Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Cruz and Marquez with successful debuts at new levels; Velazquez homers again; South Bend completes amazing comeback

Brailyn Marquez (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Brailyn Marquez (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Omaha 7, Iowa 2

Game Recap

The Cubs got excellent work in a spot start by Kyle Ryan. He pounded the strike zone (59 P, 44 S) with his sinker, breaking ball and change from his cross body delivery to generate an 8-1 ground out to fly out ratio and also four strikeouts over five innings. Unfortunately, the Cubs offense and bullpen was a no show, as the team was no hit heading into the sixth and four different relievers, all with September roster hopes, each gave up runs after Ryan exited.

Top Performers

  • Kyle Ryan: 5 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 4 K (2.45)
  • Mike Freeman: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB (.276)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

James Norwood (by Stephanie Lynn)

James Norwood (by Stephanie Lynn)

It was a rough night for the bullpen. James Norwood (IP, H, R, 2 BB, 0 K) struggled with his control for the second consecutive outing. In his second rehab outing, Brian Duensing surrendered 3 runs on 3 hits in 0.2 innings. Allen Webster gave up a monstrous home run. And Duane Underwood, Jr. gave up a run on 3 hits in his one inning.

The guy that has made a strong case all summer and may have solidified his spot with his work in this game was Kyle Ryan. His 63.0 GB% is one of the top in the PCL and his 25.0 K% is strong as well. While tough on lefties (.241 AVG) but has been insanely hard for right-handed hitters to handle (.185) as he hides the ball extrenely well from them. His 4.03 FIP is significantly higher that his 2.53 ERA due mostly to an unsustainable .238 BABIP, but Ryan has been really difficult to square up as well as a bit lucky, so I think there is probably a middle ground between those two is a more accurate representation of his skills. The 26-year old former Tigers hurler has 86 games of MLB experience. He is not currently on the 40-man roster so space will need to be made if the Cubs want to add him.

AA

Montgomery 3, Tennessee 1

Game Recap

Thomas Hatch pitched a little better than his numbers indicated, but with the offense struggling he would have needed to be perfect.

Top Performers

  • Thomas Hatch: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, BB, 4 K (L, 8-6, 3.72)
  • Daury Torrez: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 K (3.91)
  • Jordan Minch: 1.1 IP, H, 2 BB, K (3.46)
  • Trent Giambrone: 1-3, BB (.255)
  • Wynton Bernard: 1-3, SAC, SB (12) (.314)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Make it 12 walks and just 4 K over the last 10 games for Trent Giambrone (.255/.333/.449).

Advanced A

Myrtle Beach 4, Down East 1

Game Recap

Christian Donahue (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Christian Donahue (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Facing off against their former South Bend teammate Tyler Thomas (4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 5 K) from earlier this season, a quartet of Pelicans pitchers that had received promotions this season combined to go nine innings without allowing an earned run. On offense, another recent member of South Bend, Christian Donahue, led the way with two doubles that drove in three of the Pelicans four runs.

Top Performers

  • Erich Uelmen: 3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (4.50)
  • Bailey Clark: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (W, 2-2, 2.56)
  • Manuel Rondon: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (1.44)
  • Yapson Gomez: 2 IP, H, R, 0 ER, BB, 3 K (0.00)
  • Christian Donahue: 2-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI (.357)
  • Zach Davis: 1-3, R, BB (.223)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Yapson Gomez finally gave up a run, but it was unearned, so his ERA remains 0.00 through 13.1 innings with Myrtle Beach.

Bailey Clark (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Bailey Clark (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Bailey Clark (4-2, 1.90 ERA combined between A/A+) has been especially in command in his two games since returning from a two-month DL stint. Among the 38 pitches he has thrown, 28 have been for strikes, and he has allowed just 2 hits and no walks or runs in 4 innings.

The other most recent addition from South Bend is Christian Donahue (.285/.356/.397 combined between A/A+). He also has made an immediate impact, showing both patience (4 BB) and power (2 2B, 2 HR) in his short stint (6 G) so far.

