Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Davis homers again; Maldonado and Aliendo with game winning blasts; Gallardo sharp on the mound

Richard Gallardo (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Toledo 3, Iowa 0

Top Performers

  • Matt Duffy: 2-3, 2B (.308)
  • Andrew Romine: 1-3 (.281)
  • Adrian Sampson: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 BB, 5 K (L, 4-3, 4.98)
  • Manuel Rodriguez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The Cubs claimed veteran Minor League 1st baseman Frank Schwindel off waivers from Oakland. The 29-year old has yet to be given much of a chance in the Majors with KC or Oak (.114 AVG in 35 ABs between 2019 and 2021). He’s a contact oriented right handed bat who also has 20 HR pop. Maybe the Cubs see some value in him as a guy who could platoon with Alfonso Rivas in AAA or maybe even the Majors should they pull the trigger on an Anthony Rizzo trade. Neither guy possesses the ideal power profile for first base, but pairing them as a platoon to take full advantage of their contact skills might work, at least as a stopgap.

Matt Duffy and David Bote both started again. They played the majority of the game this time before getting lifted for a pinch hitter late. They both seem to be on track for a return next week.

Flamethrower Manuel Rodriguez has not allowed an earned run since blowing a save on Opening Day. Since then, he’s been lights out: 17.2 IP, 10 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 10 BB, 24 K. His fastball registers in the upper-90s and touches triple digits as it did in the Future’s Game. He pairs it with a power curve. His command still wavers, so I still have concerns if he can be a reliable late inning guy in the Majors, where more of the fastballs that catch middle of the plate could end up in the seats. But Rodriguez has the stuff, and for now he’s been mowing through AAA lineups without needing to stay on the edges.

AA

Tennessee 6, Mississippi 3

Top Performers

  • Nelson Maldonado: 2-3, HR (4), R, 3 RBI (.288)
  • Levi Jordan: 1-4, HR (3), R, 2 RBI (.264)
  • Brennen Davis: 1-4, HR (6), R, RBI (.281)
  • Tim Susnara: 2-3, 2B, BB (.393)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

At some point AA pitchers will start to think twice about letting Brennen Davis get his arms extended. The big righty has been wearing out the RCF gap of late, and showing the power to do damage when going that way. He hit an opposite field homer for the second straight day. In 14 games since June 30th, Davis has hit .360/.448/.820 (236 wRC+) with 8 doubles and 5 home runs.

Not only is Nelson Maldonado batting .325/.391/.525 (153 wRC+) over his last 33 games, but he hit a game winning 3-run shot in the 7th to break a 3-3 tie. Maldonado is more of a line drive and gap power hitter, but he’s shown the occasional over the fence pop this season.

The Cubs picked up veteran backstop Tim Susnara midseason from the Indy ball ranks. In his first three pro seasons (2017-2019) he failed to hit much in the lower levels, but so far with Tennessee he’s done nothing but hit. After reaching base three times last night he is now slashing .393/.486/.857. The Smokies haven’t been playing him much (9 games), and I frankly haven’t paid much attention to him during games, but I guess it is possible he unlocked some offensive potential during his time away from organized ball. This is probably just a hot streak, but if he keeps it up I’ll have to dig a little.

High-A

Cedar Rapids 13, South Bend 3

Top Performers

  • Nelson Velazquez: 3-4, SB (10) (.284)
  • D.J. Artis: 1-4, HR (2), R, RBI (.150)
  • Grayson Byrd: 1-4, 2B, R, RBI (.208)
  • Bradford Deppermann: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (4.19)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

D.J. Artis homered for the second time in three days.

It was a really, really rough night for Cubs reliever Tyler Suellentrop. He failed to record an out, while allowing 8 runs (6 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks. Ouch.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 5, Columbia 2

Game Recap

recap

Top Performers

  • Richard Gallardo: 5 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 4 K (4.70)
  • Gabriel Jaramillo: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K (S, 1, 1.64)
  • Pablo Aliendo: 2-4, HR (4), 2 R, 2 RBI (.271)
  • Jordan Nwogu: 1-2, 2B, R, RBI, BB (.193)
  • Kevin Made: 2-3, RBI, SB (2) (.225)
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 1-3, RBI, SF (.259)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The Pelicans fell behind 2-1 heading into the 6th, but a two run shot by Pablo Aliendo (.271/.366/.406) put them ahead for good. Aliendo got off to a hot start in May and June, but cooled off a bit after that. He’s been starting to get dialed back in though. Hopefully he can rediscover the consistency that made him one of the few threats in the Pelicans offense back in May.

It’s been a good week for Jordan Nwogu (.193/.298/.343) at the dish. He seems to be starting to turn the corner over his last 7 games (.368/.429/.632, 183 wRC+ with 2 doubles and homer). He’s still striking out a bit, but his timing has improved and he is making really hard contact when he gets hittable pitches. There may be no one outside of the newly acquired Bryce Ball with more raw power in the system. The ball just jumps off Nwogu’s bat.

Richard Gallardo had his sinker working in this one. The high profile IFA signing from 2019 is stoutly built and shows feel for pitching well beyond his 19 years. His stuff is pretty average though (low-to-mid-90s sinking FB, CV, CH), and I’m not sure how much projection he has remaining given how he’s already filled out his frame. He’ll need to rely on command (which he already does a pretty good job with) and generating ground balls, which he did last night as 6 of the 7 outs he recorded in play were on the ground.

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    My only hope is if every trade the Cubs make with our team includes an A ball or IFA pitcher, we need arms infused in this system, high projectable arms, something we seem to have a hard time scouting in the last five years.

  • In reply to tater:

    My hope is for the Cubs to actually trade core players Bryant, & Baez in the next 11 days!

    In addition Cubs should try to trade most, or all of the following Kimbrel, Chafin, Tepera, Marisnick, Davies, & Rizzo before the 2021 deadline.

    I assume Jed will focus on younger prospects. I don’t really care if they are pitchers or hitters.

    2022 season Should depend a lot more on the CUbs willingness to increase their budget, & getting Some luck with offseason trades, & free agent signings to build the 2022 MLB roster.

    We will see what happens? I hope the next 11 days will be very active & exciting!

  • Good morning Michael,
    The Cubs third round pick, what's he holding out for ?
    Bring Rivas up, I bet he will open up some eyes !

  • I'm bad, I meant 2nd round pick !

  • I drove over to S Bend yesterday to watch the game. I felt bad for Suellentrop, was a very long inning for him. The starter, Bain, also had issues. But his, was throwing strikes. As far as Ball, his first AB, he hit a shot to direct CF, was caught on the track in front of the 405 sign. However the next AB, he K’d, swinging through a 91 MPH FB, over the middle of the plate.
    I didn’t see his last couple ABs.

  • The same old top of the batting order with the same old results!

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Typical , if that isn't a reason to ship some players out of town, then what ?
    Attaboy Javy, keep swinging for the fences !

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    With a runner on 3rd and less than two outs, it’s amazing how often these guys will take a fastball down the middle for strike one. Then they start chasing one bad pitch after another. For me, Javy would never hit 3rd, I’d put one of my better contact guys, there. Especially in today’s game, where traditional lead off ‘types’, don’t lead off anymore.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Ross has indicated he bats Javy third because he would get better pitches to hit than if he batted sixth with Heyward and a others following him.

  • In reply to stix:

    Yeah stick, I guess that’s one way of looking at it. But I agree with rbrubicato below, it’s time to move on.
    IMO, seems the only time Javy will try to hit to RF, is after he is neck high, into a horrible slump. Then the light bulb goes on. Then after getting a couple hits or a HR to RF, he completely goes back to pulling off the ball and trying to hit every pitch 500 feet. I’m so sick of it. He does this to himself. Either stubbornness or ego - the only thing that might wake him up, is his next contract offer. What a waste of talent!!!

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Interesting. It does pretty much fit what we have seen.

  • In reply to stix:

    Ross doesn't know his behind from a hole in the ground !

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Again, interesting. It does fit what we have seen. Certainly not a 'ducks on the pond' mentality.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    This comment was for combustible' s watch that the Cubs take a strike one fastball down the middle with a runner third post above. Both of assessments seem accurate.

  • Who are Duffy and Bote going to replace when they come back? This will be very interesting unless they make some trades quickly.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Seems that Sergio and Sogard are the obvious choices.

  • In reply to stix:

    Agreed.

  • Its time to see what Hoerner can do batting leadoff. The way they played against Arizona should tell Hoyer its time to unload.

  • Has anybody noticed that Alec Mills and Jordan Wicks look like they could be cousins ?
    After leaving AZ. Baez is swinging for the fences again with balls that he could not possibly hit ! In addition Steve Cohen, owner of the Mets is pissed that he gave Lindor ( on the DL ) 341 Million. Are you listening Javy ?
    Q. The Cubs second round pick, what's he holding for , more money ?

  • Javy for all his brilliance has worn me out. I will be delighted to see him moved. Could he be having a worse game? Enough is enough. Time to move on from him.

  • In reply to rbrucato:

    I feel your pain. Javy has been in a pretty good stretch lately and those were tough errors especially the second. I don't give Baez a pass, but I hope we keep him, (no on an overpay). There are gifted players who are not winners and teams do not win with them, because they can't be trusted with the game/season on the line. I don't think Baez is one of those. I'm not convinced that there is not an mvp in his future, but he will need to fix some things offensively, and mature a bit overall. I'd hate to see that happen elsewhere.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Besides what would I do with all my EL MAGO attire.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Put your EL MAGO gear on Ebay before it becomes worthless !

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Ha! Sounds like you've seen enough.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Javy has had ten plus years to stop swinging for the fences. He stopped doing it for a while, but he is back to swinging at balls he cannot hit. Coaching him does not work at this point. I'm sure he
    thinks he will get the same deal as his buddy Lindor (341M ) but I doubt anyone will give him that kind of money.
    Yeah, he is fun to watch in the field, but there are better
    options coming for less money. And no, I wouldn't trust him with
    the game on the line.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Well, some pretty good players are not good at recognising pitches, but get pretty good at figuring out how the opposition is pitching to them. Swinging for fences is an important part of Javy' s game, but he has a two strike and game situation approach, that could use more judiciously. When he uses it, he still chases, but not as much and makes more contact even on offerings out of the strike zone. This is Ross has him in the middle of the order and explains is healthy rbi numbers. You are correct that there are plenty of shortstops so value is an issue. I'm comfortable letting Jed figure that all out.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I'm confident Jed could screw up a one car funeral procession.
    Jed, why don't you wait until somebody gets hurt and then you
    will get nothing in trade !

  • Hey Hoyer,
    Make some trades so you can give the fans some hope !

  • Give the Cards seven outs and watch them score !

  • Atta boy Happ, Mr. DP !

  • Cubs load the bases with no outs on 3 hits. Happ hits into a DP. We get 1 run after Cardinals got 4 runs on 1 hit.

    The 3 hits were from Wisdom, Ortega and Sogard. It is time to get rid of the old Cubs regime.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Its really hard for me to understand why didn't Rossy bat Nico in that situation (bases loaded with NO outs) instead of Happ?

    BTW, why is Nico on the bench?

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Slowly bringing him back after the injury???? He should be playing every day and probably hitting in the top 2 spots.

    Perhaps, some of these guys are only getting the playing time that they are because we've got 10 days until its a brand new ball club and teams ask that you at least let them see who you are offering them in trades.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Because Ross is still hoping Happ will wake up just like Theo hoping Schwarber will turn into the player he envisioned, passing on better players to acquire thru free agency and costing the Cubs big time.
    I'm glad Schwarber is doing great, but he had his chance here and it didn't work out.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Can you imagine an outfield with Michael Brantly in left, McCutchon in center and Castellanos in right ? But no, we got stuck with three picks in the top ten that were bust and now there is nothing to shoe for it and a terrible contract ( Heyward ) that nobody in their right mind would take on.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    No, but I can imagine Castellanos in left, & Theo trading Schwarber after the 2019 season for some return value. Cubs did have not opened wallet to add much for a few years.

    I sure hope Cubs don’t pretend that Heyward is anything more than a 5th OF for the 2022 & 23 seasons.

    Jed trade all pending free agents that have value, hopefully ownership will eat some $$$ to get a better return on some trades.... Who knows Cubs might get lucky again!

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Besides Jhey who has a ctt that requires eating$$ in 2022? They couldn’t give him to anyone for free. Why not just DFA.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I feel like Happ needs 1 more demotion to try to reinvent himself as a utility guy, playing infield and outfield, spot starting, pinch hitting, and putting the bat on the ball. Would be a hell of a makeover but the guy he's trying to be, is not gonna happen.

