Its been a tough season for Javier Baez. First he didn’t make the Cubs opening day roster and then missed a month while he and his family mourned the death of his 21-year-old sister. On Sunday his path back to the majors hit another road block as the 22-year-old broke his finger sliding into second on a steal.
Officially diagnosed as a non-displaced fracture on the left ring finger, Baez reached first on a an infield single and suffered the injury diving head-first into second. According to beat writer Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register, Baez will be evaluated in a few days. Baez told ESPN’s Jesse Rogers that he thought he would be out 4-8 weeks.
After struggling to make consistent contact after he was called to the big league last year, Baez was hitting .314/.386/.536 with 8 HR and 29 RBI in 27 AAA games and had played the last four games at third to help prep for a possible call back to Chicago.
OF Chris Denorfia has completed his two-game rehab in Tennessee and was activated from the disabled list and part of the Cubs starting line-up at Washington. He started in RF and went 3-for-5 with a run scored. OF Matt Szczur was optioned back to Iowa.........IF Varonex Cuevas has returned to Iowa from extended spring training and the Cubs have released LHP Daniel Schlereth. The lefty was signed to a minor league deal and appeared in three games with I-Cubs, 3 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 6 BB, 3 K.
Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 3, Memphis (Cardinals) 2
Taylor Teagarden knocked in all three runs including a walk-off single in the 9th as Iowa even the series with Memphis.
Hitting Recap: It was a Tayler Teagarden party. The catcher hit a solo homer in the second, knocked in pinch-runner Jonathan Mota in the 7th, and delivered a walk-off single in the bottom of the 9th off former Cubs pitcher Marcus Hatley. Arismendy Alcantara led off the 9th with a single, took second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third and scored on the base hit. Javier Baez started his 4th straight game at third but didn’t finish, leaving in the 7th inning after breaking his finger stealing second. Chris Valaika had his 8-game hitting streak snapped and John Andreoli’s ended at 6 games.
Pitching Chart: A typical Donn Roach start. 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K. The right-hander continues to impress in AAA as he notched his 10th quality start in the 98-pitch outing. He finished with a game score of 60, got eight ground ball outs, and lowered his ERA to 2.07 in 69.2 IP. Armando Rivero allowed a run in the 7th and Carl Edwards Jr. walked one and fanned two in a 23-pitch 8th. Joseph Ortiz (2-1, 4.78 ERA) got the win, working a 1-2-3 9th.
Southern League—AA—Birmingham (White Sox) 1, Tennessee 0
Birmingham (28-29) scored the only run of the day on a solo homer in the 11th to beat Tennessee (31-26) for the second straight game.
Hitting Recap: Smokies had seven hits and drew three walks but were 0-for-12 with RISP and stranded nine. Jacob Hannemann (1-for-3) had the only extra base hit, a double, while DH Kyle Schwarber singled and walked in five plate appearances. Willson Contreras extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a single in five at-bats and is 17-50 during the streak with 11 RBI.
Pitching Chart: Frank Batista continues to have his way with AA hitters, blanking the Barons for seven innings on six hits. He recorded a pair of strikeouts, threw 95 pitches, and had a game score of 67. He continues to get hitters to pound the ball into the ground, coaxing 15 ground ball outs in the non-decision..... The more he pitches the more it looks like Tayler Scott is being stretched out for a future starting role than being converted into a bullpen arm. Scott threw four innings on Sunday and took the loss, allowing a solo homer in the 11th. He gave up three hits, walked two, fanned two and threw 52 pitches.
Smokies News: Ryan Williams (1-0, 5.06 ERA) makes his second AA start on Monday night as the Smokies try to snap a two-game skid against Birmingham......The Smokies have placed right-handed reliever Stephen Perakslis on the 7-day disabled list retroactive to June 5 and LHP Tyler Ihrig was added to AA roster from extended spring training.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 4, Carolina (Braves) 1
In an game televised on national TV, Myrtle Beach (32-22_ won for just the second time in June, beating Carolina (27-28) in the final contest of their marathon six-game set.
Hitting Recap: Pelicans only had one hit through the first five innings, a Mark Zagunis double to lead off the fourth. Zagunis finally put Myrtle Beach on the board with his third homer of season, an opposite field blast with one out in the 6th. After two straight walks, 1B Jacob Rogers delivered a two-run double and a 3-1 lead the Pelicans wouldn’t relinquish. They added another run in the 7th on a Zagunis grounder that was misplayed by the shortstop.
Pitching Chart: Jen-Ho Tseng got the start and didn’t make it out of the fifth inning, leaving after 87 pitches, 54 for strikes. The right-hander allowed a run on five hits and a walk as the Mudcats had runners on every inning after a 1-2-3 first. Michael Heesch (4-0) got the Pelicans out of a jam in the fifth and earned the win with two strikeouts in two shutout innings. The left-hander threw 45 pitches, 32 for strikes, and lowered his ERA to 1.74, 20.2 IP, 12 G. James Pugliese earned his 4th save as he got a double play with two on and one out in the 7th and then blanked Carolina the final two innings.
Pelicans News: Jonathan Martinez (3-1, 2.86 ERA) gets the ball on Monday night as the Pelicans head to Frederick for a four-game series......C Benjamin Carhart, who hasn’t played since May 31, was placed on the 7-day disabled list and C Alberto Mineo was assigned to Myrtle Beach from extended spring training. Mineo started the season with the Pelicans but was sent back to Mesa in early May. He played in four games his first stint (2-for-9).
Midwest League—Low A—Quad Cities (Astros) 8, South Bend 3
Quad Cities (39-18) scored early and often to even the series with South Bend (26-30).
Hitting Recap: Cubs were trailing 7-0 before they ever got on the board, scoring twice in the 4th on a RBI single from 1B Cael Brockmeyer (.302) and a sacrifice fly by 3B Jason Vosler (.271). They added a run in the 6th on a double by Vosler and a two-out single from DH David Bote (.221). Every starter had one hit expect SS Gleyber Torres (.311), who walked and scored.
Pitching Chart: Another tough start for Erick Leal (4-4, 5.19 ERA). The right-hander only went four innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits and two walks, including six extra-base hits. Ryan McNeil turned in his best outing of the season, tossing three shutout frames of relief, surrendering a hit and a walk. David Garner fanned five over the final two innings but gave up a run on three hits.
SB-Cubs News: Tommy Thorpe, the Cubs 8th round pick last year out of Oregon, makes his first professional start on Monday night against Quad Cities. Thorpe has appeared in 14 games for South Bend and sports a 1-3 record with a 4.61 ERA, 27.1 IP, 36 H, 12 BB, 19 K, 1.76 WHIP, .330 BAA.
Dominican Summer League—Cubs
Cubs are 4-3 after their first full week on the diamond. The DSL roster is littered with newcomers making their pro debuts as the average age of their 14 position players in 17.6. Yovanny Cuevas and Tony Rijo hit their first pro homers on Saturday, there combined age is 33. 17-year-old switch-hitter Yeiler Peguero is batting. .458 with a team-high seven walks.
Venezuelan Summer League—Cubs
Cubs (8-9) had Sunday off, like they do every week, playing games Monday through Saturday. 20-year-old Juan Rengifo is off to a great start out of the bullpen as the second-year pro leads the VSL in saves (3), ERA (0.64) and WHIP (0.71.). In seven appearances, the 6-foot-3 right-hander has 10 K and one BB in 14 IP......OF Luis Ayala has been productive in the leadoff spot as the 19-year-old leads the VSL in stolen bases (13) and is second in runs scored (11).