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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,
-Mark

7/31: Around the Cubs Minor League System

After a busy trade deadline here is what the Cubs minor league affiliates did on July 31.

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The AZL Cubs got back on track after a day off beating the AZL Royals 8-2.  Ben Carhart and Daniel Lockhart each had two, a run scored, and an RBI.  Jacob Rogers was 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs.  Albert Almora was leading off tonight, but left after his first at-bat.  He was replaced by Yasiel Balaguert who had a nice night going 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.  Jorge Soler did not have a hit, but he did drive in his seventh run of the season and he stole his third base.  Carl Lang got the start and pitched an impressive four innings allowing no runs on four hits and struck out four.  Jasvis Rakkar pitched one scoreless inning striking out one.  Ethan Elias got the win, but did not have a great night giving up two runs on five hits in two innings.  Daniel Adrian finished the game off striking out two in the last two frames.  Obviously we are a bit concerned as to why Almora left the game.  When we have an update we will let you know, but it was a nice night for the Cubs.

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After winning a few 1-0 games the Boise Chiefs held on to win a shootout 10-9.  It was a wild game as Boise had a big lead, but gave it up and had to win in walk-off fashion.  The Cubs had a few nice nights at the plate highlighted by Daniel Vogelbach‘s first home run at Boise, a three run shot with two outs in the third.  Stephen Bruno had three hits and two RBIs, raising his average to .324.  Jeimer Candelario was the hero going 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs including a walk-off double.  Dong-Yub Kim and Trey Martin each had two hits on the night and Marco Hernandez connected for his third home run of the season.  The Hawks pitching struggled most of the night, but the offense did the the job.  Eduardo Orozco blew a save, but ended up getting his second win of the season.  it is nice to see Boise maybe turning things around.

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Peoria never got things going against Quad Cities losing 5-1.  Michael Jensen got the start and pitched pretty good, although he took the loss.  He pitched five innings surrendering two runs on three hits, while striking out six.  Jeffry Antigua continued to impress pitching two more scoreless innings.  Pete Levitt struggled in his one inning of work.  There wasn’t much excitement at the plate for the Chiefs on Tuesday.  Javier Baez was one of the few bright spots going 2-for-4 with the Peoria’s lone run scored.  Bijan Rademacher also had two hits including his third double of the season.  Nothing too exciting happening for Boise tonight.

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Daytona won a close one on Tuesday beating Fort Myers 5-4.  Daytona pounded out 14 hits so there were a lot of nice nights at the plate.  It was good to see Timothy Saunders get back on track going 3-for-4 with double, runs scored, and an RBI.  Ronald Torreyes continued his hot stretch of late adding two more hits, including his 19th double of the season and two RBIs.  Matt Cerda, Rubi Silva,  and John Andreoli each had two hits with Andreoli driving one run in.  Austin Kirk started and got the win allowing four runs in five innings.  Kirk was not as sharp as he has been in the past walking five batters, but he did strike out five.  The relief was outstanding on Tuesday.  Hunter Cervenka and Jeffrey Lorick combined to pitch three scoreless innings, striking out a batter each.  AJ Morris closed the deal striking out two in one scoreless inning, notching his fourth save of the season.

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Tennessee’s game was suspended because of rain.  The Smokies were winning 2-1 in the fourth and will be continued tomorrow as part of a double header.

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Iowa dropped another to New Orleans losing Tuesday 5-3.  Frankie De La Cruz started and took the loss giving up three runs in four innings.  Jairo Asencio and Marcus Hatley did a nice job in relief both throwing a scoress inning.  Dave Sappelt was the main bright spot for the Cubs offense going 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.  Brett Jackson hit his 21st double of the season and drove in his 46th run as well.  James Adduci had another hit and is hitting .375 since his promotion to Triple-A.  As I have said recently Iowa just can’t seem to get things going in the right direction.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

7/30: Around the Cubs Minor League System

July 30th Cubs minor league report.

The AZL Cubs and the Boise Hawks were off on Monday.

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Beloit scored three in the eighth and held on to beat Peoria 5-3.  Pin-Chieh Chen had a great game going 4-for-5 with an RBI.  Zeke DeVoss led the game off in style with a home run, he added another hit and ended the game with two runs scored, two RBIs, and his 29th stolen base.  Javier Baez and Dustin Geiger each added a double and Bijan Rademacher had a triple on the night.  Chadd Krist also had a hit and he is now hitting .340.  Joseph Zeller got the start, but did not factor in the decision giving up two runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings.  Sheldon McDonald got the loss and Austin Reed pitched two scoreless innings in relief.  The Chiefs record now stands at 50-55.

