Brian Bogusevic posted his third-straight, multi-hit game Sunday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
While Kane County’s doubleheader in Wisconsin was postponed due to inclement weather, Iowa, Tennessee and Daytona all collected a win Sunday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (3-8)
Iowa won its second game in a row, plating three fifth-inning runs in a 4-1 victory over visiting Albuquerque.
- LHP Chris Rusin (1-1) went seven innings, surrendering one earned run on four hits for the win.
- CF Brian Bogusevic (.378 AVG) recorded his third-straight, multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- 2B Darwin Barney (.200) went 0-for-1 with three walks, a run scored and a stolen base (1) in the second game of a rehabilitation assignment.
- 3B Ian Stewart (.000) went 0-for-3 with a walk and a RBI (1) in the first game of a rehabilitation assignment.
- 1B Brad Nelson (.205) was 1-for-4 with a team-high two RBI (7).
- RHP Zach Putnam (8.44 ERA) converted his first save, walking one and fanning three in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief.
Tennessee Smokies (5-5)
Tennessee plated two runs in the first inning, one in the fourth inning and four more in the seventh in a 7-3 victory over visiting Chattanooga, the Smokies third straight win.
- RHP Dae-Eun Rhee (1-1) went six innings, surrendering one hit and allowing no earned runs.
- RF Jae-Hoon Ha (.343) reached base four times, going 3-for-3 with a walk, a double (2), a run scored and a RBI (6).
- 2B Ronald Torreyes (.667) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run and a RBI (1).
- LF Rubi Silva (.345) was 2-for-4.
- 3B Jonathan Mota (.227) went 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI (2).
Daytona Cubs (5-5)
Daytona used a three-run seventh inning to race past host Tampa, 3-1.
- RHP Zach Cates (1-1) surrendered one earned run over six innings, striking out four in the win.
- DH Stephen Bruno (.385) went 2-for-4 with a run scored. He extended his hitting streak to eight games (.424), including six multi-hit affairs.
- 1B Dustin Geiger (.286) went 2-for-4 with a run scored.
- C Micah Gibbs (.286) was 2-for-4 with a double (2) and a RBI (5).
- LHP Frank Del Valle (0.00) converted his second save, striking out the side in a perfect ninth frame.
Despite picking up a loss, Brooks Raley surrendered just two earned runs over seven innings Thursday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
Iowa, Tennessee and Daytona all lost while Kane County’s Thursday matchup in Wisconsin was postponed due to rain. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:
Iowa Cubs (1-7)
Iowa mustered only three singles in a 2-0 defeat at Round Rock, falling to 1-7 on the season.
- LHP Brooks Raley (0-2) went seven innings, surrendering two earned runs and striking out seven.
- CF Brett Jackson (.258 AVG) went 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.
- RF Ryan Sweeney (.400) went 1-for-4, recording a hit for the fourth time in six games.
- RHP Jensen Lewis (15.43 ERA) pitched a scoreless eighth inning, allowing one hit.
Tennessee Smokies (2-5)
Tennessee lost its fourth game in a row, dropping a 6-3 decision to visiting Chattanooga.
- C Jair Fernandez (.333) went 2-4 with a RBI-single. He has hit safely in all three games he’s appeared in this season.
- 3B Christian Villanueva (.231) went 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and a RBI.
- RHP Brian Schlitter (0.00) struck out one while allowing one hit in a scoreless ninth inning. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in 3.2 innings this season.
Daytona Cubs (3-4)
Daytona pitching surrendered 15 hits, including four home runs, in a 12-2 setback to visiting Clearwater.
- 2B Stephen Bruno (.370) went 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and a stolen base. He extended his hitting streak to five games (.429/9-for-21).
- C Chad Noble (.250) and LF Taiwan Easterling (.333) each went 2-for-4.
- 1B Dustin Geiger (.261) recorded his second-consecutive two-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI.
Blake Parker became the Iowa Cubs’ all-time saves leader Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Iowa Cubs ended a six-game losing streak to rack up their first win of the season, while Tennessee, Daytona and Kane Count all lost on Wednesday. Here are some highlights from Wednesday’s action:
IOWA CUBS (1-6)
Iowa won its first game of the season, scoring three runs in the fifth inning to beat host Round Rock, 3-2.
- C Luis Flores (.250 AVG) went 1-for-4 with a solo home run in the fifth inning.
- RF Ryan Sweeney (.438) recorded his third multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-5.
- 3B Edwin Maysonet (.273) chipped in with two hits, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base (1).
- RHP Yoanner Negrin (0.00 ERA) tossed 2.2 scoreless innings of relief, striking out two. He hasn’t allowed a run in 4.2 innings of relief this season.
