Results tagged ‘ Pierce Johnson ’

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

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TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014

Iowa 4-22-14

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

At the Plate:

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

On the Mound:

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

Kane County 4-22-14

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

At the Plate:

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

On the Mound:

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

Daytona 4-22-14

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

At the Plate:

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

On the Mound:

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

Smokies 4-22-14

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

At the Plate:

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

On the Mound:

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

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Cubs land 7 players on MLB.com Top 100

Last night MLB Network aired a special to unveil the MLB.com top 100 prospects for 2014, and the Cubs were all over that list.  It was fun listening to the likes of Jim Callis, and Jonathan Mayo gush about how many good, young players the Cubs have waiting in the wings.  A total of seven players graced the list, here is a breakdown of each player, and some analysis.

** Players are graded on a 20-80 scale for future tools — 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average (MLB.com/Prospects rating scale)

Pierce Johnson Top 100

#100 – Right handed pitcher, Pierce Johnson (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 55

Johnson was drafted in the supplemental round of the 2012 MLB Draft, 43rd overall by the Cubs.  2013 was Johnson’s first full professional season, and it was impressive.  Johnson pitched over two levels and actually found more success with Daytona which was the higher level.  Overall for 2013 Johnson went 11-6 with a 2.74 ERA while starting 21 games and appearing in 23.  In 118.1 innings Johnson only allowed 109 hits, 5 home runs (5!), while walking 43 and striking out 124.  I mentioned more success at Daytona, with the D-Cubs, Johnson worked 48.2 innings allowing only one home run with a sparkling 2.22 ERA.

Arismendy Alcantara Top 100

#89 – 2B/SS, Arismendy Alcantara (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: 
Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 60 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 55

Alcantara seemingly came out of nowhere in 2013 but in reality the talent has always been there it was just a matter of everything coming together at once.  With a brilliant 2013 season Alcantara cemented his status as the Cubs second baseman of the future, and will probably be seen on the North Side this upcoming season.  Alcantara played all of 2013 with the Smokies at the double A level and really showcased his all around game.  In just under 500 at bats Alcantara hit .271 with a .352 on base percentage and a .451 slugging percentage which was good for an .804 OPS.  Couple those on base numbers with the 31 stolen bases he had and he becomes a legitimate threat at the top of the order.  Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus says that Alcantara reminds him of Jose Reyes-lite, well, that works.

Jorge Soler Top 100

#49 – OF, Jorge Soler (21 years old)
Scouting Grades: 
Hit: 55 | Power: 65 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 55 | Overall: 60

Now we start getting into the meat and potatoes of the Cubs prospects, first up Jorge Soler.  I’ve seen Soler play in person a number of times, and he is an impressive specimen.  He looks more like a football player than a baseball player, but he makes it work.    Injuries derailed his 2013 season as he was only able to get 210 at bats with the Daytona Cubs.  Soler produced for the Minor League team of the year as he cracked 8 home runs, and had 35 RBI’s.  Those numbers are down a bit, again he is still adjusting to the professional game, and is only 21.  Jason Parks chimed in on Soler as well saying that his is slow to adjust, is the most likely of Cubs prospects to “miss” which I think makes sense given his raw ability, still a high ceiling though.

CJ Edwards Top 100

#42 – RHP, C.J. Edwards (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: 
Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 50 | Control: 55 | Overall: 60

Oh, hello CJ Edwards.  That’s right, after an amazing 2013 season, Edwards has vaulted past Jorge Soler on this list.  Baseball Prospectus also had Edwards ranked as the #3 player in the Cubs organization, ahead of Soler, and Albert Almora.  Edwards wasn’t even with the Cubs at this time last year, he was one of four, yes four players acquired from Texas in the Matt Garza deal.  The 2013 season saw Edwards give up one home run, one, just one…. take that Pierce Johnson.  For 2013 Edwards tossed 116.1 innings combined at the high A level for Texas and Chicago, he only gave up 76 hits.  He finished with a 8-2 record and a 1.86 ERA while walking 41 and striking out 155, goodnight!  Jason Parks doesn’t see Edwards with a huge ceiling but Jim Callis said that Edwards could be the top of the rotation guy the Cubs need.

