Well, this was an interesting night. There was a bit of a buzz on Twitter when Kane County Cougars outfielder Shawon Dunston left the dugout twice. Once right after the anthem and then again after the first inning.
With the timing of the Jacob Turner waiver claim and Dunston looking like a pretty fair return for the recently DFA'd pitcher, it seemed like too much to be a coincidence.
Well, it was a coincidence.
It turns out that Dunston was ill and simply left the dugout to...well, avoid yakking in it. Per Peoria Chiefs beat writer Dave Eminian (@icetimecleve)
KC's Shawon Dunston Jr left game in 1st inng bc of a call-up -- from his stomach, if you know what I mean. He was just ill, but fine now.
So, there you have it. But the way Dunston has been playing of late, it would not have been surprising if another team had been interested -- or if he had been promoted to Daytona.
On with the recap...
- Felix Pena had a strong outing for the Smokies, walking 2 but striking out 8 in 5.1 innings to drop his ERA to 4.87. It was his first win at the AA level.
- The Smokies got great relief from 4 different bullpen arms. Andrew McKirahan had the longest stint with 1.2 scoreless innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out 1. The lefty has established himself as a legit bullpen option for the future and is yet another player who may need to be protected from the Rule 5 draft. He has a 2.41 ERA with 3 walks and 16 Ks in 18.2 innings.
- Pin-Chieh Chen went 2 or 5 with a double, RBI, and 2 runs scored He is hitting just .234 for the Smokies.
- Addison Russell just keeps rolling along. He doubled, singled, and walked, driving in a run and scoring another. The walk was his 3rd in the last 8 games as he has not drawn many since joining the Cubs. That was a strength with the A's organization and we presume he has the same plate discipline, so the fact he is beginning to draw walks again shows a return to what is normally patient approach. He has only walked 5.3% of the time since joining the Smokies but he does have an 8.3% rate overall. Not bad for a 20 year old in AA but that should probably go up as he continues to get comfortable. He is hitting .295 with 8 HRs in 27 games with Tennessee,
- Christian Villanueva drove in 2 runs with a single.
- Juan Paniagua was unable to build off his last great start, lasting only 4 innings. It was walks and the long ball that got him today as he walked 3 and gave up 2 HRs, leading to 4 runs and his second loss at Daytona.
- The D-Cubs were getting no-hit by Jessie Biddle, who was rehabbing and was at AA earlier this year, Biddle is a good prospect and apparently overmatched the younger D-Cubs for 5 innings before exiting on pitch count. Bill McKinney finally broke up the potential combined no-no with a single with one out in the 8th. Kyle Schwarber added a double in the 9th for the only other hit.
- Paul Blackburn looks back on track with 5 solid innings of one run baseball. He walked just one and struck out 5 to improve to 9-4 with a 3.21 ERA. He has walked just 2.3 batters per 9 IP, but his K rate has been just over 6 per 9 innings.
- Jose Arias pitched 3 brilliant innings in relief, allowing just 2 hits and no runs while not walking a batter and striking out 5. Arias improved his ERA to 1.77. He has struck out 11.3 batters per 9 IP while walking 3.8/9 IP.
- Tyler Bremer found himself back at Kane County after a stint in Daytona. He picked up where he left off with a scoreless inning to pick up his 12th save. He struck out 2.
- Trey Martin took over for Dunston in the leadoff spot but played CF. He doubled and scored a run in 3 ABs.
- C Victor Caratini went 0 for 2 but walked twice and scored twice. He is hitting .267 since joining the Cubs.
- 3B Jeimer Candelario went 3 for 4 and scored a run. It raised his line at Kane County to .255/.290/.447 with 5 HRs.
- RF Jeffrey Baez seems to be getting in a groove now. He went 2 for 4 with an RBI and raised his average on the year to .262.
- 17th round pick Michael Knighton made his debut and allowed 2 runs in 1 inning.
- Jesus Castillo continued his solid season with a 3 inning performance in which he allowed one run. He walked one and struck out one, lowering his ERA to 2.95.
- Neil Ramirez had his first rehab start, pitching an inning and allowing 2 runs, one earned.
- Kevonte Mitchell has been steady all season. Today it was 1 for 4 with a walk. He is hitting .305 and for a player deemed to be raw, he has shown a solid approach at the plate. The walk was his 10th of the season in just 92 PAs, a walk rate of about 11%, putting his OBP at .394. He also stole his 10th base.
- Ricardo Marcano went 2 for 4 and raised his average to .275.
- Ho-Young Son was mostly known for his defense and speed as an amateur, but the Cubs sleeper IFA signing has proven to be better than advertised with the bat. The SS went 3 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI. Son did show off some of that speed, stealing 2 bases to give him 8 on the year. He's hitting .310 and has shown some patience with 5 walks in 47 PAs. His OBP is a robust .383.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap