Cubs sign Joe Nathan
The Chicago Cubs have signed right-hander reliever Joe Nathan to a one-year major league contract and placed him on the 60-day disabled list. Nathan, a 15-year veteran and six-time All-Star , is rehabbing from his second Tommy John surgery. The 41-year-old has played with San Francisco (1999-2000, 2002-03), Minnesota (2004-09, 2011), Texas (2012-13) and Detroit (2014-15) during his 15-year career. (62-34, 2.89 ERA, 777 G, 917 IP, 377 SV). While he may not be ready until sometime in July, Nathan provides the Cubs another veteran bullpen arm if he can regain his form and get MLB hitters out.
Pacific Coast League—AAA—Reno 5, Iowa 3
Reno (18-20) grabbed a 4-0 lead and hung on to take the series from Iowa (18-19).
Hitting Recap: Iowa got on the board in the 5th when OF Juan Perez (.292, 2-for-5) slugged his second homer of the season, a solo shot. With the bases loaded in the 7th, C Willson Contreras (.339) lifted a sacrifice fly to center scoring IF Logan Watkins (.203). Perez, who was on first, tried to tag to second but got caught in a rundown as the throw beat him to second easily. While in the rundown, LF John Andreoli (.201), who tagged from second to third, raced for home and beat the throw with a head first slide around the catcher’s tag. CF Albert Almora (.333) extended his hit streak to 14 games with a single in the 8th. He leads the PCL with 49 hits.
Pitching Chart: All arms were on deck as the I-Cubs used five pitchers in the matinee. Scott Barnes was activated off the DL earlier in the day and the left-hander made his made his second spot start. He went two innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts. He threw 40 pitches. Giovanni Soto worked a scoreless third but did’t retire any of the four batters he faced in the 4th, getting charged with two runs on two hits and two walks. Entering the game with the bases loaded and no outs, Carl Edwards, Jr. got out of the jam with only one run scoring. Edwards worked two innings, allowing a run in the fifth in the 35-pitch outing. Brandon Gomes fanned two in a scoreless 6th. Gerardo Concepcion made his second AAA appearance and extended his scoreless streak to 26.1 frames to two scoreless innings. The streak goes back to the end of 2015.
Southern League—AA—Tennessee 9, Birmingham 4
Smokies scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth to break open a close game against the Barons.
Hitting Recap: Smokies took a 3-0 lead in the 2nd when SS Carlos Penalver (.230) stroked a two-run double to left and scored on a double from 1B Ryan Dent (.138). Penalver celebrated his 22nd birthday with his second double in the 7th and scored on a double play. In the five-run 8th, C David Freitas (.270) got it started with a RBI single, RF Bijan Rademacher (.309) ripped a two-run double, and Dent plated a pair with the Smokies fourth hit of the inning. Penalver went 3-for-3 with walk and three runs scored, and leads the Smokies with 18 RBI. Rademacher finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and 3B Jeimer Candelario doubled, walked and scored twice.
Pitching Chart: Tyler Skulina (2-2, 3.76 ERA) struggled with his command over the first two innings, walking four, but kept the Barons off the scoreboard with punchouts to end both frames, stranding four. Needing 52 pitches to get the first six outs, Skulina worked three perfect innings and had retired 11 straight before a leadoff homer in the sixth. He then set down the next three batters and finished with a line of 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, and a season-high 7 K. He threw 100 pitches, 64 for strikes, and had a game score of 67. David Garner worked a scoreless 7th but ran into trouble in the 8th as a two-run double cut the lead to one. Corey Black entered the game in the 8th with runners on first and second and gave up a single to right but Bijan Rademacher fired a strike to home to nail the runner and keep the lead at 4-3. In the 9th, Black allowed a run but still got credit for his fifth save.
Smokies News: Brad Markey (4-0, 2.80 ERA) makes his seventh start as the Smokies host the Barons on Wednesday night.
Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach vs. Winston-Salem—Postponed
Tuesday night’s game was postponed and will be made up as a doubleheader on Wednesday with first pitch at 5:05 p.m. EST. Zach Hedges (3-3, 1.89 ERA) and Trevor Clifton (1-3, 3.10 ERA) take the mound for the Pelicans in the twin-bill.
Midwest League—Low A—South Bend 2, Great Lakes 1
Hitting Recap: CF Donnie Dewees (.304) plated a run with a fielder’s choice in the third and gave them the lead for good with a two-out RBI single in the fifth. 2B Andrew Ely (.292) was 2-for-4 with a double and 3B Jesse Hodges (.345) tripled.
Pitching Chart: Carson Sands (4-0, 3.26 ERA) extended his scoreless streak to 14 innings but only got one out in the 4th before the Loons pushed across a run on a walk and a double. The left-hander threw 81 pitches and finished with a line of 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, game score 57. Greyfer Eregua blanked the Loons for two innings, fanning two and allowing a single. LH John Williamson issued a walk and fanned two, exiting with a runner on second after a wild pitch. James Norwood and his mid-90s fastball got the third out on strikes but the wild pitch got by P.J. Higgins and the hitter reached. A walk loaded the bases before Norwood recorded his second punchout of the frame. In the ninth, Norwood worked around an error by Ely and a single for his third save.
SB-Cubs News: Making his seventh start on Wednesday night at Great Lakes, Justin Steele (2-4, 7.08 ERA) looks to build on his last outing that resulted in five shutout innings against Dayton.