Albert  Almora Top 100

#18 – OF, Albert Almora (19 years old)
Scouting Grades: 
Hit: 65 | Power: 55 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 75 | Overall: 60

When it’s all said and done Albert Almora might the favorite player of a lot of fans.  While Almora doesn’t have any tools that jump off the page at you (except for his glove I guess) he plays well above them, that’s exactly what Jim Callis said last night.  Almora is a baseball player, run through the wall, do whatever it takes to win, baseball player.  Because of his 100% all the time playing style he suffered a number of injuries in 2013 which kind of disjointed his season.  Almora spent all of 2013 at Kane County but only got 249 at bats due to said injuries, but he made the most of them.  He hit .329 with 17 doubles, four triples, three homers, and 23 RBI’s.  His slash numbers were even more impressive, he had a .379 on base percentage, and a .466 slugging percentage which was good for an .842 OPS.  I think Almora will become more patient at the plate as he gets older but right now he’s fine, he walked 17 times last year and only struck out 30 times, expect to see Almora on the North Side in 2016.

Kris Bryant Top 100

#9 – 3B, Kris Bryant (22 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 70 | Run: 40 | Arm: 60 | Field: 50 | Overall: 65

Kris Bryant seems to be on the fast track, one reason is that he is far more advanced than the other Cubs prospects on this list, the other is he mashes the baseball.  Bryant made it to three different levels in just 36 games, that’s ridiculous, he also hit at every level.  Then he went on to the Arizona Fall League and destroyed the ball in earning accolades such as the MVP award.  Bryant had 128 at bats in 2013 not counting the Arizona Fall League and his a combined .336 with 9 home runs, and 32 RBI’s, extrapolate that, good Lord.  Walking is something that Bryant hasn’t done a lot of right now, but it’s hard to argue with the .390 on base percentage, .719 slugging percentage and 1.106 OPS.  The numbers are eye-popping, and the Cubs aren’t shy about moving Bryant wherever he deserves to go, and many believe that could be as early as 2015.  Given Bryant’s defensive ability and bat it’s not out of the question that he moves to right field to keep 3B open for Baez, either way the Cubs will find a spot for that bat.

Javier Baez Top 100

#7 – SS, Javier Baez (21 years old)
Scouting Grades: Hit:
60 | Power: 70 | Run: 50 | Arm: 65 | Field: 50 | Overall: 65

If you’re not excited about Javier Baez, first off, where have you been, secondly, it’s about time you are.  Baez destroy minor league baseball last year at both high A and double A.  There wasn’t a more feared hitter in baseball, in 517 at bats Baez crushed 37 home runs, and had 111 RBI’s with a total of 75 extra-base hits.  He has been burdened with high expectations and all he has done is create new ones which are even higher.  Surveying the top prospect lists for 2014 the number seven ranking is going to be the “worst” for Baez.  Jason Parks slots him at number four but said there really isn’t a good reason why he shouldn’t be number one, that’s in all of baseball.  Many people are expecting Baez to make his Cubs debut this upcoming season, the plan right now is for him to start in triple A as Iowa’s shortstop.  Moving forward, given Baez’s defensive issues he might move to 3B but again, that really has a lot to do with how other players develop as well.

Prospects are just that, a young player that has expectation or is projected to have some sort of impact at the Major League level.  There really is no such thing as a sure thing in this game, and that goes for Cubs prospects as well.  As good as these players are there is no guarantee that any or all of them will make it to the Cubs, and be an impact player like they are projected.  That said, Cubs fans have had little to get excited about recently and this is definitely a list that you can not only get excited about but truly believe that there is some hope in the near future.

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Born on Third; Minor Matters July 6, 2013

Kane County Cougars (1991 - Pres)

Kane County 7-6 line

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At The Plate – Not much happening for the Cougars at the plate in this one as they were shut out and could only manage three hits the whole night.  Albert Almora was 1-for-2 in the loss and also had to leave the game early with an apparent leg/hamstring injury, he briefly stayed in the game but came out the next inning.  Marco Hernandez and Carlos Escobar each had one hit, all three Cougars hits were singles.

