Results tagged ‘ Minor Leagues ’

Cubs minor league recap: 5/23/13

CASTILLO

Lendy Castillo fanned a season-high nine batters in 5.1 innings of relief. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Iowa and Tennessee both captured a win with shutout performances Thursday while Daytona fell despite offensive power and Kane County dropped an early lead. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (19-25)

Iowa plated two, first-inning runs, blanking visiting Las Vegas 4-0. The I-Cubs have won four of their last five games.

  • 2B Logan Watkins (.233) went 2-for-4 with a homer, a run scored and a team-high two RBI (10).
  • LF Dave Sappelt (.308) extended his hitting streak to five games (.563/9-for-16), going 2-for-3 with a walk and a RBI (10).
  • 3B Josh Vitters (.262) reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.

Tennessee Smokies (24-21)

Tennessee plated two, fourth-inning runs, blanking Hunstville 2-0.

  • SS Arismendy Alcantara (.271) reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks, a homer, a run scored, a RBI (23) and a stolen base (14).
  • RF Tim Torres (.283) went 1-for-3 with a double (5) and a RBI (4).
  • C Rafael Lopez (.266) was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
  • RHP Marcus Hatley (3.00) converted his second save, allowing a hit and a walk while fanning one in a scoreless ninth frame.

Daytona Cubs (23-22)

Despite collecting 12 hits, Daytona dropped an 8-4 decision at Jupiter.

  • CF John Andreoli (.305) went 3-for-5 with a triple (6) and a team-high two runs scored.
  • 1B Dustin Geiger (.325) recorded his eighth multi-hit game of the month, going 2-for-3 with a sacrifice fly RBI, his team-leading 40th RBI of the season.
  • SS Tim Saunders (.179) went 2-for-4 with a stolen base (13).

Kane County Cougars (20-23)

Kane County squandered an 8-4, fourth inning lead, dropping a 9-8, 14-inning marathon at Peoria.

  • CF Albert Almora (.636) went 4-for-7 with two doubles (3), a run scored and a RBI (2) in his second game with the Cougars.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.267) extended his hitting streak to eight games (.417/15-for-36), going 2-for-7 with a double (16) and a team-high four RBI (16).
  • LF Pin-Chieh Chen (.231) reached base three times, going 1-for-5 with two walks, a team-high three runs scored and two RBI (11).
  • RHP Lendy Castillo (6.93) scattered five hits and two walks while fanning a season-high nine in 5.1 scoreless innings of relief.
  • LHP Jeff Antigua (2.91) fanned four in two perfect innings of relief.

Cubs minor league recap: 5/22/13

MAYSONET

Edwin Maysonet was one of three I-Cubs players to blast a homer Wednesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Iowa and Kane County were unable to recover from sizable deficits Wednesday while Daytona secured its sixth win in its last seven outings. Tennessee had the day off but will take the field tonight, hosting Huntsville. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (18-25)

Las Vegas hit three home runs in the first four innings, defeating Iowa 9-4, snapping the Cubs three-game winning streak.

  • CF Brian Bogusevic (.370) homered for the third straight game, extending his hitting streak to four games (.455/5-for-11).
  • 2B Edwin Maysonet (.253) went 2-for-5 with a home run, a run scored and a RBI (13).
  • LF Dave Sappelt (.286) extended his hitting streak to four games (.538/7-for-13), going 2-for-3 with a walk.
  • RHP Casey Coleman (3 IP, 2 H, BB, 2 K) pitched a season-high three innings, allowing no runs.

Daytona Cubs (23-21)

Daytona led 6-1 after three innings, cruising to an 8-4 victory at Jupiter, the Cubs’ sixth win in their last seven games.

  • LF John Andreoli (.296) went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. He has collected at least three hits in five games this season.
  • SS Javier Baez (.266) extended his hitting streak to nine games (.368/14-for-38), going 1-for-5 with a double (12), two runs scored and a RBI (25).
  • 1B Dustin Geiger (.319) recorded his seventh multi-hit game of the month, going 2-for-5 with two RBI (39). He leads the Florida State League with 39 RBI.
  • Austin Kirk earned his fifth win of the season, tops in the Cubs organization.

Kane County Cougars (20-23)

Kane County collected 10 hits, but mustered only two runs in a 9-2 setback at Peoria.

  • CF Albert Almora (.750) went 3-for-4 with a double (1), a run scored and a RBI (1) in his first game of the season.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.266) extended his hitting streak to seven games (.448/13-for-29), going 1-for-4.
  • 2B Gioskar Amaya (.259) went 1-for-4 with a triple (4) and a run scored.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.285) doubled and knocked in a run in four at-bats.

Cubs minor league recap: 5/21/13

BOGUSEVIC

Brian Bogusevic collected two homers in a doubleheader set Tuesday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Iowa swept a doubleheader, Daytona’s late offensive outburst led to victory and Tennessee fell in a narrow 11-inning loss Tuesday. Kane County had the day off, but the Cougars return to the field tonight at Peoria. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action.

Iowa Cubs (18-24)

Game 1: Iowa scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to walk off with a 2-1 victory over Las Vegas in the first game of a doubleheader.

  • RF Brian Bogusevic (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) hit a game-tying home run, leading off the bottom of the seventh.
  • SS Donnie Murphy (.286) went 1-for-3, driving in the game-winning run with a two-out RBI-single.
  • RHP Esmailin Caridad (3 IP, H, BB, 2 K) tossed a season-high, 3.0-scoreless frames.
  • RHP Rafael Dolis (IP, BB, 3 K) earned his first win, striking out three in a scoreless seventh frame.

Game 2: Las Vegas scored five runs in the sixth inning to tie the game, but Iowa answered with a run in the bottom of the frame, winning 6-5 and sweeping the doubleheader.

  • CF Brian Bogusevic (.368) homered in both games of the doubleheader, including a go-ahead blast in the bottom of the sixth inning. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs and a RBI (17), extending his hitting streak to three games (.444/4-for-9).
  • LF Darnell McDonald (.221) collected two doubles (5) and two RBI (10) in four at-bats.
  • RF Dave Sappelt (.261) extended his hitting streak to three games (.500/5-for-10), going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBI (9).
  • RHP Zach Putnam (IP, BB, K) converted his sixth save of the season.

Tennessee Smokies (23-21)

Chattanooga walked-off with a 5-4, 11-inning victory over Tennessee.

  • CF Rubi Silva (.265) went 2-for-5 with a triple (5) and two RBI. He has reached base five times in his last 10 plate appearances.
  • LF Tim Torres (.280) collected his third multi-hit game this month, going 2-for-5 with a double (4) and a run.
  • SS Elliot Soto (.143) collected his first multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-5 with a run scored.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.265) extended his hitting streak to five games (.400/8-for-20) with a first-inning double.

Daytona Cubs (22-21)

Daytona scored five runs in the 10th inning, pulling away from Jupiter, 7-2.

  • SS Javier Baez (.268) extended his hitting streak to eight games (.394/13-for-33), going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base (4).
  • 3B Ben Carhart (.272) went 3-for-5 with a double (11) and a run scored.
  • RF Jorge Soler (.299) went 2-for-4 with two RBI (20). He is hitting .462 (12-for-26) with five runs and four RBI over his last six games.
  • C Chad Noble (.231) and DH Chadd Krist (.345) each went 2-for-4.

Cubs minor league recap: 5/16/13

MOTA

Jonathan Mota claimed his fifth two-hit game of the season Thursday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Iowa and Tennessee both tallied a win Thursday, while Kane County split its doubleheader and Daytona continued to struggle in its fourth-straight loss. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (15-22)

Matt Garza and Brooks Raley combined on a four-hitter in a 1-0 victory vs. Tucson.

  • RHP Matt Garza threw 75 pitches, 53 for strikes, in his fourth rehab start. He faced twenty batters, allowing two singles while striking out six.
  • LHP Brooks Raley walked one and allowed two hits in a three scoreless innings of relief, converting his first save.
  • SS Donnie Murphy (.254) went 1-for-2 with a stolen base (3) and knocked in the game’s only run with a sacrifice fly in the second inning.
  • CF Dave Sappelt (.167) scored a run for the fourth consecutive game in a 1-for-4 effort.

Tennessee Smokies (20-19)

The Smokies defeated host Jackson 6-4 behind two home runs from DH Ty Wright.

  • DH Ty Wright (.254) hit two-run homers in the first and third innings and collected season-highs in both runs scored (2) and RBI (4).
  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.252) went 2-for-4 with a run scored. He’s hit safely in five of six games.
  • 1B Jonathan Mota (.238) recorded his fifth two-hit game of the season, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
  • C Rafael Lopez (.266) went 2-for-4 with a RBI, extending his hitting streak to four games (.353/6-for-17).
  • RHP A.J. Morris (3 IP, 3 K) tossed 3.0-perfect innings, earning his second win of the season.

Daytona Cubs (17-20)

Daytona lost its fourth-consecutive game, falling 12-7 to the Charlotte Stone Crabs.

  • 1B Dustin Geiger (.298) went 3-for-5 with a double (6), a homer, two runs scored and his team-leading 30th RBI.
  • DH Chadd Krist (.500) went 3-for-3 with two doubles (2), a run scored and five RBI.
  • 3B Ben Carhart (.287) scored two runs, going 1-for-4 with a walk.
  • LF Taiwan Easterling (.234) went 1-for-4 with a RBI (12) and a stolen base (5).
  • RHP Hunter Cervenka (IP, H) has not allowed an earned run in his last seven relief appearances (14.2 IP).

Kane County Cougars (19-19)

Game 1: Kane County scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to pull away from Peoria, 5-0, in the first game of a doubleheader.

  • 2B Gioskar Amaya (3-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI) recorded a season-high three RBI.
  • SS Marco Hernandez (3-for-3, 2 R) collected his third multi-hit effort in the last four games.
  • C Willson Contreras (.307) recorded his third-straight, multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a walk.
  • LF Pin-Chieh Chen (.254) went 2-for-3 with a walk, a run scored and a RBI (9).

Game 2: Peoria scored six runs in the third inning to defeat Kane County, 6-2, in the nightcap.

  • SS Marco Hernandez (.271) extended his hitting streak to three games (.333/6-for-9) with a second-inning, two-run homer.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.235) went 2-for-3 with two doubles (12).
  • RHP Steve Perakslis (3 IP, 3 H, 2 K) threw a season-high 3.0 innings.
  • Kane County committed six errors leading to six unearned runs.

Cubs minor league recap: 5/15/13

BAEZ-J-022813-SG-11

Javier Baez has hit safely in five of the last six games for the D-Cubs. (Photo by Stephen Green)

While Tennessee and Daytona were both unable to overcome sizable run deficits, Kane County snapped a three-game skid with a shutout victory Wednesday. Iowa had the day off, but will return to the field tonight against Tuscon with RHP Matt Garza on the mound for his fourth rehabilitation start. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s games:

Tennessee Smokies (19-19)

Tennessee had its four-game winning streak snapped with an 8-4 loss at Jackson.

  • RF Matt Szczur (.301) extended his hitting streak to seven games, going 1-for-4 with his third stolen base of the season. He’s hitting .455 (15-for-33) with four runs and six RBI during the streak, raising his batting average by 45 points.
  • C Jair Fernandez (.267) clubbed his first home run of the campaign. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk, the home run, two RBI (8) and one stolen base (1).
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.250) went 1-for-4 with a RBI (20), extending his hitting streak to eight games. He’s hitting .414 (12-for-29) with four doubles, a home run and four RBI during the stretch.
  • 2B Arismendy Alcantara (.245) went 2-for-3 with a run scored. He’s hitting safely in four of five games.

