Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Velazquez, Swarmer, Espinoza set to make MLB debuts for depleted Cubs; Crow-Armstrong promoted to South Bend; Caissie reaches base 4 times; Four Smokies homer in DH split

Nelson Velazquez by Rikk Carlson


Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Ok, let’s do this…

In: Mark Leiter Jr., Nelson Velazquez, Matt Swarmer

Out: Chris Martin (Bereavement List), Jonathan Villar (10-day IL), Wade Miley (15-day IL retro to May 26th)

Anderson Espinoza, the lone healthy 40-man roster pitcher, has also been recalled from AA to function as the 27th man for the doubleheader today.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Swarmer, Ethan Roberts was transferred from the 15 to the 60-day IL.

That, I think, covers it.

But that isn’t the only big promotion news throughout the system…


Memphis 4, Iowa 2

Game Recap

Iowa fell behind early as the Redbirds pecked away at starter Luke Farrell for single runs in each of the first three innings. It was 4-0 heading into the 7th when the Cubs offense finally managed to threaten. The first two men reached and Iowa had the middle of their order coming up. But groundouts by Nick Madrigal and David Bote only managed to move one runner and bring one in. Nelson Maldonado followed with a single, but Dixon Machado was held up at 3rd. Both would be stranded when Robel Garcia popped out. Greg Deichmann did homer the following inning, but no other I-Cubs reached base in the 8th or 9th.

The I-Cubs did get continued good work from relievers Brendon Little and Erich Uelmen to help keep the game within striking distance in the late innings. Little threw 1.2 more scoreless innings, and the former 1st rounder has now run his scoreless streak to begin his season up to 9.2. He has been walking some guys, but the lefty has allowed just 3 hits thus far.

Top Performers

  • Greg Deichmann: 2-3, HR (1), R, RBI, BB, SB (3) (.202)
  • Zach Davis: 2-3, R, BB, SB (10) (.192)
  • Cayne Ueckert: 1.2 IP, H, R, 0 ER, BB, 2 K (4.66)
  • Brendon Little: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Eury Ramos has been promoted to Iowa. The hard thrower has been improving his breaking ball this year and has been looking good of late. He’s another guy pushing for a 40-man spot later this season or offseason.


Tennessee 7, Rocket City 4

Rocket City 3, Tennessee 2

Top Performers

  • Alexander Canario: 3-6, HR (4),m 2 R, 2 RBI, BB (.200)
  • Levi Jordan: 1-2, HR (5), 2 R, RBI, BB, HBP (.380)
  • Chase Strumpf: 1-4, HR (8), R, 2 RBI, BB (.221)
  • Bradlee Beesley: 1-4, HR (1), R, 2 RBI (.111)
  • Darius Hill: 3-8, 2 RBI, SB (3) (.308)
  • Cam Balego: 1-3, R (.111)
  • Bailey Horn: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, K (W, 1-0, 0.00)
  • Dalton Stambaugh: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 4 K (4.24)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Scott Kobos returned from the IL, giving up one run in one inning of work.


South Bend 7, Great Lakes 5

Game Recap

South Bend clustered together base runners in three different innings in order to post seven runs. They managed it without hitting a homer and with only one double in the mix. The scorching hot Owen Caissie reached all four times up, and Luis Verdugo reached in three of his four plate appearances.

Jordan Nwogu has been heating up at the plate as well and he proved a great catalyst at the top of the order in this one.