On The MoundJose Rosario got the start and also the loss, his fifth of the season as he was roughed up.  Rosario worked five innings giving up five runs on six hits while walking four (not good) and striking out one.  Sheldon McDonald was outstanding in relief going three scoreless innings giving up one hit while striking out three.  Michael Hamann worked one inning out of the pen and got into some trouble before escaping unscathed, he worked one scoreless inning giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.

Daytona 7-6 line

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At The Plate – Daytona was cruising in this one as they led 6-0 into the bottom of the eighth inning, that’s when thing got uncomfortable.  Dunedin put five runs on the board in the bottom of the eighth to get within one, luckily the D-Cubs stopped the bleeding and held on to win 6-5.  Zeke DeVoss was productive out of the lead off spot going 3-for-5 with three RBI’s.  Ben Carhart continues his solid 2013 as he went 3-for-5 with two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .277 on the season with 38 RBI’s.  Bijan Rademacher was 2-for-4 with two doubles, and an RBI, those are his first two doubles since being called up to Daytona (17 AB).  Pin-Chieh Chen was 1-for-2 with two walks (Cubs Way!), a triple, and two runs scored.

On The MoundPierce Johnson got the start in this one and picked up his first win with Daytona in his third start.  Johnson worked five scoreless innings giving up five hits while walking one and striking out five.  Austin Reed was solid out of the pen as he worked two scoreless innings giving up one hit and walking one.  Jeffrey Lorick doesn’t have many bad games, this was one of them as he worked one inning giving up five runs on four hits while walking one and striking out two.  Dayan Diaz took over for Lorick and was barely able to hang on for the save which was the his first of the season.  Diaz worked one scoreless inning giving up three hits before escaping some big time trouble.

Tennessee 7-6 line

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At The Plate – The Smokies fell behind quickly in this one and could never recover as they were trailing 7-1 by the bottom of the fourth en route to an 8-2 defeat.  Not much going offensively but the big news from the day and the game was the debut of Javier Baez, he went 1-for-4 with his first AA home run on his first AA swing of that bat.  Christian Villanueva has put together a pretty decent season so far, he was 1-for-4 with his eleventh home run of the year, and his forty-second RBI.  Rubi Silva had a solid game going 2-for-4 with two singles, he’s now hitting .264 on the season.

On The MoundAustin Kirk got the start for the Smokies and had a rough go of it as he suffered his third loss of the season.  Kirk worked two innings giving up six runs on seven hits while walking three and striking out two.  Yeiper Castillo was outstanding out of the pen going five innings giving up one run on four hits while walking three and striking out four.  Kevin Rhoderick struggled with his command again in this one, he worked two innings giving up one run on one hit while walking three (the command thing).

Iowa 7-6 line

Full Box Score Game One / Full Box Score Game Two

At The Plate – Not a great day all around for Iowa as they lost both ends of the doubleheader to Albuquerque.  Logan Watkins was solid in game one going 2-for-4 with an RBI, and a walk, he also made his ninth error of the season.  Junior Lake continues his solid 2013 going 1-for-3 with two walks (Cubs Way!) in game one, he’s now hitting .319 on the season.  The Cubs worked six walks in game one (good!) however they were 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position (bad!).  Game two saw much of the same as the Cubs worked four walks, but could only manage five hits, and were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

On The MoundJake Arrieta made his Cubs debut in game one and was only able to work one inning before the rains came.  Arrieta struggled with his command as he gave up one run on one hit while walking two and striking out two in his inning of work.  Esmailin Caridad took over and also took the loss as he went three innings giving up two runs, one earned, while walking one and striking out two.  In game two Barret Loux was outstanding but still wound up on the losing end as the Cubs couldn’t muster any offense.  Loux went six innings giving up one run on four hits while walking four and striking out six.

