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Cubs Minor League Report: 5/8/16

Iowa held on for the win, and Tennessee claimed a shutout victory Sunday. Myrtle Beach fell in extras, while South Bend had the day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor-league Cubs action.

Iowa Cubs (14-14)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
Third Place (-2.5)

Iowa surrendered three runs in the ninth inning, but held on for a 6-5 victory over host Omaha.

  • RHP Ryan Williams (3.86 ERA) fanned five in eight innings, giving up two earned runs in the win.
  • LF Kristopher Negron (.305) went 2 for 3 with three RBI (14), his second three-RBI game in his last three contests.
  • CF Albert Almora (.318) finished 2 for 5 with a run scored. He has now hit safely in five straight games.
  • DH Willson Contreras (.349) was 2 for 3 with a hit-by-pitch and an RBI (13).
  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.250) went 1 for 4 with a solo homer (3) in the fourth inning.

Tennessee Smokies (15-15)
Southern League (Double-A)
Third Place (-4.0)

The Smokies tossed their third shutout of the year, blanking visiting Mississippi, 2-0.

  • RHP Brad Markey (2.64 ERA) tossed five scoreless innings, fanning three in the win.
  • 1B Anthony Giansanti (.229) went 2 for 3 with an RBI (3).
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.202) added a multi-hit game, going 2 for 4 with a double (8) and run scored. He has hit safely in four straight games (5 for 16), with doubles in three straight contests.
  • RHP Corey Black (1 IP, 1 SO) picked up his fourth save and has not allowed a run in his last four outings.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (15-14)
Carolina League (High-A)
Second Place (-5.5)

Myrtle Beach rallied to tie the game with two runs in the ninth, but fell in 13 innings, 6-5 at Wilmington.

  • SS Gleyber Torres (.223) went 3 for 5 with a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth inning, a walk and three runs scored. It marked his second straight multi-hit game and first three-hit game this season. He is 8 for 21 in his last five games.
  • 2B Ian Happ (.280) also tallied three hits, going 3 for 5 with a walk, double (7), run scored and stolen base (5).
  • 3B Jason Vosler (.316) went 2 for 4 with an RBI (11).
  • RHP James Farris (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 SO) tossed two scoreless innings of relief. He has allowed just two earned runs in 18 innings this season (1.00 ERA).

Young, Blackburn named organization’s Minor League Player, Pitcher of the Month for April

ChesneyYoung-Homer(Courtesy Tennessee Smokies)

The Chicago Cubs today named Double-A Tennessee infielder Chesny Young and right-handed pitcher Paul Blackburn the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for April, respectively.

Young, 23, batted .402 (33 for 82) with two doubles, one triple, two homers, 13 runs scored and nine RBI in 22 games for Tennessee in the month of April. He drew 16 walks, contributing to a .505 on-base percentage, and posted a 1.029 OPS. He led the Southern League in batting average and on-base percentage, ranked second in stolen bases (11) and tied for third in total bases (43).

Young was named Southern League Player of the Week, April 18-24, and followed that up by batting .636 (14 for 22) with a triple and four walks in a five-game stretch, April 24-29. He was also named the Southern League Player of the Month for April.

Young was selected by the Cubs in the 14th round of the 2014 draft out of Mercer University and is in his first season at the Double-A level. In 200 minor-league contests over three seasons, Young has batted .326 (249 for 764) with 34 doubles, seven triples, three homers and 90 walks. Last season, Young was named a Carolina League Year-End All-Star after batting .321 (129 for 402) in 102 games with Single-A Myrtle Beach.

Blackburn, 22, went 3-0 with a 0.29 ERA (1 ER/31 IP) in five April starts with Tennessee, his first outings at the Double-A level. After allowing one earned run in 5 innings in his season debut, April 8, Blackburn did not allow an earned run in his next four starts, totaling 26 innings of work. Blackburn struck out 15 and walked five, while limiting opponents to a .210 batting average in his five starts.

Blackburn was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week, April 18-24, after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in 15 innings. He tossed a season high 8 innings, April 23, at Mobile, as the Smokies claimed a 5-2 victory. His 0.29 ERA in the month ranked tops among Southern League pitchers.

Blackburn was selected by the Cubs in the sandwich round (56th overall) of the 2012 draft out of Heritage High School in Brentwood, California. In five seasons, the right-handed pitcher has gone 23-12 with a 2.93 ERA (99 ER/304.1 IP) in 69 appearances, all but four as a starter. He has walked just 94 batters in 304.1 innings, while fanning 204.

Cubs Lineup: 5/6/16 vs. Nationals

Cubs vs. Nationals — Wrigley Field
First Pitch: 1:20 CST
Cubs Starter: John Lackey, rhp (3-1, 4.32 ERA)
Nationals Starter: Max Scherzer, rhp (3-1, 3.55 ERA)
TV: CSN, MLB Network (out-of-network only); Radio: 670 The Score

1. Dexter Fowler, cf
2. Jason Heyward, rf
3. Kris Bryant, lf
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1b
5. Ben Zobrist, 2b
6. Tommy La Stella, 3b
7. Javy Baez, ss
8. David Ross, c
9. John Lackey, p

Cubs Minor League Report: 5/4/16

Iowa got a big game from one of its top prospects, and Myrtle Beach grabbed a shutout victory Wednesday. Tennessee surrendered the lead late, while South Bend gave up one big inning in a loss. Here are some notes from yesterday’s minor-league Cubs action:

Iowa Cubs (11-13)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
Third Place (-3.5)

Dan Vogelbach recorded five RBI, including a grand slam, as Iowa defeated host Nashville, 8-4.

  • RHP Jake Buchanan (4.41 ERA) picked up the win, striking out six in six innings and giving up one earned run.
  • DH Dan Vogelbach (.354) went 3 for 5 with a go-ahead grand slam in the sixth inning, five RBI (21) and two runs scored. He has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games.
  • C Willson Contreras (.338) did not record an official at-bat, picking up four walks and two runs scored. He already has two games this season with four walks drawn.
  • RF John Andreoli (.202) went 1 for 3 with a walk and two RBI (13).

Tennessee Smokies (13-13)
Southern League (Double-A)
Third Place (-3.0)

Tennessee allowed a game-winning run in the top of the ninth to fall to Mississippi, 8-7.

  • 1B Kelly Dugan (.167) went 1 for 5 with a three-run homer (2) in the fifth inning.
  • SS Carlos Penalver (.231) had a multi-hit affair, going 2 for 4 with a double (5). He also knocked in his 12th run of the season, a team-high.
  • CF Jacob Hannemann (.240) finished 1 for 4 and hit his team-leading sixth double of the season. He also knocked in a run (11) and drew a walk.
  • RHP Josh Conway (2 IP, 2 SO) tossed a pair of perfect innings while striking out two in relief.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (14-11)
Carolina League (High-A)
Second Place (-3.5)

Myrtle Beach blanked host Winston-Salem, 3-0, to finish off a three-game sweep.

  • RHP Zach Hedges (1.69 ERA) tossed seven scoreless, striking out five and allowing just three hits in the win.
  • C Cael Brockmeyer (.178) went 2 for 4 with two RBI (7).
  • 1B Yasiel Balaguert (.290) finished 2 for 4 with a double (2) and an RBI (21). His 21 RBI lead the team.
  • DH Shawon Dunston Jr. (.233) added a two-hit game, going 2 for 3 with a run scored, walk and stolen base (3).

South Bend Cubs (14-11)
Midwest League (Single-A)
Third Place (-3.0)

South Bend surrendered four fourth-inning runs and dropped a 4-2 decision against Wisconsin.

  • 2B Andrew Ely (.267) led the team with three hits, going 3 for 4 with a run scored. It was his second three-hit game of the season.
  • C Tyler Alamo (.333) went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI (8).
  • RHP Casey Bloomquist (3 IP, 2 H, 3 SO) has not allowed a run in his last four relief appearances (13.0 IP), all of which have been at least three innings.
  • RHP Scott Effross (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 SO) and RHP James Norwood (1 IP, 1 SO) combined for three scoreless innings of relief.

Cubs place RHP Ramirez on bereavement list, recall RHP Patton from Iowa

The Chicago Cubs today placed right-handed pitcher Neil Ramirez on the bereavement list and recalled right-handed pitcher Spencer Patton from Triple-A Iowa.

Patton, who will wear uniform number 40, will be available for the Cubs Thursday as they begin their four-game series against the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field.

The 28-year-old Patton has turned in 10 scoreless appearances covering 10.0 innings this season with Iowa, posting no record with four saves in as many chances. He has walked only four hitters while striking out 17, good for an average of 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings. Patton has limited opponents to a .147 batting average and a 0.90 WHIP.

Patton broke into the big leagues with Texas in 2014 and went 1-0 with a 0.96 ERA (1 ER/9.1 IP) in nine big-league relief appearances before splitting the 2015 campaign between the Rangers and Triple-A Round Rock. He was acquired by the Cubs from Texas last November. Overall, Patton is 2-1 with a 6.75 ERA (25 ER/33.1 IP) in 36 major league relief outings, averaging more than one strikeout per inning with 36 strikeouts in 33.1 frames.

The right-hander is a native of Urbana, Ill., and was selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 24th round of the 2011 Draft out of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. He was acquired by Texas for right-hander Jason Frasor on July 16, 2014.

Ramirez, 26, has no record and a 4.50 ERA (3 ER/6.0 IP) in six relief appearances with the Cubs this season.

Cubs Lineup: 5/5/16 vs. Nationals

Cubs vs. Nationals — Wrigley Field
First Pitch: 7:05 CST
Cubs Starter: Kyle Hendricks, RHP (1-2, 3.91 ERA)
Nationals Starter: Joe Ross, RHP (3-0, 0.79 ERA)
TV: CSN Chicago; Radio: 670 The Score

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Tommy La Stella, 3B
3. Kris Bryant, RF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. Ryan Kalish, LF
7. Addison Russell, SS
8. Tim Federowicz, C
9. Kyle Hendricks, P

Cubs Minor League Report: 5/3/16

Iowa edged out a win, and Myrtle Beach got it going with the bats Tuesday. South Bend had one bad inning in a one-run loss, while Tennessee had the day off. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s minor-league Cubs action.

Iowa Cubs (10-13)
Pacific Coast League (Triple-A)
Third Place (-4.5)

The I-Cubs scratched across just four hits but were able to top Nashville, 2-1.

  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.253) went 1 for 4 with a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning (2) and a stolen base (6). He has hit safely in 14 of 20 games this year.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.338) added a hit and a run scored.
  • C Taylor Davis (.286) went 1 for 3 with a walk. He’s hit safely in eight straight games (between Double-A and Triple-A).
  • RHP Ryan Williams (4.38 ERA) gave up just one earned run in six innings of work to pick up the win. He has allowed one or fewer runs in three of his five starts this season.
  • RHP Spencer Patton (1 IP, 1 BB, 1 SO) recorded his third save of the year and has yet to allow a run in his 10 innings of work this season.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (13-11)
Carolina League (Single-A)
Second Place (-3.5)

Myrtle Beach collected seven extra-base hits en route to a 5-2 victory over Winston-Salem.

  • RHP Jonathan Martinez (3.30 ERA) secured the win with six innings of one-run ball, striking out four.
  • SS Gleyber Torres (.198) started the scoring, hitting a solo homer in the first inning (2). He went 2 for 4 with an RBI (9), a run scored and a walk.
  • DH Shawon Dunston Jr. (.211) reached base four times, going 3 for 4 with two doubles (5), a triple (3), an RBI (4) and a walk.
  • 3B Jason Vosler (.325) extended his hitting streak to five games, going 2 for 5 with a double and a run scored.
  • RHP Jose Rosario (1.1 IP) notched his second save of the year with 1.1 innings of perfect baseball.

South Bend Cubs (14-10)
Midwest League (Single-A)
Third Place (-3.0)

South Bend allowed five runs in the eighth inning to suffer a 5-4 setback to Wisconsin.

  • DH Matt Rose (.164) hit a solo homer (2) in the fourth inning.
  • RF Eddy Martinez (.228) finished 1 for 3 with an RBI (14), a run scored, a walk and a stolen base (2).
  • LF Eloy Jimenez (.292) has hit safely in 10 out of his last 11 games, going 1 for 4 with a double (8), an RBI (13) and a run scored.
  • LHP Ryan Kellogg (2.30 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings, striking out five and walking none in the no-decision. He has allowed zero runs in three out of his five starts this season.

Cubs Lineup: 5/4/16 vs. Pirates

Cubs vs. Pirates — PNC Park
First Pitch: 11:35 a.m. CST
Cubs Starter: Jon Lester, LHP (2-1, 1.83 ERA)
Pirates Starter: Juan Nicasio, HP (3-2, 3.33 ERA)
TV: CSN, MLB Network (out-of-market only); Radio: 670 The Score

1. Dexter Fowler, CF
2. Tommy La Stella, 2B
3. Kris Bryant, LF
4. Anthony Rizzo, 1B
5. Ben Zobrist, RF
6. Javy Baez, 3B
7. Addison Russell, SS
8. David Ross, C
9. Jon Lester, P

Cubs bring up OF Kalish as Szczur heads to DL

The Cubs today placed outfielder Matt Szczur on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain and selected the contract of outfielder Ryan Kalish from Triple-A Iowa. To make room for Kalish on the 40-man roster, infielder Christian Villanueva was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.

