Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Hermosillo delivers again in Iowa win; Morel homers; An 8-run inning propels South Bend to win; Pinango records another multi-hit game

Yohendrick Pinango (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Iowa 3, St. Paul 1

Game Recap

Starter Joe Biagini, who has been battling injuries, got through one inning unscathed. He was followed by sidearmer Scott Effross who delivered three shutout innings to earn the win as Iowa managed to triumph on a bullpen day.

The insanely hot hitting Michael Hermosillo continued to carry the offense. A double and another home run raised his average to .394 and slugging percentage to .758. By reaching just twice, his OBP did drop (to .524). He must be slipping. He’s reached base 22 times in 10 games. The veteran missed the first five weeks of the season, but has hit everything hard since his return.

Top Performers

  • Scott Effross: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 HBP, 5 K (W, 2-1, 6.35)
  • Jake Jewell: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (4.34)
  • Kyle Ryan: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, K (S, 1, 2.04)
  • Michael Hermosillo: 2-4, 2B, HR (3), R, 2 RBI (.394)
  • Tony Wolters: 1-2, 2 BB, CS (1) (.200)
  • Ian Miller: 0-2, 2 BB, SB (4) (.236)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The Cubs announced Robert Stock will be called up to make today’s start against Jacob de Grom and the New York Mets.

Starting Pitcher Kohl Stewart was sent back to Iowa.

Trent Giambrone has returned from the temporary inactive list and should make his Iowa debut soon. The veteran utility man has been on personal leave since the season began. Iowa could sure use his versatility and power/speed combo in the lineup right now.

AA

Chattanooga 5, Tennessee 3

Game Recap

Alex Katz made an emergency start for Tennessee, and pitched pretty well for the first two innings, but was then tagged for four runs in the 3rd.j A two-run Christopher Morel home run in the bottom of the 3rd, and then a solo shot by Nelson Maldonado in the 5th brought Tennessee back within reach, but the Chattanooga pen shut the door with three innings of no-hit ball to stymy the comeback.

Top Performers

  • Christopher Morel: 1-4, HR (5), R, 2 RBI (.184)
  • Nelson Maldonado: 1-3, HR (1), R, RBI (.220)
  • Carlos Sepulveda: 2-4, 2 2B (.235)
  • Luis Lugo: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 K (9.15)
  • Wyatt Short: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (7.31)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

We are beginning to see some positive development at the plate for Christopher Morel, despite his still sub-.200 batting average. He is not only drawing walks for the first time since rookie ball, but he is also putting the ball in play. His infectious energy and multi-positional defensive value (he’s started at 5 positions this year, including SS and CF) have long been known. We’ve also seen the pop in his bat, but the plate discipline was always lacking. His recent improvements bode well for him to take a more substantial offensive jump in the near future. Morel is likely two years away from the Majors, but his talent and versatility could allow him to make it sooner if things fall into place for him.

High-A

South Bend 9, Cedar Rapids 4

Game Recap

South Bend broke the game open in the top of the 3rd. They amassed eight runs on a pair of walks and seven hits. Tyler Durna, who singled home a run in that 3rd inning barrage, hit a solo shot the following inning to expand the lead.

Starter Brad Deppermann is still getting stretched out after opening the year in EXST and then moving to the pen in South Bend. The 25-year old was the Cubs 7th rounder in 2019, and has flashed a good breaking ball in his 28 career innings, but he is now showing a bit more velocity on his heater, hitting 95+ while pitching effectively up in the zone. He’s also getting good downward plane when working the lower half, thanks to his overhand delivery, and is generating plenty of grounders this year. I’m not sure he can stick as a starter, but he gives the Cubs another interesting power arm to keep an eye on as a future reliever.

Top Performers

  • Tyler Durna: 2-5, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI (.233)
  • Jake Slaughter: 3-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SB (3) (.219)
  • Bradlee Beesley: 2-4, R, RBI (.259)
  • Bradd Deppermann: 4 IP, 3 H, R, 0 BB, 6 K (3.86)
  • Jose Albertos: 2.1 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K (W, 2-0, 5.63)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Considered one of the top undrafted free agents Baseball America last year, Bradlee Beesley is an undersized but speedy outfielder who has run into some plate discipline issues in his first 14 career games, but has also flashed some good bat control and even a bit of pop. The results have not been impressive as yet, but there are some tools to work with there. He strikes me as more of a future org player, but potentially one who can help out in the upper levels in the near future.

Low-A

Charleston 9, Myrtle Beach 5

Game Recap

Chalk this one up as a rough outing by Manuel Espinoza. The starter has an advanced feel for his age (20), and hit has translated into a handful of good outings this year (), but there is a ceiling on his stuff. He needs to have command to be effective, and in this one he just seemed to catch too much plate, and the RiverDogs hammered him for seven runs on seven hits in less than four innings.

The Myrtle Beach offense continues to flash sings of life however. Ryan Reynolds hit another homer, power hitting 1B Matt Mervis is beginning to heat up, and Yohendrick Pinango recorded another multi-hit game.

Top Performers

  • Ryan Reynolds: 1-2, HR (3), R, 3 RBI, BB (.262)
  • Pablo Aliendo: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI (.298)
  • Yohendrick Pinango: 2-4, R (.282)
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 1-3, R, HBP (.333)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Nineteen year old Yohendrick Pinango (.282/.343/.405) continues to impress this season. After putting up a 145 wRC+ as a 17-year old in the DSL in 2019 there was a decent amount of excitement to see him stateside this year, and he hasn’t disappointed. The youngest player on the team, Pinango offers an old school opposite fields approach to hitting, but he also isn’t against turning on one and lining it into right field. He’s hit his first two career homers this year and as he gains more experience, he should learn how to drive a few more pitches into the gaps and over the wall. Few, if any hitters in the system, have as good of a feel for the barrel as Pinango. He is top 20 prospect in the system right now.

Pinango has smacked multiple hits in 4 of his last 5, and 6 of his last 9 games (slashing .429/.487/.629).

Matt Mervis (.206/.320.324) extended his hitting streak to 6 games. He’s been bit some by the BABIP dragon this year, but Mervis offers a powerful left-handed bat, and pretty good athleticism too for a 1B. He isn’t a top prospect, but he is another UDFA from last year who should eventually make it to the upper levels, and may even have MLB upside.

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    Thanks Michael. Morel seems to be a mini KB with his versatility. We are also getting positives from Beesley and Pinango and I'll be interested to see how they progress.

  • Welcome back Michael,
    What info have you got on Alfonso Rivas ? After seeing mock drafts that seem to change daily, what are the Cubs looking to draft ?
    It looks this draft is pitcher friendly.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Rivas has been rehabbing in Mesa. He played in the latest EXST exhibition game so he should be about ready to head out to AA/AAA

  • Maybe we should fine a spot for Hermosillo with the Cubs while he is white hot. Our bats have cooled of late and his slash line is exactly that 'insane'. The big club certainly has enough outfielders struggling to create a few at bats for him.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Who is Hermosillo ? Was he drafted, signed as a free agent ? What's his status ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Michael Hermosillo was signed as a minor league free agent last winter. He has a few major league plate appearances for the Angels. Plays all three outfield positions and hits the ball hard. I don't think their is much chance he gets called up unless there is more injuries. Right now AAA can't get him out.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    44slug covered it pretty well. Hermosillo was a late round prep pick of the Angels who made good. A steady march up their system, without ever really standing out too much, but by just being a solid 10-12 HR/20-30 SB guy he put himself on the radar. He got cups of coffee in 2018-20 as a AAA/MLB shuttle guy for them. Basically put up replacement player numbers in the Majors. He's more of a corner OF than CF, so his offensive profile is a little short of MLB caliber. And since he is a RHB doesn't provide as much pinch hitting appeal as a guy like Rafael Ortega. We've seen this in the past with guys like John Andreoli. RH corner 4th OF types have to be able to play good defense in CF (like an Almora or Marisnick) or they will not get many (if any) MLB opportunities. Those guys either have to hit like a starting corner OF, or they get stuck in AAA.

  • After cutting the lead to 3-1, and deGrom leaves the game, why did the boys just give up? May as well throw Wisdom an inning or two.

  • We're we ever in the running to sign Tatis Jr. or Guerrero Jr.? Because that year we signed Ademan.......

  • It's time for our stopper to do that stop thing again. So this losing streak doesn't get too ugly. We have morphed back into our three outcome lifestyle with an emphasis on the Ks. It's seems to be what too much of this lineups designed to be. We need to find a way to pinch out a few wins on the road until Duffy and Hoerner return. It won't be easy with this swing and miss crew.

  • Last night seems to illustrate what happens when Cub bats meet excellent (i.e. playoff) pitching. Granted, deGrom is special, but 8 of 9 strikeouts! Pretty ugly and ominous for the postseason.

  • In reply to wthomson:

    The game didn't seem winnable, then it did, but, I guess, Ross was determined to rest many bullpen regulars. It's a long season so let's get one with Hendricks and a rested pen.

  • Lead-off double by Peterson with no advancement from 2-3-4 !
    Pathetic.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Seems Mets did the same thing in bottom of first. Maybe pitchers are better than hitters?

  • I couple of weeks ago the Cubs , with some new ballplayers made the game exciting playing small ball.
    Last night, was the same boring game with runners left on base.
    Wake up Cubs ! Playing small ball is competitive and fun to watch. Bringing in new players is something I would like to see.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Must have missed the game you were watching. Cubs left three runners on base last night. Bigger issue probably was that they didn’t get many runners on base. Turns out they won so they must have scored enough.

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