Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Hoerner exits rehab outing; Velazquez drives home 5; Strumpf with big game; Jensen debuts in AA; Bain and Palencia impress on the mound

AAA

Iowa 5, St. Paul 2

Game Recap

Cory Abbott worked around some walks to post one of his most successful starts of the season, allowing just one run while pitching into the 6th. All nine starters recorded at least one hit on the afternoon.

Top Performers

  • Cory Abbott: 5.1 IP, 4 H, R, 4 BB, 5 K (6.75)
  • Scott Effross: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, K (S, 2, 3.73)
  • Abiatal Avelino: 2-4, R, RBI, BB (.280)
  • Erick Castillo: 1-2, 2B, R, 2 BB, HBP (.254)
  • Trayce Thompson: 1-5, HR (15), R, RBI (.235)
  • Greg Deichmann: 2-4, BB (.205)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

AA

Birmingham 4, Tennessee 3 (Game 1)

Tennessee 7, Birmingham 1 (Game 2)

Game Recap

Ryan Jensen made his AA debut in Game 1 of the doubleheader and kept the Smokies in the game, allowing three runs over four innings. The Smokies managed to tie the game 3-3 in the 5th on back-to-back doubles by Tyler Payne and Cam Balego, and then an RBI single by Carlos Sepulveda. The offense couldn’t muster much beyond that one inning however, and after the game went to extras (the 8th) and the Barons brought home their inherited runner, the Smokies couldn’t match.

Game 2 was all about Chase Strumpf and Nelson Velazquez. Both were coming off rough Game 1’s but they exploded in the nightcap. Strumpf doubled, homered, and reached safely in all four plate appearances. Velazquez also homered, and drove in five.

What shouldn’t be overlooked is the job done by the three Tennessee relievers who took on the bullpen game in the second half of the doubleheader. Alex Katz gave them three strong to open the game, and then Samuel Reyes and Brandon Hughes dominated over four hitless innings, striking out 7 combined in the process.

Top Performers

  • Nelson Velazquez: 3-7, HR (6), 2 R, 5 RBI, BB (.328)
  • Chase Strumpf: 2-5, 2B, HR (7), R, 2 RBI, 2 BB (.209)
  • Carlos Sepulveda: 2-6, R, RBI, 2 BB, CS (4) (.222)
  • Tyler Payne: 1-3, 2B, R, RBI (.231)
  • Andy Weber: 1-5, R, 2 BB (.214)
  • D.J. Artis: 0-1, 2 BB, 2 SB (5, 6) (.181)
  • Delvin Zinn: 2-3, 2 CS (2, 3) (.188)
  • Bryan Hudson: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (3.51)
  • Alex Katz: 3 IP, 5 H, R, 2 BB, 3 K (5.84)
  • Samuel Reyes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (W, 1-1, 4.26)
  • Brandon Hughes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K (1.76)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

It’s always important to remind yourself when dealing with prospects: development isn’t always linear:

High-A

Quad Cities 7, South Bend 1

Game Recap

The Cubs lost, but that wasn’t the most important news to come out of yesterday’s game. Nico Hoerner began a rehab stint for his strained oblique muscle but exited in his first plate appearance when he aggravated the injury on a swing. He immediately took himself out:

There wasn’t much to write home about offensively for South Bend in this one, but Max Bain did bounce back with a really nice outing on the mound. It’s all about command and control for the big righty. When he’s around the zone he finds success, and when he executes his pitches on the edges of the zone he’s as tough to hit as any hurler in the Cubs system. I can chalk his rough 1st half up to a lot of experimentation. The simplified mechanics and pitch mix of late have helped and hopefully this success is something which can help build momentum through the second half and head into the offseason with a solid foundation.

Top Performers

  • Max Bain: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, BB, 8 K (L, 3-8, 5.91)
  • Tyler Durna: 1-4, HR (5), R, RBI (.222)
  • Yonathan Perlaza: 1-3, 2B (.265)
  • Alexander Canario: 1-3, BB (.269)
  • Scott McKeon: 1-3 (.146)
  • Jake Washer: 1-3 (.170)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Luis Vazquez (.324/.444/.405) drew a walk. He’s reached base in all 11 games he’s played for South Bend.

Low-A

Fayetteville 9, Myrtle Beach 7

Game Recap

Daniel Palencia was throwing smoke, working on a no-hitter while shutting down the Woodpeckers through four innings. He’d reach his pitch limit in the 5th after recording just one out and walking two batters. Both would eventually come around to score, but the Pelicans still held a two-run advantage.

When Ed Howard added an insurance run on an RBI single in the 6th the Pelicans seemed to have the game well in hand. But Fayetteville stormed back. They plated three off Jarod Wright in the 7th to tie the game. And then even after Myrtle Beach retook the lead 7-5 on a fielder’s choice by Casey Opitz and a sac fly by Howard, the Woodpeckers didn’t give up. They scored four times in the bottom of the 8th off the normally reliable Gabriel Jaramillo to turn a two-run deficit into a two-run victory.

Top Performers

  • Daniel Palencia: 4.1 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 5 K (5.06)
  • Ed Howard: 2-2, 2B, R, 2 RBI, SF, HBP (.195)
  • Casey Opitz: 2-4, 2 R, RBI (.333)
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 1-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI (.245)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Daniel Palencia is not the most athletic pitcher, but he’s big and strong, and there’s some lightning in the arm. He projects as a reliever in my eye, as I doubt the command/control ever reach acceptable starter levels, but it’s always nice to know a reliever has triple digits to fall back on.

Ed Howard (.195/.247/.261) has looked a bit better at the plate over the past week. He has a hit in 5 of his last 6 games, after going hitless his previous 5. It’s been a struggle, and his mechanics at the plate are not as fluid as I would like to see. He’s seemed to be fighting himself to varying degrees throughout the year, rarely getting everything in sync. We knew he’d be a bit of a work in progress as a hitter, and the tools are still there (I like the bat speed and he’s grown into his frame well since his prep days).

Filed under: Uncategorized

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Thanks Michael,
    After yesterday's loss, the Cubs are closing in on the 6th spot in next years draft but its still early.
    I've read that the reason Rizzo didn't go to Boston was Boston low balled the Cubs and didn't what to give up what the
    Cubs were asking for.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    That's what I'm looking at now.
    Michael, has any prospect surprised you to this point of the season? Anyone we should be focused on? Thanks for all the work and I hope your move went smoothly.

  • Thanks, Michael.

    On the MLB front, since the selloff 21 games ago, the Cubs are 4-17, with a -69 run differential (-3.3 / game). Tickets are available for all home games (;-).

  • In reply to wthomson:

    12-39 since the combined no hitter. I guess the 8-22 record before the selloff would have sold a bunch of tickets. Team gave up/ceased to produce long before the selloff.

  • In reply to stix:

    Yep

  • I'm reading that Alexander Viscaiano & Calib Killian should be ready for the 2022 season . Anybody commenting on this ?
    Also reading that David Ross has Nico Hoerner penciled in for
    short stop next season. I hope this means a big no for bringing
    back Javy. Who knows, maybe some team will give Javy the
    big payday he's been looking for !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Javie would be an excellent addition to the infield, as long as the rest of the team are not identical in their hitting skills. One guy that swings from the heels is acceptable, as long as he connects a fair amount of time, as Baez does, and as long as he provides excellent defense, as Baez once did.

    But if EVERYONE swings from the heels on every pitch, the team will stink.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Kilian currently pitching at AA Tennessee has a chance, but probably not until mid season. Maybe after several AAA games & out of necessity or he’s just really dominating.

    Viscaino is only at high A South Bend, so I don’t see it unless it’s a late season call up & he’s dealing. But we never know. Both are 24, so they aren’t ancient but they aren’t spring chickens either.

  • One fear that I have with resigning Javy is, that will often continue to prioritise hitting taters out of the park and watching himself be El M ago on sports center over just playing for wins. Another bigger fear is, that he will mature and become the best team baseball player in the history of the game for a team out of New York.

  • fb_avatar

    I love Javy, but we need bats on balls. His lowest SO % was in 2016 at 24%. His highest BB % was in 2014 as a rookie and that was only 6.6%. He is a superior defensive player at SS, 3rd and 2nd base. I don't know if we want to pay $250 M on him when we can spend less and get a very good defensive player with higher walk totals and fewer strike outs.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    I like Javy too, but it's a little more than high strikeouts and low walk rate for me. I don't want to disrespect him, but sometimes I get the feeling he could put the ball in play more often in game situations, if he would just take a notion to be that player. A team win is better than a tape measure homerun in a loss. Also, don't like too much overt horse play with the other teams players, friendly(Lindor) or confrontational(Garrett). Just winning is more worthy and more fun and should always be the focus.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    44,
    Totally in agreement ! No more circus baseball.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    True but you’re not looking for a contact hitter, that’s what they got from the whitesox. They need a power bat. I think he looks terrible as he flails at every pitch but he does drive in out 100 runs when he’s healthy. If the individual you refer to above can hit 25+ HR and get 80+ RBI’s then get him. I doubt you’ll find someone like that who will be cheap unless he’s still under cub control.

  • In reply to stix:

    Club not cub control.

  • In reply to stix:

    Are they technically the same though?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Depends if it’s before or after acquisition, I guess. But probably no difference.

  • I doubt that anyone is going to pay Baez anywhere NEAR 250 million. I suspect that 5 years at 18 per year will easily get things done. He will probably get less than that.

  • In reply to OldFan:

    Javy, I believe, will sign a one year, $8M make good contract, with the Angels.
    Maybe if he has a decent month of September, I could see the Mets making him an offer in the 3 years for $20M (total) range. Javy will not, and should not, get any offer for anything near $50M. Buyer Beware!

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Heck if Javy is going to sign a $8M one year contract, I am guessing Hoyer would do that in a heart beat.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Given his floor with his defensive and base running abilities, as well as the fact he's still in what is considered prime age range (with some players making a leap at this age), a one yr pillow deal will be at least double that amount. Though several years removed from his mvp caliber 2018 and 2019, this is still a player that has already shown a massive ceiling, and is bouyed by gold glove caliber defense at multiple positions while having the ability to make things happen on the base path all on his own. This doesn't even factor in the way he can effect games that don't show in the boxscore, or his ability to dazzle fans and keep them coming back asking for more.

    Keep in mind that Joc Pederson got 7 mil last year, and that is coming off a season with an OPS + of 83. Pederson can cover cf in a pinch, but he rates as an average starter at best there, while he has to sit against lefties. Baez on the other hand plays the most coveted position at a gold glove level, brings tons of added value with his base running, and despite an obviously flawed approach, still has managed a slightly above average line of a 107 OPS +. He is already a 3 bWAR player this season despite some missed time and his shortcomings. Given that wins are valued around 8 million a piece, there is absolutely no way an up the middle 3 WAR player still in his prime age ends up signing a one yr deal for 8 million. That just doesn't happen.

  • In reply to CubbieInfantry2327:

    Thoughtful post. Baez has plenty of worth just like he is. He should get a nice payday for 5 to 7yrs. I don't think it will be with Cubs. He reminds me some of Sammy, but much more skilled with better instincts. One of the frustrating things is his nose for the camera. Another, is his inability or unwillingness to correct an obvious flaw or two in approach at the plate. It pains me to say it, but sometimess, Javy just can't be trusted. Wherever Baez lands, I hope he shows us, that he has matured into the complete player, that we can all see he is capable of. What a package!!

  • With Javy, its all a moot point. I'm sure at this point in time , the Cubs probably know what direction they are going in at this time. There are several free agents coming up. Whether the Cubs are in or out , only they know.
    Former Cub pitching coach Larry Rothschild has been released.
    Q. Are the Cubs trying to be the worst team in history ?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to ronvet69:

    Nope--I saw the 1962 Mets and they lost 120 games. It wasn't just the loses, it was how they lost them. The Cubs aren't even close.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    J,F,
    I was referring to the Cub teams.
    Ninety plus pitches and Ross is leaving Hendricks in the game. In the last week three different outfielders have missed the cut-off man allowing the runner to take extra bases.
    I can understand the losses but not playing fundamental baseball is bad.
    The only salvation is reading Michael's blog on the minors.

  • I know we've all (myself included) been crapping on Happ............but he's hitting like .500 in his last 8 games or something like that.......

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    The 5 at bats for Happ and Heyward in the game produced 4 hits and a BB. They were perfect.

