Cubs Minors Recap: Bryant debuts, Vogelbach hit walk off single in the 9th; Amaya, Dunston get 4 hits

Cubs Minors Recap: Bryant debuts, Vogelbach hit walk off single in the 9th; Amaya, Dunston get 4 hits
Tayler Scott

Fun game today at Kane County as the Cougars rallied to tie the game, then win in extras on this Vogelbach single.

The big news, though, was the pro debut of Kris Bryant. His first AB was a pop-up to 2B. We'll have the rest in the recap.

In other news, the Eloy Jimenez signing will become official in August and he will sign for $2.8M, according to's Jesse Sanchez. That's been known for awhile, but the time frame is new.

Round Rock 3 - Iowa 0

  • Barrett Loux pitched 5 unusual scoreless innings in that he walked 5 hitters while doing it.  He also struck out 5, however.  It's been something of a comeback second half for Loux but he's still not quite hitting on all cylinders.  He's lowered his ERA to 4.19 on the season.  He has a 2.10 ERA since May but has walked 19 batters in 34.1 innings in that stretch.  On the plus side, he has struck out 37 batters.
  • Perhaps the Cubs best SP prospect at the upper levels, Alberto Cabrera is pitching in relief at Iowa and it may well be because he already pitched 112.2 innings at AA Tennesssee after pitching just 76.2 innings between AAA and the majors last year.  It makes sense to start shutting him down at this point since he isn't going to to take over in the rotation down the stretch.  Keep him healthy for next season.  Cabrera pitched just as well as a reliever as he did as a starter, hurling two scoreless innings, walking none and striking out 2.
  • Brian Schlitter took the loss after giving up a 3-run HR to none other than Mike Olt.
  • Just 4 hits today and Logan Watkins had 2 of them, though he has cooled off since going on a bit of a run earlier in the month.   He's hitting .243 on the year with a .339 OBP.
  • Josh Vitters singled and walked.  It's just 81 PAs, but Vitters has 8 walks at  AAA, just under a 10% walk rate.  Is there still hope?

Jacksonville 8 - Tennessee 1

  • It was one of those days and even though Jacksonville "only" got 8 runs, they thumped the Smokies pitchers with 18 hits.  Even infielder Nate Samson got in an inning at the end of the game.  The pitcher who took the brunt of the damage was RHP AJ Morris, who allowed 10 hits and 5 runs (2 earned) in 4 innings.  It was Morris' first loss as he fell to 3-1 with a 3.61 ERA.
  • Hunter Cervenka pitched 2 scoreless innings and Tony Zych stayed hot with another scoreless inning, lowering his ERA to just 2.95.
  • Only 3 hits by the Smokies, including doubles by Arismendy Alcantara and Javier Baez.

St. Lucie 7 - Daytona 5

  • Ben Wells struggled with his control, walking 4 batters and allowing 3 runs in 5 innings.  He did strike out 3.  His ERA rose to 3.45.
  • Yao-Lin Wang gave up 3 more runs in his 3 innings of work, walking 2 and striking out 2.
  • Lendy Castillo was promoted to Daytona, perhaps more based in the interest of moving him up based on his age than his performance at Kane County.  He did reasonably well today, better than the previous two pitchers anyway.  He allowed one run in 2 innings.  He gave up just one hit, walked 2, and struck out 4.
  • Zeke DeVoss continues to be an OBP machine in Daytona.  He singled twice and walked twice, stole 2 bases and scored 2 runs.  DeVoss is hitting .253 and he raised his OBP to .399.  He also has 27 SBs on the year.
  • Wes Darvill had a solid game with a single, walk, and his 3rd SB.  He also scored 2 runs.
  • Eliot Soto went 1 for 3 and drove in 2.
  • Dustin Geiger is no longer driving in runs at a breakneck pace, but he did get one RBI today.  He doubled and walked.  He's hitting .281 on the year with 10 HRs and 68 RBI.

