It was a mixed bag to end the week as South Bend continued their destruction of the Midwest League thanks to pitchers Ryan Kellogg and Preston Morrison. Eugene’s Chris Pieters is quickly making a name for himself and Jonathan Martinez looks back on track for Myrtle Beach. Tennessee is experiencing a surge due to the pitching of Jen-Ho Tseng and Duane Underwood Jr., but Iowa can’t seem to put it together despite the efforts of Jeimer Candelario.
And, by the way, check out Zack Short and Abraham Rodriguez in the Arizona League and the Dominican League.
With the most comprehensive Cubs minor league coverage, the Down on the Farm Report will not disappoint.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (9-4)
Tuesday night was a night that Eugene would probably like to forget as they lost to Boise 16-6. Pedro Silverio allowed four earned runs in his start in 3.2 innings. Enrique De Los Rio gave up two earned runs in 1.1 innings, while Alex Santana took it on the chin with eight earned runs in 1.2 innings. Jared Cheek also surrendered two earned runs in 1.1 innings.
The Emeralds actually took a 5-0 lead in the second after a single by Chris Pieters (2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base) drove in Juan Paniagua (2-for-4 with a double and a triple). Wladimir Galindo (2-for-4 with a double, a triple, and an RBI) doubled in Pieters. Galindo scored on an error and a triple from D.J. Wilson (1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI) brought in Robert Garcia (1-for-4), while Wilson later scored on an error. The Ems added a run in the eighth after Tyler Payne (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled home Galindo.
Eugene had a major comeback on Wednesday, scoring four runs in the seventh to get past Boise 9-7. Matt Rose (1-for-5 with a double) got the inning started with a double and came home on a single by Chris Pieters (3-for-4 with two RBI and a stolen base). After a single by Wladimir Galindo (2-for-5 with a double and an RBI), Pieters scored on a ground out with Galindo crossing the plate on a fielding error. Trent Giambrone (2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and two RBI) doubled home pinch-runner Michael Foster (0-for-1) for the final run. Giambrone also hit his first professional home run in the third inning.
It wasn’t the best night for Dylan Cease, as he allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out three in four innings. MT Minacci was also victimized by the defense as he gave up three runs (one earned) in 2.2 innings. Mark Malave got things back under control by striking out two in 1.1 scoreless innings. Michael Knighton got a shaky second save as he surrendered an earned run and struck out two in the ninth.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (48-29)
Dominant was the word for South Bend on Wednesday afternoon as they took apart Lake County 8-2. With the bases loaded in the second inning, a force out and a throwing error scored Josh Silver (1-for-4 with an RBI) and Jesse Hodges (2-for-4). A single by Roberto Caro (1-for-3 with an RBI) drove in Sutton Whiting (1-for-4 with an RBI). The S-Cubs loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning when Eddy Julio Martinez (2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI) cleared the bases with a double. A double by Eloy Jimenez (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) brought in Martinez and a single from Silver plated Jimenez.
For the second straight start, Ryan Kellogg did not allow an earned run as he was charged with two unearned runs and struck out two in six innings. John Williamson tossed two scoreless innings, and Pedro Araujo had two strikeouts in the ninth.
The pitching staff for South Bend is really coming into the forefront as they out-dueled Lake County 1-0 on Thursday. Preston Morrison scattered six hits and struck out five in 7.1 innings. Craig Brooks had two strikeouts as he recorded his fourth save with 1.2 scoreless innings. The only run came in the sixth after Carlos Sepulveda (1-for-4 with a stolen base) singled, stole second and scored on a ground out.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (39-39)
It was a “throwback win” for Myrtle Beach on Wednesday as they beat Salem 1-0. The win harkened back to the 2015 championship squad that dominated with pitching and defense. Jonathan Martinez demonstrated some of last year’s form as he had four strikeouts and gave up three hits and two walks in six innings. Michael Wagner tossed two perfect innings, and Ryan McNeil had a strikeout in the ninth for his ninth save. The only run in the game came in the fourth inning as a double by Ian Rice (1-for-4 with a double and an RBI) drove in Gleyber Torres (2-for-4).
Myrtle Beach regressed back into their listless offense mode on Thursday with a 3-2 loss to Potomac in 10 innings. Erick Castillo (1-for-4 with a double) doubled and scored on a Rashad Crawford (1-for-5 with a triple and an RBI) triple in the third inning and Ian Rice (1-for-4 with a home run) belted a solo home run in the seventh. But the Pelicans would manage only two more hits in the game.
