Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Vargas tosses 5 perfect innings; Miller and Carrera remain locked in; Machin reaches base 5 times

Vimael Machin (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Vimael Machin (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

New Orleans 9, Iowa 5

Game Recap

Inconsistent would be the best way to describe the efforts of Adbert Alzolay (4 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) in his return to the Iowa rotation. His fastball command wavered at times, he hung a few hooks, and paid the price when he did (2 HR). But he also showed the explosive mid-90s velocity, snapped off some tight curves, and liberally mixed in a solid changeup. The pieces were all there, the adhesive just wasn't mixed correctly.

Top Performers

  • Jim Adduci: 2-3, 2 R, RBI, BB (.227)
  • Jacob Hannemann: 2-3, 2B, RBI, BB (.357)
  • Robel Garcia: 1-5, HR (1), R, RBI (.290)
  • Phillip Evans: 2-4, R (.289)
  • Rowan Wick: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (2.84)
  • Randy Rosario: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Rowan Wick is riding a 6.2-inning scoreless streak, and Randy Rosario has yet to allow a run in 6.1 innings since returning to AAA.

Jacob Hannemann (.357/.500/.500) has 5 hits and 4 walks in 6 games since being promoted from EXST.

Another homer, but also another error by Robel Garcia (.290/.371/.420 with Iowa). I keep telling myself to spend some time reviewing his defense, but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

AA

Tennessee 6, Jackson 2

Game Recap

A pair of run scoring doubles and a run scoring triple by Vimael Machin sandwiched a Connor Myers two-run homer as the Smokies provided Tyson Miller with more support than he required. Two solo shots in the bottom of the 4th were the blemishes against him on the night as he pitched a career-high 7.2 innings.

Top Performers

  • Tyson Miller: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 8 K (W, 3-1, 1.17)
  • Tommy Nance: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (S, 1, 3.38)
  • Vimael Machin: 4-4, 2 2B, 3B, 3 RBI (.357)
  • Connor Myers: 2-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI (.258)
  • Roberto Caro: 1-4, 2 R, HBP, 2 SB (11, 12)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Tyson Miller (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Tyson Miller (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

It is difficult to keep coming up with ways to describe how consistently and confidently Tyson Miller is pitching. Dating back to July 30th of 2017, Miller has gone at least 5 innings in 35 of his 38 starts, and two of those shortened outings were due to a rain delay and taking a comebacker off his foot. His pitches are tunneling, he is commanding them to both sides of the plate, and he doesn't waste pitches. Efficient and ruthless on he mound, he also does not allow mistakes to throw him off his game.

There may not be a hitter in the system with a better approach than Vimael Machin (.350/.442/.505 combined between AA and AAA). He isn't particularly strong, and he doesn't typically do much damage (0 HR), but he can drive the ball into the gap enough to keep pitchers honest(12 2B, 2 3B). And he does it while working deep counts and drawing more than his fair share of walks (17 BB, 12 K).

Though he doesn't stand out or have a particular defensive home, he can play reliable, if unspectacular defense, all around the infield, and even the corner outfield in a pinch. He is old (25) for AA, but performed well in his brief stint with Iowa when injuries opened up a spot, and he deserves another chance to move up.

Advanced A

Lynchburg 2, Myrtle Beach 0

Game Recap

Alexander Vargas, a swingman the Cubs picked up in the Minor League portion of the Rule 5 draft this winter, took the hill for the first time as a starter for the Pelicans and promptly delivered five perfect innings on just 51 pitches. Due to not being fully stretched out he was not able to continue further. It was a surprising outing in that he wasn't keeping the ball out of the air, and he wasn't missing bats. Vargas did not strike out a single batter.

What wasn't surprising was the Myrtle Beach offense was shutout.

Top Performers

  • Alexander Vargas: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (1.13)
  • Aramis Ademan: 2-4, 2 SB (3, 4) (.260)
  • Jimmy Herron: 1-3, 2B, HBP (.213)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Ryan Lawlor made his 2019 Myrtle Beach debut in the 6th, losing the perfect game, the no-hitter, the shutout and the game in that inning. He didn't pitch poorly though, and was having a good season in South Bend. Though he isn't a prospect at this point, the 25-year old lefty does have a solid curve that is effective against both right and left handed batters.

