McKinney promoted, several other moves
Been a pretty good week for OF Billy McKinney. On Monday he was named the Carolina League Player of the Week and on Thursday, earned a promotion to AA Tennessee. Acquired from Oakland in the Jeff Samardzija trade last July, McKinney played in High A Daytona after the deal and started this season at High A Myrtle Beach. In 29 games for the Pelicans, the 20-year-old hit .340/.432/.544 with 4 HR, 25 RBI, 17 BB and 13 K. McKinney is the second youngest player in the Souther League.
The Cubs released a pair of players, RHP Ben Wells (Myrtle Beach) and 1B Dustin Geiger (Tennessee). Wells, a 7th-round pick in 2010, was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in five bullpen appearances for the Pelicans this season. In 9.1 innings, the 22-year-old righty struck out five while walking five. He was in his fifth professional season with the Cubs. Geiger was the Cubs 24th round pick in 2010 and was in his 6th season, hitting .281/.365/.458 at Daytona in 2013 but never found that success in AA, batting .223 last year in 399 at-bats and going 0-for-16 this year in 13 games.
In other roster moves around the organization, IF Wes Darvill was sent from Myrtle Beach to Tennessee.....OF Pin-Chieh Chen was sent from Tennessee to Myrtle Beach.....C Jordan Hankins was activated off the Myrtle Beach DL.....2B Andrew Ely has been assigned to South Bend......2B Chesny Young was promoted from South Bend to Myrtle Beach.
Hitting Recap: SS Javier Baez (.281) had two singles and plated three runs to pace the offense. RF Rubi Silva (.247) had two hits, scored once and knocked in a pair. CF John Andreoli singled, scored, and stole his 13th base.
Pitching Chart: Tsuyoshi Wada (1-3, 2.86 ERA) is proving to the Cubs if they need him in Chicago, he’s ready. The left-hander tossed seven strong innings on Thursday afternoon, allowing a run on four hits and no walks. Making his 6th rehab start, Wada threw 88 pitches, 60 for strikes, and had a game score of 71. Armando Rivero worked around two walks a hit for a scoreless 8th. Michael Wagner didn’t retire any of the three hitters he faced and Brian Schlitter got the save, despite allowing all three inherited runners to score on two hits and a walk.
I-Cubs Notes: Iowa hosts Nashville in the series finale on Friday night with Eric Jokisch (1-1, 3.38 ERA) taking the mound.
Hitting Recap: The Smokies pounded out 14 hits, three each from Willson Contreras (.347) and C Kyle Schwarber (.316). Contreras drove in three and scored three times. CF Jacob Hannemann (.200) gave Smokies a 2-0 lead in the second with a two-run double and made it 3-1 in the 4th with an opposite field single. Billy McKinney smacked a pair of doubles in his AA debut, one driving in a run. LF Albert Almora (.275) went 1-for-5.
Pitching Chart: Ivan Pineyro (3-1, 3.18 ERA) was hitting 93 on the stadium radar gun and had good command of his plus change-up and a good breaking ball, holding the Biscuits to a run on four hits on 88 pitches, 60 for strikes. Pineyro fanned seven and on his final pitch of the night, a liner hit his pitching arm and he left the game. He had a game score of 62. No update on Pineyro’s injury......RHP Michael Jensen and RHP Fernando Cruz combined for four shutout innings of relief.
Smokies News: 2B Stephen Bruno left the game in the top of the first inning with an apparent back injury but no confirmation has been given. He had a hard time walking off the field under his own power and was not involved in the action when the injury occurred.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach
After a bus accident that injured seven Carolina players canceled the three-game series May 12-14, Myrtle Beach travels to Carolina for a three-game series that starts Friday night. Pelicans haven’t released their starting rotation for the series.
Midwest League—Low A—Lansing 8, South Bend 6
Lansing (19-15) left South Bend (17-17) with a split after dropping the first two games of the four-game series.
Hitting recap: Cubs had 13 hits and were 6-for-15 with RISP but still couldn’t get the win. C Cael Brockmeyer (.310) led the attack with three hits, scored twice and knocked in a run. 1B Gioskar Amaya (.204) had two singles, stole a base, and plated a pair while 3B Jason Vosler went 2-for-5 with a RBI. SS Gleyber Torres (.339) was 2-for-5 and knocked in his team-leading 18th run.
Pitching chart: Zach Hedges (2-2, 3.48 ERA) got charged for seven runs (four earned) as he allowed eight hits, one leaving the ball park, in five innings. He finished with a game score of 32 and threw two wild pitches......David Garner worked a pair of scoreless frames while Tommy Thorpe gave up a run in two innings.
SB-Cubs News: Trevor Clifton (1-1, 2.91 ERA) gets the start on Friday night as South bend opens a three-game series at Great Lakes.