Kane County 6 - Lansing 5

  • The line score may not reflect it (6 IP, 8H, 2 ER, 1W, 1 K) but I was pretty impressed with Tayler Scott today.  He had a nice fluid delivery and some good plane on his pitches.  He gets good downward movement on his fastball (89-91 mph) and spun a good curve (82 mph) -- and he commanded everything pretty well.   He doesn't throw much straight and he pitches to contact -- it's just not a lot of hard contact.  Today, he was a little unlucky as far as a few balls sneaking through, but he pitched well.
  • Armando Rivero was throwing hard, usually at 93-94 mph and mixed in a good breaking pitch to get some swings and misses.  He ran into some trouble in his second inning with a double, walk -- and then after a sac bunt, he intentionally walked the next hitter to load the bases -- but he was able to power his way out of it, getting a weak tap to 3B to force the runner at home and then struck out Dwight Smith, Jr. (yeah, that Dwight Smith) to end the inning.  I have liked him better in his last two outings.  The first time I saw him he wasn't following through, finishing upright and losing about 2-3 mph on his fastball.  That was not the case today.  He was throwing hard and for the most part he was throwing strikes.
  • This was my first look at Michael Hamman and he didn't have his best stuff and command -- at least not compared to what I've heard he was doing at Boise.  He was 91 mph on the fastball and also flashed a good curve, but he battled his way through 2 scoreless innings to earn the win.
  • Gioskar Amaya is red-red hot.  He'd been showing signs over the past couple of months but he's got it going now.  Amaya got on base all 6 times with 4 singles, a walk, and an HBP.  Amaya is now hitting .283/.352/.428 and is hitting .413/.493/.615 with 2 HRs in July.  He also played great defense, showing great range to both his left and right.
  • Albert Almora went 3 for 5 and was robbed of a 4th hit on a diving play by the 2B.  Perhaps that was payback  on an earlier hit, however, as Almora got lucky in the first when he tripled after the CF'er and RF'er collided on his drive into the gap.  Both OF"ers were fine they only glanced each other but it was enough to jar the ball loose.  Almora also walked.  His 5th in his last 9 games.
  • Dan Vogelbach went 2 for 4 including that walk off single.  He owes an assist to Amaya on that last hit, however, tapping bats with the red-hot hitter before his game winning single.  I don't think Vogelbach gets enough credit for being a smart hitter sometimes and I especially enjoyed one AB where he worked the count full, fouled off a pitcher's strike and then went with the pitch and went the opposite way.  It was a flyout, but perhaps his best AB of the day.
  • You know how some hitters flinch or almost swing on pitches just off the plate?  That's not Jeimer Candelario.  He reads pitches so well that he remains cool and collected, taking pitches calmly until he gets a pitch he likes.  Today he doubled, singled and drew a walk to raise his line to .250/.338/.378 -- though that line doesn't do justice to what a good hitter he is and can be as he continues to gain experience.
  • Reggie Golden unloaded on a pitch and hit a line drive HR that cleared the scoreboard and hit the Miller Lite advertisement above it.  He also had a key double in the 10th and came around to score on Vogelbach's single.  He also showed off his good arm, gunning a throw to the plate on a fly from short RF -- though the runner wisely held at 3B.

 Boise 7 - Everett 0

  • James Pugliese continues to roll along and perhaps he'll get a shot at Kane County before the year is out.  He'll certainly start there next year.  For now he's using his good two seamer and improving secondary stuff to mow down NWL hitters.  It was 5 more scoreless innings, walking none and striking out 3.  He also induced 9 groundouts.  He could be turning into a nice little find.  Pugliese has an ideal pitcher's frame, good athleticism, throws strikes and keeps the ball down -- pretty much the profile of what this organization likes.  Pugliese moved to 3-2 with a 2.41 ERA.  He has walked 8 and struck out 34 in 41 innings.
  • Tyler Skulina has pitched extremely well since signing but one thing that was missing were the strikeouts.  How does a big 6'4" kid with that kind of fastball and mound presence not strike guys out -- well, he does apparently.  He struck out 5 batters in his 2 innings of work.  His numbers are dominant so far -- in 10 pro innings he has not allowed a run, allowed just 3 hits, walked 3 and struck out 8.
  • Michael Wagner made his second appearance since his promotion to Boise and pitched 2 scoreless innings to finish the game.  He walked one and struck out 2.  He has allowed 1 run in his first 4 innings.
  • Shawon Dunston just keeps hitting and hitting and hitting.  He had 4 more hits to bring his average up to .328, leading one to wonder when he might move to Kane County while Almora makes the jump to Daytona.  Dunston did leave the game in the 7th inning, though I do not know the reason at this point. UPDATE: Dunston collided with LF David Bote and had to leave the game (h/t @mindofstan)
  • C Lance Rhymel singled twice, walked and scored 2 runs.  He's hitting .318 on the year.
  • OF Yasiel Balaguert doubled, walked, scored a run and drove in another.  He came into the game hitting .277/.368/.475 with 4 HRs.
  • Cael Brockmeyer is another red-hot Boise player.  He triple, singled, and walked to raise his average on the year to .340.  He hasn't hit for much power but you have to think that will eventually come for the 6'5", 235 lbs catcher/1st baseman.
  • David Bote also stayed on a roll.  He doubled, singled and drove in 3 runs.  The versatile player was in LF today and raised his average to .250.  He's shown surprising power, hitting 5 HRs at Boise and 6 overall this season (1 at Kane County earlier this year).
  • 11th round pick Jordan Hankins went 3 for 5 to raise his season's average to .235.

AZL Cubs 9 - AZL Dodgers 9 (to be updated at game's conclusion)

  • 2012 5th round pick LHP Anthony Prieto got off to a good 3 inning start but things started to come apart in the 4th, though a big part of that was the defense.  Throwing errors by SS Francisco Sanchez and 3B Kris Bryant helped pave the way to a 5 run inning.  Prieto finished up with 3.2 innings of work in which he allowed 5 runs, though only 2 were earned.  He walked 2 and struck out 3.
  • David DeJesus made his second rehab start and went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
  • OF Jacob Hanneman is also on the way back and he also went 1 for 4 with a run scored but he also doubled and drove in 2 runs.
  • Kris Bryant went 0 for 3 and did commit the big error (and 3 overall) but later made a diving catch on a line drive down the line.
  • 3B Greg Rohan is finally on the way back after missing over half the season.  He DH'd today and went 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI.
  • Encouraging game for the 2011 bonus baby international signing, Marck Malave.  Malave was considered an advanced hitter and the Cubs brought him to the AZL as an 18 year old and he's hung in there pretty well.  He went 3 for 5 today with a double and 2 runs scored.  He's hitting .270.
  • SS Francisco Sanchez has struggled since signing but has shown a little pop at the plate.  Today he hit his first HR but 8 of his first 15 hits have gone for extra base hits.  He's only hitting .205 overall, however. He had 3 RBI and 3 runs scored today.
  • Tyler Alamo played his second game since signing but as of this writing is still hitless ( 0 for 6).

Cubs Affiliates Scoreboard/Box Scores



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  • fb_avatar

    The box score I saw credits Kris Bryant. With three errors.

    Nerves, I'm sure.

    In any case, it's good to get a rough outing like that out of the way. Smooth sailing from here for Bryant!

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Game is actually still going. I'll update AZ tomorrow morning. And yeah, not a good start for Bryant but it's been a long layoff.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    yeah, I saw the the game was still going but Bryant was taken out in the 6th, so his struggle ended there.

  • Contract holdouts don't help anyone in any sport. I fully expected to him to be rusty (but was still hoping for a 3 homer debut :) )

  • John, do you know if there's something wrong with Paul Blackburn? He was not himself in his last 2 starts and hasn't pitched in the past 10 days or so.

  • In reply to Caps:

    I don't know but I'll try and find out.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I noticed Paul had been out for awhile too and Pierce Johnson hasn't pitched for about the same length of time, if not longer. o.O

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Boise radio guy said that because Blackburn threw a bunch of pitches his last outing, he was going to get pushed back on his next start.

  • Just bought my tickets for Monday night August 5th in Clinton, Im from Dubuque and thats as close as it gets, stoked to see Almora, Bryant, and Vogelbach. Front row right next to visitors dugout.

  • In reply to Jilogethan4:

    Cool...I don't want to sound like a wet blanket but I hope Almora is still there for you. Bryant will probably be in Boise. Vogelbach should still be there and maybe they'll get some promotions from Boise.

  • In reply to Jilogethan4:

    I'll probably be at that game too. Also living in Dubuque right now. I do have to say the experience of seeing a game in Clinton is pretty depressing though. That stadium is pretty run down.

    I'm not banking on Almora or Bryant being there though. John is right. Would like to see Paniagua get the start though. That would be great. I haven't seen him yet.

  • Gioskar!

  • In reply to mjvz:

    He is on fire. OPS now at .780, not bad for a 20 year old 2B -- and after a very slow start.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    He doesn't get the love that Candelerio or Vogelbach get because his ceiling is lower, but he is just as good of a prospect. In fact I think he may be better than Vogelbach, because he can actually play a position (more than one actually) and has versatility where as Vogelbach's future is tied exclusively to his bat and so his potential to fail will be much higher.

  • Wow some team offered Eloy Jimemez 5.0 M and he took the Cubs 2.8 M offer. He left a lot of money on the table. I am very curious what team offered the 5 M. I also don't understand why they have delayed the signing until August. Are they going after the BA's 4th and/or 5th rated prospects when they turn 16 and can sign?

  • In reply to John57:

    It did come from an agent, so perhaps some exaggeration there but the consensus is that he did leave money on the table to sign with the Cubs.

  • Well it's apparent this Bryant kid is a bust so we may as well bite the bullet now and DFA him.

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    One thing to remember with Cabrera, he is out of options after this season, so that may also figure into how the Cubs are pitching him at Iowa. If he doesn't make the rotation out of ST next year, he has to make the bullpen or be exposed to waivers.

