Results tagged ‘ Paul Blackburn ’

Big Time Prospects Ready For Instructional League

As we heads towards the end of the season it starts to become a reality, there’s only a handful of Cubs games left this year.  For most, this is a blessing as some fans can’t “bear”…. (get it?) to watch anymore given how bad the team has been and other sports have started.  For this Cubs fan it’s not so great as I enjoy watching this team play, no matter how infuriating it is at times.  With that said it’s time to start focusing on the off-season baseball that will take place, first up is the Cubs instructional league that starts today.  This is an important step for many of these players as they are going to get more game experience, and another opportunity to impress the front office heading into next season.  Below is a breakdown of everyone that will participate this year, the games begin on September 21.  We will give you much more information on these players as our player cards come out, we will also do our best to give you results and box scores of these games, so stay tuned!

 

Thanks for reading,
– George

Updated: Cubs Top 20 Prospects

MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo has done an updated top 100 prospects lists as well as each organizations top 20.  Mayo will probably come out with a list prior to the 2013 season, but here is where Cubs prospects stand as of now according to Mayo.  To check out the entire top 100 list and to read a little more on these Cubs prospects.

1. Javier Baez – SS (#24)
When the Cubs picked Almora they new his bat was going to play and that is exactly what happened.  The Cubs top pick from 2011 was outstanding in his time with Peoria this year hitting .333/.383/.596 with 12 home runs, 33 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.  He struggled a bit when moving to Daytona, but overall it was very successful season for the young shortstop.
2. Albert Almora – OF (#52)
The Cubs top pick in this years draft didn’t sign right away, but when he did he didn’t disappoint.  He started with the AZL Cubs and moved to Boise shortly after.  Combined he played in 33 games hitting .321/.331/.464 with two home runs and 19 RBIs.  He also hit 12 doubles.
3. Brett Jackson – OF (#74)
It has been an interesting year for Brett Jackson who has dropped a bit in the prospect watch.  The good news first he has made it to the show and when he makes contact does some damage as he left Iowa with 22 doubles, 12 triples, and 15 home runs, to go along with 27 stolen bases.  He also plays great defense, the bad news is he has really struggled making contact striking out over 200 times between his two stops.
4. Arodys Vizcaino – RHP (#76)
Vizcaino was considered one the Braves best young pitchers and was deemed untouchable last year.  Things changed a bit this year as he missed the entire season after elbow surgery in March.  The Cubs are very pleased to have acquired Vizcaino, but it remains to be seen how he will recover from surgery.  Lets hope it is as a starter, but at the least he is a power arm out of the pen which the Cubs need badly as well.
5. Jorge Soler – OF (#77)
Jorge Soler did quite well in getting accustomed to baseball in America.  He is still very raw, but at 20 the Cubs feel very strongly he will be a big contributor to the big club in the future.  He spent time with the AZL Cubs and moved to Peoria where he finished the year.  He combined to hit .299/.398/.463 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in just 34 games.
6. Matt Szczur – OF
The speedy outfielder had a nice season in Daytona hitting .295/.394/.407 with 38 stolen bases, but struggled a bit in 35 games with Tennessee.
7. Trey McNutt – RHP
McNutt did not have the year he was looking to have going 9-8 with 4.26 ERA.  He struggled a bit and was moved to the bullpen, but maybe it will be better for him and the Cubs.
8. Junior Lake -SS
Lake played the entire year in Tennessee and did a pretty good job going .279/.341/.432 with 10 home runs, 50 RBIs, and 21 stolen bases.  He is still very raw and will continue to work on his game.
9. Pierce Johnson – RHP
The Cubs took Johnson with the 43rd overall pick in this years draft and he did quite well making six starts, two with the AZL Cubs and four with Boise.
10. Josh Vitters – 3B
The former first round pick, number 3 overall finally put it all together this year in Iowa hitting .304/.356/.513 with 17 home runs and 68 RBIs.  The PCL All Star got the call up, but has struggled so far with the Cubs, but at only 23 the future is still very bright for Vitters.
11. Dillon Maples – RHP
It took a while for Maples to make his first appearance, but when he did he showed signs of what he could be.  He was a bit inconsistent in his six appearances, but he will have more opportunities next season to show what he has.  He has tremendous upside.
12. Robert Whitenack – RHP
Coming off of Tommy John surgery Whitenack struggled pitching for Daytona going 1-6 with a 5.96 ERA.  Although the numbers don’t look good, remember he is coming off of major surgery and has good upside.
13. Dan Vogelbach – 1B
Not many Cubs prospects did as much damage as Vogelbach did this year.  The big first baseman played in 61 games this season between the AZL Cubs and Boise Hawks.  He hit .322/.410/.641 with 17 home runs and 62 RBIs.
14. Ben Wells – RHP
A 2010 draft pick the 19-year-old Wells missed most of the season with a right elbow strain.  He made a few appearances at the end of the year, but will look to stay healthy in 2013.
 15. Paul Blackburn – RHP
Another 2012 draft pick Paul Blackburn was chosen 56th overall out of high school.  He made nine appearances for the AZL Cubs going 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA.
16. Jeimer Candelario – 3B
Candelario played the entire season at Boise and at only 18 the corner infielder showed he can hit a little bit.  The switch hitting Candelario hit .281/.345/.396 with six home runs and 47 RBIs.
17. Gioskar Amaya – 2B/SS
Amaya played his season in Boise and put up some good numbers.  He his .298/.381/.496.  The 19-year old filled up the stat sheet with six doubles, 12 triples, and eight home runs.  He also drove in 33 and stole 15 bases.
18. Tony Zych – RHP
Zych shared time between Daytona and Tennessee out of the bullpen.  He combined to going 5-4 with a 3.67 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 61.1 innings.
19. Alberto Cabrera – RHP
Cabrera, who moved to the bullpen this year started in Double-A, but quickly moved to Triple-A before finally ending up with the big club.  His minor league numbers were really good going 4-1 with 3.11 ERA with 74 strikeouts to only 14 walks.  He has struggled since coming to the Cubs, but we’ll see where he factors in going forward.
20. Marcus Hatley – RHP
Hatley pitched well in Tennessee out of the bullpen going 3-1 with a 3.40 with 46 strikeouts in 45 innings.  He then got the call to Iowa where he struggled in his time there.

