Monday, April 7, 2014
At The Plate:
The bats were making noise in the early going, but the production, and the lead disappeared in this one, as Daytona dropped a close one to Brevard County, 5-4. Albert Almora is settling into a grove after starting the season slowly, he was 1-for-4 with a run scored in this one, and is now hitting .316 on the season. Dan Vogelbach is still sluggish with the bat, but had a decent game tonight, he went 1-for-3 with a walk. One guy who has been locked in at the plate is Jeimer Candelario, he was 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI, a run scored, and committed two errors (oops). The man with the “best name in the minors” had a solid game, Rock Shoulders was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
On The Mound:
Exciting night for the Cubs organization as Rob Zastryznyy made his Daytona debut tonight, and had moments of brilliance in the no decision. Zastryzny worked four innings, giving up four runs on six hits, while walking two, and striking out six. The D-Cubs bullpen was solid once again in this one as the quartet of Yao-Lin Wang, Zach Cates, Arodys Vizcaino, and Austin Reed combined to work five innings only yielding one unearned run which proved to be the difference tonight.
At The Plate:
Another light night at the dish for the Smokies as they fell to Pensacola for the fourth time in five games, 3-2. Dustin Geiger has had a solid start to 2014, especially in the power department, Geiger was 2-for-4 with his second home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Jeudy Valdez was the only other Tennessee player to make a difference with the bat, he went 2-for-3 with a double, and an RBI in the loss.
On The Mound:
It wasn’t a bad night at all for Tennessee pitching, especially out of the bullpen, still not good enough for a win. Matt Loosen got the start tonight, he worked five innings, giving up three runs on six hits, while walking three and striking out two. Ryan Searle, Hunter Cervenka, and Tony Zych combined to toss three scoreless, hit-less innings out of the pen, they didn’t even walk anyone, and struck out five.
At The Plate:
Not a whole lot going on for the Iowa hitters, but they made the most of their opportunities and beat Nashville 4-1. Brett Jackson, who has had a rough start to the season, had a tremendous game. B-Jax was 2-for-2 with a triple, an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base. As a team, the Iowa Cubs had four stolen bases in this one, saw an opportunity and exploited it. Christian Villanueva had the big hit in this one, he was 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
On The Mound:
All sorts of good things from the Iowa Cubs staff tonight. Tsuyoshi Wada started tonight, and took home the win, he worked 6.2 innings, giving up one run on three hits, while walking one, and striking out eight. Working as the setup man, Neil Ramirez worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he didn’t walk anyone, and struck out two. Blake Parker worked the ninth for the save, he flirted with danger but got the job done, he worked a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, and striking out two.
Welcome to “Riding the Bus” — How about that graphic, eh?? We’re excited, as usual, to bring you recaps of every Cubs minor league game, every night. Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy it.
At The Plate:
The Cougars brought their bats with them in the opener as they pounded Quad Cities pitching to the tune of eight runs on eleven hits. Jake Hannemann did a nice job out of the lead-off spot tonight, going 2-for-5 with two runs scored. DH for the evening, Ben Carhart was all over the base paths, Carhart was 1-for-2 with three walks (CUBS WAY!), an RBI, and three runs scored. Dr. Doubles, I mean, Yasiel Balaguert was locked in tonight, he went 4-for-4 with three doubles, and two RBI’s. The ninth spot in the order also got a spark tonight, Carlos Penalver went 3-for-3 with a walk, two stolen bases, and a run scored.
On The Mound:
All in all, a pretty solid effort from the Kane County staff tonight. 2012 first round draft pick Paul Blackburn made his single A debut tonight, and it was hit and miss. Blackburn worked four innings, giving up four runs on nine hits (not so good), while walking none (good), and striking out three. The pen was tremendous, Nathan Dorris, James Pugliese, and Jose Arias all had scoreless appearances. Dorris got the win, as he worked two innings giving up one hit, while walking one and striking out three.
