Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Iowa bats come alive; Tyson Miller continues his emergence; Lugo Ks 8 in relief

Tyson Miller (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Tyson Miller (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Iowa 8, Nashville 4

Game Recap

Iowa, in a huge changeover from the past couple of seasons, has been the organization's best affiliate. They've operated with composure in all facets of the game and yesterday was another example. Solid starting pitching, a great effort from their talented bullpen, and all nine batters collected a hit and either scored a run or drove one in.

Top Performers

  • Johnny Field: 2-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI (.300)
  • Dixon Machado: 1-2, 2B, 3 BB, 2 R (.333)
  • Addison Russell: 2-4, 2B, 3 RBI (.375)
  • Jim Adduci_ 1-3, 2B, 2 R, BB (.255)
  • Donnie Dewees: 1-3, RBI, BB (.212)
  • Ian Happ: 1-4, R, BB, SB (3) (.227)
  • Colin Rea: 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K (W, 2-0, 3.97)
  • Rowan Wick: 2 IP, 3 K (2.89)

AA

Jacksonville 4, Tennessee 0

Game Recap

Tyson Miller did his usual thing, but the Smokies offense came up dry, as they reached base just 8 times throughout the game. I know I say it with just about every one of his starts, but Tyson Miller really seems to be ascending to the forefront of the Cubs starting pitcher prospects. He has the size, solid command, and improving secondaries to go along with his lively four-seam fastball. There is never any panic and he just goes out there and executes at a smooth pace and with excellent pitch efficiency (he needed just 78 pitches to get through 6, 54 strikes).

Top Performers

  • Tyson Miller: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K (L, 1-1, 1.42)
  • Xavier Cedeno: 0.2 IP, 2 H, K (18.00)
  • Johnny Pereda: 2-3, BB (.240)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

After starting at 3B his first handful of games, the Smokies have started working Robel Garcia in at 2B as well. He even finished last night's game at SS. He was a middle infielder while in the Cleveland system so I am curious to see how he still holds up there now that he is a little bigger. He has continued to hit, reaching base in all 9 of his starts this season, while still sporting a 1.127 OPS.

Advanced A

Carolina 3, Myrtle Beach 1

Game Recap

The Pelicans offense has been picking it up a bit of late, and did manage 9 hits in this one, but they never managed to string together a big inning. The team did get an excellent relief effort from Luis Lugo in a piggyback role. The big lefty struck out 8 over 4 innings.

Top Performers

  • Aramis Ademan: 2-4, R (.275)
  • Erling Moreno: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 K (L, 1-3, 11.20)
  • Luis Lugo: 4 IP, 2 H, R, 3 BB, 8 K (3.94)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Aramis Ademan (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Aramis Ademan (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Aramis Ademan (.275/.420/.450) is picking up the pace. His early season slump was never as poor as it appeared as he was still piecing together some solid ABs, but he now has multi-hit games in 3 of his past 4 starts, and has reached base multiple times in 7 consecutive games. He's even managed to maintain that streak while he was away from the team for about a week, and picked up right where he left off the past 2 days, collecting 2 hits in each and drawing a walk as well.

A

Fort Wayne 12, South Bend 6

Top Performers

  • Andy Weber: 3-5, 2B, 3 RBI, SB (2) (.211)
  • Cole Roederer: 2-5, 3B, 2 R (.222)
  • Levi Jordan: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI (.262)
  • Nelson Velazquez: 2-4, R, BB, SB (1) (.324)
  • Jack Patterson: 3.1 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 2 K (L, 0-1, 2.70)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Andy Weber (.211/.265/.329) finally appears to be breaking out of his early season slump. He homered four games ago, and since that point has reached base at least twice in each game. His impact has been felt on the scoreboard as well as Weber has knocked in 10 runs over these past 4 games.

It is hard to have a quiet start when your average is .324 almost a month into the season, but that is a good way to describe the season for Nelson Velazquez (.324/.352/.412) so far. And the reason is, that average has not been accompanied by the power or speed impact we are used to seeing from him. He has yet to hit a home run and this was the first time he notched a stolen base this year. He has cut down on his strikeouts a bit, and is making more consistent contact.

Comments

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    Thanks again for the recaps. Our prospects are beginning to heat up—Miller, Roederer, Ademan, Velasquez.
    I don’t know Lugo though. Can you tell me about him?
    Also, I know we’re all Cubs here, but a farewell to John Havlecik. He was a superb basketball player who could run all day. Madden I’m sure respected him—he respected 90 in every game he played.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Lugo is a lefty they picked up in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 draft. Maybe a lefty specialist down the line, but more likely just a org filler swing guy.

  • I love reading these recaps!!

    Good to see Aramis Ademan getting his average up. Hope he stays consistent. Is he still young for his level?

    I know we’ve heard plenty about the Major league team putting an emphasis on situational hitting and going the opposite way this year, and we are seeing it put in effect with good results. Michael, I’m wondering if you know if they are incorporating that same approach down the entire organization? It would seem like a no-brainer, but you never know. Obviously with certain players who they’re trying to develop power they might ignore that sometime, but I’d think it would be important for all players in their system to understand the situation approach and team concept.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Thanks, Cubber.

    Ademan is still very young. He and Amaya are the same age (20) and both are playing in High-A. I warned not to write off Ademan this offseason and that no one should be surprised if Ademan ends up having the better season between the two this year. A big thing for me is he added at least 10 pounds of muscle and his upper body looks more filled out. He needed that badly.

    As to your other question, I think a recent article about the Cubs Minor League hitting coordinator should give you an idea:
    https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/sports/baseball/iowa-cubs/2019/04/24/chicago-cubs-chris-valaika-iowa-cubs-minor-league-baseball-hitting-coach/3560258002/

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks Michael... good to hear he's adding weight. I remember seeing pics of him before and thinking he's so small/skinny. And thanks for sharing that link. Glad this is an organizational thing at this point.

  • So a tough luck loss for Tyson Miller. How fast is Miller throwing this year? Are we seeing improvement because of increased velocity or because better secondaries or both ?

  • In reply to Gator:

    Miller is not throwing harder this year, at least not yet. Still 91-94. But his four seamer has a natural cut to it like Carl Edwards, though not to the same extreme, which leads to a lot of whiffs and weak contact. His slider is short, but is more consistently sharp in the starts I've seen. He is also mixing in a curve, which is new, and it complements his elevated fastballs well.

  • Who is Johnny Field, a shortstop? Where did the Cubs get him? Dixon Machado, is he Manny,s brother? And Tyson Miller. Is he a prospect or a pretender?
    And Dillon Maples. I love his potential? Where is he now? Dakota Mekkes. I haven’t seen his name? Did they send him back to Bismarck?

  • In reply to Swarf:

    Johnny Field is a corner OF that can also play CF in a pinch. Cubs got him off waivers from the Twins. He also spent some time in Tampa. Has decent pop and speed. Not going to hit for a high average. If Zagunis had not had a strong spring, Field would have offered a veteran option in the event of injury.

    Machado is a guy I'm not real familiar with yet, but he has been really good for Iowa so far.
    Maples is still around and still doing what he does, looking great some games, and not being able to throw a strike in others.

    Mekkes has been okay so far. They've been using him in mostly one inning stints this year so he just hasn't really made many appearances in the top performers section.

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