A

South Bend 10, Fort Wayne 9

Prospect Profile

Brailyn Marquez

Game Recap

This was one heck of a back-and-forth game. Fort Wayne jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the 1st against Brailyn Marquez, who was making his MWL debut. Marquez would settle in after those early jitters to hold Fort Wayne down over the next four innings, which gave his offense time to get revved up. South Bend plated five runs in the middle innings to take the lead. Erling Moreno was rolling along in his piggyback effort in relief of Marquez, before hitting a bit of a bump in the 8th, when he surrendered a run to cut the Cubs advantage to a single run heading into the final inning.

Brandon Hughes (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Brandon Hughes (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Moreno returned to the mound in the 9th, and ran into immediate trouble as Fort Wayne strung together four straight hits to open the frame and take the 6-5 lead. After recording one out, the TinCaps would collect three more consecutive singles before Brian Glowicki was called on to hold back the flood, which had reached five runs.

So entering the bottom of the 9th, the Cubs found themselves down four runs, but they did not let that drain their hopes for a comeback. An epic rally kicked off with a Chris Singleton double, followed by a walk and then a Clayton Daniel double which chased the Fort Wayne hurler. Delvin Zinn greeted the new man on the mound with a single that brought home two runs, and then Austin Filiere tripled home Zinn to tie the game. After a pair of intentional walks to load the bases. Brandon Hughes became the walk-off hero with a

In all, eight straight South Bend batters reached as Fort Wayne was unable to record a single out in the inning.

Top Performers

  • Brailyn Marquez: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, BB, 3 K (3.60)
  • Brian Glowicki: 0.2 IP, K (W, 5-5, 1.10)
  • Brandon Hughes: 3-5, 2B, R, RBI (.233)
  • Austin Filiere: 2-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, BB (.257)
  • Chris Singleton: 2-4, 2B, R, SB (12) (.214)
  • Jose Gutierrez: 1-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB (.213)
  • Clayton Daniel: 2-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI (.248)
  • Eric Gonzalez: 2-4, R (.429)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Delvin Zinn (.289/.333/.330) extended his hitting streak to 8 games.

Chris Singleton (.214/.266/.317) is batting .314 over his last 10 games.

A-

Eugene 11, Tri-City 2

Prospect Profile

Yovanny Cruz

Game Recap

Yovanny Cruz shut down the Tri-City offense for five innings in his NWL debut and was supported by a rare outburst from the Emeralds offense. Nelson Velazquez homered for the second straight game and Grant Fennell ended with three runs batted in.

Top Performers

  • Yovanny Cruz: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (W, 1-0, 0.00)
  • Nelson Velazquez: 2-4, 2B, HR (9), 3 R, 2 RBI, BB (.244)
  • D.J. Artis: 1-3, 2B, 2 R, BB, HBP, 2 SB (4, 5) (.265)
  • Grant Fennell: 2-5, 3B, 3 RBI (.283)
  • Andy Weber: 2-4, 2 R (.300)
  • Jonathan Sierra: 2-5, 2B, R, RBI (.249)
  • Fernando Kelli: 2-4, R, RBI (.236)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-4, 2 RBI (.182)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

In addition to homering in two straight games, Nelson Velazquez (.244/.318/.437) has 3 consecutive multi-hit games with 4 runs scored and 5 batted in. You can't make belt-high mistakes to this guy:

Andy Weber (.300/.378/.343) is batting .355 over his last 9 games.

Over his last 7 games between the AZL and now the NWL, Yovanny Cruz has struck out 41 and walked only 6 in 33.2 IP, while surrendering just 5 ER (1.34 ERA) on 26 hits.

AZL

Cubs1 7, Angels 1

Top Performers

  • Danny Hultzen: IP, 2 K (5.40)
  • Didier Vargas: 6 IP, 4 H, R, BB, 5 K (W, 4-4, 3.27)
  • Riger Fernandez: 2 IP, 4 BB, 3 K (2.86)
  • Alexander Guerra: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI (.261)
  • Edmond Americaan: 3-5, 2B, RBI, CS (5) (.291)
  • Orian Nunez: 1-2, 3B, R, BB (.265)

Cubs2 10, Indians2 9 (11 Innings)

Top Performers

  • Chris Allen: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 K (0.63)
  • Ivan Medina: 3.2 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, BB, K (1.48)
  • Carlos Pacheco: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB (.189)
  • Henderson Perez: 2-6, R, RBI (.277)
  • Fidel Mejia: 2-6, R, RBI (.324)
  • Reivaj Garcia: 1-4, 2 R, 2 BB, SB (7) (.302)
  • Cole Roederer: 1-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, SF (.275)
  • Luis Verdugo: 1-4, R, 2 BB (.193)
  • Luis Diaz: 0-3, R, RBI, 3 BB (.310)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Another great outing for Danny Hultzen. He has now struck out 14 over his last 6.1 shutout innings across 7 appearances (2 H, 2 BB). His fastball is reportedly around 90 mph and he is also throwing a slider and changeup.

Didier Vargas has given up just 4 earned runs over his last 3 outings (16.2 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 18 K). The 19-year old lefty is coming off an incredible debut season in the DSL (4-2, 0.99 ERA in 14 GS). His fastball tops out around 90, and usually works below that according to reports, but has a nice curveball and is generating a good amount of ground balls.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • fb_avatar

    For the veteran minor league guys with promise, such as Kyle Ryan, Allen Webster, and Danny Hultzen, what are the Cubs' options this offseason? They need to be added to 40-man to be guaranteed to remain, correct? Are any of them worth the roster spot?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Ryan has made the best case for a 40-man spot this September or in the offseason. He still has one option year remaining in 2019 (same with Rob Zastryzny), so it could come down to a decision between those two for a lefthanded depth spot on the 40 man roster along with Rosario. Cubs currently have Duensing, Smyly (and perhaps Montogmery if not in rotation) as MLB left handers under contract for next year. Rosario and Ryan/Zastryzny are solid AAA depth, but that isn't an inspiring group at MLB level, so I would imagine that is one area the club will look strongly at making improvements this offseason. Hultzen, I guess, could work his way into that conversation as well, but I simply don't have enough info on his current health outlook or how he is throwing. If he wants to continue his comeback next season, I imagine the Cubs would be the front runner for his services, but I find it hard to see him gettig a 40 man spot. More likely a Minor League deal and NRI to ST next year.

    Webster does have a shot at a 40-man spot this September as well, but the Cubs have a number of young RHP, especially relievers that will give him competition this year and especially next. If he does find his way onto the club, he will need to make an immediate impact and be a consistent contributor otherwise he could struggle to hang on to it. If he isn't added, he will be a free agent, and due to the level of young competition, he would probably find better opportunity elsewhere, although I'm sure the Cubs would like to bring at least one or two veteran types like Webster/Bass to spring training next year. Again, like Hultzen, it will likely be as NRI.

  • fb_avatar

    Does Tseng have a future with the Cubs? He's been up and down and it seems to me reading about him that he doesn't have any + pitches and you need at least 2 in the majors.
    On another topic, before the draft I really wanted the Cubs to draft
    Xavier Edwards, a very toolsy SS. We chose Nico and in a very sss
    he's done well. I will always think of them together as the years go on.
    Right now Edwards slash line is: .341 .456 .419 .874
    Hoerner's is 327 .450 .571 1.021
    Hoerner is 21 and a college bat and Edwards just turned 19. He is a much faster runner but might not have the arm that Nico has and also is 20/21 in stolen bases, Hoerner is 6/7. I know that Theo and co. like college bats and they both play the same position and have versatility in the infield, maybe the outfield too. I'll keep comparing as the years go on.
    Thanks Michael.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Getting to see Xavier Edwards face the Emeralds this week.

    He was definitely a guy I had my eye on in the 1st round heading into the draft as well.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I've never been very high on Tseng. I always thought he was a 4A guy that would be good depth and spend a lot of time on the shuttle. He is better than he has shown this year, but is not as good as he showed last year. With all of the pitching depth the Cubs have coming out, I think he gets squeezed out in the near future, but he probably pops up in a couple other organizations and maybe spends a little time in the Majors in the coming years.

Leave a comment