Tagged: Pierce Johnson

Riding the Bus (Cubs Minor League Reports): April 11, 2016

Riding the Bus Header 2016

MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2016

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Full Box Score

Finally!  Nice to see Iowa finally get into the win column, and they did so by mashing the baseball all over the field in a 9-1 victory over New Orleans.

At the Plate:

  • John Andreoli was productive out of the lead-off spot; he went 1-for-3 with a double, two walks, three runs scored, and a stolen base.
  • Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, two runs scored, and a stolen base in the win.
  • Javier Baez had a solid rehab appearance; he went 1-for-3 with his first dinger of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Dan Vogelbach continued his scorching start; he went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, his second double of the season, and a run scored. He is now hitting .421 on the season.
  • Willson Contreras is just as hot; he went 4-for-5 with his second double of the season, and four RBI’s.
  • Albert Almora continues to show a better approach at the plate, he went 0-for-3 but walked twice, and scored a run.

On the Mound:

  • Pierce Johnson got the start and struggled a bit with his command, but worked around trouble. Johnson tossed three scoreless innings, giving up two hits while walking three, and striking out five.
  • Felix Pena picked up the win out of the pen; he worked two scoreless innings, giving up two hits while striking out three.
  • Brandon Gomes was good once again; he worked two scoreless innings while striking out two.
  • Armando Rivero bounced back from a rough start to 2016; he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.
  • Miguel Mejia was touched up a bit; he worked one inning, giving up one run on two hits while striking out one.

Tenn4-11

Full Box Score

Missed opportunities were the name of the game for Tennessee as they went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position en route to a 5-4 loss to Mobile.

At the Plate:

  • Bijan Rademacher is red hot in 2016; he went 2-for-5 and is now hitting .500 on the season.
  • Chesny Young is opening some eyes in the early going; he went 2-for-4 with his second dinger of the season, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Billy McKinney is starting to heat up; he went 2-for-5 with an RBI, and a walk.
  • Victor Caratini was 2-for-3 with his first double of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Mark Zagunis was productive near the bottom of the order; he went 3-for-4 with his second double of the season.

On the Mound:

  • Tough day for Jen-Ho Tseng, and he was awesome. Tseng had to leave early after being hit by a comebacker, before that he worked three scoreless innings, giving up three hits while walking one, and striking out four, no update on his condition.
  • Michael Jensen struggled in relief; he worked 2.2 innings, giving up three runs on two hits while walking two.
  • Corey Black was much better out of the pen yesterday, but he picked up the loss. Black worked two innings, giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Andury Acevedo worked 1/3rd of an inning, giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking two.
  • Josh Conway worked a scoreless inning while walking one, and striking out one in the loss.

MB4-11

Full Box Score

A thriller in Myrtle Beach last night as Ian Happ ripped a game winning walk-off double for the Pelicans, they scored three times in the ninth to beat Winston Salem 5-4.

At the Plate:

  • The Pelicans walked 11 (!) times last night, so that will be a common stat mentioned here. Rashad Crawford went 1-for-4 with a walk (see?), his first stolen base of the year, and a run scored.
  • Gleyber Torres has struggled in the early going, he was 0-for-4 in this one but walked once, and had two RBI’s.
  • Ian Happ as mentioned above was the hero; he went 1-for-5 with his second double of the year, and two RBI’s.
  • Yasiel Balaguert has been great this year; he went 1-for-2 with two walks in the win, he is now hitting .389 on the season.

On the Mound:

  • Jake Stinnett got the start and picked up a no decision; he worked five innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on three hits while walking two, and striking out three.
  • Ryan McNeil was awesome out of the pen; he worked three innings, giving up one run on three hits while walking one, and striking out four.
  • David Berg picked up his first win of the season by working a scoreless ninth inning.

SB4-11

Full Box Score

More walk-off drama in South Bend as Eloy Jimenez launched a walk-off homer to end a wild one with South Bend beating Bowling Green 7-6.

