Advertisement:

Daily Minors Recap: Hedges with rough AAA debut; Vosler homers again but Smokies eliminated; Pelicans shutout streak snapped

Daily Minors Recap: Hedges with rough AAA debut; Vosler homers again but Smokies eliminated; Pelicans shutout streak snapped
Jason Vosler

I hesitate to even post this and knock John's heartfelt piece out of the top spot, especially given there was little good news to report from the system on Friday.

It will be a couple of days late (sorry), but I will be posting a Eugene Emeralds preview tomorrow morning.

On to the recaps...

AAA

Nasville 7, Iowa 1

Game Recap

For the past couple of weeks myself and others have been speculating when Jen-Ho Tseng would be summoned to help out in the Iowa rotation. Well, the Cubs did call up a starter from Tennessee, it just wasn't the one I was expecting. The honor went to Zach Hedges. In hindsight it shouldn't be a surprise. Hedges is three years older, and though he has spent less time in AA than Tseng, he has made 20 starts (9-8, 3.42 ERA) there since the second half of 2015. He also has a higher ceiling as an innings eater and ground ball specialist so in combination with the age difference the decision to challenge Hedges makes more sense.

Zach Hedges

Zach Hedges

As to how his outing went? Well... not well. But there was a silver lining. Nashville jumped on him for three runs in each of the first two innings. Most of the trouble was caused by seeing-eye singles and well placed hits. They did hit him pretty hard in the second inning though as he surrendered a three run homer. He settled down after that and gave the pen a break by going 5 innings in a game that could have spiraled out of control. He did a good job of generating ground balls (8/2 GO/FO) and contact early in the count. He needed just 82 pitches despite all the hits and base runners.

The offense gave him no help, scattering 8 hits, as Iowa's run scoring woes continued.

Top Performers

  • Jacob Hannemann: 2-4, 2B, R
  • Jeimer Candelario: 2-4, 2 2B, RBI
  • Victor Caratini: 2-3, BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Iowa split the 4 game series with Nashville. It sounds pitiful, but it was a step in the right direction. The club hasn't won a series in a month.

The offense has now mustered just 300 runs on the year (13th in the PCL).

AA

Chattanooga 5, Tennessee 3

Game Recap

James Pugliese

James Pugliese

The Smokies were in a tough spot. They needed to beat Chattanooga in the final games of this series to secure the 1st half title, but they would have to win this one without Zach Hedges taking his normal turn in the rotation. Instead it would be a bullpen day, and it started off as well as can be hoped. James Pugliese took the mound to begin and held the Lookouts off the board for 3.2 innings. Meanwhile the offense built a 3-2 lead after six as Andrew Ely crossed on a passed ball to tie it and then Jason Vosler's 12th homer gave the club the lead. The bullpen would hold it until the 9th when Chattanooga rallied for 3 runs, securing the victory and the division title.

In truth the pitching didn't really let them down. A bad pickoff throw by Brad Markey led to one run in the 6th and then a Yasiel Balaguert throwing error on a sac bunt play led to three more unearned runs off Ryan McNeil in the 9th.

Top Performers

  • James Pugliese: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Brad Markey: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 K
  • Jason Vosler: 1-2, HR (12), R, RBI, 2 BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jason Vosler homered for a second straight day. The two homers establish a new career high. He hit 10 in hi sfirst full season back in 2015, but his output dropped to just 3 last year. As a prospect tied to 3B defensively the added power will go a long way to increasing his chances of getting a Major League shot down the road.

Brad Markey

Brad Markey

Brad Markey rebounded from a pair of tough outings to give the Smokies three much need innings of solid work. The lone blemish against him was the pickoff throw that got away allowing a runner to score in the 6th, but he kept the Lookouts off the board after that and put Tennessee in a position to nail down the victory heading into the 9th.

This has been quite a run for James Pugliese (4-2, 0.91 ERA). This was his 7th consecutive scoreless outing (13.2 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 12 K). The right hander's extreme over-the-top arm action adds deception and gives him good movement on his two-seamer and cutter. He won't overpower hitters but manages to induce a lot of weak contact. He has certainly been the beneficiary of some luck in putting up those numbers thanks to a ridiculously low and unsustainable .196 BABIP that is far out of line with his career norms. For reference his xFIP sits at 3.78 compared to his 0.91 ERA. But while his numbers may be skewed at the moment Pugliese has always been an effective middle reliever and swing man wherever he has been and that is no different this season, good luck or no.

Advanced A

Down East 2, Myrtle Beach 0

Game Recap

Michael Rucker could not keep Myrtle Beach's incredible run of 3 straight shutouts going, but he did pitch extremely well, limiting the Wood Ducks to just 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits over 6 innings. As we have come to expect recently the Pelicans bullpen kept them off the board the rest of the way. But the offense which has come through with so many timely hits throughout the first half failed to breakthrough on Friday.

Top Performers

  • Michael Rucker: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (L, 1-1, 1.73 ERA)
  • Jordan Minch and James Norwood:  IP, K

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Michael Rucker

Michael Rucker

It was a career high 6 innings for Michael Rucker as he continues his transition to a starting role.

The two runs in the 3rd inning snapped the Pelicans club record 33 inning scoreless streak.

