Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Coleman, Thompson with 6 shutout innings each; Maples Ks 4 in 1 inning; Giambrone, Roederer homer

Keegan Thompson (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Keegan Thompson (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

UPDATE: In case anyone missed the news yesterday, I did forget to mention in the article below that the Cubs 1st round pick, Nico Hoerner injured his elbow making a diving play last week. The injury will not require surgery but he will be rehabbing down in Mesa for the next six weeks or so.


Memphis 4, Iowa 1 (Game 1)

Iowa 3, Memphis 0 (Game 2)

Game Recap

Iowa managed just nine hits between the two games, but their pitching kept them in both. Eddie Butler has by far his best outing since returning, tossing five innings and allowing just one earned run in the opener, but the offense couldn't scratch across enough to keep him from taking the loss. Casey Coleman and Dillon Maples took matters into their own hands in game two. The two combined on a four-hit shutout. Maples capped it off with the rare 1-2-3-4, four strikeout inning for his seventh save.

Top Performers

  • Eddie Butler: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, K (L, 0-3, 8.10)
  • Casey Coleman: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (W, 2-1, 2.65)
  • Dillon Maples: IP, 4 K (S, 7, 2.79)
  • Ryan Court: 4-5, HR (8), 2 R, RBI, BB
  • Jacob Hannemann: 1-3, R

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Ryan Court (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Ryan Court (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Ryan Court (.261/.339/.410) is hitting .484 over his last 10 games. With David Bote (.260/.337/.484) in-and-out of the Iowa lineup this season as he gets summoned to Chicago, Court has become the I-Cubs most consistent threat since recovering from a hideous month of April when he batted .117 with 33 Ks in 60 ABs.

This game marked the second time this season that Dillon Maples has fanned four batters in an inning.


Biloxi 2, Tennessee 1 (Game 1)

Biloxi 4, Tennessee 1 (Game 2)

Game Recap

A Trent Giambrone solo homer gave Keegan Thompson all the cushion he would need through five innings in the opener. Thompson was masterful, mixing his pitches and location, he allowed just four base runners while striking out five. Unfortunately, the one-run lead was not enough once Jake Stinnett took over to close it out as he surrendered a two-run homer in the bottom of the 6th. Game two saw the Smokies offense squander multiple opportunities with men in scoring position, meanwhile Biloxi didn't need to come through the couple of times they had men reach base, as three of their five hits in the game were home runs.

Top Performers

  • Keegan Thompson: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K (3.80)
  • Yasiel Balaguert: 2-6, 2B, RBI
  • Trent Giambrone: 1-6, HR (16), R, RBI, BB
  • Zack Short: 1-5, 3B, R, BB, SB (6)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Trent Giambrone (photo: Stephanie Lynn)

Trent Giambrone (photo: Stephanie Lynn)

The breakout season for Trent Giambrone (.265/.326/.489) continued with his 16th home run of the year. He trails Jason Vosler (17) by one for the organizational lead. His 22 stolen bases (30 attempts) also rank among the best with the organizations full season affiliates.

After getting rocked in his first AA appearance (8 runs in just 3 innings), Keegan Thompson (5-4, 3.35 ERA in 17 starts, 91.1 IP between A+/AA) has returned to the reliable and occasionally dominant performer he was with Myrtle Beach. Over his last four starts he has held the opposition scoreless three times, and allowed just two runs in the other. In all, that equates to a 0.87 ERA over 20.2 innings, with just 14 hits and 8 walks allowed.

Advanced A

Potomac 6, Myrtle Beach 3

Game Recap

A four-run 1st inning surrendered by starter Rollie Lacy (L, 1-1, 5.79) was enough to bury the Pelicans on this night. Lacy recovered, and allowed just one run over the next three to at least give the team a chance heading into the middle innings but after Jared Young hit a solo homer and the Pelicans pushed across another run in the inning to make the score 6-3 they managed to get no closer.

Top Performers

  • Andruw Monasterio: 2-3, R, HBP, SB (7)
  • Roberto Caro: 2-5, 2B, SB (9)
  • Jared Young: 1-4, HR (2), R, RBI
  • Wladimir Galindo: 2-4, 2B, RBI
  • Tyler Alamo: 2-4, R
  • Erick Leal: 3 IP, H, 3 K (0.76)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Roberto Caro / Photo by Stephanie Lynn

Roberto Caro (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

The Pelicans offense has receive a shot in the arm from the additions of Roberto Caro (.368/.450/.517 with 26 SB in 52 G between A/A+) and Jared Young (.306/.365/.508 with 12 HR, 58 RBI in 80 G between A/A+). Caro has hit .348/.434/.413 with the Pelicans and has already stolen 9 bags in 15 games. After a bit of a slow start in Myrtle Beach, Young has hit .333 over his last 7 games with 2 homers, 4 runs scored and 4 driven in.


South Bend 5, Quad Cities 2

Game Recap

Javier Assad (4 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 8 K) hopped in-and-out of trouble, stranding twelve men through four innings, but he also gave up a pair of runs and exited the game down 2-0. In fact, the situation looked grim as the Cubs were being no-hit through the first five innings of the game.

The offense found their stride in the 6th, as the first three batters reached to load the bases, and then the team capitalized on a throwing error to score two runs and a Christian Donahue ground ball to score another in the inning to take the lead. The bullpen took over from there as three relievers combined to toss five shutout innings. Austin Upshaw hit a two-run homer in the 8th to provide some breathing room.

Top Performers

  • Austin Upshaw: 1-3, HR (1), R, 2 RBI, BB
  • Rafael Narea: 1-3, R
  • Garrett Kelly: 1.2 IP, H, BB, 2 K (W, 1-1, 1.69)
  • Yapson Gomez: 1.1 IP, H, BB, K (3.86)
  • Brian Glowicki: 2 IP, 2 K (S, 15, 1.22)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Garrett Kelly appears to be another solid find out of Indy Ball for the Cubs. His control can be an issue but he possesses an explosive fastball that can reach the mid-90s that MWL hitters have had issues squaring up. He has struck out 23 while allowing just 14 hits in 21.1 innings since joining South Bend.

Austin Upshaw (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Austin Upshaw (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Hopefully his first home run since returning to South Bend can help ignite a hot streak for Austin Upshaw. It has been a nightmarish season at the dish so far for the second year player out of Kennesaw State. After hitting well (.290/.339/.381) in 52 games with South Bend after being drafted in the 13th round last season, the Cubs felt the lefty swinging Upshaw was ready for the challenge in the Carolina League, and maybe even begin tapping into a bit more power at the plate, but it never came together for him as he struggled from day one in Myrtle Beach. Mercifully, after hitting a paltry .203/.252/.280 over 72 games, the Cubs moved Upshaw back down to South Bend and promoted Jared Young to take his place at 1B for the Pelicans. The move has not been an instant elixir for Upshaw however, as he is hitting just .121/.162/.212 over his first 9 games back, but like I said, maybe this home run can give him a confidence boost moving forward.

For those of you curious about the arm the Cubs gave up in the trade last night that netted the Cubs Texas righty Jesse Chavez, here is short scouting report on Tyler Thomas:

Thomas was the Cubs 7th round pick last year out of Fresno State. He stands 6'1" but with a slight build which puts his ability to hold up under a starters workload under doubt. He struggled with control in college and in his brief stint with the Cubs short season affiliates last summer after signing.

He has looked like a new man in that regard this season, as walks have not been an issue in any of his 15 games. One consistent aspect of his game throughout his amateur and pro career has been his ability to miss bats. His fastball tops out around 90 but when he manages to keep it out of the middle of the zone, like he has in 2018, it effectively sets up his plus changeup and developing curveball. The changeup has been his go to offspeed against both lefties and righties, but his curveball has flashed as an effective pitch this season as well. I rated it as below average coming into the season, but the break on the pitch looks a little deeper this year, and I feel more comfortable rating it as an average pitch now, perhaps with the potential for greater growth.

Thomas profiles best as a reliever as I fear his build, average fastball and curve will not hold up multiple times through a Major League batting order, but his changeup and ability to miss bats makes him effective against hitters from both sides of the plate, so he could thrive in the role.


Eugene 7, Tri-City 3

Top Performers

  • Zack Mort: 3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 4 K
  • Nelson Velazquez: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
  • Tyler Durna: 2-2, 2 RBI
  • Luis Vazquez: 0-2, 2 RBI, BB, 2 SF, SB (3)
  • Luke Reynolds: 1-4, R, BB
  • Jake Slaughter: 1-2, 2B, R

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Nelson Velazquez (.233/.292/.425) now has a 5-game hitting streak in which he is batting .368 with 2 homers and 6 driven in.

8th round pick Zach Mort started the game with three shutout innings. Mort fits the profile the Cubs have favored of late as an extreme strike thrower. The one walk he issued was his first in seven professional innings.


Cubs1 9, White Sox 2

Top Performers

  • Rafael Mejia: 3-4, HR (2), R, 3 RBI, SB (2)
  • Alexander Guerra: 2-3, HR (2), 2 R, 2 RBI
  • Jonathan Soto: 2-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB
  • Christopher Morel: 2-4, 2B, R, BB
  • Kwang-Min Kwon: 2-5, R, RBI
  • Jimmy Herron: 2-4
  • Yovanny Cuevas: 1-4, 2 R, BB
  • Didier Vargas: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K (W, 2-2, 2.89)

Cubs2 4, Reds 3

Top Performers

  • Cole Roederer: 1-4, HR (3), R, 2 RBI
  • Henderson Perez: 1-2, R, 2 BB
  • Miguel Pabon: 1-2, 3B, R, 2 BB
  • Eduarniel Nunez: 4.1 IP, H, R, 3 BB, 3 K (4.24)
  • Elias Herrera: 3.2 IP, 2 H, K (W, 3-1, 3.80)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Alexander Guerra (.258/.385/.435) homered for the second straight day.

19-year old lefty Didier Vargas (28 IP, 27 H, 9 ER, 13 BB, 18 K) does not overpower hitters, as his fastball reportedly tops out at 90 but he usually sits in the mid-to-high-80s. He does reportedly have a very good curve and solid changeup. Whatever the method, Vargas has found tremendous success so far as a professional. After posting a 0.99 ERA in 14 starts in the DSL last year he has compiled a 2.89 ERA in his first 6 starts stateside this year. Take out a disastrous 1st start in Mesa, and he has a 1.50 ERA over his last 5 starts.

Another day marks yet another impact performance from Cole Roederer (.359/.468/.692). He is the current tally for the 18-year old 2nd round pick who has reached safely in every one of his 10 pro games so far: 14 H, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 14 R, 10 RBI, 8 BB, 7 K, 4/6 SB


Rays2 4, Cubs1 3

Cubs2 8, Dbacks2 4


Leave a comment
  • Glowicki gets a 2IP save last night and has been really solid all year. Is he just an org guy or does he have 2 pitches to keep being a closer as he progresses thru the system?

  • In reply to Gator:

    He's just an org guy in my eye. Average stuff across the board with solid command. I just don't seen an out pitch against advanced hitters. Guys like that can stick around a long time though. And if you stick around long enough you never know.

  • Thanks for the scouting report on Thomas, Michael.

    And even more thanks for putting these together every day. All you guys are doing a great job of keeping John's dream and spirit alive here at the Den!

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    Thanks, Vida.

    I know there are times we don't have quite as extensive of coverage as when John was around simply because he was devoted to the site full time while everyone we have now are part time. There is usually enough overlap between all of us, but there are occasional news items that crop up when none of us are available.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Coverage is still first rate. Thanks.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I think John would be proud of what you guys are producing. Thanks for your efforts.

  • Think we will miss Ricky Tyler Thomas in a few years?

    He was having a really nice season (in the starting rotation) and with a WHIP at 0.96 and a great K/BB ratio and a 2.88 ERA.

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Let’s hope not. But you’re right.... He was having a nice year in the “pitcher friendly” league that SB is end. Maybe the Rangers think he’ll be another Kyle Hendricks, LoL!! :o)

  • In reply to DetroitCubFan:

    Lefties that miss bats and are effective against hitters from both sides are valuable, but I don't think he ends up a full time starter or an impact reliever. If he pans out, he would likely be like a left handed version of Jesse Chavez.

  • I assume that somebody has asked this before - but haven't been following the minors write ups much the last couple weeks,...

    Is Trent Giambrone a decent at least part time SS? I know from the stats read outs he's covered SS defensively most of last season in Carolina, and a few time this year in Tennessee. Can he do it at a MLB level though and not be a significant defensive liability - assuming of course he can keep developing that batting prowess?

    Solid write up & summary as usual Michael.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    He can play the position but it isn't where he should be. Sort of like Bote in that regard. Double switches and occasional fill in starts are fine, but if you expect him to cover the position on a regular basis you will be giving away runs.

    Giambrone played there a lot in MB last year because they had no one else ready in the first half and it was not good for the team. The overall infield play improved dramatically when once a better SS in Zack Short was inserted in the 2nd half.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks Michael. Thought that I had remembered reading something along those lines last season, but good to hear confirmation.

  • Good results by Butler and Coleman. It will be nice to have internal options for BOR SP.

  • In reply to John57:

    Unfortunately, Butler is out of options and the addition of Chavez will make it tough for the Cubs to carry him on the 25 man when everyone is healthy.

  • fb_avatar

    Should we be worried about Nico? I thought he was injured in college but can't find out where I read it. He was doing very well and I hate to see him stop, but having played a season in college and now in the summer maybe it's best to just shut him down.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    It was a ligament strain in his non-throwing elbow, so shouldn't have any long term affects.

  • Great story by C Muskat about Nico’s trip to Chicago:


    Hoerner flew to Chicago from the Quad Cities to be examined and hadn't included a stop at Wrigley Field in his plans but was able to watch batting practice on Thursday. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo called Hoerner into the group before they stretched and separated the first-round picks from the rest of the roster. That first-round group included Javier Baez (2011), Addison Russell ('12), Albert Almora Jr. ('12), Kris Bryant ('13), Kyle Schwarber ('14) and Ian Happ ('15), and they talked about how quickly they moved up and gave him some advice.

    "I never will be a home run hitter," Hoerner said. "Home runs are something that will happen as I learn to use my body and learn the pitchers. That's what all the guys were telling me.
    That was the message Hoerner got from hitting coach Chili Davis. The Bay Area native grew up an A's fan and remembers Davis from his time as Oakland's hitting coach.
    "He talked about just learning to hit and the power coming," Hoerner said. "We're in an age of baseball that talks so much about swing mechanics and he talked about competing with the pitcher. That's refreshing to hear."

Leave a comment