Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Perlaza and Bain lead SB to victory; Pairing of Howard and Herz do the same for MB; ACL Cubs mount 9 run comeback win; Hernandez breaking out in DSL

Ed Howard (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Omaha 7, Iowa 1

Game Recap

Another rough outing for Cory Abbott. He punched out 9 (missing bats hasn’t been an issue), but walks (2) and home runs (4) have been. He allowed seven runs in just 4.1 IP.

Top Performers

  • Ethan Roberts: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (3.09)
  • Brendon Little: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (0.00)
  • Tommy Nance: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (2.51)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Abbott may be struggling in the Iowa rotation, but a couple of relievers are making a case to join him on the 40-man roster. Former 1st rounder Brendon Little has found some consistency and improved stuff with his permanent move to the pen. He’s hitting 96-97 mph and pairing it with a put away slider. He’s yet to give up a run in 5 games with Iowa. Righty Ethan Roberts generates as much spin as anyone in the org, and is a polished strike thrower on top of it. Both guys are Rule 5 eligible this offseason. I wouldn’t be shocked to see one or both given a roster spot before the end of the year and get a cup of coffee in the Chicago pen once they finish getting a look at some older guys.

Tommy Nance returned from a month long stint on the IL with a scoreless inning.

AA

Tennessee CANC

High-A

South Bend 7, Peoria 4

Game Recap

The Max Bain rebound tour remains in full swing. No walks (heck yeah), and six Ks for him over 5 innings. Since stepping away for a week and simplifying his approach, he has responded with a 2.96 ERA, just 15 hits allowed in 24.1 IP, and a 27/8 K/BB ratio in 5 starts.

Top Performers

  • Yonathan Perlaza: 3-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB (.269)
  • Pablo Aliendo: 1-3, R, 3 RBI, SF (.222)
  • Yohendrick Pinango: 2-5 (.400)
  • Bryce Ball: 1-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB (.190)
  • Max Bain: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB< 6 K (5.65)
  • Tyler Santana: 2 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, K (W, 1-0, 4.15)
  • Bryan King: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, K (S, 1, 4.67)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Get Yonathan Perlaza (.269/.349/.455) to Tennessee as soon as that club is ready to get back into action. Please. Over his last 64 games he has failed to reach base or drive in a run just 8 times and is batting .288/.365/.494 (131 wRC+). Over his last 30 games he’s been even better: .352/.423/.602 (176 wRC+).

Luis Vazquez extended his on base streak to 19 games.

The step up to High-A hasn’t proven too big for 19-year old Yohendrick Pinango (.279/.330/381 in 89 games between MB/SB) so far. He has a hit in all 5 games with South Bend, and two hits in each of his last 3.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 6, Columbia 2

Game Recap

Ed Howard backed up another very good outing by D.J. Herz with a bases loaded walk in the 3rd to drive in the winning run, and then hit a three run homer in 6th to provide plenty of insurance for the Pelicans.

Top Performers

  • Ed Howard: 1-2, HR (4), R, 4 RBI, 2 BB (.212)
  • Josue Huma: 2-3, RBI, BB, CS (1) (.146)
  • Casey Opitz: 1-3, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB (.313)
  • Christian Franklin: 1-3, R, 2 HBP, SB (1) (.125)
  • D.J. Herz: 5.1 IP, 2 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K (W, 3-4, 3.43)
  • Bailey Reid: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (3.80)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Ed Howard (.212/.274/.303) continued his recent hot streak at the plate. He now has hits in 10 of his last 11 games (.382/.463/.618, 187 wRC+) with 2 doubles, 2 homers, 6 R, 14 RBI, 4/7 BB/K.

I know D.J. Herz (105 K in 65.2 IP, .152 average against) is far from a finished product. He’s inefficient, his command and control are not up to the standards needed to get out advanced hitters consistently, but his stuff is simply too good to be fully challenged by A-ball hitters as well. I really wish the Cubs send him to South Bend for the rest of the year so that he is forced to refine and work through some struggles (even when he is pitching well), because as of now, when he throws strikes he is simply mowing down the opposition. There is a legit chance Herz ends up with 4 above average or better pitches. His FB/CV/CH all flash plus right now, and I assume they will ask him to add a slider at some point. Given how well he spins a curve he may be able to get by without another breaking ball, but a slider could also end up being a lights out pitch for him. If the lefty can refine his command he’s got top of the rotation stuff. If he doesn’t he could still end up as an inconsistent backend starter who dominates when he’s locked in, or a shutdown reliever.

