Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Zobrist homers for 2nd straight day; Abbott strikes out 10; Huma homers; Verdugo with 2nd straight game with 3+ hits

Ben Zobrist (photo by Rikk Carlson)

Ben Zobrist (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Las Vegas 4, Iowa 0

Game Recap

Trevor Clifton came off the IL and pitched four very good innings, but Dakota Mekkes got knocked around in the 6th, after pitching a scoreless 5th. And the offense just never got going.

Top Performers

  • Trevor Clifton: 4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (5.40)
  • James Norwood: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (4.81)
  • Phillip Evans: 2-4 (.294)
  • Robel Garcia: 1-3, 2B, BB (.289)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Robel Garcia (.291/.371/.596) has been settling in after his MLB run. He has hits in 4 straight (7-for-16) with a homer.

AA

Biloxi 5, Tennessee 2

Game Recap

He took the L but Cory Abbott turned in a Yu Darvish like pitching line with 10 strikeouts and just 3 hits over 7 innings, but a 2-run homer in the 2nd put the Smokies behind. They would eventually tie it back up in the bottom of the 6th, but Biloxi would plate another run in the 7th.

Top Performers

  • Cory Abbott: 7 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 10 K (L, 6-8, 3.56)
  • Jared Young: 2-4, RBI (.233)
  • Charcer Burks: 2-4, 2B (.237)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Cory Abbott has struck out 19 batters over his last two starts (14 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 19 K). He is far and away the organizational leader with 135 strikeouts in 124 IP.

Advanced A

Wilmington 6, Myrtle Beach 2

Game Recap

Ben Zobrist led off the bottom of the 1st with his second home run in two games. Wilmington would eventually take a 3-1 lead into 8th, when the Pelicans would take advantage of an error to score a run to pull within one. It would prove fruitless as the Blue Rocks added three insurance runs in the top of the 9th.


Top Performers

  • Ben Zobrist: 1-3, HR (2), R, RBI (.286)
  • Delvin Zinn: 1-3, BB, SB (8) (.230)
  • Kevonte Mitchell: 1-3, R (.198)
  • Jeffrey Passantino: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, K (L, 1-1, 2.16)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

He's played in 4 conditioning(?)/rehab(?)/I'm not sure what to call these games and Ben Zobrist is hitting .250/.333/.625 so far.

A

Lansing 12, South Bend 2

Game Recap

This was a rough one. Lansing threw crooked numbers up on the scoreboard with regularity and the outside of the three hits by Jake Slaughter, the rest of the offense combined for three more hits.

Top Performers

  • Jake Slaughter: 3-4, RBI (.400)
  • Andy Weber: 1-4, 3B, R (.283)
  • Darius Hill: 1-3, BB (.333)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-3, R (.250)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Since coming up to South Bend last week, Jake Slaughter (.321/.388/.446 between A-/A) has hit .400/.483/.520 in 7 games. This comes after the 2nd year infielder hit .308/.372/.434 with Eugene.

A-

Boise 9, Eugene 7

Game Recap

The Ems got down early but Josue Huma hit a three-run homer to get them back within two, but Boise pulled away again. Eugene would put up a four spot in the 9th to make the game seem closer than it actually was.

Top Performers

  • Josue Huma: 2-4, HR (1), 2 R, 3 RBI (.500)
  • Jonathan Soto: 3-4, 2 R, RBI (.219)
  • Jacob Olson: 2-3, 2B, R, RBI, SF (.236)
  • Edmond Americaan: 2-4, 2B, R (.267)
  • Jacob Washer: 2-4, R (.238)
  • Matteo Bocchi: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (0.00)

AZL

Cubs1 3, DodgersL 2

Top Performers

  • Luis Verdugo: 3-5, 3 R, 2 RBI, SB (7) (.278)
  • Jhonny Bethencourt: 2-3, 2B, R, RBI (.667)
  • Abraham Rodriguez: 2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB (.215)
  • Ricardo Verenzuela: 1-4, 2 R, BB, SB (1) (.200)
  • Brandon Vicens: 1-3, 2 BB (.181)
  • Rochest Cruz: 1-4, R, RBI, BB (.222)
  • Bryce Windham: 1-4, RBI, BB (.288)
  • Manuel Espinoza: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K (3.00)
  • Omar Ventura: 3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (W, 2-1, 2.49)
  • Alex Moore: 2 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (4.66)

Cubs2 10, Angels 4

Top Performers

  • Fabian Pertuz: 2-4, 2B, R (.355)
  • Oswaldo Pina: 1-3, R, RBI, HBP (.276)
  • Richard Pena: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB (.324)
  • Jorge Remon: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (6.84)
  • Sean Combs: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (W, 1-1, 2.38)
  • Raidel Orta: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (S, 1, 0.60)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Luis Verdugo (.278/.348/.326) is 9-for-13 with a walk, 7 runs scored, 5 runs batted in, and 4 stolen bases.

DSL

Cubs1 10, Indians 9

Yohendrick Pinango (.354/.426/.442) moved into the DSL top 10 in batting average with a 4-for-5 day. He's got a 9-game hitting streak going in which he has reached base twice or more 8 times. He has failed to reach in just 3 of his 53 games this season. What may be most impressive is Pinango is doing it while striking out in just 7.6% of his plate appearances (18 in 237). That is 9th best in the DSL and 3rd best among 17-year olds.

Rafael Morel (.288/.382/.460) collected 2 hits for the 4th time in 5 games. Riding a 7-game hitting streak, he's reached multiple times in 7 of his last 9 games. Over that span the 17-year old SS is batting .353/.463/.531 and is 9-for-9 in SB attempts.

Comments

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  • Is this essentially a version of spring training for zobrist? Anything that he's looking to do, other than avoiding injury? How does the 40 man roster shake out as a result or his return?

  • In reply to 2Toes:

    Basically, yes. I've read the plan is for him to not even be with whatever team he is on every day, but to take days off for personal conditioning. He's not going to be in the lineup every day with the parent team, so they are taking that part-time playing-time route with his comeback.

    My guess on the 40-man casualty would be Randy Rosario, but that decision probably will go down to the wire on Zobrist's return to the Cubs.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    What about Norwood? It seems both have similar contract control. At least Rosario is a lefty and has had decent mlb success. Maybe descalso goes to 60 day IL?

  • In reply to 2Toes:

    There are other options, for sure. Rosario stood out to me because because of the ascension of Hultzen and other lefties, and I just think his usefulness on the 40-man going forward may have run it's course. I'll admit I don't know enough about Norwood's situation to make a call, and Descalso to the 60-day IL might invite more scrutiny than we want to take on.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I was thinking Justin Steele to the 60 day

  • It seems like most of the time, managers try to have the relievers go more than one inning in the minors, while that would typically not happen in the majors; Mekkes yesterday would be a prime example. Are they trying to build up strength, or stretch out the relievers? It seems more often than not to turn great outings after their first inning pitched, into bad outings by the time they begin to tire............

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    Michael, Rafael Morel is having a very good year especially since a lot of the players are older. Can you give us any kind of scouting report on him? I think he was in the top 30 IFA last year. Thanks.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Little brother of South Bend infielder Christopher Morel. Rafael is a little smaller, but considered a little faster, and possesses the same kind of impressive bat speed as his sibling. I saw some reports when he signed that some scouts thought he'd eventually move to CF, but Cubs have played him exclusively at SS. Baseball America listed him as one of the top 20 hitting prospects in the DSL (along with teammate Yohendrick Pinango).

  • It is probably too easy, but reviewing the box scores for a day like this leaves little cause for optimism from the farm system. All losses. Several teams with dreadful records. For those with any sample size, few batters hitting over 250 and few pitchers with an ERA under 4. The exception is Iowa which is basically stocked with AAAA players who have already established that they cannot compete consistently at the MLB level. The isolated prospects we have had better pan out.

  • One of the more cogent comments made on this board in awhile. Theo has essentially ruined this franchise. If they DFA the 2B they got from Houston to make room for Zobrist, they will have gotten exactly nothing for the LH pitcher who had such promise. And on it goes.

  • In reply to veteran:

    So by your logic Theo ruined the franchise by getting rid of mike Montgomery? Wow!

  • In reply to Oldno7:

    Yeah the Cubs have made the playoffs 4 years in a row and counting. Also they won a WS while starting with one of the worst farm systems that was inherited from the Tribune owners. I say Double Wow.

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