I'm pretty sure this is the longest Minor League Wrap ever. Eight games, a poll, and a news story. At least the Cubs system went 7-1 today.
While I've been awfully busy the last couple days, the game stops for no one. It's the first of the month and that means it's time for the BCB Minor League Player of the Month Award!
You should all know the drill by now. I pick five players, one from each team. You vote for the player whom you think had the best month. Remember, it's not a prospect award, but rather a reward for production. Still, you can vote for whomever you want.
I'm going to go out on a limb and say I know who's going to win the vote. Not saying who. But the candidates are:
Iowa Cubs third baseman Josh Vitters: Among a lot of talk about a promotion to the majors, Vitters is having a bit of a breakout campaign. Still only 22 years old and in Triple-A, Vitters hit .301 for the month of July. He only had two home runs, but he added a season-high twelve doubles and a triple for a SLG of .478. But what's most impressive is that he walked ten times in July for a .355 OBP. I don't want to go back and look it up, but I'm fairly sure Vitters has never walked ten times in a month before.
Tennessee Smokies first baseman Justin Bour: I don't know who around here first nicknamed him "Big Bad Justin Bour," but he was certainly a threatening menace at the plate in July, For the month, Bour hit .333 with four home runs and 26 RBI in 28 games. His OBP was .376 and his SLG was .519
Daytona Cubs second baseman Ronald Torreyes: Hard to not pick Matt Szczur, who was promoted to Tennessee, but Torreyes was a terror in July. He struggled badly in April and May after coming over from Cincinnati in the Sean Marshall trade, but since then he's been hotter than the Florida summer. In July Torreyes hit .333/.378/.471 and stole seven bases in eight attempts.
Peoria Chiefs shortstop Javier Baez: Apparently he can do whatever he wants, at least in the Midwest League. In July, Baez hit .368 with seven home runs and 20 RBI. Baez only walked twice, but he was hit by enough pitches to get his OBP up to .397. He slugged .679 for the month. Baez also stole eight bases in ten attempts.
Boise Hawks second baseman Gioskar Amaya: The Venezuelan Amaya was on prospect lists before this month, but his time in Boise this year will likely catapult him into every list of the top ten Cubs prospects this off-season. For the month of July, Amaya hit .330/.407/.567 with four home runs and six steals.
You'll want to be sure to follow the jump. There were some wild games in the minors today and what is sure to be the weirdest ejection of the season. Nothing as wild as two badminton teams both trying to throw the same match, but wild nonetheless.
The Iowa Cubs were left on the ground by the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Rockies), 11-6.
Ty'Relle Harris was promoted to Iowa today and immediately thrown into the fire with a start. He got the loss after throwing four innings and to the first two batters of the fifth, allowing five runs on nine hits. He did not walk anyone and struck out four. One of those five runs was unearned.
The real problem in this game was the seven runs Colorado Springs scored in that fifth inning after Harris exited. Harris was relieved by Jay Jackson, who allowed one inherited runner to score and then six more of his own in the one inning he pitched.
Jaye Chapman threw a perfect inning in his Cubs debut.
First baseman Greg Rohan was also promoted to Iowa today. His PCL debut was a memorable one, except for the final score. Rohan hit two home runs, one with a man on in the second inning and a solo home run in the sixth. Rohan now has 19 home runs this year between three teams. Rohan finished 3 for 4.
Third baseman Josh Vitters also homered for the sixteenth time this year. In fact, Rohan's solo home run in the sixth inning was back-to-back with the solo home run by Vitters. Vitters was 1 for 3 with a walk. He score two runs and had two total RBI.
Right fielder Brett Jackson was 3 for 5 with a double and a triple. He scored one run. Left fielder James Adduci was 2 for 5 with a triple. He scored on a Vitters' ground out after the triple. He also scored one run.
In game one, Dae-Eun Rhee pitched four innings yesterday. He allowed one run on three hits. He did not walk anyone and he struck out two.
Trey McNutt picked up today where Rhee left off. McNutt pitched three innings and allowed one run on two hits. He walked one and struck out two. McNutt got the win because Rhee didn't pitch five innings.
Kevin Rhoderick pitched two scoreless innings for his eighth save. Rhoderick allowed one hit and a walk. He fanned three.
Third baseman Greg Rohan was 1 for 2 with a double and an RBI yesterday. That's 4 for 6 with 11 total bases in (sort of) one day for two different teams.
Rohan was replaced today at third by Nate Samson, and he hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning. It was his second home run. Samson was 1 for 2.