Kalish, who will wear uniform No. 51, will be available for the Cubs tonight as they continue their three-game series at the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The 28-year-old Kalish returns to the Cubs after spending part of the 2014 campaign with the club. He batted .248 (30-for-121) with four doubles and four triples in 57 games that year, his most recent big-league action. He did not play during the 2015 season and signed a minor-league contract with the Cubs in March.

Kalish joins the Cubs after batting .368 (21-for-57) with four doubles and two triples in 20 games with Iowa. He posted a .471 on-base percentage and a .509 slugging percentage, good for a .980 OPS.

The left-handed batter and thrower was originally selected by the Boston Red Sox in the ninth round of the 2006 draft and made his big-league debut in 2010. In 146 big-league games with the Red Sox (2010, 2012) and Cubs (2014), Kalish is a career .245 hitter (93-for-380) with 18 doubles, five triples, four home runs and 34 RBI.

Szczur, 26, is batting .367 (11-for-30) with nine runs scored, one double, two homers and 10 RBI in 21 games with the Cubs this season.

Cubs Third Homestand Events and Promotions: May 5-May 15, 2016

Save-Second-Base-Advocate-Pink-Out-Shirt

The Chicago Cubs return home and look to build on their NL Central Division lead as they face the Washington Nationals (May 5-8), San Diego Padres (May 9-11) and division rival Pittsburgh Pirates (May 13-15).

On Mother’s Day, May 8, the Cubs and Advocate Health Care will “Pink Out” the Budweiser Bleachers once again to promote breast cancer prevention awareness while celebrating moms and women everywhere who are survivors. Guests in the Budweiser Bleachers will receive a pink “Save Second Base” T-shirt, and everyone inside the ballpark will be invited to stand to honor cancer survivors in the fourth inning. Breast cancer survivors will participate in festivities including ceremonial first pitches, singing the national anthem, forming a symbolic pink ribbon around the pitcher’s mound, meeting Cubs players as they take the field at each position and leading the seventh-inning stretch. Honorary Bat Girl Molly Oliver, who won Major League Baseball’s nationwide contest, will deliver the lineup card to the umpires. The Cubs will join other Major League Baseball teams that day in wearing pink Mother’s Day jerseys and caps, which will be authenticated, collected and auctioned by Cubs Authentics at cubs.com/authentics. Net proceeds from the auction benefit Cubs Charities.

The following Sunday, May 15, Major League Baseball will host “Play Ball” Weekend at Wrigley Field and other participating ballparks across the league. Major League Baseball and USA Baseball launched “Play Ball” as the sport’s largest effort to encourage widespread participation in both formal and informal baseball activities. Local youth baseball and softball players will participate in a pregame cap exchange, rosin bag delivery and “Play Ball” announcement, and they will take the field before meeting Cubs players at each position. All players, umpires and on-field personnel will wear “Play Ball” patches during the game, while on-air broadcast talent will wear “Play Ball” pins. MLB’s “Play Ball” initiative aligns with Cubs Charities’ ongoing programming to promote youth baseball and softball, including the Diamond Project Signature Program and support of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI), Chicago Park District’s Rookie League and Special Recreation Programs, the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) Cubs, Inner City Youth Baseball and the development of several baseball fields throughout the city.

Tickets for each game remain available at cubs.com or 800-THE-CUBS (800-843-2827). Highlights of the homestand follow.

Promotions
On Sunday, May 8, Budweiser Bleacher guests will receive a “Save Second Base” T-shirt during the annual “Pink Out” presented by Advocate Health Care.

On Saturday, May 14, Blue Lizard will provide sunscreen for up to the first 35,000 fans.

After both Sunday games this homestand, May 8 and 15, the first 1,000 kids 13-and-under can run the bases postgame, weather permitting.

Food Specials

The Decade Diner, located in the right-field concourse, features rotating homestand specials. This homestand, fans can order a Chicken Parmesan Sandwich with a breaded chicken breast, house-made marinara sauce and provolone cheese served on a toasted garlic hoagie roll with french fries. Also available is the Gilbert’s Aloha Sausage, which is a chicken sausage topped with pineapple salsa, lime aioli, hot sauce and crushed potato chips served on a sausage roll with french fries on the side.

