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Chicago Cubs Minor League Wrap: May 31

Darius Hill gets off to a successful start in Double-A. Kevin Alcantara destroys a baseball in a Pelicans win. The Smokies win behind two late home runs.

Darius Hill
Darius Hill
Dylan Heuer

There were several transactions in the minors earlier today. I’ll try to get them all.

In the move that got the most attention, the Cubs promoted outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong to South Bend.

This led to several other outfielders on the movie. Outfielder Cole Roederer went from South Bend to Tennessee and outfielder Darius Hill was promoted to Iowa from Tennessee. Meanwhile, outfielder Frank Hernandez joins the Pelicans from Mesa.

Additionally, catcher Casey Opitz went joined South Bend from the developmental list in Mesa and catcher Caleb Knight went the other way.

Right-handed pitcher Adrian Sampson, who was claimed off waivers by the Mariners earlier this month, has re-signed with the Cubs organization and has joined Iowa.

Anderson Espinoza goes to Iowa after his one-day stint in the majors. He had been in Tennessee before that.

Other than Iowa pitcher Conner Menez coming off the injured list, I think that’s all. At least all since Sunday.

Iowa Cubs

The Iowa Cubs were cast out by the St. Paul Saints (Twins), 13-3.

Starter Matt Dermody went three innings and allowed three runs on five hits. Dermody struck out three and walked no one.

Sean Newcombe came on to pitch in the fourth inning and things did not go well. Newcombe surrendered four runs, three earned, on one hit and three walks in just a third of an inning. He did not strike anyone out.

Welcome to Triple-A Darius Hill. Hill started in left field tonight and led off the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run on the first pitch he saw in Triple-A. Overall it was Hill’s seventh home run of the season. Hill went 2 for 5.

Catcher John Hicks hit a solo home run in the third inning, his fifth of 2022. Hicks went 1 for 3 with a walk.

Here’s Hill’s home run.

Tennessee Smokies

The Tennessee Smokies dethroned the Birmingham Barons (White Sox), 4-2.

Smokies starter Javier Assad allowed a two-run home run in the second inning and little else that mattered over his six-inning start. Assad was charged with two runs on five hits. He struck out four, walked two and hit one batter.

The win went to Danis Correa, who pitched the eighth and ninth innings and retired all six batters he faced. Correa struck out three of them.

Third baseman Levi Jordan tied the game up 2-2 with a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. It was Jordan’s sixth home run for Tennessee and eighth overall. Jordan was 2 for 4 on the evening.

Right fielder Alexander Canario gave the Smokies a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the eighth inning with a solo home run, his 12th home run of the season and fifth in Double-A. Canario went 1 for 4.

First baseman Matt Mervis went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. He scored on Jordan’s homer.

Here’s Jordan’s home run:

And here’s Canario’s blast:

South Bend Cubs

The South Bend Cubs fell valiantly to the Dayton Dragons (Reds), 4-2.

Jordan Wicks started and took the loss. Wicks allowed three runs on seven hits over four innings. He struck out six and walked two.

Third baseman Jake Slaughter hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, his third of the year. Slaughter also doubled in the sixth inning in his 2 for 4 night.

Pete Crow-Armstrong did not play, if you were wondering. (I don’t know if he arrived in time) Optiz went 0 for 3 with a walk in his season debut.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans kicked the Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles) out of the nest, 7-5.

Luis Devers is probably the Cubs minor league pitcher having the best season without you noticing. Tonight, Devers got his fifth win by tossing five scoreless innings and giving up just three hits. Devers struck out six and walked one. He lowered his ERA on the year to 2.29 over 39.1 innings.

In the sixth inning. center fielder Kevin Alcantara hit a monster 448-foot solo home run. It was his sixth of the year. He was 2 for 3 with a triple and a home run on the evening. Alcantara also hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning for two total runs batted in.

Shortstop Kevin Made went 2 for 4 with a double and one run scored.

Left fielder Ezequiel Pagan was 2 for 4. He drove in one run and scored once.

First baseman B.J. Murray Jr. was also 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored.

First, here’s Alcantara’s blast. That baseball had a family.

And here is the overall highlights.