Results tagged ‘ Josh Vitters ’

Riding The Bus; Minor League Reports for April 9, 2014

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

 

Iowa 4-9-14

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

A much better day all around for Iowa as they found some offense to go with the solid pitching to beat Nashville 6-1.  Javier Baez seems to be rounding into form at the plate, he was 2-for-4 with a double off the center field wall, and two runs scored.  Josh Vitters was able to return to the lineup today, and he continued his hot hitting, he went 1-for-3 with his second home run of the season, two RBI’s, a walk, and a run scored.  Chris Coghlan also joined the fun as he went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Vitters didn’t have the only home run today, Brett Jackson also went deep, and finished the day 1-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

What an outstanding day for Iowa pitching, collectively they struck out sixteen hitters, and only walked one.  Carlos Pimentel was dominant, he worked six innings, giving up one run on three hits, while walking one, and striking out ten(!).  Zac Rosscup was brilliant out of the pen today, he worked two scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, and striking out four.  Marcus Hatley closed things out with a scoreless inning, he allowed only one hit, and struck out two more.

Kane County 4-9-14

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Everything looked great for the Cougars in this one until the 8th inning, and that’s when things started to unravel as the Cougars blew a late 4-2 lead and lost 7-4 in ten innings.  Weird box score, the Cougars had eight hits in this one, each of the first eight hitters in the lineup had one hit, odd.  Jacob Rogers was 1-for-4 with his first home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Shawon Dunston looked to have the game winning hit in this one, a two-run single in the sixth, he finished the day 1-for-4 with two RBI’s.

On The Mound:

Some good things early, some bad things late.  Paul Blackburn made his second start of the season and was solid, he worked five innings, giving up two runs on two hits, while walking two, and striking out four.  James Pugliese was sailing right along through two innings of relief then ran into some trouble in his third inning of work.  Pugliese worked 2.1 innings, giving up one run on two hits, while walking two, and striking out two.  Nathan Dorris was able to come on and get Pugliese out of the jam, he worked the final two-thirds of the eighth without giving up a hit or run.  Jose Arias had a rough go of it today, he worked two innings, giving up four runs, one earned (oops), on three hits while walking one, he blew the save, and took the loss.

Daytona 4-9-14 game one

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

Nothing going right for the Daytona offense as they could only manage four hits in game one as they were shut out.  Albert Almora continued to do his part however, as he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, he’s now hitting .364 on the season.  Marco Hernandez, and Pin-Chieh Chen were the only other D-Cubs to get a hit in the loss.

On The Mound:

Really good outing from Felix Pena in this one, unfortunately he fell to 0-2 on the season, but lowered his ERA to 1.50.  Pena worked six innings, giving up one run on five hits, while walking no one, and striking out five.  Michael Jensen finished this one off as he worked a scoreless inning, giving up two hits, and striking out one.

Daytona 4-9-14 game two

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At The Plate:

Still nothing doing offensively for Daytona, however, they did push four runs across the plate in game two, but only had five hits in the loss.  Pin-Chieh Chen had another solid game, he was 1-for-2 with a double, a run scored, an RBI, and a walk.  Albert Almora continued his own personal hit parade, he was 1-for-3 with a run scored in the second game.  Dan Vogelbach finally connected in this one, he was 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

The offense finally finds some runs, and the pitching falters, such is the life of a struggling ball club.  Jose Rosario got the start and the loss, he worked five innings, giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits, while walking three, and striking out four.  Starling Peralta really struggled, he was only able to get through one-third of an inning, giving up four runs, two earned (errors!), on three hits, while striking out one.  Andrew McKirahan did a great job keeping the D-Cubs close, he worked 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, while striking out three.

Tennessee 4-9-14

Full Box Score

At The Plate:

The Smokies found just enough offense in this one as they scored three runs on seven hits to take care of the lookouts.  Stephen Bruno had a solid game, going 2-for-4 with two singles.  Kris Bryant was back in the lineup, and went 1-for-4 with a run scored in the win.  Rafael Lopez was the difference maker as he went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, two RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound:

I love C.J. Edwards nights, the mini flame thrower was on full display tonight and didn’t disappoint.  Edwards worked 5.2 innings, giving up one run on five hits, while walking four, and striking out five, walks drove his pitch count up for sure tonight.  P.J. Francescon was solid once again out of the pen, he worked 1.1 scoreless innings, he didn’t give up any hits, struck out two, and took home the win.  Jeff Lorick worked two-thirds of an inning late, giving up one hit, and striking out one.  Armando Rivero was brilliant to close this one out, he worked 1.1 scoreless, hit-less innings, while striking out three to earn his second save of the season.

