It was a “system sweep” on Sunday as all of the Cubs’ affiliates came away victorious. South Bend used a 5-for-5 performance by shortstop Gleyber Torres, while All-Star Jonathan Martinez tossed a two-hitter for Myrtle Beach. Tennessee had a second successful rehab start by Jacob Turner, and Iowa received another good outing from Dallas Beeler.
With all of the results from the weekend and the Top Prospect Watch, here is today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (27-34)
A rainout Thursday produced a doubleheader Friday as South Bend dropped the opener 5-3 to Burlington. Starter Trevor Clifton was hit hard, surrendering five earned runs on six hits while lasting only two innings. Daniel Lewis and Brad Markey picked up the slack, each tossing two scoreless innings.
The SB Cubs mounted a modest comeback as Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3) and David Bote (1-for-3) started the fifth inning with singles. A groundout scored Amaya. The sixth inning began with a walk to Kevin Encarnacion (0-for-2 with a walk), a double by Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-3 with a double), and a free pass to Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-2). Jason Vosler (0-for-1 with two walks and an RBI and a stolen base) walked and forced in Encarnacion, and Balaguert scored on a double play.
It was another bullpen failure in the nightcap with South Bend losing to Burlington 6-5 in eight innings. It has been a long and frustrating season for Jake Stinnett, as he gave up four runs (three earned) and struck out three in five innings. James Farris had a rare poor performance, as he allowed the Bees to tie the game by allowing an earned run with two strikeouts in two innings. Jordan Minch could not get out of the eighth inning, surrendering the winning run with two outs.
All the scoring for the SB Cubs came in the sixth inning, starting with a walk to Andrew Ely (0-for-2 with two walks). Singles by Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-3) and Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Ely. Following a sacrifice, a base hit from Gioskar Amaya (1-for-2 with an RBI and a stolen base) plated Balaguert and a sacrifice fly scored Brockmeyer. Amaya stole second and came around to score in a single from Rashad Crawford (2-for-4 with an RBI). A base hit by Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-5 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Crawford.
All the South Bend Cubs had to do was get three outs in the bottom of the ninth to come home with a victory. But it was not meant to be as they lost 7-6 to Peoria in 16 innings. It was a match-up of two of the best pitchers in the Midwest League as the Chiefs got the better of Jeremy Null, reaching him for three earned runs on six hits and a walk. Null struck out three in six innings. David Garner provided quality relief, striking out three in two scoreless innings. But Francisco Carrillo allowed Peoria back into the game, giving up two earned runs in the ninth. Ryan McNeil ate up some innings as he tossed three scoreless with two strikeouts. Given a lead to protect, Brad Markey blew his chance as he surrendered an earned run as he pitched three innings. Closer James Farris could manage only one out as he yielded the winning run in the 16th inning.
It looked like another sure loser for the SB Cubs until the rains came after the seventh. Prior to that, the Cubs only pushed across one run in the third after Rashad Crawford (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) drew a two out walk and scored on a double from David Bote (2-for-7 with a double, a home run, and three RBI). A one hour and nine minute rain delay gave South Bend a chance to refresh. Jeffrey Baez (0-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base) walked with one out and stole second. A single by Crawford drove in Baez, and a wild pitch moved Crawford into scoring position. But the matter became moot as Bote smashed a two run homer to put the SB Cubs ahead. South Bend stretched their lead in the ninth when Jason Vosler (2-for-7 with a double, a triple, and an RBI) had a two out double and came home on a single from Gioskar Amaya (1-for-7 with an RBI). The Cubs once again took the lead in the 13th after Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-7) singled with one out and scored on Vosler’s two-out triple.
South Bend broke out the big sticks Sunday, as the SB Cubs pounded out a 7-3 victory over Peoria. It was the “Gleyber Torres Show”, as the 18 year old went 5-for-5 with a home run and three RBI. It all started in the third inning when Rashad Crawford (1-for-4 with a home run) cracked a solo home run to lead off. Andrey Ely (2-for-5 with a double) followed with a single before Torres went deep. Gleyber Torres singled with one out in the fifth, as did Jason Vosler (1-for-5). A force play allowed Torres to score. The eighth inning started with a double from Yasiel Balaguert (3-for-5 with a double), who scored on a home run from Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-5 with a home run and two RBI). The SB Cubs added one more for good measure in the ninth when Ely and Torres had back-to-back doubles.