Boise 7-6 line

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At The Plate – The Hawks were able to pound out ten hits in this one but couldn’t push across any runs except for in the third when they scored three times.  Daniel Lockhart had a solid game, minus one error, he was 2-for-4 with a run scored.  Yasiel Balaguert was 1-for-3 with a walk, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .272 on the season.  Jacob Rogers was the offense in this one as he was 2-for-4 with his third home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.  The Hawks only had five chances with runners in scoring position despite having ten hits, they finished the game going 2-for-5.

On The MoundJames Pugliese was finally roughed up, he worked five innings giving up five runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out six.  Scott Frazier was solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out one.  Zack Godley, and Matt Iannazzo each worked a scoreless inning in relief to keep the Hawks in the game during the late innings.

AZL Cubs 7-6

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Minor Matters – June 10, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 6-10 line

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At The Plate – Runs came early and often in this one as Iowa held a 6-5 lead after five innings, they added an insurance run, which they would need en route to a 7-6 victory of Oklahoma City. Solid offensive day for Iowa as eight of the nine guys in the starting lineup had at least one hit and the Cubs were 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position.  Logan Watkins was solid out of the leadoff spot going 2-for-5 with a double, and two RBI’s.  Brad Nelson had a huge day going 2-for-4 with two home runs, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.  All Junior Lake has done since coming back from injury is hit, he was 1-for-5 with his fifth double of the season, and two runs scored.  Ian Stewart has found some magic at the plate as of late, he was 1-for-3 in this one with a double, a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.

On The MoundYoanner Negrin is still getting stretched out as he makes his transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation; he made his third start of the season last night.  Negrin worked five innings giving up five runs on ten hits while walking two and striking out eight, he earned his first win of the season.  Casey Coleman continued his brilliance of the pen as he worked three scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out two.  Brian Schlitter worked a rocky ninth as he gave up one run on two hits while striking out one to earn his second save of the season.

Smokies 6-10 line

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At The Plate – Tough loss for Tennessee as they let a 3-0 lead get away in the sixth inning, and wound up losing 4-3 in walk off fashion in the ninth.  Arismendy Alcantara continued his stellar 2013 as he went 2-for-4 with a run scored, he’s now hitting .290 on the season.  Christian Villanueva also was 2-for-4 with a run scored, unfortunately the Smokies could do nothing with runners in scoring position going 1-for-8.  Rafael Lopez had a solid game going 2-for-4 with two doubles, that gives him fourteen on the season, he also had a run scored in the loss.

On The MoundA.J. Morris got the start for the Smokies and was outstanding going 5.1 innings giving up one run on two hits while striking out four.  Zach Rosscup is usually reliable, he was knocked around however as he worked one inning giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out one.  Trey McNutt is starting to turn things around, he was solid going 1.2 scoreless innings giving up one hit and striking out two.  Kevin Rhoderick continued to struggle and got the loss, he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up one run on one hit while walking one and striking out one.

Daytona 6-10 line

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At The PlateJavier Baez, that’s all you need to know.  These types of games don’t come around too often, in fact what Baez did was only the second time that it has been done in the 94 year history of the Florida State League.  Baez was 4-for-4 with FOUR home runs (FOUR!), seven RBI’s (SEVEN), and four runs scored, have a day, kid.  The huge night makes Baez’s numbers for the season look that much better, he’s hitting .291 with thirteen homers, and forty-four RBI’s, in a pitchers league.  Wow.

On The Mound – Rough go of it for Zach Cates, but he did give Daytona some innings, and picked up his sixth win of the season.  Cates worked six innings giving up four runs, three earned, on seven hits while striking out six.  Luis Liria was knocked around out of the pen as he worked one inning giving up two runs on two hits while walking three (Not Good), and striking out two.  Larry Suarez was tremendous out of the pen going 1.1 scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one.  Frank Del Valle worked the final two-thirds of an inning to pick up his fourth save of the year, he walked one and struck out two in the process.

Kane County 6-10 line

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At The Plate - Nothing going right for Kane County lately, and last night was no exception as they fell to Cedar Rapids 6-2.  The Cougars could only manage two runs on six hits, but did walk four times, unfortunately they were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.  Albert Almora was 1-for-4 in the loss with his seventh double of the season, he is now hitting .423 for the year.  Rock Shoulders found some hits last night, he was 2-for-4 with his twelfth double of the season, and a run scored.  Oliver Zapata was 2-for-3 with a run scored, he now has his average up to .270 on the season.

