Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Garcia goes deep again; Hoerner hits an inside-the-park homer; South Bend wins a wild one

Nico Hoerner (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Nico Hoerner (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Oklahoma City 8, Iowa 5

Game Recap

The I-Cubs spotted starter Duane Underwood, Jr. (3.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 BB, 3 K) with a four-run 1st inning lead courtesy of a pair of two-run homers by Ian Happ and Jim Adduci, but it wasn't enough. Underwood looked solid in certain innings but inconsistencies continue to plague him as he dropped to 0-3 with an 8.47 ERA on the year.

Top Performers

  • Jim Adduci: 1-3, HR (2), R, 2 RBI, BB (.208)
  • Christian Adames: 2-4, HR (1), 2 R, RBI (.200)
  • Ian Happ: 1-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI (.209)
  • Alberto Baldonado: 1.1 IP, H (6.43)
  • Dillon Maples: 1.1 IP, 2 K (3.38)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Christian Adames returned from the IL and homered.

Dillon Maples (8 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 8 BB, 16 K) has not allowed a base runner over his last 2 appearances (3 innings) while striking out 5 batters.

A day after hitting his first homer of the season, a grand slam, Jim Adduci hit his second homer in as many days. It had been a slow start for the veteran up until now and the team could use some steady left-handed production from the 33-year old .

AA

Tennessee 7, Chattanooga 6 (Game 1)

Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 2 (Game 2)

Game Recap

Game one was a real hard fought affair featuring big innings, lead changes, and from a Cubs perspective, an encouraging rehab outing by Mike Montgomery. Robel Garcia, who has absolutely demolished Southern League pitching in his injury-limited action this season, was at it again in the 1st. his two-run homer spotted Monty a lead. Things looked well in hand through Montgomery's first two innings, but he wobbled a bit in the 3rd. He nearly escaped a jam, but ending up allowing a three-run homer before regaining command in the 4th. All in all, it was a solid performance and he looked like his normal self out on the mound. I have to think he will return to the Chicago roster this week.

The game would swing in each team's favor throughout, but with the score tied at 6-6 in the final inning Charcer Burks lined a hit to left to give the Smokies the walk-off win.

The second game would feature no heroics, but did see Nico Hoerner hit his first home run of the season, and he did it in unusual fashion:

Top Performers

  • Robel Garcia: 2-4, HR (3), R, 2 RBI (.400)
  • Connor Myers: 3-3, R (.324)
  • Charcer Burks: 3-6, 2 R, RBI, SB (2) (.259)
  • Jared Young: 3-7, 3 R, RBI, SB (1) (.262)
  • P.J. Higgins: 2-5, R, 2 BB (.340)
  • Johnny Pereda: 1-3, 2 RBI (.190)
  • Mike Montgomery: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, BB, 3 K
  • Manuel Rondon: IP, H (W, 2-2, 5.63)
  • Thomas Hatch: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K (L, 0-2, 5.89)
  • Scott Effross: 3 IP, 3 H, R, K (6.94)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Robel Garcia has played in just 7 games due to a hamstring injury he suffered on Opening Day that kept him out for 10 days, but in his limited time with the Smokies he has made a huge impact. His .381/.480/.905 (1.385 OPS) gives him a ridiculous .607 wOBA and 292 wRC+ so far. He's walked 16% of the time, and when he has hit the ball he is putting it in the air (just a 23.5 GB%).

I'm seeing good pitch recognition and bat speed from the 26-year old switch hitter who the Cubs signed out of Italy this winter. I mentioned after his Opening Day performance the Cubs may have found more than just an Org guy with this signing, and Garcia has done nothing in his 6 games since to dissuade me of that assessment. It is still early, and he is obviously in the middle of a hot streak, so we need to see how he'll handle adversity down the road, but I will continue to watch him closely.

A

South Bend 13, Lansing 10

Game Recap

D.J. Artis (photo by Rikk Carlson)

D.J. Artis (photo by Rikk Carlson)

The first six innings of this one were a little sleepy, with Lansing starter Joey Murray holding the Cubs offense down. Cubs starter Brailyn Marquez (4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 4.38 ERA) flashed his power repertoire as well, but struggles with his command led to some homers and other hard hit balls which gave the Lugnuts a 4-1 lead entering the 7th.

From there things got nuts. Five for South Bend in the top of the 7th, including a three-run homer by Andy Weber, then Lansing answered with three in the bottom of the frame. In the 8th, three more for South Bend regained them the lead, but the Lugnuts stormed back with two of their own to tie it. Both teams were quiet in the 9th, but the Cubs dialed up another big inning in the 10th, plating 4 more runs. Wow.

Top Performers

  • D.J. Artis: 3-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB (.314)
  • Christopher Morel: 3-5, 3 R (.294)
  • Cole Roederer: 1-4, R, 3 RBI, BB, SB (2) (.212)
  • Andy Weber: 1-5, HR (1), R, 3 RBI, BB (.161)
  • Erick Gonzalez: 1-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB (.214)
  • Rafael Narea: 1-2, 2B, RBI (.207)
  • Tyler Durna: 1-4, 2 R, BB (.296)
  • Nelson Velazquez: 1-4, R, BB (.309)
  • Riley McCauley: IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 3 K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

He did allow the inherited runner at 2nd to score in the bottom of the 10th, but Riley McCauley has still not allowed an earned run in 7 innings this season.

I'm not sure how much longer the Cubs can keep D.J. Artis (.314/.455/.451) in South Bend. He was an OBP machine in college at Liberty and has continued to be in the MWL. There isn't much power in his 5'9" frame, but he does drive the ball in the gap and down the line (7 doubles) enough to be a threat. And he does use his speed well on the bases (15 steals in 19 career attempts). The Pelicans already have young potential top of the order hitters in Jimmy Herron and D.J. Wilson so Artis may need to wait a while, but I will say that I think he is ready for the challenge.

Comments

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    Again, I love what DJ is doing, and I see that although I like Herron and Wilson they aren't doing much now so maybe Artis forces the Cubs' hands and makes them promote him.

  • I had not heard of Robel Garcia, but he certainly is one to keep an eye on.

  • In reply to John57:

    No reason you should have. He washed out of Cleveland's system in 2013. Bounced around and ended up playing in Italy. Cubs noticed him last year during international tournaments and signed him.

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