The two hottest prospects in the Cubs system have to be Bijan Rademacher and Donnie Dewees. Rademacher extended his hitting streak to seven games to go with a .500 average as he led Tennessee to a victory. Dewees has gone 5-for-7 with a double, two triples, and three RBI in the last two games.
Iowa has won two in a row thanks to the pitching of Stephen Fife and Tyler Ihrig. While in Myrtle Beach, the offense could not support good pitching from Jonathan Martinez and Zach Hedges.
With all the highlights of the end to week two of the minor league season, turn to today’s Down on the Farm Report.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (4-3)
Make it four in a row, but pass the smelling salts as South Bend made it uneasy for fans in a 6-5 win on Wednesday. A five-run fourth inning was the highlight for the SB Cubs, as Sutton Whiting (2-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Eloy Jimenez (0-for-3) with the first run. After Whiting scored on a single, a double from Donnie Dewees (3-for-4 with a double and three RBI) plated Bryant Flete (1-for-3) and Tyler Alamo (2-for-3 with an RBI).
Preston Morrison allowed two earned runs in the second, but fanned six in six innings. James Norwood ran into trouble in the eighth inning as he gave up three earned runs and had three strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Greyfer Eregua got the final four outs, one by the strikeout, to collect his first save.
It was a pitching fiasco for South Bend on Thursday as they lost 10-2 to Fort Wayne. Justin Steele clearly had his worst outing as a professional. Steele allowed four earned runs in each of the first two innings, which was as long as he would pitch. Scott Effross tossed three innings and gave up an earned run. Craig Brooks pitched two innings and surrendered an earned run.
Donnie Dewees (2-for-3 with two triples) was involved in both runs for the SB Cubs, as he led off the game with a triple and scored on a ground out. The scene repeated itself in the third inning, with Dewees tripling and coming in on a ground out.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (3-5)
The first and last innings did in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday as they fell 4-2 to Winston-Salem. Jonathan Martinez surrendered two earned runs in the first inning, and struck out three in seven innings. James Pugliese also had three strikeouts in two innings, but gave up a two-run triple in the top of the ninth.
The Pelicans’ attack remains disjointed, as the offense totaled just six hits. Myrtle Beach scored their only runs in the third inning when Rashad Crawford (1-for-4 with a double) doubled and Shawon Dunston Jr. (1-for-4 with a double) walked. A single from Ian Happ (1-for-3 with an RBI) brought in Crawford, and a two-out base hit from Jason Vosler (1-for-3 with an RBI) scored Dunston.
The Myrtle Beach offense remained out of sync on Thursday as the Pelicans lost 3-2 to Carolina. Although they collected eight hits and six walks in the game, the Pelicans could manage only two runs in the fifth inning. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-5) singled and Jason Vosler (2-for-4 with a double, a triple, and an RBI) tripled him home. A base hit by Jeffrey Baez (2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base) brought in Vosler.
Starter Zach Hedges had some control issues in the first inning, allowing a run to score without the benefit of a hit. The defense let Hedges down in the second inning, leading to two unearned runs. Hedges finished with a strikeout and three runs allowed (one earned) in 6.2 innings. Daury Torrez had two strikeouts in a perfect 1.1 innings.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (3-4)
Tennessee had their way with Birmingham super-prospect Carson Fulmer on Wednesday as they beat the Barons 7-3. After taking a 1-0 lead in the second when Billy McKinney (0-for-4) scored on a two-out single by Bijan Rademacher (3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI), Fulmer allowed Jeimer Candelario (3-for-4) and Taylor Davis (2-for-4) to reach on base hits in the fourth inning. That set up Rademacher again, who crushed a three-run homer. The Smokies tacked on three more in the sixth inning with the big blow being a RBI double by Anthony Giansanti (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI).
Paul Blackburn had the Barons on their heels as he struck out six, scattered four hits and a walk through six scoreless innings. David Garner fanned four as he tossed 1.1 innings, but Andury Acevedo could not find the plate. Acevedo walked five in giving up three earned runs, and had to be bailed out by Starling Peralta.
The bullpen spoiled a good effort by starter Brad Markey on Thursday as Tennessee lost 5-3 to Birmingham. Markey left the game with a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning. Corey Black allowed the Barons to tie the game in the seventh as he tossed two innings and struck out four. Josh Conway yielded two earned runs on three walks and hit in the eighth.
The Smokies started the scoring in the second when Mark Zagunis (1-for-3) and Bijan Rademacher (1-for-3) singled, with a ground out bringing in Zagunis. A base hit by Dave Freitas (1-for-4 with two RBI) drove in Rademacher. One out walks to Zagunis, Rademacher, and Taylor Davis (1-for-3 with an RBI) loaded the bases in the fourth, but only Zagunis would end up scoring on a force play.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (3-5)
Iowa bounced back from a loss the previous day on Wednesday, and throttled New Orleans 9-5. Logan Watkins paced a 13-hit attack by going 4-for-4 with a stolen base and three RBI, including an RBI double in the eighth inning. In his first start in centerfield, Juan Perez was 3-for-3 with two doubles and three RBI. Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with a home run and an RBI) belted a solo home run in the third inning.
Stephen Fife rebounded from a poor first start to hold the Zephyrs scoreless for 4.1 innings and strike out a batter. However, Fife had to leave the game with a ribcage injury, which could put the right-hander out for a month. Spencer Patton worked a scoreless ninth inning.
In a Thursday matinee, New Orleans got the taste of the knee-buckling curveball of Tyler Ihrig as Iowa doubled up on the Zephyrs 4-2. Ihrig was activated from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans roster before the game and struck out three while allowing an earned run on three hits and a walk in four innings. Spencer Patton slammed the door by working around a hit with a strikeout in the ninth for his first save.
The I-Cubs tied the game in the second when Willson Contreras (1-for-4) led off with a hit and came home on a one out double from Kris Negron (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI). Javier Baez (2-for-4 with a stolen base) singled, stole second, and scored on a base hit from Dan Vogelbach (2-for-4 with an RBI) in the sixth. A single by Albert Almora (2-for-3 with an RBI) drove in Vogelbach. Iowa added a run in the seventh after a walk from pinch-hitter Ryan Kalish and a base hit from Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base).
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs placed LHP Eric Jokisch on waivers, and was claimed by the Miami Marlins, assigned LHP Tyler Ihrig to the Iowa Cubs from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.