Not much to report in this one. Adrian Sampson was a hard luck loser. The veteran hasn’t always gotten pretty results out on the mound, but he has consistently given the I-Cubs desperately needed innings as a starter. They’ve been able to count on 5-6 innings from him every time out.
Alfonso Rivas continues to get on base, as did Trayce Thompson behind him in the cleanup spot, but the 5-9 hitters went a combined 1-for-16.
- Adrian Sampson: 6 IP, 6 H, R, 2 BB, K (L, 4-4, 4.73)
- Trayce Thompson: 1-2, 2 BB (.219)
- Alfonso Rivas: 1-3, BB (.265)
Darius Hill homered and walked four times. Carlos Sepulveda reached all four times he went to bat as well (1 hit, 3 walks). Tim Susnara (2 hits, walk) and Delvin Zinn (3 hits, including 2 doubles) each reached thee times. It’s pretty amazing the Smokies only managed three runs considering the number of base runners they had, but they went 1-for-11 with RISP.
Fortunately, it was enough, even on a bullpen day. Lefties Wyatt Short and Bryan Hudson were great in a piggy role, allowing just one run on one hit over a combined 6 innings.
- Darius Hill: 1-1, HR (5), 2 R, RBI, 4 BB (.277)
- Carlos Sepulveda: 1-1, RBI, 3 BB (.234)
- Delvin Zinn: 3-4, 2 2B (.600)
- Tim Susnara: 2-2, RBI, BB (.326)
- Wyatt Short: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K (5.23)
- Bryan Hudson: 3 IP, H, R, BB, 2 K (W, 4-2, 3.54)
- Cayne Ueckert: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, K (S, 7, 1.69)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
RHP Caleb Kilian was added to the Tennessee roster after being acquired from San Francisco in the Kris Bryant trade. He should join the Smokies rotation soon.
Bryce Ball and Nelson Velazquez went deep, Alexander Canario had two hits in his South Bend debut, and Tyler Durna reached base four times. In fact, all nine starters reached safely at least once, but the 12 runs they generated were not enough.
South Bend went with a bullpen day on the mound while they wait for rotation reinforcements from trade deadline acquisitions to arrive. It didn’t go well yesterday. Four of the seven relievers used gave up at least three runs.
- Bryce Ball: 1-3, HR (1), 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB (.171)
- Nelson Velazquez: 2-5, HR (12), R, 2 RBI (.264)
- Tyler Durna: 2-3, 3 R, RBI, 2 BB (239)
- Dean Nevarez: 2-5, 2 2B, R, 2 RBI (.227)
- Alexander Canario: 2-5, R, RBI (.400)
- D.J. Artis: 1-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB (12) (.212)
- Eduarniel Nunez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (6.75)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Trade deadline acquisitions RHP Alexander Vizcaíno, RHP Anderson Espinoza, and LHP Bailey Horn have all been added to the South Bend roster and each could join the rotation.
In addition, OF Alexander Canario has been added to reinforce the lineup. The youngster had been playing in Low-A for the Giants, and was producing only modest results, but the Cubs have a bit of a log jam of outfielders brewing in Low-A, with Jordan Nwogu, and Yohendrick Pinango already assigned there, plus Owen Caissie pushing for a callup from the ACL and recent draftees Christian Franklin and Parker Chavers likely heading out in the near future as well. We’ll have to see if the challenge proves too great for Canario. He was heating up after a rough start.
It’s been relatively rare for the Myrtle Beach pitching staff to be unable to hold a four run lead. That was indeed the outcome in this one. Kevin Made drove home one run in the 2nd on the first of this three hits, and then Matt Mervis hit a bases clearing double with the bags full in the 3rd to build the Pelicans a 4-0 lead. Manuel Espinoza was cruising along, throwing four shutout innings to open the game.
He’d get tagged for a pair of homers in the 5th, which cut the Myrtle Beach lead to one. Carlos Ocampo would surrender the lead and three more runs the following inning. Made drove home two more runs in top of the 8th to even the score back up, but Jarod Wright would give up two runs in the bottom half.
- Kevin Made: 3-4, 2B, 3 RBI (.255)
- Jordan Nwogu: 1-2, 3 R, 2 BB, SB (9) (.222)
- Matt Mervis: 1-4, 2B, 3 RBI (.201)
- Manuel Espinoza: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 7 K (4.18)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Eighteen year old shortstop Kevin Made (.255/.281/.318) was one of the Cubs prized IFA signings in July of 2019. The pandemic prevented him from making his debut in the DSL last year, but the Cubs have shown extreme confidence in him by having him skip over the ACL and move directly to Low-A, ahead of Reggie Preciado. Made doesn’t possess the ceiling of loud offensive tools that Preciado does, but he is far more likely to stick at short, and as he fills out both his hit and power tools should play as average, with the hit tool maybe even finishing higher. Made has a simple, line drive stroke that should lead to plenty of contact. After a slow start he’s picked up the pace dramatically, with a .354/.367/.479 (129 wRC+) line since July 15th (13 games). He’s hitting .444 over his last 7 games (196 wRC+).
Make that back to back nights with an extra base hit after Kevin Made doubled home Jordan Nwogu today pic.twitter.com/rmiugUjl3g— Trevor Hooth (@HoothTrevor) August 2, 2021
It was the middle of July when Jordan Nwogu (.222/.340/.417) also turned his season around after a slow start. Over his last 18 games he is slashing .339/.458/.661 (194 wRC+) with 10 XBH and 3 stolen bases. His BABIP has been insane, but when he does make contact it has been insanely hard contact. And he’s still been striking out a lot, but he’s also taking a lot of walks. I’m not sure he’s ready for promotion, but I wouldn’t be against it either if the Cubs want to move a player up from the ACL (Owen Caissie) or make room for recent college draftee like Christian Franklin and/or Parker Chavers.
Reliever Tyler Suellentrop was returned to Myrtle Beach after a stint in South Bend. His stuff allowed him to succeed in Low-A earlier this year, but his lack of command/control left him vulnerable to big innings at the higher level.
Recent trade acquisition RHP Daniel Palencia has been assigned to Myrtle Beach.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap