Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Higgins stays hot; Giambrone homers for second straight day;

PJ Higgins (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

PJ Higgins (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Iowa 4, Oklahoma City 3

Game Recap

Iowa improved to 7-3 on the year thanks to some timely hitting (3-for-5 with RISP) and a series of gutty relief appearances after starter Trevor Clifton was forced from the game due to an elevated pitch count in the 2nd inning.

Clifton had struck out the side in the 1st, but as the Dodgers do, they made him work hard for it. Then, they managed to make it even more difficult in the 2nd, even though they still couldn't get a hit or make contact off him. Clifton struck out two more, but also issued three free passes, as his pitch count rose to over 50 with one out still to go in the frame. Alberto Baldonado replaced him and got out of the bases loaded jam, then along with three more relievers combined to hold the Dodgers to three runs over the final 7 1/3 innings to preserve the victory.

Top Performers

  • Trent Giambrone: 1-4, HR (4), R, RBI, CS (1) (.263)
  • Ian Happ: 2-4, 2 2B, R (.225)
  • Wynton Bernard: 1-2, 3B, R, BB (.200)
  • Jim Adduci: 1-4, 2B, RBI (.200)
  • Francisco Arcia: 1-3, RBI (.077)
  • Trevor Clifton: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K (0.00)
  • Brian Duensing: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (5.79)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Trent Giambrone (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Trent Giambrone (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

It was the second straight game with a home run for Trent Giambrone to give him 4 on the year. The utility man has mostly played LF this season, which may ultimately end up being his best defensive fit once he gains more experience out there. He is a passable 2B, but has always been stretched when asked to play elsewhere in the infield.

AA

Tennessee 7, Birmingham 6

Game Recap

Michael Rucker (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Michael Rucker (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

The run of top notch starting pitching performances by the Smokies came to end as fill-in Brad Markey got lit up for six run over two-plus innings. It didn't stop Tennessee from mounting a comeback though, as Michael Rucker, Manuel Rondon and Craig Brooks tossed seven shutout innings of relief, and lineup got out the big sticks. In all the Smokies would collect 13 hits, but what was most impressive was 9 of those went for extra bases (5 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers).

Leading the way once again was the red-hot P.J. Higgins. He hasn't been getting a ton of work behind the plate as Johnny Pereda (who also homered) has gotten most of the play there, but Higgins has shown off his versatility at the infield corners as he subs for an injured Robel Garcia as well as Vimael Machin, who was summoned to Iowa as an injury replacement there.

Top Performers

  • P.J. Higgins: 3-5, 2B, R (.379)
  • Charcer Burks: 2-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI (.276)
  • Johnny Pereda: 2-4, HR (2), R, RBI (.182)
  • Nico Hoerner: 2-4, 2B, 3B, R, CS (2)
  • Connor Myers: 1-3, HR (1), R, RBI (.150)
  • Christian Donahue: 1-4, 2B, R, BB (.172)
  • Michael Rucker: 3 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (6.43)
  • Manuel Rondon: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R (W, 1-1, 0.00)
  • Craig Brooks: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 K (S, 3, 0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Michael Rucker had gotten off to a rough start, allowing 5 runs over 4 innings in his first 2 appearances, but he was locked in on Sunday. His slider and changeup were particularly good. I received positive feedback on the development of his changeup since the spring, so hopefully he can use yesterday's performance as a springboard moving forward.

Advanced A

Fayetteville 9, Myrtle Beach 4

Game Recap

Aramis Ademan (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Aramis Ademan (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

At this point I am struggling to find positive things to write about during this start for Myrtle Beach. It is eerily similar to last year when they were commonly blown out, and struggled in all facets of the game for the first couple of months.

Erling Moreno (3.1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 6 BB, K, 21.60 ERA) couldn't find his control for a second straight start to open 2019 and put the Pelicans in a deep hole. The bats wouldn't come alive until the 9th once again, scoring three runs, once the game was well out of hand.

Top Performers

  • Aramis Ademan: 3-4, 3B, R, 2 RBI (.226)
  • Tyler Payne: 2-4, 2B, R (.286)
  • Jimmy Herron: 1-4, 3B, R (.189)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

After opening the season 1-for-15 over his first 4 games, Aramis Ademan is 6-for-his-last-16 with a triple, homer and 6 runs batted in over his last 6 games.

A

South Bend PPD

Comments

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    Michael, I see that Ademan is playing 3rd for MB. Is that for his versatility or is he off SS now? Thanks.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    They are starting to move him around the IF. He is still a SS first, but with Javy, Russell, Short and now Hoerner ahead of him the odds of him being an everyday starter there for the team is small, and so if he ends up on the bench he needs versatility

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