Were're terribly late today, so let's get to the recaps quickly...
- Brian Matusz returned but the struggles from his MLB outing continued. He have up 3 runs on 3 hits in 2 innings.
- The I- Cubs got some production from a trio of veterans. Tim Fedorowicz was the offensive star (2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI) while Kris Negron (2 for 4) drove in a run and Juan Perez collected 3 hits. Another veteran, Munenori Kawasaki got on base three times (single, 2 walks) and scored.
Pensacola 4 - Tennessee 3 (completion of suspended game)
- Two games but not a whole lot of highlights for the Smokies. Tyler Skulina gave up a run on 1.2 innings before the delay while Juan Paniagua helped save the bullpen a couple of innings with a 3 inning, 5 K performance in which he allowed one run.
- After scoreless relief appearances by David Berg (1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K) and Stephen Perakslis (2 IP, 1 BB, 3 Ks), David Garner took the loss in what has been an up and down season for him. He gave up the walk off win, allowing 2 runs in just 1/3 of an inning for his 4th blown save, dropping him to 1-4 with a 4.24 ERA.
- Jen Ho Tseng had a rough outing, allowing 8 runs (5 earned) on 10 hits in 4.1 innngs. He fell to 5-6 with a 3.77 ERA.
- LHP Jack Leathersich hopes to get a September call-up to aid the bullpen and he has been solid at AA after dominating the AZL, but he will have to get the walks down. The lefty can miss bats, however. He pitched a scoreless inning (1 walk, 2 Ks) in lowering his ERA to 3.68 in 7.1 innings, walking 4 but striking out 9.
- The Smokies got HRs from Victor Caratini (2 for 8, 2 RBI) and Kelly Dugan (2 for 7)
- Jonathan Martinez seems to have that knack of doing just enough to help his team win. He improved to 11-5 with a 4.02 ERA. The change-up specialist will give up a lot of flyballs and can be prone to the long ball and he did give up 2 today to go with 4 runs overall in 5 innings.
- The Pelicans got good relief, allowing just 4 runs the rest of the way. Ryan McNeil pitched a scoreless 9th to pick up his 20th save.
- Donnie Dewees was the star on offense, going 3 for 5 with his 2nd HR at Myrtle Beach. Dewees is hitting better in 16 games in the tough Carolina League (.297/.370/.453) then he did in his good half season at South Bend. Dewees has stolen 8 bases in 8 tries and is 33 for 38 overall this season.
- Both David Bote (double) and Bryant Flete got on base three times with a hit and 2 walks, scored once and drove in a run.
- Ian Rice played catcher, something he has not done often this year and went 2 for 5 with a double and 2 runs scored.
- Adbert Alzolay came into the season with some high expectations, having been named by Theo himself as one of 6 pitchers aged 20 or under to watch this year. Now, 21, Alzolay started the season quickly, then slumped and now may be pitching his baseball of the season in his last 3 starts. Alzolay allowed just 4 hits and 1 walk in 6 scoreless innings. The 6'0", 170 lbs Alzolay isn't physically imposing but he has a live arm and a FB that sits low 90s and has reached as high as 96 with his 4 seamer. He'll add and subtract from that FB, sometimes cutting it to create more movement and draw weak contact. He can also miss some bats, as his 6 Ks today can attest. Alzolay improved to 8-4 with a 4.19 ERA (FIP 3.90). Azolay also has shown good control in his career and his 2.05 walks per 9 IP this year shows that this season is no different.
- You don't normally expect your catcher to be a table setter but PJ Higgins is with his OBP skills (.379) and average speed fit nicely in the 2 spot for South Bend. He got on base three times (single, 2 walks) and scored all 3 times. HIggins isn't going to hit for a lot of power but he can shoot the gaps and gets some extra base hits (25 doubles this year).
- DH Albert Mineo had one hit but it was a big 3 run HR in the 3rd that essentially put this game out of reach with the way Alzolay has been throwing.
- You would expect that if South Bend scored 10 runs that Eloy Jimenez would have something to do with that. And he did. The big 19 year old slugger doubled, tripled and drove in 4 runs. And while you don't take big stock in RBIs at the development level, it is nonetheless impressive that he has driven in 77 runs, second only to Yasiel Balaguert in the Cubs system. It shows at least some awareness of the situation at such an early age, not to mention his power allows him to drive in multiple runs at a time. Jimenez has also drastically cut his strikeouts done, cutting it down under 15% in his last 185 PAs and down to an even 20% for the season -- this is a 19 year old power hitter in full season ball, people. They're not supposed to have that kind of K rate -- and if you know that as the approach continues to improve, he should be able to maintain or even improve that as he moves up.
- Connor Myers went 4 for 4 and scored twice. The fleet CF has hit .325 in his last 10 games.
- Guys like Roberto Caro show that even if you don't get that opportunity early, being a flexible org guy and a good teammate will help you stick around until you do get that shot. Caro is getting his first extended playing time in his first real shot at a full season league after languishing in the complex leagues for 4 years. The speedy 22 year old with a good glove went 1 for 2 with a double, 2 walks, and 2 runs scored
- LHP Manuel Rondon improved to 6-0 with a 1.27 ERA with 5 innings of 3 hit, scoreless baseball. The slender 21 year old has a live arm himself, reaching as high as 86 and often working at about 92-94. He's just learning to use that good FB, getting more aggressive with it and attacking hitters rather than nibbling. It has helped him to set up an improving breaking ball. Rondon walked 2 and struck out 6.
- The bullpen was outstanding as they got 4 no-hit innings -- 1 inning apiece from Marc Huberman (1 BB, 2 Ks) ,MT Minacci (1 BB), Chad Hockin (1 K) and Mark Malave (3 Ks). For Malave it was his 7th save and lowered his ERA to 3.27.
- It was a good thing the pitchers had this thing locked down because the Emeralds offense was only able to muster up one run. Wladimir Galindo (1 for 2, 2 walks) drove in Zach Short (1 for 3, walk), who had singled and stole 2nd base. Short stole 2 bases in all and has 3 at Eugene overall. The 19 year old Galindo has really improved his approach of late, hitting .368 and walking 6 times in his last 10 games, though he is still has some swing and miss to his game.
- Pablo Ochoa is a lefty with a low arm slot who slings the ball across his body with a FB that is in the 86-89 range and a high 70s breaking ball. He fell to 1-4 with a 6.95 ERA after allowing 5 runs on 8 hits in 3 innings.
- The Cubs managed just 2 hits, one each by Luis Ayala and Isaac Paredes.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap