And they've had remarkable aim too.
On with the recap...
Memphis 7 - Iowa 1
- Another good start for Yoanner Negrin, who have up just one run in 5 innings. He walked one and struck out 2. He lowered his ERA to 4.35 on the season, but his peripherals even better with 29 walks (2.68/9IP) vs. 110 Ks (10.17/9IP) in 97.1 innings. His FIP coming into the game was a much more respectable 2.70.
- It's been a nightmare for Alberto Cabrera at AAA. He gave up yet another HR -- this time it as a 3-run shot and Cabrera gave up 4 runs overall in just one inning of work. He took the loss and fell to 0-3 with an 8.31 ERA.
- As if Mike Olt isn't having enough troubles this season, he was benched today for not running out a groundball to the shortstop.
Tennessee 10 - Birmingham 8
- It was an encouraging start for Matt Loosen, who threw strikes and walked just 2 batters in 5.2 innings while striking out 5. He still gave up 3 runs, but the peripherals were better, the command was better, and as long he continues to throw strikes, Loosen should have some success at AA. Today was a step in that direction.
- Tony Zych has been red hot of late but with just so-so peripherals, so you knew it was going to catch up to him someday. That day was today as Zych pitched just 2/3 of an inning and allowed 4 runs, though just 2 were earned due to a John Andreoli error. Zych, however, earned the win, when the Smokies re-took the lead in the 9th. Zych has a 2.73 ERA on the season.
- Frank Batista pitched a scoreless 9th to pick up his 17th save. He also has a 2.73 ERA on the season.
- Matt Szcur doubled and scored 2 runs.
- Arismendy Alcantara is back on the upswing after some struggles in the second half. He filled up the stat sheet again with a double, single, 2 walks, his 28th stolen base, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. He raised his overall line to .271/.347/.448 on the season. If there's one good thing that has come out of his unusually long season is his increasing proficieny vs. LHP. It's not a Ruthian by any means, but Alcantara has now surpassed the .700 OPS mark vs. LHPs for the year. I've always felt he just needed more reps batting RH after never playing much more than half a season in his career due to injuries.
- The Javier Baez path of destruction through the Southern League continued unabated today. The slugging SS went 4 for 4 with 5 RBI, including 2 more HRs to give him 16 on the year. It puts him in a tie for 5th in the league, 4 from the leader, despite playing in just 43 games. For good measure, Baez also drove in the winning run with a sac fly in 9th that gave the Smokies the lead they would not relinquish. It was impressive to see Baez, who came up with men at 1st and 3rd with nobody out, use situational hitting instead of trying to pad his day with a 3 run HR. He just got the run home. In fact, Baez had good ABs all day, working counts and laying off pitches off the plate. Baez's numbers are phenomenal at this point. He's hitting .307/.366/.659 (1.025 OPS) with 16 HRs in 176 ABs at AA. Overall he's hitting .286 with 33 HRs, and 100 RBIs. He also has 19 SBs and 33 doubles on the year. This is a 20 year old kid playing at AA during during a playoff stretch run. Incredible.
- 3B Christian Villanueva was hitless until his last AB, when he hit a key 2-run double. It was his league leading 39th two bagger of the season.
- Great to see Brett Jackson contribute with 2 hits in 5 ABs.
- C Rafael Lopez went 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. He also drove in a run and scored another.
Beloit 8 - Kane County 5
- Tonight was the MWL debut of James Pugliese who went 5 innings, did not walk a batter and struck out 6. He also induced 6 ground balls, two of which were turned into DPs. Sounds like a great outing but Pugliese also gave up 10 hits and 5 runs. It's hard to say without having seen the game whether this was a case of BABIP luck or Pugliese got hit hard, but chances are if Pugliese throws strikes and continues to induce ground balls like he did today, he'll get better results than he did today.
- The Cougars got a brilliant performance from LHP Nathan Dorris, who went 4 innings pitched of one-hit scoreless baseball. He walked just one and struck out 4. Dorris lowered his ERA to 2.80 on the season.
- Closer Michael Hamman is struggling down the stretch after dominating at Boise and then during his first few stints at Kane County. Today he allowed 3 hits, including a 2 run HR and 3 runs overall to take the loss. He fell to 2-3 with a 2.65 ERA overall.
- Jeimer Candelario went 2 for 5 with a run scored and an RBI. The switch hitting 3B is hitting .252/.345/.387 on the year.
- Marco Hernandez singled and doubled in 5 ABs.
- Infielder Giuseppe Papaccio has been a nice additon to the Cougars. He's played good defense and provided solid contact hitting with a nice approach. He had two more hits, including a triple, and drove in 3. He's hit .279/.336/.365 on the year.
Boise 5 - Salem-Keizer 2
- Solid start for Jose Rosario, who went 5 innings and allowed 2 walks and 5 Ks. He gave up 2 runs overall and moved to 2-0 witha 1.80 ERA since his demotion.
- Jose Arias continues to look strong since his long stint on the DL. He hurled 3.2 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out 4. The tall, big-bodied RHP has yet to allow a run or a walk in 8 innings. That's a good sign because Arias has always had solid command to go with his low 90s FB curve, and developing change.
- Carlos Penalver moved up to the 2nd spot after some hot-hitting recently and made the move pay off with a hit, run scored, and RBI today.
- Yasiel Balaguert singled twice and drove in 2 runs. The big 20 year old corner outfielder out of Cuba is hitting .283 with 7 HRs on the year.
- Daniel Lockhart went 2 for 4 with a run scored and continues to hover around that .300 mark (.297).
- C Lance Rhymel is known more as a game manger/catch and throw type catcher but he's been a solid bat for Boise this year. The 23 year old backstop is hitting .263 after a 2 for 4 day that included a run scored and 2 RBI.
AZL D'Backs 4 - AZL Cubs 3
- 13th round pick Trevor Graham started and went 2.1 innings, allowing one run, walking one and striking out 3. He has a 2.11 ERA on the year.
- 18 year old polished pitcher Carlos Rodriguez, a somewhat undersized lefty out of Venezuela piggybacked the start. He's another guy, like Daury Torrez and Erick Leal, whose periphery numbers are better than his results. He went 4.1 innings and walked just one and struck out 4, though he did give up 2 runs and 5 hits. He has a 6.53 ERA but his FIP is a very good 2.64. He has walked more than expected at 3.86 per 9 IP, but has also struck out 8.3 per 9 IP. Despite his youth, I'd put his overall stuff behind the other two young pitchers mentioned earlier.
- The offense didn't do too much, a triple by Rashard Crawford and a single by Jeffrey Baez scored one run. Jesse Hodges doubled and scored twice, being driven in once each by Tyler Alamo (0-2, .100 on the season) and Mark Malave (1 for 3 with a walk and hitting .248 with a .357 OBP.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap