Riding the Bus (Cubs Minor League Reports): April 8, 2016

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Iowa 4-8-16

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After falling behind 4-0 early the Iowa Cubs fell just short in their comeback attempt as they dropped a nail biter to Round Rock, 4-3.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Stephen Fife was roughed up in this one, he worked three innings, giving up four runs on five hits while walking three, and striking out five.
  • Jean Machi was brilliant, he worked two scoreless innings while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Felix Pena was just as good, he worked two scoreless innings, walking one, and striking out two.
  • J. Riefenhauser, and Miguel Mejia each worked a scoreless inning to keep things close.

Tenn 4-8-16

Full Box Score

The Smokies couldn’t muster much offense in their quest to move to 2-0 on the season as they could only scratch across one run in a 2-1 loss to Mobile.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Paul Blackburn struggled early, giving up five hits over the first two innings, but that was it for the night. Blackburn worked five innings, giving up one run on five hits while striking out two.
  • Michael Jensen was solid out of the pen, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Corey Black picked up the loss in this one, he worked one inning, giving up one run on two hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Andury Acevedo worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.

MB 4-8-16

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The Pelicans came up just short in their attempt at coming back from a 5-1 deficit in the sixth inning.  Myrtle Beach pulled to within one before falling to Frederick 7-5.

At the Plate:

  • Rashad Crawford had another good night, he was 2-for-4 with a walk, but was also picked off twice, oops.
  • David Bote was 2-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored in the loss.
  • Cael Brockmeyer showed off his power, he was 1-for-4 with his first homer of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Charcer Burks had a huge night, he was 3-for-4 with a home run, a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Zach Hedges got the start tonight, and picked up the loss. He worked 5.1 innings, giving up four runs, two earned, on five hits while walking one, and striking out six.
  • Dillon Maples struggled, he worked just 1/3 of an inning, he gave up an unearned run on one hit while walking two, and striking out one.
  • Ryan McNeil was decent out of the pen, he worked 2.1 innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out three.
  • Jordan Minch worked one innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking one.

SB 4-8-16

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A messy game for the South Bend Cubs as they made six (SIX) errors on their way to a snow shortened 6-3 loss to West Michigan.

At the Plate:

  • Matt Rose went 1-for-2 with a walk, one of four for the Cubs in this one.
  • Ian Rice was 1-for-2 with a run scored, and a walk in the loss.
  • Bryant Flete was the offensive star tonight, he went 2-for-3 with a triple, and two RBI’s.


On the Mound:

  • A weird night for the Cubs start Justin Steele. Steele worked 3.2 innings, giving up four runs, all unearned, he made three (!) errors while walking three, and striking out three.
  • Casey Bloomquist worked two innings out of the pen, giving up two runs, both unearned, on two hits while walking one, and striking out three.
  • James Norwood was tremendous, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he walked one, and struck out three.


Riding the Bus (Cubs Minor League Reports); April 7, 2016

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Iowa 4-7-16

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The Iowa Cubs kicked off the 2016 minor league season for the Cubs organization today, and they walked way too many guys en route to a 7-3 loss.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Ryan Williams got the start and was knocked around, he worked three innings, giving up seven runs, six earned, on six hits while walking two, and striking out two.
  • Scott Barnes (2 IP), Brandon Gomes (2 IP), Carl Edwards Jr. (1 IP), and Spencer Patton (1 IP) combined to work six scoreless innings, giving up two hits while walking five, and striking out six.

Tenn 4-7-16

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A quick start for the Smokies tonight as they put up three runs in the first on their way to a 7-3 victory over the Mobile Bay Bears.

At the Plate:

  • Jacob Hannemann was productive out of the lead-off spot, he went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases.
  • Chesny Young had a huge game, he went 2-for-2 with a home run, RBI, two walks, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
  • Jeimer Candelario went 1-for-3 with a walk, and two runs scored in the win.
  • Victor Caratini, and Bijan Rademacher each registered their first homers of the year.
  • Mark Zagunis was 1-for-3 with a double, two RBI’s, and a walk.

On the Mound:

  • Rob Zastryzny had some early trouble, but settled in to pick up his first win of the season. Z worked six innings, giving up two runs on four hits while walking two, and striking out five.
  • Starling Peralta was solid out of the pen, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking one, and striking out one.
  • David Garner worked 1.1 innings to shut the door, he gave up one unearned run while walking one, and striking out one.

MB 4-7-16

Full Box Score

Myrtle Beach is one of my favorite rosters right now in the Cubs system, and they got things off to a good start tonight by dispatching Frederick 5-2.

At the Plate:

On the Mound:

  • Jonathan Martinez was outstanding tonight in picking up his first win of the season. Martinez worked five innings, giving up one run on three hits while walking two, and striking out one.
  • Duary Torrez was lights out coming out of the pen, he worked two innings, giving up one unearned run on one hit while striking out one.
  • James Pugliese worked a scoreless inning to pick up his first hold of the season.
  • David Berg shut down things tonight, he worked a scoreless ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

SB 4-7-16

Full Box Score

This was on was basically over before it started as West Michigan spread right runs across the first three innings en route to a 9-4 victory over the South Bend Cubs

At the Plate:

  • Donnie Dewees 2-for-5 out of the lead-off spot, both hits were singles.
  • Eloy Jimenez was 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Eddy Martinez was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored in the win.

On the Mound:

  • Preston Morrison got beat up pretty bad as he took his first loss of the season. Morrison worked four innings, giving up eight runs, three earned, on seven hits while walking two, and striking out two.
  • Kyle Twomey was great out of the pen, he worked four innings, giving up one run on three hits while walking one, and striking out seven.
  • Scott Frazier put this one to bed by working a scoreless inning.


Javy Baez Hits His Eighth HR (VIDEO)

If you want to know how strong Baez is, watch this video.  He hits this one handed, with a knee almost on the ground to the opposite field.  Baez is getting hot, this was his eighth home run of the season, and he now has his average up to .222 on the season after a horrendous start.

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Chris Rusin called up to pitch tonight

Chris Rusin

Yes, Scott Feldman was supposed to pitch for the Cubs in Oakland tonight, that clearly can’t happen anymore so the Cubs have called up Chris Rusin to take his spot in the rotation.  Rusin was the only Iowa Cubs all-star selection this year and was pitching well, going 7-7 with a 3.27 ERA over sixteen starts and one relief appearance.  Rusin did get a shot with the Cubs at the end of last year and was roughed up as he went 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA but gained valuable experience in the process.  Great opportunity for Rusin tonight to impress the Cubs and snag on of a couple rotation spots that could be opening up in the second half of the season.

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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.


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.


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


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

Minor League Monthly: July 2012

Here is a recap for the month of July for the Cubs minor league system.  There are a lot of players who had a good July, but I limited it to a player of the month/pitcher of the month at each level.

AZL Cubs:  21-10 (1st place)
July Record:  14-8
The Cubs had a pretty good month of July to go along with a great start to the season and they are in first place as of today.  There were a lot of exciting things happening in Mesa, mainly the debut’s of both Albert Almora and Jorge Soler.  There were other exciting debut’s as pitchers Dillon Maples and 2012 draftees Paul Blackburn (56 overall) and Ryan McNeil (3rd round) started there professional careers.  Finally Daniel Vogelbach just crushed the ball before being promoted to Boise.  He left the Cubs hitting .324 with seven home runs, 12 doubles, and 31 RBIs.

Player of the Month:  Ben Carhart
The 22-year old third baseman was drafted in the 35th round of this years draft out of Stetson University.  This month he hit a robust .400.  with one home run, six doubles, 14 runs scored, and 12 RBIs.  He slugged .550 and had an OBP of .486 bringing his OPS to 1.036.

Pitcher of the Month:  Carlos Martinez-Pumarino
In his first year in the organization, the 21 year-old pitcher has been very good.  This month Martinez-Pulmarino was 1-0 with a 1.15 ERA.  He pitched 15.2 innings in six games, all but one out of the bullpen.  He struck out 14, allowed only five hits and walked four in July.

Boise Hawks:  5-2 (1st place second half)
July Record:  12-17
Boise was off to a really rough start, but have been hot of late winning six out of their last eight and four in a row.  Luckily for them the second half has just started, so as far as the second half goes they are off to a nice start.

Player of the Month:  Gioskar Amaya
At only 19-years old the infielder has impressed with the bat thus far at Boise and July was no different.  He hit .330 with four home runs, four triples, and three doubles.  Amaya knocked in 13 and scored an impressive 24 runs while stealing six bags.  He had an OBP of .407 and slugged .567 brining his OPS to .974.

Pitcher of the Month:  Tayler Scott
The 20-year old starting pitcher had quite a nice July.  He started six games and went 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA.  In his 30 innings pitched he gave up 21 hits, walked 14, and struck out 20.  Scott was drafted last year in the fifth round out of Notre Dame Prep High School in Scottsdale, AR.

Peoria Chiefs:  15-22 (7th place second half)
July Record:  12-16
July was not the best of months for the Chiefs and they will have some work to do to get back in the playoff picture.  Catcher Chadd Krist came up from Boise and has continued to hit and Pin-Chieh Chen has been on quite a tear over the last couple weeks.  Peoria will look to have a good August and make up a lot of ground in hopes to get back in the race.

Player of the Month:  Javier Baez
Wow did the 2011 first round pick have a great month.  The 19-year old shortstop hit .368 with with seven home runs, three triples, and six doubles.  Baez drove in 20 runs, scored 21, and stole eight bags.  His OPS for the month was 1.076 as he slugged an impressive .679 and had an OBP of .397.  It was quite the month for the highly touted Cubs prospect.

Pitcher of the Month:  Joseph Zeller
Zeller, 24 pitched well in July going 2-2 with a 1.65 ERA in six appearances, five starts.  He pitched 32.2 innings giving up 32 hits, walking seven, and striking out 14.  He isn’t a huge strikeout pitcher and he gave up a hit an inning, but it is impressive to see the ERA as low as it was in the month.

Daytona Cubs:  18-21 (5th place second half)
July Record:  12-17
Daytona didn’t have their best month, but there were some highlights to go along with the disappointing record.  Matt Szczur was promoted to Tennessee after Jae-Hoon Ha was injured.  Szczur had been one of Daytona’s most consistent performers throughout the year and it will take some adjustments for them to get back on track without him.  The Cubs will have to make up a lot of ground in August as they sit six games back going into today.

Player of the Month:  Ronald Torreyes
At only 19-years old the second baseman is starting to really hit.  After a disappointing first couple months Torreyes had a very good June and followed it with a nice July.  He hit .333 with one home run, two triples, and seven doubles.  He also drove in 18, scored 16, and stole seven bases.  Torreyes was brought over in the Sean Marshall deal.

Pitcher of the Month:  Matt Loosen
Loosen went 4-1 in six starts in July.  He had an ERA of 3.08 throwing 38 innings, giving up 26 hits, walking 13, and striking out 35.

Tennessee Smokies:  17-20 (4th place second half)
July Record:  12-16
A sub .500 record in July wasn’t what the Smokies were looking for as they currently are 5.5 games behind the division leader.  The month was highlighted when Matt Szczur was promoted to Tennessee.  The reason he was promoted was because of an unfortunate accident when Jae-Hoon Ha got a concussion.  The Smokies need to got hot in order to make a run at the division.

Player of the Month:  Justin Bour
The 24-year old first baseman has had a good season and July was no different.  He hit .337 with four home run and eight double.  Bour drove in an impressive 25 runs which brings him to 84 on the season.  He slugged .529 and had an OBP of .381 with an OBP of .909.  It will be fun to watch Bour’s pursuit of 100 RBIs.

Pitcher of the Month:  Eric Jokisch
Jokisch, 23 was 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA in five July starts.  In 28 innings pitched he struck out 2o, walked eight, and surrendered 21 hits.  We all know the Cubs system is light on arms, but Jokisch has had a pretty good season up to this point.

Iowa Cubs:  42-69 (Last place)
July Record:  8-20
Things don’t get much worse than an 8-20 month, but maybe it is when August is starting and you are 24 games back.  It was going to be tough when Rizzo was brought up, but I don’t think anyone was expecting a month like this.  There weren’t too many bright spots, but there were some.  Josh Vitters had a good month, not great, but good.  James Adduci came up from Tennessee and did well in the 18 games he played in compiling and OPS of .999.  All Iowa can hope for now is to end the season on a high note.

Player of the Month:  Dave Sappelt
The 25-year old outfielder had his best month since coming over from Reds.  Sappelt hit .317 in July hitting one home run, one triple, and eight doubles.  He scored 16 runs and drove in 12 while stealing eight bases.  He got on base at a .368 clip and slugged .442.  It was nice to see Sappelt have a good month and my guess is we will see him in Chicago at some point this season.

Pitcher of the Month:  Esmailin Caridad
I bet you didn’t expect to hear that name again, but he had quite an impressive month.  In 18.2 innings Caridad gave up 14 hits, walked 7, and struck out 22 as his ERA stands at 0.92 for the month of July.  if Caridad can continue we might see him again in big leagues.

It wasn’t the best month for the Cubs farm system, but there were some good things as well as some really exciting things.  There were a lot of hitters and pitchers who could have been included and narrowing it down to only one per level was tough.  Hope you like it.

Thanks for Reading,

A Look at Josh Vitters

In case you have not noticed Josh Vitters has had a great first half of baseball in Triple-A Iowa.  Vitters was drafted third overall by the Cubs out of Cypress High School in Anaheim California.  Considered to be the most polished high school hitter in the ’07 Draft it has been a little disappointing that he has not made it to the show yet.  However, he is only 22 years old and has hit at every level he has been at, yet to many Cub fans it feels like he has been a bust.  Well, in his first season at Iowa Vitters has been very good, making the All Star team as a reserve.  His offensive numbers say all there is to know about his season thus far as he is hitting .302 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI’s.  He also has an impressive 25 doubles and his OPS is .866.

Yes it has been a very good year for Vitters en route to the Triple-A All Star Game, but I am sure he has his sights set higher this year.  As is the case with any minor leaguer he hopes to make it to the major leagues this year.  With Ian Stewart done for the season and the only one ahead of him being Luis Valbuena it is possible for him to get the call at some point.  Is he in the Cubs future plans?  It is hard to tell, but it is nice to see him put up some pretty good numbers at Iowa.  If he is not in the plans the success he has had should give the Cubs a nice chip to dangle to get a good return in a potential deal.

Josh Vitters will have an impact on the Cubs organization at some point, whether it is as a player or in a possible trade at a later date.  With that said he should be celebrated on quite a first half and hopefully more continued success as the season continues.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Marmol, Clevenger in Iowa For Rehab

Steve Clevenger and Carlos Marmol join the Iowa Cubs on rehab assignments from Chicago.

No, not THAT kind of rehab, a rehab assignment of course.  This is good news for sure, I know Marmol has struggled but he needs to be on the mound to be any good to the Cubs, and yes I’m talking about trade value and team success.  Steve Clevenger can’t get healthy soon enough for the banged up catchers crew of the Cubs.  Welington Castillo is dinged up, Geovany Soto is out for four weeks most likely, and Koyie Hill is Koyie Hill.

The playing schedule for Clevenger and Marmol is determined by the Chicago Cubs, not the Iowa Cubs.  Another oddity of minor league baseball, hopefully Marmol and Clevenger help get a couple wins for Iowa then are back up in Chicago shortly.

Thanks for reading,
– George

Roster Moves – DeWitt Gone Again

Busy day today for the Cubs in regards to roster moves, see below.

  • Follow the bouncing Blake DeWitt.  Today the Cubs assigned him to AAA Iowa, and Blake accepted, he will report to Iowa tomorrow.
  • IF – Nate Samson has been promoted to AAA Iowa, with Frank Batista being optioned to AA Tennessee.  Well deserved for Nate as he has been playing well.
  • I told you about Blake Parker being called up earlier today, the Cubs have announced the corresponding roster move and that is Scott Maine going back to Iowa.

– George