Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Smyly kicks off rehab; Crook homers in return to Iowa; Canario doubles twice, reaches base four times; Verdugo another big game

Narciso Crook (photo by Dylan Heuer)


Indianapolis 5, Iowa 4 (10 Innings)

Top Performers

  • Narciso Crook: 2-5, HR (10), R, 2 RBI (.272)
  • Tyler Payne: 2-4 (.350)
  • Erick Castillo: 2-4 (.291)
  • Dixon Machado: 2-5, R (.288)
  • Jackson Frazier: 1-3, RBI, BB (.195)
  • Javier Assad: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (4.15)
  • Wyatt Short: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (5.11)
  • Brendon Little: 1.2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (6.08)


Tennessee 9, Birmingham 5

Game Recap

Up 3-2 heading into the 8th, Tennessee batted around, and broke the game open with six insurance runs.

Top Performers

  • Alexander Canario: 3-4, 2 2B, R, RBI, BB, CS (3) (.222)
  • Yonathan Perlaza: 1-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB (.238)
  • Matt Mervis: 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI, HBP (.305)
  • Luis Vazquez: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, BB, CS (6) (.212)
  • Brandon Leibrandt: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K (3.31)


Wisconsin 9, South Bend 1

Game Recap

Drew Smyly threw three scoreless innings on his rehab assignment before Wisconsin got to him for three runs in the 4th.

Top Performers

  • Luis Verdugo: 2-4, 2B, HR, R, RBI (.272)
  • Jake Washer: 2-3, BB (.288)
  • Yohendrick Pinango: 2-4 (.266)
  • Drew Smyly: 4 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 BB, 6 K
  • Michael McAvene: 1.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (3.86)


Columbia 9, Myrtle Beach 8 (10 Innings)

Top Performers

  • Josue Huma: 3-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB (.328)
  • Juan Mora: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB (.267)
  • Kevin Alcantara: 2-6, R, 3 RBI (.269)
  • Armando Rivero: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB (.353)
  • Ezequiel Pagan: 1-4, BB, SB (9) (.287)
  • Tanner Jesson-Dalton: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (3.38)


White Sox 8, Cubs 2


Marlins 5, Cubs Blue 0

Pirates 5, Cubs Red 3


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  • Bryce Ball has seemed to come back to earth this past few weeks. Not horrible production but does not seem to have the same offensive impact he had from April-May in AA. The upcoming TDL should be interesting as the Cubs have an abundance of corner OFs from AA to MLB.

  • Michael, Jake Slaughter is having a pretty nice run, at Tennessee. What do you feel, are the parts of his game that could be holding him back from further advancement? Thanks.

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    Mervis and Slaughter are both having great years and I see our prospects are really doing well. I didn't think the Cubs should have resigned the big 3 (KB, Rizzo and Baez) for hundreds of millions of $ and like the return we received. I think we'll see a number up next year--who thought Morel would have made the jump from AA to the show and done so well? We get the #7 pick this year, more money to sign IFA and probably a top 5 or 6 next year. We are coming back and it won't take 3 or 4 years.

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Our outfield has plenty of candidates for next year. Suzuki, Happ, Morel, Ortega, Crook, Velasquez, Davis

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Jonathan, just wondering - do you consider 2022 to be year #1 or #2 of the ‘rebuild’?

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    In reply to cubbustible:

    I would say year 2. What do you think?

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Yeah, I think it started when they traded Darvish. And then the Cubs started out well but then the infamous “losing streak” sent Jed into full blown tear it down.

    The starting rotation is what may make the rebuild take longer in my opinion

  • In reply to Jonathan Friedman:

    Jonathan, I guess I agree with Stout, that it began when Darvish got moved. But I could see, saying this is the First ‘full year’. But as far as how many more - it could depend if Happ gets traded. I hope they keep him. I’ve begun to accept that it’s a done deal, that they intend to trade Willson.
    If they could somehow get Musgrove or someone like that as a #1, get a SS and move Nico to 2B, and Mervis is for real - I could see them fighting for the division in 2024.
    Lot of ‘IF’s’, though.

  • In reply to cubbustible:

    There is no reason not to compete in 23' they really arent that far away. Why wait another year? It will require some spending on the middle of the lineup and an ace starter. Along with a couple of other free agents. But they have the money no reason to wait.

    I am not too worried about replacing Contreras' production. Luckily we are selling high on him. Now we need to get Miley & Smyly back in the rotation to show case them.

    The same goes for Happ. I would sell high. A decent corner outfielder with average power is playing the best he has ever played, so yes sell. Once he is traded we will see Hill and Valazquez split time in left and hopefully Davis will be back by the end of the year to get some at bats.

    If they add these free agents and Thompson Steele Effross Hughes Roberts Morel (needs to learn to hit a curveball) Higgins Hoerner Suzuki etc continue to get better then the Rebuild should be over by the start of next year.

