The organization saw some signs of breaking out of their collective mid-season slump. Tennessee put together back-to-back victories, while Daytona earned their 60th win of the year. Zeke DeVoss continues to run wild in Boise, while Peoria got some good pitching from Eric Jokisch, Frank Del Valle, and Luis Liria. However, Iowa couldn’t buy a win, as they struggled for consistency.
All of this and more in this edition of the CCO’s Down on the Farm Report. Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (16-20)
A case to the yips affected Boise’s pitching staff on Wednesday, as they issued ten walks in a 6-4 loss to Spokane. Su-Min Jung couldn’t find the plate, walking five and allowing an earned run in 0.2 of an inning to start the game. Cameron Greathouse followed and issued four free passes in 3.2 innings, letting three runs (one earned). Dustin Fitzgerald gave up the last walk and two earned runs in 0.2 innings. Colin Richardson finally restored order, striking out four in three scoreless innings. Reggie Golden kept the Hawks in it by going 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and two RBI. Rafael Lopez was 3-for-4 and Wilson Contreras 2-for-4, while Zeke DeVoss and Kyung-Min Na each stole a base.
The Boise offense just couldn’t generate runs on Thursday, as they lost to Yakima 4-0, their sixth straight loss. The Hawks’ starter Austin Reed held the Bears in check, allowing only one earned run while striking out five over 5.2 innings. Jin-Yeong Kim then came on and gave up three earned runs over the final 3.1 innings. Zeke DeVoss was 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base. Wes Darvill and newcomer Jesus Morelli were each 1-for-3 with a stolen base.
It took ten innings, but Boise finally got back in the win column in a 3-2 win over Yakima on Friday. Rafael Lopez (2-for-5) singled in Zeke DeVoss (2-for-4, stolen base) with the winning run. Yaniel Cabeza was also 2-for-4.
Willengton Cruz kept the Hawks in the game by allowing only one run over six innings with three strikeouts. Charles Thomas gave up another earned run on his 1.1 innings of work. Bryce Shafer made up for some recent poor performances by hurling 2.2 scoreless innings, striking out four batters.
The lack of timely hitting let the Hawks down on Saturday, as Boise couldn’t hold a lead in a 4-1 loss to Yakima. Starter Ben Wells continues to be a work in progress. Wells allowed three runs (two earned) in four innings… the unearned run was a product of his own throwing error. Kyler Burke is beginning to settle in, as the lefty tossed four innings and gave up an earned run while striking out three. Dustin Fitzgerald closed out the game with a scoreless inning. Boise scattered seven hits, as Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-4 with a double and triple. Jesus Morelli drove in Chen for the Hawks’ only run.
Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (43-55)
Peoria could manage only three hits on Thursday, as the Dayton Dragons slayed the Chiefs young pitching in a 13-0 loss. Starling Peralta had his worst outing in Peoria, allowing nine earned runs in two innings. Dan Berlind followed and gave up three more earned runs in two innings. P.J. Francescon let in the final run in his two innings of work. Pete Levitt and Brent Ebinger finally stopped the bleeding. Anthony Giansanti was the entire offense for the Chiefs, going 2-for-3 with a double. Rubi Silva saw his first action at second base.
The offense continued to sputter on Friday, wasting a good effort by Eric Jokisch as Peoria lost to Dayton 2-0. The Chiefs mustered only three hits, as Dustin Geiger went 2-for-4 while Elliot Soto collected the only other hit. Jokisch went five innings and struck out seven while allowing the only runs. Alvaro Sosa and Yohan Gonzalez muzzled the Dragons the rest of the way.
The Chiefs got a great effort from their young pitchers Saturday, as the lefty-righty combination of Frank Del Valle and Luis Liria shutdown the Bowling Green Hot Rods 2-1. Del Valle was under control in his five innings, striking out three and allowing only a solo home run. Lira shook off his previous bad performance and gave up only one hit while striking out three in four innings.
Peoria was opportunistic, as Arismendy Alcantara reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second on an errant throw. Two wild pitches later, Alcantara scored the Chiefs’ first run. In the seventh, Micah Gibbs doubled in Dustin Geiger for what proved to be the game winner. Ben Klafczynski was 2-for-3 for the evening.
High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (60-39)
Daytona returned to their winning ways on Thursday, as they defeated Palm Beach 3-2 for their 60th victory. Logan Watkins started the scoring for the D-Cubs by cracking his second homer of the season. Rafael Valdes was 2-for-3 with a double, while Chad Noble drove in two runs.
Angel Guzman gave up two earned runs in his two innings of work. Casey Harman did the heavy lifting, keeping the Cardinals scoreless while striking out five in six innings. Frank Batista picked up his 19th save as he went the rest of the way.
The D-Cubs were out of it before the fans got comfortable in their seats on Friday, as Palm Beach embarrassed Daytona 8-3. Dae-Eun Rhee started and allowed four earned runs in the first inning and ended up allowing five earned in four innings. Larry Suarez followed with an earned run in 2.1 innings, while Kyle Smit suffered two unearned runs in 1.2 innings. Aaron Kurcz mopped up with a scoreless ninth. Daytona scored three late runs, courtesy of Michael Burgess‘ two-run blast. Justin Bour was 3-for-4.
Daytona was nearly no-hit on Saturday, but it took a tenth inning rally for Palm Beach to defeat the D-Cubs 3-2. Rafael Valdes and Dustin Harrington reached base in the seventh on a walk and an error. Matt Szczur then laced a triple to break up the no-no and tie the score at two runs. Jeffry Antigua, making his second start, went 7.1 strong innings, striking out six while allowing only a solo home run. Eduardo Figueroa also gave up a solo shot, and was tagged with the loss as Szczur’s throwing error brought in the go-ahead run.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (56-43)
Once again, Tennessee’s bats couldn’t warm up fast enough to help their pitching, as they lost to Carolina 11-6 on Thursday. Ryan Searle held the Mudcats to two earned runs over five innings. The usually reliable Kevin Rhoderick came in and gave up seven earned runs in 0.1 of an inning, while Marcus Hatley allowed the final two earned runs in 0.2 of an inning. The Smokies tried to come back, responding with five runs in the bottom of the sixth and one in the seventh, but came up short. Josh Vitters blasted a three-run home run. Steve Clevenger was 2-for-4 with a double, while Jae-Hoon Ha was 2-for-5 with a double.
Tennessee was able to rally on Friday, as they defeated Carolina 6-5 in ten innings. Down 5-2 after four innings, the Smokies answered with three runs to tie the game in the eighth inning. Jae-Hoon Ha started the scoring in the eighth with his second home run of the season. Ty Wright continued to be hot, going 4-for-5 with a double, home run, and two RBI. Blake Lalli was 2-for-4 while Luis Flores was also 2-for-4 with two doubles and David Macias was 2-for-3.
Dallas Beeler was the hard-luck pitcher again, as he allowed four runs (one earned) in 2.2 innings. Marco Carrillo ate some innings, as he let in an earned run in 3.1 innings. Jeff Stevens and Rafael Dolis tossed two scoreless innings apiece to bring home the victory.
Tennessee returned to their early season form on Saturday as pitching and the Smokies’ offense produced a 6-2 victory over Carolina. Trey McNutt was in total control, striking out four while walking none, as he allowed an earned run in his five innings of work. Oswaldo Martinez continued the “no free passes” mantra, working three innings and giving up an earned run while striking out two batters. Marcus Hatley completed the no-walk performance with a scoreless ninth.
Rebel Ridling was “the show” for the Tennessee offense, as he was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI as he blasted his 14th homer. Nate Samson was also 2-for-4, while Matt Spencer, Steve Clevenger, and David Macias drove in runs.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (44-57)
After being spotted a two-run lead on Wednesday, Iowa’s pitching fell apart as Nashville spanked the I-Cubs 10-2. Coming to the plate after a Tyler Colvin (2-for-4) double, D.J. LeMahieu (2-for-4) belted his first I-Cub homer for the lead. However, starter Jay Jackson couldn’t hold the Sounds, allowing seven earned runs over six innings. Justin Berg didn’t fare much better, as he let in two more earned runs in two innings of work. Robert Coello gave up Nashville’s final run. Brad Snyder also ended up 2-for-4 on the night.
Iowa’s second comeback of the night fell short on Thursday, as they lost to Nashville 8-7. Starter Casey Coleman put the I-Cubs in a hole by allowing six earned runs over seven innings while striking out five batters. Iowa stormed back as Marwin Gonzalez broke out of a slump by going 3-for-3 with three RBI and his first home run in a Iowa uniform. Coleman also tried to help his cause with a 2-for-3 night at the plate that included a triple and two RBI. With the score tied 6-6, John Gaub allowed two runs (one earned) and Chris Carpenter finished up with a scoreless inning. Tyler Colvin, Bryan LaHair, and Welington Castillo also enjoyed multi-hit nights.
Pitching was again Iowa’s undoing, as Dave Bush put the I-Cubs behind the eight-ball in their 5-2 loss to Nashville on Friday. Bush was spotted a one run lead, and then promptly allowed five earned runs in 3.1 innings. John Gaub and Chris Rusin bailed him out the rest of the way, but the damage had already been done. Welington Castillo did his best to keep Iowa in the game, going 3-for-4 with a double, home run, and scoring both runs.
Iowa wasted another strong effort by Alberto Cabrera on Saturday, as they lost to Nashville 4-1. Over his past three starts, Cabrera has a 3.14 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 17 innings. Cabrera received no run support, as he allowed four earned runs and struck out three in six innings. Scott Maine blanked the Sounds over the final two innings. Ryan Flaherty doubled in Brad Snyder in the ninth for the I-Cubs’ only run.
News and Notes
Tennessee activated OF James Adduci from the 7-Day disabled list. Outfielder Nelson Perez was assigned to Daytona from Tennessee. Outfielder Jesus Morelli was assigned to Boise from the AZL Cubs. Outfielder Kyung-Min Na was assigned to the AZL Cubs from Boise.
Top Prospect Watch
- Michael Burgess (OF) – .216, .323 OBP, .732 OPS, 21 Doubles, Triple, 13 HR, 53 RBI, 9 Outfield Assists (Daytona Cubs)
- Chris Carpenter (RHP) – 2-2, 5.47 ERA, 24.2 IP, 15 ER, 24 K, 20 BB, 1.82 WHIP 3 Holds, Save (Iowa Cubs)
- Micah Gibbs (C) – .243, .362 OBP, .656 OPS, 8 Doubles, HR, 18 RBI, Stolen Base, 27% Caught Stealing (Peoria Chiefs)
- Reggie Golden (OF) – .254, .370 OBP, .748 OPS, 5 Doubles, 3 Triples, HR, 13 RBI, 5 Stolen Bases, 2 Outfield Assists (Boise Hawks)
- Jae-Hoon Ha (OF) – .256, .303 OBP, .755 OPS, 8 Doubles, Triple, 2 HR, 9 RBI, Stolen Base, Outfield Assist (Tennessee Smokies)
- Brett Jackson (OF) – .162, .279 OBP, .576 OPS, 3 Doubles, Triple, RBI, Stolen Base, 2 Outfield Assists (Iowa Cubs)
- D.J. LeMahieu (IF) -.313, .341 OBP, .726 OPS, 3 Doubles, HR, 8 RBI, 2 Stolen Bases (Iowa Cubs)
- Trey McNutt (RHP) – 1-3, 4.33 ERA, 52.0 IP, 25 ER, 32 K, 20 BB, 1.60 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
- Hayden Simpson (RHP) – 0-2, 7.71 ERA, 9.1 IP, 8 ER, 6 K, 7 BB 2.03 WHIP (AZL Cubs)
- Matt Szczur (OF) – .235, .264 OBP, .617 OPS, Double, Triple, HR, 3 RBI, 3 Stolen Bases, Outfield Assist (Daytona Cubs)
- Josh Vitters (3B) -.273, .309 OBP, .741 OPS, 20 Doubles, Triple, 3 HR, 45 RBI, 3 Stolen Bases (Tennessee Smokies)
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