The end of an exciting week saw three affiliates start the second half of their seasons as Tennessee got a big boost from catcher Taylor Davis. South Bend also started off with a win as Jason Vosler went deep.
The affiliates also saw rehabbers galore as Mike Olt, Neil Ramirez, Rob Zastryzny, and Trey Masek are on the comeback trail. Meanwhile, youngsters Wladimir Galindo and Andruw Monasterio are tearing it up in the rookie league.
There’s a lot to go through, so take your time with today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (3-5)
Eugene had a victory in their sights on Monday, but the bullpen had other plans as they lost 8-4 to Everett. Behind 2-0 in the fifth, Alberto Mineo (1-for-3) walked and Adonis Paula (2-for-4 with an RBI) singled, with both runners coming home on a triple from Ricardo Marcano (1-for-4 with a triple and two RBI). A sacrifice fly brought in Marcano. In the sixth, Varonex Cuevas (0-for-3 with a walk) walked with two outs and scored after singles from Mineo and Paula.
Starter Andin Diaz had only one slip, a two-run home run in the third inning. But otherwise, Diaz was downright nasty as the lefty struck out eight in four innings. Jordan Brink took over in the fifth and kept up the pressure, fanning six in two innings. It was when Dillon Maples came on in the seventh when things fell apart. Maples allowed four earned runs in only an inning, giving the Aqua Sox the lead. Sam Wilson was charged with two unearned runs in the ninth.
The Emeralds were familiar with the uniforms they were facing on Tuesday, as they lost to Boise 4-2. The former Cubs’ affiliate were looking at a member of the 2014 Hawks in starter Adbert Alzolay, who struck out four and was charged with an unearned run in two innings. Another former Boise player, Greyfer Eregua relieved and surrendered three runs (two earned) while striking out seven in four innings. Pedro Araujo had four strikeouts as he tossed three scoreless innings.
Eugene cut the deficit in half in the fourth inning after Ian Happ (2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base) led off with a double and scored on a double from Alberto Mineo (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). A ground out and sacrifice fly brought Mineo home.
It was Eugene’s turn for late inning heroics as they came from behind to beat Boise 8-3 on Wednesday. The Emeralds were down 3-0 in the sixth inning when Ho-young Son (2-for-4 with a stolen base) and Eloy Jimenez (1-for-4) led off with singles. A one out base hit from Justin Marra (1-for-3 with an RBI) drove in Son, and a two out single by Frandy Delarosa (2-for-4 with a triple and four RBI) scored Jimenez. The Hawks then imploded in the seventh after Adonis Paula (0-for-3 with a walk) walked, Son was hit by a pitch. Jimenez and Ian Happ (0-for-3 with an RBI) walked to bring in Paula. Walks to Kevonte Mitchell (0-for-0 with a walk and an RBI) and Tyler Alamo (1-for-3 with an RBI) plated Son and Jimenez. A triple by Delarosa cleared the bases, scoring Happ, Mitchell and Alamo.
Starter Carson Sands had some growing pains, as he allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out six in six innings. Jae-Hoon Ha earned his first victory as a pitcher, as he struck out four in two perfect innings. Alex Santana rebounded from a tough outing by striking out two in the ninth.
The Ems took the rubber game of their series with Boise on Thursday, beating the Hawks 3-1. Eugene got on the board early after Ho-young Son (0-for-3 with a walk) walked and Eloy Jimenez (2-for-4) singled to start the game. Two ground outs allowed Son to come home with the first run, while a double from Justin Marra (2-for-3 with a double, a triple, and an RBI) drove in Jimenez. The Emeralds answered a Boise run in the fourth inning after Marra tripled and came in on a ground out.
Justin Steele remained impressive as he had six strikeouts and gave up his first earned run of the season while pitching six innings. Corbin Hoffner worked around a hit as he tossed two scoreless innings. Lefty Sam Wilson came on in the ninth, struck out two batters and picked up his first save.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (30-38)
South Bend started the second half of the season on the right foot as they beat Lake County 4-3 on Thursday. Zach Hedges got the call as he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk while striking out five in 6.2 innings. Jordan Minch came out of the pen and struck out four in 1.1 scoreless innings. New closer Brad Markey set down the side 1-2-3 in the ninth with a strikeout to collect his first save.