And not to be overlooked, the birthday boy Pablo Aliendo knocked in a big run as well:

Top Performers

  • Owen Caissie: 2-2, 2 BB (.242)
  • Jordan Nwogu: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB (.242)
  • Luis Verdugo: 1-2, R, 2 BB (.226)
  • Jonathan Sierra: 1-3, R, BB (.278)
  • Yeison Santana: 1-4, R, RBI, 2 SB (2, 3) (.280)
  • Yohendrick Pinango: 1-5, R, 2 RBI, SB (5) (.265)
  • Jake Slaughter: 1-5, 2B, 2 RBI (.246)
  • Riley Martin: 3 IP, 2 H, R, 3 BB, 6 K (W, 3-2, 7.20)
  • Sheldon Reed: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (0.00)
  • Walker Powell: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (S, 1, 5.84)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Celebrate! The Cubs have officially announced that Pete Crow-Armstrong will be joining South Bend. My guess is there will be a cascade of promotions for CF up the system, but no corresponding moves have been made official yet.


Augusta 3, Myrtle Beach 1

Game Recap

Not much to write about in this one. Lefty Luis Rodriguez dominated after starter Porter Hodge had his pitch count run up in the 2nd inning. Rodriguez isn’t overpowering but he’s got solid stuff and is one of those guys with great feel. He did not allow a hit over 4.2 innings of relief, while striking out 6. Hard throwing Frankie Scalzo Jr. followed with 1.2 hitless frames off his own.

Oh, and we got one last Low-A PCA highlight:

Top Performers

  • Luis Rodriguez: 4.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K (1.93)
  • Frankie Scalzo Jr.: 1.2 IP, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (7.04)
  • Kevin Alcanatara: 2-4, R (.265)
  • Kevin Made: 1-4, 2B, RBI


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  • fb_avatar

    Thanks Michael, and working on a holiday too! A question about Levi Jordan. He's in his mid-twenties so he's not young but is he a 4A player or does he have a chance to play in the bigs?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    You're welcome.

    As for Jordan, that's the open question. I see him as an Iowa shuttle guy. He didn't really deserve his demotion to TN and he'll probably be back in Iowa after Madrigal and Bote finish their rehabs (although that may also mean Morel back in Iowa too). He's just one of those borderline guys who if he gets an actual shot might run with it, or gets caught in perpetual limbo. It's tough for guys who project as backups to prove themselves in the Majors because it usually requires injury and particular roster circumstances for them to get any extended look.

    Bryan Smith over at Bleacher Nation is a believer in Jordan.

  • Thanks for the holiday update, Michael! It's great to see some promotions and some MLB debuts on the same day!

  • I guess it’s time to start taking a better look at the S Bend home schedule.
    I don’t disagree that the return of Madrigal and Bote could end up with Morel heading to Iowa. But what an injustice that would be. Between Wisdom and Bote, I definitely prefer Wisdom, despite his swing and miss tendencies. But I sure hope Bote’s salary doesn’t guarantee him a spot on the MLB roster. And I prefer Morel to all 3 or 4 of these guys.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I've mentioned it before but I think there are good odds Bote gets DFA. No team is going to claim him at his guaranteed salary the next two years and the club can always add him back to the 40-man later in the season if they need him after trade deadline.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    I am definitely heading over to south bend in june maybe a couple of times.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    18%k rate 12% walk rate 7 homer 13 stolen bases .354/.480. A great defender.

    If Pete Crow Armstrong has similiar success in South Bend he should be in Tennessee later this summer. Which puts him a short phone call away.

    I dont think the cubs have had a player with those kind of stats in the MINORS since I can remember. Bryant's were pretty good but not this good. (His were at a higher level of course.

    It is conceivable PCA could be your starting CF and lead off hitter next year in chicago. Not likely but it will be fun to track.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    or Morel could be your starting CF and lead off hitter next year.

  • In reply to John57:

    or B Davis could be the starting CF next year.

  • In reply to John57:

    It's June. Where is he?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    from what I read, he is working in AZ. The Cubs have too many OF right now anyway. The Cubs will take their time and get him healthy.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Back injury. Originally thought to be day to day, and didn't go on the IL, but it didn't respond, and so they put him on IL, then when it still didn't respond he went to Mesa to rehab.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Tap your brakes a bit, creature.

  • Another great reporting Michael ! I can see an all star outfield of PCA,Davis, and Suzuki !

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