For the first time this summer, over 200 prospects suited up as all eight minor league teams were in action.
Ian Happ promoted to AA
Second baseman Ian Happ, the Cubs first-round pick in 2015, was promoted to Tennessee for the second half. He walked as a pinch-hitter in his debut on Thursday night. A Carolina League All-Star, Happ also won the league’s Player of the Week honors twice. Happ reached in 14 of his last 16 games with the Pelicans, slashing .385/.500/.673 with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs, 11 RBIs and 12 walks during that span. The surge has propelled him into the league lead in free passes (48), while ranking in a tie for first in games played (69), third in on-base percentage (.410) and fourth in batting average (.296). IF David Bote was sent from Tennessee to Myrtle Beach to fill his roster spot.
Pacific Coast League—AAA—Game 1—Iowa 3, Nashville (A’s) 0; Game 2—Nashville 7, Cubs 4
Four Cubs pitchers combined for the shutout in the opener but the Sounds earned the split in the nightcap.
Hitting Recap: GAME 1—Cubs scored the only run they would need in the 4th when LF Mark Zagunis (.346) double, took third on a ground out and scored on a single from 3B Jeimer Candelario (.333). A RBI double from RF Juan Perez (.254) and a bases loaded walk to CF John Andreoli (.232) made in 3-0 in the 6th. SS Munenori Kawasaki (.261) was 2-for-3......GAME 2—C David Freitas (.293) knocked in two runs with a single and a sac fly while Matt Murton (.331) and Candelario had two hits each. Perez and Zagunis plated runs.
Pitching Chart: GAME 1— Aaron Brooks fourth rehab start was his best, blanking the Sounds for three innings. The right-hander gave up two hits, fanned one and threw 42 pitches, 28 for strikes. Dallas Beeler got credit for the win with two punchouts in the 4th. Miguel Mejia fanned four over two innings and Corey Black earned his first AAA save working the 9th......GAME 2—Starling Peralta became the 14th different starter for Iowa but his night only lasted 2.2 innings, getting charged with five runs on six hits and a walk. Scott Barnes gave up two runs in 1.2 frames and Giovanni Soto blanked the Sounds the final 2.2 innings.
I-Cubs Notes: Drew Rucinski (4-6, 5.84 ERA) gets the start on Friday night against Nashville.
Southern League—AA—Pensacola (Reds) 6, Tennessee 4
Jacob Hannemann smacked a pair of homers but the Smokies came up short in the second half opener.
Hitting Recap: CF Jacob Hannemann (.239) hit homers #9 and #10, both solo shots and walked in five plate appearances. 1B Benjamin Carhart (.246) and SS Carlos Penalver (.211) delivered RBI. 3B Chesny Young (.295) collected two hits and Ian Happ made his AA debut as a pinch-hitter in the 8th and walked.
Pitching Chart: For the second straight start, Tyler Skulina (3-6, 4.83 ERA) didn’t make it past the third inning, allowing four runs on two walks and three hits (two homers) in 2.1 innings. The right-hander threw 44 pitches and all seven outs recorded were ground outs. Juan Paniagua went 1.2 scoreless frames. RH Joe Nathan made his Cubs debut and fanned two in a 17-pitch scoreless 5th. James Farris gave up a two-run homer, David Berg hung two zeros and David Garner fanned two in the 9th.
Smokies News: Jen-Ho Tseng (2-3, 3.22 ERA) gets the start on Friday night.
Carolina League—High A—Carolina (Braves) 2, Myrtle Beach 1
Jonathan Martinez fanned a career-high eight hitters but Carolina came out on top in the pitcher’s duel in the second half opener.
Hitting Recap: Pelicans outhit the Mudcats 7-2 but scored their only run of the game in the 4th when DH Daniel Spingola (.208) doubled, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by RF Jeffrey Baez (.220). SS Gleyber Torres (.256) was 2-for-4.
Pitching Chart: RH Jonathan Martinez (3-5, 4.70) only allowed two hits over 7.1 innings and set a new career mark with eight strikeouts. One of the hits was a solo homer and one of the three walks came around to score on a double in the 2nd. Game score 70. Jordan Minch worked 1.2 innings, recording a pair of strikeouts.
Pelicans News: Erick Leal (9-3, 3.222 ERA) gets the start on Friday night against Carolina.
Midwest League—Low A—South Bend 11, Dayton (Reds) 1
South Bend scored ten times in the 8th to take the second half opener at Dayton.