The bullpen did manage to keep its own scoreless streak alive. They have now held the opposition scoreless for 6 straight games (17.1 IP, 10 H, 5 BB, 18 K), and in their last 32.2 IP dating back to June 5th the pen has allowed only one run and combined to strike out 37 batters against just 20 hits and 9 walks.

A

Lake County 6, South Bend 5

Game Recap

Lake County scored an unearned run in the 9th to break the tie, eliminating South Bend from 1st half wild card contention. Dylan Cease threw 48 pitches over the first 2.1 innings as he continued his return from the DL. He wasn't sharp but Tyler Peyton came on in a piggy back role to keep his team in it through seven. The offense delivered. Zack Short led off the bottom of the inning with his MWL-leading 52nd walk. Vimael Machin followed with a drive that went as far as you can hit one and still manage to keep the ball in the park (estimated 408'). The 30 foot high centerfield wall kept him to a double. Short scored, but Machin would be stranded. Back-to-back extra base hits the next inning by Yeiler Peguero and Roberto Caro tied the game at 5 heading to the 9th. Unfortunately Peguero misplayed a throw back in from the outfield that allowed the winning run to score with two outs.

Top Performers

  • Alberto Mineo: 2-4, 2 R, RBI
  • Zack Short: 1-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB
  • Vimael Machin: 1-4, 2B, RBI, BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Wladimir Galindo

Wladimir Galindo

I forgot to mention it yesterday but Wladimir Galindo tweeted out a picture of his left leg in a cast and stated that his surgery went well. He was light on specifics but the impression is that he will miss the remainder of the season, or at least the majority of it. It is an unfortunate setback for Galindo who was showing improved plate discipline and production this season to go along with his plus bat speed and raw power.

A-

Vancouver 7, Eugene 0

Game Recap

The Eugene offense struck out 13 times and walked just once while collecting only 6 hits. The young infield trio of Aramis Ademan, Rafael Narea and Edgar Rondon combined to make 5 errors, leading to 5 unearned runs. Starter Jesus Camargo was victimized by two of those unearned runs and also gave up a pair of earned runs over 3 innings to put the Emeralds in an early hole they couldn't escape.

Top Performers

  • Gustavo Polanco: 2-4, 2B

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Miguel Amaya

Miguel Amaya

Eugene has now been held to just 1 run over their first two games of the season. It is a young team with its primary offensive threats composed of inexperienced players. The top four in the order is features teenagers Aramis Ademan, Rafael Narea, Miguel Amaya (all three making the jump from the DSL), and Joe Martarano (a former football player in his first season of full time baseball). Another young and inexperienced hitter, Kwang-Min Kwon has had limited game experience since signing a big deal out of high school in South Korea. There is little home run power in the lineup, which in combo with the youth, should make scoring runs a difficult and inconsistent outcome.

Vancouver stole two bases off catcher Miguel Amaya a day after being caught 3 times in the opener. Amaya has good actions and fairly quick release behind the plate so it shouldn't be often we see teams have success on the basepaths against him.

DSL

Indians  7, Cubs1  3

Cubs2  3, Tigers  0

I don't usually comment on the DSL games, but it seems worth noting that Emilio Ferrebus (5 IP, H, BB, 7 K) and Ivan Medina (4 IP, 2 BB, 5 K) combined to throw a 1 hit shutout for the Cubs2 team.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • No worries, Michael. Show has to go on. Thanks for posting this recap.

  • How do you guys find out about minor league promotions like Hedges? I didn't know he was promoted to AAA.

  • In reply to CubsFan12:

    Sometimes it will be on the team or player's twitter, but I don't follow that often. Mostly I hear it during the broadcasts of the games.

    Sometimes, like with Hedges, I don't find out until he plays with his new club :)

  • How do you guys find out about minor league promotions? I can't seem to find a website that announces it. Like I didn't knowHedges was promoted to AAA.

  • In reply to CubsFan12:

    It is just a matter of following diligently. Some teams send newsletters.

  • In reply to CubsFan12:

    If you are on Twitter, follow the Minor League teams. They usually tweet out roster moves.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    That's good advice.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thank you. (I commented twice because I thought it didn't go through the first time.

  • Last year was a bit of an aberration, as Eugene was dominant in both halves of the season. For the most part, the Cubs' Short-Season teams have been second half contenders, as they sign players from the draft and add them to the roster.

    The Emeralds offense will probably get better once the Cubs sign OF Chris Carrier. If the Cubs can entice juniors 3B Austin Filiere, 1B Austin Upshaw, and INF Jared Young to sign, you will probably see a big difference in the Eugene line-up.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Yeah, but to be honest even those guys will lack experience as pros so growing pains can be expected among them as well. There just really isn't much in the way of offensive players that got experience in Arizona or Eugene last year. The "veterans" are mostly defensively oriented. The Emeralds do have a bunch of talent, but it is mostly young and lacking experience. I won't be shocked if they have a good season, but I don't expect it.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    The added maturity and experience would help, as Eugene is currently the third youngest team in the Northwest League behind Tri-City and Spokane. Eugene's divisional opponents, Boise, Hillsboro and Salem Keizer, have the three oldest rosters in the league.

Leave a comment