Daily Cubs Minors Recap: South Bend explodes for 17 runs as Amaya, Bethencourt homer and Caro drives in 6

Jhonny Bethencourt

Jhonny Bethencourt

AAA

Oklahoma City 6, Iowa 3

Game Recap

His second start was not nearly as impressive as his first. Adbert Alzolay (4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K) wasn't quite as sharp, requiring 85 pitches to get through four innings and unfortunately, Rob Zastryzny (IP, 2 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) suffered his worst outing of the season as well in relief of him. It was a deficit the struggling Cubs offense could not overcome.

Top Performers

  • Taylor Davis: 3-4, 2 2B, R, RBI
  • Mark Zagunis: 2-4, R
  • Bijan Rademacher: 1-3, 2B, R, RBI, HBP
  • Randy Rosario: 2 IP, 2 H, BB, 3 K

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jacob Hannemann returned from the DL and drew a walk in three plate appearances. His activation allowed for Stephen Bruno to return to the infield after filling in as an outfielder the past week or so. Bruno extended his hit streak to four games.

The runs allowed by Rob Zastryzny were the first he surrendered this season.

AA

Jacksonville 4, Tennessee 2

Game Recap

Michael Rucker / Photo by Stephanie Lynn

Michael Rucker / Photo by Stephanie Lynn

Michael Rucker (5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K) had been cruising along before running into trouble in the middle innings. He kept the game close, but just like Iowa (and Myrtle Beach) the Tennessee offense is in quite an April funk. Six different hitters, including several already proven at the AA level are hitting well below .200 right now, and those struggles continued today. What little offense the team has managed to generate of late has come via the bats of Trey Martin, Jeffrey Baez and Trent Giambrone. Those three combined to go 3-for-9 in this game and drive in one of the Smokies two runs while the rest of the team was 5-for-24 on the afternoon.

Top Performers

  • Michael Rucker: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Tommy Nance: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 K
  • James Norwood: 2 IP, 2 H
  • Trent Giambrone: 2-4, 2B, RBI
  • Erick Castillo: 1-3, R, RBI
  • Charcer Burks: 1-3, BB

Advanced A

Carolina 2, Myrtle Beach 1

Game Recap

Keegan Thompson (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Keegan Thompson (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Keegan Thompson turned in his best performance of the season and kept the MudCats off the board through five innings. He may possess only one above-average pitch, his curveball, but when he is in command and mixing his other four pitches in, he can keep the hitters guessing. He kept his low-90s two-seamer and high-80s cutter out of the middle of the zone and used them to set up his curve, slider and changeup at the fringes or just below the strike zone.

The game remained scoreless until Carolina plated a run in the bottom of the 6th off Wyatt Short. Just like with Zastryzny in the Iowa game, the lefty had not allowed an earned run up to this point in the season, but Short managed to limit the damage to just a single run. D.J. Wilson did his part to keep the Pelicans within striking distance an inning later. He made another stellar defensive play in the outfield, this time saving two runs from scoring in the 7th:

Wilson then proceeded to score the Pelicans only run of the game in the top of the 8th to tie it up at 1-1. Tyler Peyton came on in relief and held the Mudcats scoreless in the bottom of the inning, but after Myrtle Beach failed to score in the top of the 9th, Peyton couldn't hold Carolina down long enough to send it to extras and they won the game in walk off fashion.

Top Performers

  • Keegan Thompson: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K
  • D.J. Wilson: 1-3, R, BB, SB (3)
  • Jhonny Pereda: 2-3, RBI, BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jhonny Pereda (.333/.400/.389) extended his hitting streak to 4 games, with the past 3 being multi-hit. He has driven in 6 runs in his past 3 games as well.

In 12 games this season, D.J. Wilson has drawn a walk in all but 1. His OBP sits at a healthy .404 this season.

