Daytona remained in the spotlight this week as Javier Baez and Tim Saunders each hit grand slams on Tuesday. Iowa received excellent pitching performances from Chris Rusin and Nick Struck. Pitching also took center stage for Boise, as Loiger Padron extended the team’s scoreless streak for starters. Kane County wrapped up the first half with a win, while Tennessee split a pair.
Along with recaps from the Dominican and Venezuelan Leagues and the Midwest All-Star game, see what’s inside of this version of the Down on the Farm Report.
Editor’s Note: Monday’s report covers games from Wednesday to Saturday. Thursday’s report covers games Sunday through Tuesday.
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks (2-3)
Boise’s starting pitching just kept on rolling on Sunday as they defeated Eugene 8-2. Loiger Padron was the third starting pitcher for the Hawks to toss shutout baseball. Padron struck out three in 4.2 scoreless innings. Padron reached his pitch count and turned the game over to Carlos Martinez-Pumarino, who allowed an earned run in 1.2 innings. Matt Iannazzo was also touched for an earned run in his inning of work. Michael Hamann was asked to get the final five outs, and he did so by striking out two in route to his first save.
The Boise offense took a while to get going, but finally did in the fifth. Rony Rodriguez (1-for-3) was hit by a pitch with one out and scored on a double from fellow catcher Lance Rymel (1-for-3 with two RBI). Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with four RBI) walked to start the seventh and moved to third on a double by Rodriguez. Danny Lockhart (1-for-4 with a RBI) singled in Balaguert while Rodriguez took third and ended up scoring on a sacrifice fly. Walks to Carols Penalver and Jacob Rogers were sandwiched around a single by Kevin Encarnacion (2-for-3) to start the eighth. A single by Balaguert plated Penalver, while Encarnacion scored on a passed ball. Singles by Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4) and David Bote (1-for-5) started the ninth. After a sac bunt moved up both runners ninety feet, an intentional walk to Encarnacion loaded the bases. Balaguert then missed a grand slam by inches but wound up with a bases clearing triple.
The starting pitching streak came to an end on Monday as Boise lost to Salem-Keizer 8-6. Eighteen-year old, 2012 second round pick Duane Underwood sported a big fastball but was unable to keep the Volcanoes off the scoreboard. Underwood allowed three earned runs while striking out three in 3.2 innings. Veteran Orbandy Rodriguez got Underwood out of a jam in the fourth, but created his own two innings later as he gave up four earned runs in 2.1 innings. Ethan Elias saw his first action of the season and struck out four while letting in an earned run in two innings. Tyler Bremer came back after allowing a walk-off homer two nights earlier to strike out two in a scoreless inning of work.
The Hawks tried to keep themselves in the game as Trevor Gretzky (1-for-4) led off the third with a double and scored on a fielding error and a groundout. A two out single by Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-4) and a walk to Jacob Rogers (2-for-4) put two on for Yasiel Balaguert (2-for-4 with three RBI) in the fifth. Balaguert laced and double and plated both Encarnacion and Rogers. Two more runs scored the seventh as walks to David Bote, Carlos Penalver (1-for-4) and Encarnacion loaded the bases. Bote scored on a wild pitch, while Penalver came home on a sacrifice fly. Walks to Danny Lockhart and Lance Rymel (1-for-3) started the eighth, Bote was hit by a pitch, and Lockhart scored on a wild pitch.
The Hawks spent more time chasing after the ball rather than playing baseball on Tuesday as seven wild pitches and two errors steered them toward a 9-2 loss to Salem-Keizer. Starter Trey Lang was the source of a majority of the wildness. Lang uncorked five wild pitches and committed an error in a single inning, and ended up with six wild pitches on the night. Lang ended up pitching four innings while striking out and allowing five runs (four earned). Jasvir Rakkar served up a three-run homer in two innings while Matt Iannazzo uncorked one of the wild pitches and gave up an unearned run with two strikeouts in two innings. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino tossed a scoreless inning with a strikeout.
Boise actually scored first as Shawon Dunston Jr. (2-for-3) walked to lead off the game and took second on a passed ball. A single by Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-3 with a RBI) scored Dunston. David Bote (1-for-4 with a home run) led off the eighth inning with a solo home run.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (30-36)
Kane County ended the first half of the 2013 campaign with a 5-2 victory over Wisconsin on Sunday. Starter Pierce Johnson had his good stuff and struck out five batters over seven scoreless innings. All-Star Nathan Dorris struggled a little bit as he allowed two earned runs while striking out a pair in an inning of work. Steve Perakslis has started to emerge as the closer and he worked around a walk and a hit to record his third save.
Reggie Golden (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) got the Cougars on the board in the third inning as he launched his second home run of the season. In the fourth inning, Rock Shoulders (2-for-4 with a home run) slugged his league leading 13th home run with two outs. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-2) restarted the innings with a single, and scored on a double from Carlos Escobar (2-for-3 with a RBI). Golden tripled in Escobar.
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (34-31)
Daytona resumed play after the All-Star break on Monday and lost 9-2 to Clearwater. Zach Cates had trouble locating the plate as he walked five and gave up five hits while allowing four earned runs in four innings. Austin Reed let in five runs (four earned) in two innings. Jeffrey Lorick did not allow a run over the final two innings. The only runs for the D-Cubs came in the fourth inning as Javier Baez reached on a throwing error and stole second. Baez trotted home when Dustin Geiger (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) went yard.
Whatever got into the Daytona Cubs on Tuesday, manager Dave Keller may wish to bottle it as the D-Cubs destroyed Clearwater 14-8. The score wasn’t as close as the numbers indicate as the D-Cubs put things on cruise control for the final two innings. John Andreoli (3-for-4 with two RBI) led off the game with a single and scored on a triple from Zeke DeVoss (2-for-6 with a RBI). DeVoss scored on a sacrifice fly. A one out single by Andreoli in the third allowed him to score Daytona’s third run as he crossed the plate after a single by Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with two RBI). Two more runs scored in the fourth as Chadd Krist (1-for-4) singled and went to third on a double by Tim Saunders (3-for-5 with four RBI). A groundout scored Krist, while Saunders came in on another base hit from Andreoli. Geiger drew a one out walk in the fifth went to third on a double by Ben Carhart (1-for-5). Krist was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Saunders, who crushed a grand slam to clear the bases. The seventh was also grand as the sacks were full with a Taylor Davis (1-for-3 with a RBI) walk and singles by Taiwan Easterling (2-for-5) and DeVoss when Javier Baez (1-for-5 with a home run and four RBI) delivered a grand slam of his own. Andreoli completed the night by drawing a bases loaded walk that forced in Carhart in the eighth inning.
The offensive explosion was fortunate for Kyler Burke as he really struggled. Burke allowed four earned runs with only one strikeout in four innings. Yao-Lin Wang came to the rescue as he blanked the Threshers for two innings while striking out two … Wang picked up his second victory. Frank Del Valle was subjected to some of the lackadaisical play that crept in to the game as he gave up three runs (one earned) in two innings, while Sheldon McDonald let in an earned run in the final inning.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (34-35)
The ineffective Tennessee offense squandered some great pitching on Sunday as they lost 4-1 to Mississippi. A.J. Morris continues to be stretched out as a starter, and showed that he may have a future there as he tossed four scoreless innings with five strikeouts. Yeiper Castillo has moved to the pen and he allowed an earned run while striking out three in three innings. Hunter Cervenka appeared to be settling in for the Smokies, but he gave up three earned runs in two innings. The only run scored in the second as Rubi Silva (3-for-4) and Christian Villanueva (2-for-4) reached with one out singles and Silva scored on a groundout.
Tennessee had 12 hits but managed only two runs on Monday, but that was good enough for a 2-1 victory over Mississippi. The only runs for the Smokies came in the sixth inning as Jonathan Mota (2-for-4) and Anthony Giansanti (2-for-4) singled to lead off. A bunt attempt by Chad Noble forced Mota, but Giansanti and Noble moved to second and third on a throwing error. Pinch-hitter Ty Wright walked to load the bases, and a single from Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5 with a RBI) scored Giansanti and Noble.
Eric Jokisch had one of his better outing of late. Jokisch struck out three and allowed an earned run over six innings. Trey McNutt and Tony Zych each tossed a scoreless inning. Frank Batista recorded his ninth save by striking out two in the ninth.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (34-37)
Lack of offense seemed to be the theme of the minor league system on Sunday as Iowa was not able to support their pitching in a 3-1 loss to Omaha. Guillermo Moscoso did well enough to pick-up a win in most situations by allowing three earned runs while striking out four in five innings. Hisanori Takahashi continues to be a steadying force as he tossed a scoreless inning. Michael Bowden kept the Storm Chasers off the board for two innings as he struck out two batters. Marcus Hatley finished things out a scoreless inning. The I-Cubs’ only run came in the first as Edwin Maysonet (1-for-3 with a home run) hit a solo home run.
On Monday, starter Chris Rusin took the bull by the horns and tossed a complete game shutout as Iowa defeated Omaha 2-0. Rusin struck out eight and pitched the first complete game shutout for Iowa since Sergio Mitre in 2004. The only runs came off of solo home runs, as Donnie Murphy (1-for-3 with a home run) went deep in the fifth inning while Brian Bogusevic (1-for-3 with a home run) slugged his ninth of the season in the eighth inning.
For the second night in a row, Iowa received a dominant pitching performance as they beat Nashville 7-0. Nick Struck carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up allowing three hits over 6.2 innings with three strikeouts. Casey Coleman bounced back from a poor outing to hold the Sounds scoreless for 1.1 innings. Eduardo Sanchez completed the shutout by striking out two in the final inning.
The I-Cubs clung to a 1-0 lead as Dave Sappelt led off the second with a single, stole second base, and scored on a double by Donnie Murphy. Iowa broke the game open in the seventh as Brent Lillibridge singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Logan Watkins walked and Brian Bogusevic was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A passed ball scored Lillibridge, and a single from Steve Clevenger plated Watkins. A double by Sappelt drove in Bogusevic and Clevenger. The I-Cubs added two more runs in the eighth as pinch-hitter Tim Torres reached on a fielding error, and singles by Watkins and Bogusevic scored Torres. And Dave Sappelt drove in Watkins to complete the scoring.
Dominican Summer League
The DSL Cubs went 3-4 this past week but remain tied for second place with an 8-7 record in the Baseball City North Division. Second baseman Dalfis Otiz remains the team leader with a .356 average, with a home run, nine RBI, and four stolen bases. Outfielder Jenner Emeterio has dropped to third in the DSL with 10 stolen bases, but improved his batting to .286 with a home run and six RBI. Nineteen-year old right-hander Jose Zapata has moved into a tie in the league lead with a 0.00 ERA, and is 1-0 with nine strikeouts in 13 innings and a 1.00 WHIP. Eighteen- year old righty Luis Hernandez now has a 0.77 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in 11.2 innings with nine strikeouts. Prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua was able to get some work in as he awaited approval of his visa. Paniagua tossed 1.1 scoreless innings and struck out two batters.
Venezuelan Summer League
The VSL Cubs had a 2-2 record over the past week to make them 14-15 for the season as they moved to third place. Infielder/outfielder Roney Alcala moved back into fourth place in the league in hitting. Alcala is batting .356 with two homers, while his 17 RBI are good for fifth place. Outfielder Arnaldo Calero has jumped up into sixth place with 18 RBI, as he is hitting .313 with two home runs and five stolen bases. Shortstop/second baseman Bryant Flete dropped down to third place with ten stolen bases to go along with his .279 average and 12 RBI. Outfielder Delbis Arcila tied teammate Miguel Rico for second in the league with five home runs and Arcila improved his average to .293 with 16 RBI. Right-handed pitcher Greyfer Eregua continues to lead the league with a 0.75 ERA, but his 0.86 WHIP now ranks second in the league.
Midwest League All-Star Game
It was a somewhat mixed bag for most of the Cubs’ prospects as the West team lost 6-5 to the East in the Midwest League All-Star game on Tuesday. Designated hitter Dan Vogelbach had an RBI and went 2-for-2. Vogelbach was replaced by Rock Shoulders, who along with right fielder Bijan Rademacher was 0-for-2 in the game. Pitchers Tayler Scott and Nathan Dorris did their jobs. Scott picked up a strikeout in 0.2 scoreless innings while Dorris retired the only man he faced. Pitcher Felix Pena was named to the squad but did not see action in the game.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned IF/OF Tim Torres to Iowa from Tennessee; assigned RHP Larry Suarez to Iowa from Daytona; assigned OF Pin-Chieh Chen to Daytona from Tennessee. The Iowa Cubs placed IF Edwin Maysonet on the 7-Day disabled list. The Daytona Cubs placed OF Jorge Soler on the 7-Day disabled list.
The Cubs released RHP Chad Martin, LHP Hunter Ackerman and outfielder Dong-Yub Kim