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Riding The Bus; Minor League Recaps for April 3, 2014

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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.

 

Kane County 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

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.

Daytona 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

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.

Tennessee 4-3-14

Full Box Score

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.

Iowa 4-3-2014

Full Box Score

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!

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Cubs Lose Slop-fest, But Baez Homers!

3-5-14 line score

Yeah, slop-fest.  I wasn’t quite sure how to spell that in the title, but it seemed appropriate given that this was, indeed, a slop-fest.  The Cubs only had one error on the day, but the Rockies really messed things up and had five, yet still won the game.  But the news of the day, as it is almost every day, is Javier Baez showing off his unfathomable power, everyone is really excited.

At the Plate:

  • Josh Vitters, hello.  Vitters entered the game in the sixth and ended the day going 2-for-2 with a run scored, and a dropped fly ball, filling up the score sheet.
  • Javier Baez (!), Baez went 1-for-3 with his second home run of the spring season, an opposite field shot which continued to fuel the inter-webs desire for him to start with the Cubs… sorry, won’t happen, hooray team control!
  • George Kottaras has the backup catching spot locked down in my opinion, not only because we share the first name.  Kottaras was 1-for-2 with his first home run of the season, which immediately followed Baez’s shot.

On the Mound:

    • Jeff Samardzija got the start today and was roughed up a bit, but was able to escape with a no decision.  Shark went three innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking one, and striking out one.
    • Jose Veras, the new Cubs closer, worked a scoreless inning, which was a nice rebound after his not so great debut.
    • Pedro Strop also worked a scoreless inning, and didn’t walk or strikeout anyone, madness.
    • Chris Rusin was having a pretty solid outing until he lost command in the fateful seventh inning.  Rusin worked 2.2 innings giving up three runs on three hits while walking two, and striking out one.
    • Armando Rivero continues his push to make the Cubs bullpen with another solid outing, but he did have some trouble to work out of.  Rivero worked a scoreless inning giving up three hits while striking out one.

Thanks to Brett at Bleacher Nation for the video

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Spring Fever: Cubs lineup, Broadcast Info for March 5, 2014

The Cubs go for their third straight win this afternoon as they take on the Rockies at Cubs Park in Mesa.  Jeff Samardzija will make his second start of the spring looking to build on his strong debut from last week, expect three to four innings for Shark.

1.  Kalish – LF
2.  Valbuena – 3B
3.  Lake – CF
4.  Roberts – 1B
5.  Baez – SS
6.  Kottaras – C
7.  Jackson – RF
8.  Valaika – 2B
9.  McDonald – DH

SP – Samardzija

The Cubs bench looks a little more exciting than the lineup:

  • Baker
  • Lopez
  • Watkins
  • Coghlan
  • Alcantara
  • Flores
  • Cunningham
  • Olt
  • Almora
  • Soler
  • Villanueva
  • Szczur
  • Bryant
  • Vitters

No TV today, but there it MLB.com radio.

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The Final Four; Massive 2013 First Year Player Draft Preview

There will come a time soon enough where the Cubs are not picking at the top of the draft, this year is not that time as the Cubs pick number two overall.  Picking that high obviously means you suffered through the previous year, but it also means that you should get an impact player and that’s exactly what the Cubs are out to get.  This is an exciting time, not just because of the high pick, but because the Cubs are going to add forty some odd young men to their organization, but let’s focus on what they might do with their first pick.

Over the last few weeks we have read quotes, and stories about what the 2013-MLB-draft1Cubs might do with the number two pick, ultimately only the Cubs really know, but much like last year I think it has a lot to do with what the Astros do with the number one pick.  Now last year the Cubs were picking sixth, but I thought that whole draft changed when the Astros went with Carlos Correa at number one as that was a player that many people thought might be on the Cubs radar at six, he went one.  After the draft the Cubs were steadfast in their response, “Almora was the guy no matter what, we would have taken him number one.”  I like hearing that, the draft should be more about evaluating talent than reacting to what other teams are doing, sure you want to take the best available that high in the draft, but your best available might not be another teams best available.  The general consensus is that the Cubs have narrowed their choice down to four guys, let’s take a look at who the Cubs are looking at as well as my predictions.

Appel Draft

The Cubs want him, that’s my honest opinion, I think if the Cubs had the number one pick in the draft they would take Appel.  Funny thing is, the Cubs had a shot at Appel in last years draft, but Appel slipped, he was once thought of as the number one overall pick last year until his bonus demands scared a number of teams off.  Appel eventually went eighth to the Pirates but could not come to terms on a contract so returned to Stanford for his senior season, and here we are again with Appel atop the draft rankings.  It’s easy to see why the Cubs like him, he has a plus fastball, and three above average pitches that he can throw for strikes, and projects as a top of the rotation guy.  I don’t like saying can’t miss with a pitcher because of arm injuries that are just one pitch away, but he’s as can’t miss as they come.

