Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Crook hits another homer; Maldonado and Slaughter also go deep; One bad inning mars nice outing by Palencia

Narciso Crook (photo by Dylan Heuer)

MLB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The 40th man roster shuffle continues as the Cubs try and compensate for the recent run of extra inning games and short outings by starting pitchers. Adrian Sampson returns to the roster while Eric Stout gets DFA. Not really a reflection on Stout, Sampson, or any of the other pitchers the Cubs have recently run up and down. The team has simply required a fresh arm every few days because of the overwork.

AAA

Omaha 8, Iowa 2

Game Recap

A homer fest in Des Moines ended in Omaha’s favor. The two teams combined to hit seven homers, but unfortunately the distribution was 5-2 against the Cubs. The Storm Chasers knocked in the first run of the game on a single in the 2nd, but every run from that point on (for both teams) came via a homer.

Big surprise, but Narciso Crook was one of the two I-Cubs to hit a round tripper. Nelson Maldonado hit the other.

Top Performers

  • Narciso Crook: 1-4, HR (9), R, RBI (.258)
  • Nelson Maldonado: 1-4, HR (2), R, RBI (.237)
  • Levi Jordan: 1-3 (.246)
  • Michael Rucker: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 0 K (0.00)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

In 12 June games Narciso Crook is batting an insane .383/.463/.915 (248 wRC+) with seven HR, two 2B, one 3B, and he’s also swiped two bags.

AA

Pensacola 6, Tennessee 5 (10 Innings)

Game Recap

Anderson Espinoza put the team in an early hole as he issued six walks and allowed four runs without making it through two innings. The bullpen did a good job picking up the slack and the offense quickly responded in order to tie the game up at 5-5 in the middle innings.

They put up three runs in the 4th inning. After loading the bases, Cole Roederer got plunked by a pitch to force home one, then Luis Vazquez hit a sac fly to bring in another, before Chase Strumpf doubled to left field. That brought in one, but Roederer got thrown out at the plate trying to score a fourth. It left the Smokies still down 5-4, but in the next inning Jake Slaughter launched his 5th home run since joining Tennessee just a couple of weeks ago to knot it up.

The score remained 5-5 through nine. Pensacola would come out on top in the first extras frame though. They held the Smokies off the board then pushed across the inherited runner against Danis Correa in the bottom half.

Top Performers

  • Jake Slaughter: 1-4, HR (5), R, RBI (.326)
  • Chase Strumpf: 2-4, 2B, RBI (.241)
  • Cole Roederer: 1-3, 2 RBI, BB, HBP (.206)
  • Yonathan Perlaza: 1-4, 2 R, BB (.228)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

If it wasn’t for Narciso Crook, Jake Slaughter would be making a heck of a case for June Minor League Player of the Month. Since joining Tennessee on June 4th he’s put up a .326/.400/.698 (175 wRC+) line with 5 homers in just 11 games.

High-A

Quad Cities 8, South Bend 3

Game Recap

Daniel Palenica pitched well outside of a three-run 2nd inning. There was significant issues in the 2nd, as he surrendered two singles, a double, hit a batter, and committed a balk. But he allowed only a lone single in his other four innings of work and finished with 5 K and 0 BB through five total IP.

South Bend managed to come back and tie the score. Owen Caissie knocked in a run in the 4th, and then Fabian Pertuz brought in two more on a double in the 7th. It looked like the momentum was in the Cubs favor, but Quad Cities pushed across a run in the bottom of the frame against Riley Martin, and then exploded for four more runs the next inning off Zac Leigh.

Top Performers

  • Yohendrick Piñango: 2-4, 2B (.268)
  • Fabian Pertuz: 1-4, 2B, 2 RBI (.231)
  • Luis Verdugo: 1-3, R, BB (.224)
  • Pablo Aliendo: 1-3, R, HBP (.212)
  • Daniel Palencia: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 5 K (4.78)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Runs have become a bit more difficult to come by for South Bend of late. With Matt Mervis and Alexander Canario now in Tennessee, and Pete Crow-Armstrong out for a few weeks, the Cubs lack both power and many speed threats in the lineup. The two guys with the most power, Jordan Nwogu and Owen Caissie, are still learning to access it in game situations.

Fabian Pertuz has driven in runs in four straight games

Low-A

Myrtle Beach SUSP

ACL

Cubs 6, Reds 1

DSL

Red Sox 7, Cubs Blue 3

Cubs Red 3, Yankees 1

Comments

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  • Hopefully trade activity will pick up soon. Space needs to be cleared to begin some evaluation of position players. I understand there really isn’t much at Iowa, but some people like Crook, Maldonado and Machado can’t perform any worse than JHey or Villar. Andy Weber easily could take the spot of Simmons. Then you also have people like Darius Hill who might deserve a look, also.

  • Walks from Cubs pitchers are a disturbing trend. Killian and Swarmer, 5 each in shortened starts. Espinoza, who is on the 40-man - 6 walks in his latest start. Maybe it's a sign that all of these need more work in the minors but it doesn't inspire confidence that they're close to MLB ready.

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