News, Notes and Game Recaps from June 25

Homers highlight Saturday night’s action with Eloy Jimenez, Ian Happ, Daniel Vogelbach, Jeimer Candelario and Mark Zagunis all going deep. Player profile on Victor Caratini and more draft news.

Prospect Profile— Victor Caratini

Drew Gibby/Tennessee Smokies

With all the attention given to catching prospects Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras the past two summers, Victor Caratini has gone about his business in the lower levels. Acquired from the Braves at the trade deadline in 2014, Caratini spent his first full-season with the Cubs organization last year in Myrtle Beach, logging 737 innings behind the dish while hitting .257/.342/.372 in 112 games with 31 doubles and 53 RBI. The 22-year-old moved up to AA this season and continues to impress at the plate and develop behind the plate. In 61 games for the Smokies, the switch-hitter is posting career-highs with a .291 average and a .385 OBP. Cubs have already proven they can take a minor league third baseman and transform him into a catcher, and with Caratini’s advance approach at the plate, it may not be long before he’s making his debut in the big leagues. 

Draft update

Baseball America is reporting the following Cubs draft picks have signed—RHP Chad Hockin (6th Round-Cal-State Fullerton-$240,000), RHP Stephen Ridings (8th-Haverford College-$120.000), RHP Duncan Robinson (9th-Dartmouth-$30,000), RHP   LHP Wyatt Short (13th round-Mississippi), RHP Holden Cammack (16th-Oral Roberts), RHP Matt Swarmer (19th round-Kutztown), C Samuel Tidaback (21st Round-North Georgia), 2B Trent Giambrone (25th-Delta State) and Connor Myers (Old Dominion).

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Oklahoma City (Dodgers) 6, Iowa 5

Adam Warren made his first start in Iowa, the I-Cubs hit three homers but the Dodgers still came out on top.

Hitting Recap: 1B Daniel Vogelbach (.297) went 2-for-4 and launched his 13th homer of the season, a solo shot in the 7th. RF Mark Zagunis (.308) smacked his first AAA homer, a solo blast, and 3B Jeimer Candelario (.357) added a solo homer in the 4th. CF John Andreoli (.236) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a walk.

Pitching Chart: Adam Warrenmade his first start since heading to Iowa to be stretched out as a starter. Warren is expected to make two starts for the I-Cubs and then return to Wrigley for a start before the all-star break. Rough start for the right-hander as a walk, a single and a double plated one run and another runner was thrown out at home. A wild pitch, another walk and a sac fly plated the second run. Warren worked a 1-2-3 second but a leadoff walk in the third was wiped out on a double play as Warren faced the minimum in the 3rd. He only got two outs in the 4th before reaching his pitch limit, (59). Felix Pena (2-3, 2.73 ERA) took the loss, given up three runs over two innings. Corey Black fanned three in 1.1 frames but allowed a run. Dallas Beeler tossed a scoreless 8th.

I-Cubs Notes: Cubs have a twin-bill on Sunday with Rob Zastryzny (3-1, 5.29 ERA) and Mr. TBA scheduled to start. 

Southern League—AA—Pensacola (Reds) 6, Tennessee 4

The Blue Wahoos scored twice in the 4th to take the lead for good.

Hitting Recap: Ian Happ (.635) smacked his first AA homer, a two-run shot, doubled, singled, and scored three times in his second AA start. C Victor Caratini (.295) was 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI and LF Billy McKinney (.253) knocked in run. 1B Gioskar Amaya made his AA debut and went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Pitching Chart: Duane Underwood needed 73 pitches to get through four innings, only throwing 36 for strikes. After a 1-2-3 first, the right-hander allowed runs the next three innings, giving up four on five hits and three walks. He fanned one for a game score of 32. RH Stephen Perakslis saw his first action since June 18 when he tossed 4.1 innings of relief. The right-hander threw two scoreless frames with a strikeout, only needing 17 pitches. RH Joe Nathan made his second relief appearance and gave up a solo homer, the only hit. David Garner surrendered a solo homer in the 8th and David Berg worked a scoreless 9th.

Smokies News: Paul Blackburn (4-2, 2.53 ERA) makes his first start of the second half on Sunday evening.

Carolina League—High A—Carolina (Braves) 8, Myrtle Beach 1

Mudcats took an early lead and cruised to an easy win to take the series lead.

Hitting Recap: Playing in his second High-A game, DH Ian Rice (.429) collected his first Carolina League hits, a pair of singles and a double, scoring the only run in the 9th. 2B David Bote (.300) went 3-for-3 and drove in a run. SS Gleyber Torres (.257) extended his hit streak to nine games with a single.

Pitching Chart: Jeremy Null (,4.89 ERA) had a rough night, getting charged with seven runs on eight hits and a walk. He fanned two, gave up a homer and threw 58 pitches, 38 for strikes. RH James Pugliese allowed a run in 3.2 innings on three hits and two walks. Dillon Maples got the final out of the 7th, stranding two inherited runners. Maples worked a scoreless 8th and Jordan Minch kept Carolina off the board in the 9th, fanning the side.

