With one week to go in the minor league season, streaking is what seems to be the trend in the Cubs’ system. Kane County was winners of 13 straight thanks to excellent pitching from Jonathan Martinez, Tyler Ihrig, and Ben Wells. Both Daytona and Kyle Schwarber went on a five game roll, with the first round pick belting six home runs over that span. Boise won three in a row, including the debut of second round pick Jake Stinnett. Meanwhile, Iowa has been going in the opposite direction, losing nine consecutive games even though Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler keep hitting home runs. Tennessee has also dropped four in a row despite the slugging of Addison Russell.
We promise not to expose anything else until you take a look inside today’s Down on the Farm Report.
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 (36–31)
It was a sparkling debut for Boise Wednesday as the Hawks defeated Vancouver 4-1. Second round draft pick Jake Stinnett mesmerized the Canadians for 2.2 innings. Stinnett struck out four and allowed only a walk. Jeremy Null picked up the baton and held Vancouver scoreless for 3.2 innings with two strikeouts. Sam Wilson gave up an earned run but struck out two in 2.2 innings.
The Hawks took control of the game in the third inning after Bryant Flete (2-for-3 with a double) reached on an error and Mark Malave (2-for-4 with a double) singled. Another error allowed David Bote (1-for-4 with an RBI) to reach and Flete to score. A force-out put Rashad Crawford (0-for-4) on first and Malave on third. Malave scored on a groundout. The fifth inning began with a single by Flete and a double from Malave. A base hit by Bote drove in Flete, and a one out single from Charcer Burks (1-for-3 with two RBI) scored Malave.
It took 13 innings Thursday, but Boise was able to overcome some of the worst pitching it has seen this season to beat Vancouver 7-5. Starter Dillon Maples was simply atrocious. Maples allowed five earned runs on four hits and five walks while striking out two in 2.1 innings. James Farris got the emergency call from the pen and struck out three in 2.2 innings. Tommy Thorpe ate up some innings. Thorpe tossed three frames and struck out six batters. Daniel Lewis came in and fanned four in two innings. Corbin Hoffner went the rest of the way with two strikeouts in three innings.
The Hawks started out well after Rashad Crawford (1-for-6 with an RBI) led off the game with a single and Charcer Burks (2-for-6 with a double and an RBI) had a ground rule double. Crawford scored on a groundout, and Justin Marra (0-for-5) walked. Another groundout allowed Burks to score. Bryant Flete (2-for-5) began the second inning with a single and scored on a double from David Bote (2-for-5 with two doubles and three RBI). Jason Vosler (1-for-5 with a triple) walked, and a wild pitch advanced the runners. Bote then scored on a sacrifice fly and Vosler moved to third on yet another wild pitch. A base hit by Burks drove in Vosler. The score remained tied at five until the 13th when Jesse Hodges (2-for-5 with an RBI) singled and Alex Tomasovich (0-for-4) walked. A one out double from Bote brought in Hodges and Tomasovich with the go-ahead runs.
Boise put a thumping on Vancouver Friday and won 10-3 in an afternoon game. Erick Leal may have had his best outing of the season. Leal allowed an unearned run while striking out two in six innings. Josh Davis worked a scoreless inning, and Yomar Morel gave up two earned runs with two strikeouts in two innings.
It was an exciting beginning for the Hawks after Charcer Burks (3-for-6 with an RBI and two stolen bases) reached with a one out single. Kevin Brown (1-for-2 with a stolen base) and Danny Canela (1-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base) followed with walks. Boise then pulled off a triple steal, with Burks stealing home, while Brown and Canela advanced a base. Jesse Hodges (0-for-3 with an RBI) walked, and Brown scored on a groundout. Mark Malave (1-for-5) started off the second inning with a single and David Bote (0-for-2) walked. Bote was wiped out on a force that allowed Rashad Crawford (2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI) to reach, and Malave scored on a base hit from Burks. Burks stole second and Brown walked. An error allowed Canela to reach and Crawford to score, and Burks crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly. With two outs in the third inning, Bote walked, stole second, and scored on a triple from Crawford. In the sixth, Crawford singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and moved to third on a base hit from Burks. Brown reached on a fielder’s choice, and Crawford scored on a single from Canela. A one out base hit by Alex Tomasovich (3-for-5 with two RBI) scored Burks, and a ground out plated Brown. The Hawks added a run in the ninth after Tomasovich led off with a single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly.