    My biggest concern is first base. The Cubs really need left handed power production from first base and until Mervis or Cassie get here our options are limited. I like Frank but the Cubs need that 3 or 5 hitter with some clout.
    Might be a 1 or 2 year rental Free agent on the market this winter we can scoop up.

    I like Ortega to hold down CF (his name is starting to pop up in trade rumos) until PCA arrives. I think we know what we have with Ortega .270 /.350 leadoff decent CF. He will definitely be helped by the elimination of the shift.

    I am looking forward to the next few weeks. It will be fun. With all the rule 5 guys the cubs will need to add, I think a lot of the return will be for young talent not ready to be added to the 40 man and maybe a couple guys that can help next year.

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Could the Cubs compete in 2023? Cubs are the financial behemoth in a bad division, really should help the Cubs chances to win going forward....

    Has Jed been good at adding major league talent the last two off-seasons? Jed's results at adding MLB talent has been average at best, or maybe even below average.

    Are the Cubs aggressive enough?

    The media has reported Tom Ricketts, & Cubs management talked about how they place the high on the Cubs 2022-2nd-round pick-44th overall in the upcoming draft.

    Media has also reported Padres are looking to cut payroll, so they can add talent for a playoff run. Padres competitive balance pick in 2022 is between the first and second round, so before the Cubs 44th pick.

    I'm just a fan, but Jed Hoyer, & Craig Kenney have both talked about how Cubs have not spent their 2022 budget yet! Great, no logical reason for a large market team to roll the budget over. Why don't the Cubs go trade for Padres competitive balance 2022 draft pick by taking on some bad contracts that expire at the end of this season. Cubs can use their financial might to basically try, and buy a draft pick. Which Cubs said they value so highly. W. Myers contract $20 million this year plus a $1 million buyout. Myers is not playing well, & on the IL. D. Lamet $4.775 million is pitching in AAA, Lamet's MLB era this season is almost 10.0. Myers AAV only counts $13.833 million against Padres cap.

    Something like Ortega, a relief pitcher to Padres for the draft pick, Myers, Lamet, & a second/third tier prospects or two which would be the real return for Ortega, & one of the Cubs relief pitchers.

    I sure hope Jed gets aggressive with trades before the trade deadline while selling off. I hope the Cubs front office is also looing into pulling off a buy type of trade this month for controllable MLB talent.

    I can't wait to see the mid-season rankings of the Cubs minor league system. Most of the national prospect systems on the stuff I read are describing the Cubs minor league system as ok. I still like Jed's idea of focusing on teenagers in trade returns. That give the Cubs a better chance to get some first division regulars down the road.

  • Injuries have been pretty devastating this year. Davis, Marquez, and Howard for starters. All mlb starting pitchers, and now Contreras. Sore arm pitchers and ham stung catchers won't bring a good return. Willson has become fragile and is usually on the down side by second half of the season. He plays so hard and deserves better stamina, but?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    It's a shame, but Willy appears to be pretty 'beat up' early is his career. The way the Cubs have been using him of late (DH/ backup) appears to be his future. Sometimes catchers get used up.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    And I’m hoping that, assuming the boys are under.500 at the end of the trade deadline, the Cubs will start cutting back some, on the innings of Thompson and Steele for this year. Thompson in particular, since he had pitched less than 100 innings in total, over the last few years. Make sure their arms are healthy for next season.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Willson has become fragile? He’s always been fragile. He’s never made it through a season without ending up on the DL at least a couple times, and usually misses at least a month do play. It’s nothing new. I thought they should’ve moved him a couple years ago when he looked like he’s already one of the best catchers in the league. He sure seems like a good teammate and player for a competitive team, some team would’ve paid a big price for him when he still had a couple years of control.

  • In reply to Cubber Lang:

    I've been pretty critical of Contreras though the years, over mostly his receiving and framing skills, but also some other red flags with demeanor. I'm feeling more charitable these days because managers rarely gave him a day off to keep his bat in the lineup. By the time the stretch run came he was injured. I think that fatigue contributed. The last few years, he been injured with first Carstini, now Gomes taking starts. Maybe he was always fragile, as you say, but Willson plays all out and just seemed to be worn out these days without being behind the the plate so much.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Yeah it’s become easier to like Contreras these last couple years as he has improved his receiving and framing a bunch. And I think it is probably a little unfair to say he’s always been fragile, however he always was overworked right from the start so the cubs never really gave him a chance. I think it’s caught up to him at this point. Honestly I like him on the team. They do need to trade him and hopefully get a pretty decent return. I wouldn’t even be opposed to them trying to resign him in the offseason after trading him, if the price is right. But he shouldn’t be counted on playing more than 100 games behind the plate and maybe about another 30-40 as a DH. He needs rest to stay healthy.

  • Wicks and Devers pitched well at SB yesterday. Wicks threw 5 scoreless and Devers pitched 3 scoreless innings. The farm is loaded with pitching talent too.

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