Big day today and we'll have new names to report on soon, including RHP Jake Arrieta who will make a few starts in AAA and IFA signing RHP Jefferson Mejia, who is eligible to play this season.
One name to add to the list of Cubs prospects, though he is extremely far off, is Eloy Jimenez. As we expected, Jimenez agreed to sign with the Cubs and an official announcement will be made within the next few days, per Jessie Sanchez of MLB.com. He took less money to play for the Cubs, in part because of his and his families love for a former Cubs RF'er, Sammy Sosa,
Source: OF prospect Eloy Jimenez & fam decide on #Cubs but another team was in mix & offered more $$. Expect announcement in next few days.
In the end, OF prospect Eloy Jimenez & fam love Sosa & idea of playing @ Wrigley one day. Dreams matter to him. #Cubs
A bit unorthodox but it's nice to know that there are some things more important to this kid and his family than money.
Exciting day for the Cubs who executed their plan to perfection.
On with the recap...
Iowa 6 - Memphis 2
- You won't hear this often but Guillermo Moscoso out-dueled top Cardinals pitching prospect Michael Wacha. Moscoso went 6.1 innings and allowed just 2 runs despite walking 4 hitters.
- Casey Coleman and Marcus Hatley were outstanding in relief. Neither pitcher allowed a hit and each struck out 2. Hatley pitched one innings and Coleman pitched 1.2 innings.
- It was the long ball that did in Wacha as he gave up two 2-run shots to a couple of minor league veterans, SS Donnie Murphy and 1B Brad Nelson. Murphy also doubled.
- Junior Lake had a big day with 2 triples and a double. Lake is positioning himself for a call-up later in the year with a line of .324/.362/.491. The Cubs could also use his speed and defensive versatility.
Tennessee 4 - Montgomery 3 (13 innings)
- Another solid outing for Kyle Hendricks though he wasn't very efficient even though he didn't walk a batter or allow a run. He got to 88 pitches (57 strikes) in just 5 innings. He struck out 6. Hendricks has a 2.06 ERA with 21 walks and 76 strikeouts in 96.1 innings. It's looking like he'll be the second straight Smokies pitcher to win the organizational pitcher of the year. Nick Struck won it last year.
- Yeiper Castillo got the win in extras after 3 scoreless innings. He did not allow a hit or a walk and seems much more comfortable in this role (1.50 ERA) early on.
- A typical game for Arismendy Alcantara in that he drew 2 walks and doubled -- and stole his 20th base of the season. Alcantara played 2B with the absence of Ronald Torreyes, who was traded today. No word on whether that will be a permanent change. It's one I expect Alcantara to make eventually anyway.
- 3B Christian Villanueva has hovered around the .250 mark for most of the season but today he hit his 9th HR. He's also played his usual stellar defense. He's not a big OBP guy, so he's probably going to hit a bit better to make it as a starter in the big leagues, but his extra base pop and defense gives him a shot.
- With Steve Clevenger off to Baltimore, C Rafael Lopez becomes the Cubs best backup catcher prospect. He made the Southern League all-star game as he's quietly been a solid, if unspectacular, player for the Smokies. He hit his 5th HR of the season and is hitting .253/.349/.429 overall. He's a good defensive catcher who moves well (he used to be an infielder) and calls a good game..
Wisconsin 5 - Kane County 3
- Not a good start today by Tayler Scott as he struggled with his control (4 walks). The last time I saw Scott he walked 3 and struggled locating the entire game. It seems to have been the same story today as Scott gave up 5 runs (3 earned) and struck out 2. Scott has solid stuff (90-92 mph FB, good curve), but not solid enough to get away with anything less than average command.
- The Cougars scratched out 5 hits, including singles by Albert Almora, Kevin Encarnacion, Marco Hernandez, and Wilson Contreras. Hernandez also drove in a run. But the big hit was Jeimer Candelario's 4th HR of the season, a 2-run shot. He also stole his first base of the season.
Boise 10 - Salem-Keizer 5
- Tough day for Paul Blackburn as he had trouble throwing his curveball for strikes. He walked 4 batters and lasted just 3 innings, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) and not striking out a single batter. It's a bump in the road and a learning experience as Blackburn will learn to pitch without his best stuff -- which he did for the first couple of innings, but the wheels came off in the 3rd.
- Orbandy Rodriguez pitched 2 scoreless innings, walking none and striking out 2.
- 5th round pick Trey Masek made his second appearance and allowed an unearned run, allowing one hit and a walk. He didn't strikeout any hitters.
- 4th round pick Tyler Skulina made his professional debut and also tossed a scoreless inning, though he did walk a batter and got some help on a great defensive play by David Bote.
- David Bote also hit his 2nd HR of the year and is hitting .293.
- It was a big offensvie day for Boise as every player got on base at least once, even Jacob Rogers in his only AB -- and he did it in style with a 3 run HR.
- Catcher Lance Rhymel was one of the more productive players today. He singled, walked twice and scored 3 times while driving in 2.
- 3B Daniel Lockhart doubled, singled and drove in 2 to raise his average on the year to .296.
AZL Cubs 6 - AZL Brewers 4
- It was rehab day again in AZ. Dae-Eun Rhee started things off with 2 innings of work in which he gave up 2 unearned runs.
- Starling Peralta was sharp with 2 scoreless innings in which he walked none and struck out 3.
- Marcus Mateo pitched another scoreless inning.
- 10th round pick Zach Godley made his debut and pitched one inning, allowing 2 hits and one run while striking out one.
- 15th round sleeper Michael Wagner was the 3rd pitcher from this year's draft to make his debut. Wagner fared well, tossing a scoreless inning.
- Erick Leal, normally a starter, closed the game out and pitched 2 scoreless innings to pick up his first save. He struck out one hitter and lowered his ERA to 0.75.
- Kevin Brown was in LF and led off and went 2 for 4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored. He has raised his average to .280.
- SS Giuseppe Pappacio bounced back after a recent slump had dropped his average to below .300. He went 2 for 4 with a double and 3 RBI to bring his average back up to .313.
- C Erick Castillo singled, doubled and scored 2 runs.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap