Pacific Coast League—AAA—Round Rock 7, Iowa 3
Round Rock used a grand slam to spoil the I-Cubs season opener at Principal Park.
Hitting Recap: Daniel Vogelbach and Willson Contreras both had two singles in their AAA debuts. Kris Negron, who had a solid spring in Cubs camp, added three singles as the Cubs out-hit Round Rock 9-8. I-Cubs got screwed out of a run in the first when Vogelbach ripped a single up the middle but it hit the umpire and Arismendy Alcantara had to return to second. CF Albert Almora reached on an a error in the 2nd and scored on a fielder’s choice ground out by LF Juan Perez for the I-Cubs first run of 2016. They added two runs in the fifth on a RBI single from Vogelbach and a sac fly from Almora.
Pitching Chart: Making his AAA debut, Ryan Williams didn’t have his best command, falling behind Round Rock hitters and getting hit hard. The right-hander surrendered a grand slam in the third and needed 65 pitches to get through the three frames. William ended the day allowing seven runs on six hits and two walks.....The Cubs bullpen kept the Express off the board the final six innings.....LH Scott Barnes made his Cubs debut, tossing two scoreless frames, and Brandon Gomes, also making his Cubs debut, added two more shutout frames. Carl Edwards, Jr.. and Spencer Patton both threw a scoreless inning.
I-Cubs Notes: Stephen Fife, signed as a free agent during the off-season, makes his Cubs debut Friday night. Fife missed the 2015 season after Tommy John surgery and has made 16 big league starts, all with the Dodgers.......Iowa placed Matt Murton on the DL with turf toe and recalled Benjamin Carhart from extended spring training.
Southern League—AA—Tennessee 7, Mobile 3
Chesny Young and Victor Caratini homered in their first AA at-bats and Bijan Rademacher added a solo blast as the Smokies beat Mobile.
Hitting Recap: 2B Chesny Young won the Carolina League batting title last year and it looks like he’s making a bid for the Southern League crown. Hitting a solo homer in his first AA at-bat, Young added a single, walked twice, and scored twice to help the Smokies to the opening night win. Not to be out-done by his teammate, C Victor Caratinii homered in his first AA plate appearance, a two-run shot in the first as the Smokies grabbed a first-inning lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Bijan Rademacher pinch hit in the sixth and launched Tennessee’s third homer of the night, a solo shot. CF Jacob Hannemann had two hits and swiped two bases while 3B Jeimer Candelario went 1-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.
Pitching Chart: Rob Zastryzny turned in a solid opening night performance as the left-hander threw 73 pitches in over six innings He surrendered a run in the first and another in the sixth, but fanned five and got helped out by three double plays..... Starling Peralta worked 1.2 innings of scoreless relief and David Garner recorded the final four outs, one on strikes.
Smokies News: Paul Blackburn, the Cubs first-round compensation pick in 2012, makes his AA debut on Friday night against Mobile. Blackburn went 7-5 with a 3.11 ERA in 18 starts last year in Myrtle Beach.......The Smokies have placed RHP Stephen Perakslis and 2B Stephen Bruno on the DL to start the season.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 5, Frederick 2
The defending champs celebrated opening night with a 5-2 win over the Keys.
Hitting Recap: The Pelicans made the most of their five hits, taking a 2-0 lead in the second on a RBI single by C Gioskar Amaya and an error allowing RF Jeffrey Baez to score. They added a run in the third when SS Gleyber Torres reached on an error and scored on 1B Yasiel Balaguert’s RBI single. CF Rashad Crawford singled in the fifth and scored on Torres’ RBI double. Torres, who went 1-for-4, scored his second run the game on a wild pitch. Ian Happ was 0-for-4 in his HIgh A debut.
Pitching Chart: Jonathan Martinez picked up right where he left off last year in a Pelicans uniform, limiting the Keys to one run on three hits over five innings. The 21-year-old right-hander threw 79 pitches, walked two, and fanned one for his first win......Daury Torrez, who spent last year as a starter, made his first bullpen appearance, allowing an unearned run over two innings on one hit. Torrez, 22, fanned one......James Pugliese worked a 1-2-3 eighth and David Berg fanned two in the 9th for his first save.
Pelicans News: Zach Hedges, who led South Bend in starts and innings pitched last year, makes his High A debut on Friday night against the Keys.....The Pelicans placed C Erick Castillo, OF Trey Martin and LHP Tyler Ihrig on the DL to start the season.
Midwest League—Low A—West Michigan 9, South Bend 4
The defending Midwest League champs scored eight runs in their first three at-bats and spoiled South Bend’s home opener.
Hitting Recap: Despite the cold weather that included the occasional snow flurries, South Bend collected 12 hits, one more that the Whitecaps. In his professional debut, RF Eddy Martinez had a pair of singles, one plating a run. Martinez looks good at the plate and also made a fine running catch.....CF Donnie Dewees had two singles hitting leadoff and RF Eloy Jimenez went 2-for-4 with a triple, a RBI, and a run scored. C P.J. Higgins had two hits and a RBI while 1B Jose Paniagua was 1-for-4 with a run batted in.
Pitching Chart: Tough MWL debut for Preston Morrison on a chilly South Bend night. While the right-hander was getting plenty of movement with his pitches, they were up in the zone and over the middle of the plate. Morrison allowed eight hits, four for extra bases, and got charged with eight runs, only three earned. Cubs committed three errors, including one by Morrison......The bright spot on the mound was left-hander Kyle Twomey, who fanned seven in his four innings of work. A 13th round pick last year out of USC, Twomey allowed a run on three hits with one walk. He also hit a batter and threw two wild pitches..... Scott Frazier pitched a scoreless ninth with a pair of punchouts.
SB-Cubs News: Justin Steele, 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 14 starts last year in Eugene, make his High A debut Friday night as the SB-Cubs look to even the series......LHP John Williamson and 3B Adonis Paula will start the year on the DL.....Blake Headley, a member of the Eugene Emeralds last year and the Cubs 20th round pick in June, has retired. He hit .230/.302/.293 in 60 games in the NWL.