It is good to see the Cubs have five players who are inside the top 80 in MLB.  You can also see the emphasis the Cubs placed on pitching, drafting Pierce Johnson and Paul Blackburn in this years draft as well as bringing in Arodys Vizcaino in the Paul Maholm deal.  Looking a little further into things is the talent Theo Epstein and company brought in this year.  They obviously brought in the three pitchers above as well as Albert Almora and Jorge Soler.  three of those five are inside the Cubs top five and Pierce Johnson makes it four in the top 10.  The exciting thing is there are more who they brought in who I would guess are close to cracking this top 20 and who may even show up in the top 20 before the 2013 season gets underway.  Keep checking back this offseason as we will talk more in-depth about these prospects as well as many more.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

AZL Cubs Season Comes To An End

 

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The tough thing about a one game playoff series is there are no second chances, and that’s exactly what the AZL Cubs wanted after this one.  The Cubs committed six errors and were generally sloppy all night as they fell to the Athletics 15-3 and were eliminated from the playoffs.

Paul Blackburn got the start for the Cubs and was decent over the first three innings giving up three runs on four hits while striking out three.  The Cubs were in a 3-0 hole early but got right back into it with two runs in the fourth to cut the deficit to one, unfortunately that’s as close as they would get.  The A’s scored seven times in the fateful 6th inning that saw three walks, and two wild pitches from Cubs pitching.  The A’s would add three more in the 7th and one final tally in the 8th to put this one to bed.  Carlos Penalver had a great game at the plate going 3-for-4, but hit with no one on all night.  Trevor Gretzky also had a solid game at the plate going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI’s.  Juan Paniagua was the bright spot out of the Cubs pen as he tossed two strong innings giving up one run, unearned, on one hit while walking two and striking out one.

