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Daily Cubs Minors Recap: 6 HRs and solid performances from Underwood, Alzolay, Hudson, and Robinson

Daily Cubs Minors Recap:  6 HRs and solid performances from Underwood, Alzolay, Hudson, and Robinson

There must be something in the air.  The Cubs had 4 HRs in their game against the Reds and the Cubs minor leaguers hit 6 HRs combined over 4 games...

AAA 

Iowa 8 - Las Vegas 7

Prospect Profile

Taylor Davis

Taylor Davis

Taylor Davis isn't exactly toolsy and he doesn't have the prettiest swing you'll see, but it works for him and that is al that matters.  Davis has consistently shown he can contribute on offense with a high contact rate, a disciplined approach, and occasional power.  Behind the plate he works very well with pitchers and is a popular teammate in general.  He is due to be a minor league free agent after the season but it wouldn't surprise me if the Cubs either re-signed him or rostered him to keep him around.  In fact, they may have to roster him to prevent him from looking for better opportunities elsewhere.

Game Recap

This game started out fast out of the gates with Iowa scoring 5 runs.  They got two in the first on an RBI single by Chris Dominguez and an RBI double by Victor Caratini.  They would add 3 more the next inning behind a solo HR by Taylor Davis and a 2 run shot by John Andreoli.  Unfortunately Aaron Brooks gave up 6 runs in 3 innings and 7 overall, leaving them to come from behind, which they eventually did in the 8th on a Taylor Davis sac fly.

The comeback would not have happened were it not for an excellent performance by 3 Iowa relievers.  Jack

Jack Leathersich

Jack Leathersich

Leathersich showed what he can do when he throws strikes, going 2 scoreless while Dylan Floro pitched another 2 scoreless to pick up the win.  Davis was once again involved, this time doubling Jemile Weeks to 3B where he scored on a sac fly by Ozzie Martinez.

Top Performers

  • Jack Leathersich: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 Ks
  • Dylan Floro:  2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K (win)
  • Justin Grimm: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 Ks (save)
  • John Andreoli: 1-5, HR, 2 RBI
  • Chesny Young: 3-5, double, run, SB
  • Victor Caratini: 3-5, 2 doubles, run, RBI
  • Taylor Davis: 2-3, HR, double, walk, run, 2 RBI
  • Ozzie Martinez: 2-4, double, 2 RBI

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jemile Weeks

Jemile Weeks

Jemile Weeks was activated and while he did not get a hit, he walked twice and eventually scored the game winner.  Weeks played RF in this contest and can virtually play any defensive position -- and play it well.

You have to hand it to Jack Leathersich.  He was reassigned to Arizona to work on his command and he went right to work.  He was always talking to coaches, trying to fix whatever mechanical flaw it was that had him walking an extraordinary number of batters in his first go-round at Iowa.  He has walked just one batter in his 3 appearances (4 innings) while striking out 5 in his second go-round so far.

Chesny Young is now hitting .310.  He was hitting .213 on May 1st and since then he has gone 24 for 53 (.453) over 12 games.

Victor Caratini is now the team's leading hitter and 8th in the PCL with a .349 average.

Taylor Davis is hitting .280/.350/.430

AA

Tennessee 7 - Montgomery 1

Prospect Profile

Daury Torrez

Daury Torrez

I don't imagine Daury Torrez was very happy when he was told he'd be returning to Myrtle Beach after going 10-6 with a 3.75 ERA with just 21 walks in 134.1 IP.  I am sure he liked it even less when they told him he would be returning as a relief pitcher.  The adjustment was difficult and even though Torrez showed an uptick into the mid 90s with his FB (t97), he struggled to make the transition last year.  He is having no such problems this year.  He comes at hitters with a lower 3/4 arm slot and short arm action that makes it look like he's slinging it to the plate.  While that may not work well for a starter, it really adds some deception in short stints.  Torrez also throws a slider and a change and as we alluded to, has well above average control.

