Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Riley Martin punches out 10; Jared Young launches 2 homers; Clarke and two relievers toss 3-0 shutout

Riley Martin (photo by Stephanie Lynn)


Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Alec Mills (lower back strain) pitched two innings in an EXST game yesterday (2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 33 Pitches).


Iowa 7, Louisville 2

Game Recap

Iowa brought their power bats to stadium yesterday. Jared Young hit a two-run homer in his first at bat, and then jacked another in his next at bat as he went back-to-back with Brennen Davis, who showed off his opposite field power.

Playing in his first game back with Iowa, Alfonso Rivas also got in on the oppo taco action.

I didn’t get a chance to watch any of the action from this game, so I can’t report on how they looked doing it, but at least by the scorecard, Robert Gsellman and Eric Stout continue to make a case for eventual call ups to Chicago. The combined to strike out six over seven shutout innings.

Top Performers

  • Jared Young: 3-5, 2 HR (4, 5), 2 R, 4 RBI (.303)
  • Brennen Davis: 2-5, HR (2), R, RBI (.214)
  • Alfonso Rivas: 1-4, HR (1), R, RBI, BB (.250)
  • Ildemaro Vargas: 3-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI (.200)
  • Donnie Dewees: 2-4, 3B (.348)
  • Robert Gsellman: 4 IP, H, 0 R, BB, K (0.00)
  • Eric Stout: 3 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 5 K (W, 1-0, 0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

For those wondering how the pace of play initiatives are going in the Minors so far:


Rocket City 4, Tennessee 1

Game Recap

Rocket City hit a pair of homers, the Smokies hit none.

Sometimes a game is pretty simple to encapsulate.

Top Performers

  • Nelson Velazquez: 2-4, 2B, 3B (.194)
  • Javier Assad: 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R, BB, 3 K (L, 0-1, 2.53)
  • Graham Lawson: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (5.40)


South Bend 3, Beloit 0

Game Recap

South Bend was in control of this one from the start. Chris Clarke suffered through some inconsistency (and cold weather) his first two times out this year, but he was locked in yesterday. He tossed the five shutout innings of the game, followed by three from Max Bain. Hunter Bigge polished things off in the 9th for his first save.

In the bottom of the 1st, Fabian Pertuz doubled then was eventually knocked in by Alexander Canario. It was all the offense the pitching staff required but Pertuz would knock in a run in a two-run 8th to give Bigge some breathing room in the 9th.

Top Performers

  • Chris Clarke: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (W, 1-1, 6.17)
  • Max Bain: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K (3.38)
  • Hunter Bigge: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (S, 1, 0.00)
  • Fabian Pertuz: 2-4, 2B, R, RBI (.300)
  • Luis Verdugo: 2-3, R (.231)
  • Alexander Canario: 1-4, RBI, SB (1) (.194)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

I didn’t check for certain, but Chris Clarke may be the first starter in the Cubs system to earn a win this year. Five inning starts have been rare/non-existent the first couple of times through rotations at every affiliate.

Max Bain threw 43 pitches in what is expected to be his final piggyback outing. He’ll rejoin the Cubs six-man rotation next time through. He’s throwing in the mid-90s with a cleaner and more athletic delivery this year. Hopefully this will lead to better command and more consistency with his velo and secondary offerings. He’s got prototypical starter’s size and arsenal. This year will be a test of his stamina.

It is good to see Hunter Bigge back healthy and locked in after a rough 2021 when his stuff never seemed to match expectations set in his 2019 debut. He’s paired mid-90s with a hammer breaking ball in the early going.

Danis Correa also pitched two shutout innings in the same EXST game as Alec Mills. He struck out five. Since he is not getting stretched out as a starter like Mills I would assume the hard throwing righty will be ready to join the South Bend bullpen soon.


Delmarva 8, Myrtle Beach 3

Game Recap

Five errors helped doom Myrtle Beach in this game. They committed three of them, and Luis Devers also uncorked a wild pitch, during a seven-run 1st for Delmarva which buried the Pelicans early in this one.

The rest of the game featured some fun though.

Pete Crow-Armstrong hit an inside-the-park home run:

And Riley Martin continued to make Low-A hitters look foolish, punching out 10 in just 4.1 innings of shutout work.

Martin is shaping up as an intriguing find by the Cubs scouting staff. Selected in the 6th round last year out of tiny Quincy (I’m not sure if it is a college or university in Illinois). Even as a IL native I have never heard of it. The Cubs signed the lefty for a paltry $1,000 bonus. He’s only made 11 pro appearances but he’s already struck out 41 batters in just 25 innings, including 20 in 10.1 innings this season.

It’s aggravating that there wasn’t a good camera angle for the broadcast last night, nor for his previous outing this year, but from some previous viewings it seems Martin works in the 92-94 range, though I wonder if he may have increased that this year. He’s got a pretty good breaking ball as well. I had him pegged as an interesting arm to follow this year, and so far he is justifying that, and then some.

With the way the Cubs are stretching him out they must see some future value with him. It is typically a move the Cubs make with college closers (Riley Thompson, Michael McAvene are two in recent memory). In addition to Martin, they are doing the same this year with Zac Leigh Frankie Scalzo, Jr. It doesn’t always mean the club expects them to remain starters long term but it does force the pitcher to expand their stuff, gives them more innings to hone their mechanics/command, and more opportunities to work through jams.

Top Performers

  • Riley Martin: 4.1 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K (0.87)
  • Jarod Wright: 3 IP, 2 H, R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (3.00)
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong: 1-4, HR (1), R, 2 RBI (.217)
  • Ethan Hearn: 1-4, HR (1), R, RBI (.148)
  • Kevin Alcantara: 2-4 (.261)


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  • Riley Martin a diamond 'diamond in the rough'.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Riley Martin is very interesting. Always lots of strikeouts. Big strong guy so potentially starter material. Keep these lefties moving up the system.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    The selloff begins and what a great start!

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Trade seems to be a small gamble on the Cubs part, that the pitching lab might be able to get this guy straightened out. And 2), we have a nice group of young RH relievers who are ready for showing what they are capable of doing.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Newcomb is 10 years younger than Chavez and a lefty. He could be an interesting long-term piece, or he could be flipped at the deadline if he starts off well.

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    I'm glad some of the Cubs hitters are beginning to hit. We don't have many hitting over .300 (Donnie Dewees and Jared Young being the only 2 I can see.)
    I hope our young power arms start doing well; we could use some at the ML level.
    PCA seems to be a ball player. He never stopped on his inside the park HR although the outfielder seemed to indicate it should have been a double.
    Thanks again for the daily update, and it's so helpful that you put in batting average and ERA and other stats.

  • I gotta say I'm not very impressed with the "Stro Show" these last couple of games. It's going to be a long year if the starters can't go 3 innings. Maybe when it warms up....

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I assume that Stro will get better. I remember Big Jon struggled out the gate after signing. Probably trying too hard.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yeah, I was one of the people at the game last night. It was a miserable night to play baseball. I wouldn’t read too much into the results. Villar looked like he really didn’t want to move, much less participate in the action.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Stroman is also a guy in the Hendricks mold, where command and pitching to contact play a huge role in his game. There will be stretches where he gets hit a little harder, and others where the groundballs find holes.

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