Daytona Cubs (17-19)

Charlotte used a 15-hit attack to defeat Daytona, 7-1. The Cubs have dropped three-straight games and seven of eight.

  • LF John Andreoli (.323) went 1-for-3 with a walk. He is hitting .361 (35-for-97) with five triples and 14 RBI against right-handed pitchers.
  • SS Javier Baez (.238) went 1-for-4 and has hit safely in five of six games.
  • LHP Sheldon McDonald (3.00) tossed two scoreless innings of relief. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last four appearances (6 IP).

Kane County Cougars (18-18)

Kane County snapped its three-game skid, blanking Peoria 4-0.

  • C Willson Contreras (.294) recorded his second-straight, multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, a triple and two RBI (18).
  • RF Bijan Rademacher (.360) and 1B Dan Vogelbach (.292) recorded two hits apiece.
  • SS Marco Hernandez (.248) went 2-for-3 with a RBI (11).
  • RHP Taylor Scott tossed a season-high 7.1 innings, earning his second win of the campaign. He owns a 1.47 ERA (3 ER/18.1 IP) in three May starts after posting a 4.05 ERA (9 ER/20 IP) in four April starts.
  • LHP Nathan Dorris (1.69) hurled 1.2 scoreless innings of relief, converting his third save.

Cubs minor league recap: 5/14/13

SZCZUR

Matt Szczur has boosted his batting average 46 points in six games. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Iowa, Daytona and Kane County all collected a loss Tuesday while Tennessee’s 10th inning victory marked a four-game win streak. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (14-22).

Reno used a 19-hit attack to defeat visiting Iowa, 11-1.

  • 1B Brad Nelson (.286 AVG) extended his hitting streak to five games, going 2-for-4 with a double (7) and a RBI (25).
  • RF Brian Bogusevic (.373) recorded his 15th multi-hit game of the campaign, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double (12). He’s sporting a .323 batting average (10-for-31) with nine RBI with runners in scoring position.
  • 3B Ian Stewart (.113) went 1-for-3 with a walk and his second double of the season.
  • LHP Hisanori Takahashi (5.00 ERA) worked a scoreless eighth inning.

Tennessee Smokies (19-18)

Tennessee extended its winning streak to four games with a 3-2, 10-inning victory over Jackson.

  • RF Matt Szczur (.302) recorded his sixth-straight, multi-hit game, going 3-for-5. He’s hitting .483 (14-for-29) with four runs and six RBI in his last six contests, raising his batting average by 46 points.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.250) extended his hitting streak to seven games with a fifth-inning, solo homer. He’s batting .440 (11-for-25) with four doubles, a home run and three RBI during the streak.
  • SS Arismendy Alcantara (.236) recorded his sixth multi-RBI game of the season, going 1-for-5 with two RBI (18).
  • LHP Zach Rosscup (1-0, 1.53) picked up his first win, despite blowing the save in the ninth inning (IP, 2 H, R, BB, 2 K).
  • RHP Frank Batista (2.76) converted his fourth save of the campaign with a scoreless 10th frame. He’s holding right-handed batters to a .219 average (7-for-32).

Daytona Cubs (17-18)

Daytona was held to just four hits in a 4-2 loss to visiting Charlotte.

  • C Chad Noble (.237) snapped a four-game hitless skid, going 1-for-3 with a RBI (5).
  • 1B Dustin Geiger (.287) recorded Daytona’s lone extra-base hit, going 1-for-3 with his fifth double of the season.
  • RHP Austin Reed (6.75) tossed two scoreless innings of relief. He has not allowed a run in his last five appearances (8 IP).
  • Yesterday, OF Jorge Soler (0-for-3, RBI) was named Florida State League Player of the Week for the week ending May 12. In four games during the week, he went 7-for-15 (.467) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, four RBI and five runs scored.

