Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Marquez impresses; Evans, Ademan, Mitchell stay hot; Gioskar Amaya makes first appearance since 2016

Brailyn Marquez (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Brailyn Marquez (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Omaha 11, Iowa 5

Game Recap

Starter Trevor Clifton (0.2 IP, H, 4 R, 3 BB, 0 K | L, 1-1, 2.70 ERA) was chased due to pitch count without making it out of the 1st inning. Iowa would give five runs in the inning as Matt Carasiti could not stop the bleeding, and then Carasiti would allow two more runs in the 2nd. The Cubs did battle back a bit in the middle innings, but three runs in the 7th off James Norwood drove the nail in the coffin.

Top Performers

  • Phillip Evans: 2-5, HR (5), R, 2 RBI (.287)
  • Dixon Machado: 1-4, HR (6), 2 R, RBI (.275)
  • Victor Caratini: 3-5, 2B, RBI (.286)
  • Trent Giambrone: 2-5, R, SB (6) (.220)
  • Jacob Hannemann: 1-3, R, RBI, 2 BB (.333)
  • Robel Garcia: 2-5 (.333)
  • Rowan Wick: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, K (3.18)
  • Randy Rosario: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 0 K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Since 4/19 (23 games), Phillip Evans has drawn 26 walks against just 9 strikeouts, while hitting .324/.510/.608 (182 wRC+), with 4 doubles, a triple and 5 homers.

AA

Birmingham 6, Tennessee 1 (Game 1)

Birmingham 4, Tennessee 1 (Game 2)

Game Recap

Justin Steele rebounded from a rough outing the last time through the rotation to work a solid four innings in game one, but limited offensive support and a rocky relief outing by Michael Rucker (3 IP, 3 H, 4 R, BB, K, 8.14 ERA) doomed the Smokies.

The Smokies managed just four hits and one run in game two. The bullpen gave them a chance with three shutout innings after Brad Markey surrendered four runs over four innings, but the offense could never muster a comeback attempt.

Top Performers

  • Jared Young: 3-5, R, RBI, SF (.263)
  • Charcer Burks: 2-6, 2B, RBI (.216)
  • Vimael Machin: 2-6 (.306)
  • Roberto Caro: 2-5, BB, 2 CS (2, 3) (.248)
  • Gioskar Amaya: 1-3, 2B (.333)
  • Justin Steele: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K (L, 0-3, 9.20)
  • Jordan Minch: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (6.08)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Gioskar Amaya

Gioskar Amaya

Knee injuries have kept Gioskar Amaya out since 2016, but the former 2B and C has returned to Tennessee. Just and org player, and potentially a future coach when he hangs up the cleats, expect Amaya to spend the majority of his time at 1B when he is in the lineup. Amaya has a .274/.356/.388 line across 619 career games.

Advanced A

Myrtle Beach 11, Winston-Salem 1

Game Recap

In a rare offensive explosion, the Pelicans showed off both patience (8 walks) and power (home runs by Aramis Ademan and Kevonte Mitchell). Eight of the nine hitters reached base at least twice in what was possibly the team's best overall performance of the season, especially considering starter Erling Moreno and reliever Brian Glowicki combined to allow just one run on six hits and three walks while compiling a 15-4 GO-FO ratio.

Top Performers

  • Erling Moreno: 7 IP, 5 H, R, 3 BB, 2 K, 13-4 GO-FO (W, 3-4, 7.47)
  • Brian Glowicki: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (5.49)
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 2-5, HR (5), 2 R, 4 RBI (.198)
  • Aramis Ademan: 2-4, HR (3), 2 R, RBI, BB (.267)
  • Miguel Amaya: 2-4, R, 2 RBI, BB (.206)
  • Zach Davis: 1-4, 2 R, BB, SB (11) (.247)
  • Jhonny Bethencourt: 1-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB (.200)
  • Carlos Sepulveda: 1-3, R, BB (.244)
  • Tyler Payne: 1-4, BB (.310)
  • Grant Fennell: 0-3

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Kevonte Mitchell (.198/.283/.358) has been on a tear during his 5-game hitting streak. Prior to this run he had seen his average plummet all the way down to .157 but now nearly has it back to the Mendoza Line thanks to going 7-for-his-last-16, including a double and a pair of homers. He also has a 10-game on-base streak going.

