JOT: Cubs Minor League Recap 7-4-13

First, a quick recap of July 3:

Iowa saw 4 home runs: Junior Lake, Brad Nelson, Ty Wright, and the Iowa first from Jae-Hoon Ha. That was enough to seal the 6-5 win.

Christian Villanueva and Justin Bour each had a home run and AJ Morris dominated for a 3-1 victory.

Javier Baez went 1-3 with a walk, but was the only real bright spot (besides 5 scoreless from Matt Loosen) in a 5-1 loss. Zeke DeVoss had a pair of errors.

Dan Vogelbach was half the entirety of the Cougars' offense with a 3-4, 2B day. They lost 4-2. 

Loiger Padron recorded fewer outs (5) then runs allowed (7). Boise fell 11-3.

Iowa Cubs 9 @ Albuquerque Isotopes 5 

Junior Lake had a home run for the second consecutive game. He also drew a walk and his batting .319 on the young season. He also had his 9th fielding error. Over a 162-game season, he'd be on pace for like 49 errors. That being said, his .886 OPS in the PCL is pretty good and if he could maintain a high average with some power in the majors (who knows if that's feasible) he could actually be a pretty good defensive RF with his arm (some scouts say it's the best in all of baseball, including majors and minors). I'm inclined to disagree a bit; it's a great arm to be sure (from what I've seen in person at AA and catching a game here or there on but it doesn't scream "transcendent" to me. Still, he could probably be an poor-glove 3B/poor-bat RF guy in the majors, and that has some value even if it's not much. Tim Torres and Luis Flores each had a dinger for the Cubs as well. Anthony Giansanti had a pinch hit double as well. 

This is starting to look like a lost year for Nick Struck. He went 6, allowed 5, and walked 5 while striking out only 1. I'm not sure what the problem is, but it's a cautionary tale for Kyle Hendricks to keep working because crafty righties without a powerful fastball can get bruised in AAA. The analogy isn't perfect, of course; Hendricks is 4 inches taller, 1-2 mph faster, and a better prospect than Struck ever was, but the point remains. Eduardo Sanchez and Casey Coleman each threw 2 scoreless in relief.

Alex Castellanos had himself a nice day. He went 2-3 with a double, 2 walks, and a home run, and also stole 2 bases.

Huntsville Stars 1 @ Tennessee Smokies 4

Matt Szczur went 2-4 with a triple. That's nice to see, of course. He's the proud owner of a .994 OPS over his last 10 games. Arismendy Alcantara went 1-4 with an RBI, a pretty bland day. Justin Bour had a home run and 2 RBI. Christian Villanueva went 3-4 with a double. He's up to .255 on the season. 

Eric Jokisch was become Death, destroyer of Stars. He went 6 innings and struck out 9, allowing a single run. A single solo home run marred his performance; 4 hits, 2 walks. After a rough May, Jokisch has rebounded nicely. He had a 6.51 ERA in May, but an ERA under 2 in every other month. I choose to believe he was toying with an Eephus that month, that would be awesome. PJ Frankie and Tony Zych went 2 and 1 scoreless for the hold and save. 

Brevard County Manatees 1 @ Daytona Cubs 3

Javier Baez went 1-3 with a walk, again. Hooray! TIm Saunders and Dustin Geiger each had a bomb. Geiger also had a double. 

It seems like Ben Wells hasn't pitched in 3 years. He went 7 scoreless innings and allowed only 2 hits and a walk. Carlos Gutierrez hurled 2 innings and allowed a run for his first save of the year. Do they give players in the minors a ball for their first achievements?

Quad Cities River Bandits 4 @ Kane County Cougars 7

Albert Almora went 0-3, but he was hit by 2 pitches so that's awesome. He came around to score twice. Dan Vogelbach went 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI. Jeimer Candelario went 1-3 with a walk; Marco Hernandez went 2-3 with a walk. Gioskar Amaya was the player of the day, with a double and a home run, and he tacked on a single. 

Felix Pena did not have his best stuff (well maybe he did, but then he'd suck). He went 4.2 innings, and allowed 5 hits and 3 walks for 2 runs. He had 5 strikeouts. After Nathan Dorris went 1.1 innings, Dillon Maples recorded his first-ever save with 3 innings of relief. He allowed 2 runs, but only walked one and one hit. He struck out 3.

Chicago Cubs 0 @ Oakland Athletics 1

Castro-watch: 1-3 with a walk. Since his day off, he's .306/.342/.417. That was basically the only hit; Alfonso Soriano had the other hit, but it was not a cleanly struck ball at all. 

Travis Wood was nails once again. It's hard to envision Wood staying this dominant over the long haul, but I'll gladly ride it while it lasts. Matt Guerrier was awful in his one inning, but Welington Castillo was the ecstasy and the agony in that inning. He threw out a base-stealer, and I remarked to my father-in-law that he's defensive was actually quite underrated. He responded "yeah, but he passes so many balls." On cue, Castillo failed to block a nifty 59-footer and the man on 3rd scored (it was probably Guerrier's best pitch of the outing, which tells you everything you need to know about that game). 

Tri-City Dust Devils 7 @ Boise Hawks 5

The Cubs played Quad Cities and Tri-City. They need to play Minneapolis-St.Paul to get the cycle. I just am not excited about this team. Duane Underwood got the start and went 4.2 innings. He allowed 5 runs, 2 earned, and 4 walks. Rough start. Jasvir Rakkar went 3 innings and got the loss, and my man CMP finished the game with a scoreless inning. CMP for president. I really want to see his jersey, because "Martinez-Pumarino" is probably a whole circle.