Cubs June 15 Minors Recap

Kyle Schwarber’s promotion to the big leagues stole the headlines on Monday night but Arismendy Alcantara hit a pair of homers, Ryan Williams was solid in AA, and a couple of Latin American prospects had big days. A few roster moves, Eugene getting ready and Neil Ramirez heads to Kodak.

Kyle Schwarber promoted

Blackburn to DL
Myrtle Beach’s Paul Blackburn (NorthSiders Report # 12 prospect) has been placed on the 7-day disabled list and 3B Jeimer Candelario (NorthSiders Report # 23) has been activated. Blackburn (4-3, 4.66 ERA) made 10 starts for Pelicans, tossing 48.1 innings with 34 K, 13 BB, 1.45 WHIP, ,300 BAA. Blackburn had a sting of four starts where he lasted at least five innings and allowed two runs or less each time out but got tagged for five runs in his last outing June 11 in Frederick. Candelario went on the DL June 6 and we hitting .266/.316/.422 with 16 doubles and 21 RBI in 50 games.

Neil Ramirez to rehab in Tennessee
Cubs relief pitcher Neil Ramirez, who went on the DL on April 17 with right shoulder inflammation is headed to Tennessee. He tweeted Monday afternoon he was leaving Mesa and on his way to join the Smokies. Ramirez went 3-3 with a 1.44 ERA in 50 games last year for Chicago, striking out 54 in 43.2 innings with three saves. His return to the North Side comes when the bullpen has performed well but needs fresh arms as the innings rack up. The right-hander may only need two or three outings before he’s called up.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 6, Omaha 3
Arismendy Alcantara hit a pair of homer as Iowa (34-29) won the series opener in Omaha (32-32).

Hitting Recap: Arismendy Alcantara (.277) homered in the 3rd and the 9th to bring his season total to a team-high 10. He struckout in his other three at-bats. 1B Chris Valaika (.260) had three hits and knocked in two while LF John Andreoli (.274) and C Rafael Lopez (.274) had two hits each.

Pitching Chart: Drake Britton got his first win as a starter for the I-Cubs, lasting five innings in his 74-pitch outing. He fanned five and allowed two runs on two hits and a walk. Armando Rivero worked around two hits but fanned two and tossed a scoreless sixth. Carl Edwards Jr. worked two innings, allowing a run on two hits and a walk. In five AAA appearances, Edwards has given up four runs on five hits and six walks in seven innings with eight punchouts. Yoervis Medina fanned two in a scoreless 9th to earn his second save.

I-Cubs Notes: Tuesday night’s starter has not been named but it could be Jeffry Antigua, who was called up to Iowa on Monday.

Box Score and Game Story

Southern League—AA—Tennessee 5, Jacksonville (Marlins) 1
Ryan Williams won his second AA game as Tennessee downed Jacksonville for their third straight win.

Hitting Recap: Smokies collected 11 hits in the win as LF Jacob Hannemann (.207), CF Albert Almora (.254) and Kyle Schwarber (.320) all had two hits. 1B Daniel Vogelbach (.294) plated two runs on a pair of groundouts and finished 1-for-4 with a walk. Almora knocked in a run with sacrifice fly and RF Billy McKinney was 1-for-4 with a RBI. Willson Contreras (.330), who hasn’t started due to some hamstring tightness, had a pinch-hit single in the 7th but was lifted for a pinch runner.

Pitching Chart: Ryan Williams had his sinking fastball working on Monday night, limiting the Suns to just three hits over six innings. They plated one run but Williams fanned seven and recorded five ground ball outs. Last year’s 10th round pick only needed 67 pitches to get thorough the outing with a game score of 67. Michael Jensen worked a scoreless 7th and Starling Peralta was perfect in the 8th. P.J. Francescon worked the 9th and got the final three outs in a non-save situation.

Smokies News: LHP Jeffry Antigua is on the move again, heading back to Iowa for his third stint in Des Moines. He started the year with Iowa, pitched in one game, was sent to Tennessee, pitched in one game for the Smokies. Antigua was sent back to Iowa and appeared in one game and then returned to Tennessee, where he’s been on the roster since the end of April. Antigua pitched in all four full-season levels in 2013 and bounced between Iowa and Tennessee last year. He went 3-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 13 games (9 starts) with 31 K and 12 BB in 50.1 IP. RHP MIchael Jensen was activated from the DL and added to Smokies roster.

Box Score and Game Story

Carolina League—High A— Winston-Salem (White Sox) 7, Myrtle Beach 4
Winless in a June series, Myrtle Beach (36-27) dropped the opener at Winston-Salem (28-35) but reduced their magic number to four in the first-half playoff race as Salem lost.

