Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Vosler and Hatch lead Smokies to win; Bethencourt collects 4 hits

Jason Vosler (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Jason Vosler (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Memphis 9, Iowa 3

Game Recap

The game began on the right foot with the I-Cubs jumping out to a 3-1 lead after two innings against Cardinals pitching prospect Jack Flaherty. But it quickly turned from there. As Flaherty settled in, I-Cubs starter Luke Farrell (5 IP, 10 H, 7 R, BB, 5 K) lost his grip. The Redbirds scored at least one run against him in each of his final three innings then pushed across another two against Brad Markey in his first inning of relief.

Top Performers

  • Mike Freeman: 2-3, R, RBI, BB
  • Wynton Bernard: 1-3, 2B, R, BB, SB (1)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Bijan Rademacher, Mike Freeman and Taylor Davis have been the only I-Cubs swinging a hot bat to begin the year. Many others are hitting under the Mendoza Line. None are struggling as much as Ryan Court. With his 0-for-3 day dropped his average to .056 (1-for-18) with 9 strikeouts. Chesny Young has begun the season 1-for-17 with no walks and 7 strikeouts.

The team lacks sluggers so big innings will difficult to come by this season. The one surprise in the early going has been Iowa's lack of patience at the plate. Even after the team drew ten walks on Thursday they still sit near the bottom of the PCL in free passes.

AA

Tennessee 6, Jackson 5 (11 Innings)

Game Recap

Thomas Hatch (by Stephanie Lynn)

Thomas Hatch (by Stephanie Lynn)

Thomas Hatch tossed five shutout innings and the Smokies offense built a 3-0 lead on RBI hits by Charcer Burks, Jason Vosler and Jeffrey Baez in the 3rd. The Generals stormed back against Craig Brooks, taking a 4-3 lead in the top of the 7th, but Vosler scored on a Jesse Hodges single to tie it in the bottom half of the inning.

Daury Torrez tossed two scoreless innings to send it to extras where he handed it off to Dakota Mekkes. Jackson managed to drive in the inning-starting runner from second base in the 11th. Tennessee responded by loading the bases with two outs and the red hot Jason Vosler stepping to the plate. He delivered once again, this time in the form of a walk off single.

Top Performers

  • Thomas Hatch: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Daury Torrez: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K
  • Dakota Mekkes: 2 IP, H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (W, 1-0)
  • Jason Vosler: 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB, HBP, SB (1)
  • Jesse Hodges: 2-4, RBI, BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Vosler extended his hit streak to four games. He has compiled 8 RBIs in that time.

Advanced A

Down East 6, Myrtle Beach 4

Game Recap

P.J. Higgins and Jhonny Pereda

P.J. Higgins and Jhonny Pereda

Myrtle Beach dropped their fifth straight contest as their late comeback attempt came up short. They fell behind 3-0 early on as starter Tyson Miller (3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K) struggled with his control. Ryan Kellogg provided little relief in the middle innings as both pitchers were tagged for home runs. Meanwhile the Pelicans were held in check by his counterpart Jonathan Hernandez over the first five innings.

The Pelicans clawed back to within one in the 7th thanks to RBI singles by Jhonny Pereda and Aramis Ademan but a third Down East homer in the bottom of the inning put them back ahead by three. Myrtle Beach kept fighting, Pereda drove in another run in the 8th and Ademan another in the 9th but it wasn't enough.

Top Performers

  • Aramis Ademan: 1-3, 2 RBI, CS
  • Jhonny Pereda: 1-4, 2 RBI
  • P.J. Higgins: 1-4, 2B, R, BB
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 1-4, 2 R, SB (3)
  • Vimael Machin: 0-1, R, 3 BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Chad Hockin was placed on the 7-Day DL and swing man Kyle Miller activated.

A

South Bend 6, Lake County 5

Game Recap

Jhonny Bethencourt (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Jhonny Bethencourt (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

The heart of the South Bend order came with their hitting shoes on. Jhonny Bethencourt scored three times after reaching on four hits, Jared Young scored twice and drove in a run on three hits, and Michael Cruz drove in a pair on two hits.

On the mound, Javier Assad worked a solid four innings to start it, then Bailey Clark took the reigns in a piggy back role. He blew away three batters in his three innings to earn the victory. It was the second consecutive impressive outing by Clark after he struggled in his first appearance. From all reports the big right hander has shown much better consistency with his velocity and snap to his breaking ball this season. If the former Duke hurler manages to harness his impressive stuff on a more regular basis he could be due for a breakout season.

Things got interesting at the end as closer Brian Glowicki loaded the bases in the 9th while protecting a one run lead but managed to wriggle out of it to earn his second save.

Top Performers

  • Jhonny Bethencourt: 4-5, 2B, 3 R
  • Michael Cruz: 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI
  • Jared Young: 3-5, 3B, 2 R, RBI
  • Brandon Hughes: 2-4, SB (2), CS
  • Zach Davis: 1-2, BB, SB (3)
  • Bailey Clark: 3 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 3 K (W, 1-0, 2.25)
  • Brian Glowicki: IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K (S, 2, 0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Chris Carrier left the game under his own power after being struck in the helmet by a pitch.

Comments

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  • I thought MB would be more competitive this season. Could be a long year following them and the Iowa gang.

    Still very intrigued by Young and his hit tool. As well as Bailey Clark. I really liked the potential and his fairly solid mechanics coming from Duke. I thought he could be a sleeper from his draft class.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I'm a little concerned they will come up short on the pitching side. The rotation is going to be hit or miss. Lange and Thompson are being pushed aggressively and will have bumps in the road. Hudson and Miller are inconsistent. Rondon and Moreno are beginning the year on the DL. The org pushed all three of De La Cruz, Robinson, Rucker to Tennessee even though none spent an entire year with the team.

    The bullpen in particular is a little short handed. Wyatt Short and Jhon Romero are the only two I have much faith in, and even Short isn't a dominating force, relying a lot of ground balls. They really don't have a LOOGY as Minch has continued to struggle and Short is more effective against righties. Hockin just went to the DL as well. Like with the rotation arms from 2nd half of 2017, the Cubs pushed Mekkes to Tennessee. I expected him or Effross to spend a month or so with the club to help stabilize the back of the pen.

    The offense is currently missing Galindo, Ayala and Sepulveda. Ademan's assignment is aggressive and he will likely face challenges. Zack Short was pushed to TN. They may not have a ton of difference makers in the lineup but they are still relatively solid 1-9, even with the missing players.

    The injuries are really not helping. As a whole the Cubs affiliates are relatively healthy, but the majority of the games lost that have occurred are coming at MB. At one point I thought MB could end up the deepest of the affiliates, but all the pitchers pushed to TN to begin the year, in combo with the injuries have really thinned them out.

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