At The Plate:
The Daytona Cubs mirrored the Major League club in this one as they dropped a tough 1-0 game to the Manatees. The D-Cubs could only manage five hits while getting shut out by a quartet of Brevard County pitchers. Dan Vogelbach was one of the few Cubs to register a hit, he was 1-for-3 in the loss. Jeimer Candelario, and Marco Hernandez also finished the night going 1-for-3 with a single. Gioskar Amaya was seeing the ball the best as he went 2-for-2 with a stolen base, and a walk.
On The Mound:
Nothing but good things from the Daytona staff in this one, unfortunately it wasn’t good enough. Felix Pena got the opening day start and was great, he worked six innings giving up one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out three. Zach Cates, and Arodys Vizcaino each worked a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.
At The Plate:
Grumble, grumble, grumble. A tough opening day loss for the Smokies as they built a 5-0 lead early, then lost it late. Zeke DeVoss, a personal favorite, went 2-for-5 out of the lead-off spot with a triple, and an RBI. Kris Bryant! Bryant, making his AA debut tonight went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a walk, an RBI, a stolen base, and two runs scored. Fun fact here, Bryant went deep off Reds starter Mat Latos who was making a rehab start, then Bryant swung at a 3-0 pitch later in the game, then Latos hit him, sucks getting torched in AA doesn’t it, Mat? Jorge Soler was 1-for-1 with a double in this one, he left early, and I think that was the plan ahead of time as he is coming back from a couple of injuries.
On The Mound:
Tough go of it for the Smokies pitching in this one as they seemed to lose their command as a group. Dae-Eun Rhee got the start and was solid early, then the plate started jumping around on him. Rhee worked four innings giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits while walking four, and striking out four. Ryan Searle took over and was actually pretty good, he worked three innings giving up one run on one hit, while walking three, and striking out five. Tony Zych took the loss in this one as he worked one inning, giving up two runs on five hits, he didn’t walk or strikeout anyone.
At The Plate:
Not a lot went right tonight for the Iowa Cubs as they had trouble scoring, and keeping Memphis from scoring. Javier Baez made his triple A debut tonight, going 0-for-3 with a walk, and an error. A rededicated Josh Vitters has a solid night, he went 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Christian Villanueva, the new Iowa third baseman went 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored in the loss.
On The Mound:
Not so good. Chris Rusin, who just lost out to Carlos Villanueva for the number five start spot in Chicago, struggled. Rusin worked 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on six hits, while walking four, and striking out two. Yoanner Negrin was lights out tonight, he worked 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, walking none, and striking out four, stellar. Casey Coleman, yes, he’s still here, wasn’t sharp, he worked one inning, giving up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two, and striking out one. Mop up duty belonged to Marcus Hatley, and he did a fine job, working one scoreless innings while striking out two.
Thanks for reading!
With no Cubs game today, it makes sense to shine a light on the Minor Leagues. We cover every level of Cubs baseball here on the blog, and recently it has been a lot more fun than writing about the Major League club as the future offers a bit more promise, I think you agree.
The Daytona Cubs open the season this week, Thursday to be exact, here is their opening day roster. This roster might be tweaked before then, but here is how it stands at the moment.
- RHP – Zach Cates
- RHP – Michael Jensen
- LHP – Austin Kirk
- LHP – Andrew McKirahan
- RHP – Felix Pena
- RHP – Starling Peralta
- RHP – Austin Reed
- RHP – Jose Rosario
- RHP – Tayler Scott
- RHP – Arodys Vizcaino
- RHP – Yao-Lin Wang
- LHP – Rob Zastryzny
PLAYERS TO WATCH
There are a number of intriguing arms that will start their season at Daytona this year, Arodys Vizcaino has to be at the top of that list. Some might be surprised by seeing his name here, but he is coming back from a long recovery from two different elbow procedures. Slow and steady wins the race here as the Cubs are very high on Vizcaino, there is no reason to start him any higher.
I’m very excited to Rob Zastryzny starting at Daytona this year, the left-handed starter was the Cubs second round pick last year. That’s right, this is his first full professional season, and he is starting at high A, that’s something to be excited about.
I enjoyed watching Tayler Scott at Kane County last year, and think that he could start making a name for himself this year. Scott was a 5th round draft pick of the Cubs in 2011, and has jumped a level each professional season.