With all of the offense the previous two games it seemed as if Boise had exhausted its allotment of runs by Saturday as the Hawks lost 4-1 to Vancouver. Overall, it was not a bad performance by the pitching staff as starter James Norwood struck out three and allowed an earned run in three innings. Trevor Graham was also solid as he gave up two runs (one earned) and fanned five in four innings. Brad Markey had two strikeouts but surrendered an earned run in an inning of work. The Hawks managed only five hits and scored their only run came in the top of the ninth. Kevin Brown (1-for-3) walked and pinch-hitter Alex Tomasovich singled. A groundout advancing the runners and Brown scored on a sacrifice fly.
Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (85–46)
Kane County steam-rolled to yet another win Thursday night as the Cougars beat Clinton 7-3. The game was not as close as the final score indicates the Lumber Kings scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning. The Cougars leapt ahead in the first inning after Danny Lockhart (1-for-5 with a triple) led off with a triple and Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a double) walked. A single by Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Lockhart and a one out base hit from Jacob Rogers (4-for-5 with an RBI) loaded the sacks. A single by Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-5 with an RBI) scored Zagunis, but Candelario was thrown out at home. A wild pitch advanced the runners a base, and a double from Chesny Young (1-for-4 with a double and two RBI) scored Rogers and Brockmeyer. In the second inning Zagunis was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on a single from Candelario. It was Zagunis again in the fourth inning after he doubled and scored on a two out single from Rogers. Kane County capped its scoring in the sixth inning after Candelario drew a one out walk, went to second on a base hit from Rogers, and scored on a throwing error.
Jonathan Martinez won for the third time in four starts since coming to the Cubs’ organization. Martinez struck out seven batters over five shutout innings. James Pugliese allowed an earned run with two strikeouts in two innings. David Garner could not get out of the ninth as he gave up two earned runs while striking out two in 1.2 innings. Francisco Carrillo fanned the last batter for his fifth save.
The margin of victory was even was even greater for Kane County Friday as the Cougars beat Clinton 9-1. Starter Tyler Ihrig was instrumental in keeping the Lumber Kings off the board. Ihrig struck out six batters and allowed an earned run through six innings. Michael Heesch struck out three in two scoreless innings. Jasvir Rakkar had a strikeout in a perfect ninth inning.
A scoreless tie was broken in the third inning after Danny Lockhart (1-for-4) led off with a double and scored on a triple from Carlos Penalver (1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI). A sacrifice fly drove in Penalver. Mark Zagunis (2-for-5) reached with a two out base hit. Jeimer Candelario (3-for-5 with a double, a triple, and two RBI) singled and a home run from Jacob Rogers(1-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) cleared the bases. Cael Brockmeyer (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) made it back-to-back jacks with a solo home run. Candelario doubled to lead off the seventh and scored on a one out single from Brockmeyer. The Cougars added two more in the eighth after Trey Martin (1-for-3 with an RBI) had a one out single and moved to third on a double from Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-5 with a double). Both runners scored on a two-out triple by Candelario.
Kane County made it a series sweep Saturday as the Cougars beat Clinton 2-1. It wasn’t a typical Ben Wells outing with only five ground outs, but Wells struck out three and allowed an earned run in six innings. Michael Wagner had four strikeouts in two perfect innings, and Francisco Carrillo earned save No. 6 by striking out two in the ninth. All the scoring for the Cougars came in the fifth inning after Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-2 with a double) had a one out double and scored on a Jeffrey Baez (1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI) homer, his fifth home run with Kane County.
The winning for Kane County ended at 13 games Sunday as the Cougars lost 2-1 to Burlington. It was defense that betrayed the Cougars as starter Daury Torrez was charged with two unearned runs as he struck out five in five innings. David Garner tossed three scoreless innings with a strikeout. One of Kane County’s patented miracle comebacks fell short in the ninth inning after Danny Lockhart (1-for-4) singled with two out and scored on a double from Carlos Penalver (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI).
High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (63-67)
The D-Cubs nearly threw one away Thursday as they held on to beat Clearwater 5-4. Daytona came back from a 2-0 deficit in the fifth inning after Bijan Rademacher (1-for-2 with a home run and an RBI) hit a solo homer with one out. Marco Hernandez (0-for-3) reached on a throwing error and scored on a home run from Jacob Hannemann (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI). The D-Cubs added a run in the sixth after Kyle Schwarber (1-for-2 with a home run and a stolen base) walked, stole second, and scored on a two-out triple from Billy McKinney (1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI). Schwarber added what would be the winning run in the eighth inning when he clubbed a solo home run.
Rob Zastryzny had a performance that most though would be seen all season long as he struck out five and allowed two runs (one earned) in seven innings. Austin Kirk was the victim of some sloppy defense and was nicked for two unearned runs in 1.2 innings. Zack Godley got the final out for his fifth save.
A big inning provided the difference for Daytona Friday as they beat Lakeland 10-6. The D-Cubs grabbed the lead in the second inning after Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4) walked and Willson Contreras (1-for-3) singled. A force play put Billy McKinney (1-for-4 with an RBI) at first and Vogelbach on third. A two out single from Bijan Rademacher (3-for-5 with a double and five RBI) drove in Vogelbach and McKinney. Daytona broke the game open in the fourth inning after Contreras reached on an error and McKinney walked. A ground rule double from Ben Carhart (3-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI) scored Contreras, and a base hit by Rademacher plated McKinney and Carhart. Rademacher was caught stealing, but Marco Hernandez (1-for-5) singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. A base hit by Jacob Hannemann (2-for-6 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Hernandez. Hannemann stole second base but a home run by Kyle Schwarber (2-for-5 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) plated Hannemann. Vogelbach followed with a single and Contreras with a walk. Vogelbach scored on a base hit from McKinney. Daytona put up another run in the ninth after Carhart and Rademacher had back-to-back doubles.
Juan Carlos Paniagua had a short night and allowed two runs (one earned) while striking out a batter in two innings. Yao-Lin Wang continues to show he’s back at full strength after injuries and recorded in a strikeout in two perfect innings. Starling Peralta labored a bit and gave up two earned runs as he struck out two in three innings. Steve Perakslis went the rest of the way but surrendered two earned runs in two innings.
A scheduled doubleheader for Friday had to be postponed to Saturday due to length of Friday’s first game and weather. Dodging the raindrops in game one, Daytona used the longball to best Lakeland 4-2 in eight innings. Justin Amlung started the opener and allowed two earned runs while striking out five in four innings. Michael Jensen also had five strikeouts as he tossed three scoreless innings. Austin Kirk gave up only a hit in the eighth for his second save. The D-Cubs jumped out to an early lead in the first after Gioskar Amaya (2-for-4 with a triple, a home run and an RBI) had a one out triple and scored on a sacrifice fly. A solo home run by Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3 with a home run and an RBI) in the fourth inning tied the score at two. Daytona began the top of the eighth inning with back-to-back home runs from Amaya and Kyle Schwarber (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI).
Daytona made it a sweep as they defeated Lakeland 4-0 in game two. Nathan Dorris was given the start and the lefty fanned five in 5.2 innings. Zack Godley bailed Norris out of a jam in the sixth inning as he struck out three in 1.1 innings for his sixth save. The D-Cubs broke a scoreless tie in the fourth after Dan Vogelbach (1-for-3 with a home run and an RBI) cranked a solo home run. Daytona scored more conventionally in the fifth inning after Marco Hernandez (1-for-1 with three stolen bases) singled and stole second base. A two out base hit from Kyle Schwarber (3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and three RBI) drove in Hernandez. The D-Cubs then put the game out of reach in the seventh as Hernandez walked, stole second and scored on a home run from Kyle Schwarber.
The outcome was never in doubt Sunday afternoon as Daytona were winners of five straight after beating Lakeland 7-1. It would also be five straight games for Kyle Schwarber (2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI) with a home run as he went deep in the first inning with Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3 with a double), who had drawn a one out walk ahead of him. Back-to-back doubles by Billy McKinney (2-for-3 with a double) and Ben Carhart (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) allowed McKinney to score to begin the second inning. In the sixth, it was Schwarber again as he led off with a solo home run. Willson Contreras (1-for-4) singled with one out and McKinney walked, with both runners advancing a base on a wild pick-off throw. Carhart was intentionally walked. A force out allowed Contreras to score and Rock Shoulders (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) reach first. Shoulders stole second and McKinney came home on a wild pitch. The D-Cubs weren’t done in the ninth. Marco Hernandez (1-for-4) singled with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a double by Jacob Hannemann (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI).
Tayler Scott has been pitching with more confidence lately, and it showed up Sunday as he allowed an earned run while striking out three in five innings. Jose Rosario pitched out of the pen and had two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Gerardo Concepcion was back on track as he fanned three in 2.1 scoreless innings.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (65-67)
The wheels came off the cart early Thursday night as Tennessee lost 8-4 to Montgomery. Ivan Pineyro was thumped and allowed seven earned runs on six hits with three walks in 2.1 innings. Tony Zych gave up an unearned run in 2.2 innings. Zach Cates had a strikeout in two innings, and Jeffrey Lorick struck out a batter in a perfect eighth. The Smokies actually had the lead in the second inning after Christian Villanueva (1-for-4), Charles Cutler (2-for-3), and Stephen Bruno (2-for-3 with two RBI) singled with one out, and Villanueva crossed the plate. A groundout plated Cutler, and a base hit by Jae-Hoon Ha (1-for-3 with an RBI) scored Bruno. Tennessee added a run in the sixth after Lars Anderson (2-for-4 with a double) doubled, moved to third on a single from Cutler, and scored on a sacrifice fly.
There is no other way to put it other than the Smokies were simply awful Friday as Tennessee lost 18-1 to Jacksonville. After burning out the bullpen the previous night, Felix Pena was on his own and he got hammered. Pena allowed 12 earned runs in 2.2 innings. Matt Loosen got the emergency call and gave up four earned runs with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings. Andrew McKirahan had two strikeouts as he yielded an earned run in two innings. Even Frank Batista could not escape the carnage, and he surrendered an earned run while eventually striking out the side in the ninth. The Smokies got their lone tally in the sixth after Christian Villanueva (1-for-4 with a double) hit a ground rule double, moved to third on a single from Taylor Davis (1-for-4), and scored on a sacrifice fly.
The beatings continued for the Tennessee pitching staff Saturday as the Smokies were thrashed by Jacksonville 15-7. It’s usually a good sign for your team when it builds a big lead as the Smokies did. Addison Russell (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) reached with two outs in the first inning and scored on a home run from Lars Anderson (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI). Singles by Stephen Bruno (1-for-4) and Corey Black (1-for-1) in the second inning set up Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-5 with a double and two RBI), whose double brought in both Bruno and Black. Chen scored on a home run from Albert Almora (3-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI). Tennessee added one more run in the sixth after Almora doubled and scored on a single by Russell. Behind 6-1 in the third inning, the Suns started to chip away at starter Corey Black as he allowed five runs (four earned) with four strikeouts in 3.2 innings. P.J. Francescon gave up an earned run in 2.1 innings, but Hunter Cervenka was bludgeoned for seven earned runs in only 0.2 innings. Blake Cooper came on and stemmed the tide by tossing 1.1 scoreless innings. However, Jeffrey Lorick surrendered two more earned runs in the ninth.
