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Cubs Minor League Report: 6/21/16

Iowa was rained out, while Eugene couldn’t get the bats going Tuesday. Mesa had the day off, but the other affiliates had plenty of players participating in their respective All-Star Games.

Tennessee Smokies

The Smokies are currently on a three-day All-Star Break and return to action Thursday vs. Pensacola.

The Southern League All-Star Game took place last night in Pearl, Mississippi. Eight Smokies were named to the All-Star Game: RHP Paul Blackburn, INF Jeimer Candelario, C Victor Caratini, RHP Brad Markey, RHP Juan Paniagua, RHP Tyler Skulina, INF Chesny Young and OF Mark Zagunis. The Southern Division won, 5-1.

  • C Victor Caratini entered as a defensive replacement and went 1 for 2 with a double, which was the lone extra-base hit for the North All-Stars. He also scored a run.
  • RHP Paul Blackburn (1 IP, 2 SO) pitched the third inning and fanned a pair of batters.
  • RHP Juan Paniagua (0.1 IP, 1 SO) punched out the only batter he faced.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Pelicans are currently on a three-day All-Star Break and return to action Thursday vs. Carolina.

The California/Carolina League All-Star Game took place last night in Lake Elsinore, California. The Pelicans had four players selected to the All-Star Game: RHP Trevor Clifton, INF Ian Happ, RHP Zach Hedges and RHP Jake Stinnett. The Carolina League notched a 6-4 victory.

  • RHP Zach Hedges (1 IP, 1 SO) pitched a clean third inning.
  • RHP Jake Stinnett (1 IP) retired the side in the seventh.
  • RHP Trevor Clifton (0.2 IP, H) picked up the save after recording a pair of outs in the ninth.

South Bend Cubs

The SB-Cubs are currently on a three-day All-Star Break and return to action Thursday at Dayton.

  • The Midwest League All-Star Game took place last night in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The SB-Cubs had six players selected to the All-Star Game: RHP Adbert Alzolay, OF Donnie Dewees, INF Andrew Ely, INF Jesse Hodges, OF Eloy Jimenez and LHP Carson Sands. The Eastern Division came from behind to win, 11-10.
  • LF Eloy Jimenez went 1 for 5 with a homer and four RBI. He clubbed a game-tying, three-run homer to center field in the ninth inning. He was named MVP of the game.
  • CF Donnie Dewees went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a team-high three runs scored.
  • LHP Carson Sands (0.2 IP, 2 H) did not allow a run in his outing.

Eugene Emeralds (3-2)
Northwest League (Short-Season A)
T-First Place (–)

The Emeralds could only muster three hits, falling to Hillsboro, 4-1.

  • C Marcus Mastrobuoni (.286) went 1 for 3 with a double (1), run scored, walk and stolen base (1).
  • 3B Matt Rose (.267) finished 1 for 4 with a double (1).
  • 1B Chris Pieters (.286) drew a pair of walks.
  • CF D.J. Wilson (.190) was 1 for 3 with a free pass.

Cubs Lineup: 6/22/16 vs. Cardinals

Cubs vs. Cardinals — Wrigley Field
First Pitch: 1:20 CST
Cubs Starter: Jake Arrieta, rhp (11-1, 1.74 ERA)
Cardinals Starter: Michael Wacha, rhp (2-7, 4.56 ERA)
TV: ABC 7; Radio: 670 The Score

1. Chris Coghlan, lf
2. Jason Heyward, rf
3. Kris Bryant, 3b
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
5. Ben Zobrist, 2b
6. Miguel Montero, c
7. Javy Baez, ss
8. Matt Szczur, cf
9. Jake Arrieta, p

Cubs Lineup: 6/21/16 vs. Cardinals

Cubs vs. Cardinals — Wrigley Field
First Pitch: 7:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Jason Hammel, rhp (7-2, 2.26 ERA)
Cardinals Starter: Adam Wainwright, rhp (5-4, 4.78 ERA)
TV: ABC 7, MLB Network (out of market only); Radio: 670 The Score

1. Chris Coghlan, lf
2. Jason Heyward, rf
3. Kris Bryant, 3b
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
5. Ben Zobrist, 2b
6. Willson Contreras, c
7. Addison Russell, ss
8. Albert Almora Jr., cf
9. Jason Hammel, p

Cubs Minor League Report: 6/20/16

All three teams in action secured wins Monday, while the other teams enjoyed their All-Star breaks. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor-league Cubs action.

Iowa Cubs (32-36)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
T-Second (-4.5)

Iowa snapped a four-game losing streak, defeating host Memphis, 5-4.

  • CF John Andreoli (.238) went 2 for 3 with a walk, two doubles (7) and two runs scored. He is batting .429 (15 for 35) with nine extra-base hits in his last nine games.
  • LF Matt Murton (.322) extended his hitting streak to four games (.444/8 for 18), going 2 for 4 with a run scored.
  • SS Kristopher Negron (.271) went 2 for 4 with a double (10).
  • RHP Spencer Patton (1 IP, 1 SO) collected his eighth save. He has not allowed a run in his last seven appearances (7 IP).

Tennessee Smokies (28-42)

The Smokies are currently on a three-day All-Star Break and return to action on Thursday vs. Pensacola.

The Southern League All-Star Game takes place tonight in Pearl, Mississippi. Eight Smokies were named to the All-Star Game: RHP Paul Blackburn, INF Jeimer Candelario, C Victor Caratini, RHP Brad Markey, RHP Juan Paniagua, RHP Tyler Skulina, INF Chesny Young and OF Mark Zagunis.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (36-34)

The Pelicans are currently on a three-day All-Star Break and return to action on Thursday vs. Carolina.

The California/Carolina League All-Star Game takes place tonight in Lake Elsinore, California. The Pelicans had four players selected to the All-Star Game: RHP Trevor Clifton, INF Ian Happ, RHP Zach Hedges and RHP Jake Stinnett.

South Bend Cubs (41-28)

South Bend is currently on a three-day All-Star Break and returns to action on Thursday at Dayton.

The Midwest League All-Star Game takes place tonight in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The SB-Cubs had six players selected to the All-Star Game: RHP Adbert Alzolay, OF Donnie Dewees, INF Andrew Ely, INF Jesse Hodges, OF Eloy Jimenez and LHP Carson Sands.

Eugene Emeralds (3-1)
Northwest League (Short-Season A)
T-First Place (–)

The Emeralds allowed just three hits as they blanked host Hillsboro, 6-0.

  • SS Andruw Monasterio (.333) was 1 for 4 with a two-run homer (1) in the third inning. He has hit safely in all four games (6 for 18).
  • C Tyler Payne (.286) went 2 for 4 with a double (1) and a triple (1).
  • 2B Yeiler Peguero (.313) finished 2 for 4 with a double (2) and a run scored.
  • LHP Manuel Rondon (0.00 ERA) allowed just one hit and no walks in five innings in his first start of the season.
  • RHP Michael Knighton (4 IP, 2 H, 3 SO) followed with four scoreless innings to collect the save.

Mesa Cubs (1-0)
Arizona Rookie League
T-First Place (–)

Mesa rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to defeat the AZL Brewers, 5-3.

  • RF Luis Ayala (.600) finished 3 for 5 with a go-ahead, three-run, inside-the-park home run (1).
  • 1B Kevin Zamudio (.250) went 1 for 4 with a two-run homer (1) in the eighth inning to start the scoring.
  • DH Gustavo Polanco (.500) finished 2 for 4 with a run scored.
  • LHP Yapson Gomez (3 IP, 2 SO) tossed three perfect innings of relief to collect the win.

 

Cubs place OF Fowler on 15-day DL, recall RHP Edwards Jr.

Edwards(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs today placed outfielder Dexter Fowler on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 19) and recalled right-handed pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. from Triple-A Iowa.

Edwards, who will wear uniform No. 6, will be available for the Cubs tonight when they open their three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

The 24-year-old Edwards joins the Cubs for the second time this season, as he served as the club’s 26th man for a doubleheader on May 11 vs. San Diego (he did not appear in a game). Edwards made his major-league debut for the Cubs last season, posting no record with a 3.86 ERA (2 ER/4.2 IP) in five relief appearances. He is 1-1 with one save and a 4.26 ERA (12 ER/25.1 IP) in 24 relief appearances with Iowa this season, limiting opponents to a .185 batting average while striking out 35 batters in 25.1 innings, an average of 12.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Edwards began the 2015 campaign with Tennessee and turned in a 2.66 ERA (7 ER/23.2 IP) in 13 relief appearances to earn his first promotion to Triple-A in late May. He was named to the U.S. Team in the 2015 Futures Game (0.2 scoreless innings pitched) before capping his Triple-A campaign with a 3-1 record, two saves and a 2.84 ERA (10 ER/31.2 IP) in 23 relief outings.

The right-hander joined the Cubs with right-handed pitchers Justin Grimm and Neil Ramirez and infielder Mike Olt in the trade that sent pitcher Matt Garza to Texas in 2013. Edwards is 20-11 with seven saves and a 2.21 ERA (78 ER/317.2 IP) in 110 career appearances, 49 as a starter, in five pro seasons. He has struck out 404 batters in 317.2 innings pitched, nearly 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

Fowler, 30, is batting .290 (69 for 238) with 19 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 28 RBI in 64 games for the Cubs this season.

Cubs Lineup: 6/20/16 vs. Cardinals

Cubs vs. Cardinals — Wrigley Field
First Pitch: 7:05 CST
Cubs Starter: John Lackey, rhp (7-2, 2.66 ERA)
Cardinals Starter: Jaime Garcia, lhp (4-6, 3.93 ERA)
TV: CSN; Radio: 670 The Score

1. Ben Zobrist, 2b
2. Jason Heyward, rf
3. Kris Bryant, lf
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
5. Willson Contreras, c
6. Javy Baez, 3b
7. Addison Russell, ss
8. Albert Almora Jr., cf
9. John Lackey, p

1000 Words: Hot Stove Cool Music is another smash hit

Theo Epstein has repeatedly proven he knows how to run a baseball team. In recent years, he’s also demonstrated a unique ability to put on a good rock show.

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder surprised fans Friday night when he took the stage at The Metro in Wrigleyville, joining an all-star roster of Chicago and Boston musicians who stepped up to the plate for Chicago-area youth at the fifth annual Hot Stove Cool Music Chicago benefit concert. Vedder, a die-hard Cubs fan, joined the Hot Stove roster for the second consecutive year, helping raise more than $400,000 for Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein’s Foundation To Be Named Later.

Vedder joined Epstein, Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons, Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper and an all-star lineup featuring Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Liz Phair, Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, Latin Grammy nominated jazz musician/former New York Yankee Bernie Williams, JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound and Avid Dancer.

Ensemble performances by the “Hot Stove All-Stars,” a host of distinguished Chicago and Boston musicians who anchor the Hot Stove Music line-up, rounded out the bill. The “All-Stars” include Kay Hanley (Letters to Cleo), Jennifer Hall, Max Crawford, Dag Juhlin (Poi Dog Pondering), Gerald Dowd, Scott Stevenson (Robbie Fulks), Gail Greenwood (Belly, L7), Freda Love Smith (Blake Babies, Mysteries of Life), Hilken Mancini (Fuzzy), Liam Davis (Justin Roberts), Steve Frisbie (Frisbie), Curt Morrison (Tributosaurus), Matt Spiegel (Tributosaurus), Will Dailey, Chris Cote (Upper Crust), Jen D’Angora (Downbeat Five, Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents), Ed Valauskas (Gravel Pit), Paul Ahlstrand, Phil Aiken, Gerald Dowd, Jen Trynin, and more.

“Once again Chicagoans stepped up and answered the call to support underserved youth and families in our community,” Epstein said. “The need has never been greater and so we deeply appreciate the support and dedication of all the musicians, sponsors, fans and volunteers whose tireless efforts ensure Hot Stove Cool Music raises funds to provide opportunities for kids across Chicago.”

Vedder took the stage with Epstein on guitar and tore through a set of solo and Pearl Jam favorites and covers including “Better Man,” “Big Hard Sun,” and his acoustic Cubs tribute “All The Way.” The iconic rocker electrified the crowd when he invited Cubs Manager Joe Maddon and coaches to the stage as backups on the tambourine and cowbells, closing his set with Neil Young’s “Rockin’ In The Free World.” He returned to the stage at midnight to close the show with the “Hot Stove All-Stars,” ending the evening with the Split Enz “I Got You.”

The annual event, presented by Chicago Trading Company, was hosted by Epstein and Gammons, with Mad Men actor Joel Murray and WXRT-FM’s Lin Brehmer serving as emcees. Other special guests in attendance included Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel, Alumni Ryan Dempster, Chariman Tom Ricketts, Special Assistant Kevin Youkilis, coaches and other front office execs. The evening also included live auctions featuring signed music and sports memorabilia, including a signed Eddie Vedder guitar that sold for $26,000.