- Gioskar Amaya (R-2B)
- Jeimer Candelario (S-3B)
- Marco Hernandez (S-SS)
- Tim Saunders (R-2B)
- Rock Shoulders (L-DH/1B)
- Dan Vogelbach (L-1B/DH)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
This is a very exciting roster, and is basically the same group of guys that made Boise so entertaining two years ago, minus a few players here and there.
For an organization with little catching depth, the Cubs boast three solid ones at Daytona. My favorite backstop has to be Chadd Krist, Krist was drafted in the 9th round of the 2012 draft by the Cubs. In two professional years, Krist has played at four different levels, and I expect him to play at two more this year. He finished 2013 at Daytona, and if he displays the same approach this year as he did last year, then Tennessee will be calling.
Where to start in the infield? Amaya and Candelario are going to be a lot of fun to watch as they continue their ascension in the Cubs system. Both guys were signed by the Cubs as non-drafted free agents, and both are considered to be top-20 prospects in the Cubs system by MLB.com.
All eyes will be on Dan Vogelbach, and Albert Almora this season, and I don’t think either guy will finish this year at Daytona. Almora was sidelined for parts of he first two professional seasons, but his production while on the field has been outstanding. He played all of 2013 at Kane County and finished with a .329 average, and an .842 OPS, he’s heading to Tennessee shortly. Vogelbach was originally though of as an overweight, monster power designated hitter when he was drafted. The only thing he has done since then is work hard in order to make his own opportunities. Since he was drafted, Vogy has lost all sorts of weight which has allowed him to improve his defense, but he hasn’t lost any of the power. 2013 was a big one for Vogelbach, he played at Kane County and Daytona, registering 19 home runs, and 76 RBI’s, he will be in Tennessee at some point this season.
From time to time I like to make a post about a Cubs prospect so you the reader, and fan won’t look stupid if and when they make it to the big club. Well, now this feature has a name, “Who is this guy?” I wanted to use the line from the movie “Major League” but this is a family blog for the most part. Today we learn about Jeimer Candelario, and keep an eye out because there will be many more of these in the near future.
Jeimer was brought into the Cubs organization as a non-drafted free agent on September 29, 2010, he was only seventeen years old at the time of the signing. The switch hitting Candy man has quickly made a name for himself and has left some forgetting that he is still so very young.
Candelario got his professional career underway in 2011 playing in the Dominican Summer league, he played seventy-two games as a seventeen year-old, primarily at third base. The numbers were impressive, Candelario hit .337 with an eye-popping .443 OBP, and a robust OPS of .921, talk about Cubs way. In 305 plate appearances Candelario walked fifty times and only struck out forty-two times, that’s what makes him so desirable to the current organization, grinding at bats. I mentioned his OPS, he racked up sixteen doubles, two triples, and five home runs while driving in fifty-three, again, in seventy-two games.
That performance was enough for the Cubs to send Jeimer to Boise to start the 2012 season with the Hawks in the Northwest League. The Boise Hawks were oh so very close to an outright Championship in 2012 and Jeimer was a big reason why. It was a stiff test for sure as Jeimer was one of the youngest players on the roster at eighteen years old but he more than held his own. The numbers were similar to those that he put up in the Dominican Summer League, but you can see the increase in talent of the opposition across the board. Jeimer’s average dropped to .281 for the season, he had an OBP of .345 and a .741 OPS. Sure those are “big” drops, but not when you put it into context, there was no way he was going to sustain the numbers he put up in the DSL while playing against the talent of the NWL at eighteen years old. Those numbers are excellent, the main difference was the drop in walks, Jeimer walked twenty-six times for Boise compared to fifty in the DSL the year before. The result was more strike outs (55), and a lower average, but it was still a tremendous year.
That brings us to this year, the Cubs sent Jeimer to Kane County to embark on his first full season as a professional ballplayer. Jeimer was doing so as the second youngest player on the team, only Albert Almora is younger. As of today Candelario has played in ninety-six games, that is twenty-four more than he has ever played in one pro season. The increased work load has taken a toll on Jeimer as his numbers are down a bit since the all-star break (.225 average) but if you look closer he is starting to get back into good habits. For the season Jeimer is hitting .251 with a .337 OBP and a .714 OPS, all career lows, but the walks have bounced back and he has become doctor doubles. That is the nickname of Garret Anderson because he was a doubles machine, well Jeimer is starting to grow into that type of hitter. His previous career high in doubles was sixteen in the DSL, he already has twenty-nine with the Cougars.
There is progression across the board from Jeimer, and he is showing why MLB.com ranked him as the 13th best prospect in the system coming into the year. The future is bright for Jeimer, at only nineteen he has proven he can play at the class A level, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him transition to Daytona next year as a twenty year-old, after that anything can happen. I wish Jeimer the best of luck, and give him a follow on twitter (@Jeimer24C), super nice guy that loves to interact with fans.
At the plate – Daytona couldn’t get the big hit when they needed it in this one, but still found enough offense to escape with a win. Ben Carhart was 2-for-5 in the win, he is now hitting .251 on the season. Dustin Geiger has put together a stellar 2013, he was 2-for-4 with a walk in this one and is now hitting .289 on the season. Both Taiwan Easterling and Brad Zapenas had two hits, and a run scored today. Daytona registered nine hits but they were only 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left eleven men on base.
On the mound – I was really excited for C.J. Edwards Cubs debut today and he didn’t disappoint. Edwards was nasty going five scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out eight. The only hit Edwards gave up was of the infield variety, and not one ball made it out of the infield. That wasn’t the only impressive stat from this one as Edwards struck out the first seven hitters he faced, unfortunately he walked away with a no decision. Lendy Castillo took over and was solid going three scoreless innings giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking three, and striking out three to earn his first win of the year. Austin Reed worked the ninth for his third save of the year, he allowed one hit and that was it.
- Iowa Cubs: Brad Nelson was 1-for-3 with his second triple of the season, an RBI, and a walk.
- Iowa Cubs: Ty Wright was 3-for-4 with three(!) doubles, an RBI, and a run scored.
- Iowa Cubs: Chang-Yong Lim worked two scoreless innings in relief giving up two hits while striking out two.
- Tennessee Smokies: Javier Baez was 2-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI’s, and two runs scored.
- Tennessee Smokies: Rubi Silva was 2-for-4 with a double, and two outfield assists.
- Kane County Cougars: Albert Almora was 2-for-5 with a run scored, he is now hitting .333 on the season.
- Kane County Cougars: Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-4 with an RBI, a walk, and a run scored.
- Kane County Cougars: Rock Shoulders was 2-for-5 with a double, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Kane County Cougars: The bullpen; Nathan Dorris, Starling Peralta, and Armando Rivero worked a combined seven scoreless innings giving up three hits while walking four and striking out nine.
- Boise Hawks: Kris Bryant was 1-for-3 with his second home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
- Boise Hawks: Dillon Maples picked up the win going five innings giving up one run on five hits while striking out five. He hasn’t walked a batter in his last two outings.
- Boise Hawks: Corbin Hoffner was solid out of the pen going three scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out two.
- AZL Cubs: Charcer Burks was 2-for-4 with his first double of the season.
Hello reader, wanted to give you a quick update on a change we are making to the minor league reports. Today we debut our new layout which will include one “spotlight game” this game will be much like the reports you are use to. We will break the game down by hitters and pitchers, a full recap so to speak. For the remainder of the minor league games we will provide a line score, and a box score that you can click a link to view. Instead of recapping all six games every night we will detail the top performers at each level. The goal here is to limit the amount of time it takes to recap everything given how many games there are now, but also provide information that you want. Thanks everyone.
At The Plate – This one was a pitchers duel for the majority of the game then things got crazy in the seventh. Iowa scored seven times to take an 8-2 lead, then Albuguerque bounced back with three in the eighth to make it a came before the Cubs shut the door on an 8-5 win. Seven of the nine guys in the starting lineup had hits for Iowa, and as a team the Cubs walked seven times (Cubs way!). Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and his eighth stolen base of the season. Donnie Murphy only had one at bat but made the most of it as he was 1-for-1 with his tenth home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Anthony Giansanti was 1-for-3 with his third double of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
On The Mound – Guillermo Moscoso got the start for Iowa and struggled with his command but was able to pitch in and out of trouble to pick up his sixth win of the season. Moscoso worked six innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking five (command, see?) and striking out five. Michael Bowden worked a scoreless inning out of the pen, he gave up one hit while striking out two. Casey Coleman struggled in this one as he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up three runs on three hits while walking two and striking out one. Brian Schlitter was solid in picking up his ninth save of the year, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out two.
- AZL Cubs: Jeffrey Baez went 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.
- Boise Hawks: Shawon Dunston Jr. was 2-for-4 with a triple, and a run scored
- Boise Hawks: 2013 2nd round pick Rob Zastrynzy made his Cubs debut going one scoreless inning while walking one and striking out two.
- Kane County Cougars: Albert Almora was 3-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and two runs scored.
- Kane County Cougars: Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, a walk, and a run scored.
- Daytona Cubs: Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-2 with a double, and a walk.
At The Plate – Iowa had plenty of opportunities in this one but finished the night 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and on the wrong end of a 3-1 final. Brent Lillibridge was 3-for-5 out of the leadoff spot with three singles in the loss. Welcome back Junior Lake, since returning from the injury Lake has been on fire, he was 2-for-3 in this one with a walk, a double, and an RBI, he’s hitting .429 on the season.
On The Mound – Chris Rusin was brilliant in this one and still wound up with his sixth loss of the season, he has a 3.67 ERA, doesn’t seem right to be 4-6. Rusin worked eight strong innings giving up two runs on three hits while walking two and striking out seven. Brian Schlitter worked one inning out of the pen giving up one run on two hits while striking out one, he now has a 1.35 ERA on the season.
At The Plate – Tennessee was never really in this one as they fell behind 4-0 by the fourth inning and could only manage one run on eight hits in the loss. Matt Szczur continued his solid season going 3-for-4 out of the leadoff spot, all three hits were singles, Szczur is now hitting .296 on the season. Jonathan Mota was 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored in the loss.
On The Mound – Austin Kirk, who has been pitching for Daytona all year was promoted to Tennessee and made his debut tonight, it was a rough one. Kirk worked six innings giving up six runs on ten hits while walking two and striking out four, he took the loss. Tony Zych was solid out of the pen working one scoreless inning giving up one hit while striking out one. Hunter Cervenka is starting to settle down for Tennessee, he has struggled since his promotion but was solid in this one working one scoreless inning while striking out two.
At The Plate – The Daytona Cubs fought back in the eighth and ninth but came up just one run short, losing 7-6 to Brevard County. Tim Saunders who has struggled this year had a solid game going 2-for-4 with three RBI’s in the loss. Javier Baez continues to improve at the plate; he was 2-for-5 with a run scored and is now hitting .281 on the season. Zeke DeVoss had an outstanding game going 3-for-3 with three singles, three stolen bases, and three runs scored (THREE). Wes Darvill was 2-for-4 out of the ninth spot with an RBI, and a run scored.
On The Mound – Matt Loosen struggled at Tennessee so he was demoted to Daytona and made his 2013 debut tonight, it didn’t go so well. Loosen struggled working five innings giving up six runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out four, he took the loss. Jeffrey Lorick worked two innings giving up one run on two hits out of the pen. Austin Reed was solid going two scoreless innings giving up two hits while striking out one.
At The Plate – Kane County was able to push across a run in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 deadlock and eventually beat Burlington 3-2. Jeimer Candelario continues to have a strong 2013, he was 1-for-4 with his second home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored. Bijan Rademacher continues to hit, he was 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .324 on the season. Carlos Escobar had a solid night going 2-for-4 with his first triple of the season, and two huge RBI’s.
On The Mound – Tayler Scott, the newly named all-star showed why he belonged on that roster tonight as he was outstanding. Scott worked seven innings giving up two runs, on earned, on eight hits while walking three, he didn’t strike out anybody, how odd is that? Steve Perakslis was solid out of the pen as he worked two scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking two and striking out two.