Cubs Minors Recap: Brett Jackson to AA; Vogelbach HRs again

Cubs Minors Recap: Brett Jackson to AA;  Vogelbach HRs again
Brett Jackson

UPDATE 10:50 AM:  4th round pick RHP Tyler Skulina has been promoted to Kane County.  Skulina may have the best raw stuff of any pitcher the Cubs drafted this year and has a chance to stick as a starter.   The Cubs knew he had that great arm and power repertoire, but the fact that he's been throwing strikes has to be very encouraging.  Skulina just pitched yesterday so we may not see him on the mound for a few days, but it's exciting news that he has progressed this quickly.

In other promotion news, RHP Juan Paniagua is going back to Boise along with OF Kevin Encarnacion while OF Jose Dore is also getting a promotion to Kane County.

Dore was acquired from the San Diego Padres in a minor deal this past offseason.  Once a toolsy overslot draft pick, Dore hasn't been healthy enough to develop and showcase those tools.   The lefty hitting Dore has quick hands and a strong arm in the OF.  He's shown some good patience at Boise and perhaps the Cubs think he's ready to handle higher level pitching despite the .200/.284/.356 start with 2 HRs at Boise.  In his defense, he has been somewhat unlucky with a .242 BABIP.

Paniagua has struggled with his control and will try to right the ship at Boise.  Encarnacion is an exciting player but I'm not in love with his swing and I wonder if his hit tool will translate at the upper levels especially since I'm not sure he will retain his speed with his body type, which is a little thick in his lower half.

Brett Jackson got the call from rehab, but it was to AA, not his familiar AAA Iowa squad. Perhaps the Cubs are trying to get him going again. Jackson had some success at Tennessee in the past.

OKC 4 - Iowa 3

  • LHP Brooks Raley pitched 6.2 solid innings, allowing just 2 runs.  He walked 3 and struck out 2.  Raley got a no-decision when the I-Cubs rallied to take the lead in the 8th.  Unfortunately they gave it right back and then some.
  • Flame-throwing RHP Henry Rodriguez was the guy who lost that lead, allowing one run in the 8th and then another in the 9th.
  • Logan Watkins doubled, singled and scored a run.  He's hitting .246/.338/.386 on the year with 8 HRs and 10 SBs in 9 attempts.
  • Ty Wright did his part to try and win this game.  He initially tied the game in the 4th with his 3rd HR game, then hit the go-ahead RBI single in the 8th.

Tennessee 8 - Birmingham 4

  • Another great start for Dae-Eun Rhee blanking the Barons on 1 hit for 6 innings before making his one big mistake in the 7th -- allowing a 2 run HR after a one out walk.  Rhee has pitched extremely well since returning from his injury, moving to 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA, walking 7 and striking out 18 in 25.1 innings in AA.  
  • Arismendy Alcantara bounced back after a bit of a slump (2 for 28) with 3 hits and 4 RBI.  He also walked.  Alcantara dipped under an .800 OPS last night but his .273/.346/.456 line has him over by 3 points again.
  • Javier Baez went 0 for 4 but walked for the 7th time in 93 PAs.  That's a 7.5% walk rate.  I can live with that if he can sustain that short sample until he reaches the majors.  He has exactly doubled the amount of walks he had last season with 28 between Daytona and Tennessee.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva went 2 for 4 with a run scored and he's been working his way back up after a slow April.  July may be his beast month yet as Villanueva has hit .312/.340/.570 with 6 HRs and .284 with 13 HRs since April. He's hitting .266/.318/.460 with 14 HRs overall.
  • Brett Jackson was the DH and went 1 for 4 with a run scored.
  • In what's a very good lineup, catcher Rafael Lopez has generally batted 9th but he's no easy out.  Lopez doubled, singled, and walked today, scoring 2 and driving in 2.  Lopez has the same OPS as 3B Villanueva (.777) as he's hit .245/.343/.434 with 8 HRs on the year.  Lopez is the Cubs best catching prospect at the upper levels and projects as a backup in the majors.

