Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Sampson takes a tough luck loss; Hill homers and draws four walks; Ball and Velazquez go deep; Made collects 3 hits

Alexander Canario (photo by Todd Johnson)

AAA

Louisville 2, Iowa 0

Game Recap

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.

Top Performers

  • 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)

AA

Tennessee 3, Chattanooga 2

Game Recap

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.

Top Performers

  • 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.

High-A

Quad Cities 14, South Bend 12

Game Recap

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.

Top Performers

  • 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.

Low-A

Augusta 8, Myrtle Beach 6

Game Recap

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.

Top Performers

  • 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+).

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.

Comments

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  • Hey Michael, thanks for the updates and insights on all the prospects! When do you see us starting to move people up the chain: i.e. Brennen Davis to Iowa, et cetera?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I expect a lot of movement today, the off day for all full season affiliates. Partially to make room for the new acquisitions, and also because most promotions are usually done at the end or start of a month. I assume we start seeing some draft signees get incorporated in the ACL, with some considered soon for full season assignments.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Okay, awesome; totally makes sense, God-willing they use good judgement, and prayerfully send everyone where it would be best for them to be right now (even if that means staying put).......thanks Michael!

  • As usual - thanks for the updates Michael.

    Can Rivas hold down any defensive position other than 1B? seems like a good potential contract and OBP guy and if they could stick him in LF now and then he might be a guy to consider bringing up if one of the other guys cools down.

  • In reply to drkazmd65:

    He's been getting time in LF quite a bit recently. I haven't seen enough to know how well he holds up out there, but the Cubs are obviously interested in playing him at 1B and LF. Deichmann can play RF/LF/1B. So Cubs have two seemingly high OBP left-handed platoon bats who can share time at 1B or in corner OF (with Happ and Ortega providing additional LHB for CF and/or COF, with maybe Hermosillo getting RH platoon ABs in CF once healthy). Wisdom and/or Schwindel can handle RH side of 1B platoon. Wisdom obviously factors in at 3B as well.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Yeah, I'd really like to prayerfully see Wisdom at 3B full time the rest of the year............

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks for your input Michael.

  • Thanks Michael for the updates on the minors. I hope the club won't wait until the Sept. 1st call up to bring up players from AAA. There are players on the club that are dead weight and not in the Cubs future. Its time to cut ties and bring players in to see if they can help the club in the future.
    Screw Scott Boras who poisoned the Cubs with Kris Bryants service time. I hope the Cubs stay away from Boras's
    clients.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    There's not much in Iowa right now. Nance and Hermosillo are hurt. But I would expect both get a chance once healthy.
    Steele and Thompson will get their shot once they are fully stretched out.
    Deichmann and Rivas are really all that remains.

    I wonder if the Cubs want take a closer look at Deichmann in AAA to see if they need to make an adjustment to try and get him to tap into more of his raw power during games, or if they should leave him as is. He's on the only 40-man position player on the team, so he'll be the first call up if a non-C/SS goes down.

    With Rivas, I think they are trying to get him more reps in LF, and in the meantime give Happ and Bote full time ABs in Chicago to try and get them to break out of their funk. They also need Romine in Chicago while Hoerner is out. Once they have enough MI again, I think Rivas will get that 40-man spot and a shot in the bigs.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Michael,
    It bothers me that the Cubs are working Rivas in left field. Rivas profiles as an above average defensive 1st baseman and a
    player who makes good contact at the plate. This is telling that
    the Cubs have somebody else in mind to play 1st base. You can
    already see the defense at 1st base has taken a hit with Rizzo
    gone.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Rivas is unlikely to be a full time starter in the Majors (on a contender). And thus, it behooves him and the Cubs to make sure he can help at other positions, because few teams carry a 1B only bench player.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks Michael ,
    Wasn't Mark Grace brought up from AA to the majors and turned out to surpass all expectations ? You never know until
    your on the big stage . Labels can be misleading. I wish the Cubs
    would rely on more set positions than this guy or that guy can play multiple positions . Kris Bryant is a rare example of a player that
    can move into multiple positions. I think it was a big mistake to
    take Javy Baez off 2nd and move him to SS. I think set positions
    would bring clarity to the players wondering what position they
    are going to play today.

