Tennessee remains the hot story in the Cubs minor league system as now Jacob Hannemann and Bijan Rademacher have joined in the fun while Kyle Schwarber is bucking for the third straight Smokie to take home the player of the week award.
Elsewhere among the affiliates, it has been a struggle as Jake Stinnett has not gotten on track for South Bend, while the offense seems to have abandoned Myrtle Beach. Iowa is still looking to find consistency but may have a ray of hope as Arismendy Alcantara is heating up and Javier Baez is expected back by the end of the week.
Until then, take a look at what’s sailing over the fence in today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (9-10)
South Bend traveled on Monday and opened a series with Western Michigan on Tuesday with an 8-5 loss. The SB Cubs gave up two big innings as starter Jake Stinnett had another rough outing. Stinnett allowed five earned runs on seven hits and two walks in 2.2 innings. Tyler Ihrig kept the Whitecaps in check for two innings, but was probably left in too long as he gave up three earned runs and had three strikeouts in 3.1 innings. David Garner looks like he may be an answer to some of South Bend’s bullpen woes as he only gave up a walk in two scoreless innings.
The SB Cubs led the game after the first inning. Charcer Burks (3-for-4 with a stolen base) started the game with a single and scored on one out double by Chesny Young (1-for-4 with double and an RBI). A two-out single by Jason Vosler (1-for-3 with an RBI) plated Young. South Bend came back and tied the game in the fourth inning after Jesse Hodges (1-for-3) singled and scored on a two out triple from Rashad Crawford (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI). Burks singled in Crawford, and a double from Gleyber Torres (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) plated Burks.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (9-8)
After a Monday travel day. Myrtle Beach let one get away on Tuesday as the Pelicans lost 3-2 to Wilmington in 10 innings. Myrtle Beach grabbed the lead in the first after Billy McKinney (1-for-5) and Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4) had two out singles. Walks to Jacob Rogers (1-for-3) and Victor Caratini (0-for-3 with an RBI) forced in a run. Just up from Low-A, Trey Martin (1-for-4) led off the second inning with a base hit and advanced to second on a balk. A one-out single by Mark Zagunis (1-for-5 with an RBI) drove in Martin.
Jen-Ho Tseng drew the starting assignment and gave up an earned run on three hits with two strikeouts in five innings. James Pugliese provided quality middle relief as he struck out two in two scoreless innings. Jasvir Rakkar was asked to nail things down in the final two innings, but he allowed the Blue Rocks to tie the score in the ninth. Tayler Scott got the first man he faced in the tenth, but surrendered the game winner on two walks and a hit.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (11-6)
A four game win streak ended on Monday as Tennessee lost 4-3 to Chattanooga. Corey Black suffered the defeat as he allowed four earned runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts in five innings. Jeffry Antigua gave the Smokies a fighting chance as he fanned three in three scoreless innings. Michael Jensen was uncharacteristically wild as he walked three and surrendered an earned run in the ninth.
Tennessee was held hitless until the fifth inning and scored their first run in the sixth on a solo home run from Kyle Schwarber (2-for-3 with a home run). In the seventh, Elliot Soto (0-for-3) led off with a walk and Ryan Dent (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) drilled a two-run home run.
Tennessee fans enjoyed another roller-coaster contest on Tuesday as the Smokies came out on top 7-6 over Chattanooga. Ivan Pineyro seemed to lose some steam after tossing two scoreless innings to begin the game. Pineyro allowed three earned runs on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts in five innings. Fernando Cruz remains a weak link in the pen as he surrendered three earned runs while pitching only 0.2 innings. Zach Cates was able to get himself out of some trouble. Cates worked around two walks and a hit for 1.1 scoreless innings. Stephen Perakslis put a recent bad outing behind him and struck out two in a perfect inning. It seems as if P.J. Francescon has now earned the closer role as did not let a walk faze him, getting a strikeout in the ninth for his second save.