  • In reply to John57:

    Problem is,... can they do even half of that,... on a consistent basis for the rest of the season?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Well over the last 30 games for Happ his line is .244/.333/.478/.811 Is that good enough for you? Like Treebeard has said everyone is crapping on Happ. I saw many commenters saying we should just cut him and why in the world is Ross playing him. I am content with how Ross is managing the team.

  • In reply to John57:

    Ronvet I’d say has been the biggest crapper. Who do you want in his place, ronvet?

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    HA HA, that's funny !
    Obviously, the Cubs know a lot more than me ! I'm still not a
    Happ fan but at least there is some value to trading him. My biggest
    grip is not the losing, but playing the game correctly , in the field
    and at the plate, not making mental mistakes.
    The win last night broke the tension, even if its only temporary !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    I hear that, you want to see the guys playing the game right; Happ has talent (I remember everyone talking about him when he was in the minors, and right after he got called up), prayerfully he can tap into that, and God-willing this streak he's on is him turning the corner............

  • In reply to John57:

    If Happ could stop swinging at the high pitch he would be a very good hitter. The last week or so he has been.laying off of those. Which.puts him in a good count, getting him pitches to hit. He is young and controlled why in the world would they release him.

  • In reply to John57:

    From Happ - the last month has been tolerable if he can sustain it the rest of this season. He's at least not terribly expensive at the moment. Heyward is the real headache. With the exception of that COVID-shortened season last year, and flashes of power in 2019 - he's just been generally miserable at the plate for years now - and at the cost of >$20 MM/year.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    I don't really want all three of Heyward, Bote, & Happ on the Cubs roster next spring. I hope the Cubs get rid of at least two of them this off-season.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I was just thinking that too, looking like probably Heyward and Bote should be the one's to go.......

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Bote's contract is through 2024 at $3M per year.
    Heyward has 2 more years at $23M per year.
    Happ is on a one year contract for $4.1M. Free agent in 2024.
    You can hope the Cubs get rid of 2 of them but I am guessing you will be disappointed.

  • In reply to John57:

    Don't come back at us with logic on this one, let us pray and dream............

  • In reply to John57:

    I'll handle the disappointment any which way, but who wants to see them take up 3 roster spots, & continue to underwhelm in 2022? They could all play well next year too.

    Assume Heyward is coming back.

    Happ, Cubs might make him a contract offer with a slight raise kind of a take it or we will non-tender.

    Bote AAV of his contract is $3 million per season. He is still owed $13 million including his buyout. If the Cubs are active in the trade market. Who knows Cubs might be able to include Bote in a package deal?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    Aha , the ghost of Theo with Heywards contract is still haunting the Cubs.
    Q. What will the Cubs do with that contract ?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Bigger question is what do you suggest they do with it?

  • In reply to stix:

    Well,
    its not my money , but it is a lot money. Some teams will eat
    a bad contract, but maybe a trade with the Cubs eating a portion
    of that contract might work. Wait and see what happens next !

  • fb_avatar

    I've said that I'm watching the standings already and my pick for the Cubs next draft is Druw Jones, son of Andruw Jones. He's a CF with plus, plus speed, plus arm and defender. If they go for a position player, he's my choice.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Nice............can he hit at all?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    J.F.
    If you read all the predictions before the draft , The players change positions almost weekly.
    About a month before the last draft one expert had the Cubs taking the catcher who wound up as the #1 pick in the draft.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    J.F.
    If you want a pitcher, Kumar Rocker will probably be available if you can handle dealing with his agent, Scott Boras !

  • Well, that was fun. I think I Iike winning. Big hits by Hermosillo in eighth and Ortega in the ninth.

  • It sounds like Nico dodged a bullet with his oblique, but I think, that often the tearing of scarred liaisons common in the soft tissue healing process for tendons, ligaments and muscles often includes what feels like one has injurred himself. He should be back at it in a few days.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    That sounds promising. Prayerfully we will see him back with the Cubs soon.

  • In reply to AUBWDE:

    Amen!

  • MLB's new farm system ratings are out with the Cub farm system moving up to 18th on the list.
    It was also indicating that by the summer of next year MLB will have a better idea of evaluating all of the new prospects acquired
    from the July 30th trade.

Leave a comment