Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Ryan Williams returns to game action with 6 shutout innings; Kelli homers

Ryan Williams

Ryan Williams

AAA

Tacoma 5, Iowa 2

Game Recap

Iowa took  1-0 lead behind three innings by Kyle Ryan, but Daury Torrez, in a piggyback role, gave up five runs over five innings to take the loss.

Top Performers

  • Mark Zagunis: 3-4, R
  • Kyle Ryan: 3 IP, H, 2 K

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The Iowa rotation is getting a little thin. Both Ryan and Torrez have made recent starts. Zach Hedges has been called up to make a couple at times as well. Brad Markey has handled piggyback duties. Combine that with the struggles of Jen-Ho Tseng and it has really stretched the bullpen of late. The long term plan for this slot in the rotation appears to be Ryan Williams. They righty is returning from rotator cuff surgery. He has been working in extended training and just made his first of what is expected to be a two or three rehab starts at...

A-

Eugene 2, Vancouver 0

Game Recap

...Eugene and it went exceedingly well. They were targeting 5 innings or 65 pitches in this first appearance. Unfortunately, or is it fortunately (?), Williams was super-efficient. He required 9 pitches to retire the 1st hitter of the game, but then needed just 42 to get the next 20. They extended him through 6 innings just to get him to throw 51 pitches. He didn't walk or strike out any batters, just got a lot of early contact, 11 ground outs and 5 fly outs. He combined with two relievers to allow just four hits on the night.

Fernando Kelli

Fernando Kelli

The Emeralds managed just five hits of their own, but three of them were bunched in the first four batters of the 1st inning. Fernando Kelli hit an opposite field solo home run to lead off. Jonathan Soto followed with a single and Gustavo Polanco doubled one batter later. Jonathan Sierra drove Soto home on a ground out.

Top Performers

  • Ryan Williams: 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (51 P, 38 S) (W, 1-0)
  • Luis Aquino: 2 IP, BB, 2 K
  • Dalton Geekie: IP, H, 2 K (S, 1)
  • Fernando Kelli: 1-4, HR (1), R, RBI
  • Jonathan Sierra: 1-3, RBI

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

This was the first start for Ryan Williams since he appeared in relief May 4th of last year. From an overlooked 10th round pick that signed for nearly nothing, Williams quickly ascended through the Cubs system. A year after being the opening day starter for South Bend he was the opening day starter for Iowa. In 2016 he went 14-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 24 starts between South Bend and Tennessee. He would only make 9 starts for Iowa before suffering a shoulder injury in 2016 (4-1, 3.27). He returned to Iowa to begin 2017 but was dropped from the rotation after two starts and then shut down for good after four relief appearances.

AZL

D-backs 7, Cubs1 0

Top Performers

  • Jose Gutierrez: 2-2, 2B, 2 BB
  • Fernando Calderon: 2 IP, H, R, 0 ER, BB, 2 K
  • Jonathan Bruzual: 2 IP, H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Cubs2 4, Reds 3

Top Performers

  • Yovanny Cruz: 5 IP, 3 H, R, 4 K (W, 1-0)
  • Nathan Sweeney: 2 IP, 3 K
  • Henrry Pedra: 3-3, 2 R, BB
  • Luis Ubiera: 1-3, 2 RBI, BB
  • Henderson Perez: 1-3, 3B, BB
  • Reivaj Garcia: 2-5, RBI
  • Jose Gonzalez: 1-3, R, HBP

DSL

Indians 7, Cubs1 4

Cubs2 12, Tigers1 9

Comments

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  • With Iowa at Tacoma, is there anyone rested to be the 26th man today, or do they bring De La Cruz up from TN? If Chatwood runs up his pitch count with control issues it is going to be a VERY long 2-day homestand.

  • In reply to charactercounts:

    It is Underwood's turn in the rotation but I doubt they would fly him across the country on short notice to take a start. Maples and Simmons haven't pitched since Saturday.

    My guess is Farrell gets the start with Zastryzny as a piggyback.

  • Good for Williams. He’s gotta be ecstatic just to be back pitching. Rotator cuffs can be scary.

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    Off topic a little, reading that Mets might be trading Degrom or Syndergard at the deadline, but what would the cubs offer be for a pitcher of that quality, and would we be willing to offer a couple players off our current roster to make such a deal?
    With pitching at such high demand, would we include a Schwarber and a Happ or Baez in a deal?

  • In reply to tater:

    We would have to include someone off the roster. Nothing in the system alone gets a deal like that done. Start with one of Happ/Schwarber/Russell/Baez and then add 2-3 of the best prospects in the system. And another team might still be able to out do that deal because the centerpiece they offer will have more years of cost control.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I still believe one of Happ/Schwarber/Russell/Baez will be traded. Have a hard time imagining all of the young talent on the major league roster will still be with the Cubs at the end of next year. Just too many quality players to fit into a line up every day. It is working now, but as players like AA and any of the above mentioned develop and overcome some of their weaknesses they'll need to play more than they are currently playing.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Make that offer and you will hear a dial tone less than one second later. I think it would have to start with Rizzo or Bryant and then one of Happ/Schwarber/Russell/Baez plus prospects.

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    Oh I think you offer Schwarbs and Baez, you'd get their attention, don't think a dial tone would enter, maybe a "Could I put you on hold"

  • In reply to tater:

    Yea, that might get their attention. I was saying one of Happ/Schwarber/Russell/Baez to start but 2 ... maybe.

  • In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    That is fair. I honestly have no idea the number of cost controlled years either of those pitchers have remaining. I've never bothered to look because the Cubs aren't going to trade for one of them.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    LOL I agree. That is why I did not take the time to look either. I would rather see the Cubs develop their own pitching or go out and buy it then trade position players.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    4 years for both..

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    In reply to 2016 Cubs:

    If the Mets say they want Bryant or Rizzo I think the dial tone would be in their ear. Then saying they want one of Happ/Scharber/Russell/Baez would be after the Cubs had hung up the phone.

    I could see the Mets demanding at least one of those 4 but I think Bryant and Rizzo are off the table unless it is a deal to get both of them (deGrom and Syndergaard)...and the Cubs would have to include more players so that is just a hypothetical.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    I agree 100%. No way do you trade either Bryant or Rizzo. Plus, I do not trust Met pitchers. They seem to get injured a lot.

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    You have to think of Machado and Harper available this off season , you could probably take one off the roster, possibly two if you knew you could probably get Harper or Manny.

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    I don't think we have much to offer in the minors in the way of tier 1 players, you'd have to make that deal mostly off our roster.

  • I really can't see the team trading for a huge pitching piece like that during the season. They couldn't do it without gutting their offense because unlike last year with the Q deal, the Cubs don't have the prospect resources alone to pull a deal like that off. It really is a moot discussion as far as I am concerned. Cubs aren't going to create a gaping hole in their position players to fill a not very big hole in their rotation, especially when they have Darvish coming back. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

    Now, in the offseason? I think it is more of a discussion, because they would have time to be able to replace the roster players they would have to include in the deal.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Agreed that it's not going to happen during the season, and I even have a hard time seeing that kind of trade in the offseason unless several of our starters tank. Right now, we've got 6-7 high-quality starters next year, including Montgomery and Smyly.

    Nice to see Ryan Williams back. What do you think of his potential, assuming he can remain healthy -- could he be a 4/5 starter or is he more of a bullpen arm?

  • As Jed said last week, with Yu coming back in a month or so, it is like trading for a top of the line starter at the break. Add in Smyly possibly being available in August mitigates doing anything crazy at this point.

    We have a ton of positional depth right now and Joe is spreading time around. This team is going to be really fresh come September and October, unlike some of our competitors.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Yeah, even though a ToR like those guys would be a welcome addition(s), the cost would be an unwelcome subtractions, especially that’s it not a primary need to get to & win the division & NLCS. They have the rotational bullets & strong enough pen. An impact bat a Cubs price is the only piece that could ***help**, yet not necessarily needed. The Cubs are in a good spot in that they don’t necessarily ***need*** anything to get to the finish line.

  • Shoulda took the over, Barley... 2 walks in the 1st already.

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    Obviously quality of competition needs to be remembered when looking at Williams. But 0 BB is always encouraging after a long layoff.

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    pretty sure until 21 for both of them,you get some value with both.

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