Matt Szczur headed to big leagues
Iowa Cubs outfielder Matt Szczur will replace Dan Staily after his start in New York on Saturday night. Drafted in fifth round in 2010, the Cubs lured the University of Villanova product away from football in a deal that gave him a spot on the 40-man roster. In his five seasons with the Cubs in the minors, Szczur has been named to three all-star teams and led the Southern league last year with 144 hits. At AAA Iowa this season, the 25-year-old is hitting .261/.315/.312 with 30 stolen bases. He’s also made several “web gems” in centerfield and is essentially replacing Junior Lake, who was sent to AAA Iowa.
AAA—Salt Lake 5, Iowa 3
Salt Lake won the opening game of the series scoring five runs in the first three innings.
At the Dish: An RBI double by Jorge Soler and a sacrifice fly by Mike Olt put the I-Cubs up 2-0 in the first. Logan Watkin's RBI two-bagger in the sixth was the final run of the night. Soler ripped two doubles, Elliot Soto had three hits, and Ryan Kalish went 2-for-5........Kris Bryant left the game in the third inning and walked to the clubhouse. After the game, Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register tweeted that Marty Pevey said Bryant left the game with a foot injury and was taken to the hospital for x-rays. Pevey said Bryant fouled a ball off his foot a few days ago and had been dealing with it. Mark Gonzalez of the Chicago Tribune and several Chicago beat writers with the team in New York tweeted that the x-rays on big left toe were inconclusive and he would have a MRI on Sunday.
On the Hill: Carlos Pimentel really can’t be considered a ‘prospect’ as the eight-year minor league veteran was signed as a free agent in the off-season after being named the DWL’s Pitcher of the Year. Pimentel (3-9, 5.46 ERA) has filled the role he was acquired for, pitching out of the bullpen and making 14 starts before Saturday night. Still only 24, the right-hander will be a free agent after the season. Pimentel threw 90 pitches in five innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and four walks. He fanned three and one of the hits left the yard....Yoanner Negrin surrendered a hit and a walk over three shutout innings. Marcus Hatley pitched a scoreless ninth.
I-Cubs Notes: Felix Doubront gets the start on Saturday night, his second for Iowa since being traded from Boston for a player to be named later. The 26-year-old left-hander fanned seven vs. Las Vegas, allowing three earned runs in four innings. .
AA—Tennessee 12, Huntsville 5
Smokies used a seven-run eighth to down Huntsville for the fourth straight game.
At the Dish: With two outs in the first Addison Russell drew a walk and scored on Christina Villanueva’s double. Taylor Davis followed with a run scoring single, and he was just heating up, slugging a two-run homer in the 3rd. Christian Villanueva plated Russell in the 7th with a single to tie the game and a bases loaded walk to pinch-hitter Lars Anderson put them in the lead in the 8th. Jae-Hoon Ha followed with a two-run double and Albert Almora tripled home two for a 10-5 lead. Russell knocked Almora home with a single for the sixth run of the inning and Davis capped off the scoring with a RBI single.
On the Hill: Ivan Pineyro (0-2, 4.30 ERA) made his second start after allowing four runs in 2.2 innings Aug. 10 at Mobile. It was my first chance to see Pineyro and he didn’t take long to impress, fanning the first two hitters he faced swinging. Pineyro did a good job establishing his fastball and then worked in his change-up and a very good breaking ball. He retired the side in order in the second and after a mascot race delayed the start of the third, gave up a solo homer, a triple and a RBI single. He fanned five and threw 52 pitches through the first three innings. In the fourth, he got the first two hitters but a fastball got too much of the pate for a single to right. That base runner didn’t last long as Taylor Davis gunned him down at second trying to advance on a pitch in the dirt. After two more strikeouts to start the fifth, Pineyro walked the pitcher and his night was done after 82 pitches. The breaking ball was sharp and either got weak contact or froze the Huntsville batters. Pineyro’s final line was 4.2 IP, 4H, 2ER, 1BB, 7 K.......Lendy Castillo got the final out of the fifth but a single, a walk and a three-run homer gave Huntsville a 5-4 lead.....Blake Cooper, acquired from Arizona for Brett Jackson, made his Cubs debut tossing 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Cooper is no stranger to the Southern League appearing in 24 games in relief for Mobile before being promoted to AAA Reno......P.J. Francescon won his 11th games with a scoreless eighth and Hunter Cervenka pitched the ninth.
