Minor Matters – April 16, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 4-16 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – You wouldn’t know it by the hit totals, but the I-Cubs won this one rather handily 4-3.  Iowa only had three hits, and gave up ten, but that’s not what decides games.  Ty Wright was 1-for-4 with a run scored.  Ryan Sweeney had one of the other hits and it was a big one, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, a triple, and an RBI.  J.C. Boscan had the biggest hit of the day as he was 1-for-3 with a double, and two RBI’s, definitely an odd game at the plate, but drawing four walks definitely helped.

On The Mound –  Plenty of hits given up by the Cubs staff, but they didn’t walk anyone, and that was a huge reason they pulled this one out.  Brooks Raley had a tremendous outing getting his first win of the season going six scoreless innings giving up six hits, and striking out seven.  Yoanner Negrin continues to be untouchable out of the pen, he worked two scoreless innings only giving up two hits.  Cory Wade worked the ninth and gave up one run on two hits while striking out two.

Smokies 4-16 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – A back and forth game in Huntsville ended with the Smokies hanging on to win 4-3 over the Stars.  Matt Szczur continues to be productive out of the lead-off spot, he went 2-for-3 with a home run, a stolen base, a caught stealing, an RBI, and a run scored.  Justin Bour also joined in on the fun going 2-for-4 with a home run, an RBI, and a run scored.  Rubi Silva has been scorching hot all year and it was no different last night, he was 2-for-4 with a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored, he’s hitting .405 on the season now.

On The MoundAlberto Cabrera got the start and his second win of the season as he went six innings giving up two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out five.  A.J. Morris was solid out of the pen going two scoreless, and hitless innings while striking out three.  Frank Batista worked the ninth for his second save, although he made it exciting, he worked one inning giving up one run on one hit while walking one.

Daytona 4-16 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – All sorts of offense from Daytona but it wasn’t nearly enough in this one.  Seven out of the nine players in the lineup had at least one hit.  John Andreoli was 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, two stolen bases, and one run scored.  Javy Baez connected on his second homer of the season, he finished the day 1-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored.  Stephen Bruno was 2-for-2 with two walks with a double, and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger continues to stay hot going 2-for-3 with an RBI, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .310 on the season.

On The Mound – I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen anything like this in just nine innings.  The D-Cubs staff gave up fifteen runs, that was low in my opinion seeing that they gave up twenty-seven hits, twenty-seven!  Ryan Searle has been great this year, not last night, he went 4.2 innings giving up seven runs on fifteen(!) hits while striking out five, his ERA sits at 4.85 right now, a small miracle given how many runs he gave up.  Hunter Cervenka and Luis Liria gave up a combined seven runs in 2.1 innings.  Taylor Davis, a catcher, worked one inning giving up one run on four hits.

Kane County 4-16 line game 1Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cougars had a thrilling comeback win in game one as they scored twice in the last two innings to come back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3.  Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.  Daniel Vogelbach was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored, with that two hit game his average climbed to .302 on the season.  Jeimer Candelario was 1-for-3 with a big two run double to help the Cougars come all the way back.

On The Mound –  Errors got the best of the Cougars early on and it showed in the pitching staff”s numbers.  Jose Arias got the start and went four innings giving up three runs, all unearned, on four hits while walking three and striking out three.  Jeffry Antigua was great out of the pen and was rewarded with his first win of the season.  Antigue went three scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out three.

Kane County 4-16 line game 2

Full Box Score

At The Plate – No such comeback luck in this one from the Cougars as they were done in by a seven run second inning.  Marco Hernandez was 2-for-4 with a double, a stolen base, an error, and two runs scored.  Wes Darvill was 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Bijan Rademacher was 2-for-2 with a walk.  The top three guys in the Cougars order went 0-for-10 in game two, and the Cougars went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

On The MoundMichael Heesch got the start and didn’t get much help from his defense.  Heesch went 1.2 innings giving up six runs, two earned, on five hits while walking one and striking out two.  Brian Smith got beat up a little bit as he went 2.1 innins giving up two runs on three hits while walking two and striking out two.  Steve Perakslis and Nathan Dorris each tossed a scoreless inning in the loss.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor Matters – April 11, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 4-11 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – The I-Cubs were shut down tonight as they could only manage three hits in the 2-0 loss.  Brett Jackson was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.  Ryan Sweeney (1-for-4), and Ty Wright (1-for-3) were the only Cubs to get hits.  The Cubs did walk three times, but struck out nine times and were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position.

On The MoundBrooks Raley was outstanding, unfortunately the result was his second loss of the season.  Raley went seven strong innings giving up two runs on eight hits, he didn’t walk anyone and struck out seven.  Jensen Lewis tossed a scoreless frame out of the bullpen surrendering only one hit.

Smokies 4-11 lineFull Box Score

At The Plate – Not much offense at all for the Smokies as they could only manage three runs on five hits, and only had two runners in scoring position all night.  Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.  Christian Villanueva was 1-for-4 with a double, and RBI, and a run scored.  Jair Fernandez was 2-for-4 with an RBI, both hits were singles.

