Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Anderson Espinoza and 3 relievers fire combined No-Hitter; Young and Slaughter hit their 12th HRs; Palencia tosses 4.2 shutout innings

Jared Young (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)


Iowa 7, Columbus 2

Game Recap

A four-run 1st proved to be all the scoring the Cubs would need in this one. Darius Hill tripled in Levi Jordan, Narciso Crook followed with a single to drive Hill home, and then Jared Young capped off the inning with a two-run shot, his 12th HR on the season.

Matt Dermody continued his June turnaround with another five solid innings. He struggled in May, but is now back on track and providing stability to an Iowa rotation constantly in flux as the rotation and bullpen issues in Chicago have forced Iowa to shuffle guys in and out all season. Fellow left-handed veteran Brandon Leibrandt finished the game off with four shutout innings to earn his first save with Iowa. He faced only one above the maximum during his time on the mound.

Top Performers

  • Matt Dermody: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, BB, 2 K (W, 3-3, 4.98)
  • Brandon Leibrandt: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (S, 1, 5.40)
  • Jared Young: 3-4, HR (12), 2 R, 2 RBI (.258)
  • Levi Jordan: 2-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI (.230)
  • Darius Hill: 1-4, 3B, R, RBI (.386)
  • Narciso Crook: 1-4, R, RBI, SB (11) (.273)
  • Tyler Payne: 2-4, R (.329)
  • Greg Deichmann: 2-4 (.244)
  • Nelson Maldonado: 1-3, R, BB (.229)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Seiya Suzuki is expected to begin a rehab assignment this week.


Tennessee 2, Rocket City 0

Game Recap

Jake Slaughter hit a solo homer in the 1st to put the Smokies out front, and then Alexander Canario hit a double in front of an RBI single by Bryce Ball in the 2nd to expand their lead to two. It would be the only three hits of the night. For either side.

Yes, for the second time this season the Tennessee Smokies have thrown a combined No-Hitter. It wasn’t always pretty (3 BB, HBP) and as a No-Hitter typically does, required a bit of help from the defense:

But it was certainly the best outing of the season for starter Anderson Espinoza. He’s struggled with consistency and from preventing the big inning, but overcame those issues yesterday. He set season highs with 5 innings and 7 Ks, while earning his first win.

The bullpen trio of Samuel Reyes, Bryan King, and Nicholas Padilla finished the job. Padilla continues to look good as he pushes for a potential 40-man roster spot this offseason.

Top Performers

  • Anderson Espinoza: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, HBP, 7 K (W, 1-4, 7.27)
  • Samuel Reyes: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (2.57)
  • Bryan King: IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K (1.26)
  • Nicholas Padilla: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (S, 2, 2.51)
  • Jake Slaughter: 1-4, HR (9), R, RBI (.369)
  • Alexander Canario: 1-3, 2B, R (.216)
  • Bryce Ball: 1-3, RBI (.266)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Jake Slaughter (.312/.391/.592 with 12 HR in just 41 combined games between SB/TN) extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his solo home run in the 1st. The power surge is just crazy. Slaughter’s previous career high for home runs was 4. He hit just 3 in 102 games last season.


South Bend 6, Beloit 3

Game Recap

1st inning triples by Pete Crow-Armstrong and Yohendrick Pinango, followed by a two run homer by Jake Washer staked the Cubs to a 3-0 lead.

Daniel Palencia was effectively wild on the mound, holding he Sky Carp scoreless through 4.2 innings. Yeison Sanatana’s second RBI single of the game extended the lead to 4-0. Adam Laskey would allow them to pull within a run in the 6th, but the pen held the rest of the way, and the Cubs would add a couple late insurance runs.

Top Performers

  • Jake Washer: 1-4, HR (8), R, 2 RBI (.280)
  • Yohendrick Pinango: 2-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI (.274)
  • Luis Verdugo: 2-4, 2 2B, R (.251)
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong: 2-5, 3B, 2 R (.196)
  • Yeison Santana: 2-4, 2 RBI, CS (6) (.301)
  • Daniel Palencia: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K (3.80)
  • Gabriel Jaramillo: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, K (2.84)
  • Hunter Bigge: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (S, 6, 6.84)


Charleston 5, Myrtle Beach 4

Top Performers

  • Felix Stevens: 2-4, 2B, HR (7), R, 2 RBI (.245)
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 2-3, 2 RBI, BB (.292)
  • Kevin Alcantara: 1-3, 2 R, BB (.275)
  • Josue Huma: 2-4 (.302)
  • Jacob Wetzel: 1-3, BB (.194)
  • Porter Hodge: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 5 K (3.20)
  • Angel Gonzalez: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (4.63)
  • Alfredo Zarraga: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (1.04)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends


Rockies 10, Cubs 2

Top Performers

  • Moises Ballesteros: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB (.333)
  • Cristian Hernandez: 2-4 (.321)

Video of Moises Ballesteros home run from the other day:


Cubs Blue 8, Dodgers 4

Mets 13, Cubs Red 6


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  • I'd like to see Darius Hill on the MLB club this year, even if it doesn't happen until September callups. He's dialed in.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Yes, he is dialed in. He seems to be a Rafi Ortega clone. I’d rather see either of them get playing time, ahead of #22. But #22, is making $22M/yr.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    The difference between Hill and Ortega is Ortega can play CF/RF better. Hill is pretty much LF only, lacking the range for CF and the arm for RF. That means he has to hit enough to be a starting LF. If the Cubs trade Happ at the deadline I could see Hill getting a shot in the 2nd half. But with so many high ceiling (and better defensive OFs in the system behind him), plus OF capable guys like Rivas/Young/Morel/Hoerner, I just don't see Hill as a bench option. He either earns the LF job or get pushed aside rather quickly, so whatever opportunities he gets, he needs to take advantage of them right away.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks Michael, I was wondering about Hills defensive abilities.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    I see Hill played right field last night but I get your point.