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Daytona got a little scare in the ninth, but still won pretty easily 8-4.  The Cubs pounded out 14 hits including three from Rubi SilvaRonald Torreyes continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-5 with a triple, two runs scored, and two RBIs.  John Andreoli also had two hits and reached base four times from the leadoff spot.  he also scored a run and stole his 41st base of the season.  Rafael Lopez, Elieser Bonne, and Matt Cerda all had two hits and an RBI.  PJ Francescon got his second win of the season pitching six shutout innings.  He only gave up three hits and struck out six.  Frank Del Valle was very good in relief striking out four in just two innings.

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Tennessee got off to a good start in game one scoring five runs and holding on to win 6-3.  Matt Szczur had his best game since moving to Double-A going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored.  Junior Lake stayed hot at the plate going 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.  Logan Watkins and Michael Burgess each had two hits and Justin Bour drove one in.  Greg Rohan connected on his fifth home run, a three run shot in the first inning.  Eric Jokisch pitched all seven innings gving up three runs on five hits and striking out two.

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Tennessee won the second game of the double header beating Pensacola 3-2.  Nate Samson was the only Smokies player to have a multi-hit game going 2-for-3 with a run scored.  Juan Apodaca and Michael Burgess each had a hit as did Dustin Harrington and Nelson Perez.  Matt Szczur drove in a run in game two.  Casey Harman got the start and pitched well allowing no runs on four hits in four innings pitched.  Casey Weathers got the win pitching a scoreless fifth innings striking out two.  Frank Batista recored his 19th save of the season as he closed out game two on Monday.

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The Iowa Cubs lost another one on Monday losing to New Orleans 5-3.  James Adduci had another great game, going 2-for-5 with a home run, double, run scored, and three RBIs.  Dave Sappelt also had two hits and scored a run.  Chris Rusin took the loss pitching 5.2 innings surrendering five runs, only one earned and struck out six.  Alberto Cabrera had a nice night in relief striking out four in 2.1 innings.  Iowa just can’t seem to get it together.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

 

7/29: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Sunday, July 29th Cubs minor league report.  Tennessee was off on Sunday.

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The AZL Cubs lost to the AZL Reds 7-3.  Dillon Maples made his much anticipated debut on Sunday, giving up one run in one pitched.  He stuggled with his command walking two and throwing a wild pitch, but struck out one and got out of a tough jam with a double play.  Paul Blackburn pitched 2.1 innings, giving up two hits, no runs, and striking out two.  Chad Martin took the loss, giving up three runs in his one inning of work.  Our nightly watch of Albert Almora and Jorge Soler was on again.  Almora went 1-for-4 and Soler was 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.  Trevor Gretzky and Carlos Penalver each had two hits with Penalver driving one in.  Daniel Lockhart also had an RBI.

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Boise got one in the third, which proved to be enough beating Tri-City 1-0.  Ian Dickson started and pitched weel allowing no runs on three hits in five innings pitched.  He also walked two and struck four.  Hunter Ackerman was outstanding in relief picking up his first save.  He struck out six in just four innings and allowed only one hit.  Gioskar Amaya hit his fifth home run of the year and ended the day 2-for-3.  Rock Shoulder also had two hits, including a double and after a slow start his average is now up to .271.  Jeimer Candelario added a hit and Marco Hernadnez had a double in the game as well.  Lets hope the pitching continues down this path as that is two 1-0 wins in a row.

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Peoria scored nine in the first three innings and held on to beat Beloit 10-6.  The offense led the way in this one.  Dustin Geiger was 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs.  Pin-Chieh Chen was 3-for-3 with a run scored and two RBIs.  Unbelievably, Javier Baez only had one hit, but he did drive in two and score one.  Wes Darvill also had two hits and drove a run in and Chadd Krist also had an RBI.  Larry Suarez got the win in relief for Peoria striking out three in 1.2 innings pitched and Bryce Shafer closed out the game pitching a scoreless ninth.  Lets see if Peoria can keep playing well going forward.

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A six run fifth helped Daytona win this shootout 12-7.  The Cubs had a lot of nice games at the plate on Sunday.  Ronald Torreyes went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs.  Rafael Lopez had two hits, including his second home run of the season.  Elieser Bonne was 3-for-3 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.  Leadoff man John Andreoli had two hits, stole three bases (40), and scored three runs.  Matt Loosen wasn’t at his on Sunday, but it was good enough for him to improve his record to 10-3.  He gave up five runs, four earned on six hits in five innings pitched.  AJ Morris recorded his third save pitching a scoreless last 1.2 innings.  Good to see Daytona hitting the ball and Matt Loosen get to the 10-win mark.

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Leading by one in the bottom of the ninth, Iowa gave up one there and then gave up three in the bottom of the 10th to lose 6-3.  James Adduci continues to hit the ball going 3-for-5 on Sunday.  Welington Castillo was 1-for-3 with a two-run homer on, his sixth of the season.  Adrian Cardenas and Josh Vitters each had a hit.  Brett Jackson didn’t have any hits, but he did walk and steal a base, his 24th of the season.  Rodrigo Lopez actually pitched well going five innings and allowing only two runs, one earned on five hits, while striking out five.  After Ryan Rowland-Smith and Esmailin Caridad pitched the next three scoreless innings the rest of the bullpen blew it.  Michael Bowden gave up the run in the ninth and Jay Jackson took the loss giving up a three run homer in the tenth.  It’s just not going well for Iowa, finding different ways to lose almost every night.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

7/28: Around the Cubs Minor League System

The nightly minor league recaps.

The AZL Cubs were postponed.

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Boise won in a pitchers dual 1-0.  Taylor Scott got the start and got the win pitching five innings allowing four hits, three walks, and striking out four.  Hayden Simpson threw an impressive three innings and Eduardo Orozco closed out the game earning his first save of the season.  Jeimer Candelario was 1-for-3 driving in the only Hawks run of the game.  Carlos Escobar had two hits, including a double and a run scored.  Boise has won two games in a row and look to keep that going.

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Beloit took care of Peoria quite easily win 10-4.  Starling Peralta started and took the loss giving up five runs, four earned in five innings.  Jeffry Antigua pitched very good in relief striking out two in two scoreless innings, lowering his ERA to 0.73.  Offensively there wasn’t much exciting to report.  Sergio Burruel was the only Chief player with a multi-hit game going 2-for-4 with an RBI.  Paul Hoilman, Bijan Rademacher, and Yaniel Cabezas all had one hit.  Hoilman had an RBI as did Pin-Chieh Chen.  Peoria looks to get back on track.

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A for run sixth wasn’t enough losing to Bradenton 9-7.  Kyler Burke struggled giving up seven runs, five earned on eight hits in five innings.  Burke struck out six in the loss.  Hunter Cervenka threw two scoreless innings in relief striking out three.  Ronald Torreyes had a nice night at the plate going 3-for-5 with home run, a double, and three RBIs.  Timothy Saunders added two hits and drove one in.  The Cubs got single RBIs from Taylor Davis, Matt Cerda, and Rubi Silva as well.  John Andreoli led off and had a hit and a walk and scored two runs.  Rebel Ridling and Rafael Lopez each contributed a hit to the effort and Lopez scored two runs.

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Tennessee couldn’t hold Jacksonville down losing 8-5.  Nicholas Struck struggled in a losing effort giving up four runs in four innings pitched.  In a tough sign for Cub fans, Trey McNutt struggled in relief again and his ERA is now at 4.91.  Frank Batista continued his strong season pitching a scoreless eighth and striking out two lowering his ERA to 1.22.  Justin Bour had a night to remember at the plate going 2-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs.  Matt Szczur led off in his second game with the Smokis, he went 1-for-4 with a run scored.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with a run scored as was Chad NobleMichael Burgess had a double and Dustin Harrington added a hit and a run scored as well.

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Iowa gave up one in the fifth to give them the lead.  The 2-1 lead held up and Iowa lost another one run game.  Brooks Raley was the hard luck loser pitching six innings allowing tow runs on six hits and striking out eight.  Marcus Hatley pitched well in relief striking out four in two innings.  The offense didn’t do much, Brett Jackson connected on his 15th home run of the season, ending the game 1-for-3 with a walk.  Adrian Cardenas and Josh Vitters each added ahit as did Blake Lalli.  After a nice win yesterday, the Cubs weren’t able to keep it going losing a close, low scoring game.