On The MoundAlberto Cabrera got the start for the Smokies and got touched up a bit.  He worked six innings giving up four runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out five and was hung with the loss.  Marcus Hatley struggled out of the pen as he went two innings giving up two run on three hits while walking one and striking out three.  Brian Schlitter worked a scoreless inning giving up one hit and striking out one.

Daytona 4-11Full Box Score

At The Plate – The D-Cubs were able to pound out nine hits in this one, unfortunately they could only push across two runs and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.  Taiwan Easterling continued his hot start going 2-for-4 with a double, he’s now hitting .333 on the season.  Stephen Bruno is also on fire, he went 2-for-4 as well with a double, a stolen base, and a run scored, he’s hitting .370 on the season.  Dustin Geiger has been on fire the last three games, he went 2-for-4 tonight with a double and an RBI.

On The Mound – Not a lot of good for the D-Cubs tonight, but they only used two pitchers.  Starling Peralta got the start and got knocked around, but he didn’t walk anyone, so there’s that.  Peralta went six innings giving up six runs on eight hits with seven strike outs, he did however give up four home runs, ouch.  Yeiper Castillo followed Peralta and had the same success, or lack thereof.  Castillo worked three innings giving up six runs on seven hits while walking one and striking out one.

NOTES:  Kane County was rained out, and Jorge Soler served game one of his five game suspension tonight.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor Matters – April 6, 2013

Iowa 4-6 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Iowa Cubs scattered nine hits in the loss, and were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position in suffering their third straight loss.  Newly acquired Ryan Sweeney got things going right away as he was 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a walk, and a run scored.  Brad Nelson was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.

On The MoundBrooks Raley got the start and was rough up in four innings of work.  He gave up four runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out three, he was tagged with the loss.  Yoanner Negrin was solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings giving up no hits while walking one and striking out three.  Zach Putnam and Rafael Dolis were both touched up as they gave up a combined four runs over the last two innings.

Smokies 4-6 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – You wouldn’t know it by the score, this was a pitchers duel up until the top of the 12th when the Smokies scored 8 times to win this one.  Matt Szczur was terrific from the lead-off spot again going 2-for-7 with three RBI’s, and a run scored.  Jae-Hoon Ha continued his hot start going 3-for-5 with two RBI’s, a stolen base, and a run scored.

On The Mound – The Smokies had to use five pitchers to get through this one and all were effective as they totaled 15 strikeouts in twelve innings.  Eric Jokisch got the start and was solid going six innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out seven.  Kevin Rhoderick, Marcus Hatley, Frank Batista, and Brian Schlitter all had scoreless appearances with Batista getting the win.

Daytona 4-6 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – It was the Jorge Soler show in this one as he went 2-for-3 with a home run, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Timothy Saunders also had a solid night going 3-for-4.  Stephen Bruno was 2-for-3 with a run scored, Javier Baez had a rough night going 0-for-4 with an error.

On The Mound – The trio of Austin Kirk, Yao-Lin Wang, and Frank Del Valle shut down the Manatees.  Kirk got the start and went three innings giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits while walking two and striking out two.  Yao-Lin Wang was awesome going three innings only giving up a single, while walking one and striking out four.  Frank Del Valle was even better going three innings only allowing one hit while walking one and striking out six to earn the save.

Kane County 4-6 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – Fireworks everywhere as the Cougars trailed 7-0 and 8-1 before tying it at ten in the ninth before falling 13-10 in eleven innings.  The Cougars pounded out 19 hits with seven guys having multi-hit nights.  Daniel Vogelbach was 3-for-6 with a double and an RBI.  Rock Shoulders had a huge game going 4-for-6 with two RBI’s and a run scored.  Oliver Zapata was outstanding going 3-for-6 with a triple, a home run, five RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound –  Obviously not much good here.  Cougars pitchers gave up 17 hits in the loss.  Jose Arias got the start and got the brunt of the River Bandits attack.  Arias only went 1.2 innings giving up seven runs, six earned, on seven hits while walking none and struck out two.  Nathan Dorris was the most effective Cougar going 2.1 innings giving up one run on three hits while walking two and striking out three.  Ian Dickson was solid but had no command, he went five innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out four.

Thanks for reading,
– George

We Are Ready For Minor League Opening Day, Are You?

April 1st marks the beginning of the Major League season, that’s wonderful and great, but for me April 4th is just as exciting as the minor league teams open their campaigns.  If you followed us last year you know what we are all about, we bring you a lot of information pertaining to prospects, and the lower level teams, that includes recaps.  We recap every game from the minor league system every night, so please follow along as it is shaping up to be a very exciting season in the Cubs system.  Here is the schedule for tomorrow.

AAA

Iowa 4-4

It hasn’t officially been announced by I would expect Chris Rusin to get the start, if not then it will be Brooks Raley.

AA

Smokies 4-4

Dallas Beeler gets the start for the Smokies.

