Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa
Iowa (47-43) is 10 games behind Oklahoma City in the American Northern Division and after the all-star break open an eight-game home stand with Memphis and Round Rock. Arismendy Alcantara and Carlos Pimentel will represent Iowa and the PCL at the AAA All-Star game on Wednesday night. Alcantara started the season in Wrigley but struggled and was optioned to Iowa at the end of April. Leading the PCL in triples, Alcantara has added 11 homers and is hitting .251/.306/.462 in 76 games while playing second and the outfield. Pimentel, who will get the start for the PCL, had an outstanding month of June, earning PCL Player of the Month honors and Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month. He made a team-high 16 starts for Iowa and is 6-5 with a 3.15 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP, 76 K and 42 BB.
Smokies (8-9) finished 4.5 games behind Chattanooga for the first half crown and are already six games back of Birmingham (14-3) to the start the second half. Felix Pena (5-5, 4.09 ERA, 81.1 IP, 32 BB, 87 K) gets the ball on Wednesday night as Tennessee starts a five-game road series in Montgomery. Willson Contreras (.322/.398/.485, 5 HR, 40 RBI) has been a big surprise in AA and opened several eyes with his bat and improved development behind the plate. OF Billy McKinney (.303/.356/.446, 2 HR, 24 RBI) isn’t playing like a 20-year-old in AA since his arrival from Myrtle Beach and Elliot Soto (.274/.384/.310, 44 BB, 39 R) is having a solid season at short.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach
The first-half champs are off to slow start at 8-11 and trail first-place Winston-Salem by three games. The Pelicans are on the road for four games with Potomac and send Michael Heesch (6-0, 1.51 ERA, 41.2 IP, 12 BB, 29 K) to the mound on Wednesday night. Chesny Young (.330/.403/.378, 35 R, 19 RBI) hasn’t stopped hitting since the day he arrived in town from South Bend, including a nine and 11-game hitting streaks. Jeimer Candelario leads the Cubs minors with 23 doubles and Jacob Rogers tops the organization with 54 RBI. Jonathan Martinez (5-1, 2.92 ERA) has establish himself as one of the aces of the staff, logging 74 innings in 14 starts with a 0.97 WHIP, tops in the Carolina League.
Midwest League—Low A—South Bend
After finishing last in the first-half, the SB-Cubs are 10-9 and only two games behind first-place Fort Wayne. South Bend travels to Lansing for three games and send Erick Leal (6-6, 5.13 ERA, 73.2 IP, 23 BB, 42 K, 1.53 WHIP) to the mound on Wednesday night. 18-year-old Gleyber Torres doesn’t show any signs of slowing down in his first pro season as the shortstop is hitting .305/.374/.393 in 79 games with 2 HR and a team-high 45 RBI. After surviving a horrific auto accident in his native Dominican and missing 2014, Kevin Encarnacion is hitting .291/.365/.437 in 31 games since joining the team in late May. A lot of different pitchers have grabbed the headlines in South Bend but nobody’s logged more innings than Zach Hedges with 89 in 15 starts, also a team-high. He’s 5-5 with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP with 50 K and 23 BB.
Eugene (14-12) returns home on Wednesday for a big three-game set with first-place Hillsboro (15-11). The Emeralds will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak and Oscar De La Cruz (2-1, 1.64 ERA, 22 IP, 6 BB, 25 K) is scheduled to get the ball. Eloy Jimenez (.313/.370/.418, 2 HR, 9 RBI) has returned to the line-up after missing nine games while catcher Tyler Alamo (.320/.433/.340) and second baseman Frandy Delarosa (.304/.362/.424, 14 RBI, 6 SB) are off to good starts. Delarosa just had his 15-game hitting streak snapped at Tri-City. Last year’s prep draft picks, Carson Sands (1-2, 2.78 ERA, 22.2 IP, 8 BB, 13 K) and Justin Steele (3-0, 1.08 ERA, 25 IP, 8 BB, 29 K) are doing well in their first full season of pro ball.
Arizona Rookie League—Cubs
The Cubs (11-7) are a half-game behind the Angels in the AZL East Division. Cubs had their five-game winning streak snapped by the Royals on Monday but will be looking for some revenge with the rematch on Wednesday. Robert Garcia (.356/.415/.452, 1 HR, 10 RBI) and Wladimir Galindo (.349/.394/.504, 6 2B, 10 RBI) have establish themselves as two of the team’s top hitters. Dylan Cease, the Cubs 6th round pick last year who had Tommy John surgery, is throwing in the high 90s and has 9 K in 8.2 innings with a 1.04 ERA.
Dominican Summer League—Red Sox II 11, Cubs 4
Red Sox (27-12) pounded Cubs (20-19) pitching for 18 hits.
Pitching Chart: Rough day for Cubs pitching. Wander Cabrera (1-1, 2.05 ERA) got the start and allowed four runs over three innings and Hector Garcia (4.22 ERA) gave up five runs in two innings. Fauris Guerrero (7.00 ERA) surrendered two more in three frames and Wagner Disla (6.94 ERA) tossed a scoreless ninth.
Venezuelan Summer League—Phillies 3, Cubs 2
Phillies (22-28) handed the Cubs (22-28) their fourth straight loss.
In the Box: Jhonny Bethencourt (.316) continues to lead the offense, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Two of the VSL’s top RBI producers were back at it as Jose Gonzalez (34) and Jose Rojas (32) knocked in runs.
Pitching Chart: Left-handed Riger Fernandez continues to get a lesson in his first pro season as the 17-year-old allowed two runs on three hits and two walks. He has a 6.67 ERA with a WHIP of 1.74.....A throwing error by pitcher Eugenio Palma (2-2, 2.50 ERA) led to an unearned run proving to be the difference in the ball game. He surrendered two hits and worked two innings. 6-foot-2 right-hander Omar Ventura (6.00 ERA) tossed two scoreless frames and Jose Leidenz (5.11 ERA) pitched the 8th.
Day Four of the Pan-American Games in Ontario, Canada, as Canada improved to 4-0 with a 3-1 win over Cuba. Jesse Hodges and Jasvir Rakkar didn’t play. USA had the day off.