Hot Doug’s will continue serving its selections from the previous homestand at Platform 14, located behind the center-field scoreboard in the Budweiser Bleachers. The Dave Rosello is an Argentinian pork and bacon sausage topped with chimichurri and smoked Swiss cheese. The Steve Trachsel is a tequila and black bean chicken sausage topped with jalapeño mustard and pico de gallo. Finally, the Champ Summers is a Vienna Beef spicy polish sausage with Goose Island beer mustard and crispy fried onions.

“Let’s Give” Cubs Charities Events
On Monday, May 9, the Cubs will team up with the Robert R. McCormick Foundation for the annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon in the Audi Club at Wrigley Field. Cubs Charities and Cubs Care will grant money to more than 30 nonprofit organizations serving those in need in the Chicago area. Last year, the Cubs and Robert R. McCormick Foundation distributed more than $1 million in grants. For more information, visit cubscharities.org.

Cubs wives and girlfriends will sell mystery baseballs benefiting Cubs Charities Saturday, May 14. Fans will have the opportunity to buy baseballs signed by current and former players on the concourse near Gate F from the time gates open until the fifth inning (or while supplies last) for $45 each.

Manager Joe Maddon is supporting Chicago nonprofit organizations through his “Respect Community” charity T-shirt initiative. After every Friday home game, Maddon represents a different Chicago nonprofit by wearing the organization’s T-shirt during his postgame press conference. On Friday, May 6, Maddon will represent Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Chicago, who connects neighborhoods to the resources they need to become stronger and healthier. LISC Chicago provides grants, loans, technical assistance and other resources to more than 70 partner organizations in low- and moderate-income communities across Chicago. Cubs Charities partners with LISC Chicago to implement the Diamond Project Signature Program.

Homestand Recap, May 5-15:
Thursday, May 5, Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 7:05 p.m.

  • National anthem: John Vincent
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Friday, May 6, Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 1:20 p.m.

  • First pitch: Percussionist Sunny Ortiz from American rock band Widespread Panic
  • National anthem: Wayne Messmer
  • Broadcast: CSN, MLB Network, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Saturday, May 7, Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 3:05 p.m.

  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Northwestern University Head Football Coach Pat Fitzgerald
  • National anthem: Nate Klinger
  • Broadcast: CSN, FS1, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Sunday, May 8 (Mother’s Day), Chicago Cubs vs. Washington Nationals, 1:20 p.m.

  • Promotion: “Save Second Base” T-shirt for up to the first 5,000 Budweiser Bleacher guests as part of the annual “Pink Out” presented by Advocate Health Care
  • First pitches, national anthem and seventh-inning stretch: Breast cancer survivors
  • First pitch: Retired U.S. Army Captain and Medal of Honor recipient Florent “Flo” Groberg
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, MLB Network, 670 The Score, Cubs.com
  • Postgame: Kids Run the Bases, first 1,000 kids 13-and-under

Monday, May 9, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 7:05 p.m.

  • Pregame: Annual Cubs Care Grant Luncheon
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Indianapolis 500 drivers
  • National anthem: Michelle Nash from Broadway in Chicago’s “Disenchanted!” musical
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Tuesday, May 10, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 7:05 p.m.

  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Second City cast members
  • National anthem: Klea Blackhurst from “Hazel – A Musical Maid in America” at Drury Lane Theatre
  • Broadcast: WPWR-TV, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Wednesday, May 11, Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres, 7:05 p.m.

  • National anthem: Wayne Messmer
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Friday, May 13, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.

  • National anthem: Wayne Messmer
  • Broadcast: WGN-TV, MLB Network, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Saturday, May 14, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.

  • Promotion: Blue Lizard Sunscreen, up to the first 35,000 fans
  • Pregame through fifth inning: Cubs Wives selling mystery baseballs benefiting Cubs Charities
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould
  • National anthem: John Vincent
  • Broadcast: ABC 7, 670 The Score, Cubs.com

Sunday, May 15, Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 1:20 p.m.

  • MLB “Play Ball” Weekend
  • First pitch and seventh-inning stretch: Actor, director, musician and Chicago native Gary Sinise
  • National anthem: Deena Jakoub
  • Broadcast: CSN, 670 The Score, Cubs.com
  • Postgame: Kids Run the Bases, first 1,000 kids 13-and-under
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