- RHP Blake Parker (4.50) became the franchise’s all-time saves leader, tossing 1.1-scoreless innings to notch his 35th career save with Iowa.
TENNESSEE SMOKIES (2-4)
Tennessee lost its third game in a row, dropping a 6-2 decision to visiting Chattanooga.
- 1B Justin Bour (.190) clubbed his first homer of the season, going 1-for-2 with two walks and the clout. He recorded a team-high 17 home runs last season.
- CF Rubi Silva (.235) went 2-for-4 with a double and a stolen base (2).
- RHP Frank Batista (0.00) allowed two hits while striking out one in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief.
DAYTONA CUBS (3-3)
Visiting Clearwater scored five runs in the 11th inning to defeat Daytona, 14-9.
- DH-CF Zeke DeVoss (.308) went 2-for-6, homering for the second straight game … he has hit safely in five of his first six games this season.
- CF-RF John Andreoli (.478) extended his hitting streak to six games, going 3-for-6 with a double.
- 3B Dustin Geiger (.158) and LF Taiwan Easterling (.250) each clubbed their first home runs of the campaign.
- RHP Ryan Searle (0.00) struck out four in 3.2-scoreless innings of relief. He has not allowed a run in 8.1 innings this season.
KANE COUNTY COUGARS (2-5)
Kane County had its two-game winning streak snapped in a 10-4 loss to visiting Clinton.
- 1B Rock Shoulders (.467) went 2-for-5, extending his hitting streak to seven games. He has recorded two or more hits in five-straight games.
- RF-P Bijan Rademacher (.316) reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks and two runs scored. He also pitched the ninth inning, allowing an unearned run on three walks.
- CF Trey Martin (.133) went 1-for-3 with a walk, a double and a team-high two RBI (2).
- LHP Nathan Dorris (1.42) struck out five hitters in 4.0-scoreless innings of relief.
Zach Putnam pitched well for Triple-A Iowa Tuesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Kane County Cougars captured a walk-off win Tuesday, while Daytona had its three-game win streak snapped and Iowa continued to struggle. Tennessee was off and will host Chattanooga Wednesday. Here are the highlights from Tuesday’s games:
IOWA CUBS (0-6)
Iowa suffered its sixth-straight loss to open the season, dropping a 4-2 decision at Round Rock. The 0-6 mark is the worst start in franchise history.
- LF Darnell McDonald (.313) went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning He’s hit safely in all five games he’s appeared in.
- RF Brett Jackson (.280) recorded his second-consecutive, multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a triple and a run scored.
- DH Ty Wright (.222) went 2-for-4 to snap a four-game hitless skid.
- RHP Zach Putnam (1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 SO) and RHP Rafael Dolis (1.0 IP, 1 H) each worked a scoreless inning of relief.
DAYTONA CUBS (3-2)
Daytona had its three-game winning streak snapped, as the D-Cubs committed four errors in a 5-4 setback against visiting Clearwater.
- DH Zeke DeVoss (.300) went 1-for-5 with a solo home run.
- RF Jorge Soler (.450) extended his hitting streak to five games, including three straight, multi-hit affairs, going 2-for-4 with a walk and a RBI.
- LF-CF John Andreoli (.471) reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base. He owns a five-game hitting streak and back-to-back multi-walk efforts.
- LHP Sheldon McDonald (0-1, 3.38) worked 2.2-scoreless innings of relief, surrendering two hits while walking two and fanning one.
KANE COUNTY COUGARS (2-4)
Cougars third baseman Jeimer Candelario smacked a game-winning single to left field in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 6-5 walk-off win against visiting Clinton.
- SS Jeimer Candelario (.241) finished 2-for-5 with the game-winning RBI.
- DH Rock Shoulders (.480) extended his hitting streak to six games, going 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored, a home run and one RBI. He has recorded two or more hits in four-straight games.
- 1B Daniel Vogelbach (.310) recorded his second three-hit game of the campaign, going 3-for-5.
- RF Bijan Rademacher (.294), SS Marco Hernandez (.136) and 2B Gioskar Amaya (.269) collected two hits apiece.
- RHP Eduardo Orozco (1-1, 6.00) picked up his first win of the season despite allowing two unearned runs in the top of the ninth inning.
Josh Vitters will man the hot corner for the Iowa Cubs. (Photo by Stephen Green)
By just scanning down the 2013 Opening Day roster, it’s apparent that the Iowa Cubs have some major league experience. Though the lineup doesn’t include a top prospect of Anthony Rizzo’s pedigree and Jeff Samardzija’s days of shuttling back and forth between Chicago and Des Moines are a thing of the past, this Iowa side has enough talent and experience (17 of the 26 players on the Opening Day roster played in the majors last year) to make things interesting in the Pacific Coast League this season.
Center fielder Brett Jackson will be the centerpiece to this season’s squad. The organization’s No. 4 overall prospect (according to MLB.com) struggled putting the ball in play last season, striking out 217 times combined in Triple-A and in the majors. He spent the offseason reworking his swing, with the hopes of cutting his K total down. If it works, he’ll receive a call-up, or—at worst—there could be an increase in his 15 homers and 47 RBI in 106 Triple-A games from a year ago.
Josh Vitters also returns to the fray after struggling with an August 2012 call-up. He crushed Triple-A pitching last season though, hitting .304/.356/.513 in 110 games, with 17 homers and 68 driven in. He spent much of the offseason working on his patience at the plate, looking to see more pitches and be more selective.
Ryan Sweeney will give the organization a boost as well. The new Cub (signed April 2) has spent seven seasons in the majors, and owns a career .280 average, including hitting .260 with the Red Sox in 2012. The Cedar Rapids, Iowa native will get an opportunity to play in front of his home fans before a hopeful return to the bigs.
Much like the other minor league affiliates, the pitching staff doesn’t have a top-level arm. But that’s not to say there aren’t intriguing pitchers.
The rotation boasts three players with 2012 big league experience in lefties Chris Rusin, Brooks Raley and right-hander Drew Carpenter. Rusin’s numbers are the most notable of the three, starting eight games last year and compiling a 6.37 ERA. But during the spring, the 26-year-old surrendered just five runs during 23.1 innings.
The organization’s minor league pitcher of the year Nick Struck and Barret Loux both received promotions from Double-A, and round out the rotation. Struck went 14-10 in Double-A Tennessee last year, with an ERA of 3.18 in 155.2 innings, fanning 123. Loux, a former first round pick, recorded a 14-1 record with a 3.17 ERA in 25 starts for Double-A Frisco of the Rangers’ system.
Marty Pevey will take over as manager of the I-Cubs. Here’s the full roster he’ll have to start the season:
Esmailin Caridad RHP
Drew Carpenter RHP
Jaye Chapman RHP
Casey Coleman RHP
Rafael Dolis RHP
Jensen Lewis RHP
Barret Loux RHP
Yoanner Negrin RHP
Blake Parker RHP
Zach Putnam RHP
Brooks Raley LHP
Chris Rusin LHP
Nick Struck RHP
Cory Wade RHP
Brett Jackson recorded a team-high two RBI for Iowa Monday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Kane County Cougars picked up their first win of the season Monday, while the Iowa Cubs surrendered their fifth-straight loss. Here are the highlights from Monday’s games:
IOWA CUBS (0-5)
Iowa suffered its fifth-straight loss to open the season, surrendering six first-inning runs in a 13-5 setback at Round Rock.
- 2B Logan Watkins (.368) went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, two runs scored and a RBI.
- CF Brett Jackson (.238) was 2-for-4 with a double and a team-high two RBI (2).
- SS Donnie Murphy (.300) was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored.
- RF Brian Bogusevic (.389) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and an outfield assist.
- RHP Blake Parker (6.75) walked one and fanned two in 1.1 scoreless innings of relief.
TENNESSEE SMOKIES (2-3)
Tennessee lost its second game in a row, dropping a 2-1 pitchers’ duel at Pensacola.
- CF Matt Szczur (.409) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a stolen base.
- SS Arismendy Alcantara (.261) added two hits, going 2-for-4.
- LF Rubi Silva (.154) went 1-for-4 with a stolen base.
- LHP Zach Rosscup (0.00) allowed one hit while fanning three in 1.0 scoreless inning of relief.
- RHP Trey McNutt (0.00) fanned one in a perfect eighth inning.
DAYTONA CUBS (3-1)
Daytona had the day off. The D-Cubs return to action Tuesday, hosting Clearwater.
KANE COUNTY COUGARS (1-4)
Kane County squandered a 5-1 eighth-inning lead, but plated a run in the bottom of the 10th to defeat visiting Clinton 6-5 in walk-off fashion, snapping a season-opening, four-game skid.
- 2B Gioskar Amaya (.238) went 3-for-5 with a triple, a run scored and a stolen base.
- C Chadd Krist (.625) was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored.
- RF Bijan Rademacher (.214) added three hits, going 3-for-5 with a team-high three RBI and an outfield assist.
- 1B Rock Shoulders (2-for-5, R) and LF Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-5, R) both had multi-hit performances.
Jorge Soler homered and drove in two on Sunday. (Photo by Stephen Green)
The Tennessee Smokies and the Daytona Cubs picked up a win after Sunday night’s games while Iowa and Kane County both continue to search for their first victories of the season after falling short this weekend. Here are the highlights from Sunday’s games:
IOWA CUBS (0-4)
Iowa suffered its fourth consecutive defeat to start the season, falling 7-3 at Albuquerque.
- RF Ryan Sweeney went 2-for-3 with a walk and a solo home run.
- CF Brett Jackson (1-for-4, R) and LF Darnell McDonald (1-for-4, R, 2B) also collected hits and a run.
- RHP Casey Coleman allowed two runs on three hits in 2.0 innings out of the bullpen, striking out two.
TENNESSEE SMOKIES (2-2)
Tennessee stranded the tying run on second base in the ninth inning, losing 5-4 at Pensacola.
- 1B Justin Bour (2-for-4, R, RBI) collected two hits including a RBI double in the third inning.
- 3B Tim Torres walked and singled twice in three at bats.
- RHP’s Tony Zych (1.2 IP, 2 H) and A.J. Morris (1.1 IP) combined to hold the Blue Wahoos scoreless over the final three innings.
DAYTONA CUBS (3-1)
Daytona scored nine runs over the final four innings to shutout Brevard County on the road, 9-0.
- RHP P.J. Francescon (1-0) surrendered one hit in five scoreless innings, striking out six.
- RF Jorge Soler (2-for-4, 2 R, BB, 2 RBI) homered for the second-consecutive day, knocking in SS Javier Baez (1-for-4, R, SB) in the sixth inning.
- LF John Andreoli reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, two runs, a triple and a RBI.
- RHP Yeiper Castillo struck out three batters in two scoreless innings.
- RHP’s Luis Liria and Austin Reed recorded the final six outs in order to complete the shutout.
KANE COUNTY COUGARS (0-4)
Quad Cities scored two runs in the 13th inning to defeat host Kane County, 3-1, and finish off the four-game sweep.
- CF Oliver Zapata went 2-for-5 with a walk from the leadoff spot.
- LF Rock Shoulders (2-for-3, BB) extended his hitting streak to four games.
- LHP Michael Heesch took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before surrendering the first hit and run of the game.
- RHP Felix Pena pitched 5.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits and walking one while striking out five.
The Smokies return slugger Justin Bour. (Photo by Rodger Wood)
Coming off of a 2011 Florida State League title, many believed the Tennessee Smokies were destined to repeat in 2012. But that didn’t happen, as the team hovered around .500 for much of the year, finishing 72-68.
This year’s Smokies might not have the hype of the 2012 squad, but after retaining 17 players and adding a few highly touted prospects, a league title could again be in their sights.
The 2013 offense is fronted by a few key returnees in Justin Bour and Matt Szczur. Bour, a 24-year-old first baseman, was the rock in the middle of the order last season, hitting .283/.360/.455 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 17 homers and a franchise-record 110 driven in. If he’s not moved up, he could near that RBI total again, especially considering Szczur and newcomer Arismendy Alcantara will bat ahead of him in the lineup.
Former fifth-round pick Szczur was all over Single-A hitting before his call-up last season. Though he struggled at Double-A (.210/.285/.357 in 35 games), he performed well in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .264 and drawing 14 walks in 105 at-bats. He also stole nine bases.
The 21-year-old Alcantara was promoted after a stellar 2012 in Daytona, where he hit .302/.339/.447 with 13 doubles and swiped 25 bags. The versatile infielder will likely line up at short, and he’s a tough out at the plate.
Alberto Cabrera is a Tennessee newcomer who will head a rotation that features three returnees. The 24-year-old Cabrera pitched in relief for the first time in his career last season and reached the majors, where he went 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 21.2 innings. Eric Jokisch, Dae-Eun Rhee, Dallas Beeler and call-up Kyle Hendricks round out the starting staff.
Buddy Bailey returns to manage the Smokies, who play Friday night at 7 p.m. CST. Here’s the roster Bailey will have to work with to start season:
Frank Batista RHP
Dallas Beeler RHP
Alberto Cabrera RHP
Marcus Hatley RHP
Kyle Hendricks RHP
Eric Jokisch LHP
Trey McNutt RHP
A.J. Morris RHP
Kevin Rhoderick RHP
Dae-Eun Rhee RHP
Zach Rosscup LHP
Brian Schlitter RHP
Tony Zych RHP
Matt Szczur recorded three hits Thursday night. (Photo by Stephen Green)
All four Cubs minor league squads struggled in their Thursday debuts, resulting in a quartet of losses. Despite the problems on the scoreboard, here are the Cubs highlights from last night’s action:
IOWA CUBS (0-1)
Iowa allowed seven runs in the seventh inning and dropped its season opener at Albuquerque, 10-3.
- 1B Brian Bogusevic went 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI in his Iowa debut.
- LF Ty Wright (2-for-4) had two hits, including a two-out RBI in the fifth, scoring Bogusevic.
- C J.C. Boscan had two singles in a 2-for-4 outing.
- RHP Rafael Dolis tossed a scoreless eighth inning, retiring the side in order with three groundouts.
TENNESSEE SMOKIES (0-1)
Tennessee jumped ahead in the third inning but fell 7-3 on the road at Pensacola in their season opener.
- LF Matt Szczur went 3-for-4 from the leadoff spot with a run scored.
- SS Arismendy Alcantara went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer that put the Smokies ahead in the third inning. He finished with a walk, one run scored, three RBI and a stolen base.
- RHP A.J. Morris allowed one hit and a run in 1.2 innings of work. He struck out two while walking one.
DAYTONA CUBS (0-1)
The D-Cubs fell in their home opener 4-3 to Brevard County after giving up two runs in the seventh inning.
- RF Jorge Soler got off to a fast start going 2-for-4 in the opener.
- SS Javier Baez (0-for-3) recorded an RBI on a sacrifice fly in the first inning.
- 3B Tim Saunders (1-for-4, R, RBI, SB) registered a double in the opening frame
- 2B Stephen Bruno also doubled, going 1-for-3 with a run scored.
- RHP Eduardo Figueroa held the Manatees scoreless, allowing two hits in 2.1 innings of work with two strikeouts.
KANE COUNTY COUGARS (0-1)
Kane County dropped a 7-2 decision to the visiting Quad Cities River Bandits in the team’s first game as a Cubs affiliate.
- 1B Dan Vogelbach went 2-for-4 with two singles.
- DH Rock Shoulders notched the team’s only home run with a two-run blast to right in the fourth inning.
- RHP Stephen Perakslis allowed no hits and no runs in 1.1 IP while striking out one
- RHP Eduardo Orozco added a scoreless inning, striking out one and walking one while allowing no hits.
Javier Baez will be Daytona’s shortstop to start the 2013 season. (Photo by Stephen Green)
If there’s any Cubs minor league affiliate that’s going to attract attention at the start of 2013, it’s the organization’s High-A Daytona squad. Daytona season ticket holders will likely see an increase in occupied seats, thanks to the heart of the Cubs’ order.
Sitting third and fourth in the lineup are Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, two of Baseball America‘s top 34 prospects in baseball heading into the year. The talented shortstop Baez crushed Single-A pitching in 2012, hitting .333/.383/.553 (AVG/OBP/SLG) with 12 home runs and 33 RBI in 235 plate appearances. He did struggle in 23 games at Daytona to end the season, but after a strong Arizona Fall League and an even better Spring Training—spent mainly with the big league club—his late-summer slide seems like a distant memory.
Likely batting right behind Baez will be hulking Cuban expat Jorge Soler. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound right fielder signed a nine-year, $30 million free agent deal in early July. Though he played just 20 games for Single-A Peoria last year, he hit .338 with three homers and 15 RBI. A member of the 40-man roster, Soler was invited to big league Spring Training, where he hit .222 in 36 at-bats, but also flashed some impressive leather and showed Cubs management he’s more than just a big bat.
Other notable offensive weapons include John Andreoli, Stephen Bruno, Zeke DeVoss, Dustin Geiger and Tim Saunders. Former Florida State wide receiver Taiwan Easterling could also be an exciting player to watch. After hitting .307 in 2011, the 23-year-old’s average slipped to .243 last year in Peoria.
The pitching staff doesn’t have as many headline names, but getting right-hander Starlin Peralta back, after initially losing him to Arizona in the Rule 5 draft, helps. Austin Kirk returns after going 7-3 last year with a 3.13 ERA in 21 starts. Eduardo Figueroa was the club’s go-to reliever last season, appearing in 37 games and posting a 2.90 ERA.
Here are the players manager Dave Keller will have on his roster as Daytona opens its season Thursday:
Yeiper Castillo, RHP
Zach Cates, RHP
Frank Del Valle, LHP
Eduardo Figueroa, RHP
P.J. Francescon, RHP
Austin Kirk, LHP
Luis Liria, RHP
Sheldon McDonald, LHP
Starlin Peralta, RHP
Austin Reed, RHP
Ryan Searle, RHP
Yao-Lin Wang, RHP
Ben Wells, RHP