Streaks were the big story to start the week as South Bend came off of All-Star break and extended their winning streak to five games thanks to Gleyber Torres. Winning four games in a row brought Eugene’s record even as Eloy Jimenez and Ian Happ came up big.
On the downside, Myrtle Beach has yet to win a game in the second half of the season despite an excellent outing by Jonathan Martinez.
There have also been debuts and roster changes galore, so to catch up with all of the latest, turn on to the Down on the Farm Report.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (5-6)
The Emeralds got on a roll Friday night and defeated Tri-City 7-1. Any good blow out starts with pitching, and Eugene got a dandy out of Oscar De La Cruz. De La Cruz scattered four hits and struck out four in six innings. Taking over in the seventh, Dillon Maples gave up an earned run and had three strikeouts in two innings. Pedro Araujo had two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth.
Eugene broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when Ian Happ (2-for-3 with a stolen base) and Matt Rose (2-for-4 with an RBI) had one out singles. A wild pitch advanced the runners, with Happ and Rose scoring on a base hit from Tyler Alamo (2-for-4 with three RBI). It all started with two outs again in the fifth inning after back-to-back doubles by Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-5 with a double) and Eloy Jimenez (1-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base), brought in Mitchell. Base hits by Happ and Rose drove in Jimenez, with a single by Alamo plating Happ. Vimael Machin (0-for-3) was hit by a pitch with one out in the seventh. A single from Adonis Paula (1-for-4) and a passed ball put runners at second and third. A fielding error allowed Machin and Paula to score.
Eugene showed some resilience on Saturday as they rallied to beat Tri-City 7-4 and tie for the division lead. The Ems jumped out to an early lead when Ian Happ (0-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base) reached on a force in the first inning, and promptly stole second base. A single by Matt Rose (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Happ, and Justin Marra (1-for-3) followed with a walk. Rose scored on a base hit from Tyler Alamo (1-for-3 with an RBI). Frandy Delarosa (2-for-4 with an RBI and two stolen bases) was the catalyst in the second inning as he singled with one out and stole both second and third. Donnie Dewees (0-for-3 with two walks) walked and a base hit from Eloy Jimenez (3-for-3 with an RBI) plated Delarosa, while a sacrifice fly brought in Dewees. The game was tied at four in the eighth inning when Marra singled with one out. Pinch-runner Kevonte Mitchell stole second followed by a walk to Alamo. A double by Blake Headley (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) brought Mitchell around to score, with Alamo coming home on a ground out. A single by Delarosa drove in Headley.
Lefty Jose Paulino started and had mixed results. Paulino struck out six but allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks in five innings. Alex Santana was nicked for an unearned run but struck out two in two innings. Looking more and more comfortable, Jae-Hoon Ha had three strikeouts in two innings for his second victory.
On Sunday, the Emeralds led until the eighth inning when the wheels fell off the cart and they lost 8-2 to Tri-City. Eugene was clinging to a 1-0 given to them by a solo home run from Ian Happ (1-for-3 with a home run) in the fourth inning. Starting pitcher Andin Diaz put the Ems in a good position by striking out four in 5.2 scoreless innings. Francisco Carrillo relieved and gave up two earned runs in two innings. New arrival John Williamson failed to retire a batter as he allowed three earned runs. Pedro Araujo continued the downward trend as he surrendered three runs (two earned) in the final 1.1 innings. Eugene added a consolation run in the eighth when Happ walked with two outs, Ian Rice (1-for-3) singled, and a throwing error allowed Happ to come home.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (32-39)
Don’t look now, but South Bend has a four game winning streak as they beat Lake County 5-2 on Friday. Trevor Clifton pitched to the high expectations that were placed on him, striking out four through six scoreless innings. Daniel Lewis remains a work in progress as he gave up an earned run in an inning. Ryan McNeil ran into some trouble in trying to close out the game, allowing an earned run and striking out a batter in 1.2 innings. David Garner struck out the final batter for his first save.
The Cubs struck early after Charcer Burks (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) led off the game with a double and scored on a single from Gleyber Torres (1-for-5 with an RBI). After Cael Brockmeyer (0-for-5) reached on a fielder’s choice, a base hit by Jason Vosler (2-for-4) loaded the bases. Kevin Encarnacion (0-for-3 with an RBI) was hit by a pitch to drive in Torres, and a two out single from Erick Castillo (1-for-4 with two RBI) brought in Brockmeyer and Vosler. South Bend added a run in the eighth when Rashad Crawford (2-for-4 with a stolen base) singled with two outs and stole second. A base hit by Burks plated Crawford.
South Bend now has a season-high five-game win streak as they outlasted Lake County 6-4 on Saturday. Starter Jake Stinnett is making baby steps in his progress as he allowed four earned runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out four in 6.2 innings. Brad Markey went the rest of the way, as he had two strikeouts in 2.1 scoreless innings for his second save.
The SB Cubs scored in small increments. Jason Vosler (1-for-3 with a home run) got things started in the second inning with a solo home run. Rashad Crawford (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) reached on an error to begin the third and was sacrificed to second base. A ground out moved Crawford over and a single by Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5 with an RBI) brought him in. In the fourth, Jesse Hodges (1-for-3) drew a one out walk and scored on a triple by Crawford, who came home on a wild pitch. Hodges was the spark again in the sixth as he led off with a single and came around on a two out single from Charcer Burks (2-for-4 with an RBI). A passed ball and a base hit by Gleyber Torres (2-for-5 with an RBI) scored Burks.
With a number of roster moves causing upheaval, South Bend failed to close out their series with Lake County on Sunday, losing 6-3. As the scheduled starter was promoted, it turned into a “bullpen day” as Michael Wagner was tapped to start. Wagner struck out four while allowing an earned run in three innings. Lefty Sam Wilson had two strikeouts as he pitched two scoreless innings. Daniel Lewis also tossed two innings as he gave up an earned run. However, Jordan Minch surrendered four earned runs in the bottom of the eighth to give the victory to the Captains.
Charcer Burks (0-for-3 with a walk) walked to lead off the game and went to second on an errant pick-off attempt. A single from Gleyber Torres (2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI) drove in Burks. Torres took matters into his own hands in the fourth inning, as he smacked his second home run. David Bote (1-for-3 with a double) led off the fifth with a double, later scoring on a fielding error.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (41-32)
It just wasn’t Myrtle Beach’s night on Friday as they were buried 9-2 by Carolina. Duane Underwood Jr. struggled. Underwood Jr. lasted only one official inning, as he pitched to four batters in the second inning. Underwood ended up being charged with six earned runs after he was replaced by Tyler Ihrig. Ihrig was not much better, allowing three earned runs, but he ate five innings. Josh Conway had a strikeout in two scoreless innings.
Victor Caratini (1-for-3 with a home run) got the Pelicans on the board in the fourth inning when he cracked a solo home run, his second of the season. Myrtle Beach added a run in the eighth after Chesny Young (1-for-5) singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. One out walks to Caratini and Kevin Brown (0-for-3 with a walk) loaded the bases, with a single by Carlos Penalver (1-for-3 with an RBI) driving in Young.
Myrtle Beach remains without a win in the second half as they lost to Carolina 4-3 on Saturday. Jen-Ho Tseng did not pitch that poorly as he allowed three earned runs on six hits and a walk while striking out two in five innings. Michael Heesch relieved and gave up an earned run and struck out a batter in two innings. Getting in some work, closer Jasvir Rakkar had a strikeout in a scoreless inning.
After a rain delay, the Pelicans mounted a comeback attempt as Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-4 with a double) led off with a double and scored on a double from Jeimer Candelario (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI). Chesny Young (0-for-4 with a walk) walked and Candelario singled to start the eighth inning, with Young coming home on a one out base hit from Victor Caratini (2-for-4 with an RBI). A two out single from Danny Lockhart (1-for-3 with an RBI) drove in Candelario.
The tailspin continued Sunday as Myrtle Beach lost their fourth straight 3-2 to Winston-Salem. Jonathan Martinez continued his emergence as a top pitching prospect. Martinez struck out five and allowed only an earned run on five hits in seven innings. New arrival James Farris was greeted rudely as he gave up two earned runs and struck out a batter in 0.2 innings. Juan Paniagua retired the only batter he faced.
Victor Caratini (0-for-2 with two walks) walked to start the second and went to third on a ground rule double from Danny Lockhart (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI), scoring on a ground out. With one out in the eighth, Jeimer Candelario (1-for-5 with a double) doubled, Jacob Rogers (1-for-2) reached on catcher’s interference, and Caratini walked to load the bases. A force out brought in Candelario with a run.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (42-31)
Tennessee stepped on the accelerator Friday and blew past Mobile 9-4. It began as a close game as the Smokies opened with back-to-back doubles by Jacob Hannemann (2-for-6 with a double and an RBI) and Albert Almora Jr. (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) to take a 1-0 lead. Tennessee tied the game at two in the fifth after Elliot Soto (1-for-2) singled, and advanced to second on a throwing error. A wild pitch and a base hit by Hannemann brought in Soto. Taylor Davis (2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI) doubled to lead off the seventh. And after a single from Stephen Bruno (2-for-4 with a double and three RBI), a walk to Soto, and a double play, Davis scored. Tennessee broke the game open in the eighth after Almora was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a throwing error. A single by Willson Contreras (1-for-5 with an RBI) drove in Almora. Contreras made it all the way to third on an error. Pinch-hitter Anthony Giansanti (1-for-1 with a double and an RBI) doubled to bring in Contreras and a double from Davis plated Giansanti. The Smokies poured it on in the ninth with consecutive singles by Almora and Dan Vogelbach (1-for-4). A one out walk by Giansanti and a two out double from Bruno scored Almora, Vogelbach, and Giansanti.
Starter Ivan Pineyro did not pitch badly. Pineyro allowed two earned runs and struck out five in five innings, but was lifted in the sixth for Michael Jensen. Jensen went two innings and yielded an earned run before giving way to Starling Peralta, who was charged with an unearned run in two innings while picking up his second save.
A rainout Saturday meant a doubleheader on Sunday as Tennessee used two big innings to take the opener 5-4 from Mobile. Game one marked the return of left-hander Rob Zastryzny, who allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks while striking out four in four innings. Zach Cates was charged with an unearned run in two innings of work while gaining the victory. P.J. Francescon picked up his 10th save with a scoreless seventh inning.
Albert Almora Jr. (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) doubled with one out in the first followed by a walk to Dan Vogelbach (1-for-2 with a double and an RBI). A single from Willson Contreras (2-for-4 with an RBI) brought in Almora, as the runners moved into scoring position on a play at the plate. Stephen Bruno (2-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Vogelbach with a single. The fourth inning began with a double by Billy McKinney (1-for-3 with a double), who scored on a one out single from Elliot Soto (1-for-2 with an RBI). A walk to Wes Darvill (0-for-2 with two walks) and a sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third. Jacob Hannemann (1-for-3) was hit by a pitch, and a walk to Almora forced in Soto. Another free pass (Vogelbach) allowed Darvill to score.
It appears that the Smokies mailed it in for the nightcap as Tennessee lost to Mobile 7-3. The Smokies committed three errors behind Felix Pena, who gave up seven runs (five earned) and struck out three in three innings. Andres Santiago blanked the BayBears for two innings and had two strikeouts, while Gerardo Concepcion tossed a scoreless inning.
Tennessee was already down 7-0 when they scored their first run in the fourth inning when Taylor Davis (2-for-3 with a home run) hit a solo home run. A single by Elliot Soto (1-for-3) and a home run from Dan Vogelbach (1-for-2 with a home run and two RBI) brought two more runs in the sixth inning.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (40-35)
You can’t win if you don’t hit the ball and the I-Cubs certainly had trouble with that on Friday, losing 5-0 to New Orleans. Promoted from Double-A, Frank Batista received little support from his teammates. Batista struck out two and allowed four runs (one earned) as Iowa committed two errors. Joe Ortiz relieved and gave up an earned run while striking out two in three innings. Jeffry Antigua pitched two perfect innings. The I-Cubs managed only two hits as Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-3 and Junior Lake went 1-for-3 with a double.
After a dry one the night before, the I-Cubs broke out the bats Saturday as they cruised past New Orleans 6-1. However, it took a while for things to warn up. Kyle Schwarber (3-for-4 with a double and a home run) led off the fourth inning with a double and moved to third on a one out single from Christian Villanueva (1-for-4). Junior Lake (3-for-3 with a double and an RBI) walked to load the bases, and Jonathan Mota (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) cleared them with a two-out double to bring in Schwarber, Villanueva, and Lake. Schwarber belted his first Triple-A home run with two out in the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, Lake singled with one out, stole second, and scored on a double from Chris Valaika (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Mike Olt (1-for-4 with a double) began the eighth inning with a double and came around on a one out double from Lake.
After a terrible outing, Drake Britton bounced back to scatter four hits and strike out four in six scoreless innings. Carl Edwards Jr. relieved and gave up an earned run as he struck out two in two innings. Coming on in the ninth, Blake Cooper had a strikeout as he tossed a scoreless frame.
The I-Cubs survived one big inning from New Orleans to hold onto a 6-5 win on Sunday. Starter Felipe Paulino was cruising until the sixth inning when he allowed five earned runs on seven hits and a walk. Paulino would pitch 5.2 innings and strike out a batter. Gonzalez Germen gave up five hits, but held the Zephyrs scoreless for two innings. Brian Schlitter had a strikeout in the ninth as he collected his sixth save.
Iowa manufactured a run in the first inning after Kyle Schwarber (1-for-3) walked with two out, moved to second on a single from Mike Olt (2-for-4 with a double), and scored after a wild pitch and throwing error. Rubi Silva (2-for-4) singled to start the second and came around on a triple from Ryan Dent (2-for-4 with a triple and two RBI). A one out base hit from Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with an RBI) brought in Dent. In the third, Christian Villanueva (1-for-2 with a stolen base) singled, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch, and touched home after a base hit by Junior Lake (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI). Finding themselves behind 5-4 in the eighth inning, Olt led off with a double and was bunted over to third. A double by Lake drove in Olt, and Silva reached on an error. A single by Dent plated Lake.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (4-2)
Late Thursday, the A-Cubs were able to hold off the AZL Angels for a 6-4 win. Pedro Silverio made his stateside debut and allowed two earned runs while striking out two in four innings. Former position player Mark Malave collected his first professional save with a strikeout in the ninth. First baseman Joe Martarano went 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI.
The AZL Cubs’ offense roared on Saturday as they blew past the AZL Giants 11-4. Outfielder Robert Garcia had a big night, going 3-for-5 with a double and four RBI. Third baseman Wladimir Galindo was 2-for-2 with two RBI while outfielder Roberto Caro went 1-for-5 with two RBI. Erling Moreno came on in relief and earned his first victory with two scoreless innings.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (13-12)
The losing streak stretched to six games after the DSL Cubs lost 5-2 to Rangers-2 on Friday. Starter Hector Garcia had a strikeout and allowed two runs (one earned) in six innings. Shortstop Yeiler Peguero went 2-for-4 with a stolen base.
The D-Cubs finally broke the cycle on Saturday as they beat the DSL Braves 5-1. Starter Jesus Tejada tossed a one-hitter as he struck out two in five scoreless innings. First baseman Chris Pieters was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (18-18)
On Friday, the VSL Cubs were taken apart by the first place VSL Rays, losing 8-3. The V-Cubs committed four errors and a passed ball as starter Andres Bonalde gave up five runs (three earned) and struck out two in two innings. Outfielder Jose Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the loss.
The V-Cubs got back into the win column on Saturday as they defeated the first place VSL Rays 8-7. It was the bullpen that carried the day as Jose Leidenz pitched two innings and struck out two while allowing an earned run. Juan Rengifo collected his league leading seventh save with two strikeouts in two scoreless innings. Outfielder Jhonny Bethencourt went 2-for-3 with two stolen bases.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs selected the contract of RHP Donn Roach from the Iowa Cubs; optioned RHP Yoervis Medina to the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP David Garner and RHP Jeremy Null to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the South Bend Cubs; assigned RHP Corbin Hoffner, RHP Dillon Maples, and LHP Sam Wilson to the South Bend Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned LHP Heath Dwyer, LHP Ryan Kellogg, C Ian Rice, and LHP John Williamson to the Eugene Emeralds; assigned RHP Francisco Carrillo to the Eugene Emeralds from the AZL Cubs; assigned OF Alex Bautista and INF Sutton Whiting to the AZL Cubs; assigned RHP Sucre Valdez to the DSL Cubs.
The Tennessee Smokies placed C Tyler Pearson on the 7-day disabled list; activated INF Elliot Soto and LHP Rob Zastryzny from the 7-day disabled list. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans placed OF Shawon Dunston Jr., RHP Tyler Skulina, and RHP Duane Underwood Jr. on the 7-day disabled list. The AZL Cubs released INF Roney Alcala, OF Jenner Emeterio, OF Calvin Graves, INF Danny Gutierrez, and C Miguel Rico.
Top Prospect Watch
- Albert Almora Jr. (OF) – .245/.293/.345/.639, 10 doubles, three triples, two home runs 22 RBI, four stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
- Trevor Clifton (RHP) – 3-6, 54 IP, 4.33 ERA, 26 ER, 52 K, 1.333 WHIP (South Bend Cubs)
- Carl Edwards Jr. (RHP) – 0-0, 13 IP, 3.46 ERA, 5 ER, 14 K 1.154 WHIP (Iowa Cubs)
- Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 1-0, 11.2 IP, 0.77 ERA, 1 ER, 7 K, 1.200 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
- Billy McKinney (OF) – .304/.353/.464/.817, 12 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 18 RBI (Tennessee Smokies)
- Kyle Schwarber (C) – .273/.333/.591/.924, two doubles, a triple, a home run, two RBI (Iowa Cubs)
- Justin Steele (RHP) – 1-0, 11 IP, 0.82 ERA, 1 ER, 15 K, 0.636 WHIP (Eugene Emeralds)
- Gleyber Torres (INF) – .319/.385/.411/.796, 11 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 42 RBI, 10 stolen bases (South Bend Cubs)
- Duane Underwood Jr. (RHP) – 6-3, 64.1 IP, 2.66 ERA, 19 ER, 42 K, 1.026 WHIP (Myrtle Beach Pelicans)
- Dan Vogelbach (1B) – .286/.411/.439/.850, 13 doubles, a triple, five home runs, 34 RBI, a stolen base (Tennessee Smokies)