In addition to the concert, the Hot Stove Cool Music series of events featured a three-day leadership program for Chicago and Boston youth athletes, culminating into the Summer City Urban Baseball Classic June 18 at Jackie Robinson Park. The event, which shined a light on the importance of youth baseball and the role it plays in the development of successful young leaders, featured urban youth playing exciting baseball as Chicago’s Jackie Robinson West, Garfield Park Baseball, Lou Collier Baseball Association and The Boston Astros faced-off.

Cubs Minor League Report: 6/19/16

South Bend clinched a first-half title with a win Sunday, but the other affiliates were unable to secure victories. Here are some notes from yesterday’s minor-league Cubs action.

Iowa Cubs (31-36)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
T-Second Place (-5.5)

The I-Cubs were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and fell to Memphis, 4-3.

  • SS Munenori Kawasaki (.252) was the only Iowa batter to tally more than one hit, going 2 for 3 with a double (8), an RBI (20) and a walk.
  • LF Matt Murton (.315) went 1 for 4 with an RBI (22) and a run.
  • PH-RF Mark Zagunis (.381) hit a pinch-hit triple (2) to lead off the eighth inning. He also scored a run.
  • The Iowa bullpen combined to throw 4.2 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits over the span.

Tennessee Smokies (28-42)
Southern League (Double-A)
Fifth Place (-18.0)

The Smokies mustered just three singles in a 4-0 setback at Jackson to conclude the season’s first half.

  • RF Billy McKinney (.256), 3B David Bote (.200) and C Victor Caratini (.298) each collected hits.
  • RHP Jen-Ho Tseng (3.22 ERA) gave up one earned run in six innings. He has posted a 1.48 ERA (4 ER/24.1 IP) in his last five starts.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (36-34)
Carolina League (High-A)
Second Place (-7.5)

The Pelicans finished the first half with a 4-3, 11-inning setback at Potomac.

  • DH Ian Happ (.296) went 3 for 4 with a double (16), a two-run homer (7) and a walk. He has four straight multi-hit games and is batting .361 (22 for 61) in June.
  • 3B Jason Vosler (.271) was 2 for 4 with a walk and a double (18).
  • 2B Andrew Ely (.182) finished 2 for 5 with a stolen base (1).
  • RHP Michael Wagner (4 IP, 1 H, 6 SO) tossed four scoreless innings of relief in his first outing of the season with Myrtle Beach.

South Bend Cubs (41-28)
Midwest League (Single-A)
First Place (+1.0)

South Bend defeated Lake County 3-1 to clinch a playoff berth and the Eastern Division first half title.

  • LF Eloy Jimenez (.341) extended his hitting streak to 14 games (.453/24 for 53), going 2 for 3 with two doubles (24) and two RBI (45). He has hit safely in 32 of his last 35 games and has multiple hits in six straight games.
  • 2B Carlos Sepulveda (.300) went 1 for 4 with a double (6), an RBI (8) and a run scored.
  • RHP Kyle Miller (1.35 ERA) struck out five in seven innings, giving up just one earned run in the win. He has gone 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA (3 ER/18 IP) in three starts this season.
  • RHP Pedro Araujo (2 IP, 4 SO) struck out four batters in two perfect innings.

Eugene Emeralds (2-1)
Northwest League (Short-Season A)
T-First Place (–)

The Emeralds lost their first game of the season to Boise, 6-4 (13 inn.). It’s their second extra-inning game in as many days.

  • 3B Wladmir Galindo (.167) was 2 for 5 with a pair of solo homers (2).
  • 2B Yeiler Peguero (.250) went 2 for 5 with a homer (1), two RBI (2) and a run scored.
  • CF D.J. Wilson (.154) and SS Andruw Monasterio (.357) both finished 2 for 6.
  • Jose Paulino (0.00 ERA) punched out five and allowed five hits over five scoreless frames.
  • RHP Alex Santana (2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 SO) threw 2.1 scoreless innings.

Cubs Minor League Report: 6/16/16

South Bend inched closer to a first-half title Thursday, but Iowa couldn’t hold a lead, and Tennessee’s bats never came alive. Myrtle Beach was rained out. Eugene begins its Short-Season A campaign Friday. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor-league Cubs action.

Iowa Cubs (31-33)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
Second Place (-2.5)

Iowa gave up a five-run ninth inning to lose to Colorado Springs, 9-8, in walk-off fashion (10 innings).