A

South Bend 6, Dayton 3

Game Recap

Christopher Morel (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Christopher Morel (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

After giving up three runs in a rough 1st inning, Faustino Carrera settled in and provided his team with six shutout innings after that. The Cubs mounted a comeback, with Christopher Morel and Tyler Durna each contributing a pair of doubles. Their back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the 8th broke a 3-3 tie. Ethan Roberts secured the victory with two shutout innings in relief of Carrera.

Top Performers

  • Faustino Carrera: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (3.06)
  • Ethan Roberts: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (W, 2-1, 2.08)
  • Christopher Morel: 2-3, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI, BB, SB (3) (.228)
  • Tyler Durna: 2-3, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB (.266)
  • Andy Weber: 2-3, 2B, R, BB (.269)
  • D. J. Artis: 1-3, R, BB, CS (4) (.230)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Faustino Carrera (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Faustino Carrera (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Andy Weber (.269/.310/.396) has multiple hits in 4 of his last 6 games (12-for-24).

It is now 5 appearances and 8.1 innings since South Bend closer Ethan Roberts allowed a run. The 2018 4th round pick features a cutter that leads to a lot weak contact by opposing hitters.

In his last 4 starts Faustino Carrera has allowed only 6 earned runs on 20 hits and 4 walks while striking out 17 over 24.2 IP

Comments

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  • In other news: The Cubs have released RHP Ryan Williams

  • In reply to Tom U:

    I missed that. Such tough luck for him with the shoulder injuries. I know AZ Phil has said in the past he has a chance to become a pitching coach.

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    In reply to Michael Ernst:

    He looked really promising during 2014-2015 and into 2016. He even had an invite to the spring training raster in 2016. But just hasn't been the same since with a lot of DL time. Too bad. Wish him well

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    If Alzolay continues to progress he's got the stuff to be on this staff if someone goes down. Hannemann could also help the Cubs. Our prospects are doing very well this spring--that's encouraging.

  • Machin could be a better version of Descalso. I was intrigued by him 2 years ago and this start has my eyes open. Love the approach.

  • Hanneman has fooled me with hot stretches for multiple years, as I start to hope he meets the heights hoped by Epstein at his draft, only to be followed by long stretches where he cannot hit. I hope he finally figures out hitting as his defense, speed and arm would be invaluable, especially for a team like the Cubs who have been in desperate need of a leadoff hitter since Fowler's departure.

  • Happ’s progression to a better contact rate seems to have stalled. 3 Ks last night. Hitting .229 on the year.

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    Michael
    Any word on Keegan Thompson? He pitched 5 innings of no hit, no run and 8 strike outs on April 6th and went to the DL.

  • In reply to Theodore Anderson:

    Unfortunately, no. I have no idea what his injury is or when he'll return.

  • If Don DeWeiss hits .400 will Theo eventually promote him to replace a slumping Zagunis who seldom plays anymore? If Ryan and Edwards continue to throw up on themselves will we see Maples? Tho he walks some he strikes out more and had a pretty good run before being sent down. Seems like Theo doesn't like him in spite of what he could do for the crappy bullpen Theo has put together. As DesCalso continues to plummet back to his norm will Machin get a shot? Will Joe ever just pick out a lineup and leave it alone?

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    We need more speed on the bench. I'd love to see Hannemann come up--he's a pretty good defensive outfielder and a base stealer. I'm also waiting for my favorite, Terrance Gore, to come back.

  • If he qualified, Machin would be the league leader in both BA and OPS in the Southern League. He must be close since he has played in 25 games in the league. Impressive indeed.

  • Ademan’s BA is slowly rising up to respectable levels. I was hoping for that step from him this year. Would love to see him be the Tennessee SS next year.

  • Any kind of a scouting report on Vargas? I see he’s only 21 & has been part of the Yankees system. Curious as to what the Cubs see him for. He had a nice outing for a 1st full season league start this year.

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