Drew Gibby/Tennessee Smokies

Victor Caratini and Duncan Robinson honored, Michael Rucker and Kyle Miller pitched the Pelicans to first and more rain.

Myrtle Beach moved into first place, Iowa lost, Smokies rained out and the Cubs DSL squads are still looking for their first wins.

Caratini and Robinson honored

The Chicago Cubs named Iowa catcher Victor Caratini and South Bend right-hander Duncan Robinson as the Minor League Player and Pitcher for the Month for May.  Caratini, 23, batted .366 (30-for-82) with six doubles, one triple, three homers, 17 RBI and five walks in 24 May contests with Iowa. His .366 average ranked eighth in the PCL and he led Iowa with a .573 slugging mark and a .971 OPS.  Robinson, 23, went 2-1 with a 1.00 ERA over 27 innings in five games (three starts) in May for South Bend. He fanned 24 batters while walking just two and his 0.70 WHIP led the Midwest League in May and his 1.00 ERA ranked third.

2017 Draft Thoughts

Let’s get one thing clear, not only do I not know who the first 26 picks will be, I have no idea what the Cubs are going to do with picks 27 and 30 in the first round. After not having a pick on Day 1 last year, the Cubs will get three on June 12, selecting 67th overall in the second round. Their third round pick is #105 and they will get the last pick in rounds 4-40. Cubs have $7,454,900 plus five percent ($320,000—the amount you can go over your cap and not have any penalties) to spend in this year's draft, 18th most among the 30 teams.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the Cubs care just as much about the play on the field as they do on how a player handles himself off the field. I’ve met several of the Cubs prospects the past four years and they all display high character and professionalism, something you can’t get from a scouting report on-line. The Cubs area scouts and scouting department do their homework. Cubs have had a tendency to draft college players the past few years, especially those with Cape Cod experience. One thing is for sure, it will be a good way for the Cubs to re-stock the farm system after having their hands tied last year, and the first three players selected will jump right into the Cubs top prospect rankings.

I’ll try and give you my best guesses in the days leading up to the draft.

Pacific Coast League—AAA—Oklahoma City (Dodgers) 4, Iowa 3

Oklahoma City grabbed a 4-0 lead and hung on to take the series opener.

Hitting Recap: Only five hits for the Cubs and they scored all their runs in the sixth. RF John Andreoli (.220) drew a one-out walk and scored on a RBI double from Chesny Young (.286). After a two-out walk to 3B Jeimer Candelario (.281), C Victor Caratini (.343) ripped a two-run double to cut the lead to one. Cubs got two runners on in the ninth but CF Jacob Hannemann struckout and pinch-hitter  Chris Dominguez (.283) flew out to end the game. Hannemann went 1-for-4 in his AAA debut. The Cubs turned a triple play in the second. With runners on first and second, a line drive was hit to SS Elliot Soto who threw to second to double off the runner and Young tagged the runner coming from first for the third out.

Pitching Chart: RH Juan Paniagua (0-2, 4.85 ERA) made his third start and went a season-high five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks. Paniagua fanned two and threw 84 pitches, 49 for strikes. LH Jack Leathersich worked around a pair of walks in a scoreless sixth. RH Stephen Perakslis tossed three shutout frames, yielding two hits with one strikeout.

I-Cubs Notes: Cubs have not named a starter for Tuesday night……OF Jacob Hannemann and RHP Andury Acevedo have been promoted from Tennessee. Hannemann was hitting .180/.286/.295 in 34 games and is a member of the Cubs 40-man roster. Acevedo, 26, has been nearly un-hittable in Tennessee, tossing 15 scoreless innings in 12 games to start the year in AA…….According to a report from the Des Moines Register Tommy Birch, RHP Ryan Williams will miss the rest of the 2017 with a torn rotator cuff…….RHP Dylan Floro has been promoted to Chicago to replace closer Wade Davis, who was placed on the paternity list. RHP Juan Paniagua has been assigned to Iowa from extended spring training.

Southern League—AA—Tennessee vs. Birmingham (White Sox)

More rain for the Smokies. Two more games were canceled due to wet playing conditions. Tennessee and Birmingham will now play back-to-back doubleheaders on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tennessee will be using a lot of pitchers the next two days.

Carolina League—High A—Myrtle Beach 1, Buies Creek (Astros) 0

Michael Rucker and Kyle Miller combined on a two-hit shutout and Myrtle Beach moved into first place.

Hitting Recap: Pelicans only had four hits. In the top of the fifth, CF Connor Myers (.149) led off with a double and took third on a wild pitch. C P.J. Higgins (.246) then lifted a fly ball to center to score Myers. LF Eloy Jimenez (.288), 2B Trent Giambrone (.225) and 3B Jesse Hodges (.257) all singled.

Pitching Chart: Making his first pro start, RH Michael Rucker (1-0, 1.76 ERA) blanked the Astros for five innings on one hit and a walk. The BYU product retired the first 10 hitters he faced on just 30 pitches before a one-out double in the fourth ended the streak. The right-hander fanned the next two hitters to end the threat. Firing a fastball in the low- to mid-90s, Rucker ended the 60-pitch outing with six strikeouts, matching his career-high……RH Kyle Miller  (4.05 ERA) was just as tough on Buies Creek, limiting the Astros to one hit and a walk over the final four innings. Miller fanned two and only needed 40 pitches to earn his second save.

Suspended Game—In the bottom of the tenth, Dillon Maples worked around a one-out single and got the final three outs for his second save and a 8-5 win of the suspended game. Complete game recap in the June 4 report.

Pelicans News: Ryan Kellogg (2-3, 4.62 ERA) gets the ball in the series finale on Tuesday night.

Midwest League—Low A—South Bend

South Bend and the rest of the Midwest League had Monday off. The Cubs are back in action Tuesday night when they send LH Jose Paulino to the mound against Bowling Green.

Dominican Summer League—Pirates 12, Cubs 1 (5)

The Pirates (2-0) scored 10 runs in the bottom of the 8th to beat the Cubs (0-2) for the second straight game.

Hitting Recap: Cubs scored four times in the top of the 8th for a 5-2 led but that didn’t last long. 3B Herson Perez (IFA 2015-Ven.) had four singles, scored once and knocked in a a run while 2B Luis Diaz (IFA 2015-DR) went 1-for-4 with a RBI. DH Rochest Cruz (IFA 2016-DR) went 1-for-3 with a run scored, a walk and a stolen base in his pro debut. LF Carlos Pacheco went 0-for-3 with a run scored and a walk.

Pitching Chart: Keiber Arredondo Arredondo (IFA 2016-Ven.) made his pro debut and the 19-year-old Venezuelan went four innings, allowing one run on two hits and walk with four strikeouts. Omar Ventura (IFA 2014-Ven.) gave up a run over two frames with four punchouts. Bryan Molina (IFA 2014-Ven) worked a scoreless seventh but the allowed the first there hitters of the eighth to reach and they all eventually scored. Francisco Gracia (2016-Mex.) had a tough pro debut, getting charged with the blown save and took the loos, surrendering seven runs on three hits, two walks and two hit batters while only recording two outs. Riger Fernandez (IFA 2014-Ven.) got the final out but not before uncorking a will pitch (Cubs had six in game) allowing the tenth run of the frame to score.

Cubs Notes: Cubs 1 face Rangers 1 on Tuesday……C Franklin Tineo has been assigned to Cubs 2 from Cubs 1, LHP Riger Fernandez has been assigned to Cubs 1 from Cubs 2, and RHP Omar Ventura has been assigned to Cubs 1 from Cubs 2.

Dominican Summer League—Rojos 7, Cubs 2 (5)

Rojos scored three times in the top of the ninth and beat the Cubs for the second straight game.

Hitting Recap: Cubs collected 12 hits as 3B Orian Nunez  (IFA 2015-DR) went 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored. C Jonathan Soto (IFA 2016-Ven.) was 3-for-5 with a double and runs cored. SS Josue Huma (2016-DR) had two hits and plated a run but committed three errors. CF Ricardo Verenzuela (IFA 2016-Ven.) was on base twice with a single and a walk and scored twice. 

Pitching Chart: Emilio Ferrebus (IFA 2014-Ven.) got the start and went four innings' allowing two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk. Freddy Tineo (IFA 2014-Ven.) got charged with two runs over three innings. Fernando Calderon (IFA 2015-DR) took the loss, surrendering three unearned runs in the ninth. The Cubs committed eight errors that led to five unearned runs.

Cubs Notes: Cubs 1 battle Rangers 2 on Tuesday.


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