Erick Leal was able to get through another start as he allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out five in 5.1 innings. Jordan Minch was able to complete the long save as he tossed 3.2 scoreless innings.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (36-26)
On Friday, Myrtle Beach wasted a great pitching performance in a 1-0 loss to Lynchburg. Tyler Skulina continues to progress as he gave up two hits and four walks while striking out seven in seven innings. Fernando Cruz gave away the game as he allowed an earned run in two innings. The Pelicans managed only two hits … Chesny Young (1-for-4) and Trey Martin (1-for-3 with a stolen base).
With nine games left to play in the first half, the Pelicans are beginning to limp down the stretch as the Pelicans were humiliated by Lynchburg 14-5 on Saturday. Pitching had been the mainstay for Myrtle Beach, but it failed them as Jen-Ho Tseng was lit up for six earned, all in the third inning. Tseng struck out five in 4.2 innings, but the damage had already been done. Juan Paniagua came in and poured gas on the fire. Paniagua allowed four earned runs and struck out two in 1.1 innings. The game was turned over to Tyler Ihrig, who had three strikeouts but gave up four earned runs in two innings. Zach Cates had a scoreless ninth inning with a strikeout.
Myrtle Beach was down 6-0 when they scored their first run in the fifth inning. Carlos Penalver (2-for-4 with a double) ripped a one out double and came home on a two out triple from Danny Lockhart (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI). The Pelicans had a minor showing in the eighth inning as Mark Zagunis (1-for-4) had a one out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A two out base hit by Chesny Young (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Zagunis, and pinch-hitter Jordan Hankins walked. Jacob Rogers (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI) crushed a pitch over the center field wall for a three-run home run.
Myrtle Beach turned the tables on Lynchburg Sunday, as the Pelicans pulled away for a 7-1 victory. All-Star Jonathan Martinez throttled the Hillcats for six innings with one of the two hits he gave being a solo home run. Both Fernando Cruz and James Pugliese were perfect out of the bullpen. Cruz struck out a batter in his inning of work, while Pugliese tossed two innings and struck out a batter.
After Lynchburg took the lead in the third inning, it was all Pelicans as Chesny Young (1-for-3) singled to start the fourth and came around on a Victor Caratini (1-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) home run, his first of the season. Trey Martin (2-for-4) lead off the fifth with a single and Danny Lockhart (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch. A base hit by Mark Zagunis (2-for-5 with a double and two RBI) drove in Martin, and a single from Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-4 with an RBI) plated Lockhart. A walk to Young loaded the bases. A double play allowed Zagunis to score. Chen scored on a double from Jacob Rogers (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI). The Pelicans added a run in the sixth when Martin had a one out single and scored on a ground rule double from Zagunis.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (34-29)
The Smokies squandered a great pitching performance Friday as they slipped further in the standings with a 2-0 loss to Jacksonville. Tennessee has gone 1-6 since reaching first place on June 4, and has fallen four and a half games behind leader Chattanooga. Frank Batista remained the Southern League’s best pitcher as he struck out four and allowed two earned runs in seven innings. Corey Black tossed a scoreless eighth inning. The Smokies were one-hit on offense, as Kyle Schwarber went 1-for-4 with a double.