Hitting Recap: LF Eloy Jimenez (.342/.379/.548) just keeps hitting. The left fielder ripped a RBI double to plate the first run of the 8th and then capped off the 10-run inning with a 2-run homer, his 9th. It was his 7th straight multi-hit game and extended his hitting streak to 15 games. 2B Carlos Sepulveda (.304) ripped a two-run triple, SS Bryant Flete (.212) added a RBI double, a throwing error plated a run and three runs scored on wild pitches. Sepulveda, Jimenez, C P.J. Higgins (.283), 1B Josh Silver (.250) and Flete all finished with two hits.
Pitching Chart: Ryan Kellogg fanned seven over six innings and got charged with an unearned run on three hits and a walk. He threw 85 pitches, recorded seven ground ball outs and had a game score of 72 in his 13th start. Greyfer Eregua (2-3, 3.98 ERA) worked two scoreless innings for the win and Tyler Peitzmeier pitched the 9th.
SB-Cubs News: The Chicago Cubs and the South Bend Cubs have agreed to extended their player development contract through the 2020 season. Before last season, the Cubs agreed to a four-year deal to move their MWL affiliate from Kane County to South Bend. Its the second recent extension for the North Siders—they upped their Northwest League deal with Eugene through the 2018 season......South Bend has not named starter for Friday night.
Northwest League—Short-Season—Spokane (Rangers) 11, Eugene 9
Spokane used a eight-run 5th and hung on the beat the Ems.
Hitting Recap: Eugene had 16 hits, as the middle infielder—SS Andruw Monasterio (.344) and 2B Yeiler Peguero (.346)—combined to go 6-for-11 with five runs scored and two knocked in. 3B Jose Paniagua (.267) and RF Robert Garcia (.286) both plated a pair while 3B Wladimir Galindo (.280) ripped two singles.
Pitching Chart: Dylan Cease made his second start and had his fastball popping at 98 as the right-hander fanned seven over four innings. The Indians scored once on three hits and Cease didn’t walk anyone. Rough night for Enrique De Los Rio, only getting two outs while allowing four runs on four walks and a hit. Mark Malave got charged with four runs on five hits in 1.1 innings and allowed two inherited runners to score. M.T. Minacci couldn’t stop the Tribe, giving up two runs in the 7th on two hit batters and two singles. Scott Frazier fanned four in two scoreless frames.
Emeralds Notes: Bryan Hudson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) makes his second start on Friday night.
Arizona Rookie League—D-Backs 12, Cubs 6
D-Backs rallied from a 6-1 deficit to whip the Cubs.
Pitching Chart: Cubs used six pitchers. Aaron Crow made his second rehab appearance, working a scoreless first. C.J. Riefenhauser, also on rehab, allowed a run in the second and Andry Rondon followed up with three frames, giving up three runs. Junior Marte surrendered two runs and Jose Leidenz got tagged for four runs in two innings. Luis Aquino allowed a pair in the 9th.
Cubs Notes: I didn’t do a Mesa preview but I’m gonna try to provide some background on the players during the season. Two great sources for Mesa Cubs news are John Arguello at Cubs Den and Arizona Phil at The Cub Reporter. For starters, the Cubs AZL roster is comprised mostly of international prospects that have spent the past two years refining their skills in the DSL and VSL. It also includes a hand full of 2015 signees including five from Mexico and South Korea’s Kwang-Min Kwon. 17-year-old Isaac Paredes (Mexico-2015) is the youngest on the roster, he won’t turn 18 until February.
Dominican Summer League— Indians (3), Cubs 1 (1)
Tribe (9-8) used a pair of solo homers to down the Cubs (7-9).
Hitting Recap: Only six hits for Cubs, two off the bat of SS Rafael Narea (.245) as he extended his hit streak to six games. Cubs scored their only run of the game in the 4th when Orian Nunez (38) doubled, took third on an error and scored on a passed ball.
Pitching Chart: Yunior Perez (0-2, 5.11 ERA) allowed two runs on six hits, one leaving the yard. The 17-year-old went four innings in his third pro start and fanned four. Edison Novas gave up a solo homer, the only hit he surrendered over three innings. @Fernando Calderon and Aneuris Rosario both threw a scoreless frame.
Dominican Summer League— Dodgers 1 (7), Cubs 2 (1)
Dodgers (11-6) scored five times in the 3rd and held the Cubs (11-6) to four hits.
Hitting Recap: Four singles is all the Cubs could manage as 2B Luis Diaz (.269) was on base twice with a single and a walk. Fernando Kelli (.268) went 1-for-2 with a RBI and a walk but was caught stealing twice.
Pitching Chart: Emilio Ferrebus (0-2, 6.55 ERA) only lasted 2.2 innings, yielding five runs (three earned) on seven hits with three strikeouts. Omar Ventura blanked the Dodgers for 3.1 innings and Jhon Romero gave up two runs over the final two innings.