Kane County Cougars (17-18)

Kane County dropped its third-straight game, falling to Peoria, 8-4.

  • C Willson Contreras (.284) went 2-f0r-2 with a home run, a run scored, one RBI (16) and a stolen base (4).
  • LF Rock Shoulders (.315) registered his eighth multi-RBI game, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double (10) and two RBI (27).
  • 2B Gioksar Amaya (.240) reached base three times, going 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored.

Cubs minor league recap: 5/13/13

SOLER

Daytona outfielder Jorge Soler was named the FSL’s Player of the Week. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Iowa and Tennessee captured a win after late offensive outbursts Monday while Daytona and Kane County both fell in a shutout losses. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (14-21)

Iowa used a six-run, sixth inning to roll past Reno, 6-4.

  • SS Donnie Murphy (.241) went 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double (3), a home run and a season-high three RBI (6).
  • 1B Brad Nelson (.278) extended his hitting streak to four games, going 1-for-4 with a run scored and two RBI (24).
  • RHP Esmailin Caridad (5.74) secured his first hold of the season, tossing two scoreless innings of relief. He has not allowed a run in his last three appearances (5 IP).
  • RHP Zach Putnam (3.52) converted his second save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Tennessee Smokies (18-18)

Tennessee scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning, stunning Jackson, 6-4.

  • RF Matt Szczur (.291) recorded his fifth-straight, multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with a double (4), a RBI (18) and a stolen base (13). He’s hitting .458 (11-for-24) with four runs and six RBI in his last five contests.
  • C Rafael Lopez (.259) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored, a double (8), a home run and one RBI (11).
  • CF Rubi Silva (.276) hit his third home run in his last six games, going 2-for-4 with a run scored, a double (6), the home run and two RBI (20).
  • RHP Trey McNutt (2-3, 4.50) walked two and struck out three in a scoreless eighth frame, picking up his second win of the campaign.
  • RHP Kevin Rhoderick (6.91) converted his first save of the season, fanning two in a perfect ninth inning.

Daytona Cubs (17-17)

Daytona managed just five singles in a 3-0 loss to visiting Charlotte.

  • 3B Ben Carhart (.296) recorded his 12th multi-hit game of the season, going 2-for-4.
  • DH Zeke DeVoss (.211) went 2-for-4, snapping a three-game hitless skid.
  • OF Jorge Soler (0-for-3, BB, SB) was named Florida State League Player of the Week for the week ending May 12. In four games during the week, he went 7-for-15 (.467) with three doubles, a triple, two home runs, four RBI and five runs scored. He has reached base in 10 consecutive games.
  • LHP Frank Del Valle (1.93) struck out two hitters in a scoreless seventh inning. The southpaw is holding opponents to a .158 batting average (3-for-19) with runners in scoring position.

Kane County Cougars (17-17)

Kane County finished its six-game road trip with a 4-0 loss to Clinton. The Cougars went 3-3 on the trip.

  • 2B Gioskar Amaya (.236) went 2-for-4 with a stolen base (4).
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.295) went 2-for-4, hitting safely in seven of his last eight games.
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.230) recorded one of Kane County’s two extra-base hits, going 1-for-4 with his sixth double.
  • LHP Jeffry Antigua (3.57) struck out five in 2.0-scoreless innings of relief.

Cubs minor league recap: 5/12/13

JACKSON-B-022313-SG-03

Brett Jackson posted his first three-hit game of the season Sunday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

While Iowa fell in the ninth inning, Kane County pulled through in extra innings and Tennessee recorded a shutout Sunday. Daytona had the day off and will hit the field tonight, hosting Charlotte. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (13-21)

Reno scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, stunning Iowa, 9-8.