ACL

Cubs 12, Athletics 9

Top Performers

  • Miguel Fabrizio: 3-4, 2 2B, 3B, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB (1) (.354)
  • Felix Stevens: 3-4, 2 2B, 2 R, 4 RBI (.293)
  • B.J. Murray Jr.: 2-4, 2 R, RBI (.136)
  • James Triantos: 2-4, 2 R (.292)
  • Flemin Bautista: 1-3, RBI, SF (.188)
  • Angel Gonzalez: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K (10.53)
  • Walker Powell: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (0.00)
  • Johzan Oquendo: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (W, 3-2, 3.60)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The Cubs fell behind 9-0 in the game before mounting a furious (and successful 11-run rally over the final 2 innings.

2021 UDFA Walker Powell and 2020 5th round pick Luke Little both made their pro debuts on the mound. Powell struck out the side in his inning of work. The 6’8″ lefty Little, hit 99-100 on the gun, and accomplished the rare 4 punchouts in a single inning. He only had the opportunity to pull it off because of his control issues, unfortunately (BB, HBP, 2 WPs, 2 R, 1 ER, and he added a throwing error on top of it all).

DSL

Cubs Red 6, Cubs Blue 5

Cristian Hernandez (.267/.382/.402) doubled and reached three times. He’s 7-for-13 with 4 doubles, a triple, 3 BBs, a HBP, and 10 runs scored over his last 4 games (.538/.647/1.000, 320 wRC+).

Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    I love these prospects Michael, and it sounds like you really are a fan of D.J. Herz. Do any prospects make it to the Cubs next year? Thanks again for all the work.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    The 5 main guys for next year would be relievers Ben Leeper, Brendon Little, and Ethan Roberts, along with starter Caleb Kilian, and of course outfielder Brennen Davis.

    Brailyn Marquez is the obvious wild card.

    Later in the year you could see Chris Morel, Chase Strumpf, Miguel Amaya, maybe Andy Weber and a couple more power arms like Ryan Jensen, Anderson Espinoza, Alexander Vizcaino, maybe a Cam Sanders/Riley Thompson/Cayne Ueckert/Brandon Hughes/Scott Kobos. I'd love for Nelson Velazquez to make a push as well.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Wow that is more than I thought it would be. Dare we say a "wave".

  • O.K.
    First look at Rivas today, at first base batting 8th !

  • Tweeted this out earlier, but worth posting here as well:

    Cubs SS prospects
    Vazquez (21): 294/400/382, reached all 19 G
    Howard (19) last 11 G: 382/463/618, 187 wRC+, 14 RBI
    Made (18) last 26 G: 349/360/486, 129 wRC+
    Hernandez (17) last 4 G: 538/647/1.000, 320 wRC+, 4 2B, 3B, 3 BB, HBP, and 10 R
    Ramirez (17) 30 G: 386/432/544, 171 wRC+

    They are probably 3B long term, but the SS in the ACL:
    Preciado (18): 333/386/492, 128 wRC+ in 32 G
    Triantos (18): 292/346/458, 108 wRC+ in first 12 G

    All but Luis Vazquez are making their pro debuts this year.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    This is crazy good. Even with all these guys being very young and far away so a lot could go wrong, several are going to make it to the majors at about the same time. Tidal Wave?

  • Thanks Michael! I somehow missed what happened to Maldonado, saw he's on the 60 day injured list now; what exactly happened? Prayerfully it's nothing too serious............

  • Maybe Walker Powell needs to be bumped up a level too. His first inning of work took 10 pitches to strike out 3. He is 25 years old in the rookie league. Got to pay attention to him too going forward.

  • That called Strike 3 on Andrew Romine to end the 4th was at least 6 inches off the plate. Somebody get the UMP a pair of Glasses!
    #RoboUmps

  • In reply to 1908Cubbie:

    Agreed,
    but your talking to deaf ears. Protected by Manfred !

  • Whatever they worked on, with Max Bain obviously is benefiting him. When I saw him pitch about a month and a half ago, he was having a problem throwing 2 pitches in a row, over the plate.
    Also I notice the regular minor league season is extended about 3 weeks longer than usual- due to the later start. So I guess there could still be more player movements.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    They've scrapped his windup, exclusively from the stretch now. They've also simplified his pitch mix. Eventually they'll add some pitches back in or tweak existing ones, but this was a nice reset for him. Seems more confident and aggressive.

