Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Strumpf, Crow-Armstrong, and Caissie homer in losing efforts; Pelicans and I-Cubs rained out

Chase Strumpf (photo by Rikk Carlson)

MLB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The arbitration hearing for Willson Contreras happens today. This essentially kicks off the trade season for the Cubs. I still hold out hope that the Cubs are considering an extension offer to Contreras, but once the arbitration ruling is made it essentially opens up the trade season for the Cubs. We are beginning to gain a clearer picture at this point in the season as to which teams are contenders and among those teams which could be looking for an upgrade at the catcher position. Interested teams will soon know the full financial obligation owed to Contreras for the remainder of the season and thus make more concrete plans.

Most deals still happen near the deadline, but I do believe any potential Contreras trade could happen earlier in the season, as it would allow additional time for Contreras to work with and get familiar with the pitchers on his new team prior to the playoffs. Adding a catcher in-season isn’t as easy as adding a left fielder. It can cause a disruption in pitch calling and game planning, and the longer adjustment period a team has, likely the better. Just something to keep in mind.

AAA

Iowa PPD

AA

Biloxi 4, Tennessee 3

Game Recap

Tennessee took a short-lived lead on a solo home run by Chase Strumpf in the 2nd, then after falling behind 3-1, tied the game up on doubles by Jake Slaughter and Bradlee Beesley as well as an RBI groundout by Yonathan Perlaza in the 7th. But Kyle Johnson would allow a walkoff sac fly in the bottom of the 9th.

Top Performers

  • Chase Strumph: 3-4, 2B, HR (11), R, RBI (.236)
  • Cam Balego: 1-2, R, 2 BB (.222)
  • Jake Slaughter: 1-3, 2B, R, BB (.286)
  • Yonathan Perlaza: 2-5, RBI, CS (4) (.217)
  • Bradlee Beesley: 1-4, 2B, RBI (.138)
  • Samuel Reyes: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (4.50)
  • Danis Correa: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, K (2.70)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

As Bryan notes in the tweet, there were a lot of early season struggles among Cubs hitting prospects, but most of the top guys have turned their seasons around, including Chase Strumpf:

High-A

Cedar Rapids 12, South Bend 5

Game Recap

Manuel Espinoza had his first bad game of the season, allowing six runs in just two innings. The bullpen did not provide much relief either, and despite big games from Owen Caissie and Pete Crow-Armstrong, the Cubs never really managed to claw their way back into the game.

Top Performers

  • Owen Caissie: 3-4, 2B, HR (5), 2 R, RBI, BB, SB (3) (.232)
  • Pete Crow-Armstrong: 2-5, HR (2), 2 R, RBI (.233)
  • Fabian Pertuz: 2-4, 2B, RBI, BB (.228)
  • Jonathan Sierra: 2-4, 2B (.297)
  • Yeison Santana: 2-5, R (.261)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The big game by Owen Caissie snapped an 0-for-15 streak to open the month.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach PPD

ACL

Cubs Off Day

DSL

Pirates Gold 8, Cubs Blue 3

Cubs Red 5, Guardians Blue 2

Comments

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  • Can't wait to see what prospects the Cubs gain between now and the TDL. Interesting that there will be competition for some slots on the MLB club. I'd love to see another Killian-type pitcher (or better) but a position player can work.

  • Cubs, Contreras split the difference, avoid arbitration, per MLB Trade Rumors.$9.625 million.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    The way Contreras has been hitting this year, I would think any team in the mix would, at least, kick the tires with Willy. He plays hard with enthusiasm. He is a veteran and has versatility. The Cubs found the secrete to keeping Contreras fresh by getting him out from behind the more often. He could really be a difference maker down the stretch and in the post season.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Not to mention, how he helps the young Latin players assimilate themselves into the Cub clubhouse.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    True, and he doesn't even have to catch. He could DH for anyone and could play LF in a pinch. I'm probably old school, but I'll bet he could do a passable job at 1B if he had to.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I past years the Cubs waited until Contreras was fatigued to give him a day, because they wanted his bat in the lineup everyday. He became so beat up behind the plate everyday that was spent or injured. Willson only knows one speed and catching is a grind. With the DH he has been able stay healthy and be in the lineup most days. Much better situation for him and the Cubs.

  • How about Jerimiah Estrada he has been lights out... Maybe he is finally healthy..

  • Cubs DFA Frazier. Why not DFA Heyward already? I can only assume Jed things there is still a small remote possibility that Cubs can make a trade and includes Heyward for another bad contract, or part of a much larger trade.

    I was never a fan of signing Frazier, adding more questions during the off-season. I would rather have Frazier take AB's on a rebuilding team Heyward.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    When Suzuki comes off the il would be when JHey would be DFAed if, in fact, the Cubs actually want to do that?

  • In reply to Naujack:

    I have thought all along that Frazier was a sign-and-flip candidate. The Cubs hoped his hitting would improve with a change of scenery and they could trade him at the deadline for another prospect. It seems dumb to sign him and then dump him without giving him a fair chance to improve.

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    I was hoping that Frazier would pan out. He is still young enough to have a good career, but whether it's Covid or injuries or not having enough time, I hope he can turn it around and become a productive MLB player.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    What kind of defender is Darius Hill? Can he play centerfield? He has been a very good hitter in the minors, doesnt strikeout and walks a decent amount.
    Now he is having success at AAA and bats left handed. He has never made any prospect lists for the Cubs that I have seen.

  • Another nice game for Matt Mervis, last night. HR and a double. But 1B at Iowa now could be a little crowded, with Rivas joining Young and Maldonado there.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    Young and Maldanado could be a DH platoon but I dont see them being long term solution at 1st base. Hard to tell what the future is for Rivas, I like Rivas, or Schwindel. But Mervis being a good defender could sneak in there in 23 or 24 and be a long term solution at first base.

  • Cubs minor league system is currently ranked middle of the pack.

    Before the selloff, Cubs had been ranked in the bottom 21st to 26th best minor league system. The drafting, international free agents signings, & player development has been brutal for a long time.

    Jeff Samardzija, was the last home grown starting pitchers the Cubs acquired as an amateur who became a viable consistent rotation arm. Samardzija was drafted in the 5th round in 2006.

    High A and above, which home grown pitcher will become a viable rotation arm? Thompson, Steele, Alzolay, Sanders, Wicks, Herz, Assad, or ???? A true home grown #3/4 or better. At least the Cubs have some potential candidates.

    Yankees rotation starting pitchers they acquired as amateurs
    L. Severino international free agent from 2011 signed for $225K
    J. Montgomery 4th round pick out of college from 2004 draft.

    Yankees top pitching prospects they acquired as amateurs.
    #5 ranked prospect K. Waldichuk-LHSP in AAA-Yankees 5th round pick from 2019, out of college.
    #7 ranked prospect- H. Wesneski-RHSP in AAA-Yankees 6th round pick from 2019 out of college.
    #11 prospect on Yankees 40 man-- L. Medina-RHSP-AA- international free agent 2015 signed for $280K.

    Cubs are getting better at player development. A well run large market club, should not have to wait around pining for player development to have a chance to win the dumpster fire called the NL Central. I'm not a fan of losing for a better draft pick, MLB draft doesn't work that way, most 1st round picks, including early 1st rounds picks don't become stars.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    stars are very rare. Maybe most 1st round picks don't become stars but that is where they are most likely to be taken.

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