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Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

7/27: Around the Cubs Minor League System

A quick look at the Cubs minor leaguers on Friday, July 27.

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The AZL Cubs dropped a low scoring game to the AZL Athletics 3-1.  Lendy Castillo got the start as he continues to work his way back allowing one run on two hits in four innings.  He struck out six and took a no decision in this one.  Tyler Bremer gave up two runs and took the loss.  Carlos Martinez-Pumarino and Jin-Young Kim combined to pitch 3.2 scoreless innings, but the Cubs offense couldn’t come back.  The Cubs got their run in the first when Albert Almora hit a two-run double and then scored on a Jorge Soler RBI single.  Soler would add another hit on the night and stole a base.  Carlos Penalver was the only other Cubs player to record a hit on Friday.  This is not what we have come to expect from the Cubs, but they will get back on track soon.

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Boise exploded to beat Tri-City 8-3.  The Hawks had five players with multi-hit games.  Daniel Vogelbach was one of those going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.  Gioskar Amaya and Marco Hernandez each had two hits, wtih Amaya driving in two.  Trey Martin and Xavier Batista also added two hits a piece.  Wilson Contreras connected on his second home run of the season, a three run shot in the second inning.  Willengton Cruz got his second win of the season out of the bullpen.  He pitched two strong innings striking out four.  James Pugliese started and gave up three runs in four innings of work.  Michael Heesch and Su-Min Jung each pitched well in relief.  After a tough 1-0 loss last night, it was nice to see Boise come back strong tonight.

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Javier Baez gave Peoria a lead with a two-run shot in the eighth and the Chiefs held beating Cedar Rapids 3-2.  Baez’s 11th homer of the season turned out to be one of his biggest of his young career.  He finished the game 2-for-3 and is now hit a robust .341.  Wes Darvill also had two hits, including a double, a run scored, and an RBI.  Austin Reed recorded the win in relief, his fourth of the season.  Zach Cates got the start, pitching 5.1 innings allowing two runs on three hits, while striking out seven.  Sheldon McDonald pitched two scoress inning in relief dropping his ERA to 1.91 on the season.  It has been exciting following Baez this year and he continues to impress.

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Robert Whitenack and the staff were outstanding for the Daytona Cubs beating Bradenton 2-0.  Robert Whitenack got his first win since coming back from Tommy-John surgery.  He pitched five innings allowing no runs on two hits, while striking out four.  Eduardo Figuerora struck out four in three scoreless innings in relief.  AJ Morris closed the game out recording his second save of the season.  The offense lost Matt Szczur who was promoted to Tennessee was able to get enough to win.  Rebel Ridling hit his second home run of the season and had two hits.  Timothy Saunders also had two hits including a double and a run scored.  A big congrats to Robert and here’s to many more in the near future.

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Jacksonville was able to score two runs in three different innings defeating Tennessee 6-4.  Junior Lake continued his hot stretch in this one going 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Greg Rohan had two hits and connected on his fourth home run with the Smokies.  Juan Apodaca also had two hits and an RBI.  In his first game with Tennessee Matt Szczur went 0-for-4 with two strike outs.  Ty’relle Harris started and took the loss going 2.2 innings allowing four runs on six hits.  Zach Rosscup gave up two runs in 3.2 innings, but struck out an impressive six batters.  Casey Harman and Kevin Rhoderick also pitched in the loss.

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Iowa wins, Iowa wins, Iowa wins.  It has been a rough go as of late so to beat Okalahoma City 5-0 is great to see.  Chris Volstad had his best start pitching eight scorelss innings.  He only surrendered four hits, walking three, and striking out five.  Alberto Cabrerea finished the game off throwing a scoreless ninth striking out two.  Alfredo Amezaga led off going 3-for-5 and scored a run.  Adrian Cardenas and Brian Esposito each had two hits with Cardenas hitting a double and scoring a run.  Dave Sappelt had a triple and drove in two on Friday.  Josh Vitters and Brett Jackson each recorded one hit and scored a run, Jackson also drove one in.  Hope this is signs to come for Chris Volstad and the Cubs.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

Matt Szczur is Headed to Tennessee

After an unfortunate injury to Jae-Hoon Ha last night, the Cubs have promoted Matt Szczur to Double-A Tennessee.  Sczcur has put together a solid season thus far hitting .295 with an OBP of .394.  He has stolen 38 bases and has scored 68 runs.  He also has 19 doubles, four triples, and two home runs while driving in 34. Coming into the year Szczur was the Cubs number four prospect and 94th overall according to Jonathan Mayo and MLB.com.  Here’s hoping continued success for Matt Szczur and a speedy recovery for Jae-Hoon Ha.