Ft. Meyers 5 - Daytona 0

  • Though he's struggled so far in his rehab, the Cubs moved the process along, moving Scott Baker up to advanced Class A Daytona where he made the start today.  it may have been his best performance so far as he allowed just one earned run in 3.1 innings.  He walked 2 and struck out 2.  He still has a long way to go, but at least that's progress.
  • Pierce Johnson piggybacked the start and while he allowed 6 hits and 3 runs in his 4 innings, he did strikeout 7 while walking two.  Johnson has a 2.90 ERA while striking out 28 in 31 innings.
  • Zeke DeVoss had a single and 2 doubles as he raised his line on the year to .250/.399/.363 on the year.

Peoria 14 - Kane 1

  • Jose Rosario got absolutely thumped today, taking one for the team as he made it to 4.2 innings despite allowing a whopping 13 hits, 4 walks, and 13 runs.  Rosario fell to 0-7 with a 6.71 ERA
  • Undrafted free agent Al Yevoli, who was signed out of the indy leagues and has a 90-92 mph fastball, slowed down the assault by allowing just one more run in 2.1 innings.
  • Dan Vogelbach tied Rock Shoulders for the team lead in HRs with 16.  He did not get another hit on the day but is hitting .290/.364/.463 on the year.

Spokane 5 -Boise 2

  • 4th round pick Tyler Skulina had his longest stint of the season, going 3 scoreless innings, walking none and striking out 2.  Reports out of college is that Skulina struggles with his command but he's walked just 3 batters in 15 innings so far.  He's struck out 10, but he does have the kind of stuff to add to that.  He has a 1.20 ERA.
  • Boise rallied to tie the game at two but lost it in extra innings.  Carlos Martinez-Pumarino did a good job of holding the game tied for 2.1 innings but started the 10th in hot water.  An error and two singles gave Spokane the lead and chased Pumarino from the game.  The other two runners would come around the score to put the game out of reach for Boise.
  • The Hawks managed just 2 hits all game and one was a double by Kris Bryant who doubled in a run and then came around to score to tie the game.  Bryant also walked.  He's now hitting .185 with 2 HRs.  He has struck out just 3 times in 6 games after striking out 5 times in his first game.

Cubs Affiliates Scoreboard/Box Score

Filed under: Uncategorized


Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    I was at the Daytona game tonight in Ft. Myers. Baker stayed around 86-88 on the stadium gun (though I think it's a little slow) and was throwing mostly straight stuff.
    Johnson's stuff is filthy in person. He got squared up quite a bit tonight but showed me enough to see this kid can really pitch. His curve sent a Miracle batter lunging backwards and then fell in for strike three on the inside corner!
    Taiwan Easterling hit a triple that was almost turned into the greatest defensive play I've ever seen by Byron Buxton. A perfect gapper line drive that Buxton ran down and layed out for. The ball glanced off his glove and rolled to the fence.
    The DCubs lineup is pretty tough to watch now. I was really hoping Almora would be up by the time they came to town, and maybe Vogelbach, too, as this would be a homecoming for him.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    Disappointing to hear regarding Baker's velocity the past few starts. His first rehab start for KC was on MiLB.TV and the announcers said he was sitting at 91-92. Velocity is usually the first thing that comes back and is usually a good indicator of whether the player will be able to successfully return from TJS. Baker was usually at aroud 93 with the Twins.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    He's probably taking it easy and focusing on things other than max velocity. His set-back was due to inflammation & fluid in the elbow, etc. Which indicated he over exerted himself.

    I think the remaining two months are sort of an audition to prove he's healthy and we can count on him for 2014. That will determine if they pursue him and how much to sign him for. 2013 is already a wasted $5.5M contract.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    My guess would be that he was around 90-91, like I said I think the stadium gun was off a little. It only had Johnson touching 92-93, and sitting around 90 most of the time. It sure seemed to be coming in faster than that.

  • In reply to Matt McNear:

    thanks Matt. I was hoping you attended the game since it was Ft. Myers. Johnson's curve is nasty. Looking like a plus pitch to go with an above average fastball.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John Arguello:

    I have tickets for the rest of the week but I can't think of anyone I'm that excited to see. I can't find an announcement, but I think Pinyero goes tonight, which would be good. Most likely won't get to see Edwards, Loosen got called up, and the lineup is very pedestrian right now.
    My friend and I were joking that Baez never played in Ft. Myers, neither has Soler, and with our luck Almora will get promoted before they come to town next year!
    BTW, are they trying to slow Johnson down or something?

  • fb_avatar

    Devoss has a very interesting line -- not too often you see a guy with an OBP 36 points higher than his SLG%. I don't think it'd be too far off base to say he has the best eye in the system.