  • 1B Brad Nelson (.279) hit his team-leading sixth home run of the campaign. He finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored, the home run and two RBI (22).
  • LF Brett Jackson (.259) recorded his first three-hit game of the season, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and a double (4).
  • CF Dave Sappelt (.174) registered his second straight multi-RBI game, going 1-for-5 with a run scored, a triple (1) and a season-high three RBI (6).
  • PH Ian Stewart (.100) went 1-for-1 with a triple (1) and two RBI (6).
  • RHP Casey Coleman (3.75) tossed two scoreless innings of relief. He’s holding right-handed hitters to a .143 batting average (3-for-21).

Tennessee Smokies (17-18)

Tennessee won its second game in a row with a 5-0 shutout at Jackson.

  • RF Matt Szczur (.287) recorded his fourth straight multi-hit game, going 3-for-5 with a double (3) and a team-high two RBI (17). He’s hitting .474 (9-for-19) with four runs and five RBI in his last four contests.
  • SS Arismendy Alcantara (.244) went 2-for-4 with a double (5). He’s hit safely in four of his last five games.
  • 3B Christian Villanueva (.239) extended his hitting streak to five games, going 1-for-2 with a run, a double (10) and a RBI (18).
  • RHP A.J. Morris (6.92) and LHP Zach Rosscup (1.08) each tossed a scoreless inning of relief, preserving the shutout. Opposing hitters are just 1-for-26 (.038) against Rosscup with runners on base.

Kane County Cougars (17-16)

Clinton 3B Patrick Kivlehan ripped a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning, defeating the Cougars, 7-6.

  • DH Rock Shoulders (.317) clubbed a grand slam in the sixth inning. He finished 1-for-5 with four RBI (25).
  • 3B Jeimer Candelario (.229) went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored, a home run and one RBI (10).
  • C Carlos Escobar (.250) and CF Oliver Zapata (.270) recorded two hits apiece.
  • 1B Dan Vogelbach (.288) went 1-for-5 with a run and a RBI (21). He’s hit safely in six of his last seven games.
  • RF Bijan Rademacher (.361) went 0-for-2 with a run scored and a season-high three walks. He’s reached base safely in his last 11 games.

From the Pages of Vine Line: New coordinator Derek Johnson is making his pitch

DJohnson

(Photo courtesy Vanderbilt Athletics)

Pitching guru Derek Johnson has spent years working with talented pitchers at various levels of the collegiate game. This offseason, the 41-year-old signed on to be the Cubs’ minor league pitching coordinator, which means he is ultimately in charge of all the arms in the organization from Triple-A on down. For the May issue of Vine Line, we talked to Johnson about coaching the college game, adapting to the professional ranks and cutting through communication issues with international prospects.

It’s no secret there has been some serious turnover in the Cubs organization since Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer left the Red Sox and Padres, respectively. A year into the Chicago job, one of their most important—though unheralded—new hires is minor league pitching coordinator Derek Johnson.

Johnson’s experience working with young pitching talent stretches back almost 20 years to the end of his career on the mound as a college pitcher. Johnson, 41, won All-Mid-Continent Conference honors at Eastern Illinois University before moving into coaching at the school in 1994. He followed that up with three seasons at Southern Illinois and four at Stetson before taking over the pitching program at Vanderbilt in 2002. There, he won pitching coach of the year in 2004 and national assistant coach of the year in 2010.

After a long, introductory spring with the Cubs in Arizona, Johnson took a little time off before diving back in with the minor league affiliates.

“The first week after Spring Training, I got to go home and recover,” Johnson said. “It’s a lot of fun now [that the season has started], because I’m going to see some things I didn’t get to see in Spring Training and interact with players some more—and coaches too. That’s probably more my style, and more what I was hoping to do when I took the job.”