  • Rivas looked good in his Cub debut. Maybe he will hang around.
    It doesn't sound like Javy is having much fun in New York, yet. The grass isn't always greener.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    A single and a double for Rivas. An outstanding catch prevented Rivas from another double or triple. A small sample, but his
    defense looked good. All the makings of the Cubs being able to
    play small ball next year.
    Its bad enough to lose, but terrible calls at the plate made
    losing even worse. MLB seems to think this is acceptable.
    With Javy being raked by the Met fans may wake him up
    enough to change his approach at the plate, where he will
    up his value as a top player.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Rivas second AB impressed me, when he battled back from a 2 strike count. He took that outside pitch down the LF line. Nice work, showed nice bat control and that he looked very comfortable using the entire field. Too bad Schwindel hasn’t played much OF.
    Ortega looks good too, but he’d be better in RF. We need a CFer and a SS IMHO. And definitely 2 reliable SPers. And I hope the SS isn’t Javy. But in all honesty I think Javy will be the one player Ricketts brings back - for the PR value.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Agree on Ortega in right field. How about Starling Marte in center next year ? Javy was basically uncoachable at the plate for the last
    nine years and maybe now, he will realize he was not helping his team.
    Is it too late to change ? Its up to Javy. MLB Shop is discounting
    all Cubs Javy merchandise so I think he is gone. Wait and see !

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Baez back at SS would be OK by me - depending on the price and contract length of course. He's one of those guys who absolutely has relied on shear athleticism to be "El Mago" to this point, but he's hitting that age-group where a lot of the pure athletes start to slow down just a notch. I don't think he's likely to massively start declining for a few years, but at some point he's going to have to play with his baseball brain more and rely strictly on the athleticism less. Also - and as many others have pointed out about guys like Wisdom - a potential lineup that also features guys like Madrigal, Hoerner, Rivas/Schwindell, and Duffy would make it easier to have a few big swinger & strikeout guys.

    That being said (about Baez returning), there are a lot of FA SS's available this winter, and Hoerner is more than just passable at SS - if he can stay off the injured lists more.

    I know at one point they were testing out Hoerner as a potential CF. Maybe they revisit that idea and go out and find a FA SS?

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    All valid observations, dr kaz. I prefer to not want Javy back. But I like Nico but am in the camp that he doesn’t have the arm for SS. So for the reasons you mention, if it was on a one year, make good contract - it might be worth it just to see if Javy’s mindset matures.

  • My son and I attended part of a Mets series a few years ago and that last paragraph in the statement from management was similar to one I made about Mets fans. Mets fans seem to have a pretty good handle on the nuances of the game and were involved in every pitch. One of the interesting things visiting other cities team's is the observing their fandom. I don't know about Javy lately. Right or wrong, drama is just baggage.

  • I would not generalize all Mets fans (or all fans of any team), but my experience with the Mets crowd was with belligerent drunks! Worst crowd I have ever been in (and I worked punk shows way back when!). They were looking for something to scream at - and we know that Javy can provide that.

  • In reply to bruno14:

    Could be, my son and I were sitting around season ticker holders, but, in general, the crowd was in the game and behind the team. Different times, I suppose.

  • Perhaps a different section too

  • The Mets owner just told Javy Baez that his behavior toward the Met fans was unacceptable. Javy made both thumbs down to the fans for
    booing the Mets.
    The owner continued to say if the fans want to boo , its their right to do so !

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Baez has been one of my favorites, but lately he seems to lack good judgement with some of his actions. He has been benched, had an 'over the top' dust up and celebration, and now disrespectful to fans. Not to mention, that his game has been going in the wrong direction. One can hope, that he is learning some lessons (like many of us do), the hard way.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    If this is the worst thing Javy has done then don’t sweat it if you are (should be) a cub fan. Nothing to see here but someone who lives baseball and is a little sensitive right now. Is that a problem? Hell no. We want our players to care and Javy cares.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Die hard! I wonder what Hoyer and Ross think. I'd be ok with Javy.

  • In reply to HefCA:

    Hef,
    Of course Javy cares. The problem exist when Javy was not able to advance runners and left many stranded on the bases. None of the Cub hitting coaches in the last nine years could get Javy to adjust his approach at the plate. He was absolutely fun to watch in the field, but leading the league in strikeouts for a number 3 hitter was and is unacceptable. Maybe the boos from the Mets fans. will make Javy
    wake up so he can adjust his approach at the plate.

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