Via Jonathan Mayo:

Scouting Grades* (present/future): Fastball: 7/8 | Slider: 5/6 | Changeup: 5/6 | Control: 5/6 | Overall: 5/7

*Players are graded on a 2-8 scale for both present and future tools. 2-3 is well below average, 4 is below average, 5 is average, 6 is above average and 7-8 is plus.

Prediction – Houston doesn’t pass on him twice and takes him at number one overall.
Cubs Chances - Fair, there is no clear-cut number one, and I think if the Astros don’t grab Appel then the Cubs will.

Gray Draft

You know, the Cubs need power arms, well here’s a power arm, and then some.  Gray has a plus plus fastball which has been clocked at triple digits, not just at the start of games, but late in games.  He might not be as polished as Appel, but he has two plus pitches and has a chance to keep developing that change-up into a plus pitch as well.  Now the positive adderall test, this has put a seed of doubt into some people’s minds, I wouldn’t say that I am one of them. I don’t think the Cubs are either, if the Cubs want an arm at number two and their best available (Apple, in my opinion) is off the board then they go with Gray.

Via Jonathan Mayo:

Scouting Grades* (present/future): Fastball: 7/8 | Slider: 5/6 | Changeup: 4/5 | Control: 4/5 | Overall: 5/6

*Players are graded on a 2-8 scale for both present and future tools. 2-3 is well below average, 4 is below average, 5 is average, 6 is above average and 7-8 is plus.

Prediction - Gray is still on the board at two and the Cubs take him.
Cubs Chances - Great, I think he will be on the board still, and it comes down to if the Cubs think Gray is the best available.

Bryant Draft

Yes I know that I have a Cubs logo with Bryant as well, here’s why.  This front office is very particular with their high first round picks, they prefer bats, specifically college bats.  Kris Bryant has rocketed up the draft charts because of his tremendous Junior season at the University of San Diego.  Third base is a challenge for the Cubs, not just at the  MLB level but at the minor league level as well.  Josh Vitters is the cream of the crop in the organization with whispers about Javier Baez being moved there.  If the Cubs want to grab a power bat at the hot corner this would be their chance.  The only thing that would pull the Cubs away from Bryant would be his swing and miss potential, but some say his power makes up for that.

Via Jonathan Mayo:

Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 4/5 | Power: 5/7 | Run: 4/4 | Arm: 6/6 | Field: 4/5 | Overall: 4/6

*Players are graded on a 2-8 scale for both present and future tools. 2-3 is well below average, 4 is below average, 5 is average, 6 is above average and 7-8 is plus.

Prediction – Assuming the Astros don’t take Bryant at number one, which they could, then I think Bryant lands with Colorado.  A word of caution however, if the Astros take Appel the Cubs front office might choose to follow what they have in the past and favor hitting over pitching.  All depends on who they Cubs feel is the best available, I don’t think they take Bryant just because he’s a third baseman.
Cubs Chances – Excellent, odds are Bryant will be there, the Cubs would just have to pull the trigger.Image13

This is where things get interesting in my opinion, here’s why.  Moran profiles as the “Cubs Way” guy, meaning he is a better overall hitter than Bryant, but odds are he won’t reach the power potential that Bryant will.  However, Moran will have professional at bats, do the Cubs trust their scouting and philosophy to take the guy that fits the mold the most?  I’m leaning towards no on that one just because I feel that if they are going to take the best available in their eyes, and they will, that will not be Moran.  Another wrinkle is that Moran is a left-handed hitting third baseman, I already talked about the need at third base, but the need for a solid left-handed hitting third baseman is almost enough to make a team jump, just don’t think the Cubs will.

Via Jonathan Mayo:

Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 5/6 | Power: 4/5 | Run: 3/3 | Arm: 5/5 | Field: 4/5 | Overall: 4/6

*Players are graded on a 2-8 scale for both present and future tools. 2-3 is well below average, 4 is below average, 5 is average, 6 is above average and 7-8 is plus.

Prediction – The Cubs won’t take Moran, and he will go to the Indians at five after Appel, Bryant, and Gray are off the board and the Twins go with Kohl Stewart or Braden Shipley at number four.
Cubs Chances – Great, I don’t think there is any chance the Astros take Moran, if they go bat with the number one pick they will take Bryant, meaning Moran will be there, but so will Gray and Appel, that’s too much to pass up on to take Moran.

In conclusion, there are four viable options for the Cubs to think about, but it all comes down to who the Astros go with.  If the Astros take Appel I think the Cubs will go with Gray.  If the Astros take Gray I think the Cubs will go with Appel.  If the Astros surprise for the second year in a row and take Bryant then the Cubs take Appel.  Bottom line, I don’t think the Cubs pass on one of the college arms that are guaranteed to be there.  Now, if the Cubs feel strongly about their scouting and talent evaluation they could pass on Gray and Appel at number two and take the bat given the chance to take a number of quality arms in the second, third, and fourth rounds because they will be there.

MLB DRAFT COVERAGE

The draft begins on June 6th and runs through June 8th, live coverage begins on MLB Network at 5:00 PM CST with an hour-long preview show with the first round scheduled to start at 6:00 PM CST.  The first 73 picks will be aired on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com, that’s the first round, and the supplemental round.  Rounds three through ten will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 7th beginning at 11:30 AM CST, and rounds eleven through forty will be streamed live on MLB.com on June 8th beginning at noon CST.

CUBS BONUS POOL

Because of the new collective bargaining agreement teams have to pay attention to how much they can spend over the first ten rounds in the draft.  If you want a full rundown on how the bonus pool works I suggest you take a gander at Carrie Muskat’s article about the draft, she does a fine job of breaking it down.  Bottom line, the Cubs have the second most money to spend on their top ten rounds, that’s nice.

Cubs bonus pool

I hope you enjoyed reading about the Cubs options with the number two pick, and don’t forget to join me for the first round tomorrow as I will be live blogging the first round just like last year.  Can’t wait!

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Minor Matters – May 24, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Recaps)

Iowa 5-24 line

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At The Plate – The Cubs jumped out in front of the RedHawks 4-1 after one inning and 5-1 after three, they had to withstand a late charge but held on for the 5-4 victory.  The Iowa Cubs are surging as of late as they moved to within five of .500 for the first time since forever it seems.  The Cubs could only manage four hits in this one, but they made the most of them.  Brian Bogusevic, Dave Sappelt, and J.C. Boscan all had one hit on the night, all singles.  Josh Vitters had the big night for the Cubs going 1-for-2 with two walks, his third home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored.

On The MoundNick Struck struggled with his command in this one but worked deep enough and effective enough to earn his third win of the season.  Struck went 5.1 innings giving up three runs on six hits while walking five and striking out four.  Esmailin Caridad also struggled with his command in this one, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one run on no hits (yes, no hits), while walking two.  Hisanori Takahashi was effective out of the pen going one scoreless inning giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.  Zach Putnam was excellent going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out two to earn his third save of the season.

Smokies 5-24 line

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At The Plate – The Smokies and Stars were locked in a 1-1 battle until the seventh when the Stars broke the game open, scoring five times over the last three innings to take this one 6-2.  Matt Szczur was 1-for-4 with a walk, a caught stealing, and his eighth double of the season.  Rubi Silva had a solid day going 2-for-4 with his eighth home run of the season, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Tim Torres was 1-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI in the loss, he’s now hitting .286 on the season.

On The MoundYeiper Castillo who was outstanding in Daytona was promoted up to Tennessee and his first start was tonight, and he was brilliant.  Castillo worked six innings giving up one run on three hits while striking out seven.  Trey McNutt took the loss in this one as he worked one inning giving up two runs on one hit while walking one.  Kevin Rhoderick continued to struggle with his command; he worked one inning giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking one.  Tony Zych was roughed up going one inning giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one.

Daytona 5-24 line

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At The Plate – Daytona jumped on top of Lakeland with two runs in the first, unfortunately they couldn’t get much going after that and Lakeland exploded for seven runs late in a 7-3 victory.  John Andreoli continued his strong 2013 campaign going 3-for-5 with a double, two stolen bases (15), and a run scored.  Javier Baez is picking things up at the plate and making contact as well, he was 2-for-4 with a run scored, he also made two more errors bringing his 2013 total to twenty-two, and he’s now hitting .271 on the season.  Jorge Soler was 1-for-3 with a walk, his fourth stolen base of the season, and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger continued his assault Florida State League pitching; he was 2-for-4 with two RBI’s, which brings his total to forty-two on the season.

On The MoundBen Wells suffered the loss in this one, unfortunately he really didn’t have too much of a say in that.  Wells went five innings giving up three runs, one earned, on six hits while walking two and striking out two.  Frank Del Valle was roughed up in probably his worst outing of 2013, he worked two innings giving up four runs on three hits while walking one and striking out two.  Austin Reed was really good out of the pen going two scoreless innings while walking one and striking out two.