    Young has been working out at second base for iowa. I think he will be your left handed super utility guy. With Morel being you right handed version (who can also play CF & SS).

    I dont think they will add any outfielders this off season, even if they trade Happ. With Davis Hill Valazquez Suzuki and with Cassie & PCA coming after that.

    If they do sign one of these top SS (rumors are they will be trying to) then I think that puts Madigral on the trade block. With Young & Morel they wont have any space for him.

    Hopefully, most of these young hitters will be solid big leaguers.

    After all of that, it still comes down to starting pitching.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I don't see why they would sign a SS for 30 to 35 million a year when Nico is playing very very well. I would spend on starting pitching. Madigral is obviously not recovered yet. I would give him time to get healthy and get his confidence back. Trading him now would not return anything.

  • In reply to John57:

    Shortstop is a young man's game. I think it would be best to keep Hoerner at SS, 3 more years of control, & cheap. I think it is easier to find affordable OF at 2b.

    If the Cubs do sign a $30 million dollar plus free agent SS. It would be the perfect time to put together a trade package with Hoerner, for an MLB player. Then see if Madrigal, Morel, Bote...??? Can hold down 2B.

  • In reply to John57:

    The top free agents are at shortstop if you move Hoerner to second you have outstanding up the middle defense. Plus you boost the middle of the lineup.

    Madigral doesnt have any value right now but he should over the winter. I just feel that a team that needs a starter at 2nd base (white sox) would definitely have interest in him.

    Keeping or getting someone like Contreras back will be needed.

    So I figure 4 high dollar free agents will put us right there.

    I know, wishful thinking but why not?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Ok b-creature: What type of future all-star do you see us getting, in return for Madrigal?
    Id expect something on the order, of what we’re getting for Villar.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    He's just not a very good OF. In LF you can kind of ignore him, but if you played him in CF or RF on a regular basis you would quickly grow frustrated with plays he didn't make.

    I do feel like Hill gets an opportunity, and could very well hit enough to establish himself, but he can't really afford a long adjustment period to the Majors. Because if he has to go back down to AAA and regroup, there may be a higher ceiling and more versatile OF ascending by that point who will be ready for shot by the time Hill makes his adjustments.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Something to think about?

    Runs per game:
    2020 4.26 full year baez bryant rizzo
    2021.4.34 half year baez bryant rizzo
    2022.4.47 still with heyward

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I would like to see Marquez trying out for the closer by end of summer.

    Once Smyly & Wiley are gone I would like to see Espinosa get some starts in Chicago. He has the pedigree, the injury has held him back. Also why arent the Iowa Cubs starting Newcomb instead of Gselman?

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    I would like to see Marquez stay healthy for a full season but I'm starting to think it's never going to happen. Espinosa is progressing but still has some control issues to work out. When he's on, he's great. I think Gsellman and Newcomb were cheap depth investments. Maybe the pitch lab can identify something that will help them improve, but I'm not enthusiastic that either will be around long. I hope I'm wrong.

  • Who is this Zarraga pitcher? Never heard of him but he looks like a closer.

  • In reply to John57:

    He just came up from Mesa a few weeks back. I haven't had much of a chance to watch him yet, but the numbers have been stellar. Hope to have more on him next month.

  • Slaughter'' s swing short to the ball and quick through the zone. It will be hard to get inside on him. Looks like he has pull power.

  • Would love to see a mid-season top 30 Cubs Prospect list. Some of the guys are really busting out this year that were probably not close to being one of the top 30. Mervis and Slaughter just 2 examples and both doing it at AA which is where some prospects go to die. Nice to see Roederer having a productive month at Tennessee as well.

  • In reply to CubFanStuckInStl:

    Yes Roederer has finally got healthy. Is he going to beat B Davis to the majors?

  • Get in line Roederer. The outfield is crowded.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    You want competition. It makes them better.

  • In reply to John57:

    Yes you do. But a 40 man crunch is coming and with Happ Suzuki Morel Davis Valazquez Hill PCA Cassie Crook Young Maldanado Canario and Alcantera all in front of him Roederer and many others will be trade candidates hopefully by next years deadline.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Well things will work out. Some will struggle, some will get hurt and some will bloom. Roederer is doing pretty darn good after recovering from TJS at AA. .323/.411/.403 while playing CF. Those are good stats for a CF.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Have you seen Mervis stats .305/.357/.636 at AA. He looks like a good 1B to me. The farm seems to be bursting with talent.

  • In reply to John57:

    I think with Mervis & Cassie we should be able to have a solid left handed hitting fiest baseman for the future.

    I am disappointed in Rivas' struggles. His swing looked so pure but he has struggled with inside breaking balls. Until he figures that out he is a 4A player.

  • Hopefully the talk that Amaya is close to resuming an assignment, will turn out to work out. It’d be nice to see how he’d get acclimated at Iowa. It’s getting pretty close to sink or swim time, for him.

  • On an unrelated topic, Red Sox pitcher put down Wrigley Field (stock ballpark). I think we should beat them again today. Like Fenway , Wrigley is an American treasure. It helped carry us though the tough years and it is always a fun time. Even when we suck.

  • I'd like to see Darius Hill on the MLB club this year, even if it doesn't happen until September callups. texas benefits

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