Game Recap

Duane Underwood walked 4 batters in 5 innings while allowing 5 hits, including a HR, but he managed to dance between the raindrops as the solo HR accounted for the only scoring off the 22 year old RHP in 5 innings.  Meanwhile the Smokies offense ate up Biscuits starter Jose Mujica with 7 runs in the first two innings.  Yasiel

Yasiel Balaguert

Yasiel Balaguert

Balaguert had the big hit in the first inning with a 3 run HR.  They would come back in the next inning with another 3 run HR, this one by Charcer Burks, and then a solo HR by David Bote.  The Smokies then got the solid start from Underwood and a sterling relief appearance by Daury Torrez.  Ryan McNeil then closed it out with a scoreless 9th.

Top Performers

  • Duane Underwood: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 5 Ks (win)
  • Daury Torrez: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 Ks
  • Ryan McNeil: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 Ks
  • Charcer Burks: 1-2, HR, 3 RBI
  • David Bote: 1-2, HR, BB, 2 runs
  • Yasiel Balaguert: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Duane Underwood improved to 4-1 with an even 4.00 ERA.  He has walked 13 and struck out 30 in 36 innings.

Daury Torrez lowered his ERA to 0,44.  He has been incredibly stingy with baserunners, posting a 0.63 WHIP with just 10 hits allowed and 3 walks in 20.2 innings.  He's also done a good job missing bats with 18 Ks.

Charcer Burks left the game early and hopefully it's nothing serious because he has been a catalyst for this Smokies lineup.  He is hitting .304/.414/.459 with 4 HRs and 6 SBs.

Craig Brooks (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Craig Brooks (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

David Bote is hitting .281/.359/.467 with 5 HRs

Ryan McNeil has had a sluggish start with a 5.87 ERA but has 4 walks vs 14 Ks to start the year.

Craig Brooks had a 0.44 ERA at Myrtle Beach with 30 strikeouts vs 6 walks in just 20.2 innings.

Advanced A

Buies Creek 5 - Myrtle Beach 1

Prospect Profile

Jesse Hodges (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Jesse Hodges (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Jesse Hodges was discovered in a tournament out on the Pacific Rim as a member of the Canadian team.  Hodges was a SS then but has since moved to 3B where he has played outstanding defense for the Pelicans this year.  He's an aggressive hitter though he has improved his plate discipline as he gains experience.  He'll strike out and he doesn't provide much power, but he just seems to have a knack for getting the big hit when it counts,

Game Recap

Adbert Alzolay pitched 7 innings and allowed just 3 hits, walked just one and struck out 7.  Now you would think

Adbert Alzolay

Adbert Alzolay

that meant he would coast to another win but sequencing was his enemy today.  Alzolay gave up all 4 of his runs in the the first two innings.  It was a walk and a HR to the first two batters that would be the difference in this game and then back to back doubles in the second after a HBP led to two more.  Alzolay then went on to retire the next 17 batters in order over the next 5.2 innings, 6 via strikeouts.  He would get the loss but that kind of dominance is encouraging, especially after early inning struggles.  Tyler Alamo singled home Eddy Martinez in the 9th for the Pelicans only run.

Top Performers

  • Adbert Alzolay: 7 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 7 Ks
  • Bryant Flete: 2-4, double
  • Tyler Alamo: 2-4, RBI
  • Marc Huberman: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Michael Rucker

Michael Rucker

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Adbert Alzolay may have seen his ERA"soar" to 2.85 as he dropped to 3-1, but his WHIP fell to 1.12.  He continues like he is on the brink of a breakout year.

Michael Rucker got promoted to Myrtle Beach after a dominant start to his season at South Bend.  Craig Brooks moved up to AA to make room.

 

Class A

South Bend 1 - Dayton 0

Prospect Profile

Wladimir Galindo

Wladimir Galindo

Wladimir Galindo signed late in the IFA process, inking a contract in late December of 2013 just a little over a month after turning 17.  Scouts were mixed at the time but the Cubs liked his power potential.  Galindo was rather raw and could sometimes be unbalanced at the plate, but when he was in control he showed excellent bat speed and made consistent loud contact as a member of the AZL team in 2015, but he did not HR after hitting 7 in the VSL in the previous season.  The HR power started to come around  last year at Eugene when he hit 9 and this year Galindo was hitting some of the longest, hardest hit HRs of any of the lower league hitting prospects  He has improved his approach and doesn't chase offspeed pitches off the plate as much, but he is still prone to striking out.  The other question is where he can stick at 3B.  Like Jeimer Candelario, he has a naturally thick frame and some scouts wonder if he'll retain the quickness to play the hot corner full time.  If not, he may well develop enough power to profile at 1B anyway.

