While perhaps a little late to the party, the Cubs made their midseason reshuffle of their personnel over the weekend.
Myrtle Beach is back after scuffling for a while, thanks to the red-hot hitting of Jeimer Candelario. Another player who is swinging it well is Jacob Hannemann, who helped ignite the Tennessee offense.
So take a look at Down on the Farm Report, you may not believe were your favorite player is playing now.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (10-8)
A ninth inning rally fell short on Friday as Eugene lost to Hillsboro 5-4. The game began well for the Emeralds after Eloy Jimenez (1-for-2) singled with one out and advanced all the way to third after a wild pitch and a passed ball. Ian Happ (0-for-3 with two walks and a stolen base) walked and stole second, and a two out base hit from Blake Headley (1-for-4 with two RBI) plated Jimenez and Happ. But the offense went silent for Eugene until the ninth when Frandy Delarosa (1-for-1 with a triple and three walks) walked and two out free passes to Ricardo Marcano (0-for-2 with two walks) and Donnie Dewees (0-for-4 with a walk) loaded the bases. A single by pinch-hitter Matt Rose brought Delarosa and Marcano home, but that was all for the scoring.
Starter Jose Paulino did not get much help from his defense as he allowed three runs (one earned) with three strikeouts in three innings. Greyfer Eregua was effective in relief as he struck out two in three scoreless innings. Lefty Kyle Twomey made his professional debut and gave up two earned runs in an inning of work. Alex Santana worked around a walk with two strikeouts in the eighth.
Eugene welcomed in Vancouver for a series on Saturday and dropped the opener 5-4. Lefty Andin Diaz needs to still work on control, but shows a lot of promise as he struck out six and allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and six walks in four innings. Heath Dwyer found the strike zone as he settled in with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings. John Williamson is still getting his feet under him as he gave up two earned runs and struck out two in two innings. Jae-Hoon Ha continues to show progress as he had a strikeout in a perfect inning.
The Emeralds got on the board first after Ian Rice (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) led off the second inning with a single and was sacrificed to second. Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-3) drew a two out walk and a base hit by Donnie Dewees (2-for-5 with an RBI) drove in Rice. Tyler Alamo (2-for-5 with a double) singled with two outs in the third followed by a walk to Rice. A base hit from Ho-young Son (1-for-3 with two RBI) brought Alamo around to score. Eugene mounted a comeback in the eighth inning after Alamo doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch. A single from Rice scored Alamo. A failed pick-off attempt moved Rice to second. Rice went on to steal third and scored on a ground out.
Pitching dominated for Eugene on Sunday as they shutout Vancouver 6-0. It was the first professional start for Ryan Kellogg, who gave up a hit and struck out a batter in two innings. Adbert Alzolay relieved and had four strikeouts in four innings. Francisco Carrillo ate up two innings with a strikeout. Rehabbing Trey Masek also struck out a batter as he tossed a perfect inning.
The Emeralds struck first in the second inning after Blake Headley (2-for-3) led off with a single and advanced to second on an error. A base hit by Ricardo Marcano (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Headley. In the fourth inning, Kevonte Mitchell (1-for-4 with a stolen base) singled and stole second, scoring on a double from Donnie Dewees (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Justin Marra (2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI) added a solo home run with one out in the fifth inning. Eugene put the game away in the sixth inning after Dewees and Frandy Delarosa (1-for-4) singled with one out and Matt Rose (0-for-2 with three walks) walked to load the bases. Dewees scored on a wild pitch. A base hit by Marra brought in Delarosa and Rose.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (35-43)
In perhaps their best game of the season, South Bend rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the eighth inning to beat Bowling Green 7-6 on Friday in 10 innings. David Bote (1-for-4 with a double) began the eighth with a double. A single by Jeffrey Baez (2-for-4) coupled with an error put runners on second and third with no outs. A double from Rashad Crawford (1-for-3 with a double and two RBI) drove in Bote and Baez, and a base hit by Charcer Burks (2-for-5 with a double and two RBI) scored Crawford. Burks came home on a double from Gleyber Torres (2-for-4 with a two doubles and an RBI). Jason Vosler (1-for-3) followed with a walk. A sacrifice advanced the runners a base, and a single from Gioskar Amaya (2-for-5 with two RBI) brought in Torres. Vosler made it home safely before the Hot Rods completed a double play to end the inning. Burks led off the 10th with a double, and Torres was walked intentionally. South Bend sacrificed again, and Bowling Green countered with an intentional walk to Jesse Hodges to load the bases. A single by Amaya drove in Burks with the winning run.
Despite the heroics of the offense, South Bend pitching left little to desire as starter Jake Stinnett continued his season long funk. Stinnett allowed four runs (three earned) and struck out a batter in seven innings, while committing an error. Dillon Maples was also shaky, as his error led to two unearned runs. Maples struck out two in three innings.
It was a classic pitcher’s duel Saturday as South Bend was one better than Bowling Green, winning 1-0. Michael Wagner remains impressive and he limited the Hot Rods to two hits while striking out two in six innings. Ryan McNeil also had two strikeouts in two innings. Corbin Hoffner notched his first save with a strikeout in the ninth. The only run of the game scored in the fifth inning when Jeffrey Baez (1-for-3 with a home run) blasted a solo home run.
Sunday was not a good way to end the weekend for South Bend as they lost 9-4 to Bowling Green. Tommy Thorpe wasn’t fooling anyone as he allowed four earned runs on six hits and four walks while striking out two in four innings. Jordan Minch was undone by the defense, giving up five runs, all unearned, with two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Daniel Lewis struck out a batter in 2.1 perfect innings.
The SB Cubs took a brief lead in the fourth inning after Charcer Burks (0-for-3 with a walk) began with a walk and went to third on a single by Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with a double and a home run). A base hit from Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3 with an RBI) drove in Burks, and a fielder’s choice allowed Vosler to come home. South Bend scored two consolation runs in the ninth after Vosler belted a solo home run with one out. Jeffrey Baez (0-for-4 with an RBI) reached on a force. A single from Vimael Machin (1-for-4) and a double by Erick Castillo (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI) brought in Baez.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (46-34)
On Friday, Myrtle Beach resumed a suspended game from Thursday and used a five-run eighth inning to defeat Salem 5-1. Resuming the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Pelicans remained behind 1-0 until Carlos Penalver (1-for-2) singled to start the eighth. Penalver was caught stealing, but Danny Lockhart (1-for-3) replaced him at first with a base hit. Singles by Trey Martin (2-for-3) and Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Lockhart to tie the game, and Chesny Young (0-for-2 with a walk) followed with a walk. Jeimer Candelario (1-for-4 with a triple and three RBI) cleared the bases with a triple and later scored on a sacrifice fly.
Manager Mark Johnson gave Tyler Ihrig a start and the soft-tossing lefty responded by allowing an earned run while striking out four in five innings. James Pugliese picked up when the game resumed and struck out three while scattering three hits in three innings. Jasvir Rakkar worked around a walk and a hit in the ninth.
Myrtle Beach completed Friday night’s scheduled game and the Pelicans lost 3-0 to Salem in seven innings. Jen-Ho Tseng had his best start of the season. Tseng struck out six batters over five shutout innings. Reliever James Farris continues to have a rough go of it in the Carolina League as he allowed three earned runs in only 0.2 innings. Josh Conway gave the Pelicans a chance with 1.1 scoreless innings. The Myrtle Beach offense was limited to three hits … Victor Caratini (1-for-2), Trey Martin (1-for-2) and Mark Zagunis (1-for-3 with a double).
They didn’t need fireworks on Saturday in Carolina as they were all provided by Myrtle Beach in a 16-4 onslaught. Leadoff hitter Mark Zagunis (0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI) started the game with a walk, Chesny Young (2-for-6 with a double) singled and both runners scored on a double from Jeimer Candelario (4-for-6 with a double, a triple, and three RBI). Jacob Rogers (3-for-6 with a double, a home run, and four RBI) followed with a double to bring in Candelario, as Victor Caratini (1-for-4 with a double) and Carlos Penalver (2-for-4 with an RBI) drew walks to load the bases. A double by Danny Lockhart (2-for-5 with a double and three RBI) drove in Rogers and Caratini. Trey Martin (2-for-3 with a double and two RBI) hit the fourth double of the inning that scored Penalver and Lockhart. Martin walked to begin the fourth inning and came around on a two out single from Candelario. The fifth inning saw one out singles by Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5 with an RBI), Penalver, and Lockhart score Chen. A walk to Martin and a sacrifice fly brought in Penalver. A triple from Candelario started the sixth inning and he scored on a single by Rogers. A force and a wild pitch moved Caratini to second base and he scored on a two out single from Penalver. The Pelicans weren’t done yet. With two outs in the seventh inning, Young doubled and came home on a single by Candelario. A home run from Rogers brought in Candelario. Caratini restarted the inning with a double, and Penalver drove him in with a single.
Jonathan Martinez started the game but exited after only two innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out two batters. Michael Heesch picked up the slack as he allowed an earned run with a strikeout in four innings to raise his record to 5-0. Juan Paniagua tossed two perfect innings with a strikeout, while Jasvir Rakkar pitched a scoreless ninth.
Rains continue to play havoc with Myrtle Beach but not with their bats as the Pelicans crushed Carolina for the second straight day 12-0 in seven and a half innings on Sunday. Daury Torrez went the distance for the Pelicans, striking out five while scattering three hits in seven innings.
It was a modest beginning for Myrtle Beach. Chesny Young (0-for-4 with a stolen base) was hit by a pitch and stole second base in the first inning. A ground out and a wild pitch allowed Young to score. Victor Caratini (2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI) walked to start the second inning, and singles by Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-5) and Danny Lockhart (2-for-4 with an RBI) loaded the bases. Jordan Hankins (0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI) drew a walk to force in Caratini, and a one out double by Mark Zagunis (1-for-4 with a double and three RBI) cleared the bases, scoring Chen, Lockhart and Hankins. Once again, a ground out and a wild pitch allowed Zagunis to come home. The Pelicans loaded the bases again in the fifth after Young reached on an error, Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a double) singled, and Jacob Rogers (1-for-3 with two RBI) walked. Caratini drove in Young and Candelario with a base hit, while Rogers scored on a force play. In the eighth, Zagunis led off with a walk and a one out double by Candelario put runners in scoring position. A single from Rogers brought in Zagunis and Candelario. Rogers was thrown out at second. Caratini slugged a solo home run.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (44-33)
It was a see-saw affair on Friday as Tennessee ended up on top of a 6-5 decision over Montgomery. The Smokies pecked away at a 2-0 deficit in the second inning after Billy McKinney (2-for-5 with an RBI) led off with a single and came home on a double from Taylor Davis (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Tennessee then took the lead in the third inning when Jacob Hannemann (2-for-4 with a triple) started things with a triple and scored on a double from Reinaldo Almora Jr. (2-for-5 with two doubles and an RBI). A one out double from Willson Contreras (2-for-3 with a double, a triple, and an RBI) brought in Almora to tie the game, and singles by Davis and Stephen Bruno (1-for-4 with an RBI) drove in Contreras. The Smokies regained the lead in the seventh when Almora made it to second on an error and scored after a ground out and a wild pitch. With the score tied at five in the bottom of the ninth, Almora led off with a double. Wes Darvill (0-for-1 with a walk) and Contreras walked. Billy McKinney singled in Almora with the winning run.
The strain on the Smokies offense came from a tepid effort by starter Rob Zastryzny, who allowed four runs (three earned), including two home runs, but struck out six in 5.1 innings. Michael Jensen provided his typical quality, striking out three in 1.2 scoreless innings. Corey Black was taken off the hook by the offense as he allowed the tying run but picked up the win with three strikeouts in two innings.
It appears that the Smokies spent their offense the previous night as Double-A Tennessee managed two hits on Saturday in a 4-1 loss to Birmingham. Jacob Hannemann (1-for-3 with a double) had a one out double in the third inning and scored on a double from Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Starter Felix Pena had a mixed outing. Pena struck out seven but allowed four earned runs in six innings. Gerardo Concepcion had a strikeout in two scoreless innings.
On Sunday, the game was over almost before it began as Tennessee was simply outclassed by Birmingham 9-4. Starter Ivan Pineyro gave up two runs in the first inning in route to surrendering six earned runs while striking out four in five innings. Starling Peralta allowed two earned runs in two innings, and Zach Cates yielded an earned run in the eighth.
The Smokies were already down 6-0 in the fourth inning when Cael Brockmeyer (1-for-4 with a home run) led off with his first Double-A hit, a solo home run. It was 8-1 in the eighth when Bijan Rademacher (1-for-2 with a double) started the inning with a double and came around on a one out double from Billy McKinney (1-for-3 with a double and an RBI). Tennessee nudged the score a little closer in the ninth after Anthony Giansanti (1-for-4) singled and scored on a one out base hit from Elliot Soto (1-for-5 with an RBI). Soto scored on a fielding error.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (42-39)
Iowa pitching was thoroughly destroyed by Round Rock on Friday as the I-Cubs lost 11-5. Aside from Blake Cooper (two strikeouts in 0.2 scoreless innings), no one was effective for the I-Cubs. Felipe Paulino struck out four and allowed four earned runs in 5.1 innings. Yoervis Medina was simply awful as he gave up five earned runs with two strikeouts while working only an inning. After Cooper stopped some of the bleeding, Joe Ortiz surrendered two earned runs with three strikeouts in two innings.
The Iowa offense actually provided a lead but first tied the game in the third inning after Jonathan Mota (1-for-3 with a stolen base) singled, stole second and scored on a two out base hit from Kyle Schwarber (4-for-4 with a double and three RBI). Rubi Silva (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) singled to start the fifth inning and scored after two wild pitches. Mota and Jorge Soler (1-for-3) walked. A double by Schwarber drove in both Mota and Soler. The I-Cubs added a run in the eighth when John Andreoli (1-for-4) singled with two outs and scored on a double from Silva.
A trip to New Orleans on Saturday resulted in a 7-0 loss for Iowa. Frank Batista was roughed up as he allowed five earned runs on 11 hits in five innings. Armando Rivero wasn’t much better, giving up two earned runs in an inning. Blake Cooper and Brian Schlitter each had a strikeout in a scoreless inning. The I-Cubs scratched out only five hits … Ryan Dent (2-for-3 with a double), Christian Villanueva (1-for-2), Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3) and John Andreoli (1-for-4).
The I-Cubs’ offense remained stuck in neutral Sunday as they lost a rain shortened contest, 2-0 to New Orleans in seven innings. Donn Roach was back on the bump for Iowa and allowed two earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. Kyle Schwarber was 1-for-2 and Taylor Davis went 1-for-3, the only hits for the I-Cubs.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (6-6)
The AZL Cubs broke out the bats on Friday as they collected 15 hits in a 10-4 defeat of the AZL Athletics. Robert Garcia continues to run roughshod over the rookie league, raising his average to .400 by going 4-for-5 with a double, a home run, and three RBI. Wladimir Galindo also remains a force as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI. Lefty Carlos A. Rodriguez came on in relief and had two strikeouts in four shutout innings.
The AZL Cubs came up with a dry one on Saturday as they lost 5-0 to the AZL Indians. The A-Cubs managed only two hits as Wladimir Galindo was 1-for-4 and Donnie Cimino went 1-for-3. Dylan Cease had dominant stuff. Cease had three strikeouts and allowed an earned run, but gave up no hits, in three innings.