Thanks for Reading,
Mark

7/26: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Taking you through the Cubs minor leagues on Thursday, July 26.

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The AZL Cubs lost a rough one on Thursday to the Ranger 5-4.  Leading most of the night, the Cubs gave up two in the eight, one in the ninth, and one in the tenth to blow what appeared to be a win.  Those relievers who struggled were Ryan Hartman, Nathan Dorris, and losing pitcher Daniel Adrian.  It wasn’t all bad on the mound as Carl Lang and Ethan Elias each pitched three solid innings combing to strike out seven and surrender only one run on four hits.  Every night we look forward to seeing how Albert Almora and Jorge Soler and tonight was no different.  Almora started strong with hit first double, but ended the night 1-for-5.  Soler ended the night 1-for-4 with a walk and a stolen base.  Garrett Schlecht had a night he won’t forget as he hit his first home run of his professional career, a two-run shot in the fourth.  Shawon Dunston Jr. stayed hot adding two more hits, raising his average to .296.  Carlos Penalver also had two hits and Jacob Rogers added a double.  The AZL Cubs havn’t had too many disappointments, but tonight was one of them.

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Boise lost a low scoring game to Yakima 1-0.  Although there was only one run scored there was plenty of excitement in this one as there were ejections and the benches almost cleared.  It all started a few nights ago when Wilson Contreras was bowled over twice and then was hit by a pitch in this game.  Starting pitcher Jose Arias took exception and retaliated hitting a Bears player in the seventh.  Arias and manager Mark Johnson were promtly ejected.  Things didn’t end there though.  Contreras found his way on and bowled over the Yakima catcher and on his way back to the dugout had words for the Bears dugout.  Benches almost cleared and Contreras was ejected from the game.  Back to the baseball part of it.  Jose Arias pitched quite well taking the tough loss on Thursday.  He gave up one run on three hits in six innings, he also walked two and struck out three.  Michael Hamann and Eduardo Orozco combined to pitch three innings of scoreless baseball in relief.  Offensively there wasn’t much to talk about.  The highlights were Marco Hernandez having two hits and Daniel Vogelbach getting another hit.

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Peoria scored early and it held up as they beat Cedar Rapids 7-2.  The Chiefs got two in the first, one in the third, and three more in the fourth to get an early lead.  Javier Baez had a nice night once again going 2-for-2 with a double, two runs scored, and two RBIs.  Zeke DeVoss and Yaniel Cabezas also had twho hits with DeVoss driving a run and scoring two.  Chadd Krist continued his great performance at the plate adding another hit, his sixth double and driving in two runs.  On the mound Michael Jensen was at it again winning his ninth game of the year.  He pitched six solid innings, surrendering two runs on four hits, while striking out six and walking zero.  Larry Suarez and Bryce Shafer finished this one off pitched three scoreless innings to end the game.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Daytona outlasted Bradenton beating them 9-7 in a high scoring battle.  The Cubs offense had a few big innings, scoring three in the second, the fourth, and two in the seventh.  Offensively they were led by Rafael Lopez who was 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs.  Lopez was not the only Cubs player to have a big night as John Andreioli was 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs, four runs scored, and his 36th steal of the year.  Matt Szczur added two hits and he also drove in a pair, raising his average to .295.  Rubi Silva and Elieser Bonne each had two hits as well and Bonne drove in two on the evening.  Austin Kirk started and got the win, his fifth of the year.  He allowed four runs on six hits in six innings, walking five and striking out three.  Ryan Searle pitched the last three holding on the record his first save of the season.

 ****

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Despite scoring four Tennessee dropped the game to Jacksonville losing 6-4.  Dallas Beeler started, but did not factor in the decision allowing four runs, three earned and striking out eight in five innings pitched.  Tony Zych took the loss as he allowed two runs in his two innings of work.  On the bright side, there were some nice things that happened at the plate.  Junior Lake stayed hot going 3-for-5 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI.  Justin Bour and Greg Rohan each connected for a home run on Thursday.  Nate Samson added three hits of his own.  In an unfortunate accident Jae-Hoon Ha had to leave the game early on a stretcher after he hit his head on a cement wall wall that had no padding.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Jae-Hoon and hope to have good news on this soon.  We will keep you updated as we know more.

****

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How many different ways can Iowa find to lose, because it seems like they find a new one every night.  After having a lead most of the night they gave up a single run in the fifth and six to tie the game.  After scoring two in the tenth, they gave up three to lose 6-5.  Michael Bowden to the loss allowing all three runs in the tenth.  Casey Coleman was solid pitching 5.2 innings giving up three runs on seven hits.  Jay Jackson pitched well in relief allowing no runs in his two innings of work.  The Cubs were led by James Adduci at the plate having his best game in Iowa.  He went 4-for-5 with a home run, double, a run scored, and two RBIs.  Josh Vitters was the other bright spot from the offense going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, and a run batted in.  Nothing is going right for Iowa at this time, hope they can turn it around and end the year on a high note, but only time will tell.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

7/25: Around the Minor League System

The July 25th Chicago Cubs Minor League recap.

The most exciting team in the history of the Universe was off tonight, that’s right no Almora or Soler tonight.

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The Boise Hawks and Yakima Bears went toe-to-toe with each other and Yakima was the last one standing.  The Boise Hawks were in comeback mode all night as they trailed 6-3, and 8-6 before tying the game each time.  The Hawks scored twice in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game at eight but gave both runs right back in the top of the ninth and fell to Yakima 10-8.  Felix Pena got the start for Boise and struggled.  He gave up six runs, four earned on seven hits while walking none and striking out two in four innings of work.  The loss however went to Matt Iannazzo who gave up four runs on seven hits in 1.1 innings of work.  Daniel Vogelbach is at a new, higher level in the Cubs system but continues to pound the baseball.  Vogelbach was 3-for-5 in the loss with a double and an RBI.  Rock Shoulders, Dong-Yub Kim, and Gioskar Amaya all had two hits for Boise in the loss, Kim hit is fourth home run of the season.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Another game and another outstanding effort from Peoria Chiefs starter Joseph Zeller as he weathered a rough first inning to earn his second win of the season as the Chiefs hung on to beat Cedar Rapids 8-6.  The Chiefs used an enormous seven run third inning to break this one open, but had to fight to hang on as Cedar Rapids scored twice in the 8th and 9th to make it close.  Zeller went six strong innings giving up two runs, both unearned on seven hits while walking one and striking out two.  He lowered his ERA to 1.32 on the season.  Javier Baez was the only Chiefs player with multiple hits as he was 2-for-5 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.  Pin-Chieh Chen had the only extra base hit for the Chiefs as he was 1-for-3 on the night with a triple (8), two walks, an RBI, and a run scored.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Busy day for the Daytona Cubs as they had a double-header against the Brevard County Manatees, and game one didn’t get the day off to a great start.  P.J. Francescon had a rough outing, and has been shaky since his promotion to Daytona which is to be expected.  It’s not like Francescon has been terrible, but today he just didn’t have it as he gave up six runs on seven hits over 3.2 innings while walking four without a strikeout.  The Daytona offense couldn’t keep up as Brevard County took game one 6-4.  It was the Elieser Bonne show in game one for Daytona as the right fielder was 4-for-4 at the plate with two doubles (8,9), unfortunately no one was on base for him.  Rafael Lopez had a solid game going 1-for-2 with a home run (1), two walks and two RBI’s in the losing effort.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Game two was a pitching duel right from the get go, unfortunately for Daytona the result was the same, as Brevard County won the second half of the double-header 3-0.  Frank Del Valle got the start for Daytona and was outstanding going five scoreless innings giving up only one hit while walking three and striking out four, but had to settle for a no decision.  Jeffrey Lorick pitched a scoreless inning of relief before Scott Weismann got lit up in the 7th to take the loss.  Matt Szczur had a solid game at the plate going 2-for-3 to raise his average to .292 on the season, he also stole his 38th base of the season.  That was it as Daytona couldn’t push across any runs and only managed three hits as this was a lost day all around.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

The Smokies came out swinging against the Suns in a wild one and broke through late to register a 7-5 victory.  Dae-Eun Rhee who has not been very good (understatement) all year, pitched well enough in this one to earn his seventh victory of the season against five losses.  Rhee was the beneficiary of an offensive explosion that was led by Junior Lake.  Lake was 2-for-5 with two home runs (6,7), a walk, and four RBI’s.  Lake wasn’t alone in the destruction of Suns pitching as Nelson Perez went 2-for-5 as well with his fourth home run of the season, and two RBI’s.  Justin Bour continued his solid 2012 season going 3-for-4 with a double (29!) and an RBI, Bour is now hitting .297 on the campaign.  Trey McNutt has had a down year, that includes his recent performances out of the pen, but he was excellent tonight going two strong innings giving up nothing and striking out three.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