Kane County 5-24 line

Full Box Score

At The Plate – The Cougars only needed two innings to blow this game open, they scored four times in the fourth inning and four times in the seventh en route to an 8-1 victory.  The Cougars had an excellent attack, they only had eight hits, but walked seven times, that’s how you score runs (hear that Cubs?).  Albert Almora continued his hot start to the season going 1-for-3 with two walks, and a run scored in the win.  Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs scored, sensing a theme here?  Rock Shoulders is having a hard time finding hits as of late but was still productive today, he was 0-for-3 with two walks, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Yaniel Cabezas was 1-for-2 with two walks, a triple, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound Pierce Johnson was outstanding again, this time he had enough support from his offense to get a win and improve his record to 3-3 on the season.  Johnson worked 6.2 innings giving up one run on six hits while walking two and striking out eight.  Steve Perakslis was solid out of the pen to close this one out; he worked 2.1 scoreless innings while striking out two.

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Minor Matters – May 23, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-23 line

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At The Plate – The Cubs jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning and that’s all they would need in this one, they tacked on two more to take a 4-0 and that’s how it ended.  Logan Watkins had a good day from the leadoff spot going 2-for-4 with his fourth home run of the season, two RBI’s, and one run scored.  Dave Sappelt was 2-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI, he also had a caught stealing, he’s now hitting .308 since his demotion to Iowa.  Josh Vitters had a solid day as it was good to see him back in the lineup, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored.

On The MoundChris Rusin was outstanding in this one to earn his third win of the season against four losses, despite a solid 3.88 ERA.  Rusin went six scoreless innings giving up six hits while walking two and striking out four.  Yoanner Negrin was solid per usual going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out two.  Eduardo Sanchez made his organizational debut and was good going one scoreless inning while walking one and striking out two.

Smokies 5-23 line

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At The Plate – The Smokies couldn’t get much going offensively but they didn’t need to in order to get the win, they only managed four hits and two runs in the 2-0 victory.  Arismendy Alcantara was 1-for-2 with two walks (Cubs Way!), sixth home run, an RBI, and a run scored.  Rafael Lopez, Tim Torres, and Jonathan Mota were the other Smokies to record hits and with Torres’ being an RBI double.

On The MoundKyle Hendricks was outstanding, and really has been all year, quite an impressive start.  Hendricks worked seven scoreless innings giving up three hits while walking one and striking out seven to earn his fourth win of the season and lower his ERA to 2.44, wow.  Brian Schlitter doesn’t give up runs, ever, or at least it seems that way.  Schlitter worked a scoreless inning in relief giving up two hits; his ERA is now 0.90 on the season.  Marcus Hatley worked a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the season giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.

Daytona 5-23 line

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At The Plate – Daytona pounded out twelve hits but could only manage to score four times as they lost 8-4 to Jupiter, the Cubs were 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.  Wes Darvill was 1-for-3 with two walks, a double, and a run scored, he’s having a rough go of it, only hitting .167 on the season.  John Andreoli continues to have a solid season, he was 3-for-5 with his sixth (!) triple of the season, and two runs scored.  Jorge Soler was 1-for-3 with a walk, his tenth double of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger is making a case for a promotion with his play, he was 2-for-3 with an RBI, his 40th of the season, he’s played in 44 games.  Tim Saunders was 2-for-4 with his thirteenth stolen base of the season in the loss.

On The MoundZach Cates didn’t have his best stuff in this one, he worked five innings giving up four runs on eight hits while walking one and striking out four.  Jeffrey Lorick, who very rarely gives up anything, worked one inning giving up one run on one hit while walking three.  Sheldon McDonald was also touched up; he worked two innings giving up three runs, one earned, on two hits while walking one.

Cougars 5-23 line

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At The Plate – Long, odd night in Peoria that resulted in the Cougars losing 9-8 in fourteen innings.  Here’s the odd part, the score was 8-8 after four, the Cougars couldn’t score over the next ten innings and the Chiefs only scored once for the win.  Pin-Chieh Chen had a solid night at the top of the lineup going 1-for-5 with two walks, two RBI’s, and three runs scored.  Albert Almora has returned to Kane County swinging the bat, he was 4-for-7 in this one with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored, he’s 7-for-11 since returning from injury.  Jeimer Candelario had a productive night going 2-for-7 with his sixteenth double of the season, and four RBI’s, he’s got his average on the rise, it’s now at .267 on the season and he is hitting .333 over his last ten games.  Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-6 with a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored in the loss.

