Minor Matters – April 13, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

iOWA 4-13 LINEFull Box Score

At The Plate Logan Watkins showed off his tremendous skill set once again last night.  Watkins was 1-for-3 with two walks, a home runs, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.  Watkins now had ten walks in ten games so far this season.  Darwin Barney made his first rehab start and looked decent at the plate going 1-for-4 with a run scored, and two strikeouts.  Brad Nelson was 2-for-4 with an RBI, J.C. Boscan also went 2-for-4 in the loss, he had an RBI and a run scored as well.

On The MoundBarret Loux got the start and was much better this time out.  Loux went five innings giving up one run on six hits while walking two and striking out five to earn his first win of the season.  Yoanner Negrin has been outstanding once again as he went three innings only allowing two hits while striking out eight, eight!  Blake Parker tossed a scoreless ninth inning, striking out one.

Smokies 4-13 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – The Smokies jumped out to an 8-1 lead and just barely held on for an 8-6 victory.  Ronald Torreyes made his return to the lineup, his first appearance of 2013 and was solid going 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored from the lead-off spot.  Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-5 with a home run, three RBI’s and two runs scored.  Rubi Silva also had a breakout game going 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .320 on the year.  Justin Bour only had one hit, but was productive, he finished the day 1-for-4 with three RBI’s.

On The Mound – The Smokies were good, and not so good late.  Kyle Hendricks got the start and the win, he went six innings giving up one run, unearned, on five hits while walking three and striking out one.  A.J. Morris struggled out of the pen going 1.1 innings giving up five runs on three hits while walking two hits while striking out one.  Frank Batista settled things down to earn the save, he went 1.2 innings giving up no runs on one hit while striking out one.

Daytona 4-13 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – The D-Cubs fell behind early and just couldn’t generate enough offense to get back into this one.  Javier Baez is starting to show signs of breaking out as he was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, and two runs scored.  John Andreoli was 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored, he’s now hitting .364 on the season.  Stephen Bruno was 2-for-4 with two RBI’s and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s in the loss.

On The Mound – A rare bad outing from P.J. Francescon, he got the loss going five innings giving up six runs on eight hits while walking none and striking out five.  Eduardo  Figueroa didn’t get much help from his defense as he worked three innings giving up three runs, all unearned, on two hits while walking four and striking out none.

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At The Plate – The Cougars built a 4-0 lead by the top of the third, by the bottom of the fourth it was gone.  The Cougars mounted a late comeback, but they ran out of time in game one.  Daniel Vogelbach continued his hot start to the season going 1-for-2 with two walks, his first home run, an RBI and two runs scored.  Rock Shoulders is even hotter at the plate right now going 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .455 on the season.  Jeimer Candelario finally had a solid game going 1-for-2 with two walks, a double, and a run scored.

On The MoundIan Dickson hasn’t had the best start to the 2013 season, that continued in this one.  Dickson went five innings giving up seven runs on eights hits while walking none and striking out three.  Brian Smith tossed a scoreless inning in relief only giving up one hit.

Kane County 4-13 line 2

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At The Plate – It took eleven innings but the Cougars were able to split the double-header with the Timer Rattlers.  Jeimer Candelario had a solid second game as well going 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored.  Willson Contreras was great coming off the bench and ended up with the game winning home run, he was 2-for-2 with a home run, two RBI’s and a run scored.  Wes Darvill was 2-for-4 with a caught stealing, and an error, so a good and bad day for him.

On The MoundFelix Pena was outstanding in this one going six innings giving up one run, unearned, on five hits while walking one and striking out three.  Justin Amlung, who has been roughed up in the early going had an outstanding outing yesterday.  Amlung went four scoreless innings out of the pen giving up only two hits while walking one and striking out one.  Eduardo Orozco earned his first save of the season tossing a scoreless inning giving up one hit and striking out one.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor Matters – April 8, 2013

Iowa 4-8 line

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At The Plate – Things have not gone well for the Iowa Cubs, that is reflected in their now 0-5 record.  Logan Watkins led off today as was great going 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored, he’s now hitting .368 on the season.  Brett Jackson had a solid game going 2-for-4 with a double, and two RBI’s.  Newcomer Donnie Murphy went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored in the loss.

On The Mound – Really rough go of it for the I-Cubs pitchers.  Barret Loux got the start and was beat up giving up six runs on three hits while walking three walks and striking out two in only one inning of work.  Jaye Chapman worked 2.2 innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking three without a strike out.  Cory Wade got roughed up giving up five runs on eight hits while striking out one in three innings of work.  Blake Parker worked 1.1 scoreless innings while walking one and striking out two.

Smokies 4-8 line

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At The PlateMatt Szczur continued his solid work out of the lead-off spot going 2-for-3 with a run scored, and a stolen base.  Arismendy Alcantara who was hitting in the two hole was 2-for-4, but also made two errors.  The rest of the Smokies lineup could only manage one hit in the 2-1 loss.

On The Mound – Really solid effort from the Smokies pitchers in this one.  Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and was decent, he struggled a bit with his command in 4.1 innings of work giving up one run on two hits while walking three and striking out one.  Brian Schlitter was the tough luck loser in this one, he worked 1.2 innings giving up one run, unearned, on two hits while walking one.  Zach Rosscup and Trey McNutt each worked a scoreless inning to keep things close.

Kane County 4-8 line

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At The Plate – Finally a win for the Cougars, they did plenty offensively but had to work overtime after a blown save, more on that in a bit.  Gioskar Amaya broke out today after a slow start to the season, he was 3-for-5 with a triple, a stolen base, and a run scored.  Chadd Krist was 3-for-5 with two doubles, ans two runs scored.   Bijan Rademacher did most of the damage today going 3-for-5 with three RBI’s.  Rock Shoulders stayed red hot at the plate going 2-for-5 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .455 on the season.

On The MoundLendy Castillo who is transitioning to a starting role was fantastic in his 2013 debut.  Castillo went five strong innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out four, unfortunately he had a win snatched from him.  Brian Smith was solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.  Justin Amlung blew the save but also got the win, he worked three innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking one and striking out three.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Late Cubs Rally Falls Short

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Cubs-Giants Line Score 3-2-13

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  Every time the Cubs fought back in this one the Giants would tack on a couple of insurance runs to keep the Cubs at bay, the Cubs final push came in the ninth inning as they scored twice, but ran MLB: Spring Training-Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giantsout of outs as they fell to the Giants 9-7.  Carlos Villanueva made his second appearance of the Spring, and had a much better performance.  Villanueva was able to make it through three innings, giving up one run on four hits while walking one, and striking out two.  It was nice to see Villanueva find the strike zone repeatedly in this one, I’ll take giving up hits over walks any day, and he was able to work around the hits for the most part.  Barret Loux came on in relief and didn’t have it today, he tossed two innings, giving up four runs, all earned on three hits while walking one and striking out one, Loux was hung with the loss.  Jaye Chapman also struggled today as he surrendered two runs on two hits in his inning of work.  After having a rough Spring debut, Robert Whitenack bounced back nicely today as he pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one.

  The Cubs were once again productive at the plate as they scored seven runs while pounding out ten hits.  Brian Bogusevic got the start in right field today and was stellar at the plate going 2-for-2 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored.  Dioner Navarro only had one hit but he had a productive day, he ended the day 1-for-3 with a walk, and two RBI’s.  Steve Clevenger got the start at first base today, yes first base, and he did his best Anthony Rizzo impersonation going 2-for-3 with two RBI’s, Clevenger is having a solid Spring at the plate, hitting .500 (4-for-8) in the early going.  Brett Jackson didn’t start, but had an eventful day nonetheless going 1-for-1 with a double, and a stolen base.  Jackson is having a resurgent Spring, and a lot of that can be contributed to a new swing, and new-found confidence, he his slated to start 2013 in Iowa, but is doing everything he can to make that decision anything but a given, he’s hitting .375 (3-for-8) with two triples, and a double this Spring.

Cubs-Giants box Score 3-2-13

Cubs-Giants Pitching Box Score 3-2-13

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Let Big Early Lead Slip Away in Loss to Dodgers

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Cubs-Dodgers Line Score 2-25-13

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  The Cubs used the long ball early and often against Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers staff to build a 6-2 lead through three innings.  Nate Schierholtz hit a solo shot in the Castillofirst, and then Welington Castillo went back to back with Darnell McDonald in the third inning.  McDonald padded the RBI numbers with a three run homer, a no doubter.  Unfortunately that was about it for the Cubs offense as they couldn’t scratch across another run the rest of the afternoon.  Carlos Villanueva made his Cubs debut and it could have been better as he struggled with his command.  Villanueva couldn’t make in through the first inning as he walked two guys, and gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning.  Blake Parker and Barret Loux had solid outings, each turning in a scoreless effort.  Robert Whitenack struggled today, giving up three runs, while not allowing a hit, yes he struggled with command as well, walking two in two-thirds of an inning.  The news of the day came from Dontrelle Willis, not because he made his debut, but because he only threw seven pitches before leaving with what is being described as shoulder stiffness, he took the loss.

Cubs-Dodgers Box Score 2-25-2013

Cubs-Dodgers Pitchers Box Score 2-25-2013

Game Highlights:

Darnell McDonald’s Three-Run Bomb
Dontrelle Willis leaves with an Injury
Welington Castillo’s Solo Shot
Nate Schierholtz Goes Deep

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Trade Brigham Back to Texas for Loux

I guess you can finally say the trade of Geovany Soto to the Rangers is complete now.  At the time of the deal last July the Cubs received right-handed pitcher Jake Brigham from Texas in return for Soto and Brigham was assigned to Double-A Tennessee.  Brigham was very bad, the reason he was very bad was a right elbow strain, because of this right elbow strain the Rangers and Cubs agreed that they would revisit this deal in the off-season to make sure everyone was made whole and no hard feelings.  Are you still following?  If so, good that brings us to today.  The Cubs have traded Jake Brigham back to the Rangers for right-handed pitcher Barret Loux, and a player to be named later, which in reality is probably the best possible scenario for the Cubs.

Loux had some injury issues in the past as well, but he once was thought very highly of.  Loux was drafted 6th overall by the Diamondbacks in the 2010 Amateur Draft out of Texas A&M, and subsequently failed a physical because of a torn labrum and other elbow injuries so he was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball at the time.  He was signed by the Rangers shortly thereafter and has shown to be past those injuries and with a decent level of success as well.  Loux, now 23, was named the 2012 Double-A Texas League Pitcher of the Year going 14-1 with a 3.47 ERA in 25 regular season starts with Frisco, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts out in Triple-A next year with the Iowa Cubs.

Thanks for reading,
– George