  • CF John Andreoli (.230) went 2 for 6 with a triple (5), a homer (10), an RBI (33) and two runs scored. He has three straight multi-hit games.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.312) homered (12), scored two runs and walked once.
  • RF Mark Zagunis (.438) extended his multi-hit streak to six straight games, going 2 for 4 with a double (5), an RBI (4), a run and a walk.
  • LF Matt Murton (.314) finished 3 for 5 with a pair of runs.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.345) went 1 for 4 with a triple (2) and a walk.

Tennessee Smokies (28-38)
Southern League (Double-A)
Fourth Place (-14.0)

The Smokies could muster only four hits as they lost to first-place Jackson, 3-2.

  • DH Kelly Dugan (.212) went 1 for 3 with a double (6) and an RBI (21).
  • 3B Chesny Young (.295) finished 1 for 4 with a triple (2) and a run.
  • 1B Ben Carhart (.224) was 1 for 4 with a double (1) and a run.
  • C Victor Caratini (.294) reached base twice, going 0 for 2 with a walk and a hit-by-pitch.
  • RHP David Berg (2.2 IP, 1 SO) faced the minimum eight batters in his 2.2 scoreless innings.

South Bend Cubs (40-26)
Midwest League (Single-A)
First Place (+1.0)

The SB-Cubs topped Lake County, 5-1, and are now one win away from clinching a first-half playoff spot.

  • RHP Preston Morrison (3.32 ERA) struck out nine in seven scoreless innings to secure the win. He has a 2.14 ERA (10 ER/42 IP) since the beginning of May, compared to a 6.11 ERA (12 ER/17.2 IP) in April.
  • DH P.J. Higgins (.284) was 2 for 4 with a double (14), an RBI (19), a run and a walk.
  • LF Eloy Jimenez (.329) went 2 for 4 with a double (22), an RBI (43) and a run scored, extending his hitting streak to 11 games (.429/18 for 42). He has hit safely in 29 of his last 32 games.
  • 1B Tyler Alamo (.282) finished 2 for 3 with an RBI (32) and a walk.
  • SS Bryant Flete (.209) went 1 for 4 with a pair of RBI (15).

Cubs officially recall C Contreras from Triple-A Iowa, DFA C Federowicz

Cubs_160304_237(Photo by Stephen Green)

The Cubs officially recalled catcher Willson Contreras from Triple-A Iowa Friday. Catcher Tim Federowicz has been designated for assignment.

Contreras, who will wear uniform No. 40, will be available for the Cubs this afternoon as they begin their three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Wrigley Field.

The 24-year-old joins the first major-league roster of his career after batting .350 (71 for 203) with 16 doubles, three triples, nine home runs and 43 RBI in 54 games with Iowa. He has turned in a .439 on-base percentage and .591 slugging percentage, good for a 1.030 OPS. Among Pacific Coast League leaders, Contreras ranks third in on-base percentage and OPS and fifth in batting average and slugging. The right-handed hitter joins the Cubs riding a 20-game hitting streak, during which he posted a .383 (31 for 81) batting average.

Contreras was named Chicago’s 2015 Minor League Player of the Year after winning the Southern League batting title with Double-A Tennessee. Contreras batted .333 (151 for 454) with 34 doubles, four triples, eight homers and 75 RBI in 126 games during his first-ever stop at Double-A. He was named to both the midseason and postseason Southern League All-Star teams, as he ranked second in the league in doubles, RBI and on-base percentage (.413), and third with a .478 slugging percentage. Later in the year, he was named an Arizona Fall League All-Star.

The 6-foot-1, 212-pound backstop went to major-league Spring Training this year with the Cubs for the first time in his career. Heading into 2016, he was named the No. 1 catching prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com, who also listed him as the 51st-best prospect overall. Baseball America named Contreras as the second-best prospect in the Cubs organization.

Contreras originally signed with Chicago as a non-drafted minor-league free agent on July 2, 2009, out of Venezuela. He was primarily an infielder with some outfield exposure for the first three years of his pro career before catching 39 games for Single-A Boise in 2012, one of six positions he played that season.  He has caught more than 70 games in every season since and was utilized exclusively at catcher with Iowa this season.

In eight minor-league seasons, Contreras has batted .283 (536-for-1,895) with 97 doubles, 22 triples, 39 homers and 282 RBI in 516 career games.

Federowicz, 28, is batting .192 (5 for 26) with two RBI in 13 games for the Cubs this season.

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