cubs azl spring training logoIt was a busy weekend around the Cubs’ system, with a lot of wins and a lot of rain.

Scores From Friday

Iowa – The Cubs lost a blowout on the road. The final was 14-2.
Tennessee – The Smokies survived a huge late rally to win 10-8.
Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach lost a shut out 2-0.
South Bend – South Bend scored their runs late, but scored enough for a 6-5 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara was the brightest spot on the offense as he finished 3 for 4 (all singles).
  • [Iowa] Dallas Beeler was rocked in his short time on the mound, and his Triple A ERA now sits at 10.29. Joe Ortiz and Yoervis Medina both gave up more runs in relief, but fortunately Gonzalez Germen was there to stop the scoring in the final frame. Germen’s one inning (with 2 Ks) was the only scoreless outing for the Cubs.
  • [Tennessee] Corey Black threw 71 pitches over 5 good innings, striking out 6 and allowing a run on 3 hits and a walk in the process.
  • [Tennessee] Billy McKinney doubled and tripled as part of his 2 for 5 game.
  • [Tennessee] Willson Contreras, at third base again, also had 2 hits including his 4th home run. He also walked twice.
  • [Tennessee] A pair of walks were also earned by Kyle Schwarber, who doubled and finished 2 for 3.
  • [Tennessee] Anthony Giansanti and Elliot Soto also had 2 hits each in this one.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Chesny Young and Carlos Penalver both reached base twice on a single and a walk apiece. Young also stole his 3rd as a Pelican.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Duane Underwood allowed just 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in this one. He struck out one. Josh Conway allowed nothing but a walk in 2 innings of relief.
  • [South Bend] Jake Stinnett struck out 4 in his 5 inning start, but he also allowed 5 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks. David Garner and Francisco Carrillo both pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief.
  • [South Bend] At the plate Yasiel Balaguert stayed red hot with a 2 for 4 game that contained his 4th homer. Gleyber Torres, 2 for 4 with a double, also had a good day.

Scores From Saturday

Iowa – Iowa scored frequently and won 8-3.
Tennessee – The Smokies scored twice three times in this 7-3 win.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans had more runs than hits in this 11-1 win.
South Bend – South Bend was rained out.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Blake Cooper and Armando Rivero both pitched 2 scoreless innings in relief of Drake Britton. C.J. Edwards pitched one inning and allowed 2 runs on a hit and 3 wild walks.
  • [Iowa] Javier Baez doubled, walked, and finished 2 for 4. So did Rafael Lopez, although Lopez added a steal to the mix.
  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara homered (his 7th) and finished 2 for 5.
  • [Iowa] Matt Szczur finished 3 for 5 with 3 steals. He now has 8 for Iowa.
  • [Tennessee] Felix Pena struck out 6 and allowed 3 runs to score on 4 hits and 2 walks over 4 innings. Tayler Scott added 3 innings of scoreless relief in his Double A debut.
  • [Tennessee] Kyle Schwarber hit home runs number 11 and 12 and finished 2 for 3 with a walk.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Paul Blackburn struck out 6 over 5 innings while allowing a run on 4 hits and 2 walks.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Michael Heesch and James Pugliese both worked 2 innings of scoreless relief. Pugliese struck out 3 in his time on the hill.
  • [Myrtle Beach] The Pelicans walked 10 times in this contest, including double walk games from Mark Zagunis, Jacob Rogers, and Kevin Brown. Brown finished 3 for 3 with a triple and his first homer.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Jeimer Candelario homered for his one hit of the day. It was his 3rd of the year.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa moved over .500 with this 8-4 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies lost 5-1.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans won big again, this time 7-2.
South Bend – South Bend began playing one and trailed 3-0 when it was suspended due to rain. Their second game was cancelled.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Javier Baez had a very nice game and finished 3 for 5 with another double and not one strikeout.
  • [Iowa] Jonathan Mota tripled (his first) and finished 2 for 4 with a walk.
  • [Iowa] Matt Szczur and Christian Villanueva both finished with 2 hits, including a double for Szczur.
  • [Iowa] Felipe Paulino pitched well for 4 innings (1 R, 4 H, 1 BB) before being relieved by a 2 IP performance from Yoanner Negrin. Negrin allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 3.
  • [Tennessee] Ivan Pineyro pitched 4 innings (4 R, 9 H, 2 BB, 3 K), and so did Andres Santiago (1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 K).
  • [Tennessee] Kyle Schwarber finished 2 for 4 and committed his 4th error of the year.
  • [Tennessee] Billy McKinney finished 2 for 3 and collected an outfield assist on a play at the plate.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Chesny Young remains unchallenged by High A pitching. He finished 3 for 5 and collected his first triple as a Pelican.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Jeimer Candelario (his 4th), Jacob Rogers (his 6th), and Daniel Lockhart (his 2nd) all homered in this one.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Tyler Skulina struck out 3 over 6 innings and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks. Fernando Cruz pitched the final 3 innings, allowing 3 hits and striking out 3.

Other News

  • The Cubs moved Willson Contreras behind the plate starting in 2012 with Boise, and he has played most of his games there ever since. Prior to turning catcher Contreras was a mainly a third baseman. Now, after not playing more than one game at third in any season since 2011, he is again getting time on that corner. I suspect the Cubs are setting up Contreras, who also has outfield experience, for a career as a utility guy in the majors. His batting numbers this season have shown some promise for that sort of a future. He is only striking out 15.7% of the time, is walking at a healthy 8.4% rate, and has an excellent slash line of .316/.388/.506. Contreras, in a utility role, could get the call to Iowa soon, and if he plays well there could emerge as a late season bench candidate for the Cubs. Contreras is eligible for Rule 5 selection after this season.
  • If you missed Brett speculating about the Cubs developing towards a future of multi-inning relievers yesterday, then you should go get caught up. Now that Brett has pointed it out, I’m seeing multi-inning relief work everywhere, including places it may not make obvious sense. I think he may be on to something here.