Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

News, Notes and Game Recaps from Aug. 15

Zach Hedges, Jake Stinnett, Casey Bloomquist and Erling Moreno all pitched their teams to wins on Monday night.

De La Cruz, Galindo honored

South Bend’s Oscar De La Cruz was named Midwest  League Pitcher of the Week and Eugene's Wladimir Galindo was honored as the Northwest League’s top player.

De La Cruz tossed five innings of no-hit ball at Dayton on Aug. 8, allowing a walk and a hit batter while fanning six.  The 21-year-old has made three starts for South Bend  1-0, 0.61 ERA, 14.2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 22 K) after making one appearance in the AZL and starting two games in Eugene. Signed in 2012 out of the Dominican Republic, De La Cruz pitched his first two years of pro ball in the DSL and made his stateside debut last year in the Northwest League, going 6-3 with a 2.84 ERA in 13 starts for Eugene.

Galindo hit .467/.515/.867 with six doubles, two homers and 12 RBI in seven games and also scored nine runs as Eugene is currently in the midst of an 11-game win streak. Signed as part of the Cubs vaunted 2013 IFA class, Galindo spent his first season in the VSL and only logged 19 games last year in the AZL before a wrist injury ended his season. In 47 games for Eugene, the 19-year-old is bating .267/.340/.528 and leads the NWL with eight homers, 95 total bases and .528 slugging percentage. 

Pitching Prospects

I usually try to stay away from the big “buzz kill” but its been a tough season for some of the Cubs top pitching prospects. Yes, there’s been a few bright spots but very few arms that were considered the “top prospects” have stepped up.

The top young arms—Dylan Cease and Oscar De La Cruz—have both dealt with injuries during the season and have only thrown 27 and 26 innings respectively. Cease has made eight starts and recorded 33 K and 16 walks at short-season Eugene. De La Cruz started the year rehabbing in Mesa and didn’t make it to the MWL until the end of July. The 21-year-old has been impressive for South Bend, fanning 22 in three starts with a 0.61 ERA and a 0.55 WHIP. Both guys will have a chance to finish the season strong as South Bend and Eugene have qualified for the playoffs. 

Duane Underwood was a consensus top 10 Cubs prospect heading into the year but a delayed start due an elbow strain and a trip to the DL have derailed his ascent to the majors. The hard-throwing right-hander hasn’t seen the mound since July 5 and went 0-5 with a 4.91 ERA in 13 starts in AA. The 22-year-old made a rehab start Monday night in Mesa. Check below for more game details. RH Pierce Johnson has landed on the DL three times and now finds himself working out of Iowa’s bullpen. Placed on the Cubs 40-man roster during the off-season, Johnson is 2-6 with a 7.32 ERA.

Ryan Williams shot up the Cubs organizational chart after being selected in the 10th round in 2014 out of East Carolina and was in the midst of his ninth AAA start when he left with an undisclosed injury on May 19. Williams has not pitched since and was 4-1 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in 44 innings at Iowa.

There’s also been growing pains for the Cubs’ three left-handed youngsters drafted out of high school the past two years. Justin Steele and Carson Sands have learned some hard lessons in their first full-season in MWL while Bryan Hudson struggles to find his command in the Northwest League. 

One name that’s already climbing the prospect charts is 21-year-old right-hander Trevor Clifton. With a fastball in the mid-90s, Clifton continues to improve and has logged 100.1 innings in 20 starts at Myrtle Beach. Despite a 6-7 mark, Clifton sports a 2.96 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

Former second-round pick Jake Stinnett has been consistent, working at least five innings in 18 of his 19 starts at High A Myrtle Beach. Stinnett, 24, has tossed 109 innings heading into Monday night with a 4.46 ERA, a 1.36 WHIP, and a .268 BAA.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Iowa 6, Fresno (Astros) 4

Tim Federowicz smacked a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to down the Grizzlies.

Hitting Recap: C Tim Federowicz (.290) went 2-for-5 and knocked in three runs, including a two-run homer in the top of the seventh to put the Cubs up 6-4. SS Kris Negron (.251) added a solo homer in the fifth and finished the game with two RBI. Logan Watkins (.278) went 1-for-5 with a RBI.