A rare Saturday day game had Tennessee relieving some of their pent up frustrations as the Smokies pummeled Jacksonville 12-3. Jacob Hannemann (4-for-6 with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and six RBI) started the game right with a triple and scored on a one out single from Dan Vogelbach (2-for-5 with an RBI). Tied at one in the fourth, the game changed in a hurry as Billy McKinney (1-for-5 with a home run) and Stephen Bruno (3-for-5 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) hit back-to-back home runs. Wes Darvill (2-for-3 with an RBI) walked and went all the way to third on an errant pick-off attempt. A two-out double by Hannemann drove in Darvill. Walks to Bijan Rademacher (1-for-5) and Vogelbach began the fifth, with Rademacher scoring on a one out double by Bruno. A sacrifice fly brought in Vogelbach, and Tyler Pearson (0-for-3 with two walks) walked. Albert Almora (1-for-1 with an RBI) had a pinch-hit single to drive in Bruno, with another double by Hannemann scoring Pearson. The Smokies put the game away in the seventh after they loaded the bases with a single by Darvill and walks to Pearson and pinch-hitter Willson Contreras. The man of the game, Hannemann, then stepped in and delivered a grand slam home run.
Starter Ivan Pineyro did not last long as he threw only 67 pitches in four innings while striking out two and allowing an earned run on six hits and three walks. Tayler Scott also had some trouble with his control as he walked four and allowed an earned run in two innings. Starling Peralta then took over and struck out two as he gave up an earned run in two innings. P.J. Francescon walked a batter to start the ninth, but the game was called on account of rain.
It was another step in a comeback Sunday as Tennessee scored late and beat Jacksonville 4-1. Jacob Turner made his second rehab start and struck out three in five scoreless innings. Tossing two perfect innings, Jeffry Antigua had two strikeouts. Corey Black was touched for an unearned run as he had two strikeouts in two innings.
The Smokies got on the board with two outs in the top of the fourth inning after Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) walked, stole second, and scored on a single from Stephen Bruno (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base). Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-5 with a double) began the sixth inning with a base hit. Kyle Schwarber (0-for-2 with three walks and a stolen base) and Dan Vogelbach (0-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base) walked to load the bases. A force play allowed Almora to score, while a single by Bruno brought in Schwarber. A one out single by Rademacher and a walk to Bruno in the eighth set up Wes Darvill (1-for-4 with an RBI), whose base hit drove in Rademacher.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (33-29)
With rainouts the previous two days, the I-Cubs had a doubleheader Friday which resulted in a sweep of Colorado Springs, starting with a 2-0 victory in game one. Starter Felipe Paulino was dealing as he struck out three in six innings. Brian Schlitter collected his fifth save with a strikeout in the seventh inning. Rubi Silva (2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base) doubled with two out in the second inning and came home on a single from Jonathan Mota (1-for-3 with an RBI). A walk to Rafael Lopez (1-for-2) and a single by Silva started the fourth inning, with two sacrifice flies scoring Lopez.
It was another great pitching performance in game two as Iowa beat Colorado Springs 1-0. Carlos Pimentel scattered three hits over six innings with three strikeouts. Carl Edwards Jr. collected his first Triple-A save with a strikeout in the seventh. The I-Cubs broke a scoreless tie in the fifth inning as Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a triple) led off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Iowa made enough mistakes Saturday that were the difference as they lost 4-1 to Colorado Springs. Donn Roach had another quality start as struck out three in six innings. But defense was his undoing as Roach allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and a walk. Armando Rivero, Yoanner Negrin, and Yoervis Medina each had a strikeout and pitched a scoreless inning. The only run for the I-Cubs scored in the second inning after Rafael Lopez (2-for-3 with a double) walked, stole second and scored on a double from Taylor Davis (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI).
The I-Cubs saw an early lead go ‘poof’ on Sunday, but were able to rally back for an 8-7 victory in 10 innings over Colorado Springs. Iowa jumped all over the Sky Sox in the first inning after John Andreoli (2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base) drew a one out walk and Matt Szczur (1-for-5 with a double) doubled. Both were on board when Christian Villanueva (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI) crushed a three-run homer to left center. Taylor Teagarden (1-for-4 with a home run) followed with a solo home run. Iowa extended their lead in the second inning after Chris Valaika (1-for-5 with an RBI) reached on an error, was sacrificed to second, and scored on a two out single from Andreoli. The I-Cubs didn’t let a six-run top of the seventh get them down as Jonathan Mota (0-for-1) was hit by a pitch and came around on a double by Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI) to cut the deficit to one. In the eighth, Rubi Silva (0-for-3 with two walks) walked and advanced to second on a sacrifice, scoring after a wild pitch and a throwing error. Villanueva led off the 10th with a double and made it to third on fielding error. Colorado Springs’ strategy seemed to be working as pinch-runner Adron Chambers was thrown out a home after intentional walks to Teagarden and Silva and a ground out. But a single by Valaika brought in Teagarden for the walk-off victory.
