Evan Ellis/Tennessee Smokies

News, Notes and Game Recaps from June 8

Tyler Skulina fired seven solid innings in Tennessee’s win and the right-hander added two hits. Jeimer Candelario and Mark Zagunis promoted to AAA.

Candelario, Zagunis promoted to AAA

Third baseman Jeimer Candelario and outfielder Mark Zagunis have been promoted to Iowa from Tennessee. Candelario hit .219/.324/.367 with 17 doubles and 23 RBI in 56 games for the Smokies in his 6th pro season. Zagunis got off to a slow start in April but is hitting .302/.408/.453 in 51 games with 30 walks and 36 strikeouts. Zagunis, 23, was the Cubs third-round pick in 2014 and only had 179 AA at-bats before the promotion, so his time at AAA may be limited.  Candelario has 426 plate appearances in two seasons at Tennessee.

2B Daniel Lockhart and OF Trey Martin were sent to Tennessee to fill the open roster spots. Lockhart played in 37 games with Myrtle Beach in 2016, hitting .244/.290/.370 with six doubles, three triples, one home run and 12 RBI. Martin batted .233/.308/.267 with three doubles and 12 RBI and reached base in 10 of his last 11 games.

Andrew Ely was named a MWL all-star on Tuesday and is on his way to the Carolina League and Myrtle Beach.  Ely will be appearing in a Myrtle Beach uniform for the first time in his career. A 32nd-round pick by Chicago in 2014, Ely batted .295/.368/.398 with 11 doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs in 44 games with South Bend. Ely was named All-Pac-12, All-Pac-12 Defensive and Second-Team All-Pac-12 Academic at the University of Washington. David Bote returns to the Grand Strand for his second stint with the Pelicans in 2016. The Colorado native was on the club's Opening Day roster, playing in six games before hitting the disabled list Upon activation, he was transferred to Triple-A Iowa, where he hit .364/.417/.500 with a homer and three RBIs in 12 games.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa

Iowa (29-27) had the day off and find themselves in a first-place tie with Oklahoma City. The I-Cubs host Round Rock (Rangers) for a four-game series (June 9-12) and then play 15 of the month’s final 19 games on the road. The PCL does not “split” its season so there’s no “first-half champ”. 

Hitting Recap: C Willson Contreras is not expected to miss any significant time after leaving Monday night’s game with a foot injury and missing Tuesday’s action. According to a story from Tommy Birch, Des Moines Register, the 24-year-old had a similar problem with his instep last year and it was fine the next day. Manager Marty Peevy told Birch that Contreras was listed as day-to-day and was expected back in the lineup soon.

Pitching Chart: LH Rob Zastryzny (1-0, 4.15 ERA) will make his fourth AAA start on Thursday night. The lefty has surrendered 18 hits in 17.1 innings with 14 K and a 1.38 WHIP. He was promoted from Tennessee at the end of May after making nine starts for the Smokies (3-2, 4.28 ERA, 54.2 IP, 20 BB, 42 K, .245 BAA, 1.28 WHIP). 

Southern League—AA—Tennessee 4, Mississippi 1

Tyler Skulina tossed seven strong innings and the Smokies offense pounded out 13 hits.

Hitting Recap: C Cael Brockmeyer ripped a two-run double while Billy McKinney and Carlos Penalver got credit for RBI. 2B Stephen Bruno and 1B Victor Caratini both had two hits and scored once. P Tyler Skulina added two singles. The Smokies got 10 hits off Sean Newcomb, the Braves starter and their top pitching prospect.

Pitching Chart: Tyler Skulina (3-3, 3.59 ERA) only allowed one run over seven innings, yielding six hits while issuing no walks. The right-hander fanned three and only needed 79 pitches in the gem. Miguel Mejia earned his first hold with a scoreless 8th and Cory Black earned his 8th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.and Cory Black kept the Braves off the board in the 

Smokies News: A starter has not been named for Thursday night at Mississippi.

Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach

Pelicans had Wednesday off and head to Lynchburg (Indians) for a four-game series. Salem holds a 5.5 game lead on Myrtle Beach with 12 games to go in the first half, none with Salem. Jake Stinnett (4-2, 4.15 ERA) is slated to take the mound in the opener agains the Hillcats.

Hitting Recap: SS Gleyber Torres has overcome a horrendous start as he started the season 6-for-53 (.113/.266/.226) over his first 14 games. Since then, the 19-year-old is batting .316/.380/.510 over his last 41 games with 5 HR, 10 stolen bases and 28 runs scored hitting out of the two hole. The Venezuelan native does everything well, and did I mention he’s just 19. 

Pitching Chart: While Trevor Clifton has grabbed the headlines with his May Player of the Month honors but right-hander Erick Leal is off to a great start, leading the Carolina League with eight wins. In 10 starts, the athletic 6-foot-3 Venezuelan pitches to contact and throws a fastball in the low 90s, a biting plus curve, and shows good feel and command for his change-up. 

Pelicans News: Pitchers Jake Stinnett, Trevor Clifton and Zach Hedges have been named to the Carolina League All-Star team. The Carolina League all-stars will face the California League All-Stars on June 21 at Lake Elsinore. Pitching coach Anderson Tavarez and trainer Toby Williams will also make the trip to California.

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend, Dayton (Reds)

Dayton scored five times in the fifth and hung on to down South Bend and even the series.

Hitting Recap: Only five hits for South Bend, two off the bat of Carlos Sepulveda, who added a RBI. Jesse Hodges was 1-for-4 with two RBI while Eloy Jimenez doubled and scored twice.

Pitching Chart: Adbert Alzolay (4-3, 4.36 ERA) didn’t miss many tbs and the Dragons unleashed a 11-hit attack againt eh right-hander. He was charged with six runs and had a game score of 23 in his 5.1 innings outing. Greyfer Eregua tossed two scoreless frames and Craig Brooks worked the ninth.

SB-Cubs News: Ryan Kellogg (2-3, 4.19 ERA) takes the mound on Thursday night against Dayton.....IF Sutton Whiting was activated off the DL to take Andrew Ely’s spot on the roster. 

Dominican Summer League—Rangers 1 (4), Cubs 1 (3)

Rangers (4-0) jumped out to a 4-0 lead and hung on to keep the Cubs (0-4) winless.

Hitting Recap: 1B Richard Nunez (.250) went 2-for-4 and knocked in a pair of runs with a ground out and a single. CF Jose Gutierrez (.250) and LF Samir Lara (.182) both had two hits while 2B Yonathan Perlaza (.313) went 1-for-5 with a double and a run scored.

Pitching Chart: Spending his first pro season in the VSL, Riger Fernandez made his first DSL start on Wednesday and allowed four runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks in two innings. He faced four hitters in the third. Jose Mac Donna stranded two inherited runners and tossed 3.2 scoreless frames. Juan Rengifo kept the Rangers off the board the final 2.1 innings.

Cubs Notes: Cubs battle the Pirates on Thursday.

Dominican Summer League—Game 1—Cubs 2 (2), Dodgers I (0); Game 2— Dodgers I (2), Cubs 2 (0)

Cubs got their first win of the year with a shutout in the opener but only managed two hits in the second game.

Hitting Recap: GAME 1—1B Abraham Rodriguez made his first pro hit count, a two-run triple in the bottom of the 6th that gave the Cubs the win. DH Fidel Mejia went 3-for-3 and scored on the triple. 3B Henrry Pedra was 2-for-2 as the Cubs had six hits......GAME 2—Singles from CF Fernando Kelli and Rodriguez were the only base knocks. 

Pitching Chart: GAME 1—Faustino Carrera, a 17-year-old from Mexico, tossed four shutout innings in his pro debut, allowing three hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts. Ivan Medina got the win with two scoreless frames and Jhon Romero blanked the Dodgers in the 7th for his first save......GAME 2—Carlos Ocampo, a 17-year-old from Columbia, made his pro debut and fanned six but took the loss. The right-hander allowed a run on five hits and a walk for game score of 53. Yan De La Cruz worked two innings and allowed a run on his second wild pitch of the 6th.

Cubs Notes: Cubs will face Rojos (Reds) on Thursday.


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