    I would like to see a start or two at AAA, but I still wonder if the Cubs see him more as a bullpen guy, and the point of starting was more to work on secondary pitches. We'll see, I guess......

  • In reply to Zonk:

    He is guaranteed to be on the roster next year. But whether he makes the rotation may depend on if or how many openings there actually are to be had. I don't think the decision to start him this year was just to improve his ability out of the bullpen in future years. I think it is a genuine attempt to make him a starter. But I have said all along, that I feel his ultimate role will still be working from the pen.

    Cabrera, Arrieta and Vizcaino may well all be competing for a single spot in the rotation next season and the losers could pitch out of the bullpen, although Vizcaino could also spend some time in AAA. But Cabrera, Arrieta, Vizcaino and Rosscup could add some serious swing and miss potential to our pen next year. That ability has been sorely lacking this year and is one of the main reasons for the team's downfall.

  • fb_avatar

    John, do you think Vogelbach will be promoted soon or do you think he'll spend the year in KC (with maybe a late promotion)?

    I've really liked his season. He hasn't exactly slugged like he's been expected to this season, but then again, from everything I've seen on him in scouting reports and interviews, he seems like he's really focused on being a great all-around hitter. Like his focus is more on the details of improving his approach and swing, rather than lacing the ball 500ft.

    I mean, Joey Hallo has hit almost 30 HRs, but has struck out about 140 times already, so who cares?

    Either way, he's still plenty young and in no danger of falling behind, so do you think he needs more time to learn or is he ready for A+?

  • fb_avatar

    RE: Vitters, I think he has more of a future than B-Jax, and they seem to get lumped together in the same "Bust" category

    Vitters had a pretty nice season at AAA, and he was only 22.

    I think he has a future as a ML bench type, think Ty Wigginton or similar 3B/1B/DH/LF bat. He probably has more of a future for an AL club, but if he can get a string together at AAA, he's at least a trade chip

    B-Jax on the other hand, he has all the tools Vitters doesn't except the one that matters most: HIT. He can't, and I think he doesn't have an ML future. The tinkering with his swing now looks like more of a desperation move.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I'm still a believer in Vitters. He can hit lefties. And anyone who can hit a little will get opportunites. Just take a look at the offenses around the majors these days. If he can hit 270/320/480 against lefties, and I believe he can, then he will find a job.

    Hell, no reason it can't be with the Cubs next year, they will need someone to take Ransom's spot. Vitters can fill that role. He can give Valbuena and/or Rizzo some rests against LHPs. Vitters could probably handle some LF too. He's never going to justifiy his draft position, but that doesn't mean he can't be useful.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    He may be a platoon player, but I hope it's with another team.

    On the cubs, the expectations aren't going away. He could use a change of scenery with a team that doesn't have 3B vacancy and didn't draft him to be the Future.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    Well by that philosophy then we should trade Castro as well. He is never going to live up to the expectations some fans have for him.

    I think the expectations for Vitters have been lowered significantly enough where anything he gives them will be looked at as a bonus. While I do think Vitters would be better off in the AL, he can still be useful in the NL. He should be back up in September (or Aug if/when Ransom is dealt) and hopefully he can grab a hold of the role.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to mjvz:

    Castro is already a successful big-league star, he's just in a slump.

    Everybody needs to calm the hell down about Castro and atop pretending he suddenly stopped being a star.

    Vitters has no position. He has no plate disciple, and he can't hit well enough to excuse it.

  • If the Cubs blow their international signing amount and only get $250,000 next year. Can they trade players for pool money and go over that $250,000 or is that a hard cap?

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    In reply to Ike03:

    If they blow through their bonus pool, it only means the max bonus they can offer next year is $250K. So, even if they trade for 2014 bonus pool money, they would still be stuck with that limit.

    It appears the Cubs have blown through the limits this year though, let's see a final accounting later on. Interesting decision if they did, it means they basically thought this year's crop was way better than the one coming up. I think Texas did the same thing, so they must have reached same conclusion.

    Cubs still figure to enter next season with one of the larger bonus pools available; that means we either will sign quantity instead of quality, or use that $ for trade chips in the other direction, or both

  • In reply to Ike03:

    The Cubs will get their normal amount to spend on international prospects next year. The only limit on them is they can't spend over $250,000 on any one prospect. This effectively eliminates them from getting the elite prospects next year. If they want they could sign 6 prospects for $250,000 each if their signing amount is 1.5 Million.

  • In reply to John57:

    Got it, thanks.

  • I agree that the Cubs may feel next years international prospects is a weak class. But a lot can change in a year. I wonder how much this spending spree has to do with trying to speed up the time frame on the quest to be relevant at the MLB level.

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