On The Mound - Pierce Johnson got the start and had one of his worst outings of 2013 as he suffered his fifth loss of the season.  Johnson worked 4.2 innings giving up five runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four.  Lendy Castillo took over and did a solid job of keeping the Cougars in it, he worked 3.1 innings giving up one run on three hits while striking out four.

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Minor Matters – June 5, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Kane County 6-5 line

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At The Plate – The Cougars had the bats working in this one, and they needed them as the Bee’s put the pressure on all game but Kane County was able to hang on for an 8-6 victory.  Oliver Zapata did some damage from the lead-off spot going 2-for-5 with two doubles, an RBI, and a run scored.  Dan Vogelbach had a huge game going 2-for-3 with his ninth home run of the season, two RBI’s, two walks (CUBS WAY!), a double, and three runs scored.  Jeimer Candelario, and Rock Shoulders each had two hits and an RBI in the win.  Reggie Golden is back, and healthy, that’s the most important thing, but he’s also hitting, he went 3-for-4 with two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .368 on the season.

On The Mound - Pierce Johnson got the start in this one and didn’t get much help from his defense, but was able to pick up his fourth win of the season.  Johnson worked five innings giving up four runs, two earned, on five hits while walking two and striking out five.  Eddie Orozco worked two innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking one and striking out two.  Felix Pena was outstanding going two scoreless innings giving up one hit while walking one and striking out three.

NOTES:  Smokies were rained out, Daytona was rained out, and Iowa was off.

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Minor Matters – May 29, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-29 line

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At The Plate – The Iowa Cubs fell behind quickly in this one, trailing 4-0 after two innings; they were able to cut the deficit to one by the fifth but couldn’t get any closer losing 4-3.  The Cubs left too many opportunities slip away as they were only 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position.  Brian Bogusevic was 1-for-4 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored, his 2013 has been spectacular, he’s now hitting .358 on the season.  Dave Sappelt was one of the few productive Cubs in this one, he was 1-for-3 with a walk, a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Brad Nelson and Logan Watkins were the only other Cubs to records RBI’s in the loss.

On The Mound – After a bumpy first two innings Nick Struck was able to settle down, he worked five innings giving up four runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out three.  Struck has struggled this year, his record fell to 3-4 on the season, while his 6.07 ERA is also underwhelming.  Casey Coleman took over and was brilliant, he worked three scoreless, hit-less, innings while walking two and striking out two, he definitely kept the Cubs in this one and gave them a chance to come back.

Smokies 5-29 line

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At The Plate – The Annual Rickwood Classic didn’t go the way the Smokies were hoping as they fell to Birmingham 6-3.  Arismendy Alcantara had a solid game going 3-for-4 with his first triple of the year, but also made a costly error, his eighteenth of the season.  Christian Villanueva has been on a steady upswing as of late, and it continued today as he was 1-for-4 with his seventeenth double of the season, two RBI’s, and a run scored.  Lance Rymel made a successful double A debut going 1-for-3 with a walk, and an RBI in the loss.

On The MoundYeiper Castillo is still adjusting to the jump in levels as he struggled again in his second start with Tennessee.  Castillo worked 3.2 innings giving up five runs, four earned, on five hits while walking two and striking out four.  A.J. Morris was solid in relief; he worked 3.1 innings giving up one run on three hits while striking out five.  Trey McNutt had a solid performance as he continues to lower his ERA; he worked one scoreless inning while striking out one, lowering his ERA to 4.98 on the season.

Daytona 5-29 line

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At The Plate – The Daytona Cubs couldn’t get much offense going in this one but they didn’t need it as pitching carried them to a 3-0 victory.  Zeke DeVoss had a solid day from the leadoff spot going 2-for-4 with two singles, and a run scored.  John Andreoli continues to hit, he was 2-for-3 with his sixth double of the season, an RBI, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .317 on the season.  Dustin Geiger was 1-for-3 with an RBI, his forty-third of the season, and he is hitting .311 as well, quite the year so far.

