Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

News, Notes and Game Recaps from May 16

Daniel Vogelbach and Jason Vosler earned player of the week honors on Monday as the off-field action highlighted a night where all three affiliates got beat. Also a quarterly report from South Bend.

Vogelbach, Vosler honored

Iowa first baseman Daniel Vogelbach and Myrtle Beach third baseman Jason Vosler were named Milb.com’s Minor League Players of the Week in their respective leagues on Monday.

Vogelbach, 23, hit .333/484/.792 in seven games with three homers, two doubles and eight RBI. He walked seven times with just five strikeouts and blasted a pair of homer on May 9. The second-round pick in 2010 leads the Cubs minors with six homers and 29 RBI.

Vosler, 22, recorded multiple hits in four of the team's six games, posting a slash line of .391/.440/.739 for the week. Four of Vosler's nine hits went for extra bases, including his go-ahead home run against Winston-Salem on May 12. The 16th round pick in 2014 only struck out once in 25 plate appearances.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Reno 5, Iowa 3

Reno (17-20) scored twice in the bottom of the 8th to even the series with the I-Cubs (18-18).

Hitting Recap: Cubs had eight hits and no one had a multi-hit game. Iowa scored twice in the 4th when LF John Andreoli (.205) led off with a double and scored on CF Albert Almora’s RBI single. Almora (.336) eventually came home when RF Shane Victorino (.233) delivered a two-out single. C Willson Contreras (.326) led off the sixth with a single, took third on a single by 1B Daniel Vogelbach (.331) and scored when Victorino grounded into a double play.

Pitching Chart: RH Drew Rucinski (ERA) went six innings, allowing three runs on 11 hits and no walks. He fanned two and threw 97 pitches. Armando Rivero worked a scoreless 7th but in the 8th a wild pitch moved two runners into scoring position and a two-out double brought them home. 

I-Cubs Notes: No starter has been announced to the I-Cubs in the afternoon game on Tuesday in Reno.

Southern League—AA—Birmingham 3, Tennessee 2

Barons rallied with two runs in the top of the ninth for the win.

Hitting Recap: Smokies were kept off the board the first six innings but Chesny Young singled and scored on Jacob Hannemann’s double to left-center. Trailing 3-1 in the 9th, Smokies loaded the bases with no outs. Mark Zagunis plated a run on a double play ground out and Jeimer Candelario popped out to end the game. Young was on base four times times with three singles and a walk.

Pitching Chart: Paul Blackburn (3-1, 1.08 ERA) blanked the Barons for five innings but gave up a run in the sixth on a infielder grounder. Blackburn allowed three hits, walked three and sent three down on strikes in the 95-pitch outing. Game score 62. RH Miguel Mejia (0-1, 4.15 ERA) made his second appearance for the Smokies and kept the Barons in check with two scoreless frames, recording two strikeouts. In the 9th, Mejia surrendered a long homer to Courtney Hawkins and a sacrifice fly plated another run.

Smokies News: RH Tyler Skulina (1-2, 4.15 ERA) takes the mound on Tuesday morning at Smokies Stadium.....2B Stephen Bruno was activated from the disabled list. Bruno had been rehabbing at extended spring training and made his debut on Monday night. Bruno hit .263/.335/.336 in 105 games last year for the Smokies.

Carolina League—High A—Frederick 5, Myrtle Beach 2

The Keys (16-21) snapped the Pelicans (20-16) five-game win streak in the series finale.

Hitting Recap: 2B Ian Happ (.274) does the little things that don’t show up in the box score. That was on display in the 4th inning when he led off with a hustle double down the left field line. When a pitch in the dirt got away from the catcher, Happ took off for third and scored when the throw ended up in left field. In the bottom of the 6th, Happ made a diving stop of a hot smash with the bases loaded and two out, and threw to first to end the inning. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk. DH Yasiel Balaguert (.260) gave MB a 1-0 lead in the first with a two-out RBI double, plating Rashad Crawford (.235), who led off the game with a single. Balaguert finished 2-for-4. 