Unfortunately the Cubs were not playing with a full deck as Shawon Dunston Jr. was unable to go tonight, I’m sure he wanted to but the organization was being cautious with him after he was hit by a pitch earlier this week.  Great season from the Cubs, they crushed the ball all year, unfortunately they didn’t have enough to get past the A’s.  Most of these players will head to instructional leagues during the off-season, we will keep you up to date on their progress all off-season and have a season recap in the next few days.

Thanks for reading,
– George

8/25: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Saturday’s minor league recap.

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It was a game of big innings early, until the ninth when the AZL Cubs walked off with another win, this time 8-7.  Paul Blackburn started, but wasn’t at his best giving up three runs on four hits in three innings of work.  Rafael Dolis and Jasvir Rakkar each pitched an inning allowing two runs a piece.  Ethan Elias did a great job keeping the Giants at seven runs as pitched the next three innings allowing no runs on no hits, while walking two and striking out four.  The good luck charm Steve Perakslis improved his record to 4-0 as he got the win after pitching a scoreless ninth.  The Cubs had a lot of nice days offensively.  Carlos Penalver and Yasiel Balaguert each had two hits and drove in two a piece.  Ben Carhart was 2-for-6 with a walk off single and Shawon Dunston had one hit, a double and three RBIs.  Trevor Gretzky and David Bote both contributed with two hits and combined two score three runs for the Cubs.  Daniel Lockhart and Garrett Schlecht each had a hit and an RBI in the Cubs victory.  The victory clinched a spot in the playoffs for the Cubs.

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Boise got out to a quick start and held on to beat Vancouver 8-6.  After a recent struggle Jeimer Candelario appears to have broken out as he went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs scored, and three RBIs.  Stephen Bruno stayed red-hot going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.  Dan Vogelbach also had two hits, including a double and an RBI.  Wilson Contreras and Gioskar Amaya each had a hit with Contreras knocking in two and Amaya one.  Albert Almora left the game early with an apparent injury, but I have no word yet as to what the problem was.  Ian Dickson started, but did not factor in the decision as was only able to last 4.1 innings as he allowed four runs on seven hits.  Hunter Ackerman did get the victory as he threw the next 2.2 innings giving up one run and striking out five.  Eduardo Orozco got the ball to Nathan Dorris and Dorris closed out the win and the second half for Boise.  With the victory Boise is the second half winners and are headed to the playoffs.

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A three run fourth was enough for Joseph Zeller and the Cubs bullpen as they beat Wisconsin 3-2.  Zeller pitched quite well giving up one run on seven hits in six innings.  Sheldon McDonald pitched the next two innings allowing one run, but got the ball to Larry Suarez who notched his fifth save of the season striking out two in a scoreless ninth.  Timothy Saunders had another nice night going 2-for-4 with a homer and a double.  Chadd Krist also hit a home run, a two run shot in the fourth inning.  Oliver Zapata had a hit, two walks, and two stolen bases and Zeke DeVoss also added a hit in the Chiefs win.

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Daytona lost game one to Tampa 3-2.  Although they only had three hits, they threatened late, but couldn’t finish.  Ronald Torreyes, Elieser Bonne, and Vladimir Frias were the only Cubs to have hits on Saturday.  Nelson Perez drove in the two Cubs runs in game one without the benefit of a hit.  Eduardo Figueroa started, but took a no decision as didn’t give up a run in four inning, while striking out six.  Matt Spencer took the loss as he really struggled with his command walking five and allowing all three of the Yankees runs to score in just 0.2 innings.  Matt Iannazzo finished game one out throwing a scoreless 1.1 innings.

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Daytona returned the favor in game two as Ryan Searle and staff only allowed three hits in a 4-1 win.  Searle started and pitched pretty good going five innings allowing one run on three hits and striking out five.  From there Jeff Lorick pitched a scoreless sixth and Scott Weismann notched his fourth save of the season throwing a perfect seventh.  John Andreoli and Ronald Torreyes hit one-two in the order and set the table of the Cubs in this one.  Torreyes was 2-for-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and an RBI.  John Andreoli was also 2-for-4 with a double, triple, and two runs scored.  Rebel Ridling had two hits of his own and drove in one run and Nelson Perez drove in another run, again not having a hit.  Javier Baez broke through with a double in the victory.

