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Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Caro delivers GW as Pelicans complete 10-inning shutout; Ems blast 4 homers, Camargo punches out 10 in another shutout

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Caro delivers GW as Pelicans complete 10-inning shutout; Ems blast 4 homers, Camargo punches out 10 in another shutout
Roberto Caro / Photo by Stephanie Lynn

AAA

Memphis 5, Iowa 4

Game Recap

Iowa dropped its fifth straight game, ensuring a sub-.500 record for their season, despite a valiant comeback attempt. Down 5-1 in the top of the sixth, Jacob Hannemann snuck a ball over the right field fence with two runners on to draw the I-Cubs within a run. The bullpen held the Redbirds scoreless the rest of the way, but the offense was not able to break through again.

Top Performers

  • Jacob Hannemann: 2-4, HR (5), R, 3 RBI, SB (21)
  • Bijan Rademacher: 2-4, RBI
  • Mike Freeman: 2-4
  • Justin Grimm: IP, 2 H, 2 K (3.86)
  • Dillon Maples: IP, H, K (1.96)
  • Jack Leathersich: IP, BB, K (2.91)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Now with a 12-game hit streak, the longest of his career and the longest of any I-Cub this year, Jacob Hannemann (.267/.325/.412) also stole his 21st base. Hannemann and John Andreoli (26) are one of two teammates in the PCL to each steal 20+ bags this year.

Bijan Rademacher

Bijan Rademacher

With the injury to Mark Zagunis opening up playing time, Bijan Rademacher (.296/.376/.445) has moved into an everyday role for the first time since the middle of last season, and has taken full advantage. In 24 August games the right fielder is hitting .368/.413/.544. I am honestly at a loss to understand why the club has not played him more this season, even when John Andreoli was hitting below the Mendoza Line he was still playing everyday, even against righties where Andreoli's season line of .224/.329/.396 hardly cries out the need to be in the lineup. I'm usually not critical of playing time decisions but when both guys are older, fringe prospects, at worst these two should have been platooning in my eye, which should have favored Rademacher for playing time, not Andreoli. It likely would not have made much impact on the season but unless the club really values Andreoli's work on the bases, this will go down as one of the head-scratchers of the year for me, especially since Andreoli may well move on as a free agent this winter.

Dillon Maples made his 11th consecutive scoreless appearance, lowering his ERA from 5.40 to 1.96 during this time.

On an even better stretch is Jack Leathersich. The lefty has not allowed an earned run over his last 17 outings, and has surrendered just one earned run in his last 25 games which has lowered his ERA from 7.16 all the way to 2.91.

AA

Tennessee CANCELLED

Advanced A

Myrtle Beach 1, Buies Creek 0 (10 Innings)

Game Recap

Oscar De La Cruz

Oscar De La Cruz

The Pelicans managed just five hits and one walk all night and were shutout through nine innings by Astros pitchers, but thanks to some spectacular performances by their own staff, they managed to make that one walk and the last of those hits matter. Connor Myers drew a free pass with two outs in the 10th then promptly stole second base to set the stage for Roberto Caro who delivered an RBI single to center field.

Oscar De La Cruz started the night with 3.1 scoreless innings, walking one and striking out four, before turning it over to the pen to complete the ten-inning shutout. Kyle Miller danced around three hits and three walks in 2.2 innings. He was followed by two innings each from the Pelicans shutdown pair of Dakota Mekkes and Pedro Araujo.

Top Performers

  • Oscar De La Cruz: 3.1 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K (3.35, 61 pitches-38 strikes)
  • Kyle Miller: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K (3.94)
  • Dakota Mekkes: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K (1.09)
  • Pedro Araujo: 2 IP, H, BB, 3 K (1.84)
  • Roberto Caro: 3-4, RBI
  • Connor Myers: 1-3, R, BB, SB (6)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

In 6.1 innings since returning to Myrtle Beach, Oscar De La Cruz has allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks while punching out 5. His velo has only been in the low 90s so he hasn't built his arm strength back up completely but that shouldn't be cause for concern given the long layoff. It will be more interesting where he will be once the AFL rolls around. He should be among the most talented arms in the league and will have fewer innings than most participating so he should be in a good situation to contribute for Mesa. Though he hasn't pitched much this year, I still expect De La Cruz will open next season in the Tennessee rotation. He will need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason and the only limiting factor in his development has been his health. Consistency with his offspeed pitches is still an issue, but De La Cruz already commands all of his pitches, but especially his fastball, better than all but a handful of hurlers in the system. He just needs innings and to prove he can hold up on an every-five-day basis.

Pedro Araujo (by Stephanie Lynn)

Pedro Araujo (by Stephanie Lynn)

Joining him in Mesa will be Pedro Araujo. Araujo is not under contract for next season, so his inclusion on the Mesa roster indicates that he has agreed to re-sign (they can't actually ink a deal until the offseason) otherwise the team would have certainly used the roster slot on a different pitcher. It seems like a good move for both sides. Araujo has come into his own this year. At 24, he is a bit old for the Carolina League, but the club prioritized the development of a few other older pitchers that possess a bit more upside (Maples, Brooks, Stinnett) and promoted them to Tennessee ahead of Araujo this year. So challenging him with age appropriate competition in the AFL is a good idea.

He may not be doing much with the stick so far with Myrtle Beach (.193 AVG), but Roberto Caro has not allowed it to affect his plate discipline (.320 OBP). He is due for some regression in the batting average department as he is not striking out at a high rate and does not look overmatched at this level. He had hit .306/.409/.435 with South Bend so it seems like only a matter of time before he figures it out. I vote for the playoffs to be a good time.

A

West Michigan 2, South Bend 0

Game Recap

Like Myrtle Beach, South Bend managed just five hits and failed to score through nine innings. Unlike the Pelicans, the Cubs did not get an equally dominant performance from their pitching staff. You certainly can't pin this loss on Jose Paulino and the pen though. You can't win if you don't score.

Top Performers

  • Jose Paulino: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K (L, 7-5, 4.21)
  • Manuel Rodriguez: 2 IP, H, BB, K (1.80)
  • Jhon Romero: IP, K (0.39)
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 2-4
  • Luis Ayala: 0-1, 2 BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jose Paulino

Jose Paulino

Jhon Romero was really good for Eugene in 8 games (15 IP) this season (1.80 ERA, 19/5  K/BB) but he has been nothing short of a revelation in 12 games (23.1 IP) for South Bend (0.39 ERA, 33/5  K/BB).

This loss could have put a real dent in the Cubs playoff hopes, but thankfully Bowling Green dropped its 10th straight game in what may end up being one of the greatest late-season meltdowns in recent memory. The Cubs remain one game behind with five to play. South Bend will travel to Bowling Green for the final three games of the season September 2-4. Should make for an interesting finale. If the Cubs could actually complete this comeback it would be truly amazing. They needed a nine game win streak of their own as well as the ten game losing streak of the Hot Rods to even have the opportunity.

A-

Eugene 12, Everett 0

Game Recap

The Ems smacked four home runs and Jesus Camargo combined with a pair of relievers to strike out 14 hitters in a dominating performance.

Top Performers

  • Jesus Camargo: 5 IP, 5 H, BB, 10 K (W, 3-1, 2.39)
  • Ben Hecht: 2 IP, H, 2 K (1.53)
  • Jake Steffens: 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K (1.61)
  • Jared Young: 4-5, 2B, HR (1), 3 R, 2 RBI
  • Austin Filiere: 3-4, 2B, HR (6), 2 R, 2 RBI
  • Chris Singleton: 2-4, 2B, HR (1), 3 R, 2 RBI
  • Zach Davis: 2-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, SB (23)
  • Michael Cruz: 1-4, HR (7), R, 3 RBI
  • Brandon Hughes: 2-5, R

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jesus Camargo

Jesus Camargo

The Cubs Den Short Season Pitcher of the Year and Northwest League All-Star, Jesus Camargo continues to dominate. In fact this may have been his finest professional performance. He set a career high in strikeouts and hurled his longest scoreless outing of the year. Camargo has bounced between the rotation and the pen (in a piggy-back role) due to the number of college arms that the Cubs drafted that needed to be accommodated, but he has not let it affect his performance. He has used his plus changeup to help compile 73 punch outs in 60.1 innings this year.

Jared Young (.230/.287/.310) followed up his 4-hit performance Tuesday with... a 4-hit performance Wednesday. You don't see a guy raise his batting average 51 points in two days very often. He also poked his first professional HR.

In his last 10 games Austin Filiere (.262/.391/.451) has hit .361 with 8 RBI and also walked (9) more than he has struck out (7).

AZL

Angels 5, Cubs 4

Game Recap

Jonathan Sierra

Jonathan Sierra

A throwing error by shortstop Luis Vazquez in the bottom of the ninth allowed the winning run to score. The loss to the Angels dropped the Cubs into a first place tie with them heading into the final two games. They will play the Angels once more today, followed by a final game against a struggling Reds team on Saturday.

Top Performers

  • Jonathan Sierra: 3-4, 2B, BB
  • Carlos Diaz: 2-4, 2 2B, R
  • Carlos Sepulveda: 1-4, 2B, BB
  • Alfredo Colorado: 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K (3.91)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jonathan Sierra is hitting .296/.360/.395 in August. Punch outs are still an issue (21 in 81 ABs) but much like Nelson Velazquez, his natural athleticism is beginning to show through.

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  • Oh, and in case you missed it, Taylor Davis has become an internet sensation the past couple of days. Sportscenter/SI/Deadspin all in on the fun.

    https://twitter.com/IowaCubs/status/901951414188089344

    Davis is set to be a FA this winter. Please, please, please come back Taylor. The guy is fun to watch and I know that John had nothing but great things to say about him. The FO loves him too. Not a great defensive catcher, but a professional hitter that is apparently a tremendous teammate and leader down in Iowa. If the Cubs weren't in the middle of a championship window I have no doubt he would have gotten a MLB opportunity by now. I know he might get opportunities with a greater chance at the Majors in the winter, but I hope to see him back next year.

  • Sorry if this has been asked before-
    Any insight into why Maples hasn't been added to the 40-man yet? I know the implications of the limiting space and all of that, but IF he gets promoted in September and keeps this up (or is even effective in a smaller, specialist role), wouldn't we want him to be eligible for the postseason roster? Just in case?

  • In reply to Cubkatz06:

    They may feel more comfortable about their bullpen then they do about their position players (given the injuries at C and SS). The acquisition of Rivera changed things in my mind. The 40-man spot that I felt would go to Maples went to him. They still need a 40 man spot for Mike Freeman so they have coverage at SS through September. I still think they find a way to make room for Maples though. I don't worry about the postseason roster stuff. If they want to add him someone like Uehara can come up with an "injury" and be replaced by Maples.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks!

  • In reply to Cubkatz06:

    Tommy Birch with a great piece on Dillon Maples. Will probably be seeing him in Chicago come tomorrow:
    http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/baseball/iowa-cubs/2017/07/28/how-phone-call-his-father-turned-around-career-chicago-cubs-prospect-dillon-maples/513351001/

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Maples, Freeman, Caratini expected to join club perhaps as soon as tomorrow. Remaining callups may not come until Iowa season ends.

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    In reply to Cubkatz06:

    I am just worried that even if Maples comes up tomorrow and just flat out dominates like his stats might suggest. The problem is even if we wanted/needed to use him in the playoffs, he's approaching double the amount of innings he threw last year. He prob going to be shutdown pretty soon due to innings limit.

    I really hope if he shows domination they decide to push him a little. You can never have enough lights out relievers

  • Thanks again Michael, my favorite part of the minors updates are the insights you provide in the injuries, updates and trends section.

    Looking forward to the AFL to see how those guys continue along in the process.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Thanks. Credit goes to John on that. He expanded and changed up the format this year and I love it. When I did the recaps last year I really struggled trying to describe the game, any recent trends, and add in any scouting notes all in a block format. He didn't do it with me in mind, but dividing things up the way he did this year made my job way easier. This is more in line with how my brain works.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    michael, question, what happened to the pitcher the cubs signed after he got out of the army, i forgot his name. i know he was in MB last year but haven't seen anything about him this year. was he injured or released? also, what kind of injury did eric leal have that basically ended his season early in the year.

  • In reply to DLROBERTSON:

    You are thinking of Daniel Lewis. He was put on the inactive list for Myrtle Beach at the beginning of the year and as far as I can tell has stayed there. They usually don't use that designation for an injury, so it is likely an off the field issue. Perhaps he still had military commitments? I honestly don't know. He is still with the org as I see no record of him being released.

    I don't have anything on Erick Leal's injury, sorry. Obviously it has kept him out all year, so it must have been serious.

    Couple of mysteries there.

  • With respect to the 40 man roster and September call ups.......if Russell's injury will not allow him to play at a high level for the rest of this year, I'll assume that he goes on the 60 day DL, opening up a roster space for Freeman. If Maples is going to be a September call up, someone needs to placed on the 60 day DL or DFA'd. I guess that means that Frankoff, Rosario or possibly Rene Rivera could get DFA'd or Zagunis could go on the 60 day DL. And this all assumes there is no interest in Juan Nicasio as a waiver claim. I think it is cool how many moving parts there are in a baseball organization. It must be agonizing for the "bubble" players.

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