Big roster move of the day was Cubs right fielder Jorge Soler going on the 15-day DL with a left ankle sprain. Soler hurt the ankle Monday night when he landed on first base running out an infield single. He missed Tuesday’s game and flew back to Chicago to have the ankle examined. Cubs manager Joe Maddon told reporters Wednesday night that Soler would be out two-to-three weeks. OF Mike Baxter replaced Soler on the 25-man roster. IF Varonex Cuevas was promoted from extended spring training to Iowa. Cuevas was signed as a free agent in 2011 and spent three season in the DSL before making his stateside debut last year. He played 12 games at Boise (.118/.211/.235) and spent the final 26 games at Sloan Park in the Arizona Rookie League (.318/.368/.466)........With Anthony Giansanti heading to the DL for Tennessee, the Smokies made a pair of roster moves. South Bend’s Ryan Williams was promoted to AA and got the start Wednesday morning at Chattanooga (See story below). The Cubs also promoted C Tyler Pearson from extended spring training and sent LHP Tyler Ihrig back to Mesa and assigned him to the Eugene roster. RHP Daniel Lewis was added to the South Bend roster, his second tour of the Midwest League this season.
More awards for Bryant, Schwarber, and Williams
Kris Bryant was named the National League Rookie of the Month for May while Kyle Schwarber and Ryan Williams were named the Cubs minor league player and pitcher of the month, respectively. Bryant led all MLB rookies with 22 RBI and his 7 HR was 2nd. He hit .265/.369/.510 with 20 R, 16 BB and 3 SB......Schwarber hit .297/.443/.582 with 8 HR, 17 RBI 24 BB and 18 runs in 28 games for the Smokies. Williams made five starts for the SB-Cubs and fanned 23 hitters in 34 IP and didn’t walk any of the 125 hitters he faced. He went 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA.
Pacific Coast League—AAA—Albuquerque (Rockies) 9, Iowa 7
Albuquerque (22-32) scored six times in the first and held on to even the series with Iowa (27-25).
Hitting Recap: Javier Baez made his first minor league start at third as he made four starts at the hot corner in the Arizona Fall League back in 2012, committing four errors. He handled six chances without an error and started a double play. Baez (.325) went 1-for-3 with a run scored.....Christian Villanueva (.295) homered for the third straight game and was 2-for-5 with two runs scored a four RBI. Villanueva played first for the first time in his career and made two errors, including the first ball hit in the bottom of the first.....After struggling last year in AA, Rubi Silva (.290) is starting to figure out AAA pitching as the Cuban native hit a pair of homers on Tuesday night and finished 4-for-5 with 3 RBI. Arismendy Alcantara (.283), Adorn Chambers (.291) and Chris Valaika (.241) all had two hits. It was the fifth straight game Iowa has collected 15 hits. Varonex Cuevas made his AAA debut as he entered the game in the sixth to play short and was 0-for-2.
Pitching Chart: Dallas Beeler (1-5, 9.82 ERA) gave up six runs in the first inning with the help of two errors and a bevy of “seeing eye” grounders. Not what a struggling pitcher needs. He went five innings, throwing 87 pitches, and finished with a line of 11 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 3 BB 2 K....... . made his second AAA appearance and like the first, gave up runs. The right-hander allowed a run on two hits over two innings and he fanned three with no walks.....Yoervis Medina worked a scoreless 8th but allowed a walk and a hit.
I-Cubs Notes: Eric Jokisch (2-2, 3.67 ERA) gets the start on Wednesday night in Albuquerque.
Southern League—AA—Tennessee 6, Chattanooga (Twins) 3
Tennessee (30-23) moved into first-place tie with Chattanooga (29-22) and swept the series from the Lookouts.
Hitting Recap: The Cubs organization keeps facing the game’s top minor league pitchers and they keep putting up crooked numbers. On Wednesday the Smokies scored five times in the third off the Twins top arm—Jose Berrios. And who better to spark the offense than Tennessee’s two best hitters—Kyle Schwarber (.323/.445/.602) and Willson Contreras (.328/.394/.514). Schwarber delivered a two-run single with the bases loaded and Contreras followed with a three-run homer. Shortly after it was announced he was named the Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for May, Schwarber ripped a RBI single in the 7th for a 6-3 Smokies lead. He finished 3-for-4 with a run scored while Contreras finished 1-for-4 with a walk. SS Bryant Flete (.143) singled and scored while Bijan Rademacher (.224) went 0-for-3 but drew a pair of walks and scored twice.
Pitching Chart: Not a bad day for Ryan Williams—he won his AA debut and was named Cubs Minor League Player of the Month for May. Williams made his AA debut on Wednesday morning and got the first hitter he faced, Byron Buxton, on a pop up about two feet in front of home plate. He retired the side in order and only used nine pitches. His second AA inning was a different story. A nine-pitch walk started the second and five hits laters the Lookouts had a 3-0 lead. With the bases loaded and only one out, Williams recorded his second strikeout of the inning and got a groundout to end the threat. He was nearly un-hittable the rest of the outing, retiring 12 of the next 13 hitters he faced. He finished with a line of 5.1 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Gerardo Conception walked one batter but got the final two outs in the sixth.....Corey Black made his first relief appearance of the season as the right-hander has moved to the bullpen. Black was perfect, retiring all six hitters he faced, three on strikes, He threw 22 pitches, 17 for strikes, and got two ground outs and a fly out......P.J. Francescon worked a scoreless ninth with a walk and a strikeout for his 7th save.
Smokies News: Felix Pena (4-2, 3.57 ERA) gets the start as the battle for first continues with Chattanooga heading to Smokies Stadium for three more games......Smokies radio play-by-play man Mick Gillispie said during Wednesday’s broadcast that Daniel Vogelbach took batting practice on Tuesday and he would be returning to the line-up soon. The fact he’s still with the team and taking BP is a great sign and he’s eligible to come off DL on June 4.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach had the day off and they’re going to need it. The Pelicans play six games in four days including a pair of back-to-back twin bills against Carolina on Friday and Saturday. Don’t be surprised if Myrtle Beach adds a starting pitcher for the series although this is one time the six-man rotation may come in handy. Daury Torrez (4-2, 4.02) will get the opener while Duane Underwood (5-1, 1.60 ERA) and Paul Blackburn (4-2, 4.26 ERA) are scheduled to start the doubleheader on Friday night.
Midwest League—Low A— Cedar Rapids (Twins) 9, South Bend 5
Cedar Rapids (35-18) scored six times off the South Bend (23-29) bullpen in the top of the 8th to end the Cubs four-game winning streak.
Hitting Recap: C Gioskar Amaya (.236) provided the big blast of the game, a three-run homer in the bottom of the second for a 4-1 South Bend lead. Jason Vosler (.263) went 2-for-4 and Kevin Encarnacion (.353) had two hits and scored twice. 2B Andrew Ely (.321) and Rashad Crawford (.269) plated runs and CF Charcer Burks (.282) swiped two bases to bring his season total to 15. SS Gleyber Torres (.318) went 1-for-4 with 3 K.
Pitching Chart: Zach Hedges threw six innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk. He fanned two, threw a wild pitch and hit two hitters. He was in line for the win when he departed.....Ryan McNeil (0-2, 5.28 ERA) struckout the side in the sixth but two hits and an error put runners on second and third with one out and ended his night in the 8th. David Garner gave up a RBI single to the first hitter he faced to tie the game. Two walks and three doubles later, the Kernals had plated six in the frame.
SB-Cubs News: Trevor Clifton (1-4, 3.62 ERA) gets the start on Thursday night against Cedar Rapids.
Dominican Summer League—Cubs 12, Red Sox II 3
Cubs (3-1) scored all 12 runs in the final four innings to beat Red Sox II (2-2) for the second straight day.
Hitting Recap: 2B Franklin Tineo (.571) homered for the second straight game, a grand slam in the 9th, and finished 2-for-4 with two runs and 5 RBI to lead the offense. Richard Nunez swatted his first pro homer, a two ]-run shot, and was 1-for-4 with two runs and three RBI. RF Wander Feliz (.286) got the scoring started in the 6th with his first pro homer, a solo shot. SS Yeiler Peguero went 2-for-5 with a RBI and two stolen bases.
Pitching Chart: Wander Cabrera, signed last July, took the mound for his professional debut and fanned five over three innings. The 17-year-old left-hander allowed a run on two hits and three walks.....Hector Garcia (1-0, 2.25) got the win, allowing a run in four innings of relief with 4 K. Wagner Disla yielded a run over the final two innings.
Venezuelan Summer League—Cubs 5, Tigers 4—11 innings
Cubs (7-7) remained perfect in June beating the Tigers for second time this season.
Hitting Recap: DH Fidel Matos (.200) delivered the game-winning single in the top of the 12 scoring LF Jose Rojas (.271), who reached on an error, stole second (5), and took third on a wild pitch. Matos went 2-for-5 and knocked in three runs, two coming on his first homer of the season. 2B Jhonny Bethencourt (.286) went 3-for-5 while RF Luis Ayala (.326) was 2-for-2 with two walks and two stolen bases. 3B Francisco Garay (.159) went 1-for-5 with a double, a run scored and RBI.
Pitching Chart: Riger Fernandez made his third start and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and a walk in three innings. He fanned two and had a game score of 40. Harrinson Bermudez allowed a run over two innings and Jesus Arias fanned four in 3.2 scoreless innings. Alex Pacheco (1-0, 3.86 ERA) earned the win, allowing a walk in 2.1 shutout innings with three strikeouts.