Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Franklin looks sharp in brief outing; Higgins goes 4-for-4, knocks in 3; Gallardo and Swarmer go 5 strong to earn wins; Wetzel homers

Richard Gallardo (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

AAA

Iowa 4, Louisville 2

Game Recap

The Cubs didn’t get many baserunners, but when they did P.J. Higgins managed to knock them in yesterday. He went 4-for-4. Matt Swarmer and the pen didn’t need more than that. Swarmer is one of those guys whose stuff falls just short of MLB caliber, but he commands it well and knows how to use it, so he makes for an excellent pitcher to fill out your AAA staff.

Top Performers

  • Matt Swarmer: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 6 K (W, 2-0, 1.08)
  • James Bourque: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (4.15)
  • Erich Uelmen: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (S, 1, 0.00)
  • P.J. Higgins: 4-4, 2B, 3 RBI (.294)
  • Donnie Dewees: 1-4, 2 R, SB (3) (.323)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Clint Frazier has been placed on the 10-day IL with appendicitis, opening the door for Alfonso Rivas (who hit everything thrown to him in his brief stint with Iowa), to return to Chicago.

AA

Rocket City 8, Tennessee 3

Top Performers

  • Bryce Windham: 1-3, 2B, 2 R, BB (.238)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-2, R, RBI, BB (.276)
  • Nelson Velazquez: 1-3, RBI, BB, CS (.283)
  • Brandon Leibrandt: 3 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (2.89)

High-A

Beloit 9, South Bend 4

Game Recap

After a long rain delay, the Cubs took early command of this game. Kohl Franklin got the start and looked comfortable on the mound. He’s still not stretched out very far, but he looked more crisp with his control in this than in his previous two outings. He struck out three, one on his 4-seam (96-97) and another two on his plus changeup. Franklin didn’t throw many pitches to get through his two innings, but he mixed in a few spike curves, one of which was good, another which he hung was lined into CF. The development of that pitch will a big key for him this year.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Cubs loaded the bases with no outs. Ed Howard delivered a two-run single, then Jake Washer knocked in Howard to put South Bend up 3-0. It would be all Beloit from then on though. All three relievers who followed Franklin surrendered multiple runs.

Top Performers

  • Kohl Franklin: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (6.23)
  • Ed Howard: 2-4, R, 2 RBI (.209)
  • Luis Verdugo: 1-2, RBI, 2 BB (.226)
  • Caleb Knight: 1-2, R, 2 HBP (.167)
  • Fabian Pertuz: 2-5, 2B (.279)

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 5, Delmarva 2

Game Recap

Richard Gallardo struck out five as he tossed five shutout innings to earn his first win of the year. He mixed pitches throughout his outing and seemed to keep the Delmarva hitters off balance (poor camera view so hard to give details).

The game remained knotted 0-0 until the 5th, when Pete Crow-Armstrong came through with a two-run single. Two innings later, with family and friends in attendance, Jacob Wetzel launched a two-run homer to give the Pelicans pen some breathing room.

Top Performers

  • Richard Gallardo: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K (W, 1-0, 3.55)
  • Jacob Wetzel: 1-4, HR (1), R, 3 RBI, SF (.238)
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong: 2-4, 2 RBI, BB, SB (6), CS (1) (.265)
  • Ethan Hearn: 1-2, 2B, R, 2 BB (.143)
  • Juan Mora: 2-2, 2 R, BB (1.000)
  • Peter Matt: 2-5, (.189)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Pete Crow-Armstrong (.265/.432/.529) has reached safely in 8 of his 9 games this season while compiling a .432 OBP out of the leadoff spot so far. He’s walked more than he has struck out (8-to-6) and has also been hit twice. The centerfielder is considered maybe the best defender in the system, and he’s also swiped 6-of-7 bases. A plus middle of the field defender who gets on, steals bases, and also flashes occasional power (4 XBH so far) as a leadoff man is one of those elusive unicorns that every team searches for, fans thirst for, but very rarely materializes. PCA has a chance to be that guy though.

Cole Roederer played CF in an EXST game yesterday, a good indicator he may be close to returning to full season ball following his TJS last season. My guess is the Cubs would ease him back into action in the warmer Myrtle Beach weather rather than the cooler South Bend temps, but we’ll see.

Comments

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  • Howard's single was right at the left-fielder and it was smoked! A few feet left or right and it easily would have been a three-run double. It's great to see the good things happening in the Cubs system. Thanks for another great write-up, Michael.

  • Off topic a bit, but last month when I was in AZ watching workouts at Sloan, I happened to be standing by a very young, thin kid who was talking with a couple young looking girls. They all looked like local HS kids. Except the ‘kid’ was wearing baseball pants. He had a plain, gray hooded sweatshirt pulled over his head - and I didn’t think he had a baseball hat underneath. I was really surprised to see someone come up to him and ask for an autograph. So I went and asked a photographer nearby, who that kid, is. The guy told me, to my surprise, that it was PCA. My reason for mentioning this, is that I don’t think we should be expecting things to happen too soon with PCA. He still needs time for his frame to mature. It amazes me to read that he is already generating fairly solid contact, resulting in XBH’s.
    He could fill Jonathan’s hopes for a classic lead off hitter. Adios, Fernando Kelli.

  • All time biggest margin for shutout in NL history was Pirates over the Cubs 22-0 in 1975.

    Figures, Heyward grounds into a double play against a 78 mile per hour fastball in the bottom of the 8th, when he has a chance to help tie the record.

  • Brennen Davis is knocking at the door. Is it time to eat salary and cut Jayson Heyward loose?

  • In reply to ronvet69:

    Ideally, Heyward has a great first half and somebody wants to give up something at the trade deadline to get him.

    When rosters go back down to 26, if Heyward is still here then someone like Hermosillo will have to be let go. Then when you bring up Davis, another outfielder will have to go. So Heywards contract is a killer.

    Likely, Heyward isnt tradeable and the Cubs let him loose at the end of the season or at the trade deadline. But they cant afford to have him here when 23' starts. Only as a 5th or 6th outfielder

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Maybe? Actually, I think that the Cubs would like Heyward to complete his contract and be a part of the org on the coaching staff or front office after he quits playing. He is off to a decent start and could still finish strong. He still has value, just overpaid. They will probably have to foot the bill anyway. Time will tell.

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