At the Plate:

  • Donnie Dewees is red hot to start 2016; he went 2-for-5 with his first double of the year, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .353 on the season.
  • Eloy Jimenez walked off as mentioned above; he finished the night 1-for-5 with said dinger, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Eddy Julio Martinez had another good night; he went 2-for-4 with his first homer of the year, an RBI, and a run scored.
  • Ian Rice had a solid game; he went 1-for-1 with a double, an RBI, two walks, and a run scored.
  • Bryant Flete has been amazing so far this year; he went 2-for-3 with a double, and two runs scored. He is now hitting .625 on the season, wow.

On the Mound:

  • Adbert Alzolay got the start and was roughed up a bit; he worked five innings, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits while striking out five.
  • Craig Brooks provided some much needed relief; he worked two innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Michael Wagner picked up the win out of the pen; he worked two innings, giving up one run on two hits while walking two, and striking out one.

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Spring Gameday; March 4, 2016 (Lineups, Broadcast Info)

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Baseball during the day is so very nice, even if it doesn’t count yet.  Pierce Johnson takes the mound for the Cubs today as they open their home portion of the spring schedule.  Here is how they will line up, I believe the game is on MLB.tv with a subscription, and Cubs.com has the audio.

  1. Fowler CF
  2. Zobrist 2B
  3. Heyward RF
  4. Baez 1B
  5. Victorino DH
  6. Russell SS
  7. La Stella 3B
  8. Ross C
  9. Perez LF

SP – Pierce Johnson

On a personal note, Pierce Johnson is one of my favorite players, rooting hard for him.  Go Cubs!

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Cubs Top 30 Prospect Rankings Unveiled by MLB Pipeline

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Some of my best memories at this blog have been writing and reporting about the Cubs minor league system because of how good it has been.  Leading up to last year it was really the only thing to get excited about as the Major League team was subpar at best.  Now the Cubs are World Series favorites, and the prospect rankings are not as top heavy but the talent is apparent throughout.  That’s part of what makes this year so fun, winning at the major league level and still seeing a tremendous amount of organizational talent in the system.

Here’s how MLB Pipeline breaks it down (link to the list)

  1. Gleyber Torres – SS
  2. Willson Contreras – C
  3. Ian Happ – 2B/OF
  4. Duane Underwood – RHP
  5. Albert Almora – OF
  6. Billy McKinney – OF
  7. Jeimer Candelario – 3B
  8. Dylan Cease – RHP
  9. Oscar de la Cruz – RHP
  10. Eloy Jimenez – OF
  11. Pierce Johnson – RHP
  12. Donnie Dewes – OF
  13. Bryan Hudson – LHP
  14. J. Wilson – OF
  15. Eddy Martinez – OF
  16. Carl Edwards Jr. – RHP
  17. Justin Steele – LHP
  18. Mark Zagunis – OF
  19. Ryan Williams – RHP
  20. Dan Vogelbach – 1B
  21. Trevor Clifton – RHP
  22. Jake Stinnett – RHP
  23. Carson Sands – LHP
  24. Jen-Ho Tseng – RHP
  25. Victor Caratini – C
  26. Christian Villanueva – 3B/1B
  27. Corey Black – RHP
  28. Jacob Hannemann – OF
  29. Brad Markey – RHP
  30. Josh Conway – RHP

I really can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to keep an eye on all the arms that are on this list.  I really feel like there are a number of pitchers on this list that are close to making a major impact in the system, and eventually on the big league roster.  Duane Underwood (#4), Pierce Johnson (#11), Carl Edwards Jr. (#16), and Ryan Williams (#19) all have a great chance to be pitching on the North Side this year.  I mentioned that the prospects near the top of this list might not have the same allure as a Kris Bryant, or Anthony Rizzo but they are players who will be part of the next wave of big league talent.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Willson Contreras (#2) sees time with the Cubs this year as the backup catcher, or splitting time with Montero/Schwarber depending on what day it is.  Please don’t sleep on Albert Almora, a healthy 2016 will go a long way to seeing if he is indeed the CF of the future for the Cubs.