The SB Cubs tied the game at one in the top of the second when Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) smacked a solo home run. There were more long balls in the fourth inning when Gleyber Torres (2-for-4 with a triple) led off with a triple and came home on a double from Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). A two out single by Vosler brought in Balaguert. Kevin Encarnacion (1-for-2 with a home run) provided the winning margin in the seventh inning when he hit a solo home run with one out.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (41-29)
The second half got off to a bad start for Myrtle Beach on Thursday as they lost 2-1 to Carolina. Tyler Skulina had a brief but good outing, striking out four and allowing an earned run on four hits and two walks in three innings. Taking over in the fourth, Fernando Cruz had a strikeout in two scoreless innings. Juan Paniagua gave up an earned run as he pitched two innings and had a strikeout. James Pugliese went three up, three down in the eighth.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (40-30)
On the road for their first game of the second half, Tennessee edged out Mobile 2-1 for their 40th win of the season. The man of the evening was catcher Taylor Davis (2-for-4 with two home runs and two RBI), who blasted a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning to give the Smokies the lead. Davis had another solo home run in the sixth inning and threw out three base runners. Starter Pierce Johnson looked in command as he was charged with an unearned run and struck out a batter in 3.2 innings. Tayler Scott relieved and had four strikeouts in 2.1 scoreless innings. Scott yielded to Corey Black, who struck out three in two perfect innings. P.J. Francescon collected his ninth save by striking out two in the ninth inning.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (38-34)
The I-Cubs could not overcome a bad first inning on Tuesday as they lost 4-2 to Omaha. Felipe Paulino gave up three earned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out six in 5.2 innings. Gonzalez Germen allowed an earned run as he tossed 1.1 innings. Carl Edwards Jr. had three strikeouts in two scoreless innings.
John Andreoli (1-for-4 with a home run) got Iowa on the board in the bottom of the fourth as he cracked a solo home run to left center. Taylor Teagarden (1-for-3) and Chris Valaika (1-for-3) singled with one out in the fifth. Teagarden scored on a double from Ryan Dent (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI).
Iowa’s game on Wednesday was postponed due to rain.
After missing a game on Wednesday, the I-Cubs decided to get some extra work as they beat Omaha in game one of a Thursday doubleheader 3-2 in 10 innings. Iowa squandered a 2-0 lead after starter Dallas Beeler gave up two earned runs while striking out six in 6.1 innings. Rehabbing Major Leaguer Neil Ramirez worked around a hit with a strikeout and ground out to end the seventh. Brian Schlitter picked up some of the slack by tossing two scoreless innings and striking out a batter. Even though he gave up a hit and a walk, Blake Cooper worked his way out in the 10th for his fifth victory.
Iowa took the lead in the second inning when another rehab assignment, Mike Olt (3-for-4 with a home run), blasted a solo home run. Back-to-back two out doubles from Rubi Silva (1-for-4 with a double) and Chris Valaika (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) accounted for the other run. The score remained 2-2 until the bottom of the 10th when Arismendy Alcantara (0-for-3 with two walks) walked with one out. A two-out double from Kyle Schwarber (2-for-5 with a double, a triple and an RBI) brought in Alcantara with the game-winner.
Game two was a pitching clinic as Iowa defeated Omaha 1-0. Carlos Pimentel started and was almost untouchable, striking out nine and giving up three hits in six innings. Gonzalez Germen had a strikeout in a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save. The only run of the game came in the first inning when Adron Chambers (0-for-2 with a stolen base) was hit by a pitch with one out. Chambers stole second and Mike Olt (0-for-2 with a walk) walked, as a single from Christian Villanueva (2-for-2 with an RBI) drove in Chambers.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (2-2)
The AZL Cubs could not get in sync on Monday as they lost to the AZL Diamondbacks 4-1. Rob Zastryzny had a rehab start and looked fairly sharp, allowing an earned run and striking out four in four innings. Outfielder Roberto Caro went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
On Tuesday, the AZL Cubs scored their first win of the 2015 season by beating the AZL D-Backs 8-4. Young Wladimir Galindo made his first hit count as he went 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Shortstop Andruw Monasterio was 1-for-2 with a triple and three RBI. Nineteen-year old Jesus Carmango looked good in his first start, allowing an earned run and striking out three in five innings. Rehabbing Trey Masek tossed a scoreless inning.
The A-Cubs evened their record at 2-2 on Wednesday as they defeated the AZL Angels 6-5. It was the youngest members of the squad in the spotlight as catcher Yohan Matos was 1-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Third baseman Wladimir Galindo remained on a tear, going 3-for-4 with a double, while shortstop Andruw Monasterio was 2-for-2 with two doubles. Lefty Carlos A. Rodriguez came on in relief and had a strikeout in two perfect innings for the win.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (12-11)
The DSL Cubs lost more ground on Monday as they fell 6-5 to Mets-2. Jesus Tejada did not have a bad start as he allowed two earned runs and struck out two in four innings. First baseman Rafael Mejia was 1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI, and outfielder Yovanny Cuevas went 2-for-5 with a double, triple, and an RBI.
You can now call it a losing streak as the D-Cubs dropped their third in a row on Tuesday, losing 6-3 to Red Sox-2. Starter Andri Rondon was charged with five runs (three earned) as he struck out six in four innings. Second baseman Franklin Tineo was 1-for-4 with two RBI.
The DSL Cubs could not rally in the late innings as they lost their fourth straight, 7-6 to Red Sox-2. Deibi Torres was roughed up in 3.1 innings, allowing five runs (two earned). Julian Aybar struck out three and was charged with two unearned runs in 2.2 innings. Shortstop Yeiler Peguero was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The losing streak reached five on Thursday as the DSL Cubs lost 4-2 to Rangers-2. Starter Junior Marte gave up three earned runs and struck out six in four innings, while Jose Morel also had six strikeouts in four innings, allowing an earned run. Shortstop Yeiler Peguero went 2-for-5 with a stolen base.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (17-17)
The VSL Cubs had another extra inning game, as it took 11 innings for them to defeat the VSL Phillies 6-4 on Monday. Jose Leidenz gained his first victory as he struck out a batter in two perfect innings of relief. Outfielder Jose Rojas was 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI, while second baseman Jhonny Bethencourt went 2-for-4 with and RBI and a stolen base.
It was too little, too late for the V-Cubs on Tuesday as they lost 3-1 to the VSL Phillies. Outfielder Jose Gonzalez scored the only run as he singled and came home after a wild pitch and an error. Hard-luck pitcher Riger Fernandez went to 0-3 after allowing two earned runs in four innings.
The VSL Cubs could not muster an attack on Wednesday as they lost 4-1 to the VSL Tigers. Defense failed Freddy Tineo, as he was charged with two unearned runs while striking out a batter in three innings. Outfielder Jose Gonzalez went 2-for-4 in the loss.
A tight ballgame did not turn the VSL Cubs way on Thursday as they lost to the VSL Tigers 1-0. Lefty Yapson Gomez was tagged with an unearned run as he tossed two innings. Alex Pacheco and Bryan Molina each pitched three scoreless innings. Catcher Gustavo Polanco was 2-for-4 in the loss.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs sent INF Mike Olt and RHP Neil Ramirez to the Iowa Cubs on a rehab assignment; recalled OF Matt Szczur from the Iowa Cubs; optioned C Kyle Schwarber to the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Frank Batista to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned RHP Zach Cates to the Tennessee Smokies from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; assigned RHP James Farris to the Myrtle Beach Pelican from the South Bend Cubs; assigned INF Blake Headley, INF Vimael Machin, OF Donnie Dewees, and RHP Matt Rose to the Eugene Emeralds; sent LHP Rob Zastryzny to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment; assigned LHP Ariel Ovando to the AZL Cubs from extended Spring Training