On The Mound – Rough start for Dillon Maples, his worst one since returning to the Kane County rotation, his offense bailed him out so he did not factor in the decision.  Maples worked 3.2 innings giving up eight runs, five earned, on six hits while walking three and striking out four.  Lendy Castillo was about as good as you could be, he worked 5.1 scoreless innings out of the pen giving up five hits while walking two and striking out nine.  Jeffry Antigua was also solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings while striking out four.  Justin Amlung did everything he could to keep this one going but ended up suffering his second loss of the season.  Amlung worked 2.1 innings giving up one run on one hit while striking out three.

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Minor Matters – May 17, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-17 line

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At The Plate – After battling back from an early 4-0 hole the Iowa Cubs found themselves leading heading into the late innings, that’s when things fell apart in 9-8 loss to Tucson.  Hits were all over the place in this one as the Cubs pounded out eighteen hits, and scored eight runs, they left 11 men on base as well.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with a walk, his third home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Brett Jackson had a breakout game going 4-for-5 with a double, and a run, he’s now hitting .265 on the season. Josh Vitters had a solid game as well going 3-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Darnell McDonald, Brent Lillibridge, and J.C. Boscan each had two hits in the loss.

On The MoundGuillermo Moscoso got the start for the Cubs, and pitched in and out of trouble having one costly inning.  Moscoso went five innings giving up four runs, two earned, on nine hits while striking out eight.  Esmailin Caridad was sub par to say the least, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up three runs on four hits to take the loss.  Casey Coleman was roughed up a bit as well, he worked 2.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking one.  Hisanori Takahashi worked a scoreless ninth inning to give the Cubs a shot to no avail.

Smokies 5-17 line

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At The Plate – The Smokies jumped on top of the Lookouts with four runs in the second and couldn’t add on the rest of the way, even still they were able to hang on for a 4-3 win.  Matt Szczur continues to find ways get on base for the Smokies as their lead-off man, he was 2-for-5 in this one, and he is now hitting .294 on the season.  Ronald Torreyes provided the production for the Smokies, he was 1-for-5 with two RBI’s in the win.  Christian Villanueva  had a huge game, he was 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored.

On The MoundKyle Hendricks has been so very good this year, and he was again in this one, he worked seven innings giving up three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out three to earn his third win of the season.  Tony Zych did a solid job out of the pen going one scoreless inning while striking out one.  Zach Rosscup was good as usual working a scoreless ninth inning for his first save of the season, he walked one and struck out the side.

Daytona 5-17 line game 1

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At The Plate – Daytona owned game one, and it was nice to see them put together a team game and get a win given their recent struggles.  As you will read, this day was owned by Jorge Soler and Dustin Geiger, maybe May 17 shall be known as Soler Geiger day moving forward.  Soler was a monster in game one, he was 4-for-4 with his sixth home run of the season, and three runs scored.  He scored three times because Dustin Geiger was hitting behind him, and he didn’t want Soler to have all the glory.  Geiger was outstanding, he was also 4-for-4 with three doubles, a triple (slugging madness!), and four RBI’s.  That was it, those two guys won the game for the D-Cubs.

On The Mound - Yeiper Castillo was all Daytona needed on the mound.  He spun a gem, going the distance (7 innings for DH’s), he worked seven innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out two.  He improved his record to 1-0 on the season, and lowered his ERA to 2.33, very impressive.

Daytona 5-17 line game 2

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At The Plate –  Daytona owned game one, and battled for a character win in game two to sweep the double-header.  Javier Baez was 2-for-5 with a walk, a triple, and three runs scored, he also had three errors, bring his 2013 total to seventeen.  Jorge Soler was a beast in game two as well, he went 3-for-6 with a double, and a run scored, he was 7-for-10 in the double-header and is now hitting .297 on the season.  Back to the other hero of the day Dustin Geiger, he was 3-for-4 in game two with a double, two walks, an RBI, and two runs scored.  He was 7-for-8 in the double-header with four doubles, and a triple, he is hitting .331 on the season.  Taiwan Easterling was 2-for-6 with a triple, a double, and two RBI’s in the win.

On The Mound –  Tough to have a second game of a double header go twelve innings, if not for the bullpen in game two the D-Cubs would have been in trouble, they came through big time.  Eduardo Figueroa got the start and was roughed up, he worked three innings giving up four runs on four hits while walking two and striking out one.  The bullpen took over and worked a combined nine scoreless innings giving up four hits while walking two and striking out six.  Austin Reed worked two of those innings, walking one and striking out two.  Sheldon McDonlad was outstanding working four innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out one.  Frank Del Valle worked the final three innings to earn his first win of the season, he gave up two hits while striking out three.