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Grace was actually expected to become more of a power hitter, but he did surpass expectations as an OBP machine and defender.

    I believe playing multiple positions helps a player. Forces them to think about the game in new ways.

    Javy won a very deserving gold glove at short last season, and probably should have won the year before (while finishing 2nd in MVP voting). There was absolutely nothing wrong with that decision.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Good point Michael !

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    While I feel moving Javy off 2nd base was a mistake was that the Cubs had an all star at 2nd base. Javy was very exciting to watch
    at second. Why screw with success ? After Javy was moved,
    Theo brought in second basemen that were at the end of their
    careers.

  • Michael, thank you so much for these updates. Guess we'll all be watching the prospects more closely. I'm really curious to see how Killian does, given his insanely good control.

  • In reply to October:

    Yeah, Kilian seems to be the real wild card in all the trades. Is he as good as his numbers indicate, or is he only as good as some of the scouting reports indicate? I haven't had a chance to dig in on him yet, and probably won't until after I move into my new place in two weeks.

  • I feel like I could really use the name of the traded Cub in parenthesis or something when talking about any of the recent acquisitions. Probably not a good habit to forever tie those names together, but it's what is going to happen in my head and it'd be easier than constantly pulling up baseball reference haha

  • Hey Michael, have you seen much on Ezequiel Alvarez, on the DSL Blue team? Or Pedro Ramirez on DSL Red?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    Juan Mora with ACL too?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I haven't seen any DSL/ACL action. There is no video. Just a couple of guys posting ABs on instagram occasionally.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Okay, thanks; just really like what I'm reading about down there, God-willing these young guys turn into stars. Thanks Michael!

  • fb_avatar

    Thank you Michael for all you do. Who is our best defensive 1st baseman in the system? I hope the Cubs realize that great defensive teams win, just look at the 2016 Cubs. If it's Rivas then I hope he continues at 1st.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Tyler Durna is probably the best at 1B. Rivas next. Durna's probably plus over there, I'd call Rivas above average.

  • Hey Michael, I was just wondering if you've heard how Hermosillo is progressing in his rehab?

  • In reply to Treebeard:

    I haven't heard anything yet.

  • Catching the D-Backs-Giants game to watch Kris Bryant . Kris played third and looked great.
    I'm surprised S.F. didn't make a deal with the Cubs for one
    of their relievers. Their relievers got pounded.

  • "The report of my death was exaggerated."

    -Mark Twain

    I've been more on Walden's Pond, Thoreau-style.

    I've been completely off-grid for 7 months, but I drove 40 miles to a rural library to experience "Black Friday" online.

    I got drunk in the parking lot and slept in my truck.

    Thanks for keeping the site alive, Michael, and maybe I'll contribute again when I rejoin civilized society.

    Like Thoreau, I've done a lot of writing, and painting.

    GO CUBS!!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Let me be one of the first to say how great it is to see that handle on the comments again. I hope that you are here for a while. We missed you! Most of us anyway. Big changes have occurred and the golden Cub era ended 'Black Friday'. Better days ahead.

    GO CUBS!!

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    Welcome back BP.

  • fb_avatar

    I'm glad you're back BP. I missed you and your comments, and of course your music lyrics.

  • On another front, what an outstanding letter to season ticket holders and all Cub fans by Tom Ricketts. We are so blessed to have him as an owner. He explained in simple terms what the front office was thinking and what most fans are feeling. Clearly, he is a motivated fan as well as owner. He is living proof that one can be wealthy and a good person/businessman. The cancel culture will not stop him from doing what is best for all entities. Be Well, friend and 'Die Hard'.

  • Black Friday ?
    Black Friday was when P.K. Wrigley traded Bruce Sutter to the Cardinals ! After that that trade everybody knew P.K. didn't
    give a hoot about the Cubs or winning.
    We should be happy the Ricketts family actually cares
    about the product they put on the field.
    If fans want to blame the Ricketts family, blame it on the hiring of
    Theo Epstein.

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