Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Rough night for offenses outside South Bend as Carrier and Amaya go yard; Monasterio continues streaking

Miguel Amaya (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Miguel Amaya (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Colorado Springs 2, Iowa 0

Game Recap

Kyle Ryan and Zach Hedges combined to allow just runs but the I-Cubs offense was shutout for the second straight game.

Top Performers

  • Kyle Ryan: 5 IP, 3 H, R, 3 K (L, 0-2, 2.70)
  • Zach Hedges: 4 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 3 K (6.97)
  • Mark Zagunis: 0-2, 2 BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Kyle Ryan has given up 1 or fewer earned runs in 7 of his 8 outings this season. In those 7 games he has allowed just 2 runs on 12 hits and 5 walks over 23.2 innings.

The Sky Sox held Iowa to 6 runs over 5 games in the series. This was the 8th time this season Iowa has been shutout. The Cubs (26-48) are on pace to finish with the worst record in franchise history.

AA

Mobile 9, Tennessee 0

Game Recap

Another shutout, but this time without the accompanying standout pitching performance.

In fact, the Smokies eventually turned to outfielder Daniel Spingola on the mound to finish off the final 1.1 innings.

Top Performers

  • Ian Rice: 1-2, 2B, BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Matt Swarmer (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Matt Swarmer (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Matt Swarmer (5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 K) continues to be eaten alive by left handed hitters (.484) at the AA level. It has been just 4 games but the susceptibility had already been established during his time with Myrtle Beach where they hit .278 against him. He has been primarily relied on two pitches this season, his fastball and slider, and the slider has proven ineffective as an out pitch against lefties. On the bright side, Swarmer (L, 0-1, 5.63) remains lights out against right handed batters so even if his changeup never fully develops he still retains usefulness as a specialist out of the pen.

Advanced A

Myrtle Beach 5, Lynchburg 3 (Game 1)

Lynchburg 8, Myrtle Beach 0 (Game 2)

Game Recaps

P.J. Higgins

P.J. Higgins

Game 1: P.J. Higgins drove home D.J. Wilson in the 1st with a sacrifice fly and then doubled down the left field line with two men on in the 3rd to drive home two more. The Pelicans would tack on two more in the top of the 6th to expand the lead to 5-0.

Meanwhile, Erich Uelmen held the Hillcats scoreless through the first five innings in his Myrtle Beach debut. They finally got to him in the 6th. After retiring the first batter he gave up a single, a walk and then a home run which cut the lead to 5-3. He was lifted in favor of Erick Leal who held Lynchburg off the board over the final 1.2 innings.

Game 2: Yes, add another tally to the count of shutouts against Cubs affiliates in Sunday's action.

Top Performers

  • Erich Uelmen: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K (W, 1-0, 5.06)
  • Erick Leal: 1.2 IP, 2 H, K (S, 1, 0.47)
  • P.J. Higgins: 1-5, 2B, 3 RBI, BB, SF
  • Andruw Monasterio: 2-5, 2B, R, BB
  • Connor Myers: 2-6, 2 2B, RBI
  • D.J. Wilson: 1-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB
  • Jhonny Pereda: 2-6, R, BB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Andruw Monasterio (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Andruw Monasterio (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Andruw Monasterio extended his hitting streak to 8 games and his on-base streak to 16. Since the streak began he has raised his batting line from .242/.339/.306 to .284/.370/.365.

It was the first save of the season for Erick Leal (0-0, 0.47). The right hander has been incredibly productive since returning from TJS which wiped out all of his 2017 season and the first month and a half of 2018. In 8 games he has allowed just 1 run on 10 hits and 4 walks over 19.1 innings. He has also proven a valuable utility pitcher, as he has made two starts, has gone 2+ innings in two relief appearances, and has now been used in a multi-inning save situation.

A

South Bend 10, Dayton 4

Game Recap

Finally, a good bit of offense. The Cubs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the 2nd, but Dayton managed to get those runs right back against Erling Moreno in the bottom half of the inning. From then on the Cubs just kept right on building their run total while Moreno and the relief core held more firm. Miguel Amaya launched his team-leading 10th home run in the 3rd to re-establish the lead. The Cubs would pull away in the 5th. With a run already in, a grand slam off the bat of Chris Carrier made it a five-run inning and extended the Cubs advantage to six runs.

Top Performers

  • Chris Carrier: 2-5, 2B, HR (2), 2 R, 5 RBI
  • Miguel Amaya: 1-3, HR (10), 2 R, RBI, 2 BB
  • Chris Singleton: 2-3, 2 2B, R, RBI, SF
  • Cam Balego: 3-5, 2 R, RBI
  • Austin Filiere: 3-5, R, RBI
  • Michael Cruz: 1-3, 2 R, 2 BB
  • Erling Moreno: 4 IP, 7 H, 3 R, BB, 5 K
  • Brendan King: 3 IP, H, R, BB, 5 K (W, 3-3, 4.25)
  • Garrett Kelly: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 K (3.72)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Chris Carrier (.147/.293/.353) has hit two home runs this season, both have been grand slams.

Yu Darvish will make a rehab start with South Bend on Monday.

