Cubs Aug. 10 Minor League Recap

Position player Benjamin Carhart tossed two scoreless innings of relief for his first pro victory as Kane County won a 15-inning affair in Cedar Rapids. Mike Olt slugged his third homer in two days to lead Iowa while Pierce Johnson was nearly un-hittable in Tennessee’s DH split. Jesse Hodges’ 7 RBI led Boise while Daniel Vogelbach’s walk-off hit gave Daytona a win.

Roster Moves, News, Notes

Cubs made it official and have added RHP Jacob Turner to the 25-man roster, putting Brian Schlitter on the DL with right shoulder soreness. The Cubs said they will use Turner out of the bullpen to begin his Cubs career...... After two rehab appearances in Mesa, relief pitcher Neil Ramirez was taken off the DL and Chris Rusin was optioned to Iowa.......Ryan Kalish cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Iowa. Kalish was designated for assignment to make room for Turner on the 40-man roster.......Tennessee placed RHP Eduardo Figueroa on the disabled list and activated RHP Ivan Pineyro, who made four rehab appearances in Mesa (11.1 IP, 5.56 ERA, 2 BB, 9 K)

AAA—Iowa 10, Oklahoma City 2

Jorge Soler and Mike Olt provided the first inning offense and Eric Jokisch tuned in another solid outing to lead Iowa.

At the Dish: Mike Olt (.338) slugged a two-run homer (5), walked, and scored twice as he continues to make his case for a return back to Wrigley. Jorge Soler roped a two-run double in the first and also walked twice, another I-Cub pushing towards the big leagues. Elliot Soto hit his first AAA homer and the third of his career, going 3-4 with two RBI. Logan Watkins had two hits and Kris Bryant was 1-3 with a RBI (40) to extend his hitting streak to 13 games.

On the Hill: Eric Jokisch (9-8, 3.58 ERA) has been the work horse for Iowa as he leads the PCL with 138.1 innings and is second with 126 K. He’s been credited with 13 quality starts and the I-Cubs have won the past five times he took the mound. The 25-year-old Illinois native isn’t going to over power anybody but works both sides of the zone and commands all his pitches. Jokisch is eligible for the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings and its likely he’s added to the 40-man after the season, and could even get a September call-up.........Jokisch ran is scoreless streak to 18.1 innings before a run in the fourth. He scattered nine hits over 6.2 innings and was charged with two earned runs. The 99-pitch outing included eight ground ball outs.....Alberto Cabrera earned his second save getting out of a jam in the 7th and holding the RedHawks scoreless the final two frames.

I-Cubs Notes.....Dan Straily (6-6, 4.31 ERA) looks to build on back-to-back solid outings as he gets the ball on Monday night........Prospect Update—Lets do another round of outfielders. A first-round pick in 2009 (31st overall) Brett Jackson may have been a victim of an over-hyped Cub that was given expectations he couldn’t meet. The Cubs top prospect entering the 2012 season, Jackson never really put up impressive numbers in the minors and his strikeout rate got worse, not better. The 25-year-old had two years to make a mark before the prospects arrived, but injuries last year and a .209/.300/.353 slash line in 78 games this year haven’t helped. Depending on 40-man roster spots moving forward, Jackson like Josh Vitters, may be in his final season with the Cubs. If you want to gauge how far the Cubs minor league system has come the last two years, the former top two guys may be released from the 40-man roster.


AA—Game 1—Tennessee 3, Mobile 0; Game 2—Mobile 9, Tennessee 9—9 innings

Tennessee’s Pierce Johnson held Mobile in check in the opener but the Bay Bears hit a walk-off homer in the night-cap.

At the Dish........GAME 1—The Smokies scored all three runs off the Diamondbacks top pitching prospect Archie Bradley in the fourth. Addison Russell led off with a double and after Christian Villanueva was hit by a pitch, scored on Charlie Cutler’s single. Stephen Bruno followed with a RBI single and Luis Flores’ sac fly capped off the frame. Flores added two hits as the Smokies only had six.........GAME 2—Cubs jumped out to a 6-0 lead after three innings, two coming on Jae-Hoon Ha’s 4th homer. SS Addison Russell went 2-4 while 1B Dustin Geiger, 2B Stephen Bruno, C Taylor Davis and LF Anthony Giansanti all plated runs.