Pitching Chart: Jordan Pries got the start and went five innings, allowing four runs on two hits and seven walks. Gerardo Concepcion (2-3, 7.94 ERA) tossed two scoreless frames to earn the win but allowed two inherited runners to score in the sixth. Jose Rosario pitched a scoreless eighth and Spencer Patton earned his 11th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

I-Cubs Notes: Jake Buchanan (10-7, 4.83 ERA) gets the ball Tuesday night in Sacramento for the first of four games.....With Brian Matusz headed to the DL, the Cubs have reportedly signed LHP Joe Thatcher to a minor league deal and will send him to Iowa. The 34-year-old was released by the Dodgers in June, signed by the Indians, and then released on Aug. 13. He appeared in 17 games for Oklahoma City and didn’t pitch for the Indians organization. He’s pitched in 405 big league games with a 11-16 record and a 3.38 ERA in 260.2 innings with Padres (2007-13), Diamondbacks (2013-14), Angels (2014) and Astros (2015). 

Southern League—AA—Tennessee 9, Pensacola (Reds) 4

Zach Hedges twirled a gem and the Smokies knocked out 15 hits to down the Blue Wahoos in the series finale.

Hitting Recap: CF Lane Adams (.225) led the offense, going 3-for-4 with his first homer with the Smokies and three RBI. LF Kelly Dugan (.232) had three hits and scored twice while P Zach Hedges (.500) helped his own cause with a two-run single. 2B Chesny Young (.295) was 2-for-5 with two RBI and SS Carlos Penalver (.215) had two hits and plated a run.

Pitching Chart: Another pitching prospect quietly impressing the Cubs brass is right-hander Zach Hedges, who extended his scoreless streak to 19 innings in his fifth AA start. The Cubs 26th round pick in 2014 out of Azusa Pacific needed 60 pitches to get through five innings, allowing four hits and a walk while fanning four. Hedges recorded seven ground ball outs and had a game score of 64. Stephen Perakslis worked two scoreless but ran into problems in the eighth and got charged with three runs. David Garner got the final two outs of the eight but not before allowing another run. Nick Sarianides pitched the ninth.

Smokies News:  Tennessee has Tuesday off.

Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 5, Winston-Salem (White Sox) 1

Pelicans scored all five of their runs in the seventh and beat the Dash in the series opener.

Hitting Recap: All the offense came in the seventh. SS Bryant Flete (.351) and DH Ian Rice (.241) led off the inning with singles and both scored on a bunt by RF Jeffrey Baez (.247) when the pitcher threw the ball down the right field line and Baez advanced to third. With the bases loaded, 2B David Bote (.317) doubled home two runs and the third run scored when the shortstop missed the throw in from the outfield. 1B Yasiel Balaguert (.253), Baez and Bote all finished with two hits.

Pitching Chart: Jake Stinnett (9-4, 4.27 ERA) got the start on Monday night and kept the Dash in check for seven innings. The right-hander fanned six and only allowed one run on five hits and a walk in the 94-pitch gem. Game score 73. Tommy Thorpe fanned two over the final two scoreless relief innings. 

Pelicans News: Trevor Clifton (6-7, 2.96 ERA) gets the start on Tuesday night against Winston-Salem.

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend 3, Bowling Green (Rays) 2

South Bend scrod three times in the seventh to take the series opener

Hitting Recap: After getting no-hit for five innings, the Cubs did all their damage in the seventh. RF Eddy Martinez (.261) ripped a one-out double and scored on 2B Vimael Machin’s single. A hit by pitch, a walk and a few wild pitches moved the runners into scoring position and CF Connor Myers (.266) broke the 1-1 tie with a two-run single to center. LF Roberto Caro (.242) went 2-for-3 with a run scored.

Pitching Chart: Casey Bloomquist (8-6, 2.72 ERA) shut the Hot Rods down over seven solid innings, allowing a run on five hits and no walks. Bloomquist threw 83 pitches, 49 for strikes, and fanned two for a game score of 71. Pedro Araujo worked a 1-2-3 eighth and earned his third save despite giving up three hits and a run in the ninth.

