Larry Kave/Myrtle Beach Pelicans

News, Notes and Game Recaps from July 27

Yasiel Balaguert slugged a pair of homers to lead the Pelicans to a win and Donnie Dewees added his first Carolina League bomb. Also a look at pitchers on the move.

Top arms on the move

Some of the Cubs top young arms have been promoted in the last week and are making their debuts at a new level.

Right-hander Erling Moreno, who was signed as part of the Cubs 2013 International class and had Tommy John surgery, has already logged more innings this year than his first two as a pro. The 6-foot-3 right-hander from Columbia with a fastball in the low 90s and a curve and change, has a smooth delivery and that was on display in his Northwest League debut on Tuesday night. The 19-year-old worked around five hits and a walk and fired five shutout innings with seven punchouts for Eugene against Salem-Keizer.

Jose Paulino was named to the Northwest League All-Star game and pitched the Emeralds to a first half title, going 4-0 with a 0.51 ERA in six starts. He fanned 37 in 35 innings and only issued two walks. In his fifth pro season, the 21-year-old was promoted to South Bend and made his Midwest League debut on Wednesday morning in Lake County. The left-hander got through the first two frames unscathed but surrendered a two-run homer in the third. Paulino finished his MWL debut with a line of 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 B, 4 K.

Eugene Emeralds

Considered one of the Cubs top pitching prospects even though he’s pitched no higher than short-season, Oscar De La Cruz started his 2016 campaign rehabbing an arm injury in Mesa and didn’t make his season debut until July 13 in the Arizona Rookie League. The 21-year-old Dominican native made two starts in Eugene (8.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 14 K) featuring a fastball in the mid-90s and a good curve. He was promoted to South Bend on July 27 and is scheduled to make his first MWL start on July 30 at Great Lakes (Dodgers).

Mike Nester/NorthSidersReport

After a rough April, Preston Morrison, the Cubs 8th round pick in 2015 out of TCU, has been the most consistent arm in South Bend. Named the Cubs top minor league pitcher in June, Morrison went 9-4 with a 2.24 ERA and with 85 K and 23 BB in 92.1 innings, including stretch of 28.1 scoreless. Morrison sits in the high 80s with his fastball but relies on command and movement of all his pitches to get hitters out. The 22-year-old was promoted to Myrtle Beach on July 25 and is scheduled to make his Carolina League debut on July 29 at Salem (Red Sox).

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 8, New Orleans (Marlins) 2

Iowa used a five-run second to even the series at New Orleans.

Hitting Recap: Cubs collected 12 hits in the win including homers by SS Kris Negron (5) and 1B Taylor Davis (1). Negron launched a solo shot in the second and Davis swatted a two-run blast in the third. LF John Andreoli (.249), RF Juan Perez (.272), and 2B Logan Watkins (.286) all had two hits and knocked in a run.

Pitching Chart: LH Rob Zastryzny got the start and went four innings, throwing 58 pitches, 32 for strikes. The lefty allowed annealed run on a hit and three walks, and set three down on strikes. It was his second appearance since leaving a start on July 14. Corey Black (6.88 ERA) needed 27 pitches to get through the fifth, using two strikeouts to work around a hit and two walks. C.J. Riefenhauser  (5.32 ERA) fanned two in a scoreless frame and Spencer Patton (1-0, 0.93 ERA) earned with win with two scoreless. Jose Rosario (3.86 ERA) allowed a run in the ninth.

I-Cubs Notes: Brian Matusz (0-0, 1.93 ERA) makes his third start for Iowa and his sixth appearance in a Cubs uniform since signing as a free agent back in June. 

Southern League—AA—Chattanooga (Twins) 8, Tennessee 4

Lookouts used a four-run fifth to take the lead and put it away with three more in the sixth.

Hitting Recap: RF Chris Coghlan went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI in his fifth rehab game with the Smokies (8-for-16). DH Jorge Soler walked three times and ended the game 0-for-2 with a run scored. Soler is 1-for-12 in four rehab games. 2B Ian Happ (.293) plated a pair of runs and Bijan Rademacher went 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.

Pitching Chart: Jen-Ho Tseng (5-4, 3.07 ERA) went five innings but yielded five runs (two earned) on seven hits, including two homers. Juan Paniagua only got two outs in the sixth as three hits and two walks resulted in three runs. Starling Peralta stranded two inherited runners in the sixth and worked a shutout seventh. David Garner tossed a scoreless eighth.

Smokies News: Michael Wagner (1-0, 1.00 ERA) gets the start on Thursday night.

Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 10, Carolina (Braves) 7

Yasiel Balaguert smacked a pair of homers to lead the Pelicans past the Mudcats.

Hitting Recap: Yasiel Balaguert (.249) slugged a pair of homers (14-15) and ended the night 3-for-5 with three RBI. CF Donnie Dewees (.429) followed one of the Balaguert’s blasts with his first long ball of the Carolina League. Dewees scored twice, walked and stole his second base. LF Charcer Burks (.244) had his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with a triple and two RBI. C Erick Castillo (.235) had two singles and a RBI while 2B Bryant Flete was on base twice with a double and a walk, scored once and added a RBI.

Pitching Chart: Jake Stinnett had the shortest outing of the season (four innings) as the right-hander had gone a least five innings in each of his previous 16 starts. In the 88-pitch outing, Stinnett allowed an unearned run on two hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Game score 52. James Pugliese surrendered three runs in two frames with a pair of punchouts. Three runs in the seventh off Tommy Nance tied the game but the right-hander worked a scoreless eight and got credit for the win. Ryan McNeil earned his league-leading 16th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Pelicans News: RH Trevor Clifton (5-6, 3.32 ERA) gets the start on Thursday night in Salem.....C Ian Rice has been placed on the DL and RHP James Norwood has joined the Pelicans from South Bend. The Cubs 7th round pick in 2014, Norwood is 3-1 with a 3.71 ERA in 22 games with 35 K. Rice will miss a week after getting hit in the back of the head with a back swing. 

Midwest League—Low A—Lake County (Indians) 5, South Bend 4

Lake County overcame a 4-0 deficit and spoiled the MWL debut of Jose Paulino.

Hitting Recap: Cubs took a 3-0 lead in the first when 2B Carlos Sepulveda (.317) and C P.J. Higgins (.280) both reached and trotted home on DH Alberto Mineo’s three-run homer, his first. They added a run in the second on a two-out RBI single from Sepulveda, who finished 2-for-5. LF Eloy Jimenez (.332) had two singles while Matt Rose (.204) was 3-for-3 with a double and a walk. Mineo ended the day 2-for-4 with a walk. CF Connor Myers was 0-for-4 in his MWL debut.

Pitching Chart: Jose Paulino made his Midwest League debut and threw five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. The left-hander fanned four and surrendered a two-run homer. Game score 45. Tanner Griggs got charged with a blown save and took the loss, giving up two runs on three hits and a walk. Scott Effross worked a scoreless ninth.

SB-Cubs News: Ryan Kellogg (3-7, 3.68 ERA) looks to even the series when he takes the hill on Thursday night.....Roster Moves: LHP Tyler Peitzmeier has been sent from South Bend to Eugene. RHP James Norwood has been promoted to Myrtle Beach. RHP Oscar De La Cruz OF Connor Myers, RHP Jared Cheek and IF Vimael Machin have all be assigned to South Bend from Eugene.

Northwest League—Short-Season—Eugene 4, Salem-Keizer (Giants) 1

Hitting Recap: Ems grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first on a two-run triple from DH Jose Paniagua (.272) and a RBI single from Zack Short (.242). LF Kevonte Mitchell (.215) led off the second with a walk, took second on passed ball, advanced to third on a ground out and trotted home on a RBI single from NWL all-star Robert Garcia (.299).

Pitching Chart: Manuel Rondon (4-0, 1.65 ERA) worked into the sixth, allowing a run on six hit and two walks. The left-hander fanned two and had a game score of 57 in the 86-pitch outing. A RBI single off Tyler Peitzmeier allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth and the lefty retired the next four hitters he faced. Michael Knighton tossed a scoreless eighth with two punchouts and Wyatt Short got the final three outs.

Emeralds Notes: All-Star Jesus Castillo (2-2, 2.43 ERA)  gets the start on Thursday night Dylan Cease, who left his last start on July 11 with a forearm cramp, has been throwing on the side and is expected to pitch a few innings on Friday night in Boise, per Ems play-by-play voice Matt Dompe 

Arizona Rookie League—Cubs

Cubs had Wednesday off and return to action on Thursday as they face the D-Backs on the road.

Hitting Recap: C Gustavo Polanco (IFA 14-V) leads the team with a .354 average but only two of his hits have been for extra bases. Leadoff man Luis Ayala (IFA13-V) is hitting .311 and leads the team with 16 RBI, 19 runs and 10 stolen bases. SS Isaac Paredes got off to a slow start but is hitting .282/.340/.376 with 14 RBI. Despite only batting .217, 1B Kevin Zamudio leads the Cubs with nine doubles and two homers to go along with a team-high 16 RBI.

Pitching Chart: Starting pitcher Erling Moreno was leading Mesa with 32.1 innings but he’s taken his game to Eugene. Javier Assad (IFA15-Mexico) is off to asolid start to his pro career, going 2-0 with a 2.78 ERA in four starts (22.2 innings). The right-hander had faned 23 and issued nine walks. Yapson Gomez (IFA12-V) has done all of his work in relief but leads the pitching staff with 27.2 innings. Throwing multiple innings in each outing, the left-hander has fanned 34 and only issued threw walks.

Dominican Summer League—Cubs 1 (5), Pirates (4)

Cubs took advantage of four Pirates errors in the win.

Hitting Recap: 1B Franklin Tineo (.180) went 2-for-4 with a RBI while 3B Orian Nunez (.279) and RF Moises Colasante (.181) both added two hits and scored once. CF Jose Gutierrez singled home a run in the seventh.

Pitching Chart: Riger Fernandez got the start and only last three innings, surrendering three runs on three hits and five walks. Elvis Diaz go the win in relief as he held the Pirates scoreless over four frames on one hit and four punchouts. Freddy Tineo earned the save despite allowing a run over two innings.

Dominican Summer League— Dodgers 1 (4), Cubs 2 (1)

Dodgers (27-18) scored three times in the 9th to beat the Cubs (26-19). 

Hitting Recap: Cubs were held to four hits and tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when SS Aramis Ademan  (IFA15-DR, .246) doubled and scored on a RBI (28) single from DH Abraham Rodriguez (IFA15-Pan., .294). Ademan finished 2-for-4 with two doubles and Fidel Mejia (IFA14-DmR .321) added a single.

Pitching Chart: Alfredo Colorado (IFA13-V) got the start and went four innings, yielding a run on six hits and two walks while fanning two. Wilfre Delgado (IFA15-V) tossed three scoreless frames and Maikel Aguiar (IFA15-V, 0-1, 5.19 ERA) worked a scoreless eighth but only got one out in the ninth as he got charged with three runs, one earned. Omar Ventura (IFA14-V) got the final two outs but allowed an inherited runner to score.

Cubs Notes: The Dodgers have now moved past the Cubs for second place in the South Division. Mariners lead the division with a 29-16 record.


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