Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Brennen Davis announces his return with a three-run homer and three walks; Swarmer tosses five no-hit innings

Brennen Davis (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Omaha 7, Iowa 5

Game Recap

Alec Mills (lower back) got rocked in his first rehab outing (1.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, BB, K) with Iowa. The bullpen kept Iowa in it, and thanks to two-run homers by Jose Lobaton and Jacob Olson the I-Cubs managed to make a game of it, but they ultimately fell short in their comeback efforts.

Top Performers

  • Jose Lobaton: 1-4, HR (2), R, 2 RBI (.208)
  • Jacob Olson: 1-1, HR (1), R, 2 RBI (1.000)
  • Sergio Alcantara: 2-3, R, BB (.333)
  • Taylor Gushue: 2-4, 2B, R (.333)
  • Rafael Ortega: 2-4 (.250)
  • Trayce Thompson: 1-4, 2B, R, RBI (.237)
  • Michael Rucker: 2.1 IP, 2 H, R, BB, 3 K (4.00)
  • Jake Jewell: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, K (0.96)
  • Kyle Ryan: 2.1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

I forgot to mention it the other day, but it should be noted that reliever Jason Adam had to go through extensive surgery to repair a dislocated ankle. Adam is on the 40-man roster, and likely will head to the 60-day IL eventually, but the Cubs will wait until they need that spot as Adam will need to be called up before he can go on the MLB IL. That will mean he will begin drawing MLB rather than MiLB salary.

AA

Biloxi 7, Tennessee 3

Game Recap

Matt Swarmer (who really, really should be in Iowa) held Biloxi hitless for five innings (2 BB, 9 K), passing off a 1-0 lead to the bullpen. Fresh off the IL, Ryan Lawlor kept the no-hitter going through the 6th, but the normally reliable Wyatt Short got hammered in the 7th. He didn’t have his control at all, and gave up five runs on two walks, a hit batter, and two home runs, while recording just one out. Christopher Morel homered in the bottom of the frame to draw the Smokies back within striking distance, but Biloxi plated two more insurance runs off Bryan Hudson in the 8th.

Under-the-radar reliever prospect Ben Leeper pitched a scoreless 9th. Undrafted (in the abbreviated 5 round 2020 draft), Leeper signed with the Cubs and immediately jumped to AA this season, where he’s allowed just one run over nine innings. He’s got a pretty good fastball, and his slider is legit. Definitely keep an eye on him.

Top Performers

  • Matt Swarmer: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K (2.65)
  • Ben Leeper: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K (1.00)
  • Christopher Morel: 1-4, HR (3), R, 2 RBI (.188)
  • Darius Hill: 2-4, RBI (.318)

Advanced A

South Bend 5, Dayton 4

Game Recap

He’s back…

With a three-run homer and three walks in four plate appearances (plus a stolen base), Brennen Davis announced that his delayed start to the 2021 season may not end up hampering him all that much.

Top Performers

  • Brennen Davis: 1-1, HR (1), R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, SB (1) (.250)
  • Jake Washer: 1-3, RBI (.120)
  • Cole Roederer: 1-4, 2B, R, BB, SB (3) (.218)
  • D.J. Wilson: 0-2, 2 BB, SB (1) (.375)
  • Chris Kachmar: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K (5.00)
  • Emilio Bocchi: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (4.91)

A

Myrtle Beach 8, Lynchburg 3

Game Recap

Recent callup Flemin Bautista delivered three hits and a walk, proving to be a more than adequate injury replacement for Ed Howard and Luis Verdugo, at least for one game. The Pelicans broke open the game thanks to a five-run 7th inning, capped off by Bautista’s two-run double.

Top Performers

  • Flemin Bautista: 3-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB (.750)
  • Edmond Americaan: 1-3, 2 R, BB, SB (2) (.219)
  • Jacob Wetzel: 1-4, R, RBI, BB, SB (1) (.111)
  • Jonathan Sierra: 0-3, R, RBI, 2 BB (.194)
  • Scott Thoresen: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 3 K (4.63)
  • Jose Miguel Gonzalez: 2 IP, H, R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (W, 1-0, 3.00)
  • Eduarniel Nunez: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (3.52)
  • Scott Kobos: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Lefty Scott Kobos has opened his professional career with 14 K over 8 scoreless innings.

Comments

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  • So nice to see Davis back. His eye looked good yesterday.

    Michael, Flemin Bautista wasn't on my radar. He certainly announced his arrival yesterday on a squad that's struggled with the bats. Do you have any info on him? Thanks.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Had a solid 2019 between DSL/AZL. This was my first time seeing him. Don't have a good feel yet.

  • Both Lobaton and Gushue had four at bats yesterday, who was catching? Taylor has put up a good stats line in a short sample in Iowa.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Lobaton. I'd noticed Gushue too. He appears to have figured out the bat in '19 with a career year that's carrying over to '21. 6 starts behind the plate, 4 at 1B the rest DH. SH but he's been much better from the left side.

    Only 27. Out of options and elected free agency. Would like to see more starts at 1B. If his slash line continues.......

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Wolters has cleared waivers, so I imagine he will become the primary catcher in Iowa, with Lobaton his main backup. Gushue likely gets 1-2 starts per week behind the plate while also being the primary DH and occasional 1B.

  • Hi Michael,
    Is Brennen Davis due for a call up to AA ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    He'll get there. Seems like the Cubs are going to let him get some reps in at South Bend first.

  • Hey Michael, did you hear why Nelson Velazquez was taken out after his first at bat yesterday? God-willing it's nothing, and he's prayerfully back in the lineup on Tuesday; he's been absolutely raking in South Bend, seemed like he's God-willing turning the corner and having that switch flip on.......

  • It is early, but it's pretty incredible what the front office has done to trend the arrow upward for both the immediate future in Chicago and the longer term future with the farm. I don't want to get ahead of myself by being overly optimistic. Still, players get injured with the big club (there have been many) and guys come up contributing so that the team doesn't miss a beat.

    Also, so far, it appears Jed was been able supplement the core in the off-season season with players who have lengthened our lineup and added 'small ball' to the mix. Obviously, the problem since the championship was not about money. It is about building a team.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Couldn't have said it better. Though it is about money now.

    I'm so tired of hearing people reply "He's just a singles hitter". The truth is in the post season it's often those low salaried bottom of the roster singles hitters that get the big hits. Their names long forgotten by all but the most ardent fans. The stars get the ink. But it takes a deep 40 man and then some to navigate a 162 game season.

    Craig Breslow's hiring has clearly made difference. The once barren pitching cupboard is suddenly populated. The next trick is finding or developing some affordable FA bats. Alcantara and Gushue are trending in the right direction. They could be potential bridge guys or more should Baez and Rizzo leave.

    As much as I've come to enjoy this season I don't want to see soon to be crippling contracts handed out. They just plain can't keep 'em all.

    That said until the deadline I'm going to hope they make the decisions as hard as possible.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Bullpen is not letting games get out of control, & they look real good.

    Of course money matters, & good big markets spend it on stars/good veterans-who have to then play well.

    Great teams then find a way to support those stars/good veterans with players who are affordable, and some of them also play surprising well. Easy to type, but really hard to do.

    I like the direction of the team, & I think the changes they made to the scouting, player development, & analytics departments a couple seasons ago really seemed to have been the right moves.

    Cubs should always be in the market for good players especial when the contract is considered a good/solid value- Yu Darvish signing was under what the media/experts predicted. N. Castellanos signing with the Reds was also considered a deal. I hope the Cubs find their way into more of those types of contracts.

  • Patrick Wisdom taking Duffy's spot? How did they look at the roster and decide they need a guy who's whiffed 40% of the time?

  • Just baffling. He's not even a viable option at 3B.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    Do you get it now or are you still baffled? Lol.

  • Wisdom is coming up as a pinch hitter/emergency infielder. When next guy comes back off DL Wisdom can be dfa'd

    Now if hoerner is out they will need a regular who can fill in for Bote Baez and Sogard a couple times a week. I assume that will be someone like Alcantera.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Iowa and Abbott getting pounded tonight. Alcantara was removed from the game.

    What I can't figure out is the 40 man.

  • In reply to Cubmitted:

    If Alcantara is placed on the 40. I was hoping he would get more time in AAA, out of options. Looks to have some talent, bat held him back in Tigers system. Tigers thought he could play SS, 2B, and even CF with some work at MLB level.

    Cubs could just DFA Wisdom, and go with a shorter bench? Megill, move him to the 60 day IL? Not sure how his injury rehab is coming along on the 10 day IL since 4/30. Cubs could try trading a relief pitcher on the 40 to open up a spot?

    This off-season I never would have thought finding a temporary 40 man spot would be an issue in 2021. Bullpen depth is a nice problem to have.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Agreed on Alcantara. He's only 24 and if he's taking that next step......Who knows. There's no guarantee Baez will be back. Just saying.

    Wisdom has 3 options. So at a minimum there's a PH bat. I don't see a 3 man bench as a very good option.

    I so hate the idea of moving a pitcher for a non roster prospect. But they might not have a choice if someone isn't ready to come back real soon. And rushing guys back from hamstring issues never works out.

  • Or they bring up an outfielder and move Bryamt back to 3rd.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    All hands on deck and it is still May.

  • I cannot remember a year with this many injuries. Nico has been an axle on both sides of the ball and a spark plug. Duffy has been clue with quality at bats and big hits. Now Willy is day to day too, and has one of those dreaded wrist injuries. So far our depth has answered. Higgins looks a little over matched and kind of has 'that deer in the headlights' look, but maybe that will change.

    If the the club can hang , that would be storybook season.

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