His role with the organization is a marked departure from his coaching career at Vanderbilt, where he oversaw the development of Rays ace David Price, Braves lefty Mike Minor and four other eventual first-round picks. As a coach, it was easy to be hands-on, working directly with every pitcher in his care. As the farm system’s pitching coordinator, numbers and geography dictate he doesn’t get to see every hurler every day. Plus, he’s not just working with the players, but also with the coaches at every level.

“I spend a lot of time with video. I’m not used to it yet,” Johnson said. “I spent a really long time having my hands on everything [as a coach], and now I have to adjust to that—trust the pitching coaches that are at the different affiliates, trust their judgment and get an idea of what they’re seeing to put that together with my thoughts to come up with some sort of a plan. It’s a very different kind of challenge.”

He’s also working with a more diverse collection of talent than in college, including pitchers from Asia and Latin America, and communication can be difficult. But Johnson is excited about the challenge.

“There can be a communication gap, so it can be a challenge to get your point across,” he said. “At the same time, it’s easy, because you get great young men from all different walks of life, backgrounds, speaking different languages, with different maturity levels. … I challenge myself to communicate better, to put things more simply to help communicate to players the direction we want to go.”

With so many pitchers under his care, Johnson has to deal with an inevitable bottom-line question: Who is he most excited about in the system? A week into the minor league season, Johnson refused to pick favorites.

“I saw them all in Spring Training, and I saw them all on video before that,” he said. “I like our nucleus. We have some guys who are a little bit under the radar, where things could really happen for them. At the same time, it’s a little bit hard to tell that without first being at the affiliate, watching them play, watching how they go through the season, how they fight through adversity. So it’s early to say, but I think we’ve got a lot of guys in the system who can turn the corner.”

—Christina Kahrl

Cubs minor league recap: 5/9/13

PUTNAM

Zach Putnam pitched his fourth straight scoreless game Thursday. (Photo by Stephen Green)

Iowa and Tennessee were both defeated Thursday despite offensive success, while Daytona snapped a four-game losing streak. Kane County’s game was postponed due to rain, but will be made up as part of a doubleheader tonight. The rescheduled game marks the Cougars’ 10th postponement this season. Here are some highlights from yesterday’s action:

Iowa Cubs (12-19)

Iowa fell 5-1 at Colorado Springs in the third game of a four-game set.

  • RF Darnell McDonald (1-for-1, HR, R, RBI) hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, his second of the season.
  • LF Brett Jackson (.235) went 2-for-4 in his first game since April 30.
  • 1B Brad Nelson (.270) went 2-for-4 with a double (6). He’s 5-for-9 with three doubles in his last two games.
  • RHP Zach Putnam (2 IP, H, K) extended his scoreless streak to four games (5 IP).

Tennessee Smokies (15-17)

Birmingham scored two runs in the ninth inning, defeating Tennessee, 9-7. The Smokies have lost six consecutive games.

  • C Rafael Lopez (.257) extended his hitting streak to seven games with a first-inning, two-run homer. He finished 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored.
  • 1B Tim Torres (.368) recorded his first three-hit game of the season, going 3-for-4 with a double (1) and two runs.
  • CF Rubi Silva (.288) went 1-for-5 with two stolen bases (6), a triple (4), a run scored and a RBI (17).
  • Tennessee has allowed 51 runs in the past five games, all losses.

Daytona Cubs (17-16)

Daytona snapped a four-game skid with a 4-3 win over first place Dunedin.

  • SS Javier Baez (.244) extended his hitting streak to three games (.308/4-for-13), going 2-for-4 with a double (8), a triple (3), a run scored, a RBI (22) and a stolen base (3).
  • 1B Dustin Geiger (.296) went 2-for-3, recording his team-leading 29th RBI.
  • LF John Andreoli (.333) collected his fourth multi-hit effort in the last six games, going 2-for-4 with a triple (5), a run scored and a RBI (14).
  • DH Taiwan Easterling (.243) notched two singles in three at-bats.
  • LHP Jeffrey Lorick (IP) picked up the win in his first relief appearance of the season with Daytona.
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