Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Javier Assad's scoreless streak ends at 22.2 innings; Tyler Payne homers

Tyler Payne

Tyler Payne

AAA

Iowa PPD

Advanced A

Frederick 6, Myrtle Beach 5

Game Recap

Two-out rallies were the theme in this game. So was a simple pattern: 1B-1B-HR.

Javier Assad entered the game riding a 21-inning scoreless streak. He'd extend it by another inning as he worked around a leadoff single in the 1st. All seemed well in hand in the 2nd after he retired the first two batters.

Then? 1B-1B-HR

Followed by... 1B-1B-HR

Those six two-out runs are all Frederick would manage in the game. Assad recovered enough to pitch into the 6th, and from there Ryan Lawlor put on a how by striking out five of the eight batters he faced while allowing just one base runner.

This gave the Pelicans an opportunity to mount a comeback, which they did, starting with two outs and nobody on in the 3rd. Their method? 1B-1B-HR.

Tyler Payne's three run shot brought the Pelicans back within striking distance but they were unable to push across any more runs until the 9th.

Again, the rally began with two outs and nobody on. It didn't start with a single this time though. Luke Reynolds walked then came in on a Kevonte Mitchell double. Carlos Sepulveda drove a single to center field to score Mitchell and put the tying run on base. The rally would end there though, as Grant Fennell struck out.

Top Performers

  • Tyler Payne: 1-4, HR (2), R, 3 RBI (.308)
  • Miguel Amaya: 2-4, 2B, R (.218)
  • Jimmy Herron: 2-4, R (.218)
  • Carlos Sepulveda: 2-4, RBI (.238)
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 1-4, 2B, R, RBI (.205)
  • Luke Reynolds: 0-2, 2 BB, R (.213)
  • Ryan Lawlor: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (2.25)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The one bad inning raised Javier Assad's ERA by nearly a full run as he entered the game with a 2.19 and exited at 3.16. He did manage to extend his scoreless streak to 22.2 IP. And if you want to take a positive view of his outing, he did begin a new streak with 3 shutout innings after giving up the 6-run outburst.

It seems I haven't mentioned his name much this season, but veteran catcher Tyler Payne (.308/.373/.449) has quietly been the most consistent offensive performer for the Pelicans all season. A strong defender and game caller, Payne began the year as Miguel Amaya's backup, but with the offense struggling and Payne hitting well he soon worked his way into additional at bats through 1B and DH. With so many hitters struggling around him throughout the year though, it just seems like he hasn't been involved in as many scoring plays as you would expect from a guy hitting .308, hence why I haven't had the opportunity to bring him up very often.

A

Fort Wayne 1, South Bend 0

Game Recap

Four hits. That's all the Cubs pitching gave up, it is also all their offense managed. The difference was South Bend pitchers also fought some control issues (six walks) which helped the Tincaps push across a lone run in the 2nd. The Cubs hitters did not draw single walk all game.

Top Performers

  • Cam Sanders: 5.0 IP, 2 H, R, 4 BB, 4 K (L, 2-2, 2.37)
  • Eugenio Palma: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K (3.50)
  • Rafelin Lorenzo: 1-3, 2B (.217)
  • Tyler Durna: 1-3, 2B (.258)
  • Nelson Velazquez: 1-3 (.294)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Cam Sanders (38 IP, 31 H, 13 R, 10 ER, 25 BB, 25 K) has been walking a tight rope all season. He is averaging nearly 1.5 base runners per inning, isn't generating many ground balls to erase them on double plays, and isn't missing bats in order to end threats via a strikeout. He is surviving off BABIP luck (.257) and strand rate (81.2 LOB%). Those two factors very difficult to sustain, which is why his 4.93 FIP and 5.56 xFIP are significantly higher than his 2.37 ERA. The silver lining is the role of starting pitcher is not where Sanders projects to be in the future. He is a power arm they added in the 12th round last year, capable of reaching the mid-90s, that he can pair with a good breaking ball. Consistency and control are the issues, and a good way to work on that is to force a pitcher to work multiple innings and develop their secondaries.

Comments

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  • Bummer for Assad. Was bound to end at some point.

    I had to wipe my eyes after seeing those batting averages.... other than Payne, those are awful. Can only go up, right? :o)

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    What is worse is that two opening day starters (D.J. Wilson and Wladimir Galindo) were so bad the Cubs had to send them down to EXST to try and sort them out. Galindo has returned, and been a bit better since, but Wilson is still working down in Mesa. Both were hitting around .150.

  • Question for you Mike. It is always difficult to gauge the value of guys like Assad or Abbott, but are those guys valued enough to be a trade chip for a quality reliever like a Will Smith or is there value less or more?

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Abbott carries some value at this point. He is a legit BOR prospect that could contribute at the MLB level within a year. Generally speaking, the closer a player is to the majors the more value they hold, even if their ceiling is the same, because there is less risk. Now, that value is not likely to be enough to be a centerpiece of a deal for an impact player, but he can certainly be a secondary asset involved.

    Assad is a less certain BOR guy (more likely a AAAA SP or MIR), and he is also further away (2+ years). His value is certainly lower. At best, he is likely a tertiary piece in a deal.

    Of course, not every team and every scout is going to view a player's value in the same way. There is always the 'it only takes one' scenario. The Cubs have few prospects that are likely to be considered 'centerpiece' players, but what puts them in a difficult position is that those players are young, and as I talked about above are years away from the majors.

    Hoerner is the biggest chip, simply because he is the closest to the majors, despite the fact he was just drafted. He is also the guy I think the Cubs would put off limits though. With Zobrist and Russell's futures in doubt, I think the Cubs view Hoerner as the starter at 2B in 2020. The other two guys that could have carried some weight as trade chips are Alzolay and Steele, but their continued nagging injuries suppress their value, and I cannot envision other teams viewing them as a centerpiece.

    That leaves guys like Marquez, Amaya, Ademan, Roederer, Davis, Cruz. Marquez, as a lefty with huge upside, probably holds the most value. But his distance to the majors make it difficult to build a deal based solely around him. In the Cubs situation, they may very well need to include two of the above list in order to equal a player of similar upside from another team, because other teams have guys with similar upside closer to the majors.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Mike, I know you're going to be doing a draft blog in the near future but do you think the Cubs will, all things being equal, look for another SS because we are thin at that position. It seems to me that there are 2 qualities they look for--OBP and a very quick bat. Almost everyone of the hitters they draft have these 2 qualities. I'd like to see a few more power arms too, both relievers and starters.
    Thanks again for the recap.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Cubs have shown a tendency to favor up the middle defenders so SS is always going to be a priority. But I would argue the Cubs are not thin at SS at all. Not only is Hoerner going to be ready next year, but Zack Short could too. Aramis Ademan is probably only a year behind them. Andy Weber has potential as well. They also have a ton of teenagers, mostly from recent IFA classes that play the position with potential down in the NWL/AZL and DSL this season.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    The two things I would say the Cubs favor over everything in position players are the hit tool and up-the-middle defensive athleticism.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I do expect the Cubs to look for some power arms. It may not come early in the draft, as I expect Cubs will look at bats early, but I think they will look for more Riley Thompson, Cam Sanders, Niels Stone types after round 10. They might grab one prior to that.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I'll begin publishing my draft primer tomorrow night. It will come in three segments (college hitters, prep hitters, pitchers). Each will cover about 10 players. Some will be 1st round targets, others are more likely to be 2nd round guys.

  • fb_avatar

    Michael, how do you think Cole Roederer is doing? The batting line isn't very good, but the Cubs really challenged him with an aggressive promotion, and he was getting ready for prom this time last year. Scouting-wise, how is he doing?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Inconsistent. He is a little pull happy at this point, and that can get him in trouble at times, leading to whiffs and rolling over pitches for weak grounders. Nothing has jumped out as a major concern. He is showing some patience to draw walks, which is promising. The next step with that will be waiting for pitches to drive.

  • Simply want to say thanks Mike! I really enjoy reading these.

  • In reply to CyHawk23:

    You're welcome. Glad you enjoy it.

  • I echo that CyHawk. I really enjoy these and I am looking foward to your draft articles. Thanks Michael

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    In reply to Cubpack:

    You know how much I appreciate all you do. I've been looking at mock drafts for months. I've been doing mock drafts for the Blackhawks since about 2 weeks into the system. There will be good players available in so many rounds but I just saw an article that said something like 66% of first rounders reach the majors, 32% of rounds 3-5 and 20% in rounds 6-10. Actually those numbers seem high, but it's important to hit on the first or 2nd rounds as it is in all sports. But the biggest failing of this FO is that not one of our players (with the Cubs) is pitching at the ML level. Not one impact reliever is on the staff. CJ was traded for, Stropy was traded for, etc. They can trade for pitchers but not draft one or sign one. Now there are promising ones coming up, but they have had 7 years or so to produce and they haven't.

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    I agree with the organization focus on middle defenders...but wouldn't it be nice to mix in a couple hulking sluggers too? Cubs system really lacks any power right now, and the last power hitter we developed that was not a top-10 draft pick was........Geo Soto, I guess? Or Vogelbach if you count him

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Soler, Torres, Eloy weren’t draft picks but were developed in the Cubs system, weren’t they?

  • In reply to stix:

    Pretty sure they were all signed.......

  • Cedeno to IL , WICK called up.

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    In reply to stix:

    I just read that when we traded for him last year that his FB was in the mid-90's, hitting 98 occasionally too. A power arm but has some control issues. Maybe Hottovy can help him.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Wick has been really good this year. He'll sit mid-90s and can pump it up higher. His slider is another solid pitch but what seems to have made a difference this year is he has improved his curveball, giving him three options to attack hitters with.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I'd been meaning to write something up on Wick for the past couple of weeks as it became clear he was likely to get a shot, but haven't been able to get to it as I've also had to spend time doing draft prep. Thankfully, Bryan wrote up a good article on him this morning over at BN:
    https://www.bleachernation.com/2019/05/22/the-next-cubs-bullpen-option-up-im-thinking-it-should-be-rowan-wick/

  • Adding smoke to the Ken Giles rumor fire, AZ Phil reporting that a Blue Jays scout is following Cubs at EXST.
    https://www.thecubreporter.com/comment/263499#comment-263499

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I’ll take Giles in a second great stuff. But I hope he’s the right choice he had a pretty erratic tenure with Houston. The more options the better but I hope the relief market is deeper then some of the names I’ve seen mentioned

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I'm sure the market will open up closer to the deadline, but in late May there are only so many teams that are going to be willing to move players out.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Exactly right now I think we can expect Giles, Shane Greene, Sean Doolittle perhaps, will Smith, maybe Alex colome but there’s a white Sox issue there. Not the deepest most inspiring list but that being said there’s a long way to go until July.

  • fb_avatar

    What do you think Giles would cost us?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I’m guessing happs gonna be a hot name but I don’t like selling so low on him. This is the 1st period in time where Giles trade value is higher then happs. I don’t trust Giles enough to trade a competent capable reserve OF. I’d personally try to build the deal around a package of mid level prospects.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    That said I hope more relievers become available. I know Giles is off to an outstanding start but he’s also had a 4+ ERA 3 years straight from 2016-18. With his history of erratic command I can see some overall conflict on his trade value. I trust the organization to make the right call on his worth though

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Correction me had a 2.30 ERA in 2017 Jon. I like Giles personally the guys always had different peripherals. He brings a swing and miss element that im sure theo desires. That said he was pretty inconsistent with the astros, and has had some shaky postseasons. Once again I trust theo to weigh all of these factors into his overall value

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    *Giles had a 2.40 ERA in 2017

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    *The guys always had good peripherals. My smart phone auto corrects just outta control suddenly

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    I don’t really trust management to weigh these things accurately. I think they’ve often made some real blunders in their trade assessments.
    Not just in trades but also in situations like letting LaStella go and replacing him with Descalso.

  • In reply to bwitty:

    No offense I think it’s fair to say theo and Joe Maddon aren’t perfect, and can and do make mistakes. With over a 5+ tenure for both of them mistakes will inevitably happen. I’ve criticized maddons pitching moves at times, and I’ve criticized some of Theos win now moves in the past. But overall when you judge this regimes total contributions, how can we really say we don’t trust them moving forward given their overall bodies of work going back to Tampa and Boston? They’re right a lot more often then they’re wrong and honestly their results speak for themselves. Theo is going to be a hall of fame GM when it’s all said and done, and I personally feel fortunate that he’s running the cubs. He’d have a long line of suitors if he ever left the cubs

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    They’ve made some great moves and obviously are adorned with many accomplishments.
    They’ve also missed big time on some risks and have some obvious holes in their drafting philosophy.

  • In reply to bwitty:

    Agreed they've made some big risks I never expected Darvish and Heyward to struggles to the degrees they have, but I also wasn't too fond of the amount both players received. On the drafting though from 2011-18 the cubs have received the most accumulated WAR from their draft picks during this time span. Their drafting hasn't been perfect, but only Houston has a comparable young core developed through this farm system. I think it's easy to pick out one player from every draft and say they should've picked him. But they can only go by the information they have at the time. All I know is Theo's core that his regime developed has won plenty of games, mainly because of the players developed through the system. I guess I just expect over almost a 10 year tenure that Theo is gonna inevitably make mistakes. His job is to be right a lot more then he's wrong and I think it's fair to say he has been. Even if he's missed some of his recent win now moves since 2016, his moves were mostly flawless his 1st 5 years on the job. Can't win every transaction just the reality but I'm glad he's on our side.

  • In reply to bwitty:

    That said they've actually admitted that they were too conservative with their pitching draft picks. They said they should've drafted more high upside arms. That being said they haven't used many high draft picks or high end international signings on pitching. Half of the pitchers in the league were 1st round picks. It's fair to say they've used most resources on hitters. Finding and developing positional talent has always been a Theo strength going back to Boston

  • In reply to bwitty:

    Even the much maligned Q trade. While I’d agree it was an overpay that’s just the price of reliable starting pitching. I’ve criticized The Quintana trade in the past believe me, but he’s doing exactly what we were hoping from him thus far this year. He’s still a valuable asset

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    In reply to kkhiavi:

    I j would trade Happ for Giles straight up. Giles is just 28 and is signed through next year. I think Happ will improve but while Giles isn’t Chapman, Happ isn’t Torres, Jimenez or Cease either.

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