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Mobile scored one in the ninth to tie it and got one in the 10th to beat Tennessee 4-3.  Nicholas Struck was in line for the win pitching seven innings, allowing two runs, one earned on six hits, while striking out six.  Zach Rosscup did his job getting the ball to Frank Batista, but Batista couldn’t get the save in this one allowing the ninth inning run.  Casey Harman took the loss allowing an unearned run in the 10th.  Rubi Silva had a nice night at the plate going 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.  Jae-Hoon Ha had three hits and Junior Lake had two hits and a run scored.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-5 with a home run for the Smokies in the tough loss on Saturday.

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Things have been better for Iowa as of late and Saturday was no different as they beat Oklahoma City 4-1.  Ty’Relle Harris started and got the win pitching six strong innings.  He allowed one run on four hits while striking out six.  Miguel Socolovich and Jeff Beliveau each pitched a perfect frame to get the ball to Jairo Asencio who struck out two and pitched a scoreless ninth to record his fifth save of the season.  The Cubs had a few nice nights offensively on Saturday starting with Diory Hernandez who had a home run and three RBIs.  Dave Sappelt was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Matt Tolbert also had two hits with a run scored.  Greg Rohan and Jeff Frazier each had two hits a piece with Frazier having two doubles and Rohan having one.  It is good to see Iowa finishing the season strong.

It was an exciting night, Congrats to Boise Hawks and the AZL Cubs in clinching a playoff birth.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/20: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Monday, August 20 Cubs minor league report.  After a couple days of being rained out Daytona had a scheduled off day on Monday.

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The AZL Cubs dropped Monday night’s game to the Padres 5-1.  The good new first, Paul Blackburn started and pitched well.  He pitched four innings allowing no runs on two hits and four strike outs.  The bad news now, Rafael Dolis gave up three runs, two earned in 1.1 innings in taking the loss.  Arturo Maltos-Garcia couldn’t keep the game close allowing two runs in just .2 innings and Daniel Adrian pitched the final two innings on Monday.  The Cubs didn’t do much offensively, but there were a few bright spots.  Carlos Penalver and Yasiel Balaguert were each 2-for-4 and Penalver scored a run.  Danie Lockhart and Justin Marra each had a hit with Marra driving in the only Cubs run in the game.  David Bote and Trevor Gretzky each had a hit in the loss.  The Cubs will look to get back on track tomorrow.

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Boise got off to a great start on Monday, but gave up six runs in the last three innings to lose 8-7.  Ian Dickson started and pitched five innings, giving up two unearned runs on three hits, while striking out four.  Hunter Ackerman had a tough night, giving up four runs on three hits in 2.2 innings.  Tyler Bremer was the losing pitcher in this one as he gave up two runs.  Dan Vogelbach had a nice night at the plate going 3-for-4 with a home run.  Marco Hernandez hit a home run hit his fifth home run of the season and drove in two RBIs.  Trey Martin also drove in two runs and Xavier Batista had an RBI as well.  Stephen Bruno continued his hot stretch at the plate going 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored.  Albert Almora ended the night with one hit and Wilson Contreras had a hit and an RBI.  It was not a good loss for the Hawks, but tomorrow is a new day.

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Wisconsin ambushed Joseph Zeller and the Chiefs beating Peoria 8-1.  Zeller struggled giving up seven runs, five earned on 10 hits in six innings.  Willengton Cruz and Luis Liria pitched the final two innings combining to give up one unearned run.  On the offensive side Timothy Saunders continued to rake going 2-for-4 and he is now hitting .371 since going to Peoria.  Zeke DeVoss was also had two hits, one being a double.  Bijan Rademacher was 1-for-3 driving in the lone Chiefs run of the night.  Jacob Rogers and Pin-Chieh Chen each had a hit in the loss on Monday.