Kane County 5-17 line

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At The Plate -  The Cougars fought hard in this one against the best team in the league only to fall short in twelve innings.  Bijan Rademacher continues to hit, he was 3-for-5 with a double, and two runs scored, he is now hitting .350 on the season.  Jeimer Candelario was 2-for-5 with a double, and a run scored, he also made his twelfth error of the season.  Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-5 with two singles in the loss.

On The Mound –  Dillon Maples had a solid outing, and again, finished the day healthy, which is the most important thing right now.  Maples worked five innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out five.  Lendy Castillo took over and was solid as well, he worked five innings giving up on run on five hits while walking three and striking out four.  Nathan Dorris struggled with his command, which is rare, he suffered the loss as a result.  Dorris worked 1.1 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out two.

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Minor Matters – May 16, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-16 line

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At The Plate - Iowa didn’t really have a lot going offensively, but they didn’t need it as the one run they scored in the second inning was enough for the win.  Brent Lillibridge was 1-for-3 with a walk in the win.  Dave Sappelt, Brian Bogusevic, and Josh Vitters all had base hits in this one.  Donnie Muphy had the biggest one, a run scoring single in the second, he finished the night 1-for-2 with said RBI.

On The MoundMatt Garza is just about ready to return to the Cubs and he showed it tonight.  Garza was brilliant going six scoreless innings giving up two hits while striking out six, he threw 75 pitches, 53 for strikes.  Brooks Raley took it from there as he worked three scoreless inning out of the pen for his first save of the year, he gave up two hits while walking one and striking out three.

Smokies 5-16 line

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At The Plate – The Smokies broke through with two runs in the sixth inning to break a 4-4 tie, and eventually win 6-4, the win pushes them one game over .500 on the season.  Arismendy Alcantara was 2-for-4 with a double and a runs scored in the win.  Ty Wright had a huge night for the Smokies going 2-for-4 with two home runs, four RBI’s, and two runs scored, Wright came into this one with no home runs on the season.  Jonathan Mota was 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Rafael Lopez was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

On The Mound –  Matt Loosen never really found his command in this one as he worked four innings giving up four runs on three hits while walking six(!), and striking out five.  Then the bullpen took over for the Smokies and won the game.  A.J. Morris was perfect going three scoreless innings while striking out three to get his second win of the season.  Marcus Hatley worked a scoreless eighth inning giving up one hit.  Frank Batista worked a scoreless ninth to earn his fifth save of the season while striking out one.

Daytona 5-16 line

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At The Plate –  The Daytona bats finally woke up, unfortunately that wasn’t enough to win tonight as they drop another disappointing one to Charlotte.  Daytona scored seven times but left a lot out there as they were only 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position.  Dustin Geiger is putting together a solid season and had another good night going 3-for-5 with his fourth home run of the season, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored, he is now hitting .298 on the season.  Ben Carhart was 1-for-4 with a walk, and two runs scored in the loss.  Huge night for Chadd Krist, he went 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles, and five RBI’s, not bad for his second game with Daytona.

On The Mound – Probably the worst outing you will ever see P.J. Francescon have, he had nothing.  Francescon went five innings giving up ten runs, eight earned, on nine hits while walking five and striking out three, his record fell to 3-3 on the season.  Jeffrey Lorick was decent out of the pen going 1.2 innings giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking one and striking out one.  David Cales was okay out of the pen going 1.1 innings giving up one run on one hit while walking one and striking out one.  Hunter Cervenka worked a scoreless inning giving up one hit, he has a sparkling 1.62 ERA on the season.

Kane County 5-16 line

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At The Plate – Game one was all Cougars, they didn’t break it open until late but they only needed one as they beat the Chiefs in game one 5-0.  Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-3 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored from the lead-off spot.  Gioskar Amaya had a big game going 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI’s, and a run scored.  Dan Vogelbach was 1-for-4 with a double, and an RBI in the win.  Willson Contreras is locked in right now, he was 2-for-3 with a walk, he is now hitting .307 on the season.  Marco Hernandez was perfect in game one going 3-for-3 with a double, and two runs scored.

On The Mound -  Brian Smith was awesome for the Cougars, in fact he was almost perfect.  Smith worked four scoreless, and hit-less innings while walking two and striking out two.  Eddie Orozco took over and was very good, he worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out one to earn his second win of the season.  Jeffry Antigua came on to close this one out, he worked a scoreless inning while striking out one.

Kane County 5-16 line game 2

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At The Plate – The Chiefs got payback in game two as they routed the Cougars 8-2, the Cougars could only manage three hits in this one.  What’s worse is they committed six errors in seven innings, that usually doesn’t end well.  Jeimer Candelario was one of the few Cougars who had a strong game two at the plate, he was 2-for-3 with two doubles, he also committed three errors.  Marco Hernandez proved to be the only offense for the Cougars going 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, two RBI’s, a run scored, and you guessed it, an error.