Hitting Recap: Chesny Young (.368) extended his hitting streak to eight games with a RBI single in the first and finished 2-for-4 with a run. RF Trey Martin (.240) singled and knocked in a run while Mark Zagunis (.300) was 1-for-5.

Pitching Chart: Daury Torrez didn’t miss many bats allowing a career-high 13 hits in the loss. The right-hander was charged with six runs while striking out three. Josh Conway surrendered a run in two innings of relief and Jasvir Rakkar fanned two in a scoreless 8th.

Pelicans News: Duane Underwood (5-2, 2.08 ERA) gets the start Tuesday night against the Dash.

Box Score and Game Story

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend vs, Peoria (Cardinals)—Postponed
The two teams were tied at two-and-a-half innings before rain washed out the game and the stats will not be counted. The two teams don’t meet the rest of the season so the game will not be made up. Tommy Thorpe’s first official career start will have to wait although he did fan one in two perfect innings. Unless they meet in the MWL finals, Gleyber Torres will likely remain 5-for-5 in his career against Cardinal affiliates until he reaches AAA...........Zach Hedges (2-4, 4.64 ERA), the Cubs 26th round pick last year, makes his 11th start on Tuesday night.......RHP Brad Markey has ben sent to Eugene and the Cubs have added right-handed pitcher Michael Knighton, the Cubs 17th round pick last year out of Central Alabama Community College. Knighton made his pro debut in Mesa last year, appearing in five games.

Northwest League—Short-Season—Eugene

Close to 30 players will be arriving in Eugene as the Cubs start a new affiliation relationship in the Northwest League at PK Park, the home of the Oregon Ducks. The $9.2 million state-of-the-art facility opened in 2009 and includes indoor batting cages and seating for up to 4,000. The Cubs called Eugene home in 1999 and 2000. Eugene fans should get a first-hand look at Eloy Jimenez, the Cubs top international signee from 2013, as well as 2014 draft picks Carson Sands and Justin Steele, both left-handed pitchers drafted out of high school and signed to $1 million bonuses. Other prospects who could be arriving in Eugene include OF Kevonte Mitchell, RHP Austyn Willis, and maybe even Boise State football player Joe Martarano. You can also expect a bunch of the 2015 draft picks to make a stop, especially the position players since a majority have college experience. The season opens Thursday in Everett.

Dominican Summer League—Cubs 4, Marlins 1
17-year-old Wander Cabrera tossed five shutout inning and 17-year-old Rafael Mejia slugged his first career homer as the Cubs (10-4) beat the Marlins (6-8).

Hitting Recap: Cubs made the most of their five hits as 1B Rafael Mejia (.280) went 2-for-4, including his first homer as a pro, a two-run blast in the 6th. Edgar Rondon (.167) was 1-for-3 with a RBI double while SS Yeiler Peguero (.333) and LF Yovanny Cuevas (.158) both singled, walked, and scored.

Pitching Chart: Wander Cabrera pitched five shutout innings of two-hit ball with a walk and four strikeouts. He recorded eight ground ball outs, logged a game score of 66 and lowered his ERA to 0.82 in 11 innings. Hector Garcia (2-0, 2.08 ERA) got the win, holding the Rays to one run and three hits over the final four innings.

Box Score

Venezuelan Summer League—Cubs 14, Rays 0
The Cubs handed the first-place Rays a 14-0 beat down on Monday as Gabriel Lima and Moises Ramirez combined for a three-hit shutout and Jose Rojas hit two homers and knocked in eight runs.

Hitting Recap: 21-year-old Jose Rojas, a first-year pro, had a career game, slugging a pair of homers, including a grand slam, and driving in eight. The Cubs DH drew two walks and upped his average to .309. RF Luis Ayala (.286) ripped three doubles and scored twice while LF Roberto Vahlis (.221) went 2-for-4 and scored three times. C Gustavo Polanco (.250) was 1-for-4 with a RBI and SS Francisco Garay (.148) knocked in a run with a double. 2B Jhonny Bethencourt (.300) went 2-for-5, scored twice and added a RBI. Cubs had 12 hits and drew 12 walks.

Pitching Chart: 19-year-old right-hander Gabriel Lima (2-1, 1.14 ERA) held the Rays to one hit and a walk over six innings, fanning four and finishing with a game score of 73. Moises Ramirez recorded his second save, giving up two hits and a walk in three scoreless frames. He fanned four.

Box Score

Mesa—Arizona Rookie League
The Arizona Rookie League kicks off its season on Saturday, June 20, when the Cubs host the Brewers at Sloan Park. The Mesa roster will be comprised of players rehabbing injuries and a slew of young Latin American players the Cubs have in camp. Look for several of the 2015 draft picks to make their pro debuts in the Arizona Rookie League before being promoted.

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