The Cubs had another team reach the playoffs as the Eugene Emeralds clinched a first half title on Wednesday thanks to Jose Paulino.
With action from the Rookie League and the Dominican Republic, along with a plethora of transactions, today’s Down on the Farm Report has something for everyone.
Short Season Class-A – Eugene Emeralds (23-10)
It was fitting that Eugene clinched a first-half title and a playoff spot on Wednesday with their best pitcher on the mound, as the Emeralds blanked Hillsboro 4-0. Jose Paulino continued his ridiculous first half by striking out seven and allowing only two hits in seven innings. Wyatt Short worked around two walks in an inning. Jared Cheek set down the side in order in the ninth.
Wladimir Galindo (2-for-4) scored on a sacrifice fly in the second inning, and Robert Garcia (1-for-4 with a home run) popped a solo home run in the third. A triple by Connor Myers (1-for-3 with a triple and an RBI) brought in Trent Giambrone (1-for-3) in the fifth. Myers later scored on a sacrifice fly.
Low Class-A – South Bend Cubs (57-39)
South Bend did not quit on Wednesday, but the bullpen did not hold up as they lost 7-5 to Burlington. Justin Steele appears to be rounding into form as he allowed two earned runs and struck out three in five innings. Casey Bloomquist moved back to the pen and gave up two earned runs in three innings. John Williamson surrendered two earned runs in 0.1 innings. James Norwood yielded an earned run in 0.2 innings.
Carlos Sepulveda (1-for-3 with a double and a stolen base) turned a leadoff walk into the first run of the game on Donnie Dewees’ (2-for-3 with an RBI) single, and tied the game in the fourth on a solo home run from Eddy Julio Martinez (3-for-4 with a double, a triple, a home run, and three RBI). Martinez scored again on a sacrifice fly in the seventh, and Martinez’s triple in the eighth inning drove in Sepulveda and Dewees.
The bullpen for Burlington was better than South Bend’s on Thursday, as the SB Cubs lost 3-1. Preston Morrison scattered seven hits and struck out six in six scoreless innings. But Tyler Peitzmeier gave up three earned runs in two innings. Dillon Maples had two strikeouts in a perfect ninth. A groundout brought in Carlos Sepulveda (1-for-4) in the ninth for the Cubs’ only run.
High Class–A – Myrtle Beach Pelicans (49-48)
Myrtle Beach was idle on Wednesday.
The Pelicans opened a series with Wilmington on Thursday with a 9-4 loss. Jake Stinnett was roughed up for seven runs (five earned) as he struck out six in five innings. Tommy Thorpe allowed two earned runs in two innings. Tommy Nance made his High-A debut and pitched two scoreless innings.
In the first inning, Rashad Crawford (1-for-3 with a stolen base) scored on a throwing error to cut the deficit to two runs. Crawford came home on a wild pitch in the third. Yasiel Balaguert (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) bashed his 13th home run with Gleyber Torres (0-for-4 with a stolen base) on board.
Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (39-57)
In a result that is becoming all too familiar, Tennessee lost 8-2 to Mississippi on Wednesday. All you can do is shake your head and wonder about the season long performance of Tyler Skulina, as he was pounded for eight runs (seven earned) in five innings. Stephen Perakslis picked up some slack by striking out four in three scoreless innings. Juan Paniagua added a perfect inning of relief.
The game was already out of hand when Bijan Rademacher (2-for-4 with two doubles) scored on a ground out in the sixth inning. Gioskar Amaya (1-for-2 with a home run) added a solo home run in the eighth.
On Thursday, the Smokies failed to capitalize on a good start as Tennessee lost 5-3 to Mississippi. Je-Ho Tseng had another good outing as he was charged with an unearned run and had two strikeouts in six innings. But David Berg remained rocky as he gave up four earned runs in 0.2 innings. Nick Sarianides tossed 2.1 perfect innings and had three strikeouts.
David Freitas (2-for-4 with a double and an RBI) scored on a sacrifice fly in the second inning to tie the game. In the sixth, a double by Freitas drove in Ian Happ (1-for-3). Ben Carhart (1-for-2 with a double and two RBI) doubled in Freitas.
Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (42-56)
A rainout the previous night gave Iowa a doubleheader on Wednesday and they dropped the opener 5-0 to Salt Lake. Drew Rucinski had a typical outing as he allowed three runs (two earned) and struck out three in four innings. Gerardo Concepcion tossed two scoreless innings while Joe Nathan was charged with two earned runs in 0.1 innings. C.J. Riefenhauser recorded the final two outs. The I-Cubs managed only two hits as Matt Murton was 1-for-2 and Juan Perez went 1-for-3.
The I-Cubs earned a split in game two as they defeated Salt Lake 6-3. Jake Buchanan had a solid effort, allowing three runs (two earned) and fanning four in 5.2 innings. Corey Black had a perfect 1.1 innings for his fourth save.
Rehabbing Dexter Fowler (1-for-2 with a double) scored on a single from Mark Zagunis (2-for-2 with a double and three RBI), who came home on a sacrifice fly in the first inning. Iowa put the game away in the fifth inning after John Andreoli (1-for-3 with an RBI) singled in Munenori Kawasaki (0-for-2 with a stolen base) and a double from Zagunis scored Fowler and Andreoli. Zagunis came around on a base hit by Tim Federowicz (1-for-2 with an RBI).
On Thursday afternoon, the I-Cubs fell a little short as they lost 5-4 to Salt Lake. Pierce Johnson remains a work in progress, getting incrementally better by allowing three earned runs and striking out three in four innings. Armando Rivero was nicked for an unearned run in two innings. Felix Pena gave up an earned run in two innings. Jose Rosario struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning.
Iowa was unable to generate any offense until the fifth inning when consecutive singles by Jeimer Candelario (2-for-4 with a double), Logan Watkins (3-for-4 with an RBI), and Juan Perez (1-for-3 with two RBI) scored Candelario and a walk to John Andreoli (0-for-3 with a RBI) forced in Perez. A base hit by Watkins drove in Tim Federowicz (2-for-5) in the eighth inning. Candelario scored on a sacrifice fly.
Arizona Rookie League – AZL Cubs (14-10)
The AZL Cubs extended their winning streak to six games and took over first place with a 7-6 win over the AZL Angels on Wednesday. Jhonny Bethancourt (2-for-4) had two RBI and Yohan Matos was 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Former infielder Ho-young Son tossed a scoreless inning in his second appearance on the mound.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-1 Cubs (16-24)
It was baseball symmetry on Wednesday as D-1 lost 5-1 to Yankees-1. Starter Jesus Tejada had six strikeouts in 5.1 innings, but allowed three earned runs. Henderson Perez went 3-for-5 with a stolen base in the loss.
D-1 could not overcome some early pitching problems on Thursday as they lost to Yankees-1 9-6. Riger Fernandez yielded eight earned runs in 4.1 innings. Franklin Tineo (2-for-4 with two RBI) belted a solo home run and Yonathan Perlaza was 3-for-5 with a triple and a stolen base.
Dominican Summer League – DSL-2 Cubs (24-15)
It was all quiet on Wednesday until both teams woke up and D-2 ended up losing 5-1 to the DSL Giants. Hector Garcia kept the Cubs in the game by tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out three batters. Aramis Ademan and Miguel Amaya were each 1-for-4 in the loss.
A comeback went for naught on Thursday as D-2 lost to the DSL Giants 7-6 in 10 innings. Second baseman Luis Diaz (1-for-3 with a double) drove in two and Miguel Amaya went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Wilfre Delgado had a decent start as he allowed an earned run in three innings.
News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs traded 1B Dan Vogelbach (Iowa Cubs) and RHP Paul Blackburn (Tennessee Smokies) to the Seattle Mariners for LHP Mike Montgomery and RHP Jordan Pries; sent OF Dexter Fowler and OF Jorge Soler to the Iowa Cubs on a rehab assignment; assigned RHP Jordan Pries to the Iowa Cubs; assigned RHP Tommy Nance to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from the South Bend Cubs; assigned INF Matt Rose to the South Bend Cubs from the Eugene Emeralds; assigned INF Vimael Machin to the Eugene Emeralds from the Iowa Cubs; assigned LHP Andin Diaz to the Eugene Emeralds from the ALZ Cubs; assigned RHP Duncan Robinson to the Eugene Emeralds; assigned RHP Jed Carter to the AZL Cubs.