    If only he could get that average up a little higher, he could be a legitimate prospect. Can he stick in center?

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    He can play CF well enough. But despite his OBP, the guy hasn't hit at A or A+ despite being from a major college and has the speed to generate infield hits. He has been old for his level for the last two years and he still can't hit for average. He's not a zero as a prospect, but his chances are pretty low. He'll probably struggle to keep his average even where it is at the higher levels. Logan Watkins lacks his speed and his eye isn't quite as good, but he is a better player and prospect that is far closer to contributing and essentially offers the same profile.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    If his OBP is .400 who cares if he hits .250? The question is can he maintain the OBP as he moves up.

  • In reply to Eric:

    He won't maintain the OBP if he can't maintain some semblance of a batting average. .250 is the highest his batting average has been in a long, long time. Once he gets to a more age appropriate level I'm guessing his batting average drops, not increases. I'm not saying it can't happen, and I would love to have a guy with his eye and speed at the big league level, but the chances are pretty low.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    As pitchers improve their command at the upper levels, they'll just start throwing him more strikes and make it tougher for him to take pitches. They'll essentially be daring him to swing and try to get on base via his bat. That's when we'll find out if DeVoss can adjust and respond. Eventually he's going to have to hit.

  • In reply to Jason Pellettiere:

    He may well have the best eye in the system. His plate discipline is exceptional. He's a tremendous athlete who is better in CF than he was at 2B -- capable of making a circus catch or two out there.

    The big question is his bat. He's wiry strong but yet doesn't make as much hard contact as you would like. I think you keep him and hope he develops that hit tool, but right now it's looking like his best shot is as a utility guy who can play OF and some 2B if needed.

  • fb_avatar

    Bizarre game for Johnson.

    Lots of Ks
    Lots of hits and walks.

    Those usually don't go together.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    Have you ever heard of Carlos Marmol? lol

  • In reply to Bender13:

    Until this season, Carlos Marmol was always one of the best pitchers in baseball at not surrendering hits. A couple of seasons his batting average against was historically low.

  • fb_avatar

    Phew.... Kris Bryant starting to hit.

  • Was wondering out loud a bit if aside from timing if Bryant maybe needs to get used to using wood bats. Just wondering if half those warning track flyouts would be homers now if he used a college bat.

    Also Matt Clapp from TFB asked Callis about a ceiling comp for Bryant and got "See him as RF w/ huge power. Stanton works as ceiling."

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    The bats they use in college now perform much more like wood bats. They aren't perfect, but its pretty close. It isn't anywhere near the discrepency the old bats had.

    I'm actually shocked that a college pitcher was never killed on the mound given the velocity generated ball off the old bats.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    The new BBCOR Bats are a non issue. You need a Masters degree in Metallurgy to understand it's components and another Masters degree in Physics to understand it's complex formula that uses the mass and inbound & rebound speeds of the ball. I have neither so I won't go there.

    But in short, what it measures is the bounciness of the ball when it hits the bat. i.e., the "trampoline effect". The new enforced limit sets a coefficient of 0.50, which is typically how a wooden bat performs. Bryant will be fine. If he's not, we can't blame the bat.

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Dave Cameron at FanGraphs covers it here:

    If you're visual and like pictures try this:

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    college bats are engineered to have the same "spring" in them that wood bats have. So those warning track flyouts would still be warning track flyouts with a college bat.

  • In reply to Furiousjeff:

    What "warning track flyouts" are you talking about? Haven't heard of them in reports on Bryant.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    John reported several of them via twitter, and I think he mentioned in a recap that in one of his games that Bryant went to the track three times.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    Believe me, a guy with Bryant's swing and success doesn't suddenly have "warning track power". Or all the scouts are wrong.
    It's not the bats, as Hoosier and other posters have proven. (Plus, Bryant has played with wooden bats in off-season competition.) And it's not a sudden lack of power.
    It's getting his timing -- and making the transition to pro ball. He had a long layoff between the college playoffs and finally signing and suiting up.
    Don't worry about Bryant not carrying fences. He will.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Oh I don't think he has "warning track power" but early on his timing may be off enough that he has had some "warning track outs" that will translate to crazy HR numbers once he finds his rhythm.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:


  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Agreed. I have no worries there.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Bryant hasn't played in about 3 months. Once his timing gets down, we'll see if he lives up to his lofty draft status. My guess is he will.