Aramis Ademan (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Aramis Ademan (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Aramis Ademan has a 9-game on-base streak (.310/.429/.483) of his own going.

It has been a very hit-or-miss season for Erling Moreno in 2019. He has been bombed for 22 earned runs over 11 combined innings across 3 of his 7 games. In the other 4 outings, he has allowed just 4 earned runs on 13 hits and 10 walks over 20.1 innings (1.77 ERA). His issue has been an inability to miss bats (just 13 K in 31.1 total IP), making him completely dependent on his power sinker to produce ground balls. This of course leads to a lot of ground outs, but also leaves him susceptible to a ton of bad BABIP luck, especially since his control has also not been on point this season.

A

South Bend 3, Bowling Green 0

Game Recap

Brailyn Marquez and two relievers combined on a six-hit shutout. It was Marquez's longest and finest performance of the season, as he walked just one batter. The game winning-run came via a Jonathan Sierra solo home run in the 6th, his second of the season. Sierra (.240/.280/.352) extended his hitting to five games.

Top Performers

  • Brailyn Marquez: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K (W, 1-0, 2.52)
  • Ryan Lawlor: 3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, K (1.83)
  • Ethan Roberts: IP, H, 0 R (S, 5, 2.35)
  • Andy Weber: 3-4, 2B (.250)
  • Jonathan Sierra: 1-4, HR (2), R, RBI (.240)
  • Christopher Morel: 1-4, 3B, R, RBI (.218)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The 1 walk allowed was a season-low for Brailyn Marquez, and he accomplished it over a season-high of 5 innings. His 6 strikeouts raised his season total to 36 across 25.0 innings. He has struck out 33.3% of the batters he has faced this season, up from the 25.9% rate he posted during his breakout 2018 season. The issue has been his walk rate has spiked to 15.7% from 7.0% last year. Hopefully, last night's performance gets him in a groove.

Ryan Lawlor now has a 7-inning scoreless streak. If you consider only earned runs, his streak extends to 12.2 innings (6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 6 BB, 14 K).

This was the second straight 3-for-4 performance by Andy Weber, raising his average from .214 to .250.

Comments

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  • Gioskar Amaya was part of a very close-knit group of players that included Willson Contreras, Jeimer Candelario, and Marco Hernandez. They came within a couple of outs of winning the Northwest League championship as members of the Boise Hawks in 2012.

  • In reply to Tom U:

    Loved watching that group. Fun team.

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    All the people that said the Cubs have no pitching in the minors seem to be wrong. Fron what I see, there's alot of talent in the pitching department. Is it just sss, or or these guys mostly legit? This is without Adlozay also. One more quick question. Why was Maples sent down? He looked promising with the big club. Was it to work more on his command?

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    In reply to Wrigley0923:

    I meant Alzolay. I always mess his name up for some reason.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    There is depth. Not sure how much impact talent there is though. Marquez and Alzolay are the best bets to be more than BOR guys. Justin Steele, Riley Thompson and Tyson Miller perhaps as well. Cory Abbott looks like a good bet to be a BOR. Keegan Thompson, once he gets healthy, is on that track as well.

    Some of those guy will end up relievers, and there are other arms that could make an impact there as well.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Where does ODLC fit in? He seems to be doing well after his suspension.