The Smokies tried to keep pace as Pin-Chieh Chen (4-for-5 with a double and a stolen base) singled with one out in the third and stole second base. A base hit by Stephen Bruno (2-for-5 with two RBI) moved Chen to third, and a single by Lars Anderson (3-for-5 with an RBI) drove Chen in. Tennessee answered six runs in the top of the fifth when Tony Zych (1-for-1) singled and went to third on a double from Chen. A groundout plated Zych, and Chen scored on a single by Addison Russell (2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI). Tennessee made 9-4 in the seventh after pinch-hitter Albert Almora singled, advanced to third on two wild pitches, and scored on a base hit from Bruno. The Smokies did not quit in the ninth as Chen led off with a single and scored on a one out home run from Addison Russell. Anderson followed with a base hit but was wiped out on a force from Christian Villanueva (1-for-5 with a double). A double by Taylor Davis (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI) drove in Villanueva.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (68–68)
A couple of ex-Cubs came back and bit the hand that once fed them as Iowa lost 11-4 to Reno on Wednesday. Ronny Cedeno and Brett Jackson feasted on the I-Cubs pitching as Eric Jokisch allowed five runs (four earned) and struck out four in five innings. Marcos Mateo pitched only 0.1 innings, but Yoanner Negrin was taken to the woodshed and surrendered six earned runs in 2.1 innings. Marcus Hatley got the final out in the eighth with a strikeout. Iowa actually had the lead in the third inning after Eric Jokisch (2-for-3) singled with one out and Junior Lake (1-for-5) reached on an error. A wild pitch advanced the runners and Jokisch scoring on a groundout. A home run by Kris Bryant (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) drove in Lake. Manny Ramirez (1-for-4 with a double) followed with a ground rule double and scored on a triple by Rafael Lopez (1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI).
It can be called a team loss as both the offense and pitching contributed to a 7-2 defeat in Reno on Thursday. Dan Straily didn’t pitch badly as he allowed two earned runs with three strikeouts in six innings. Armando Rivero surrendered two earned runs in an inning of work. Carlos Pimentel gave up three earned runs in an inning. The I-Cubs tied the score at one in the fifth after Junior Lake (1-for-5 with a home run and an RBI) cracked a solo home run. Iowa added a run in the ninth after Jonathan Mota (2-for-4 with a double) doubled with one out, Eli Whiteside (1-for-3) walked, and a single from Elliot Soto (2-for-4 with an RBI) plated Mota.
While the I-Cubs made a late run Friday, it was too little-too late as they lost 11-6 to Reno. Dae-Eun Rhee became the next Iowa pitcher to be roughed up by the Reno offense as he allowed six runs (four earned) in five innings. Alberto Cabrera tossed a scoreless inning, but Jeffry Antigua gave up five earned runs in two innings. Iowa was behind 3-0 in the fifth inning when Elliot Soto (2-for-4) singled and Rhee walked. Soto scored after a fly out and groundout. Junior Lake (1-for-5) and Andrew Ely (1-for-5 with an RBI) singled to lead off the eighth and both scored on a one out home run from Jorge Soler (1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI). Soto singled with one out in the ninth and scored on a pinch-hit home run from Ryan Kalish.
