Well, it appears that one more high ceiling late round draft pick is going to play baseball in the Cubs organization. Big, athletic slugging 3B Joey Martarano appears headed to the Cubs rookie complex in Arizona. Per his Twitter account,
I'm actually going down to Mesa Arizona to play some baseball, but good luck bro tear it up!
There should still be money left even after 2nd round pick Jake Stinnett and 6th round overslot Dylan Cease presumably sign, so it will be interesting to see how many more late round picks they'll be able to bring into the organization.
- Kyle Hendricks solid season continued with 7 strong innings in which he allowed just 2 runs. He walked 2 while striking out 6, improving his record to 7-5 with a 3.78 ERA.
- Marcus Hatley has had a great year out of the bullpen but today he earned his first save of the season, working a scoreless inning and strikingout 2. The tall, athletic, hard-throwing RHP seems to have overcome his control issues this season, walking just 5 men in 27 innings (1.67 BB/9IP) while still retaining the good stuff to miss bats, striking out 37 (12.33 K/9IP) .
- Arismendy Alcantara doubled, singled, and scored 2 runs, raising his line of the season to .276/.315/.514 on the season.
- Javier Baez had himself a nice day, getting single and stealing 2 bases (11) while also hitting a 2-run HR (10). Baez is still hitting just .223 on the season as he has scuffled of late after showing signs of going on a hot streak. He certainly hasn't found that groove he's found the past 2 seasons and it wouldn't surprise me if he spent all of this season in AAA. The Cubs can afford to wait this season and possibly part of next until he develops an approach that can work in the majors. He may never be a guy who walks or hits for a high average but the goal is for him to get himself into better counts and to swing at strikes when he gets there. Too often it seems like he sees 3-0, 3-1, or 2-0 as carte blanche to swing for the fences and erasing the advantage he creates when he is patient early in the count.
- Corey Black returned from the DL on a pitch count to throw 3 innings in which he allowed just one unearned run. Most importantly for his own development, Black walked just one batter. He has the stuff to miss bats (5 Ks) and induce weak contact but he too often beats himself by missing the strike zone. This was a short outing and he was still somewhat wild (also hit a batter and threw a wild pitch) but a step in the right direction. He has a 3.25 ERA on the season.
- Zach Cates pitched 2 more scoreless innings, giving him 4.2 scoreless innings overall since his promotion to AA. He did strike out 2, giving him 5 but he has also walked 5, an early departure to the great improvement he showed with control at Daytona.
- After Jeffrey Lorick held the lead with a scoreless inning, Eduardo Figueroa got absolutely thumped, allowing 5 runs without getting a batter out to put Mississippi comfortably in the lead. Well, no such thing as "comfortably" when the Smokies are behind as we will see.
- Lendy Castillo has pitched better of late and two more scoreless innings dropped his ERA to 3.50. Something about the Tennessee air seems to work as a tonic for relief pitchers, hopefully it sticks with Castillo.
- Arodys Vizcaino hit 98 mph today as he pitched a scoreless inning and struck out 2. He has 3 walks and 16 Ks in 13.2 AA innings while allowing hitters to hit just .149. For Vizcaino, it is just a matter of the Cubs believing he has built up the stamina to be used with regularity out of an MLB bullpen. They may wait until September when the rosters expand to allow them the flexibility they would prefer.
- Armando Rivero pitched 2 innings, striking out 3 and lowering his ERA to 1.56 while getting the win.
- Anthony Giansanti may not have top prospect status but he's the kind of ballplayer that good teams seem to have. Great teammate and plays whatever role the team needs. The role now is leadoff man and he has been playing it well. Today he got 3 hits, raising his average to .261 after hitting .370 so far in June.
- Stephen Bruno knows his role and that is to hit. Three hits today has him back on the upswing with a .291/.378/.471 on the year.
- Kris Bryant had a rather uneventful game, going 1 for 4 with a walk and an RBI, but that is what has made him so good. Even when he isn't mashing the ball all over the field, he still manages to contribute in some way.
- Rubi Silva went 3 for 6 and drove in a pair of runs.
- Duane Underwood came off the DL and like Black, was on a pitch count, going 2 innings of scoreless baseball to lower his ERA to 2.32 on the year. Underwood is still just scratching the surface on his enormous talent with his success at Kane County. He doesn't turn 20 until next month.
- Michael Wagner piggybacked the short start allowing one solo HR in 3 innings, though he was more wild than usual, walking 3 batters. He did strikeout 3 as well. Wagner has a 3.80 ERA though he has been pitching especially well of late.
- Big lefty Michael Heesch and his good two seamer is also pitching well, going 2 scoreless innings and lowering his ERA to 3.86 after a slow start to the season.
- James Pugliese had himself another great outing though he was let down by the defense, specifically an error by Yasiel Balaguert. Pugliese then gave up a double and Beloit managed to push the two runs across without the benefit of another hit. Tough way to lose the lead because Pugliese pitched 4 great innings (no walks, 4 Ks) to lower his ERA to 1.05.
- Zach Hermans game into pitch the 12th with a one run lead and allowed the walk off 2-run HR to cap a very frustrating loss.
- The Cougars got great production from their 4-5-6 hitters with Jordan Hankins batting in the clean-up spot and continued to be the Cougars most productive hitter. He went 2 for 4 with a walk and his 3rd HR of the year and is now batting .322/.361/.461 on the year.
- Yasiel Balaguert hit his 5th HR of the year and had 3 hits overall, but he has been a disappointment to this season. He has the great hands and bat speed but is struggling in his second season in the MWL. He has struggled to adapt to the more advanced pitchers in full season ball, particularly when it comes to hitting the breaking ball.
- Jacob Rogers hit his 6th HR and went 2 for 5 on the year. Rogers has a rather long swing so the lower batting average (.245) is not a big surprise, neither is his outstanding plate discipline which has helped him put up a .351 OBP. What is surprising is that Rogers has only hit 6 HRs and put up a .405 slugging percentage. He has some great raw power, even hitting the scoreboard at O'Brien Field in Peoria, but it hasn't shown up as much as expected this season.
- I was looking forward to this Trevor Clifton start because he had made so much progress this spring, but he may have had some jitters as a 19 year old in the NWL. His control problems resurfaced (4 walks) and it led to 4 runs in 4.1 innings. Clifton did strike out 5 batters, so the stuff appeared to be as good as expected. Now that he has this one under his belt he'll come back strong next time out.
- Boise managed to regain the lead in the bottom of the 6th but Carlos Llano who pitched 2 scoreless innings and left with a man on base (via a walk). He was relieved by Yomar Morel, who allowed another baserunner and then a 3-run HR to give Tri-City the lead back. Morel then rebounded to pitch a scoreless inning before allowing 2 more meaningless runs in the 9th.
- Jeffrey Baez went 1 for 4 with a double and a walk.
- 1B Kevin Brown went 1 for 4 with a walk and a key 2-out RBI double to tie the game at 7 after the Boise bullpen lost the lead.
- Kyle Schwarber did just about everything he could on offense to help the team win. He hit a sac fly, walked, got hit by a pitch and, oh yeah, hit a HR over the batter's eye in CF (see video below). Schwarber scored 2 and drove in 2.
- With Schwarber at DH, Justin Marra had the catching duties and hit a big 3-run HR. He went 2 for 4 overall in his season debut.
- 2B Zak Blair went 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.
- SS Giuseppe Papaccio doubled, walked, and scored 2 runs.
- Speedy CF Rashad Crawford went 2 for 4, stole his first base, scored 2 runs and had an RBI. Crawford was taken in the 11th round in the first draft of the Epstein era. He's intriguing but a raw player with good size, speed, and athleticism, not to mention a lefty bat. The 20 year old still has a lot of work to do, however.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap