Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Passantino and Swarmer dial up dominating performances

Jeffrey Passantino (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Jeffrey Passantino (photo by Rikk Carlson)

It was a light day of action as the I-Cubs and Emeralds were both off and then the Pelicans were rained out and the two AZL games were suspended in the early innings, but that didn't stop a couple of guys that did play from posting some standout performances.

AA

Tennessee 6, Biloxi 1

Game Recap

Matt Swarmer (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Matt Swarmer (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Corey Ray opened with the game with a home run off Matt Swarmer, but the Smokies would answer with their own home run in the bottom of the inning, a two-run shot by Vimael Machin, and it would be all the run support Swarmer and the Tennessee bullpen would require, although Connor Myers did add another home run in the 2nd worth mentioning, as it was of the inside-the-park variety. Swarmer settled in and performed at the top of his game, striking out seven without issuing a single walk over six innings. Scott Effross and Daury Torrez would combine to fan five more while allowing just two base runners over the final three innings.

Top Performers

  • Matt Swarmer: 6 IP, 6 H, R, 0 BB, 7 K (W, 3-3, 3.52)
  • Scott Effross: 2 IP, H, 4 K (5.87)
  • Daury Torrez: IP, BB, K (4.35)
  • Vimael Machin: 2-4, HR (5), 2 R, 2 RBI (.258)
  • Zack Short: 2-3, 2 R, BB (.237)
  • Connor Myers: 1-4, HR (1), R, RBI (.250)
  • P.J. Higgins: 1-3, R, RBI, BB (.231)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Zack Short (by Stephanie Lynn)

Zack Short (by Stephanie Lynn)

Zack Short (.237/.362/.427) has done some damage from the leadoff spot recently. In 6 August games, he has scored 5 times, driven in 5, collected 5 hits, including a pair of homers, 6 walks and just 5 strikeouts to give him a .423 OBP and a .550 SLG.

Vimael Machin has been trending the wrong way at the plate (.353 May, .263 June, .217 July) and was hitting just .211 over his first 5 August games, but hopefully a good game like this can help him right the ship the rest of the way.

Few pitchers compile K:BB ratios like Matt Swarmer (8-5, 2.91 ERA between A+/AA) and he has been especially good over his last 6 starts with Tennessee by allowing just 3 walks while striking out 37 (12.3 K/BB) as he is beginning to adjust to life in AA.

Advanced A

Myrtle Beach PPD

A

Great Lakes 11, South Bend 5 (11 Innings)

Game Recap

Christian Donahue (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Christian Donahue (photo by Rikk Carlson)

This will go down as a crushing defeat. With South Bend battling for a 2nd half wild card spot, the Cubs carried a 5-0 lead into the 9th thanks to six brilliant shutout innings by the recently recalled Jeffrey Passantino and some clutch hits by Jimmy Herron, Austin Filiere and Christian Donahue, but it all came crashing down. Manuel Rodriguez was rocked for five runs in the top of the 9th without recording an out which sent the game to extras. The reliable Brian Glowicki fired two perfect innings to get the team through the 9th and 10th without further damage, but then in the top of the 11th Luis Aquino suffered a similar fate to Rodriguez as he allowed six runs in just 0.2 innings.

Top Performers

  • Jeffrey Passantino: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 9 K (0.66)
  • Garrett Kelly: 2 IP, H, BB, 2 K (1.39)
  • Brian Glowicki: 2 IP, 3 K (1.29)
  • Rafael Narea: 2-5, 2 R, SB (5) (.249)
  • Christian Donahue: 1-4, 2B, RBI, BB (.283)
  • Jimmy Herron: 1-4, R, 2 RBI (.186)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jeffrey Passantino (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Jeffrey Passantino (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Jeffrey Passantino (8-0, 2.60 combined in 52 innings between A-/A) has returned to where he began the 2018 season, and is meeting with similar success but now accomplishing it in a larger role. After beginning the year with a successful stint in the South Bend bullpen he was sent down to Eugene to get stretched out and responded with a perfect record and All-Star campaign. Now, he is back in South Bend at a critical time for the Cubs as they fight for a playoff spot, and are being forced to do it without the strong starting rotation they began the year with as Erich Uelmen, Cory Abbott and Rollie Lacy were promoted to Myrtle Beach and then Tyler Thomas was dealt to Texas at the trade deadline.

He doesn't really possess a dominant pitch but he is aggressive in attacking hitters with his fastball which has some natural cutting action while mixing in a solid curve and change. I am sure his unusual size for a pitcher (5'9" 220 pounds) along with his success coming at a small school (Lipscomb) played a role in Passantino falling to the 40th round in the 2017 draft but he has already surpassed all expectations and has the look of a valuable org arm at least with some future bullpen utility not out of the realm of possibility.

AZL

Cubs1 SUSP

Cubs2 SUSP

DSL

Cubs1 14, Pirates1 3

CardinalsR 17, Cubs2 9

 

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    I love seeing the pitching depth start to work its way up through the system. Regarding Dakota Mekkes... I always assumed his BB9 would limit his potential, but at 3.9, it's actually lower than the career 4.5 that Edwards possesses. Will his stuff play at the major league level?

  • In reply to Glen Krisch:

    Yes. Mekkes is reaching 94 fairly regularly now, and with his deception and extension it has to look more like upper-90s to hitters. His slider and changeup are both average as well. If he can improve his control he can become a dominant reliever, but even if he plateaus with where he is now, he would be an effective 7th inning guy. I think he will end up with a Steve Cishek-like career. Quietly effective in multiple roles from the 6th to the 9th inning. You won't be happy if he is your best reliever, but if he can be used as a switch army knife filling in at whatever role you need as the season roles along you will love to have him.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    That sounds very promising. Good relievers shorten games. Cishek has quietly been the best offseason signing.

  • fb_avatar

    I am waiting for Maples to be recalled. If Chatwood doesn't do better I can see him going to the DL and being replaced by Maples.
    It's good to see these young pitchers coming to the fore. Just like David Bote, who never really caught anyone's eye in the lower minors one of these pitchers might suddenly stand out and contribute.
    Thanks Michael.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Maples will be here in September. At this point Chatwood isn't costing us any games. He is there for mop up.

    Cubs will get back Bass, Maples, Rosario, Norwood, and maybe Zastryzny, Farrell, Underwood and Mills once the AAA season concludes. Might also call up Kyle Ryan if they can find 40-man room.

  • Rosario sent back to Iowa. Somebody will be back for Friday. Bass?

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