High A—Daytona 10, Tampa 2
Daytona used a 14-hit attack to down Tampa and reclaimed a three-game lead over the Yankees.
At the Dish: Cubs used a four-run third and added six runs in the seventh. 1B Daniel Vogelbach (.271) got the offense started with a two-run double in the 3rd. Vogelbach finished 3-for-4 with two RBI, a walk and two runs. Willson Contreras (.228) ended an 0-18 drought with a two-run homer to left, this third of the year. Contreras added a RBI single. Bijan Rademacher had two hits, including a base-loaded double that plated three runs. 3B Benjamin Carhart (.273) added a RBI while Gioskar Amaya (.278), Kyle Schwarber (.255) and Bill McKinney (.323) all had two hits.
On the Hill: Rob Zastryzny (3-6, 4.78 ERA, 1.44 WHIP) got past the first inning without any problems, the first three innings actually, but walks in the fourth and fifth led to a pair of runs. It was the ninth straight start the Cubs had won as he improved to 3-6 with a line of 5 IP, 3H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K.....Pitching in his fourth game, Gerardo Concepcion (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.90 WHIP) ran his FSL scoreless streak to 8 .1 innings with three strikeouts in two innings for his first hold. Austin Kirk (3-0, 3.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) worked around four walks and a hit over the final two innings.
D-Cubs Notes: Cubs go for the series win on Sunday when they send Juan Paniagua (1-3, 6.00 ERA) to the mound.
Low A—Kane County
Cougars were rained out and will play a twin-bill on Sunday with Daury Torrez (10-5, 2.94 ERA) and Ben Wells (1-0, 2.66) getting the start for the Cougars.
Short-Season—Boise 4, Salem-Keizer 1
Boise snapped a three-game losing streak with a win in the opener at Salem-Keizer.
At the Dish: Boise made the most of their six hits, taking a 1-0 lead in the 3rd when Bryant Flete reached on a error and scored on Charcer Burks’ sac fly. Mark Malave walked with the base loaded in the third, forcing in Danny Canela, who led off with a double. Hawks added a pair of runs in the 7th when Rashad Crawford ripped his NWL leading 6th triple to score Malave and Flete. Crawford finished with two hits.
On the Hill: Erick Leal (5-2, 4.76 ERA) gave up a solo homer over six innings, one of four hits. The 19-year-old issued one walk, fanned one and got eight ground ball outs. Yomar Morel worked around a bases loaded jam in the seventh and added another scoreless frame for his first hold. Sam Wilson picked up his third save with two punchouts in the ninth.
Hawks Notes: James Norwood (0-1, 2.92 ERA) makes his second start for Boise on Sunday evening.
Arizona Rookie League—Mariners 4, Cubs 3
Cubs pitching only allowed four hits and all four of the M’s runs were unearned.
At the Dish: DH Eloy Jimenez (.241) slugged his third homer, a two-run shot in the top of the first. 2B Andrew Ely (.351) led off the inning with a double. Jimenez added a single and Ely scored twice. C Alberto Mineo (.270) delivered a RBI single in the fifth and LF Varonex Cuevas (.304) singled twice.
On the Hill: Jefferson Mejia (2-4, 2.64 ERA) got charged with four unearned runs as the right-hander allowed two hits, walked three and uncorked three wild pitches. The 20-year-old fanned four but has struggled with his command his last three outings.....The Cubs bullpen was nearly unhittable. Austyn Willis retired all six hitter he faced, Tanner Griggs allowed a hit in two shutout frames, and Jordan Minch pitched a 1-2-3 eighth.
Dominican Summer League—Yankees 4, Cubs 0
Four Yankees pitchers combined to blank the Cubs.
On the Hill: Junior Marte (2-2, 3.52 ERA) got the start and allowed two runs on three walks and four hits in four innings with five punchouts. The 19-year-old has made six starts but has experienced command issues in his first pro season, 25 BB in 30.2 IP......Deibi Torres got charged with two runs in three frames and Aneuris Rosario fanned three in two scoreless innings.