Two pitchers at the Cubs’ Dominican facilities have been suspended for the use of performance enhancing drugs, specifically Stanozolol. Antonio Encarnacion and Juancito De la Cruz were both suspended for fifty games.
And if you just said “Who?”, are you are not alone. Based on their numbers, referring to either of these guys as a fringe prospect is being extremely generous. Encarnacion could be a fantastic prospect, I suppose, but since he has yet to appear on a Cubs’ roster this year, let alone in any games, it is very difficult to say for certain (his previous years in the DSL suggest he’s no prospect). Juancito De la Cruz has been pitching for DSL Cubs 1, but he has not been pitching well. His 20 innings have come entirely in relief, and in those 20 innings he has 20 walks, 19 strikeouts, an ERA of 6.30, and an opponents batting average of .333. Those are not good numbers.
The good news, then, is that neither of the players who got caught using the drugs are significant prospects (so far as I can tell). The bad news is that this is yet another case of DSL Cubs failing drug tests. It seems this is happening once or twice every season. The players committing the offense are usually very fringe prospects who are very unlikely to be promoted out of the Dominican Leagues, but I still don’t like it. I strongly suspect the offenders are not doing the drugs on the Cubs’ campus, but instead are doing it on their own before they arrive for the season. If that is the case, there may not be much more the Cubs can do about it. Still, I don’t like this trend.
Hopefully the new Cubs’ campus that is under construction in the Dominican Republic will encourage players to stay around and work out year round, thereby perhaps reducing the incidence of PED use by Cubs’ players. I really don’t know what else the Cubs can do. It looks bad, but there it is.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – It took eleven innings, but Iowa squeaked out a 2-1 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies had Wednesday off.
Daytona – Daytona was never out of this game, but they lost in end by a score of 3-1.
Peoria – The Chiefs opened a road trip with a 9-8 loss in ten innings.
Boise – The Hawks wrapped up a home stand with this 8-4 loss.
Arizona – The Cubs won in a rare AZL shut out, 4-0.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Brooks Raley pitched seven scoreless innings, but it was not a blemish free game as he walked four batters. He has walked at least three men in three of his past four starts.
- [Iowa] Michael Bowden might be due for another shot in Chicago soon. He pitched another two hitless innings, striking out three. He has been pitching quite well lately.
- [Iowa] Dave Sappelt stayed hot with two more hits, his 16th double, and his ninth stolen base.
- [Daytona] Eduardo Figueroa, Ryan Searle, and Brian Schlitter combined to pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Interestingly, they did so without striking out a single batter.
- [Daytona] Taylor Davis hit a solo home run. That was basically the extent of Daytona’s offense.
- [Peoria] Luis Liria pitched 2.1 scoreless innings, striking out two.
- [Peoria] Bijan Rademacher opened his Midwest League career with a 2 for 5 game that included his first double. Chadd Krist, Pin-Chieh Chen, Zeke DeVoss, and Javier Baez all also had two hits including a double.
- [Peoria] The Chiefs were active on the base paths as well. Chen stole his 24th base of the year. DeVoss stole two bags and now has 26.
- [Boise] Su-Min Jung struck out three in two perfect innings of relief.
- [Boise] Gioskar Amaya seems to be alright. The Hawks’ second baseman was hit in the head with a pitch earlier in the week, but on Wednesday he returned to the lineup as the DH and finished 2 for 3 with two walks and his fourth home run.
- [Boise] Trey Martin, Stephen Bruno, Jeimer Candelario, and Xavier Batista all also had two hits in the game.
- [Arizona] The Cubs pitching was very impressive in this game. Anthony Prieto and Arturo Maltos-Garcia each pitched two no-hit innings at the start of the game. Loiger Padron followed that up with three innings in which he allowed just two hits and struck out three. Alvido Jiminez finished off the game with two more strikeouts over the final two frames.
- [Arizona] Shawon Dunston picked up his first AZL stolen base in this game.
Other Minor League Notes
- Josh Vitters saw his 16 game hitting streak come to end on Wednesday. He finished this game 0 for 6 with four strikeouts.
- BN’er MichiganGoat stopped by to see the Chiefs while they were visiting Western Michigan and he sent back a few observations. First, the base running was not good. Between the run downs and the poor jumps, he said the Chiefs probably ran themselves out of a couple of runs. On the good side, Chadd Krist and Zeke DeVoss both looked at the plate. Baez just looks bigger than a lot of the other guys on the field; he hit the ball pretty hard too. One of the particular highlights for the Chiefs was a beautiful suicide squeeze executed by Oliver Zapata.
Farm System Standings
AAA – Iowa Cubs : 41 – 57.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 17.5 Games Behind.
AA – Tennessee Smokies : 12-14
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 4.5 Games Behind
High A – Daytona Cubs : 12-15
Florida State League North Division – Fourth Place : 4.5 Games Behind
Low A – Peoria Chiefs : 10-14
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fourth Place : 4.0 Game Behind
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks : 12 – 21
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 8.0 Games Behind
Rookie League – AZL Cubs : 18 – 5
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place : 1.5 Games Ahead