Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Gallardo punches out 13; Herz dominates as well; Frazier and Canario stay locked in

Richard Gallardo (Photo by Stephanie Lynn


Buffalo 5, Iowa 4 (11 Innings)

Game Recap

Caleb Killian‘s struggle with command continued yesterday. It is hard to say what the cause is at this point. I’ve yet to see any velo drop or other signs of injury, although anecdotally a loss of command like this can a precursor. The best hope is that it is simply something mechanical that he is working through. I do think part of the issue is that Killian is trying to expand the use of his full arsenal, and is not comfortable using all of his pitches at this point. He walked five men through the first two innings, including one with the bases loaded. Once he simplified his pitch mix in his third and final inning he looked good, working a 1-2-3 frame.

From there, the bullpen picked up the slack, and it looked up to the task. Brandon Leibrandt fired three shutout innings, and Ben Leeper followed with two more.

A Jackson Frazier home run gave the Cubs a 3-2 lead which carried over into the 9th.

But Michael Rucker failed to close it out. Then after tossing a scoreless 10th, Brendon Little allowed two runs in the top of the 11th. Iowa would knock in the inherited runner in the bottom half, and moved the tying run into scoring position, but Levi Jordan grounded out to end it.

Top Performers

  • Jackson Frazier: 1-4, HR (5), R, RBI, HBP (.245)
  • Dixon Machado: 3-5, 2B, RBI (.308)
  • Levi Jordan: 2-6, 2B, 3B, R, SB (5) (.231)
  • Tyler Payne: 2-4, 2B, R, BB (.345)
  • Zach Davis: 2-4, RBI (.198)
  • Trent Giambrone: 1-4, HBP (.212)
  • Brandon Leibrandt: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (4.55)
  • Ben Leeper: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (4.97)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Robert Gsellman has been granted his release so that he can pursue opportunities overseas.


Tennessee 7, Biloxi 3

Game Recap

Home runs by Chase Strumpf and Alexander Canario in the 4th to wake up what had been a sleepy offensive performance through the first three innings. It gave the Smokies a 2-1 lead and they never looked back.

Luis Vazquez homered in the 5th and the Smokies kept adding on from there. Strumpf and Canario were in the middle of a lot of it, as was Vazquez and Jake Slaughter.

Top Performers

  • Alexander Canario: 2-3, 2B, HR (14), 2 R, RBI, BB, SB (6) (.236)
  • Chase Strumpf: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI (.245)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-3, HR (6), 2 R, RBI, BB (.229)
  • Jake Slaughter: 3-4, R, RBI, SB (15) (.338)
  • Ryan Jensen: 3.2 IP, 6 H, R, BB< 4 K (5.05)
  • Jeremiah Estrada: 2.2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (S, 1, 2.25)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Alexander Canario has taken over the system lead with his 21st HR of the season. It ties the system high set by Trayce Thompson last season. Matt Mervis currently sits in 2nd with 20. Canario is getting more comfortable in AA (obviously) but just as important, I am starting to see him barrel up on pitches that are not grooved fastballs and hanging breaking balls. That is the next step in his development, and if he manages to take it, he’ll go far because his bat speed and power potential are as good as anyone in the system.

Jake Slaughter paces the system with his 23 stolen bases, three ahead of Pete Crow-Armstrong.

Tennessee’s lineup is about to get yet another power hitter. Also…Yah!:


South Bend 5, Peoria 1

Game Recap

I didn’t get a chance to watch any of this one, but South Bend remains the hottest team in the org. They jumped out early with four runs in the top of the 1st on single RBIs by Fabian Pertuz and Luis Verdugo, and then Pablo Aliendo capped off the frame with a two-run single. Pertuz added another run scoring single the next inning, and though the offense did little the rest of the way it was more than enough, because…

D.J. Herz did his thing. As usual. Nobody hits this guy. Just one run on one hit (a homer), and most importantly Herz walked just two batter through five innings. It was one maybe his most efficient outing of the season, needing just 72 pitches. The bullpen continued the domination, allowing just one hit and two more walks over four shutout innings.

Top Performers

  • D.J. Herz: 5 IP, H, R, 2 BB, 6 K (W, 2-2, 2.26)
  • Michael McAvene: IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (2.70)
  • Riley Martin: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (4.71)
  • Fabian Pertuz: 2-4, R, 2 RBI (.241)
  • Pablo Aliendo: 2-4, 2 RBI (.253)
  • Yohendrick Piñango: 2-4, R (.291)


Myrtle Beach 11, Fayetteville 4

Game Recap

Oh boy. Richard Gallardo came to play. He’s always intense on the mound, but he was feeling it last night. Consistently working in the mid-90s and pairing it with a solid changeup and a breaking ball that he snapped off with the most consistent break I’ve seen out of him, he was just locked in and the Fayetteville hitters had little chance.

Still just 20 years old, Gallardo is already pretty filled out, and so despite having an advanced feel for pitching and pretty good results, I’ve remained cautious in my optimism for him. In some ways he reminds me a bit of Jen Ho-Tseng (also Javier Assad), another high profile IFA signing who got people excited when he put up good numbers early on because of his advanced command and ability to change speeds against low level competition, but who I always worried would hit his ceiling earlier than most prospects because I failed to see a strikeout pitch against MLB hitters in his arsenal.

I’m starting to think I’ve maybe been a bit too harsh on Gallardo though. He’s already far stronger than Tseng ever was. And given the way velo jumps and changes in pitch profiles can happen thanks to all the latest technology and training, perhaps there is more upside with Gallardo than I previously projected.

