Cubs Minors Recap: De La Cruz wins start, Torreyes still hot, Cardenas has 4 RBI, Darvill HRs

Cubs Minors Recap: De La Cruz wins start, Torreyes still hot, Cardenas has 4 RBI, Darvill HRs
Ronald Torreyes has 10 hits in his last 6 games

Not a great day for Cubs affiliates.  Only Iowa was victorious today behind the strong start of Frankie De La Cruz and 4 RBI from 2B Adrian Cardenas.  The Iowa Cubs drew 8 walks on the day.

Daytona and Peoria both went into extra innings only to lose while Tennessee's loss was never much in doubt as Nick Struck had his worst outing of the year.

Here's the recap on all the games...

Iowa 7 - Nashville 1

  • RHP Frankie De La Cruz got the start and got the win for Iowa.  He pitched 5 innings and gave up 4 hits and 3 walks, but just one run.  He also struck out one.
  • Manny Corpas bounced back after a couple of rough outings and pitched 3 scoreless innings.  He gave up 2 hits and did not walk or strikeout a batter.
  • Blake Parker finished the game with a scoreless inning.
  • Brett Jackson went 1 for 5 on the day and is at .241 for the year.
  • OF'er Dave Sappelt wasn't known for his patient approach as a Red Sox prospect but today he walked 3 times to give him a total of 8 on the year.  He had a slow start at the plate but has rebounded somewhat and is currently hitting .219 on the year with 2 HRs.
  • Luis Valbuena got the start at SS and went hitless but drew 2 walks.
  • Anthony Rizzo had 2 hits and 2 RBI, giving him 21 on the year.  His line is .380/.424/.684.
  • C Welington Castillo has made tremendous strides with his plate discipline and has a 13% walk rate.  His line on the season is .320/.435/.520.
  • 2B Adrian Cardenas had a big day with a double, single, a walk and 4 RBI.  He now is hitting .338.
  • Alfredo Amazega is putting in time in LF with Tony Campana in Chicago and he continues to hit.  He had 2 more singles and raised his average to .324.

Jackson 7 - Tennessee 2

  • Tough outing for Nick Struck today as he gave up 7 runs on 8 hits in just 5.1 innings.  3 of those runs were unearned, but they were actually unearned due to Struck's own error.  He falls to 2-2 on the year with a 3.29 ERA.
  • 1B Justin Bour hit his 2nd HR of the year.
  • Marcus Hatley and Casey Weathers came in to relieve Struck and pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball.  They struck out 5 between them with Weathers striking out the side in his only inning.  Of course, he also walked a batter.
  • Logan Watkins, Jae-Hoon Ha, and Michael Burgess all had a hit but it was otherwise a pretty quiet day for the Smokies bats.

Clearwater 5 - Daytona 3

  • LHP Austin Kirk continued his good start with 6 IP and one earned run allowed (plus one unearned).  He walked 2 and struck out 6.    On the year he's 1-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 29.1 innings.  He has 7 walks and 15 strikeouts on the season.
  • RHP Ty'Relle Harris took the loss in the 10th when he gave up a 2 run HR to Anthony Hewitt.
  • CF Matt Szczur is reinventing himself as an on base machine/base-stealer.  He got on base 3 times.  Once each via a single, walk, and HBP.  His average is at .218 on the year but his OBP is .351. He has 11 steals.  If he could just get his bat going, we might have something pretty interesting here.
  • 2B Ronald Torreyes has been the team's hottest hitter of late.  He has 10 hits in his last 22 ABs to raise his average to .276.  Some reports have Torreyes as small as 5'7" but the man can hit.
  • OF'er Nelson Perez hit a solo HR.
  • My daily obsession with the Cubs organizational walk leader goes on and it's still even as John Andreoli tied Szczur with his 13th walk of the year.  I'm beginning to think those two guys have a bet.
  • 2B Rubi Silva cooled off with an 0 for 4 day, though he did draw a walk.

Lake County 7 - Peoria 6

  • RHP Michael Jensen, one of the early season surprises, finally had a tough outing.  It was a day when the wind was blowing out to RF and Lake County stacked the lineup with 5 lefties (although Peoria had 7) in an effort to take advantage of the wind.  Jensen did not yield a HR, though he did give up 5 singles and a double.  He also walked 3 batters.  All told it added up to 5 ERs.  Jensen did not get the loss, however, as Peoria matched Lake County run for run.  Jensen is 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA.
  • Dominican righty-lefty bullpen tandem of Luis Liria and Wilengton Cruz combined for 3 shutout innings with Cruz pitching 2 of those innings.
  • LHP Jeffrey Lorick gave up his first run of the season which also led to his first blown save.  Lorick is an older prospect but has done well in his role as a late inning reliever.  He has an 0.96 ERA and 2 saves.
  • RHP Austin Reed gave up an unearned run in the 11th to take the loss.
  • Leadoff man Zeke DeVoss did his job by getting on base 3 times, twice via the base on balls.  He scored a run and drove in another.  His OBP on the year is .371.
  • SS Wes Darvill is off to a good start and hit his first HR of the season to go with a single.  He has put up an encouraging .284/.369/.405 line early on after a minor slump earlier in the year.
  • 1B Paul Hoilman had a single, a walk, and an RBI.
  • Oliver Zapata went hitless and his average has dropped to .341 after his 3rd straight hitless game.  I guess we couldn't expect that tremendous hot streak to last forever but Zapata is still having a nice run early on for Peoria.
  • Pin-Chieh Chen had a single and a double and scored 2 runs.


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  • Wasn't Sapplet from the Sean Marshall trade to the reds?

  • In reply to irish0625:

    Yes, he was. So was Ronald Torreyes and Travis Wood. Actually all three of those players have been performing better of late after slow starts.

  • It looks like Matt Szczur is molding himself into the kind of player the Cubs are looking for . If he gets his BA up, he could get on the fast track.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    He does. It seems like he is very aware of what he needs to work on then he just goes out and does it. Last year it was defense, arm, power...this year it's patience and better utilizing his great speed. He can do all of those things, now it's just a matter of doing them all at the same time.

  • It now appears that Torreyes is the key to the Sean Marshall trade. Walt Jocketty, the GM of the Reds, is one smart guy and does not get snookered very often. I think it was very important that the Cubs insisted on Torreyes in the above trade. He is only 19, but has done extremely well in the lower minor leagues. I believe he will be a good player in the major leagues eventually. I was shocked when Jocketty signed the Cuban pitcher Chapman, who throws at 100 mph, for 30 million a couple of years ago, but he's looked awfully good. The Cubs passed up on Cepedes, the Cuban outfielder free agent, this spring. He would have looked really good as the Cubs center fielder. He is hitting .269, has more HR's, RBI's, and stolen bases than any Cub plus he's playing an excellent center field. Jorge Soler, the other Cuban free agent still available, is only 19 and supposedly has more potential. Let's hope Epstein and Ricketts step up to the plate, do the right thing, and sign this phenom soon.

  • In reply to shalin:

    Jocketty is about the best "old school" GM there is. He gave up some good players for Marshall (who is off to a slow start at 0-2, 6.14), but non project as stars. All have a chance to be starters, though, especially Wood and Torreyes. And I agree Torreyes is the most interesting of the 3.

    Cespedes does look like the real deal so far. The Cubs did try on Cespedes but he wanted that unusual 4 year deal wherein he becomes a free agent. Only Oakland was willing to do that and everyone expects them to trade him before the deal is up.

    Soler, as far as I know, still isn't a free agent yet but the Cubs will do whatever it takes to sign him. There's always the possibility, though, that a team will find a creative way to sign Soler -- even if it means losing him early, as is the case with Cespedes. It would be awfully foolish, however, for a team to sign Soler to a similar deal.

  • I wouldn't say that the Cubs "passed" on Cespedes. From what I've read, they offered the same money, only for more years. Cespedes opted for the shorter deal.

  • True, and not just a shorter deal. He becomes a free agent instead of simply arb eligible. He short-changed the A's as far as cost control. The A's signed him likely to trade him later. For the Cubs, that just didn't make any sense and perhaps they didn't think any other team would do that, but the A's did and they've got themselves a good player, but he'll be gone by the time they put a good team together.

  • John: Caught the first of two Peoria/Lake County games we'll see last night. Jensen looked sharp the first two innings; striking out two swinging; being efficient with command and demonstrating a lot of poise on the mound. Things unraveled the next two innings; as walks, hit batters, wild pitches and errors kept Lake County in the game. Cuneo had a tough night at 1st(pulled his foot off the bag twice that allowed runners to be called safe.) Hernandez had a great drag bunt single in the 4th; but continues to struggle overall. I had heard about Chen's speed; but couldn't believe it when I saw this kid stretch a double out of a line drive hit to the left fielder. Looking forward to watching Francescon tonight. Watching this game; and seeing 19/20 year old kids from Latin America and the Far East reminded me about some of the variables we sometimes forget as we check box scores/recaps, and project who the next great player will be-it has to be extremely difficult for some of these guys being so far away from home for the first time; and adjusting to life in the minors. One of the Lake County fans shared with me that their organization works with host families who actually put the players up during the season-sounded like a good program(not sure if this is common practice throughout the minors or not).

  • In reply to Upstate NY Cubs Fan:

    Thanks for the recap and the added detail. Great stuff!

    Chen can fly. He started as a 2B but the Cubs thought his speed was wasted there, so they moved him to CF. He also makes contact pretty easily. The concern is whether he'll be able to hit for extra bases enough to be a legit MLB starter. His destiny might be as a 4th or 5th outfielder, but he can be a pretty good one.

    Great point about the adjustment. Players not only have to adapt to the game as it changes but also to a brand new culture. I do believe most organizations offer some sort of transition program, including the Cubs.

  • John, what is going on with Michael Brenly? Is he injured or what is his status as a catcher in the Farm System?

  • In reply to vh4bvu:

    Brenly isn't really considered a top prospect. He's struggled a couple of years in a row at Class A Daytona and several catchers have passed him on the prospect depth chart, including three who were drafted last season. He's hitting .170 overall at AA and I'm afraid his time might be running out.

  • The Angels are looking for relief pitching. How about Marmol for Bourjos?

  • Do the Cubs need a CF'er, though? Can always move Jackson to LF whenever they dump Soriano but his offensive production there won't stand out as compared to many LF'ers around the league.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I thought about that too, John. Supposedly the Angels are willing to pick up a relief pitcher's entire contract and overpay in talent in return. If I'm the Cubs, I'm calling to see if they're interested in Marmol.

  • So are the Red Sox, according to Jayson Stark.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    If they can trade Marmol for some quality while teams are looking and have a big need, I'm all for it.

  • The Blue Jays are “hunting diligently for another masher and another top-of-the-rotation arm,” Stark writes. It’s no surprise the Blue Jays have an eye on rotation help given the uncertainty at the back of their rotation. Though Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison and Henderson Alvarez are meeting or exceeding expectations, the Blue Jays don’t have much depth or experience in the rotation relative to other teams.

    Now is the time to trade Garza for Jacob Marisnick, Noah Syndergaard, and Justin Nicolino. What do you think?

  • In reply to apalifer:

    Love Garza but I'd take that deal in a heartbeat. Toronto would have to really believe they have an excellent shot to unload those kind of prospects. That's a heavy price.

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    So I was having a baseball talk with my dad who played for years and coached as well. He mentioned that clubs actually do put an emphasis on players who possess a "winning mentality" and that while all players might want to win not all will do whatever it takes to win and puts winning above all else. He says Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo have this makeup. John is this something you develop in the minor leagues or something you are born with? I'd love to see cubs brass place an emphasis on winning ball players

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