Promoted up from High-A, outfielder Jacob Hannemann (3-for-4 with a home run and a stolen base) announced his presence with authority as he launch a led off home run. Not to be outdone, Kyle Schwarber (2-for-3 with a double, a home run, and three RBI) cracked another solo shot two batters later. The Smokies regained their two-run lead in the third inning after Willson Contreras (2-for-4) singled with two outs and Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) went deep with his first home run of the season. Hannemann continued his impressive debut with a single and a stolen base to start the fourth. Hannemann scored on a sacrifice fly. Now trailing 6-5 in the seventh inning, Tennessee tied things up after Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-4) led off with a single and scored on a double from Schwarber. There was some heads-up play by Rademacher in the eighth as he started the inning with a single and went all the way to third after the Lookouts’ outfielder misplayed the ball. A single from Elliot Soto (2-for-3 with an RBI) allowed Rademacher to score with the go ahead run.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (9-10)
After Sunday’s game was postponed, Iowa attempted to play a doubleheader at Colorado Springs Monday and lost game one 7-0. Tsuyoshi Wada made his third rehab start and was knocked around by the Sky Sox. Wada allowed seven runs (six earned) on 12 hits and a walk with a strikeout in five innings. A silver lining was Armando Rivero, who showed some of his promise by striking out two in a perfect inning.
Chris Valaika was 2-for-2, Mike Baxter 1-for-2, and Christian Villanueva 1-for-2 with a double to account for all of the I-Cubs’ hits. Game Two was postponed until Tuesday.
A second attempt at a doubleheader was successful Tuesday as the Iowa offense took control of the opener and beat Colorado Springs 7-1. It all started in the second after Taylor Teagarden (1-for-3) and Christian Villanueva (1-for-3) singles and both runners moved up a base on an error. Taylor Davis (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Teagarden with a base hit for the first run. And John Andreoli (1-for-4 with an RBI) executed a suicide squeeze to score Villanueva. A single by Jonathan Mota (2-for-3 with two RBI) brought in Davis and a two out triple from Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4 with a triple, a home run, and two RBI) plated Mota. Adron Chambers (1-for-3 with an RBI) singled in Alcantara with the fifth run of the inning. With two outs in the third inning, Andreoli singled, stole second base and scored on a base hit by Mota. Alcantara capped the scoring in the fourth inning as he led off with a solo home run.
Donn Roach continued to impress as a starter as he induced 14 ground outs in six innings. Roach allowed an earned run and had a strikeout. Joe Ortiz worked around a walk for a scoreless seventh inning.
It was some late inning magic for Iowa as they swept Colorado Springs by winning 6-3 in the nightcap. Eric Jokisch was back from the disabled list and gave up three earned runs on six hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 3.2 innings. Blake Cooper struck out the final batter of the fourth inning, and Hunter Cervenka tossed a scoreless inning. Yoanner Negrin got the first two outs of the sixth inning before turning the game over to James Russell. Russell struck out two over the final 1.1 innings to pick up his second victory.
The I-Cubs were the first on the board after John Andreoli (2-for-3 with two triples) tripled to lead off the third inning and scored on a wild pitch. Iowa tied the game in the fifth inning after Andreoli tripled again and scored on a ground out. A solo home run by Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a home run) knotted the game at three. Jonathan Mota (1-for-2 with an RBI) started the seventh inning with a single and was sacrificed to second. Mike Baxter (2-for-2) was intentionally walked with two out, and Chris Valaika (0-for-1) drew a walk to load the bases. A double by Rafael Lopez (1-for-4 with a double and three RBI) drove in Mota, Baxter, and Valaika.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs recalled OF Junior Lake from the Iowa Cubs; optioned RHP Brian Schlitter to the Iowa Cubs; assigned LHP Jeffry Antigua to the Tennessee Smokies from the Iowa Cubs; assigned OF Jacob Hannemann to the Tennessee Smokies from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; assigned OF Trey Martin to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the South Bend Cubs.
The Iowa Cubs activated LHP Eric Jokisch from the 7-day disabled list. The Tennessee Smokies placed RHP Matt Brazis and OF Albert Almora on the 7-day disabled list.