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With the game tied at one, Tennessee put up four in the eighth and defeated Chattanooga 5-1.  Nicholas Struck got the start and did a real nice job pitching six strong innings.  He gave up one run on six hits, walking two, and striking out three.  After Trey McNutt pitched a scoreless seventh, Brian Schlitter cam in and got the win, pitching the final two innings of this one.  Junior Lake had a nice night offensively going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  Michael Brenly also had a double and he drove in two runs of his own.  Jae-Hoon Ha and Rubi Silva each had two hits and Ha scored a run.  Logan Watkins and Justin Bour each had a hit and scored a run in the win.

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After a nice stretch for Iowa they lost to Memphis on Monday 11-3.  Ty’Relle Harris got the start, but didn’t last long giving up three runs, two earned in just four innings.  Jay Jackson gave up a run in his two innings of work before giving the ball to Michael Hatley who really struggled.  Hatley didn’t record an out, but gave up six runs on three hits and four walks.  Esmailin Caridad and Brian Esposito finished off the game for Iowa combining to pitch the last three innings.  Offensively the Cubs had a few nice performances.  Greg Rohan and James Adduci each had two hits and each had an RBI in the loss.  Alfredo Amezaga and Blake Lalli also had two hits a piece and each also scored a run.  Tony Campana and Dave Sappelt both had a hit and Matt Tolbert had an RBI in the loss.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/13: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Here is a look at the Cubs minor league affiliates on Monday, August 13.  Daytona and Tennessee each had the night off.

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The AZL Cubs just exploded pounding out 25 hits and scoring 17 runs beating Reds 17-7.  I don’t even know where to start with this one, except make sure to look at the full box score because I won’t be able to mention all the awesome things that happened in this one.  Albert Almora led the way going 5-for-6 with a triple, three runs scored, and three RBIs.  Garrett Schlect had two doubles and drove in three and Daniel Lockhart hit his first home run and drove in three as well.  Carlos Penalver was 4-for-6 with three runs scored and Yasiel Balaguert was the only Cub to not have a multi-hit game, but he did knock in three of his own.  Trevor Gretzky, Shawon Dunston, and Justin Marra all had three hits a piece, with Dunston adding two RBIs and Marra driving in one.  David Bote also had two hits.  There I think I got through all of the offensive numbers.  Paul Blackburn started, but did not have his best outing allowing four runs, three earned in two innings.  On a positive Dillon Maples was spectacular pitching three scoreless innings allowing only two hits while striking out five.  Chad Martin and Ryan Hartman also pitched in this landslide victory.

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A nine run eighth was way too much for Boise to overcome losing 11-4 on Monday night.  Jose Arias pitched six innings allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out four.  He left in line for the win and after Willengton Cruz pitched a scoreless seventh things were looking good.  Good turned to really bad when Hayden Simpson came on in relief.  He had a terrible outing giving up eight run, six earned on six hits all the while only recording one out.  He obviously took the loss as there was no way the Hawks were going to come back from that.  Offensively speaking there were some good things to come out of the Monday nights loss.  Jeimer Candelario was 3-for-4, raising his average to .294.  Marco Hernandez had two hits of his own, including a triple and an RBI.  Stephen Bruno and Wilson Contreras had a hit and an RBI a piece while Gioskar Amaya added two hits from the leadoff spot.

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Peoria tied the game at two in the top of eighth, but gave one up in the bottom half and lost 3-2 to Beloit.  Yao-Lin Wang started and pitched pretty good going six innings allowing two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out four.  Austin Reed took the loss allowing one unearned run in his two innings of work.  Jorge Soler went 2-for-3 with a double and a run scored.  Oliver Zapata added a double and an RBI on the evening.  Zeke DeVoss, Chadd Krist, and Bijan Rademacher all had one hit a piece in the Chiefs loss on Monday.

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Iowa’s pitchers struggled big time in this one as the Cubs lost 14-7.  Ryan Rowland-Smith started and took the loss giving up five runs in four inning.  Jaye Chapman, Seth McClung and Brian Esposito all pitched and gave up multiple runs each.  Jay Jackson was the only Cubs pitcher to come out unscathed recording two outs.  Offensively speaking Tony Campana had a nice night going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two stolen bases.  Greg Rohan and Dave Sappelt each had a hit and two RBIs in the loss to Las Vegas on Monday night.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/8: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Sorry this is getting up later than normal, but here is Wednesday’s minor league recap.

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The AZL Cubs pick up where they left off beating the Dodgers 5-2.  Paul Blackburn started and pitched two innings giving up two unearned runs on four hits, while striking out two.  Chad Martin got his first win of the season pitching two scoreless innings.  Dillon Maples then went to the mound and struck out three in his two innings of scoreless baseball.  Corbin Hoffner then pitched two scoreless followed by Ryan Hartman notching his second save of the season.  Offensively Davie Bote had a really nice game going 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs.  Treveor Gretzky was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.  Shawon Dunston also added two hit, including a triple and he drove in a run.  Albert Almora had a hit and an RBI, his seventh of the season.

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Another night and another win for Boise beating Everett 8-6.  Dan Vogelbach hit another home run, this one a two-run shot.  Rock Shoulders also hit a home run, his was a grand slam.  Jeimer Candelario had a hit and an RBI of his own.  Wilson Contreras was the only Hawks player to have a multi-hit game ending the night 2-for-4.  Gioskar Amaya only had one hit, but did score three runs.  Jose Arias pitched good enough to get the win, but did allow three runs on four hits while striking out six.  Hayden Simpson pitched three innings allowing three runs, but struck out four and Eduardo Orozco preserved the lead notching his third save pitching a scoreless ninth.

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Peoria gave up four in the eighth and one in the ninth to put the game into extra innings.  It took until the 14th when the Chiefs put up two, Burlington came right back and scored three and won the game 9-8.  Timothy Saunders went 2-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs, and two stolen bases.  Paul Hoilman also had two hits, including a home run and two RBIs.  Dustin Geiger added two hits and three RBIs and Zeke DeVoss went 3-for-7 with two runs scored and a stolen base.  Yao-Lin Wang got the start and pitched outstanding going six strong innings.  he allowed only one run on three hits and struck out 10 without walking a batter.  Luis Liria and Austin Reed both struggled combining to allow five runs in three innings.  Sheldon McDonald pitched three nice innings, but Pete Levitt took the loss allowing all three runs in the 14th.  It really should have never gotten to extra innings, but then to take a lead there and still lose is a tough pill to swallow.

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Daytona was postponed due to rain.

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Huntsville scored three in the first and three more in the third and never looked back beating Tennessee 7-2.  Junior Lake was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, he is now hitting .288.  Matt Szczur went 1-for-5 with a triple and an RBI.  In really good new Jae-Hoon Ha was back on the field for the first time since his scary collision with an unpadded wall that led to a concussion.  He ended the night 1-for-4.  Dallas Beeler started and took the loss giving up six runs, five earned in the just three innings pitched.  Casey Harman pitched three nice innings allowing only one run on three hits and striking out two.  Casey Weathers, Tony Zych, and Frank Batista combined to pitch the last three scoreless innings.  It was really nice to see Ha back on the field, hope he can stay there the rest of the way.

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The game was tied at one going to the extra innings, but Reno scored four in the 10th and beat Iowa 5-1.  Ryan Rowland-Smith got the start and pitched beautifully allowing one run on only two hits in six innings of work.  Blake Parker continues hit rehab pitching one scoreless inning.  Jay Jackson pitched two good innings, but struggled in the 10th allowing four runs in taking the loss.  Greg Rohan did not have a hit, but drove in the lone Cubs run.  Dave Sappelt was 1-for-4 with a double and Matt Tolbert was the only Cubs player with a multi-hit game going 2-for-2 with a double of his own.

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

8/3: Around the Cubs Minor League System

Minor league recap for August 3, 2012.