Erling Moreno

Erling Moreno

Making his first appearance with South Bend this season after nagging injuries limited him to 14 starts there last year, Erling Moreno showed off his new mechanics and the velocity bump that has accompanied it. His final line didn't look great, but several of the hits he allowed were of the infield variety. He was held back in extended spring training to work on mechanical adjustments after encountering control issues early in the spring. Moreno has also missed time due to TJS several years ago and various other ailments over the years so hopefully the adjustments they have made help out in keeping him on the mound as well as in the strike zone.

As for the velocity bump, Moreno usually sat in the 92-94 range, which is about where he topped out at in previous years. But he also reached back for 95, 96, and even 97 at times, although his command seemed to diminish at the higher velocities. Moreno throws a heavy fastball with good downhill plane that generates plenty of ground balls. If he can add mid-90s velocity to that pitch, even if it ends up being in shorter stints as a reliever, he can become a dangerous weapon. His changeup has been an effective secondary for him in the past but his breaking ball has always lagged behind a bit. That pitch, along with his health and control will be a determining factor regarding his ultimate role.

A-

Boise 5, Eugene 1

Game Recap

At least it wasn't a shutout. It is difficult to muster much enthusiasm though when the lone run was scored with the team down five runs in the bottom of the 9th.

Top Performers

  • Fernando Kelli: 2-5, 2 SB (6. 7)
  • Jonathan Sierra: 2-4, SB (2)
  • Luis Diaz: 2-2, 2B, SB (2)
  • Gustavo Polanco: 2-4, 2B
  • Brailyn Marquez: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 1 ER, BB, 6 K (L, 0-1, 2.57)
  • Yan De La Cruz: 2.2 IP, 4 H, R, 2 K (1.59)
  • Jake Steffens: 3 IP, 2 H, 4 K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

This was the 2nd time in 5 days that Jake Steffens turned in 3 innings of shutout work. He has allowed just 4 hits over those two appearances while striking out 9 and not walking a batter.

AZL

Padres1 10, Cubs2 2

Top Performers

  • Alonso Gaitan: 2-3, 2B, R, BB
  • Henrry Pedra: 2-4, 2B, RBI
  • Drew Wharton: 1-3, BB

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    I'm starting to become very intrigued with Mr. Monasterio. Not just because he has an 80 grade nickname potential tool. (Maestro Monasterio? Monster Mons? Money Moments Mons?) An increasingly good sample at High A he's getting on base, not striking out much, got at least some speed... still not much power, and a long way to go at higher levels, but that sounds a lot like a potential true table-setter to me, a rare bird these days. Michael, you seen/heard anything interesting? Are we looking at an average defender you think?

  • In reply to Tyson Wirth:

    I like Monasterio, and I know John was always intrigued by him as well. The Cubs have challenged him with tough assignments, and while he struggled as a 20-year old in his opportunities with Myrtle Beach last year, he was productive when sent back to South Bend.

    He is a bit bigger and stronger this season. It really doesn't translate much into SLG because he is very much a line drive/singles hitter, but those line drives are being hit more firmly this year which has helped them find a few more holes than they did last year with the Pelicans.

    His defense is fine. Not an acrobat and will make the occasional flub, but he is usually reliable. He is best suited to 2B. His range/arm at SS are adequate, but he isn't an everyday solution at that spot. As a fill in, he is perfectly adequate though. Same goes for 3B.

    I think it is a real stretch to say he has starter upside, but I do believe he is a legitimate utilityman prospect. He may not do any one thing well enough to warrant full time play, but he does enough in various areas that he can cover multiple positions, put the ball in play, and not lose games for you as a fill in.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Cool, thanks Michael!

  • So in 10 games Kelli has 7 stolen bases. Sounds like the Cubs have a young Billy Hamilton. At least on the bases

  • In reply to Mnozilman:

    Kelli has 70 speed. Maybe a notch below Hamilton but certainly the best in the organization (with Zach Davis being a close 2nd). He is likely the fastest the organization has had since Tony Campana.

    Kelli looks to run at every opportunity, and I can't blame him. If he gets even a decent jump he will be successful at this level.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    If I had to rank the runners in the system I would go with:
    Kelli 70-75
    Davis 70
    Wilson 65
    Hannemann 65
    and from the limited video I have seen, 1st round pick Nico Hoerner also has potential 65 speed.

    There are several more guys that I would rate as 60 runners but the guys above are the clear top 5 that I have seen.

  • fb_avatar

    Watched Hoerner a lot at Stanford , has maybe 55 -60 speed, 60 with a wind..

  • In reply to tater:

    I have seen a clip of him getting to first base on an infield single in under 4.0 seconds. For a RHB that is very fast. Typical 70 speed is 4.1 seconds. Now he was leaning a bit out of the batters box and I wouldn't expect him to replicate that on a regular basis, but you don't get there that fast with 55 speed, ever. I also have a better than plus timing on a play in which he legged out a triple.

    I think 60 is the low end, and I have seen others with a 70 grade on his speed. Since I have only seen him a limited amount I have decided to split the difference as an estimate.

  • fb_avatar

    That's fair, I think 60 at the top, still an uneventful pick in the first round, plenty of high end high school pitchers at that pick, at least three, would have rather used first 2 picks on potential no. 1 starters than a ss rated no better than 55.

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