On The Mound – As you could imagine the Cougars pitching didn’t get a lot of help from their defense.  Michael Heesch got the start and took the loss, he worked three innings giving up six runs, two earned, on four hits while walking two.  Steve Perakslis was solid out of the pen working three scoreless innings giving up three hits while striking out two.  Bijan Rademacher, the Cougars starting right fielder, worked one inning giving up two runs, unearned, on two hits while walking one.

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Minor Matters – May 13, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-13 line

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At The Plate – Nice comeback win for the Cubs as they trailed for most of the game and really couldn’t generate any offense.  They only needed one inning to get the job done as they scored six times in the sixth en route to a 6-4 win.  One small note, that was big in this game was the Cubs turned five double plays, FIVE, that’s hard to do.  Josh Vitters was 1-for-4 with an RBI, and a run scored in the victory.  Brad Nelson was 1-for-4 with two RBI’s, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .278 on the season.  Donnie Murphy had a big game going 2-for-4 with his first home run of the season, three RBI’s, a double, and a run scored.

On The Mound – The Cubs gave up twelve hits in this one but held the Aces (get it?) to only four runs thanks in large part to those five double plays I mentioned.  Nick Struck got the start and battled to earn his first win of the season while not having his best stuff.  Struck went six innings giving up four runs on eleven hits while walking one and striking out four.  Esmailin Caridad worked two scoreless innings out of the pen giving up one hit while walking one.  Zach Putnam was solid as well, he worked a scoreless ninth inning to earn his second save of the season.

Smokies 5-13 line

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At The Plate – What a thrilling win for the Smokies as they trailed 4-2 heading to the ninth where they scored four times to take a 6-4 lead, and get the victory.  Matt Szczur came into this year with a lot to prove, and so far he’s proving an awful lot.  He was 2-for-5 with a double, his thirteenth stolen base of the year, and an RBI, he’s now hitting .291 on the season.  Rafael Lopez has been on fire of late, he was 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored.  Rubi Silva was 2-for-4 with his seventh home run of the season, a double, two RBI’s, and a run scored.  Tim Torres was 1-for-4 with a double and two runs scored in the victory.  Anthony Giansanti who was recently promoted from Daytona was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.

On The MoundDallas Beeler got the start and had another solid outing, Beeler went six innings giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits while walking two and striking out three.  Tony Zych walked a fine line in his inning of work giving up one run, unearned, on two hits while walking two and striking out one.  Trey McNutt struggled a bit with command, but was also overpowering in his inning of work, he walked two and struck out three to earn his second win of the season.  Kevin Rhoderick had one of his best outings of the year to nail down his first save; he worked a scoreless ninth while striking out two.

Daytona 5-13 line

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At The Plate – Daytona had nothing going in this one, and really I can’t blame them as they haven’t seen game action for five days.  The D-Cubs could only manage five hits in the shutout loss, the Stone Crabs tried to help them as much as possible with three errors but Daytona couldn’t take advantage as they were 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.  Only three guys were able to record hits in this one, Zeke DeVoss went 2-for-4, Ben Carhart went 2-for-4, and Chadd Krist went 1-for-3, all singles.

On The Mound – The Daytona pitching was good enough to win in this one, but had to work around some trouble, they got a lot of help from their defense as the D-Cubs turned four double plays, and ahad two outfield assists.  Zach Cates got the start and took his fourth loss of the season, he worked six innings giving up three runs on eleven hits while walking one and striking out three.  Frank Del Valle was his usual solid self, tossing a scoreless inning while striking out two.  Luis Liria worked a scoreless inning as well, giving up one hit while walking one and striking out two.  David Cales worked a scoreless ninth inning to keep Daytona close.

Kane County 5-13 line

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At The Plate – The Cougars couldn’t get anything going all day long, and when they did threaten they couldn’t come through as they were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.  Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-4 with his fourth stolen base of the season.  Dan Vogelbach continues to hit as he was 2-for-4, he is now hitting .295 on the season.  Jeimer Candelario was 1-for-4 with his tenth double of the season in the loss.

On The Mound Pierce Johnson was solid once again in this one; unfortunately he was hung with the loss which drops his record to 1-3 on the season.  Johnson went six innings giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits while walking one and striking out six.  Jeffry Antigua was just about perfect out of the pen as he worked two scoreless innings while striking out five.

The Cubs Venezuelan Summer League opened yesterday, things didn’t go so well.  The VSL Cubs lost 22-11 to the VSL Rays, you can view the box score here.

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