Pitching Chart: Jonathan Martinez (3-2, 3.64 ERA) had only allowed more than three runs in two of his last 31 starts but the Keys tallied three runs in the third and added two more in the 4th on six hits, including a homer. The right-hander went six innings, allowing five runs on eight hits (both season-highs) and a walk with three strikeouts. He threw 90 pitches, 59 for strikes, and had a game score of 38. LH Jordan Minch fanned three in two scoreless innings. 

Pelicans News: Zach Hedges (3-1, 1.89 ERA) makes his seventh start on Tuesday night as the Pelicans return home to face Winston-Salem.

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend

Here’s a brief quarterly report on the South Bend Cubs.

The Cubs had the day off as they are at the halfway point of a 14-game, 15-day road trip. They have three games at Great Lakes (May 17-19) and close out the trip with four at Lake County (May 20-23). South Bend (21-14) is a game behind first-place Lake County (23-14) in the Eastern Division standings.

Hitting Recap: South Bend leads the MWL with a .272 average, and are second in on-base percentage (.345) and slugging (.371).

OF Donnie Dewees (.305/.352/.519) leads the MWL in total bases (68) and all the minors with eight triples. He’s also added nine doubles and swiped six bases while leading the Cubs in runs (24) and RBI (26)......Really impressed with OF Eloy Jimenez (.303/.333/.447) and his maturity, not only at the plate but tracking balls in the outfield. He’s also shown better speed than advertised.......OF Eddy Martinez (.237/.305/.381) doesn’t have the best numbers but the 20-year-old doesn’t looked overmatched at the plate either. He’s second on the team with 20 RBI.....1B/C Tyler Alamo (.325/.372/.375) has provided some big hits for the Cubs and his 16 knocked in is fourth on the team despite only playing 22 games. 3B Jesse Hodges (.346/.424/.385) has been red-hot since joining the team in late April and OF Daniel Spingola (.340/.404/.415) constructed an 18-game on-base streak......Making the position switch during the off-season, P.J. Higgins (.269/.413/.352) isn’t foreign to catching but last year’s 12th round pick looks pretty comfortable behind the plate. He also knows how to handle himself inside the batter’s box, second in the MWL with 25 walks.

Pitching Chart: South Bend ranks 15th in ERA and 13th in WHIP in the MWL. On the bright side, only five pitching staffs have issued fewer walks and the Cubs bullpen just snapped a 23-inning plus scoreless streak. South Bend also ranks at the bottom in strikeouts (267) and is second in runs allowed (166). I guess if your looking for answers, consistency in the rotation would be the key to the Cubs struggles thus far in the pitching department. May also want to factor in the number of cold games the Cubs have played in but so has the rest of the league.

Adbert Alzolay is picking right up where he left off last year in the Northwest League as the 21-year-old is 4-0 with a 2.43 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP in six starts (33.1 IP). He’s only allowed three earned runs over his last 22 innings and been hitting the gun in the mid-90s with the fastball.

Carson Sands (3-0, 3.55 ERA, 5 GS, 25.1 IP, 1.30 WHIP) hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts (11 IP). Justin Steele (2-4, 7.08 ERA, 6 GS, 20.1 IP, 2.07 WHIP), Preston Morrison (2-2, 4.31 ERA, 6 GS, 31.1 IP, 1.50 WHIP), Ryan Kellogg (2-3, 4.50 ERA, 7 GS, 36 IP, 1.31 WHIP) and Kyle Twomey (0-3, 5.23 ERA, 5 GS, 31 IP, 1.39 WHIP) round out the South Bend rotation.

Casey Bloomquist(2-0, 2.77 ERA, 3 SV, 26 IP, 0.73 WHIP), Greyfer Eregua (1-1, 3.71 ERA, 3 SV, 17 IP, 0.88 WHIP) while Craig Brooks (1-0, 1.20 ERA, 2 SV, 15 IP, 1.40 WHIP) and James Norwood (2-0, 4.30 ERA, 2 SV, 14.2 IP, 1.23 WHIP) have been used in the closer’s role.

SB-Cubs News: Carson Sands (3-0, 3.55 ERA) gets the ball on Tuesday night at Great Lakes.


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