Iowa was able to hold on to a lead Saturday as they defeated Reno 10-7. The breaks went the I-Cubs’ way from the beginning. Junior Lake (1-for-5) reached on an error to lead off the game. Kris Bryant (2-for-2 with a home run) drew a one out walk and a single by Jorge Soler (5-for-5 with a double, a triple, and two RBI) plated Lake. Iowa opened things up in the fifth inning after loading the bases on a walk to Bryant, a single by Soler, and another walk to Rafael Lopez (2-for-4 with an RBI). A double from Jonathan Mota (3-for-5 with a double and three RBI) scored Bryant and Soler, but Lopez was thrown out at home. Mota came around on the first Triple-A home run from Andrew Ely (2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI). Iowa increased their lead in the sixth inning after Bryant hit a solo home run with two outs. Soler followed with a double and scored after singles by Lopez and Mota. A base hit from Ely drove in Lopez. The I-Cubs made the margin more comfortable in the eighth inning after Bryant walked and scored on a triple from Soler. A base hit by Lopez plated Soler.
It was an overall lackluster performance by the Iowa pitching staff as starter Chris Rusin gave up five earned runs in seven innings. Back from a rehab stint, Brian Schlitter allowed an earned run and Armando Rivero also surrendered an earned run in the ninth.
Iowa’s game Sunday night against Tacoma was tied at three in the bottom of the 12th inning when the report posted. Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer and Jorge Soler launched a solo shot that accounted for all three runs. The recap of this game will be included in Thursday’s Down on the Farm Report.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (21–28)
In a rain-shortened seven-inning ballgame Thursday, the AZL Cubs pitched a three hit shutout as they beat the Diamondbacks 6-0. Alex Santana was dominant and struck out four in six innings while rehabbing Brian Schlitter tossed a perfect inning. Catcher Alberto Mineo was 1-for-3 with two RBI, and second baseman Ho-Young Son went 2-for-3 with a double.
The bullpen could not hold Friday as the A-Cubs lost 6-5 to the Brewers. Jefferson Mejia had a big night as he struck out six and allowed an earned run in five innings. But Austyn Willis was pounded for four earned runs in 0.1 innings. Gleyber Torres was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base, while the rehabbing Rubi Silva went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base.
Saturday was a night to forget for the AZL Cubs as they were blown out 14-3 by the Brewers. Starter Jose Paulino surrendered seven earned runs and struck out four in 2.2 innings. Luis Hernandez gave up four earned runs with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings. Outfielder Ricardo Marcano was 2-for-5 with a home run and two RBI.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled RHP Blake Parker, LHP Zac Rosscup, and INF/OF Logan Watkins from the Iowa Cubs; optioned RHP Blake Parker to the Iowa Cubs; sent RHP Brian Schlitter to the Iowa Cubs on a rehab assignment; sent LHP Felix Doubront to the Tennessee Smokies on a rehab assignment; sent OF Rubi Silva to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment; assigned LHP Jeffrey Antigua to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned C Lance Rymel to the Iowa Cubs from the Daytona Cubs; assigned INF Andrew Ely to the Iowa Cubs from the AZL Cubs.
The Iowa Cubs placed OF Josh Vitters on the 7-day disabled list; activated RHP Dae-Eun Rhee from the 7-day disabled list. The Daytona Cubs placed RHP Eduardo Figueroa on the 7-day disabled list; activated LHP Nathan Dorris from the 7-day disabled list. The Kane County Cougars placed RHP Zak Hermans on the 7-day disabled list; activated RHP James Pugliese from the 7-day disabled list.
Top Prospect Watch
Albert Almora (OF) – Tennessee Smokies
Corey Black (RHP) – Tennessee Smokies
Paul Blackburn (RHP) – Kane County Cougars
C.J. Edwards (RHP) – Tennessee Smokies
Jacob Hannemann (OF) – Daytona Cubs
Eloy Jimenez (OF) – AZL Cubs
Pierce Johnson (RHP) – Tennessee Smokies
Jorge Soler (OF) – Iowa Cubs
Dan Vogelbach (1B) – Daytona Cubs
Rob Zastryzny (LHP) – Daytona Cubs