings. P.J. Francescon tried to right the ship but gave up an earned run as he pitched three innings with three strikeouts. Andrew McKirahan struck out three of the five batters he faced as he tossed a perfect 1.2 innings. Tennessee twice had the lead after Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5) led off the game with a single, moved to third on a one out double from Addison Russell (1-for-3 with a double), and scored on a sacrifice fly. In the fourth inning Christian Villanueva (2-for-3 with two doubles) doubled and went to third on a single from Charles Cutler (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). A base hit by Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Villanueva, and Cutler scored on a pinch-hit double from Dustin Geiger. The Smokes added two in the fifth to tie the game after Villanueva reached with a two-out double and Cutler hit an inside-the-park home run.

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A day off didn’t improve things for Tennessee as the Smokies lost 6-4 to Huntsville Wednesday. Matt Loosen got the starting nod and allowed six earned runs while striking out five in four innings. Both Jeffrey Lorick and Zach Cates had two strikeouts in two scoreless innings. The Smokies got on the board first in the second inning when Charles Cutler (2-for-3) had a one out single and Luis Flores (1-for-4 with a double) doubled. A base hit from Jae-Hoon Ha (2-for-3 with three RBI) drove in Cutler and Flores. Tennessee added two runs in the seventh after Cutler walked and Flores reached on an error. Cutler scored on a ground out and Flores came home on a pinch-hit single from Jorge Soler.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (51-46)

The Iowa Cubs had the first part of the week off for the Triple-A All-Star break. Iowa kicks off the second half Thursday night at Round Rock.

Triple-A  All-Star Game

The Triple-A All-Star game was held Wednesday and the International League topped the Pacific Coast League 7-3. The Iowa Cubs had infielder Arismendy Alcantara named to the team but unable to appear after being promoted to the parent club. The I-Cubs were represented by pitchers Tsuyoshi Wada and Blake Parker, but Kyle Hendricks was the only member to see any game action. Hendricks tossed two scoreless innings and had two strikeouts.

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Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (10–8)

Pitching was the story Monday as the AZL Cubs three-hit the Giants in route to a 6-1 victory. Dillon Maples tossed three shutout innings with three strikeouts. Fifth round pick Justin Steele made his professional debut and struck out the side in his inning of work. Alberto Mineo was 2-for-4 with a home run and an RBI, and second baseman Bryant Flete went 1-for-3 with two RBI.

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Dominican Summer League

The DSL Cubs remain in second place in the Boca Chica North Division as their 25-15 record puts them nine games behind the DSL Rangers. Catcher Yohan Matos is tied for sixth in the league with four home runs to go along with 21 RBI and a .342/.450/.580/1.030 line. Outfielder Jenner Emeterio is tied for 12th with 16 stolen bases and has improved to .276/.414/.379.794 with 14 RBI. Infielder Carlos Jimenez remains among the team leaders at .315/.368/.419/.788 and two home runs, 26 RBI, and 11 stolen bases. Nineteen-year old Oscar De La Cruz is third in the league with a 0.82 ERA and has 37 strikeouts and a 0.98 WHIP along with a 5-0 record in 44 innings. Right-handed pitcher Santiago Rodriguez is now seventh in the league with a 1.10 ERA as he is 5-0 with a 0.96 WHIP and 40 strikeouts in 49 innings.

Venezuelan Summer League

The VSL Cubs continue to march their way up the standings by improving their record to 23-30 and moving a game behind the VSL Mariners for third place.  The V-Cubs continue to have several players among the league leaders. Third baseman Wladimir Galindo now ranks in the top ten of all three triple-crown categories. Galindo leads the league with seven home runs and is eighth with a .284 average and tied for fourth with 28 RBI. Corner infielder Miguel Rico is tied for fourth with 28 RBI and is tied for third with four home runs along with being 11th in the league in batting average (.275).  Outfielder Luis Hidalgo ranks sixth in the league with a .318 batting average, tied for sixth with three home runs, and has 19 RBI. Switch-hitting infielder/outfielder Humberto Garcia is second in the league with 16 stolen bases, while outfielder Luis Ayala is third with 14 stolen bases. Lefty Yapson Gomez is fourth in the league with a 1.76 ERA, third with a 0.90 WHIP, and is 4-1 with 28 strikeouts in 51 innings. Enrique De Los Rio is tenth in the league in ERA at 3.78 ERA and WHIP at 1.24 and 11th with 34 strikeouts in 52.1 innings to go along with a 2-3 record. Carlos A. Rodriguez is fifth in the league with 42 strikeouts.

News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs sent INF/OF Emilio Bonifacio to the Tennessee Smokies on a rehab assignment; released OF Zeke DeVoss; assigned OF/C Kyle Schwarber to the Daytona Cubs from the Kane County Cougars; assigned INF Giuseppe Papaccio to the Kane County Cougars from the Boise Hawks.

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Quote of the Day

"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Tom, thank you for another excellent report.

    • Tom U

      Thank you Neil!

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Thanks Tom … Jeffrey Baez is hitting well in Boise and taking his walks. What’s the scoop on him

    • Tom U

      At 6-foot, 180 pounds, Jeffrey Baez is “built like a linebacker” according to Arizona Phil, although his size would indicate more like a defensive back. Phil also reports that Baez plays the game with a hard-charging style.

      Defensively, Baez has great speed and range, and has an arm that will allow him to play RF, although he probably best projects to CF.

      Base running ability is Baez’s number one asset offensively, with 101 stolen bases in 3 + seasons as a professional. Baez also demonstrates a good overall approach at the plate, as his career .282 average and .357 OBP would indicate. While he’s hit some home runs this season, that is more due to the level of pitching he is facing and his natural strength than his potential as a power hitter.

      Baez’s ceiling is similar to Kenny Lofton, as he has top-notch defensive skills, steal-at-will speed, and enough power.