For the second straight start, Dallas Beeler was in control as he had six strikeouts and gave up an earned run in five innings. Joe Ortiz breezed through the sixth inning, but was hammered for five earned runs without recording an out in the seventh. Blake Cooper inherited the mess and yielded an earned run in two innings. Gonzalez Germen had a strikeout in two perfect innings to give Iowa the chance to win.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (9-4)
The DSL Cubs moved into first place in the Boca Chica North Division on Friday as they defeated the DSL Brewers 8-3. Shortstop Yeiler Peguero contributed to a seven-run eighth inning by going 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Designated hitter Jose Jules went 1-for-4 with a triple and two RBI. Starter Pedro Silverio was in control as he struck out four in six scoreless innings.
The D-Cubs slipped a little on Saturday in losing 3-2 to the DSL Marlins. Starter Junior Marte pitched well, striking out three and was charged with an unearned run in five innings. Jose Morel was also betrayed by the defense, giving up two runs (one earned) as he struck out three in 3.1 innings. Third baseman Miguel Ruiz came through as he was 1-for-2 with a double and an RBI.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (12-12)
It went 12 innings on Friday, but the VSL Cubs fell 2-1 to the VSL Phillies. The V-Cubs collected only six hits as outfielder Jose Rojas and first baseman Fidel Matos each went 1-for-3. Six-foot-six, 17-year old lefty Andres Bonalde had a good start, striking out three while being charged with an unearned run in four innings.
The V-Cubs dropped their second straight to the VSL Phillies on Saturday, losing 7-2. The onus fell on the bullpen as starter Emilio Ferrebus did his job, striking out three and allowing an earned run in three innings. Designated hitter Jose Rojas was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled RHP Brian Schlitter from the Iowa Cubs; optioned OF Junior Lake to the Iowa Cubs; assigned C Alberto Mineo to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from extended Spring Training, assigned Mineo to the Eugene Emeralds from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; assigned INF Edgar Rondon to the DSL Cubs.
Top Prospect Watch
Note: RHP Pierce Johnson replaces RHP Jake Stinnett on the Top Prospect Watch
- Albert Almora Jr. (OF) – .249/.288/.333/.621, eight doubles, a triple, two home runs, 16 RBI, three stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
- Trevor Clifton (RHP) – 2-5, 44.1 IP, 4.67 ERA, 23 ER, 45 K, 1.331 WHIP (South Bend Cubs)
- Carl Edwards Jr. (RHP) – 0-0, one save, 5 IP, 5.40 ERA, 3 ER, 6 K, 1.600 WHIP (Iowa Cubs)
- Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 0-0, 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 ER, 2 K, 1.333 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
- Billy McKinney (OF) – .250/.295/.385/.681, eight doubles, a triple a home run, 11 RBI (Tennessee Smokies)
- Kyle Schwarber (C) – .318/.439/.578/1.017, nine doubles, a triple, 13 home runs, 39 RBI, a stolen base (Tennessee Smokies)
- Gleyber Torres (INF) – .319/.391/.405/.796, 11 doubles, two triples, a home run, 35 RBI, 10 stolen bases (South Bend Cubs)
- Jen-Ho Tseng (RHP) – 2-3, 46 IP, 4.70 ERA, 24 ER, 30 K, 1.391 WHIP (Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
- Duane Underwood Jr. (RHP) – 5-2, 56.1 IP, 2.08 ERA, 13 ER, 37 K, 0.994 WHIP (Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
- Dan Vogelbach (1B) – .295/.414/.452/.866, 12 doubles, a triple, four home runs, 25 RBI, a stolen base (Tennessee Smokies)