High – A

Daytona 4-4

Ben Wells gets the start for the Daytona Cubs

A

Cougars 4-4

Pierce Johnson gets the start for the Cougars

Check back tomorrow for recaps of all of these games, thanks for reading!
– George

Cubs Make Second Round of Cuts; McNutt Included

As we inch towards opening day we will be seeing more of these reports, these are both good and bad, good meaning we are finally getting an idea of what the roster might look like, bad because, well, being cut isn’t a bad thing, it’s a developmental step, yeah that’s it.  Today the Cubs announced they have sent six players back to various levels of their system, five pitchers and one position player.  We will start with the position player, Logan Watkins, a guy I really like, and I think the Cubs do as well as he is versatile in that he can play a number of infield spots.  It looks as though he will start the 2013 campaign in Iowa as the starting second baseman, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at Wrigley at some point this year.

Now let’s discuss the pitchers that were sent packing.  Brooks Raley, who started a few games for the Cubs at the end of last year will be headed to Iowa, and most likely be in the rotation there.  Raley had logan-watkins-nick-struckan opportunity to crack the roster coming out of camp but had a less than memorable Spring up to this point.  Alberto Cabrera, who the Cubs are trying to morph back into a starter will also take up residence in Iowa, like Raley, there was an outside shot of Cabrera making the team as he saw time with the Cubs last year, but a bad Spring  forced the Cubs hand.  The 2012 Minor League Pitcher of the Year in the Cubs organization,  Nick Struck, was also sent home from camp today.  Struck had a decent Spring and will look to build off an impressive 2012 this year, most likely in Iowa, yes that staff is pretty full already.  Robert Whitenack, who spent much of 2012 coming back from Tommy John surgery, was another one of the cuts.  Whitenack is intriguing, as many people in the organization like his arm, and ability, it’s now a matter of regaining confidence post surgery and I think that is what is holding him back.  Whitenack is someone to pay attention to as he is already on the Cubs 40-man roster, my guess is he starts a AA Tennessee, that might be a little advanced for him, but he has to show the Cubs organization that he belongs.

The final cut is probably the most notable, Trey McNutt, and his beard.  McNutt Trey  McNuttwas a pitching prospect for the Cubs before they restocked with other pitching prospects, if that makes sense.  McNutt, originally a starter has become seemingly more valuable out of the bullpen, that made it realistic for him to break camp with the Cubs and be another solid arm in the pen.  With him being cut from camp I would think the Cubs would like to see what he can do strictly as a reliever at AAA Iowa, I think that McNutt has a future with the Cubs, and I think it’s out of the pen, but time and performance will tell.  The Cubs roster now stands at 53, as I said, inching closer to that magical 25 number for April 1st.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Cubs Pitching, Castro, Beat Up Against Dodgers

Cactus League Header

Cubs-Dodgers Line Score 2-27-13

Full Box Score

  Now THAT is an early Spring Training game if I’ve ever seen one, and I didn’t even see this one.  It was a long, messy game that ended with the Cubs on the losing end of an 11-7 final, and holding their breath about a potential injury to their franchise shortstop, more on that later.  It was a tale of two games for both teams really as seventeen of the eighteen runs scored in the game crossed the plate in the first five innings.  Raley 2-27-13Cubs pitching finally had a rough day, and it started with Brooks Raley.  Raley was really knocked around, he was able to go one plus inning giving up four runs on five hits while walking one and striking out one.  Thanks to an early surge by the Cubs offense Raley wasn’t on the hook for the loss, that honor went to Trey McNutt.  McNutt didn’t pitch terribly in his outing, but he was hung with the loss as he couldn’t bail out Raley after he left and allowed an earned run of his own in an inning of work on two hits.  Jaye Chapman, and Alberto Cabrera were also beat up pretty bad today as they combined to give up five runs, four earned, on six hits over three innings.  Chapman was particularly bad as he only lasted a third of an inning giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking two.  The foursome of Michael Bowden, Hisanori Takahashi, Shawn Camp, and James Russell stopped the bleeding but it was too little too late.

  As I mentioned the Cubs bats were alive and well early this afternoon as they held a 4-1 lead and pushed across seven runs in the first four innings.  Both Nate Schierholtz and Darwin Barney had two hits, and they were productive as Schierholtz knocked in one with Barney driving in two.  Javier Baez drew some oohs and aahs with a screaming line drive base hit that almost decapitated the Dodgers shortstop, the hit had twitter abuzz, and drew comparisons to Gary Sheffield after the game from Dale Sveum.  Back to the Cubs holding their breath, Starlin Castro was 1-for-3 on the day, but had to leave the game after pulling up lame crossing first base after grounding out.  Castro said after the game that he was worried when he first felt it, but he is confident it’s more tightness then a pull, he’s feelings were echoed by Sveum as well after the game, fingers crossed.

Cubs-Dodgers Box Score 2-27-13

Cubs-Dodgers Pitchers Box Score 2-27-2013

Thanks for reading,
– George

February 27, 2013 – Cubs Lineup vs. Dodgers

A lineup full of regulars today as the Cubs take on the Dodgers.  Brooks Raley will make the start for the Cubs as they look to avenge their only loss of the Spring season which was to the Dodgers on Monday.   Here is how the Cubs will get things started today.

Valbuena 3B
Castro DH
Rizzo 1B
Soriano LF
Schierholtz RF
Hairston CF
Castillo C
Barney 2B
Lillibridge SS

Thanks for reading,
– George