In the seven-inning second game, Dallas Beeler started and pitched five innings of one-hit baseball. Beeler walked two and struck out two.
Brian Schlitter got the win with two innings of relief. He also allowed only one hit, and that one was a line drive that hit him and went into foul territory. He stayed in the game after that. Schlitter did not walk anyone and struck out two.
The second game ended in the bottom of the seventh inning when Justin Bour led off the inning with a walk-off home run. It was Bour's twelfth homer of the year. Bour was 1 for 2 with a walk.
Lendy Castillo made his first rehab start outside of Arizona and it was a good one. He pitched four innings and he allowed only one unearned run. Castillo allowed three hits. He walked one and struck out four.
Eduardo Figueroa got the win after he gave up only one hit and no runs over three innings. Figueroa struck out one and walked no one.
Jeffrey Lorick converted about as tough a save as you could ask for tonight. He entered the game with one out and the bases-loaded. He struck out both batters he faced to end the game. It was his second save.
Center fielder Rubi Silva had both D-Cub RBI: an infield single and a ground out. He was 1 for 4.
Left fielder John Andreoli was 2 for 4 with a walk. He scored once. First baseman Taylor Davis was 1 for 4.
Second baseman Ronald Torreyes was 2 for 3 with a walk. Daytona did not have an extra base hit in this game.
The big news that came out of this game was the ejection of Daytona sound man Derek Dye. There was a questionable call at first base when Taylor Davis dropped the ball out of his glove. Cubs manager Brian Harper argued that the ball was dropped on the transfer and the hitter should have been out. The umpire, Mario Seneca, disagreed. Before play resumed, Dye played a sound clip of "Three Blind Mice." Seneca threw Dye out of the ballgame and also the public address announcer, just because. For the rest of the game, there was no music and no PA. The players were announced by a knowledgeable fan in the stands.
The Peoria Chiefs scored three runs in the top of the ninth to incarcerate the Quad City River Bandits (Cardinals), 11-10.
Zach Cates started this roller coaster of a game. He allowed four runs on five hits over 2.2 innings. Cates walked two and struck out four.
Bryce Shafer got the win in relief. He pitched 1.2 innings and allowed only one hit. He did allow a runner inherited from Larry Suarez to score, but no runs of his own scored. Shafer did not walk anyone and struck out four.
Austin Reed pitched a perfect ninth for his first save.
The big news from this game was DH Dustin Geiger, who tied the Chiefs' franchise record with eight RBI. He hit two home runs, including the go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the ninth. He also hit a three-run blast in the first inning. Geiger was 3 for 5 and also doubled. He has now hit 13 home runs in 46 games this season.
Shortstop Javier Baez was 2 for 5 with a double. Baez scored twice and knocked home the other run in that three run ninth.
Center fielder Pin-Chieh Chen was 2 for 4 with a double. He scored three runs. Second baseman Zeke DeVoss was 2 for 4 with a walk. He scored one run.
The Boise Hawks won their fifth straight game, 14-10 over the Spokane Indians (Rangers).
Su-Min Jung started tonight and allowed one run over three innings. Jung allowed three hits and he walked one. Jung struck out three.
Seventeenth-round pick Nathan Dorris was the winning pitcher in his first game for the Hawks because Jung did not throw five innings. Dorris pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits. He walked one and fanned one.
Twenty-seventh round pick Tyler Bremer's Boise debut wasn't as good. He gave up four runs in two innings. Willengton Cruz allowed the other five runs, one in the eighth inning and four in the ninth.
Two Hawks hit their first home run of the season tonight. For second baseman Stephen Bruno, the two-run home run in the third was his first professional home run. Bruno was 1 for 4 with a walk.
The other home run came from right fielder Xavier Batista, who hit his with two on in the fifth inning. Batista also hit two doubles in a 3 for 5 game. Batista scored twice.
Coming into tonight's game, catcher Lance Rymel had two hits in 33 at-bats this season. Tonight he exceeded his season total by going 3 for 4 with a double and a walk. Rymel scored twice and batted one run in.
Third baseman Jeimer Candelario went 2 for 5 with a double. He scored one run and had three RBI. First baseman Dan Vogelbach was also 2 for 5 with a double, but he only had the one run scored.
Center fielder Trey Martin was 2 for 6 with three runs scored. Left fielder Dong-Yub Kim hit a two-run double in a 2 for 5 effort. He had three total RBI and he scored twice.
In game one, Pierce Johnson made his professional debut. He pitched one scoreless inning and allowed two singles. He did not walk or strike anyone out.