A

South Bend 17, South Bend 4

Game Recap

Miguel Amaya

Miguel Amaya

I wish this one had been televised.It started off like far too many games this season, with the Cubs starting pitcher struggling in the first inning. Erich Uelmen (5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 K) was tagged for three runs to put the team in an early hole. The Cubs have gotten used to playing from behind. They've mounted numerous comebacks, including one from eight runs down. The three run deficit was erased after a five-run 5th and the Cubs offense just kept pouring it on from there.

Miguel Amaya and Jhonny Bethencourt each homered and collected three extra base hits. Roberto Caro knocked in six runs. Brandon Hughes reached base five times. And well, you get the idea. When you score 17 runs, pretty much everyone has a good day at the plate. All nine batters in the South Bend lineup reached base and either scored or drove in a run.

Top Performers

  • Miguel Amaya: 3-6, 2 2B, HR (2), 3 R, 3 RBI
  • Jhonny Bethencourt: 2 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 3 RBI
  • Roberto Caro: 3-6, 2B, 3B, R, 6 RBI, SB (3)
  • Brandon Hughes: 3-4, 3 R, RBI, BB, HBP, SB (4)
  • Rafael Narea: 1-4, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB
  • Zach Davis: 1-3, 3B, 3 R, 3 BB
  • Austin Filiere: 2-5, R, BB
  • Brendan King: 3 IP, H, 4 K
  • Manuel Rodriguez: IP, BB, 3 K

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Roberto Caro / Photo by Stephanie Lynn

Roberto Caro / Photo by Stephanie Lynn

Roberto Caro (.429/.435/.571) has been a boost to the Cubs offense since he joined the team after Chris Carrier was hit by a pitch in the head and placed on the DL. He hit .306/.409/.435 for the team in 37 games last season before struggling upon a promotion to Myrtle Beach. He failed to make either squad out of spring training this season, but has been taking advantage of the playing time that has opened up.

He got off to a bit of a slow start but Jhonny Bethencourt (.254/.279/.390) is beginning to pick up the pace. The infielder has a solid hit tool and can spray line drives all over the field when at his best. He has a .286 average over his past ten games.

Miguel Amaya (.269/.367/.481) is also hitting .286 over his past ten games but his three extra base hits were the first of that kind since April 12th.

Comments

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  • It’s nice to see Wilson embrace the lead-off role and get on base. If he can control the strike zone and keep eliminating his swing and miss, he will rise quickly.

    The glove is looking very good.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    The development of his plate discipline has steadily increased the last couple of years, but he may have taken a significant leap this season. His consistency with working counts this season has been very impressive.

    He still takes a few interesting routes in the outfield on occasion but the number is decreasing, while the frequency of impact and highlight reel plays are increasing. Becoming a better CF than Hannemann and Almora is a tall task, but Wilson is well on his way, and I think it is just a matter of time/experience.

  • Really encouraged by he early season hitting from Amaya. Hoping that consistency continues add that to his defense and he could be a quick riser on the prospect charts.

  • What has happened to the Ayala kid who played OF for South Bend last year? I haven’t seen his name in any box scores this year.? I really liked his game

  • In reply to KYCUB:

    He's been out with a shoulder injury all year. I;m not really sure if it is a holdover from last season, an offseason thing or if he hurt it early in the spring before games started. As far as I know he hasn't appeared in any game action this season, even at EXST. AZ Phil has him listed as a limited participant, which means he is likely doing rehab and drills but probably not throwing or swinging much.

    Carlos Sepulveda is the only other position player that would have been assigned to full season ball still back in EXST. He had offseason shoulder surgery and is still in rehab and has also not begun game action.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    As for pitchers:

    Smyly and Steele are throwing, but not in games after summer 2017 TJS.

    Ryan Williams, Corey Black, Danny Hultzen, Ryan McNeil and Allen Webster are likewise throwing, but I don't think any have seen game action yet. They could all be options at upper levels later this season.

    Manny Rondon, Erling Moreno, Erick Leal I believe have all returned to game action and might be available for SB or MB in near future.

  • Who did Southbend beat?

    Good to see they could possibly have a leadoff hitting OFer down the line at some point before/when the contracts come due & we have to part ways with 1 or 2 Guys in order to re-sign/sign other guys.

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