Dominican Summer League – DSL Cubs (16-15)
The DSL Cubs were limited to two hits on Friday as they fell 1-0 to the DSL Brewers. Lefty Pablo Ochoa was the hard-luck starter as he allowed an earned run and struck out three in five innings. Tony Rijo was 1-for-2 and Wander Feliz went 1-for-3.
The D-Cubs collected the hits on Saturday as they thumped the DSL Marlins 14-3. It was a big day for Chris Pieters, who went 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, and four RBI. Outfielder Luis Ubiera was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and three RBI. Sucre Valdez picked up his first win as he struck out three in three scoreless innings of relief.
Venezuelan Summer League – VSL Cubs (19-23)
The V-Cubs halted their four-game skid on Friday with a 5-2 win over the VSL Phillies. Andres Bonalde allowed two runs (one earned) in four innings and Juan Rengifo collected his league leading eighth save. Shortstop Rafael Narea was 2-for-3 with an RBI while Roberto Vahlis went 2-for-2 with an RBI.
Relief pitching could not hold for the VSL Cubs on Saturday as they lost to the VSL Phillies 6-4. Jose Gonzalez had a big game, going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI as Jhonny Bethencourt was 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI. Starter Emil Ferrebus allowed two earned runs and struck out three in four innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs selected the contract of LHP Clayton Richard and C Taylor Teagarden from the Iowa Cubs; optioned RHP Donn Roach one OF Matt Szczur to the Iowa Cubs; sent RHP Trey McNutt to the AZL Cubs on a rehab assignment; assigned C Taylor Davis to the Iowa Cubs from the Tennessee Smokies; assigned RHP Michael Heesch to the Iowa Cubs from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, assigned RHP Ben Rowen to the Iowa Cubs; assigned C/1B Cael Brockmeyer to the Tennessee Smokies from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; assigned INF Varonex Cuevas to the Tennessee Smokies form the Eugene Emeralds; assigned RHP Brad Markey to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the South Bend Cubs; assigned RHP Dave Berg to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned INF Vimael Machin to the South Bend Cubs form the Eugene Emeralds; assigned RHP Santiago Rodriguez to the South Bend Cubs from the AZL Cubs; assigned INF Sutton Whiting to the Eugene Emeralds from the AZL Cubs; assigned LHP Manuel Rondon, OF Donnie Cimino and C Marcus Mastrobuoni to the AZL Cubs.
The Tennessee Smokies placed 1B Dan Vogelbach on the 7-day disabled list, activated C Tyler Pearson from the 7-day disabled list, placed OF Reinaldo Almora Jr. on the inactive list. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans placed RHP Jasvir Rakkar on the inactive list. The South Bend Cubs sent RHP Trey Masek to the Eugene Emeralds on a rehab assignment; OF Kevin Encarnacion was suspended for three games as part of an altercation on June 17; activated OF Kevin Encarnacion; placed INF Jesse Hodges on the inactive list.
Top Prospect Watch
- Reinaldo Almora Jr. (OF) – .249/.294/.365/.659, 12 doubles, three triples, three home runs, 24 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) – 1-0, 15 IP, 3.60 ERA, six ER, 17 K, 1.200 WHIP (Iowa Cubs)
- Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 2-0, 16.2 IP, 1.08 ERA, two ER, 12 K, 1.320 WHIP (Tennessee Smokies)
- Billy McKinney (OF) – .297/.344/.441/.785, 13 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 20 RBI (Tennessee Smokies)
- Kyle Schwarber (C) – .356/.420/.578/.998, five doubles, a triple, a home run, seven RBI (Iowa Cubs)
- Justin Steele (RHP) – 2-0, 17 IP, 1.06 ERA, two ER, 21 K, 0.765 WHIP (Eugene Emeralds)
- Gleyber Torres (INF) – .320/.389/.415/.804, 14 doubles, three triples, two home runs, 43 RBI, 12 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) – .284/.410/.431/.842, 13 doubles, a triple, five home runs, 34 RBI, a stolen base (Tennessee Smokies)