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The AZL Cubs continued their tear beating the AZL D-Backs for their fifth straight victory.  It wasn’t as easy as it should have been however as the D-Backs scored five times in the ninth, but the Cubs hang on to win 7-5.  Dillon Maples made his second start on his road to recovery and turned in some solid work going 1.2 innings only allowing one hit while walking two and striking out one.  Paul Blackburn, one of two 2012 supplemental draft picks continued his strong season.  Blackburn worked 3.1 innings allowing only one hit while walking one and striking out two to earn his second victory of the season and lower his ERA to 1.86.  2012 draft picks Corbin Hoffner and Jasvir Rakkar also worked scoreless innings.  It was another night of fireworks from the AZL Cubs offense.  Albert Almora, who is on fire right now, went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.  Shawon Dunston, and Ben Carhart each had two hits on the night with Carhart recording his 8th double of the season.  Jacob Rogers had a big night at the plate as well going 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI, a walk, and three runs scored.

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The Boise Hawks raced out to a 4-0 lead, and held a 5-2 lead by the 5th inning but couldn’t hang on as Spokane plated three runs in the 8th on their way to a 6-5 win.  Jose Arias didn’t get very deep into this one for the Hawks as he tossed 2.2 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out three.  Arias left with the lead, but Hayden Simpson couldn’t hang onto it.  Simpson worked 4.1 innings giving up three runs on six hits while striking out six.  Eduardo Orozco only gave up only one run in his inning of work, but that was the deciding run as Orozco was hung with his first loss of the season.  Gioskar Amaya had another solid night at the plate, what else is new?  Amaya was 2-for-4 with his ninth triple of the season, an RBI, a walk, and a run scored, he is now hitting .315.  Daniel Vogelbach continued to be a doubles machine as he was 1-for-3 at the plate with his 5th double while with Boise.  Rock Shoulders had a productive night as well going 1-for-4 with his 6th home run of the season, a two run shot.

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The Chiefs jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead against Quad Cities but couldn’t hang as they fell 4-2.  Yao-Lin Wang continued his transition to the starting rotation as he went 5.1 innings giving up two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out six.  Wang left with the game tied at two, and unfortunately Jeffry Antigua could keep the River Bandits off the board.  Antigua went 1.2 innings giving up two runs on three hits while striking out two earning his first loss of the season.  Javier Baez continued his assault on Single-A pitching in the loss as he was 2-for-4 with his 12th home run of the season, he also stole his 20th base.  Baez is now hitting .336 on the season, and there are whispers that he is close to earning a promotion.  Zeke DeVoss had a solid night at the top of the Chiefs order going 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

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The D-Cubs fell behind early, and couldn’t dig out of that hole as they dropped this one to Dunedin 6-2.  Kyler Burke started for the D-Cubs, and was responsible for that hole I was talking about.  Burke gave up three runs in the first and then settled down after that.  He went five innings giving up three runs on four hits while walking two and striking out four.  Hunter Cervenka had a rare awful outing as he struggled with his command in two innings of work, walking four and giving up three runs, two earned.  Rubi Silva continued his strong 2012 season at the plate going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, he is now hitting .302 on the campaign.   Christian Villanueva followed up his stellar Cubs debut by going 1-for-4 with a double and a spectacular catch in the field that I’m hoping to get video of shortly.

***

Smokies postponed, again.

FULL BOX SCORE

Things seem to go from bad to worse for Iowa each night.  Tonight was no different as the I-Cubs battled Colorado Springs all game before surrendering three runs in the top of the ninth to lose 4-1.  Ryan Rowland-Smith got the start tonight and was outstanding as he went six strong innings giving up one run on two hits while walking three and striking out six.  Jaye Chapman, who was acquired from the Braves a couple of days ago took the loss as he was knocked around in the ninth.  Chapman worked one inning giving up three runs on three hits while walking one, he fell to 0-1 on the season.  The I-Cubs were dreadful with runners in scoring position, and they had plenty of chances too, when it was all said and done they were 0-for-10 in the loss.  Josh Vitters had a big night once again for Iowa, he went 3-for-4 with his 32nd double of the season.  Vitters is now hitting .304 on the season as he continues to try to force the Cubs hand and give them no choice but to award him the promotion he deserves.  Dylan Heuer has some great photo’s from the game, head on over to his website to check them out!

Thanks for reading,
– George

Minor League Monthly: July 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for Reading,
-Mark

7/29: Around the Cubs Minor League System

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

FULL BOX SCORE

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.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

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.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

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.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

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.

****

FULL BOX SCORE

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

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