There is still plenty of development ahead, but he certainly made a statement last night.

Oh, and the Pelicans offense also posted 11 runs, big shock. They even managed to do it without a home run, and with a James Traintos double as their only extra base hit.

Top Performers

  • Richard Gallardo: 6 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 13 K (W, 5-6, 3.97)
  • Josue Huma: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, SB (2) (.287)
  • Jacob Wetzel: 1-3, R, 3 RBI, BB (.202)
  • Matt Warkentin: 2-4, R, 3 RBI (.182)
  • Malcolm Quintero: 1-3, R, 2 RBI, BB (.243)
  • James Triantos: 2-5, 2B, R (.274)
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 2-5, 2 R, RBI (.298)


Brewers 3, Cubs 0


Cubs Blue 8, Cubs Red 7


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  • I don't know what happened to improve Jake Slaughter's hitting, but he's been impressive this year, especially since going to AA. Not bad for an 18th-round draft pick!

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    Everyone knows how I feel about no.1 starters, I still believe the Cubs should take a pitcher with their first pick, and I would still take Lesco, he was rated as a generational pitcher before the Tj and with his body, he should come back strongerthan before.
    I know a lot of you are skeptical of HS pitchers, but this is why our organization is in the shape it is, taking inferior arms and hoping to turn them into aces, how has that strategy worked?
    Still, if some areskeptical of TJ, than pick Brock Porter, take a shot...

    Other pitchers I'd take later in draft:

    Jacob Miller
    Walter Ford
    Cole Phillips
    Nazier Mule
    Cadon Dana
    Sam Horn
    Noah Schultz

  • In reply to tater:

    Cubs did a poor job scouting, & developing much of anything outside of the top picks. Would any draft strategy work? Especially when the scouting/analytic processes for amateur players failed to achieve desired results.

    The one big stat that stuck out to me is 39% of high school pitchers drafted in the first round make it to the majors. Most are not stud pitchers

    I'm cherry picking here, but in the 2011 draft Diamondbacks had the 7th pick and took the first high school pitcher Archie Bradley.
    8th pick Francisco Lindor
    9th-Javier Baez
    11th-George Springer
    13th Brandon Nimmo
    14th Jose Fernandez -RIP- Ace pitcher

    MLB financial behemoths, shouldn't be tanking for top picks.
    When Cubs do have an early 1st round pick, I certainly don't understand why they would tank, & then take on the extra risks involved with drafting a high school pitcher with the 7th pick.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Cubs are not a financial behemoth. Dodgers are. Yankees are. Cubs are not. A little above average yes.

  • In reply to John57:

    Cubs were #2 on the MLB list of revenue lost, because of Covid.

    2021 revenue
    Yankees #2--2021 revenue $482 million.
    Cubs #5-- 2021 revenue with $425 million.

    Cubs had $57 million less in revenue than Yankees in 2021.

    NL Central teams average revenue with Cubs $301 million
    NL Central teams average revenue without Cubs$270 million

    NL Central team revenue 2021
    CUBS- $425 million
    STL- $287 million
    MIL- $269 million
    CIN- $266 million
    PITS- $258 million

    Cubs record 34-55

    I would say the Cubs absolutely are one of the 6 financial behemoths of MLB- Dodgers-Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Braves, & Cubs. Cubs might be the bottom team of that group, but I would say they belong in it. Dodgers revenue is a different level, Mets owner's net worth is a different level.

    I understand people can look at the same team/data/information, & come up with different conclusions. That is cool, but I will call the Cubs a financial behemoths.

    2021 final team total payroll
    Yankees $208 million-4th overall- Yankees stayed under luxury tax penalty, to reset it.
    Cubs $165 million-15th overall

  • In reply to Naujack:

    What source is giving all of these numbers? Is it accurate or are they just estimating? I don't think any teams give that information out.

  • In reply to John57:

    Forbes, CNBC, & other articles written about MLB teams revenue, & yes they are estimates. Forbes usually does an article every year estimating each teams revenue and operating income.

    People doing the estimates say they have a solid idea about the revenue from MLB national TV contract, local TV contracts, & large team corporate sponsorship, because many of those are announced, or leaked.

    Liberty Media is publicly traded company, & Atlanta Braves financials came out, during the lockout. Reporters, & players brought up how much revenue the Braves generated in 2021. Liberty media financials according to many articles said Braves generated $568 million in revenue. $568 million revenue in 2021, was broken down into baseball sources totaled $526 million, & rents from the properties around the park was $42 million.

    Dodgers, Yankees, & maybe Red Sox are top dogs when it comes to revenue.

    When it comes to next tier down between the Mets, Angels, Giants, Braves, Phillies, Astros, Blue Jays, Rangers, Mariners, Nationals, & Cubs. How many of these larger market would generate more revenue than the Cubs? According to Forbes guesses not many.

  • In reply to Naujack:

    Interesting. If this is true and it looks like it is, then the Cubs income has gone up a lot in the last few years. I remember back when estimates had the Cubs more than $200 million behind the Yankees and Dodgers. Looks like Crane has been doing an OK job with marketing the organization.

  • Excellent dialogue by above posters as usual. I am sure it is read and appreciated by many readers who do not post. Keep it up !!!

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    I do believe the Cubs had better strike gold in the draft tomorrow, with Contrares in a bad slump and Robertson blowing leads lately, the return on trades aren't looking up lately, maybe the team should just sit Contrares until the break to keep him over 250, he is really struggling at the plate, he seems to be trying to pull everything, he's a better hitter when he goes opposite field.

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