  • In reply to DarBar15:

    Happ looked like he was going to be a good, but never great, player a couple of years ago. Defensively he could cover 2B and all 3 OF spots decently, good speed, and he made regular hard contact - despite a bit more swing & miss than ideal. But man that 'swing & miss' part just has gotten worse since that first couple of seasons.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Somehow could they ‘re-engineer’ his doggone upper cut swing? Lol, I don’t know. Maybe he needs to keep both hands on the bat, longer through his swing? He looks as lost, as I am for how he has become so erratic.

  • POISON ALERT !
    The Cubs must rid themselves on anything Theo Epstein touched, Happ, Hoyer, Heyward, and especially Ross.
    Constantly leaving Baez in the 3rd spot is telling me Ross is clueless when it comes to managing a ballclub !
    I know Rizzo is a fan favorite and rightly so, but scouts
    are saying Rizzo's numbers are showing he is in decline.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    So you need scouts to tell you Rizzo is in decline have you noticed something else?

  • In reply to stix:

    Yeah,really !

  • fb_avatar

    Ever since Theo took over, I've nothing but raves about his picking college bats in the draft and how great that was. Well how are his bats doing now when they are supposed to be in the prime of their careers, mind you he was also picking in the top ten in the draft and his picks don't look so good now, even he bailed when he saw what a monster he created, same as when he snuck out of Boston...

  • In reply to tater:

    I want to win every game that we can, but this group is has lost its mojo. Think of the 911 phase 'I 've fallen in the park and can't get up'. We are broken. Probably there are plenty to blame and none to blame. It's just what is. We had our day and have cheered though the best stretch of winning in Cub history, but this era is ending. It was good run, that most thought it would be even better. Never the less, here we are. What goes up, must come down, and kicking the dog can be a waste. In a perfect world everybody would be Champions. We don't live there. I'm looking forward to better times. Our Cubs will be in the mix going forward.

  • In reply to tater:

    Theo is a revivor of orgs, but has not proven to be a dynasty builder.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Amen!

  • I don't think Ross has a clue. Why is Hoerner on the bench he should
    be playing every inning. Sogard is an utility man and they need to see
    what Hoerner is capable of in the leadoff slot.

  • Theo is one of the most lucky and overrated G M'S that I can remember.
    I'm sure the other G M'S miss trading with him, and thank our lucky stars he is gone before giving away anything else of value.

  • Check out the BAs of the Cards in this game and compare it with the BAs of the Cubs.

    The higher BAs on the Cards are batting at the top of the order and the higher BAs of the Cubs are at the bottom of the order. What's wrong with this picture?

    And the Cubs players at the top have been the Cubs players batting at the top pretty much since 2016. The Cubs offense has been consistently regressing since 2016. Rossy and the Cubs' management do not seem to want to recognize this. WAKE UP... THEY ARE WHAT THEY ARE!

    These players were once loved by the Fans but now they are just players handicapping the Cubs team lately. Good job Cubs' management.

  • In yesterday's game with bases loaded no outs and Rossy bats Happ who promptly hit into a DP. Why didn't Rossy pinch hit Nico instead?

  • Contreras leading off again, Baez still batting 3rd, it looks like the lifeblood has been drained from this team. Who is running this team?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    A lot like how you and clarkAddson have drained any insightful comments on this site.

  • Oh Good, Happ replaced KB

  • What happened to KB? Prayerfully, he's okay.......

  • TRADE, TRADE, TRADEs!! What's the Holdup??

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Good question.......

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    I could see Jose Iglasias on a 1 or 2 year deal to play shortstop. Until the kids are ready. Solid hitter and solid defender. Probably would cost 5mil per year?

  • Bases loaded with no outs and the top of the Batting order is up with the score 6 - 2.

    Holy Cow, the Cubs are now winning 7 - 6 with only one out and Happ onm second. I guess I have to "eat my words". Not only did the top of the batting order come through but Happ hit a double driving in both the tieing and go ahead runs.

  • Wow!!!

  • This morning I'm still shocked that we won that game. I'm really glad with the way this season has turned, that the players have not quit. I want my team to have enough pride to keep grinding, even in a lost cause. Now I'm watching for an update on kb. I would hate to lose that trade chip. Not to mention, that he makes us a better team the rest of the way.

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