Pelicans News: Jake Stinnett (5-3, 3.78 ERA) takes the hill on Sunday.

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend 5, Dayton (Reds) 0

Casey Bloomquist fired seven shutout innings as the Cubs blanked Dayton for the second straight night, and extended the scoreless streak to 23 frames.

Hitting Recap: Cubs finally broke through in the 6th when CF Roberto Caro walked and scored on a RBI double by LF Donnie Dewees (.256). SS Josh Silver (.226) delivered a RBI double in the 7th and DH Eloy Jimenez smacked a three-run bomb in the 8th, his tenth homer and upped his RBI total to a MWL best 52. The 19-year-old is hitting .337/.376/.548 and the exit velocity on the Jimenez homer was 116 miles per hour.

Pitching Chart: Casey Bloomquist fanned seven over seven shutout innings as he only needed 79 pitches in the gem (60 for strikes). The 22-year-old gave up three hits and a walk, coaxing 10 ground ball outs. LH John Williamson on worked a around a hit and a walk in the 8th. RH Pedro Araujo worked a 1-2-3  ninth to lower his ERA to 0.50 in 18 innings.

SB-Cubs News: Kyle Miller (2-1, 1.35 ERA) makes his first start since helping the SB-Cubs clinch the first half title.

Northwest League—Short-Season—Eugene 5, Spokane (Rangers) 4

Andruw Monasterio tied the game withe RBI double and scored the wining run on a wild pitch as the Ems rallied to beta Spokane for the second straight night.

Hitting Recap: SS Andruw Monasterio (.390) went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. DH Jose Paniagua  (.261) had two singles and plated a run. A throwing error and a wild pitch plated two runs. 

Pitching Chart: Jose Paulino tossed five solid innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk. The lefty fanned five and had a game score of 66. Enrique De Los Rio couldn’t finish the 6th—two hits, two walks and a throwing error led to three runs. Alex Santana (1-0) fanned three in 2.1 scoreless frames to earn the win and Jared Cheek eared his first save in the 9th. 

Emeralds Notes: Manuel Rondon (1-0, 0.00 ERA) gets the start on Sunday.

Arizona Rookie League—Angels 6, Cubs 1

Angels used a four-run 7th to put the game away.

Hitting Recap: Cubs scored their only run in the 6th when CF Jose Gonzalez (.176) reached on an error, took third on an error and scored on a wild pitch. SS Isaac Paredes, a 17-year-old from Mexico, made his pro debut and went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.

Pitching Chart: RH Jordan Brink took the mound for the first time since Aug. 10 of last year and went 1.2 innings, getting charged with an unearned run on a hit and a walk. He fanned two and record three ground ball outs. RH Tanner Griggs worked 1.1 scoreless innings while RH Aaron Crow and LH Jack Leathersich both hung zero in the 4th and 5th respectively. Pablo Ochoa (0-1, 9.00 ERA) was promoted from the DSL and made his stateside debut, allowing five runs, two earned, on six hits over two innings. Eugenio Palma, who spent last two years working out of the bullpen in the VSL, fanned two in a scoreless 8th.

Cubs Notes: RHP Pablo Ochoa was promoted from the DSL after three starts with Cubs 1 (0-1, 8.53 ERA,, 6.1 IP)

Dominican Summer League— Yankees 1 (4), Cubs 1 (0)

Three Yankees pitchers blanked the Cubs on a one-hitter.

Hitting Recap: Cubs only hit of the game came in the 7th with two outs, an infield single from DH Jose Rojas (.310). 1B Franklin Tineo (.150) was on first (walk) but was thrown out on the play trying to go to third. Cubs drew four walks and Rafael Narea stole his 7th base. Two Cubs runners were thrown out stealing.

Pitching Chart: Jesus Tejada, 19, made his fourth start and blanked the Yanks over five innings, allowing three hits and three walks. The Dominican Republic native fanned one and coaxed 11 ground ball outs for a game score of 59. Bryan Molina retired two of the thre hitters he faced while Fernando Calderon got the final out of 6th and gave up two runs in the 8th and took the loss. The Yankees scored twice off Juan Rengifo in his only inning.

Dominican Summer League—Cubs 2 (4), Rojos (3)

Cubs jumped out to a 4-0 lead and survived a three-run 9th.

Hitting Recap: SS Aramis Ademan (.215), one of the Cubs top 2015 international players, collected his first three hit game while DH Tony Rijo (.243) double home a pair. 1B Richard Nunez (.308) was on base four times with two hits and two walks, while LF Abraham Rodriguez (.300) collected two hits, knocked in a run and stole his fourth base.

Pitching Chart: Making his fourth start, RH Alfredo Colorado (2-1, 2.84 ERA) fanned seven over five shutout innings. The Venezuelan native held the Reds to two hits and had a game score of 73. Wilfre Delgado fired two scoreless innings and Sucre Valdez worked a scoreless 8th and survived a three-run homer in the 9th.

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