Jeremy Null did better than what his line looks like, as he allowed two earned runs on eight hits and struck out three in six innings. Jordan Minch was reliable as he had two scoreless innings. James Pugliese gave up an earned run in 1.2 innings, while Tommy Thorpe recorded the final out.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (33-44)
In a “businessman’s special” on Wednesday, Tennessee was able to double up Jacksonville, winning 4-2. Jen-Ho Tseng has given the rotation a real boost since returning from the DL. In five innings, Tseng struck out four and allowed two runs (one earned). Josh Conway tossed an inning, while R.J. Alvarez had three strikeouts in 1.2 innings. Jose Rosario got the final four outs for his third save.
It was a big day for Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI), as he cracked a solo home run to get the Smokies on the board in the second. Victor Caratini (1-for-3 with a home run) added his own solo home run in the fourth inning. A double from Rademacher drove in Caratini and Billy McKinney (2-for-4) in the sixth.
The good pitching has been contagious as Tennessee was one better than Jacksonville on Thursday, winning 2-1 in 10 innings. Duane Underwood Jr. finally put together an outing that has been expected regularly from him this season, as he was charged with an unearned run and struck out two in six innings. Joe Nathan, David Garner, and Jose Rosario each pitched an inning while David Berg was perfect in the 10th for his first save.
The bats for the Smokies warmed up late. Bijan Rademacher (1-for-4 with an RBI) singled in Victor Caratini (1-for-5 with a double and an RBI) to tie up the game in the ninth. In the 10th, Chesny Young (1-for-5) scored on a ground out.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (38-41)
The Iowa Cubs were idle on Wednesday.
It was another doubleheader on Thursday as Iowa fell to their nemesis Round Rock 4-2. Adam Warren had his second start and surrendered two earned runs while striking out three in five innings. Gerardo Concepcion served up a two-run home run in the sixth.
John Andreoli (1-for-3 with a double) led off the game with a double and came home on a sacrifice fly. Jeimer Candelario (2-for-3 with a home run) slugged a solo home run in the sixth.
The I-Cubs let one slip away from them in game two as they lost to Round Rock 5-4 in eight innings. Iowa had a 4-3 lead going into the bottom of the seventh, but manager Marty Peavy left Drew Rucinski in too long. Rucinski allowed the tying run as he yielded four earned runs in 6.2 innings. Corey Black gave up an earned run as he worked an inning.
Juan Perez (2-for-4 with two home runs) got the scoring started as he cracked a solo home run in the first inning. Perez then led off the fourth with another solo home run. Mark Zagunis (1-for-4 with a triple) tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly, and a double by Logan Watkins (1-for-2 with a double and an RBI) drove in Jeimer Candelario (0-for-2) in the sixth inning.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (5-3)
The A-Cubs pulled away late Tuesday night as they defeated the AZL Giants 5-1. In his professional debut, infielder Zack Short was 1-for-1 with three walks while Michael Cruz went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Starter Junior Marte had four strikeouts and was charged with an unearned run in three innings.
On Wednesday, the AZL Cubs were unable to keep pace with the AZL Mariners, losing 5-4. Catcher Gustavo Polanco led the offense as he was 3-for-5 with a triple and an RBI. After serving a suspension, Tanner Griggs saw his first work as he had a strikeout in the ninth.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-1 Cubs (10-13)
It was a tough defeat for D-1 on Wednesday as they lost 11-2 to Mets-1. The D-Cubs were limited to only four hits as outfielder Jonathan Sierra scored both runs while going 1-for-3. In a game where no one pitched well, Juan Rengifo did the best as he struck out two in two innings and was charged with an unearned run.
D-1 used four runs in the ninth to get past Rangers-1 6-4 on Thursday. Jose Gutierrez was the catalyst as he was 3-for-5 with a triple and a stolen base. Elvis Diaz took care of the middle innings as he was charged with an unearned run in four innings to be credited with the win.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-2 Cubs (16-7)
It was a rare doubleheader for D-2 on Wednesday as they took the opener 3-1 over Orioles-2. Abraham Rodriguez scored a run as he was 2-for-3 with a double, and Fidel Matos drove in two runs. Carlos Ocampo had four strikeouts as he allowed an earned run and went five innings.
Game two gave D-2 a split as they lost to Orioles-2 2-0. Abraham Rodriguez once again led the way as he was 2-for-3 with a double, while Miguel Amaya went 1-for-3 with a double. Emilio Ferrebus would go four innings and strike out five, allowing two earned runs.
D-2 made it Cubs symmetry on Thursday as they beat the DSL Twins 6-4. Second baseman Luis Diaz had a big day as he was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Hector Garcia had a great start as he fanned five in six scoreless innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned RHP Pedro Araujo to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the South Bend Cubs; assigned RHP Dillon Maples to the South Bend Cubs from the Myrtle Beach Pelicans; assigned LHP Andres Bonalde to the D-1 Cubs from the D-2 Cubs.