On The Mound –Daytona won this game on the mound, and they only needed two arms to do it.  Zach Cates got the start and was outstanding for his fifth win of the season, he worked six scoreless innings giving up five hits while walking one and striking out five.  Yao-Lin Wang was brilliant out of the pen, he worked three scoreless innings to earn his second save of the season giving up one hit while walking one and striking out five.

Kane County 5-29 line

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At The Plate – Kane County continues to struggle without Albert Almora as they could only generate one run on five hits in a 2-1 defeat.  Marco Hernandez was 2-for-4 with two singles, and a run scored in the loss.  Carlos Escobar was 2-for-4, both singles, and an RBI, and that was it for the Cougars as the only other hit came from Oliver Zapata, also a single.

On The MoundPierce Johnson might be filing a complaint for lack of run support soon; he was tagged with the loss in this one making his record 3-4 on the season despite a sparkling 2.89 ERA.  Johnson was solid going 5.2 innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out seven.  Justin Amlung got into trouble, but was able to pitch out of it for the most part; he worked 2.1 innings giving up one run on four hits while striking out two.

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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

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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 18, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-18 line

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At The Plate – The losing ways continue for the Iowa Cubs and they can blame themselves as they made four errors in the loss.  Logan Watkins was 1-for-4 with his seventh double of the season, and a run scored, he also made his fourth error of the season.  Ian Stewart got a rare start and made it count going 2-for-4 with a double, and a run scored.  Donnie Murphy was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the loss.

On The Mound –  Chris Rusin got the start and didn’t help himself as he made on of the errors, but he battled.  Rusin went 6.2 innings giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits while walking two and striking out three.  Zach Putnam worked out of Rusin’s trouble in the seventh getting the final out on strikeout.  Rafael Dolis worked a scoreless inning in relief giving up two hits while striking out one.  Blake Parker worked a scoreless inning as well giving up on hit while walking one and striking out one.

Smokies 5-18 line

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At The Plate –  The Smokies are on a roll again, with the win they are now three game above .500 for the season.  Matt Szczur shows up in every recap, he was 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and two runs scored, he is now hitting .304 on the season.  Ronald Torreyes was 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Arismendy Alcantara was all over the scoresheet in this one, he was 3-for-4 with his fifth home run of the season, two doubles, two RBI’s, and a run scored, he also made his fourteenth error of the season.  Anthony Giansanti also had a big day, and has been awesome since he was promoted to Tennessee, he was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, an RBI, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .353 on the season.

On The Mound –  Dallas Beeler got the start and his fourth win of the season as he was solid.  Beeler went six innings giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits while walking two and striking out six.  Trey McNutt got back on track working one scoreless inning giving up one hit while striking out two.  Kevin Rhoderick continues to struggle, he worked one inning giving up one run on two hits while walking one and striking out one.  Brian Schlitter worked the ninth for his second save of the season, he went one inning giving up one run, unearned, on two hits while striking out one.

Daytona 5-18 line

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At The Plate – Nice response the last few days from Daytona as the bats have woke up in a big way, fifteen more hits today in the victory.  The D-Cubs were only 5-for-20 with runners in scoring position in this one, but having twenty chances is rather impressive.  Zeke DeVoss has been struggling but had a solid game going 2-for-5 with two singles, he was picked off as well.  Javier Baez had another solid game going 3-for-5 with a double, an RBI, and a run scored.  Jorge Soler picked up right where he left off from yesterday, he was 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored.  Dustin Geiger also kept things rolling going 2-for-5 with yet another double, and a run scored.  Ben Carhart supplied the power in this one going 1-for-5 with his first home run of the season, three RBI’s, and a run scored.

On The Mound - Zach Cates got the start and picked up his fourth win of the season going 5.2 innings giving up three runs on five hits while walking two and striking out one.  David Cales was solid out of the pen going 2.1 innings giving up two runs, one earned, on three hits while walking one and striking out four.  Hunter Cervenka was solid again working a scoreless ninth for his fourth save of the season.

Kane County 5-18 line

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At The Plate – Another solid game between the Cougars and the high-powered Kernels, this time Kane County got the best of them winning 4-0.  Dan Vogelbach was 2-for-4 with his seventh double of the season, he’s now hitting .288 for the year.  Rock Shoulders has been coming back down to Earth as of late, can’t really blame him, but was solid in this one going 2-for-4 with his ninth home run of the season, an RBI, and a run scored.  Oliver Zapata provided some surprising offense out of the nine spot going 3-for-4 with his third home run of the season, two RBI’s, and two runs scored.

On The MoundPierce Johnson was brilliant in this one as he shut down the prospect laden Kernels.  Johnson went six scoreless innings giving up six hits while walking one and striking out nine to earn his second win of the season.  Justin Amlung was solid out of the pen going two scoreless innings while walking two and striking out three.  Jeffry Antigua closed the door in the ninth working a scoreless inning giving up on hit while striking out two.

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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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Minor Matters – May 1, 2013 (Cubs Minor League Reports)

Iowa 5-1 line

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At The Plate –   The Cubs couldn’t scratch out a run in this one as they could only manage four hits in a 1-0 loss.  Logan Watkins did nearly all the work today for Iowa as he was 3-for-3 with a walk, Ryan Sweeney was the only other Iowa player with a hit.  The Cubs were 1-for-4 with runners in scoring position but that one hit did not result in a run.

On The MoundChris Rusin was outstanding in this one, but saw his record fall to 1-3 with the loss.  Rusin went seven innings giving up one run on six hits while striking out five.  Hisanori Takahashi, and Zach Putnam each tossed a scoreless inning out of the bullpen to keep things close.

Smokies 5-1 line

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At The Plate – Yeah, only five innings as this one was shortened by rain.  In those five innings the Smokies did nothing, well almost nothing, they did get singles, yep that’s it.  The Smokies didn’t even have a chance to hit with anyone in scoring position in this one.  Rubi Silva and Rafael Lopez were each 1-for-2 in the loss.

On The Mound – Much more important things taking place on the mound in this one as Matt Garza made his first rehab start.  That’s the other part of minor league baseball, sometimes it’s not for development, it’s for getting healthy, and Garza took his first step towards that today.  Garza went 2.2 innings giving up one run on one hit while walking two, but more importantly made it out of today seemingly healthy, so that’s good news.  Kevin Rhoderick tossed 1.1 scoreless innings while walking two and striking out one.  Matt Loosen couldn’t keep things close “late” as he worked two-thirds of an inning giving up two runs on two hits while walking one.

Daytona 5-1 line

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At The Plate – Really solid game all around from the D-Cubs in this one as they found just enough offense to knock off the Cardinals.  Jorge Soler was 1-for-3 with a double, and a stolen base, nice to see Soler starting to get a few hits here and there after slumping, his average is back up to .275 on the season.  Ben Carhart is on fire of late, that continued tonight as he went 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI’s, and a run scored, he’s now hitting .312 on the season.  Anthony Giansanti was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win.

On The MoundBen Wells was outstanding today, and really has been good all year.  Wells went seven innings giving up one run on three hits while walking one and striking out three.  Eduardo Figueroa took it from there as he worked two scoreless innings giving up two hits while walking one and striking out three to earn his first save of the season.

Kane County 5-1 line

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At The Plate – Looked like the Cougars were going to cruise to a victory, but as we have learned so far this season, nothing is easy for the Cougars and they needed ten innings to get the win.  Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base, and two runs scored.  Gioskar Amaya was 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored.  Daniel Vogelbach played the hero tonight as he was 1-for-5 with two RBI’s, that one was a huge one, a walk-off single in the tenth inning.

On The MoundPierce Johnson has been disgusting (in a good way) as of late, and tonight was no different.  Johnson went 6.2 innings giving up one run on four hits while walking one and striking out four.  Eddie Orozco did a solid job out of the pen tossing a scoreless inning while giving up one hit while walking two and striking out two. Jeffry Antigua had a rough go of it as he blew the save, but also got the win, he went 2.1 innings giving up three runs on five hits while striking out four.

Thanks for reading,
– George

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