  • In reply to mutant beast:

    That was my point.

  • Unless Logan Watkins is the most efficient basestealer in the history of the world or has invented time dilation then I think there is probably a typo in his stat line :)

  • In reply to mjvz:

    He has 10 SBs out of 19 attempts. :)

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to John57:

    Or it's one of those Jean Segura things.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    If that is John's worst mistake of the day, he's in for a great one!

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Ha! Definitely a typo. Watkins has filled out a bit and added some pop but lost some speed, .which happens with a lot of prospects. Unfortunately, I don't think there's enough pop there to make it worth it.

  • So is it me? Or is Skulina getting twice as many innings as other pitchers from this year's draft? I see his name almost as much as Masek and Stryzhyny combined. Is that because he's pitched less in college this year? More advanced? More ready to be a starter? How's that all work? I'm still green at this prospect thing.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:

    It's not quite as extreme as that: Skulina has 15 IP, Zastryzny 10, and Masek 10 in Boise, 12.1 overall.

    I'm not 100% sure, but college workload probably does play into this. John said a few weeks ago that Masek, in particular, had a pretty rough schedule in college this year, so they are probably taking it easier there.

    Skulina was the first of the new prospects to go 3 innings, last night, so all of them are being babied -- which makes sense.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Yes. Masek had some high pitch counts and Zastryzny pitched late into the season as his team made regionals. I think we won't see what they can really do until next season.

  • fb_avatar

    My wife and I attended last night's Smokies game....We had great seats behind home plate. Rhee was really impressive and was in command of the hitters until he tired in the 7th....

    I like how Lopez, Bour, Alcantara and others make good contact...I agree that Lopez definitely has backup catcher potential.
    Smokies' infield is rock-solid defensively.

  • In reply to Bob from Salem:

    Good to hear. Rhee relies so much on his command and it really seems as if it's coming back this year.

  • Here's hoping new surroundings and instructors can help make the light go off for Jackson. Seeing once highly-touted prospects fall off the ladder is tough to watch.

  • So with Skulina in low-A, how will they handle his workload? Have him start and then have other guys piggy back him? Heck, he probably immediately becomes the best pitching prospect in Kane County, so it probably makes sense for them to do what's best for him and have everyone else go off of that.

  • John,

    I noticed that yesterday they were starting Baez off with breaking balls on the first pitch(I think every time) and quite a bit during his at bats. He would always layoff but some looked like very hittable breaking balls down the middle part of the plate. This caused him to get behind in the count a lot. Also, the lefty who pitched in the 8th vs Baez started out with 4 curve balls, at least one was very hittable; after a 2-2 count he chased a high outside fastball for strike 3.

    I know he's been conciously laying off breaking balls and waiting for fastballs, I remember seeing a quote from one his coaches saying something to that effect last week. My concern is that as he moves up he's going to find more pitchers that can command the breaking ball and now it seems to me that he needs to adjust back and jump on those 'hangers' instead of almost automatically taking everytime.

  • In reply to Rudy:

    I noticed the same thing in the previous game. He's getting a ton of curves/sliders on the outer half of the plate and also well outside of the strike zone. I expect that to continue until he starts driving/dumping those pitches to the right side of the field.

  • fb_avatar

    From what I am gathering, and some folks can help me, the trade market this year is very interesting. What is interesting is that alot of teams with veterans to sell aren't doing so, citing need to stay competitive, even though they aren't going to make the playoffs. PHI,NYM,MIL,SFG,KCR among others are holding onto players with expiring deals, in hopes of ........being mediocre instead of being bad? It's a "Win Now" (sort of) attitude.

    Obviously our own FO doesn't feel that sort of pressure to "win now". Others obviously do. I feel strongly you either have to contend, or sell out for another year. We're obviously doing the latter, but let's hope one day we're the ones selling our Vogelbachs and Penlavers or whatever, our organizational surplus for a hot rental.....

  • How long before they decide to trade BJax?

  • In reply to lokeey:

    Maybe until he has some value again. They'd be selling low and basically just be getting rid of him at this point.

  • fb_avatar

    Great point on devoss John.

    Interesting note? Bjax hit last night was a bunt. Calling it the "lake effect".

Leave a comment