Cubs May 3 Minors Recap

Here’s a look at action around the Cubs affiliates including a two-homer game from Billy McKinney and four great outings by Cubs starters. Also some notes on C.J. Edwards and Kyle Schwarber.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 7, Oklahoma City (Dodgers) 3
Javier Baez hit his first homer and Donn Roach blanked Oklahoma for seven innings as Iowa salvaged the final game of the series.

Hitting Recap: 3B Arismendy Alcantara (.279) extended his hitting streak to six games with three hits, including his third homer, a solo shot in the 3rd. He added another RBI.....2B Javier Baez (.211) slugged his first homer over the left field wall in the fifth, a solo shot. He singled and added a RBI groundout.....C Rafael Lopez (.260) went 3-for-5 with a double while Adorn Chambers 9.229) went 2-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching Chart: Donn Roach tossed seven shutout innings before giving up three runs in the 8th. The right-hander improved to 3-0, allowing five hits while striking out two. Roach threw 87 pitches and got 17 ground ball outs....Blake Cooper worked a 1-2-3 9th.

I-Cubs Notes: Eric Jokisch (0-0, 5.25 ERA) gets the start on Monday night as Iowa opens a four-game series at Nashville........The Cubs have announced that Justin Grimm will join the I-Cubs for a rehab stint. Grimm has been on the DL with right forearm inflammation since April 10 and hasn’t pitched yet this season.

Box Score and Game Story

Southern League—AA—Tennessee 3, Birmingham (White Sox) 0
Ivan Pineyro and C.J. Edwards combined for a shutout and Elliot Soto had three hits and knocked in two runs as Tennessee even the series with Birmingham.

Hitting Recap: Elliot Soto (.292) had three singles and knocked in a pair to pace the offense...1B Daniel Vogelbach (.378) had two hits while Bijan Rademacher doubled, tripled, scored twice and drove in the other run....C Kyle Schwarber (.364) extended his on-base streak to 14 games with two singles and two walks. I usually concentrate on hitting in this section but no player will be scrutinized for his defense more than C Kyle Schwarber (NorthSiders Report #3). After the draft, many “pundits and experts” boldly proclaimed that the Ohio native didn’t have the skill set to be a big league catcher and projected him as a left fielder. Schwarber is out to prove them and while his early stats don’t look the greatest, he does show good athleticism behind the plate and according to several in the Cubs organization, has made great strides, continues to learn, and absorb information. In 12 games behind the plate in AA, he’s thrown out 4-of-25 base stealers, committed two errors, and been charged with 4 passed balls in 105 innings. On Friday night, he showed good footwork and quickness behind the plate, and a strong arm to record two outs on a pair of batted balls in front of home. He followed that up with a diving tag at the plate to nab a runner. He’ll need to improve the stolen base percentage but those numbers have a tendency to be rather high at the start of every season

Pitching Chart: Ivan Pineyro had his best outing of the season, tossing seven shutout innings with five strikeouts he allowed five hits and didn’t walk anyone in his 95-pitch effort......C.J. Edwards appeared in his sixth game and was perfect over the final two frames to preserve the shutout and earn his first save. Before you go jumping to any conclusions about the future of Edwards (NorthSiders Report #6) it would be wise to harken back to what GM Jed Hoyer said a month ago when asked about Edwards starting the year in the bullpen. He told reporters on April 8 that because of the shoulder issue last year, they are keeping an eye on his innings and also want an insurance policy if he’s needed in Chicago for a playoff run. Not only are the Cubs getting a good look at what Edwards can do out of the bullpen, they’re also controlling his innings so he has some gas left in the tank come September if needed. Hoyer also said the Cubs were in no way giving up on the String Bean Slinger as a starter. In five games this year, he allowed eight hits and 10 walks in 9.2 innings. After walking only 3.2/9 in ’13 that jumped to 4.2 last year and 4.8 in his Arizona Fall League outings in November but most of the command issue seem to have come after the shoulder injury.

Smokies News: Tennessee looks to take the series on Monday afternoon as they send Felix Pena (2-0, 1.46 ERA) to the mound.

Box Score and Game Story

Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 2, Lynchburg (Indians) 1
Billy McKinney hit a pair of solo homers and Tyler Skulina tossed six shutout innings as Myrtle Beach (13-9) downed Lynchburg (9-14).

Hitting recap: Billy McKinney (.290) was the offense as the right fielder slugged a pair of solo homers, one in the 4th and the second coming in the 7th. It was the second multi-homer of his career. 1B Jacob Rogers (.278) added a pair of hits while DH Kevin Brown (.200) and C Victor Caratini (.207) both singled.

Pitching chart: Tyler Skulina (1-2, 4.95 ERA) had one of his best outings as a pro, blanking the Hellcats for six innings with a career-high eight strikeouts. He only allowed an infield single and walked one in his 68-pitch effort.....Ben Wells breezed through his first two innings of relief but after hitting a batter and a walk with one out in the ninth, was replaced by James Pugliese. After a single loaded the bases, Pugliese got a fly out but then hit the next batter. With the walk-off hit bounding up the middle, SS Carlos Penalver scooped up the ball and threw to first to end the game with a defensive gem.

Pelicans News: Jen-Ho Tseng (1-0, 3.14 ERA) makes his fourth start Monday night in the series finale.

Box Score and Game Story

Midwest League—Low A— Fort Wayne (Padres) 6, South Bend 3
Fort Wayne battered the South Bend bullpen for six runs over the final three innings.

Hitting recap: LF Charcer Burks (.316) had three hits, knocked in a pair and scored once hitting leadoff. SS Gleyber Torres (.349) extended his hitting streak to seven games with a RBI single in the 7th but was thrown out at the plate....2B Chesny Young (.326) added a pair of doubles.

Pitching chart: While most of the eyes were on Ryan Williams’ college teammate Jeff Hoffman at East Carolina, the Cubs nabbed he right-hander in the 10th round last June and has been impressive in South Bend. After four starts, the 23-year-old recorded 14 K in 19.2 innings while allowing one earned run on 10 hits and two walks. On Sunday against Fort Wayne, he continued that dominance, lowering his league-leading ERA to 0.35 with six shutout frames. He surrendered four hits, didn’t issue a walk, and fanned five.....RH Ryan McNeil (0-1, 3.00 ERA) gave up three hits and coupled with an error, allowed three runs to cross home in the 7th. LH Jordan Minch yielded four hits and three runs over the final two innings despite fanning three.

SB-Cubs News: In the series opener against Great Lakes on Monday night, Jake Stinnett (0-1, 6.60 ERA) makes his fifth start and looks to rebound after not making it out of the third his last start.

Box Score and Game Story

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