Game Recap

It started with an excellent performance from Bryan Hudson, who went 5 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits

Duncan Robinson

Duncan Robinson

and 2 walks.  He also induced 10 ground ball outs.  He did not get any support, however.  Duncan Robinson piggybacked the start and pitched another 4 scoreless -- in fact, he did not allow a hit.  Robinson was the pitcher of record when Wladimir Galindo hit his 2nd HR in the bottom of the 7th for the game winner.

Top Performers

  • Bryan Hudson: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 10 GB outs
  • Duncan Robinson: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 Ks (win)
  • Wladimir Galindo: 1-3, HR

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Duncan Robinson continued his magnificent start, improving to 5-1 and lowering his ERA to 1.34.  He has 6 walks vs. 23 Ks in 33.2 IP.

Bryan Hudson had his best start of the season with 5 scoreless and while he did not get the win, he lowered his ERA to a much more respectable 4.13.  The walk to K ratio is nothing to scream about at 12 to 13, but Hudson has an outstanding 3.07 GO/AO ratio while drawing a lot of weak contact.  Hitters have hit just .219 off of him this season.  He will still need to improve his command and perhaps that will help him miss a few more bats, but Hudson is already showing marked improvement over last season.

Wladimir Galindo is now hitting .306/.344/.435 with 2 HRs in 22 games.

 

 

Comments

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  • Burks ran full speed into the wall chasing after a well hit fly ball that wound up being an inside the park HR. There's padding on the walls in Tennessee, but it's concrete behind it.

    Couldn't tell what the injury was. Could be anything from precautionary removal from the game, to concussion, to a knee or back injury. He stayed in to finish the inning, so it doesn't seem too serious, but who knows...

  • In reply to Quedub:

    A few years ago, Jae-Hoon Ha had the same thing happen to him in Tennessee and it altered his career path.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Yep, he was never the same after that.

  • Bryan Hudson in the month of May:

    3 G, 16 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 11 K, .196 BAA, 1.13 ERA. 1.06 WHIP.

    Oh, and he's induced 29 ground ball outs to just 5 fly ball outs. Wow...

  • In reply to Quedub:

    Pretty darn impressive. Looking forward to seeing some of the starter pitching prospects develop eventually like some of the position players have.

  • In reply to Quedub:

    lack of K's makes me wonder how far he can go though

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Well he is 6'8" and just turned 20 years old. He is still learning how to use his body. Give him a few years.

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    Underwood had a great game but I noticed that he threw 102 pitches in 5 innings. Should we be concerned about that many pitches or does he just have to learn to be more economical? Other than that, he did a terrific job, as did a number of our other pitchers. It might be possible that the pitchers we might trade for our already in our system. So far it looks like Butler might be an answer (sss) and someone else might step up in a few months.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah, that's a lot of pitches for 1 game. 5 hits, 4 walks, HBP but he only gave up 4 runs... Sounds like he wasn't on, but still gutted it out. I wouldn't be real concerned just yet. Let's see a bigger SS.

    I have great confidence in our developmental staff now, that these guys can bounce back from rough patches eventually & learn from them as opposed to spiraling downward. Example Leathersich. Pretty cool he can go back to AZ work out an issue then go back up & dominate. Was also great seeing that ML Cubs lineup last night. Mix Almora in there & that's pretty impressive... Almost all home grown.

  • Did Brooks get moved up to Kodak?

  • Never mind, just checked on the roster and it appears he did. Good strong start of the season and I hope he continues it for the Smokies.

  • saw Brooks pitch when the Cubs were in salt lake last week. he got hit hard there too. everything off the opposing teams bats were loud/hard contact.

  • Hi John, glad to see Leathersitch having a good outing. He worked really hard in AZ.

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