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Afternoon Delight: Dominant Bullpen on the Horizon?

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The bullpen is a tricky thing, from year to year guys come and go, and every once in a while a team boasts a dominant bullpen relatively out of nowhere.  Off-season acquisitions, and power arms marinating on the farm are usually catalysts for such success, but injuries, and unforeseen ineffectiveness can derail the pen quickly.  Given the large number of variables that go into predicting the success of a bullpen it’s usually an exercise in futility, but here goes…  The Cubs’ bullpen has a chance to be dominant (They all do!  You’re screaming), well, let’s just look at the options, shall we?

The Cubs have a solid core group of guys coming back this year, which could point to a reasonable amount of success in 2016.  I base this mostly on the fact that the Cubs had the 8th best bullpen ERA in the Majors last year, and names like Brian Schlitter, Rafael Soriano, Edwin Jackson (wasn’t too terrible in this role), Gonzalez Germen, and Phil Coke were members of said pen.  To be fair, guys like Trevor Cahill, and Travis Wood exceeded expectations in rather unfamiliar bullpen roles last year, and it wouldn’t be crazy to think that they will come back down to Earth a bit.  The fact remains though, the best arms out of that Cubs pen are back this year, and there really is no reason to expect a significant drop in performance.  Let’s break down the possible bullpen roles, yes, despite the crazy competition that will be taking place this spring.

Closer – Hector Rondon

Set up – Pedro Strop

Set up – Justin Grimm

Middle Relief – Adam Warren (acquisition) (Rotation Chance)

Middle Relief – Rex Brothers (acquisition)

Middle Relief – Neil Ramirez

Long Relief – Travis Wood

Long Relief – Trevor Cahill (Rotation chance)

On paper… on paper, that looks pretty darn good, and obviously as I write this I’m using the most optimistic thoughts as possible.  A big key here is the health of Neil Ramirez, he was outstanding in 2014, and parts of 2015 when he wasn’t battling back from injuries, a healthy Ramirez goes a long way towards a great 2016.  Adam Warren proves to be an upgrade over guys that the Cubs had to turn to last year in tough spots, like Jason Motte (again, ignore the injuries for the sake of this conversation).  There is also a chance that Warren will have an opportunity to win a rotation spot, but guys with flexibility are all the rage for Joe Maddon.  Rex Brothers, who was dominate in 2013, and struggled mightily in 2014, looks to bounce back, and if he does proves to be another rather large upgrade.  Young arms like Carl Edwards Jr., Duane Underwood Jr., and Pierce Johnson could also make an impact in the Cubs pen this year despite being starters while working their way through the organization, save for Edwards Jr. last year.

The talent pool is better than last year, and the depth is better as well, those two things put the Cubs in a good spot to start the spring.  If injuries pop up, like they absolutely will, the Cubs are in a better position to handle them, and still might have a few new additions that could surprise during camp, and win a job.

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Spring Training Recap; Three of a Kind, Dingers that is

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FULL BOX SCORE

The Cubs remain without a victory so far this spring, but let’s be honest, today is all about the power showcase that was displayed.  In the 4th inning Jorge Soler, Javier Baez, and Kris Bryant went back-to-back-to-back, how is that even possible??  Three straight dingers is odd enough, but THOSE three guys doing it when fans were clamoring for just that, crazy.  Travis Wood found too much of the plate today as he surrendered seven hits in just three innings of work while giving up four runs, two earned.  The rest of the Cubs offense started to kick it into high gear today as they pounded out twelve hits, hopefully that is a sign of things to come.  Everyone who pitched today struggled, except for Pierce Johnson, he worked two scoreless innings.

THREE BOMBS!

 

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Cubs Falter Late (Twice) but Dingers Everywhere!

cubs-giants-3-5-15FULL BOX SCORE

The young Cubs provided the fireworks early against the Giants before the bullpen couldn’t find away to get outs, and blew a 5-0 lead en route to an 8-6 loss.  It was a lineup that had Cubs fans buzzing, Jorge Soler, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber, oh my.  It was Schwarber who did the heavy lifting as he jacked a grand slam in his first at bat, giving the Cubs an early 4-0 lead.  The Cubs pitching made that hold up early on as Jacob Turner, and Pierce Johnson were on top of their game, Johnson was particularly impressive.

At the plate:

  • Kyle Schwarber was the star at the plate going 1-for-3 with said grand slam.
  • Jorge Soler hit a number of balls hard, he finished the day 1-for-3 with a run scored.
  • Billy McKinney came on late and went deep, he finished the day 1-for-1 with an RBI.
  • Kris Bryant went 0-for-2 with a walk, and a run scored.
  • Addison Russell was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
  • Albert Almora didn’t start but finished the day 2-for-2, good to see.

On the mound:

  • Jacob Turner got the start, and battled command early, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out one.
  • Pierce Johnson was outstanding, he worked two scoreless innings, giving up no hits while walking one, and striking out one.
  • Corey Black struggled, he worked one inning, giving up one run on one hit while walking two, and hitting Hunter Pence, breaking his forearm, ouch.
  • Hunter Cervenka was worse, he was only able to register one out, he gave up five runs, four earned, on four hits while walking two.

cubs-as-3-5-15FULL BOX SCORE

A tie.  The Cubs and A’s tied today.  Mike Olt got the offense off and running early as he blasted a two-out, two-run bomb.  Unfortunately that was all the Cubs could muster as they went scoreless the rest of the way while scratching out only five hits.  The pitching was outstanding as Travis Wood, Neil Ramirez, and Drake Britton, among others, shut down the Athletics offense.

At the plate:

  • MIKE OLT!  Olt finished theday 1-for-2 with a home run, and two RBI.
  • Chris Coghlan was 1-for-1 with a run scored.
  • Newcomer Miguel Montero was 1-for-2 in the tie.

On the mound:

  • Travis Wood got the start, and was flawless.  Wood worked two scoreless innings giving up no hits, walking none while striking out two.
  • Neil Ramirez was stupid good per usual.  Ramirez worked one scoreless inning while striking out two.
  • Drake Britton was pretty good in his first audition for a bullpen spot.  Britton worked a scoreless inning, giving up one hit.
  • Gonzalez Germen had the plate jump around a bit, but he was fairly effective.  Germen worked two scoreless innings, giving up one hit while walking two, and striking out two.

 

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Riding the Bus; Cubs Minor League Reports (4/22/2014)

Riding the Bus Header

TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014

Iowa 4-22-14

Full Box Score

It was all Iowa today as they built a 10-1 lead over Round Rock by the fifth inning en route to a 10-3 cake walk.  The I-Cubs sprayed the ball all over the place as they pounded out twelve hits to improve their record to 10-9 on the season.

At the Plate:

  • Chris Coghlan was the poster child for the “Cubs Way” today as he went 1-for-1 with four walks, a double, two RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Arismendy Alcantara is making an awful lot of noise lately, he was 2-for-5 with his second home run of the season, two RBI’s, a double, and two runs scored in the win.
  • Javier Baez is starting to heat up at the plate, he was 2-for-5 with a triple, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Chris Valaika has been destroying Triple A pitching, he went 3-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, a double, and a run scored, he’s hitting .340 on the season.
  • Luis Flores is pounding the baseball this season, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, two RBI’s, and three runs scored.

On the Mound:

  • Eric Jokisch was very good today, and was rewarded with his first win of the season.  Jokisch worked seven innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, while walking none, and striking out eight.
  • Marcus Hatley continued his brilliance out of the pen, he worked a scoreless inning, while walking one, and striking out two.
  • Marcos Mateo cleaned things up tonight, he worked a scoreless inning, while walking one, and striking out one.

Kane County 4-22-14

Full Box Score

The Cougars looked to be sailing right along to a 5-2 win when things got dicey in the ninth inning.  The Snappers scored twice and had the tying, and go ahead run on base before the Cougars escaped with a 5-4 win.

At the Plate:

  • Carlos Penalver has had an impressive start to 2014, he was 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored in the win today.  He’s now hitting .302 on the season.
  • Ben Carhart had another solid game, he went 2-for-4 with an RBI.
  • Yasiel Balaguert was productive again today, he went 1-for-4 with a double, a walk, a run scored, and an RBI, his 15th of the season.
  • David Bote joined in on the double fun as well, he was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Paul Blackburn was solid once again as he moved his record to 2-0 on the season.  Pauly worked 5.1 innings, giving up one run on five hits, while walking two.
  • Nathan Dorris did a solid job out of the pen but did get touched up a bit.  Dorris worked 2.2 innings, giving up one run on one hit, while walking two, and striking out three.
  • Jose Arias started the ninth, and couldn’t finish this one off.  Arias worked two-thirds of an inning, giving up two runs on two hits, while walking two, and striking out two.
  • Zack Godley came on and cleaned up the mess as he struck out the final batter of the game to pick up his third save of the season.

Daytona 4-22-14

Full Box Score

2014 has been frustrating for Daytona, they took out a seasons worth of frustration on the baseball tonight.  The D-Cubs pounded out seventeen hits while scoring eighteen runs to embarrass Clearwater 18-5, I’m sure that felt good.

At the Plate:

  • Pin-Chieh Chen is turning into a weapon out of that lead-off spot, he was 4-for-5 with a walk, three RBI’s, two triples, a double, and four runs scored, yikes.
  • Tim Saunders was solid yet again, he went 2-for-2 with two doubles, a walk, three RBI’s, and a run scored.
  • Bijan Rademacher never stops hitting, he was 2-for-5 with two doubles, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored, he’s hitting .365 on the season.
  • Rock Shoulders went insane today, he was 3-for-5 with a grand slam, a walk, two doubles, four RBI’s, and four runs scored.
  • Gioskar Amaya made his long awaited return to the lineup tonight, and was awesome.  Amaya went 3-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, and four runs scored.
  • Marco Hernandez made some noise from the nine spot, he was 2-for-5 with a triple, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On the Mound:

  • Taylor Scott was the beneficiary of the offensive onslaught tonight, as he picked up his second win of the season.  Scott worked 5.1 innings, giving up three runs, on earned, on four hits, while walking three, and striking out one.
  • Stephen Perakslis was really good out of the pen, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit, while striking out three.
  • Austin Reed got mop up duty in this one, he worked two innings, giving up two runs on four hits, while walking one, and striking out two.

Smokies 4-22-14

Full Box Score

Pierce Johnson made his long awaited Double A debut tonight, and things were going just fine until the 5th inning.  The Barons scored eight times to erase a 1-0 deficit on their way to crushing the Smokies 14-3.

At the Plate:

  • John Andreoli had another solid game out of the lead-off spot, he went 2-for-3 with two walks.
  • Kris Bryant is rolling, he was 3-for-5 with a double, and a run scored in the win.  He has now reached base in eighteen straight games, and is hitting .311 on the season.
  • Taylor Davis was good from the nine spot, he went 2-for-4 with two RBI’s, he’s hitting .429 on the season.

On the Mound:

  • Pierce Johnson made his 2014 debut, and it had some good, and some bad.  Johnson worked four innings, giving up three runs on four hits, while walking four (bad), and striking out five.  I think he was a little too amped up for this start, the command was spotty at best.
  • Ryan Searle wasn’t much better out of the pen as he worked three innings, giving up six runs on six hits, while walking one, and striking out three.
  • Jeff Lorick suffered the same fate as the others, he worked one inning, giving up five runs, three earned, on three hits, while walking two.

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