SB-Cubs News: Ryan Kellogg (6-7, 3.21 ERA) takes the hill Tuesday night in Bowling Green.

Northwest League—Short-Season—Eugene 6, Spokane (Rangers) 3

Stephen Bruno had four hits and three RBI while Erling Moreno had another solid outing as the Ems made it 11 straight.

Hitting Recap: 2B Stephen Bruno (.368) went 4-for-5 and knocked in three runs while Darryl Wilson (.263) ripped a pair of doubles, stole his 12th base and scored three times. SS Yeiler Peguero (.257), LF Chris Pieters (.282) and 1B Juan Paniagua (.229) all plated runs.

Pitching Chart: Erling Moreno (2-0, 0.00 ERA) went five innings, allowing three hits and two unearned runs in the second. Moreno fanned one and threw 64 pitches, 44 of strikes. Game score 57. Dakota Mekkes tossed two scoreless and Michael Knighton picked up his fifth save by recording the final six outs.

Emeralds Notes: Bailey Clark (0-0, 2.70 ERA) makes his third start for Eugene on Tuesday night in Spokane.

Arizona Rookie League—Game 1—Giants 9, Cubs 1; Game 2—Giants 4, Cubs 3—8 innings

Giants completed two sweep with a walk-off win in the nightcap.

Hitting Recap: GAME 1— SS Isaac Paredes and C Jhonny Pereda both had two hits in the opener. LF Yohan Matos knocked in the Cubs only run with a RBI single in the fourth.....GAME 2—Cubs scored two times in the top of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. Pereda ripped a RBI double to cut the lead to one and Paredes tied the game with a RBI single. C Gustavo Polanco (.317) hit his first AZL homer, a solo shot in the sixth.

Pitching Chart: GAME 1—Duane Underwood made a rehab start in Mesa on Monday night. Sidelined since July 5, the right-hander faced four hitters in his only inning of work, fanning two, allowing a single and recording a ground out. It would be nice to see Underwood return to Tennessee and finish the season strong. Junior Marte (0-5, 6.67 ERA) took over in the second and tossed 2.2 innings, surrendering four runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks. Jose Leidenz gave up five runs in 2.1 frames.  GAME 2—Javier Assad got the start and fired five solid innings, allowing an unearned run on three hits and a walk. He fanned three and had a game score of 62. Enrique De Los Rio (0-1, 1.17 ERA) gave up three runs in two innings of work and took the loss but all three were unearned as the Cubs made five errors in the loss.

Cubs Notes: The two teams played a twin-bill to makeup the Aug. 2 rain out.

Dominican Summer League— Mets 1 (7), Cubs 1 (0)

Mets (38-23) blanked the Cubs (22-38) on three hits. 

Hitting Recap: Two doubles from DH Henderson Perez  (IFA15-V) and a single by 2B Orian Nunez (IFA15-DR) was the offense.

Pitching Chart: Signed as an outfielder as part of the IFA14 class, Wander Feliz (0-1, 0-.00 ERA) made his pitching debut on Monday, allowing a hit and an unearned run in the first inning, the only frame he worked. Edison Novas (IFA15-DR) and Freddy Tineo (IFA14-V) both surrendered three runs over four innings.

Dominican Summer League—Cubs 2 (10), Rojos (1)

Cubs pounded Reds pitching for 15 hits.

Hitting Recap: CF Fernando Kelli (IFA15-V, .263) had a career-high four hits and knocked in three runs, also a career-best, to lead the Cubs offense. LF Luis Ubiera (IFA13-DR, .212) was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBI while 2B Luis Diaz (IFA15-DR, .272) had two hits and plated a run. 1B Fidel Matos (IFA13-DR, .234) scored four times and was 1-for-3 with two walks. 

Pitching Chart: Wilfre Delgado (IFA15-V, 2-2, 3.58 ERA)  gave up an unearned run in the first and then blanked the Rojos for the next five frames. Delgado allowed six hits, fanned three and had a game score of 64. Ivan Medina (IFA13-V) gave up a hit and two walks and left after only getting one out in the seventh. Fauris Guerrero (IFA14-DR) tossed 1.2 scoreless frames and Sucre Valdez (IFA14-DR) fanned two in a scoreless ninth.

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