Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Velazquez hammers 10th HR as SB staff throws combined shutout; Davis drives in 3 and Young extends hit streak; Affiliates sweep games

Jared Young (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Iowa 5, Indianapolis 2

Game Recap

A suddenly hot hitting Tony Wolters lifted a two-run homer in the 2nd, and then Iowa extended their lead to five in the 5th on a two-run double by Tyler Ladendorf and an RBI single by Dee Strange-Gordon. It proved more than enough for the Iowa staff. Veteran Adrian Sampson has given the rotation some much needed innings the last couple of weeks as he’s gone at least five in six straight starts. His quality start perfectly set up the I-Cubs impressive bullpen trio of Tommy Nance, Ben Leeper, and Manuel Rodriguez to seal the victory.

Top Performers

  • Adrian Sampson: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R, BB, 4 K (W, 4-2, 5.26)
  • Manuel Rodriguez: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (S, 1, 0.00)
  • Tony Wolters: 1-3, HR (3), R, 2 RBI, BB (.296)
  • Vance Vizcaino: 1-2, 2 R, 2 BB, SB (3) (.230)
  • Tyler Ladendorf: 1-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI (.200)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Manuel Rodriguez earned his first career AAA save. He has not allowed an earned run since blowing a save on Opening Day, converting 5-of-6 save opportunities while allowing just 2 unearned runs on 9 hits, 8 walks over 14.1 innings, and striking out 20 in the process.

I do see Ben Leeper ahead of Rodriguez in terms of development (Leeper has better command of his plus FB/SL combo than Rodriguez does of his plus FB/CV combo), but Rodriguez is already on the 40-man roster so it is more likely he receives a MLB opportunity first. Although it is possible the Cubs could have some 40-man roster spots to add Leeper should they go into sell mode later this month.

Tony Wolters (.296/.412/.465) has reached base safely in 10 consecutive games. In fact, he has reached base at least twice in all 10 of them. It is quite an impressive run for a glove-first catcher. He’s raised his average more than a .100 points and his OBP nearly .150 during the streak.

AA

Tennessee 7, Rocket City 6

Game Recap

Rocket City took an early 6-1 lead but Brennen Davis hit a solo homer in the 4th, and then capped a four-run 6th with a two-run double tie the game. It remained tied until Tim Susnara drove in the winning run on a sac fly in the 8th thanks to a stellar outing by the Smokies bullpen (5 shutout innings).

I agree with Todd, such easy power from Brennen. He is just a different kind of strong than any other hitter in the Cubs system right now and it is also why he is now the very clear number one prospect in the system and likely a top 30 or so in all of baseball.

Top Performers

  • Brennen Davis: 2-4, 2B, HR (3), R, 2 RBI, BB (.247)
  • Jared Young: 4-5, 2B, 2 R (.448)
  • Nelson Maldonado: 2-5, R (.280)
  • Chase Strumpf: 1-2, 3 RBI (.170)
  • Zach Davis: 1-4, RBI, SF, SB (5)
  • Tim Susnara: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB, SF (.400)
  • D.J. Artis: 0-3, R, BB, HBP, 2 SB (1, 2) (.146)
  • Bryan Hudson: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, K (3.72)
  • Wyatt Short: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (W, 1-3, 5.91)
  • Ethan Roberts: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (S, 2, 1.99)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Since Jared Young came off the IL on June 30th he has recorded a 5-game hitting streak (10-for-18, 4 2B, HR, 6 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 0 K).

Next on the promotion list has got to be Ethan Roberts. He hasn’t given up a run in 7 appearances (9.2 IP). The 6’0″ righty doesn’t have the most overpowering velo (but certainly still above average at 95-96), but he generates terrific spin rates and combined with his low release point makes his fastball up in the zone difficult to barrel up. You see a ton of guys swinging under the pitch. Once there is a free roster spot in the Iowa pen I think the Cubs need to get him up there so he can gain some experience and set him up to compete for role in Chicago some time in 2022.

High-A

South Bend 3, Lake County 0

Game Recap

Chris Kachmar and three Cubs relievers combined a four-hit shutout. All of the runs in the game came on a three-run shot by Nelson Velazquez.

Top Performers

  • Nelson Velazquez: 2-4, HR (10), R, 3 RBI (.286)
  • Chris Kachmar: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (4.83)
  • Tyler Suellentrop: 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K (W, 2-0, 10.80)
  • Hunter Bigge: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (6.75)
  • Tanner Jesson-Dalton: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (S, 1, 7.94)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Nelson Velazquez is the first Cubs farmhand to reach double digit homers this year.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 12, Down East 3

Game Recap

All nine Myrtle Beach hitters reached base and all but one were involved in the scoring. Finesse lefty Didier Vargas managed to punch out ten batters over five innings.

Top Performers

  • Ethan Hearn: 2-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB (.179)
  • Luis Verdugo: 2-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI (.151)
  • Jonathan Sierra: 1-2, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB (.235)
  • Yohendrick Pinango: 2-4, R, RBI, SF (.278)
  • Ryan Reynolds: 2-5, R, RBI (.275)
  • Matt Mervis: 1-4, 2B, 2 R, BB (.205)
  • Kevin Made: 1-5, 2 R, RBI (.189)
  • Didier Vargas: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 10 K (W, 3-2, 4.80)
  • Carlos Ocamp: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (3.57)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

It was a definite struggle to open the year, but we’ve seen some positive signs at the plate for Ethan Hearn of late. Over his last 10 games he is hitting .290/.400/.410. I haven’t focused on him for a while, so I’m not sure if a change in approach or mechanics are potentially responsible, but I’ll be sure to take a look soon.

Comments

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  • Thanks Michael,
    Its good to see positive things happening on the farm teams. A nice breather from that mess on the main club.

  • I think I heard the Cub announcers say yesterday that the 1927 Yankees had a 9-game losing streak. Actually, the Yankees 9-game streak was a winning streak; the longest losing streak was 4. So I guess the 2021 Cubs are not the equivalent of the '27 Yankees.

    Sigh....

  • In reply to wthomson:

    JD was actually referring to Tommy Lasorda giving a speech to a minor league team he was managing that was on a long losing streak. Lasorda lied that the 27 Yankees even had a long losing streak like his team but it wasn’t true. He just said that to give them more confidence. I think JD said that it’s not like they could google it back then.

  • Maybe being home will bring better results, but looking at tonights lineup is depressing.
    Contreras leading off does not inspire confidence in the Cub management. Of the current loosing streak , winnable games were
    lost and I hope major changes are coming to a club franchise that
    the fans deserve better.

  • Is it just me or does it seem like Patrick Wisdom has been called out on "Phantom" Third Called Strikes all week long? It's bad enough the Cubbies are struggling to hit the ball, but the umpires are Gawd Aweful! Calling strikes on pitches 6 to 12 inches off the plate.

    Where's the "Robo Umps!"

  • In reply to 1908Cubbie:

    Manfred locked them all up, in his basement.

  • In reply to 1908Cubbie:

    He’s haunted by the ghost Schwarber and the phantom strikes he always saw.

  • Q.
    Do umpires ever get ejected ? They have way too much power and seem to be protected by Manfred.
    Dan Plesac commenting tonight on how bad Theo screwed the Cubs trading for Quintana of the White Sox and giving up way too much! I bet the other G.M,'s miss trading with Theo.
    Now that Nico is back, the Cubs look better, but more players of his caliper are needed.
    Wisdom got screwed at his 1st at bat, but Patric has to learn to cover the inside part of the plate better.
    Cubs, lets get rid of the three agents and start anew, including
    saying goodby to Happ.
    If you think this umpire is bad, wait until Joe West starts behind the plate.

  • Last two games Contreras declined to try for DP on balls thrown to force a runner at home. All he had to do was hit the runner to get interference as neither runner was in the runners lane. Cost the cubs yesterday . Who knows where today goes.

  • Hoyer seems to think the Cubs need to take more walks. He should be thinking the Cubs need to make more contact.

    First of all, you should NOT go up to bat trying to get a walk. That kind of thinking gives the pitcher more control over the batter. No one ever took a walk when the pitcher throws strikes. Secondly, I wonder if Hoyer saw the first inning in tonights game. Contreras lead off with a walk, then Rizzo got a hitmoving Contreras to third and Baez took a walk and the Cubs did Not score a run.Walks are only good if the batters behind you can make some contact.

    Also, going to bat trying to hit a HR is rediculous. They need to go up to bat thinking about making contact. NO ONE ever hit a HR without making contact!

    Has anyone noticed when the Cubs score first, they seem to go into hibernation? The Cubs need to completely overhaul their way of thinking.

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    You're absolutely correct ! The whole hitting philosophy of the Cubs is flawed.
    The Cubs have got to stop falling in love with players and get down to business of getting players who can make better contact with the ball. Whenever a team is ahead the Cubs seem to be resigned to go into a shell and quit.
    While Theo was waiting for Schwarber to develop, he passed on signing McCutchon, Brantly, letting Castellanos walk after giving up two top 30 prospects to acquire him. Schwarber has figured it out for the Nationals but its too late for the Cubs. Theo's lack of vision has left the Cub system crippled. Theo missed on three top ten draft prospects. No club could survive such ineptitude. Did Theo ever read scouting reports on these guys. The Cubs need to rid themselves of the current management including Hoyer, the free agents, Happ, Contreras, and anyone else who can't be coached.

  • Goodbye: Pederson-Bryant-Rizzo-Baez-Kimbrel-Davies-Chapin-Tapera.(Happ-Heyward-Sogard?)

    Hello: Hermosillo-Marisnick-Morel-Wisdom-Alcantera-Hoerner-Vargas-Contreras-Leeper-Rodriguez, Eric. Let's see what Abbot-Steele-Thompson are all about.

    How much worse can it be?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Hermosillo is a bum. He is a failed baseball player who will never play at the mlb level again.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm surprised it took a lot of you so long to come to the conclusion this is not a team, it is a collection of prima donnas trying to outdo each other, se how many home runs they can hit, dam if they strike out.
    Not saying if they trade these players they will be better in other organizations, I think they will get better direction with other teams since they won't have as many players capable of having the same abilities they have.
    Sullivan said back up the garbage truck and start the overhaul and I hope Ricketts is listening, he is wasting his money with this group of free agents, I wouldn't pay one of them a deal at this point, most have had 5-6 years to prove they deserve the money, and each has shown the ability to not succeed, for one reason or another....

  • In reply to tater:

    Well, as a fan it's better to be positive and optimistic. It's hard to support one's team if his perspective is always that the glass is half full. Teams do gel. Cubs were team worthy in May. However,you are correct as it was only a tease. Sometimes players say all the right things, but only live it for a minute.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Actually, that take is probably a little harsh. This was always going to be a transition year.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    tater should have warned Jed.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I believe that he did. I just wasn't buying. I chose to defy the odds until forced to do otherwise.. It's not a surprise.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    And Sulli has been singing that same sad, Cubs song, for about 35 years now, lol.
    2016 must have been a real tough year on guys like Sulli, Hawk and the Stone Pony.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    A good song for the Cubs now would be: "Slip Sliding Away"

  • I was hoping the guys would come together for a Last Hurrah.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    The last hurrah is over , the sooner the Cubs clean house, the better. Anyone who has followed over rated Theo, could see this mess coming.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I know, but we're still in first a little over a week ago. It was a long shot then, now nearly impossible. Ricketts should have hired you instead of Theo.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I wish the Ricketts family would hire me. I wouldn't be popular in Chicago, but the Cubs would be in much better shape than where they are at now.
    Theo bragged that the MLB draft was their Indy 500 ! Well
    Theo, you crashed and burned on the first turn. Did you read any scouting reports regarding the draft? I don't think so. Teams
    miss on picks all the time, but not 3 in the top ten.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Oohhh, to be a fly on Ricketts wall, when him and the vet have the job interview lol.

  • It looks like more of the same for tonite's game. This lineup is our "Interstate Crew" to go along with our "Swing and Miss" Crew with Jake Arrieta pitching.Did we already "throw in the towel"??

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    How long is Rossy going to leave Jake in this time??? Rossy has been failing as a manager and is doing no favors for Jake. This is EMBARASSING !!!

  • In reply to clarkAddson:

    Absolutely ! The last debacle in Cinci. should have been Jakes swan song.

  • Hey Theo you putz, how do you like McCutchon now! Jed Hoyer,
    you should be fired for putting Arrieta to pitch again. ! To Cub management, if you are trying to kill baseball on the North side of Chicago, you're doing a fine job.

  • 3rd inning, Baez, Rizzo, and Contreras all swinging for the fence with no results. Do the Cubs employ a hitting coach ? If they do, is he effective ? I don't think so.

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