Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Uelmen and Navarro lead South Bend and Iowa to doubleheader splits

Erich Uelmen (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Erich Uelmen (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Round Rock 11, Iowa 4 (Game 1)

Iowa 6, Round Rock 4 (Game 2)

Game Recap

If game one of the doubleheader was the final tune up for Adbert Alzolay before he makes his Major League debut as part of a scheduled doubleheader against the Reds on Saturday, it was an interesting one. Chris Gimenez called a game that heavily featured Alzolay's offspeed pitches. Both his changeup and curveball flashed throughout, but this was the least consistent I have seen Alzolay's curve in while. His fastball sat 93-95 and touched 97, just as it did last year, but the Round Rock hitters had him timed up.

Ryan Court (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Ryan Court (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

After Alzolay worked an 11-pitch 1-2-3 1st inning, the Express began teeing off on his fastball, driving three of them over the fence and making hard contact on several others. In the end, he gave up five runs before being pulled in the 5th. His replacement, fared even worse. Rob Zastryzny was pounded for six runs in one inning of work which ballooned his ERA from 2.35 to 5.51 in a single outing.

In game two the Cubs bats led the way. The team collected six runs on ten hits against opposing starter David Hurlbut over just 3.1 innings. The Express bullpen held them in check the rest of the way, and their offense mounted a late comeback against Jen-Ho Tseng, but the lead held thanks to a solid 1.2 innings from Anthony Bass to close it out.

Top Performers

  • Efren Navarro: 4-7, R, 3 RBI, BB
  • Mike Freeman: 3-7, 2B, R, 2 RBI
  • Stephen Bruno: 2-6, 2B, R, RBI, BB
  • Ryan Court: 2-7, 3 R, BB
  • Chesny Young: 2-7, R, BB
  • Jen-Ho Tseng: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K (W, 1-4, 7.85)
  • Anthony Bass: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 0 K (S, 2, 2.51)
  • Cory Mazzoni: 1.1 IP, 2 K

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Efren Navarro (.304/.367/.443) extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He has a hit in 27 of his 30 games with the I-Cubs this season and has reached base safely at least once in all but two.

He got off to a brutal start in April (.117), but Ryan Court (.187/.287/.327) has turned his season around of late. Over 12 May games he is 12-for-42 (.286) with ten runs scored and ten runs batted in.

AA

Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 2

Game Recap

Thomas Hatch (6.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 3 BB, K) was putting together a quality start with three runs allowed through six, but the Lookouts plated two more against him in the 7th to pull away. A Trey Martin two-run homer accounted for all the Smokies offense on the day.

Top Performers

  • Trey Martin: 2-4, HR (4), R, 2 RBI
  • Jeffrey Baez: 2-4, R

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Trey Martin

Trey Martin

Trey Martin is quietly putting together a strong season at the plate, with a .269/.355/.423 line and 4 home runs.

He had been very efficient through six innings, but even with a low pitch count heading into 7th Thomas Hatch (L, 3-2, 3.56) gave up a pair of hits and a pair of walks and was unable to complete the inning with his pitch count still at 90. Extending himself further into games is a key to him reaching his full potential as a MOR starter, but early in his career the third time through the order has been a challenge. The Cubs limited his innings last season but the gloves appear off this year. This was the second straight outing he pitched into the 7th, so that is a good sign.

A

Lake County 3, South Bend 2 (Game 1)

South Bend 11, Lake County 0 (Game 2)

Game Recap

Cory Abbott (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Cory Abbott (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Cory Abbott pitch well enough to lead the Cubs to victory in game one but a two-run homer by Jared Young was all the offense the team could muster. Abbott exited with the game tied but Brendan King could not extend the game into extras.

The Cubs managed to get both the pitching and hitting into high gear in game two. Erich Uelmen turned in his finest pro performance with six shutout innings and the offense put up crooked numbers in four of the seven innings. Austin Filiere blasted a three-run homer and Brandon Hughes a two-run shot, his first of the season. Jhonny Bethencourt drove in three runs out of the leadoff spot, taking advantage of 9th place hitter Zach Davis reaching base in all four of his plate appearances.

Top Performers

  • Erich Uelmen: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (W, 2-4, 6.58)
  • Cory Abbott: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K
  • Jhonny Bethencourt: 4-8, 2B, R, 4 RBI, SB (4)
  • Brandon Hughes: 2-3, 2B, HR (1), 3 R, 2 RBI, BB
  • Jared Young: 2-8, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI
  • Austin Filiere: 1-6, HR (3), 2 R, 3 RBI
  • Zach Davis: 2-5, 2 R, 2 BB, 2 SB (10, 11)
  • Yeiler Peguero: 2-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB
  • Nelson Velazquez: 3-7, SB (1)
  • Miguel Amaya: 1-2, HBP

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jhonny Bethencourt (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Jhonny Bethencourt (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Zach Davis (.262/.398/.357) moved into MWL top five in stolen base with the two bags he swiped on Monday. He is now 11-for-13 on the season. Davis has functioned well as a second leadoff man, hitting out of the nine-spot most of the season, as his speed and near .400 OBP have served the Cubs well.

Brandon Hughes is in the midst of a modest three-game hitting streak, but he now has four runs scored and four runs batted in over the span, and it has also driven his batting average yo an even .200 on the year.

A now eight-game hitting streak has driven Jhonny Bethencourt's average up 46 points.

When Erich Uelmen is at his best he lets his heavy sinker do most of the work for him. He generated an 8-to-1 GO-to-AO ratio in this effort. Control has been a limiting factor for him this season, but he limited the free passes (1) on Monday as well. Uelmen is a long term project that still needs serious development of his secondaries (slider, change) but it is nice to see his current strengths come to light as the first month had been a real struggle for him.

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