The Iowa Cubs jumped out to an early 3-0 lead against Oklahoma City, but if we have learned anything we know that there is no lead too big for Iowa to blow.  It happened again tonight as OKC scored in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th to take a 7-4 lead on their way to a 10-8 victory.  The I-Cubs made things somewhat interesting in the ninth inning by scoring four times but it was way too late.  Chris Rusin got roughed up again as he gave up seven runs on ten hits in five innings of work to record his 7th loss of the season.  James Adduci, Dave Sappelt, and Adrian Cardenas all had two hits in the loss.  Adduci had a great game at the top of the order going 2-for-4 with a double (3), an RBI, a walk, and three runs scored.

Thanks for reading,
- George

7/24: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Tuesday July 24 minor league recap.

Peoria was off.

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The AZL Cubs were at it again on Tuesday beating the AZL Indians 9-2.  Jorge Soler did it again, hitting his second home run in four games.  This one off the scoreboard in left.  Soler would add another hit  ending the night 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs.  Ben Carhart continued his hot hitting going 2-for-4 with a double and a home run.  He also drove in three and scored a run.  Speaking of hot, Shawon Dunston Jr. had two more hits, a double and a triple plus he scored three runs from the lead off spot.  Albert Alomora did not have a hit, but did drive two runs in and scored two.  2012 Comp. pick Paul Blackburn recorded his first win of the season, pitching two scoreless innings in relief.  Another good win for the Cubs in the AZL.

****

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Boise got another great pitching peformance out of their staff on Tuesday beating the Yakima Bears 2-1.  Ian Dickson was tremendous thowing six no-hit innings before being removed in the seventh.  Dickson struck out four en route to his second win of the season.  Hunter Ackerman gave up a run, but struck out three in 2.1 innings and Michael Hamann closed it out recording his first save of the season.  Jeimer Candelario had a nice night at the dish going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.  In his first game as a Hawk, Dan Vogelbach was 2-for-4 with a double.  Gioskar Amaya, Stephen Bruno, and Trey Martin each added a hit and Bruno scored a run.  It is nice to see the Hawks pitching have a nice couple days here.

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FULL BOX SCORE

Daytona held on to beat Brevard County 4-3 on Tuesday night.  Matt Loosen started and got the win pitching six innings while allowing two runs on only three hits.  He also walked three and struck out eight, lowering his ERA to 2.81.  Ryan Searle struck out two in the seventh and AJ Morris pitched the last two recording his first save of the season.  Rubi Silva went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.  Ronald Torreyes, Matt Szczur, Rebel Ridling, and Micah Gibbs all had a hit.  Daytona will play two on Wednesday.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Tennessee was back in action Tuesday pounding Jacksonville 9-2.  The Smokies showed some power hitting three home runs on the evening.  Junior Lake was 2-for-5 with a double, a homer, and two RBIs.  Greg Rohan added two hits of his own including a home run and Michael Brenly connected on his fifth homer of the year.  Nelson Perez had his best day since going to Double-A as he went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.  Michael Burgess also added two hits and scored two runs.  Eric Jokisch got the start and the win for the Smokies giving up one run on four hits in five innings pitched while striking out eight.  Brian Schlitter, Kevin Rhoderick, and Casey Weathers combined to pitch the last four innings allowing one run and striking out five.  This is the way to come back after a day off.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

Another day another bad loss for Iowa, losing 15-9 on Tuesday.  Offensively Iowa couldn’t have done much more on Tuesday scoring nine runs on twelve hits.  Welington Castillo was 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI.  Brett Jackson hit his 14th home run of the season and drove in two.  Josh Vitters had one hit and also drove in two as did Alfredo Amezaga.  Dave Sappelt and Diory Hernandez each had two hits as well.  The pitching was terrible yet again on Tuesday.  Rogrio Lopez got the start and promtly gave up eight runs in 3.2 innings pitched.  Ryan Rowland-Smith took the loss as he gave up three more runs in just 1.2 innings.  Iowa continues to struggle.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

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