Daily Cubs Minors Recap: 5 different Smokies blast home runs in 10-3 win; Herz tosses 4 no-hit innings; Rivas nets 4 hits; Hudson earns 4th win already

Christopher Morel (photo by Rikk Carlson)

AAA

Louisville 7, Iowa 6 (10 Innings)

Game Recap

Alfonso Rivas has done nothing but hit since he returned from his brief stay in Chicago to open the year. He collected four hits, including two doubles, to help the I-Cubs build 5-0 lead through four innings. Caleb Kilian wasn’t particularly sharp, but he didn’t walk guys and kept the ball on the ground. Unfortunately, it was an off day for the Iowa pen (and defense). Six runs by Louisville from the 7th inning on (3 unearned) sunk the team.

Top Performers

  • Alfonso Rivas: 4-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI (.538)
  • Ildemaro Vargas: 3-5, 3B, 2 R (.267)
  • Dixon Machado: 2-5, 2 R
  • Levi Jordan: 1-4, R, BB, SB (1)
  • Brennen Davis: 1-4, RBI, SF (.224)
  • Caleb Kilian: 5 IP, 3 H, R, BB, 4 K (1.54)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

After being designated for assignment last week, the Cubs traded former 2nd round pick Cory Abbott to the Giants for cash considerations. My guess is the Giants paid slightly more to the Cubs than the typical waiver wire fee as a way to jump the line of teams that would potentially claim the right handed starter ahead of San Francisco.

Abbott had stalled in his development over the last year. He struggled with the home run ball, and with getting LHB out. The Cubs apparently determined that Abbott had fallen behind Mark Leiter, Jr. for starts in Chicago. And with Wade Miley, Alec Mills, and Steven Brault all rehabbing and potentially available within the next month, Abbott must have been deemed expendable.

AA

Tennessee 10, Rocket City 3

Game Recap

Five different Tennessee batters each blasted a home run.

The hottest hitter in the system since opening day, Darius Hill hit a grand slam, and added a double as well. Chris Morel launched his homer 450 feet. Nelson Maldonado continued to show his offseason strength gains are paying off. He went oppo for his third of the season already (career high is 6 in 67 games). A day after going yard twice, Nelson Velazquez sent another over the fence. Chase Strumpf added his second of the season.

On the mound, Cam Sanders struck out seven, and Bryan Hudson earned his 4th win of the young season. The big lefty really should be in Iowa at this point, and I wouldn’t even rule out the possibility he is as good as either lefty currently in the Chicago pen.

Top Performers

  • Darius Hill: 2-4, 2B, HR (1), 2 R, 4 RBI, BB (.405)
  • Chris Morel: 2-5, 2B, HR (2), R, 2 RBI (.238)
  • Nelson Maldonado: 2-4, HR (3), 2 R, RBI (.379)
  • Chase Strumpf: 2-4, HR (2), 2 R, RBI (.167)
  • Nelson Velazquez: 1-3, HR (4), R, RBI, BB (.279)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-3, R, RBI, BB (.259)
  • Cam Sanders: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, HBP, 7 K (5.79)
  • Bryan Hudson: 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (W, 4-0, 1.86)

High-A

Game Recap

Beloit 4, South Bend 2

D.J. Herz was unhittable over four innings. He faced only one above the minimum, due to a 3rd inning hit batter. Ed Howard hit his first homer of the year.

South Bend did get a stellar defensive play from Fabian Pertuz on the night as well:

Top Performers

  • D.J. Herz: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, HBP, 4 K (0.82)
  • Ed Howard: 1-3, HR (1), R, RBI (.179)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

With a strike out in his first inning of work, D.J. Herz hit the 150 K mark in his pro career. It took him just 100 innings to accomplish the feat. There really isn’t much A-ball hitters can do against the young lefty. The only thing that usually stops him in any given outing is his command/control. When he is throwing strikes like yesterday it is almost automatic he holds the opposing team off the board. It is a bit reminiscent of the point when Brailyn Marquez got locked in at South Bend a few years ago.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 8, Delmarva 3

Game Recap

The Pelicans offense stayed hot, putting up two runs on the board in the 4-7 innings. Walker Powell earned his second win with an impressive 4.1 innings. The 6’8″ righty with a unique arm angle punched out 7 batters.

Top Performers

  • Miguel Fabrizio: 3-5, 2B, 3B, R, 2 RBI (.200)
  • Jacob Wetzel: 2-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB (5) (.237)
  • Kevin Alcantara: 2-5, 2B, 2 R, SB (2) (.265)
  • Liam Spence: 0-2, R, RBI, SF, 2 BB, SB (1)
  • Walker Powell: 4.1 IP, 2 H, R, 0 BB, 7 K (W, 2-0, 3.27)

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Love to see the bats raking on the farm, gotta say. It's cool as a fan who goes to these games (I don't - live in bay area, CA - but envious), to see a group of players all hitting well on the same team like the Smokies.

    I love to see the Nelsons hitting, too. They are probably completely different players, but I always get the Nelsons mixed up.

  • Poor Alfonzo Rivas. They can't get him out in AAA and he can't find at bats in the bigs.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I don’t understand how Ross can keep hitting Willson high in the order. Or even today, playing Willson at DH, with Happ on the bench.
    And maybe it’s just me, but Villar isn’t looking as good as I expected, at 3B. While Nico has been better at SS than I expected him to play.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Villar hasn't even been known for his defense. I think the plan was to go with Wisdom at 3rd with Simmons or Villar to back up depending on whether Ross wants offense or defense. I'm not sold on Ross' "mix and match" philosophy yet. I understand getting everyone rest, but I also think your best 8 need to be on the field as often as possible. I keep reminding myself that some of these guys are placeholders for player still in the minors or yet to be obtained. And I agree about Willson, I'd like to see the guys with good bat control in the top 3 spots in the order.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I don’t understand how Ross can keep hitting Willson high in the order. Or even today, playing Willson at DH, with Happ on the bench.
    And maybe it’s just me, but Villar isn’t looking as good as I expected, at 3B. While Nico has been better at SS than I expected him to play.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Well, it's April, I guess. David has been doing lots of mixing and matching. At some point, I'd like to see a little more settled lineups. Yep, Nico is a good at both spots in the middle infield. The Pirates are always pesky against the Cubs.

Leave a comment