  • In reply to John57:

    Its a promising beginning. I still want to see consistent fastball command and depth on his breaking ball. He had those things three years ago, but hasn't the last two. His velocity seems to be about 98% back, but I'm still in wait and see on the rest. And it is hard to put a lot of faith in a 24 year old that has never pitched even 80 innings in a season. There is still plenty of talent there, but as far as I'm concerned this season is all about staying healthy, building up innings, and hopefully re-establishing some consistency. If he can do even two of those things, it would be a success, regardless of the stats.

  • In reply to Wrigley0923:

    Maples went down because he is one of the few who can. Edwards and Ryan are the only other two that can go down without passing through waivers.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Awesome. Thanks for your response. Especially on Maples. He seemed like a no brainer to keep in the BP, but I wasn't thinking about options he had left unlike Edward's, etc.

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    Marquez must be the most effective pitcher in the system now. If he continues like this I would think he could be moved up pretty soon. I know he's young, but he seems to be a #1 or #2 right now.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    He has the best ceiling. I wouldn't say he is the most effective right now. Abbott and Miller are both performing really well. Riley Thompson is outperforming Marquez as well.

  • Wow. A lot of good stuff in this one. I almost forgot about Gioskar. I can’t wait for Alzolay to settle in at AAA to be be ready if needed. I also think the cautious route being taken with Hoerner is the right approach.

  • I hadn’t heard much about Evans before. Is he a legit prospect or more of an org guy who’s enjoying a hot streak? With Hoerner out, we don’t have many position players who can really make an impact.

  • In reply to October:

    More of an org guy, he's 26(?) I think. Can play all four IF and COF spots. Got some MLB time with the Mets. This is the best he has performed at AA, but the PCL numbers are simply crazy this year. I don't think his wRC+ is even in the top 20. Although the way he is making contact and drawing walks is crazy of late. He can fill in if needed, but considering all of the IF depth the Cubs have, I doubt he gets the chance.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Let's call him a slight upgrade over Mike Freeman

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I definitely agree he's an upgrade over Freeman, and you're definitely right about his numbers; he seems to be walking at about 3 times his career rate, and striking out 3 times less. He hit 14 homers in 219 AB's last year in the minors, so he has some power.......he turns 27 in September (the day before 9/11)............

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Dewees has taken the same kind of heel turn in terms of the K% and BB% as well, which is weird, and makes me trust it less. Plus, the PCL is just insane this year. There are as many starters with ERAs over 5 as there are under 4.

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    Poor Rucker. 3IP, 3H, 1BB, 4R means every single base runner scored. Even if you pitch badly there's some tough luck in there.

  • In reply to Joel Mayer:

    His season has been really weird. He's missing more bats than last year, but there has been no BABIP luck at all for him. He's been getting burned pretty much all year.

  • Awesome to see Ademan having success at that level! You can imagine the level of disappointment he would have in himself if he struggled 2 years in a row. We could've lost a top prospect.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Part of the decision making when it goes to pushing a prospect to a level at a young age is an assessment of whether they have the mindset to be able to handle and bounce back from struggles. The Cubs have shown a ton of faith that Ademan is capable of dealing with things like that.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I think it's great to know that Ademan is mature for his age and understands the game and it's difficulties. His ability to work hard through being overmatched proves he's got great character attributes. I'm guessing that as soon as Hoerner gets healthy and continues his development, that as soon as he's moved up to AAA, Ademan will advance to AA. It will be interesting to see how long it will take Ademan to adjust to that level. But it sure makes me excited to know we've got two more middle infielders that look like they both can be starters in the major leagues. That won't change anything with Baez's status, but it sure will make it easier to discard the guy that we don't really wanna talk about or care to see on our team anymore...

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I don't think Hoerner will have an effect on Ademan. I think the Cubs realize both guys need to be able to play SS and 2B, and will have no issue rotating them. With Baez in Chicago hopefully for the long haul, their path to a full-time gig is at 2B anyway.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    Definitely way too early to call him injury prone Cubber I agree. I just hope we don’t see any more stalls with his progression. In a way the kid does have some sense of urgency to make it. I’m concerned zobrists cubs tenure is coming to an end. And I’m starting to feel addy may need a change of scenery, as I feel he maybe pressing with all the hate he’s getting. Overall I think the team is going to need another middle infielder in the near future, and I see Nico as relatively close to ML ready by 2020

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    Will a Cubs rookie make a significant contribution this year? "Significant" isn't exactly scientific, but last year Bote and Caratini were rookies who factored, and maybe Rosario. This year....nobody so far really.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I would argue that Tyson Miller would be someone taking a huge leap forward that nobody figured last year.

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    In reply to mcoley32:

    No question as a prospect, but Tyson Miller will not be a Wrigley this year. I don't foresee any rookies making an impact at the major league level is my point....first time in a long time

  • In reply to Zonk:

    I don't think you will see any significant contributions from rookies, with the possible exception of a reliever in the 2nd half, be it Maples, Alzolay, Mekkes, etc.

    The rotation is full of veterans, with Monty and Chatwood to back them up. The lineup is full of veterans, with Happ to fill in if needed.

    If the Cubs do move some pieces to shore up the bullpen with a difference maker before the trade deadline, that could open up a chance for someone, depending on what young players get moved in such a deal.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Well we have a number of young guys still developing in Happ, Almora, Schwarber, and as you mentioned Rosario,Caratini and Bote. I would be very happy if they just continue to develop. I would add pitchers CJ and Maples into that group too that could develop some and be more consistent.

  • In reply to John57:

    I was about to reply to Zonk with pretty much the same thing. In a way we're lucky that we don't have to rely on a rookie, but we've got plenty of stock of guys that are capable of providing a lift if/when we need it. I like this team and it's depth so much.

  • Good to see marquez post a really nice outing. Just to add context his offense didn’t help him much not scoring a single run until the top of the 6th to earn Marquez the W. He practically single handedly carried the load without much margin for error. Good to see he’s still refining his game, but the stuff certainly stands out amongst a lot of the other higher floor, lower ceiling pitching prospects

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    Michael, I noticed that DJ Wilson was sent down from MB to EXST. Don't think that was injury related, correct? He's been awful, maybe trying to re-set his swing or something?

    Seems like he is a non-prospect now

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Yeah, not injury related as far as I know. Wilson has never managed to settle on a consistent swing. Just constant tinkering, and it was clear nothing was working this year. Good for him to take a breather and try to figure things out on the backfields.

    I know he has had a couple of extra base hits since going down, so that is promising that he is at least driving the ball. He has improved his eye at the plate to a high degree, but he had completely abandoned driving the ball. He is strong, despite being relatively small, and if he is going to work his way back on to the prospect map he needs to make some hard contact.

  • Off topic, but Nico Hoerner has been bumped up to #64 from #90 on MLB’s top 100 prospect list. They’re seeing what we’ve been seeing.

  • In reply to Milk Stout:

    I agree now just to get him back on the field. I’m a little surprised at how fragile he’s been, and that would be my biggest criticism. I feel he has a place on this roster soon with an aging zobrist

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    Yeah I think it's more freak accidents that are causing the injuries and nothing to worry too much about for Nico. It just sucks that his development has to keep getting put on pause. Even worse, wasn't he hit by a pitch on the wrist? I can imagine that will sap some of his power and production for the rest of this season. Hopefully it's not something that will carry any further... Won't surprise me if he ends up seeing the AZ Fall league again just to make up for lost time, unless they'd rather just let him get more rest and healing time if he plays through the last half of the season and has lingering issues.

  • In reply to kkhiavi:

    He was hit by a pitch on the wrist. It’s not broken but deeply bruised. He’s the top prospect in the system. They’re being extremely cautious for darn good reason. Ever try to swing a bat at 92 mph fastballs with a bum wrist?

  • Lineup out and no Rizzo again.

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