On the Hill:.......GAME 1—I already gave the Pierce Johnson (5-4, 2.49 ERA) recap yesterday so we’ll go right into his pitching line. He was almost unhittable. The right-hander allowed a single and two walks over six shutout innings. Johnson threw 89 pitches, 59 for strikes, fanned eight for the third time in his last four starts, and retired 13 straight at one point. Andrew McKirahan worked a 1-2-3 9th for his first AA save........GAME 2—Ivan Pineyro was acquired last year from the Nationals for Scott Hairston and was impressive for Daytona (3-1, 3.40 ERA, 45 IP, 9 BB, 38 K, 1.17 WHIP) in their FSL title run. His best pitch is the change-up and works off a decent fastball with late movement but needs to work down in the zone as it lacks zip. Pineyro is Rule 5 eligible so unless the Cubs want to expose him, will need to add him to the 40-man roster. With only 35 innings at AA, its unlikely the Cubs add him but like Dallas Beeler last year, may get a chance to pitch his way onto the 40-man in the Arizona Fall League.......Seeing his first AA action since May 10, Pineyro got through the first two innings but didn’t make it out of the third, getting charged with four runs. He threw 54 pitches and finished with a line of 2.2 IP, 4H 4 ER, 2BB 3K.....Smokies used five arms out of the bullpen as Jeffrey Lorick took the loss, giving up the walk-off homer in the 9th. P.J. Francescon, Hunter Cervenka, Tony Zych, and Frank Batista all saw actin.

Smokies Notes:......The rotation of Corey Black, C.J. Edwards, Johnson and Pineyro are back on the same diamond for the first time they helped Daytona win the FSL title....The Smokies have Monday off and return home to host Huntsville on Tuesday...... Prospect Update—Albert Almora’s path to the major has been filled with obstacles and challenges as the 20-year-old tries to live up to the sixth overall pick in 2012 and the first player selected by the new front office. A potential gold-glove defender with a high baseball IQ, Almora’s bat has been questioned lately as he struggled to start the year at Daytona and entered Sunday’s DH with a .183/.222/.267 slash line in 15 AA games. This season marks his first full season as two stints on the DL cut last year short; so I’m interested to see how he finishes and how his body holds up. Make no doubt about it, Almora is the Cubs centerfielder of the future but his bat needs to catch up with the rest of his game. Almora’s Wrigley debut may come in the middle of a pennant race and should return to AA to start 2015.


High A—Daytona 4, Lakeland 3—13 innings

Daniel Vogelbach’s walk-off hit with two-outs in the bottom of the 13th tgave the D-Cubs their seventh walk-off of the season.

At the Dish: 3B Jordan Hankins led off the 13th with a walk and pinch-ran for by Gioskar Amaya. Amaya moved to second on CF Jacob Hannemann’s bunt, and scored on Vogelbach deep drive to left field that the outfielder could come up with. Cubs only had five hits, including RF Rock Shoulders’ 12th homer. DH Billy McKinney added a sac fly and is now 5-for-7 with the bases loaded with 17 RBI since joining the Cubs. Kyle Schwarber went 1-4 and is hitting .244.

On the Hill: Rob Zastryzny (2-6, 4.84 ERA) got off to a slow start as the FSL took batting practice off the lefty, 46 hits over the first 27 innings with a 8.33 ERA in six games. The Cubs second-round pick last year has been steady over his last 13 games, working 61 IP with a 3.39 ERA, 59 K, and a BAA of .247. One area that hasn’t improved is the first inning, where Zastryzny has a ERA over 9.00. The Cubs used an aggressive approach with Zastryzny, turning him loose in the FSL for his first full season. Despite the mixed results, the 22-year-old should start 2015 in AA........The first inning woes flared up again as Lakeland plated two runs in the first on three hits, two for extra bases. Zastryzny settled down and worked four scoreless frames and finished the night with seven strikeouts. Stephen Perakslis (3-0, 4.40 ERA) allowed a run in three innings and Zack Godley fanned three in two shutout frames. Gerardo Concepcion (1-0, 0.00 ERA) won his first game in the FSL with three shutout innings. He allowed three hits and fanned two.

D-Cubs Notes: Juan Paniagua (1-2, 5.65 ERA) gets the start on Monday night.


Low A—Kane County 7, Cedar Rapids 4—15 innings

Benjamin Carhart added winning pitcher to his resume as he got the victory in relief when Jacob Rogers delivered a two-run triple in the top of the 15th.

At the Dish: The Cougars got eight hits and scored three runs in 5.2 innings against Twins big leaguer Ricky Nolasco, who was making a rehab start. Shawon Dunston took Nolasco deep for his second homer while a double play groundout and RBI double from Jeimer Candelario scored the other runs.......The Cougars collected 16 hits in the win and finally put the game away in the 15th with a two-run triple from Jacob Rogers and a RBI double from Cael Brockmeyer......Daniel Lockhart, Dunston and Brockmeyer all had three hits while Carhart and Rogers had two hits each.

On the Hill: Ben Wells career is headed in the wrong direction as he led Daytona in innings pitched last year and now finds himself back in the MWL (Peoria-2012). Command issues to start the year in Daytona (23 walks in 22 innings) got him sent to extended spring training and then assigned to short season Boise to work out the problems. He made six starts for the Hawks and was bumped up to Kane County. The 21-year-old is in his fourth season and has spent most of his career coaxing ground ball outs and throwing strikes. I’m not sure what the future holds for Wells but if he can’t start throwing strikes again, it may not be with the Cubs organization.......The right-hander only allowed one earned run over five innings as an error attributed to the other run. He gave up three hits, walked five and fanned one....Zak Hermans allowed two runs (one earned) in 1.1 frames and Michael Heesch kept the Kernals off the board for 1.1 innings. Francisco Carrillo fanned four in 2.1 shutout innings and Jasvir Rakkar tossed three scoreless frames. But the big story of the night was Carhart, who had been the DH. A pitcher in high school, Carhart walked two but didn’t allow a hit and earned his first win as a pro. To cap off the win, Carhart did his impression of Fernando Rodney with the bow and arrow move.

Cougars Notes: Outfielder Trey Martin missed most of last year after having surgery for a torn labrum that hindered his first two years as a pro. Drafted in the 13th round in 2011 out of Brockwood High School in Georgia, the 21-year-old has made a highlight reel of catches this season including a pair of homer robbing grabs at Peoria but has struggled with the bat hitting .247/.289/.304 in 95 games. He’s swiped 24 bases but has fanned 84 times and has only one homer. Martin should head to the FSL next season but really needs to improve his approach and swing if he plans to get any farther.


Short-Season—Boise 17, Eugene 3

Jesse Hodges knocked in a career-high seven runs, including four on a grand-slam, as Boise whipped Eugene.

At the Dish: 3B Hodges (.256) had a career night with four hits, including a grand slam in the Hawks’ nine-run fifth. He was a triple shy of the cycle with a double and two singles. LF Mark Zagunis (.301) went 2-5 with three batted in while CF Rashad Crawford (.278) and RF Charcer Burks (.288) had two hits each and scored three times. 1B Daniel Canela (.298) had two hits and knocked in two. The Hawks had 15 hits and seven walks, and were 7-for-15 with RISP.

On the Hill: Erick Leal (4-2, 4.76 ERA) made his 10th start on Sunday night and was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst. He worked six innings, allowed two runs on six hits and two walks, and fanned three. Kaen County’s Corbin Hoffner worked a scoreless inning in his first rehab appearance for Boise and James Farris allowed a run over the final two frames.

Hawks Notes: James Norwood, who was scheduled to start on Sunday, will get the ball on Monday night. A junior out of St. Louis University, the Cubs used their seventh round pick to take the hard-throwing right-hander. A fastball in the mid-90s is Norwood’s best pitch and he’s working on secondary offerings. Despite three years of college, there isn’t a lot of mileage on his arm as he was only a full-time starter for one year. He should get an opportunity to start but will be limited in his innings per start in his first pro season.


Arizona Rookie League—Cubs

Had the day off.


Dominican Summer League—Cubs

Had the day off.


Cubs Minor League box scores Aug. 10


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