Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Walker Powell, Adam Laskey, and Jake Reindl combine on 3rd no-hitter in Pelicans history; Canario and Washer homer again; Alcantara and Mora hit their first

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Walker Powell, Adam Laskey, and Jake Reindl combine on 3rd no-hitter in Pelicans history; Canario and Washer homer again; Alcantara and Mora hit their first

Walker Powell (Photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Sorry for the lack of recaps over the weekend, I was down with the flu.

MLB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

The Cubs have cut their roster to 26 by placing Ethan Roberts on the IL with right shoulder inflammation and optioning Locke St. John to Iowa. Roberts saw his velocity dip to around 91 mph in his last outing. The Cubs will not need a 5th starter until May 10th, at which time they will need to decide whether the move Keegan Thompson (or Michael Rucker) into the rotation, or recall a starter from Iowa if Alec Mills is not ready to return after suffering a setback last week.

AAA

Indianapolis 3, Iowa 1

Game Recap

The bats remain mostly silent for Iowa. They managed just three hits on the afternoon. Defensively, they nearly committed as many errors in the game. Their two errors contributed to two unearned runs. Needless to say, the team didn’t provide Adrian Sampson, Brandon Hughes, and Erich Uelmen much support on the mound despite all three pitching well.

Top Performers

Adrian Sampson: 5 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K (L, 0-3, 3.66)Brandon Hughes: 2 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (0.00)Erich Uelmen: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (0.00)Brennen Davis: 1-3, BB (.203)Ildemaro Vargas: 1-3, BB (.234)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

There were a couple of articles this weekend from various sources regarding the slow start by top prospect Brennen Davis (.203/.291/.311). It has certainly been a struggle thus far, but I am unconcerned. To my eye his issues appear to boil down to timing. He’s making tentative swing decisions right now, often late on the fastball and defensive hacks at breaking pitches. When he does make contact, it is not happening out in front of the plate with his arms extended. Maybe he’s not seeing the ball well right now, maybe it’s a lack of confidence, or both. But once he begins swinging with conviction again I expect positive results to follow.

Brandon Hughes and Erich Uelmen are not overpowering relievers, but they throw from a lower arm angle than typical, and they each have a good slider and improved changeup to help their modest velo play up. Both have been very good to begin the season.

AA

Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 1

Game Recap

Tennessee took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Harrison Wenson in the 3rd. Chattanooga answered with a two-run shot in the bottom of the inning off Anderson Espinoza. It’s been a common issue for Espinoza to either tire as his starts progress, or be the victim of one bad inning/pitch. The pattern followed yesterday. That homer was about the only blemish against him.

The lookouts pen was lights out in the late innings while the Smokies pen faltered.

Top Performers

Harrison Wenson: 1-3, HR (1), R, RBI, BB (.130)Andy Weber: 1-3, BB, SB (3) (.256)Levi Jordan: 2-4, 2B (.417)Anderson Espinoza: 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K (6.59)Dalton Stambaugh: 3 IP, 2 H, R, 0 BB, 0 K (4.76)

High-A

Quad Cities 11, South Bend 7

Game Recap

South Bend came out swinging in the 3rd inning. Fabian Pertuz doubled home the first run of the game and then two of the hottest hitters in the org went deep as part of a six-run outburst. Alexander Canario launched a two-run homer, his 5th over his last 10 games, and then Jake Washer capped off the inning with a three-run shot, his 4th over his last 4 games.

3-run HR for Alexander Canario gives South Bend a 4-0 lead. His 5th HR of the year. pic.twitter.com/o9X0yuK2Y8

— Jordan Miller (@Miller_MiLB)

May 1, 2022

Unfortunately, the River Bandits were able to answer with five runs of their own in the bottom of the inning off Jordan Wicks. The Cubs 1st rounder last year had breezed through the first two innings, striking out five, but lost his command in the 3rd and Quad Cities made him pay. They took a walk (and two pitches off their anatomy), and then hammered pitches he left over the plate.

The score remained 6-5 over the next three innings but two more big innings by Quad Cities in the 7th and 8th off Riley Martin sealed the Cubs fate. They scored three runs in each. Martin had been lights out in Myrtle Beach to open the year, and struck out seven in his three innings yesterday, but he also surrendered nine hits.

Top Performers

Jake Washer: 2-4, HR (4), R, 3 RBI (.387)Alexander Canario: 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI, SB (3) (.286)Fabian Pertuz: 1-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB (.239)Owen Caissie: 1-3, R, BB (.135)Scott McKeon: 1-3, R, BB (.214)Caleb Knight: 1-4, 2B, R (.150)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Bailey Horn made his 2022 debut. He walked three batters in his one inning of work, but kept the River Bandits off the board while striking out a pair.

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 8, Columbia 0

Game Recap

The Cubs have a number of large humans they can run out to the mound. The Pelicans starter yesterday afternoon is among the biggest. Walker Powell stands 6’8″ and uses it to his advantage with an over the top arm slot. The 25-year old undrafted free agent from last year can run the ball up to the plate in the 92-94 mph range, and compliments it with a solid 12-to-6 curve, along with a solid changeup. He’s not among the Cubs top prospects, but I also don’t understand why he went unselected last draft considering his size and stuff. Regardless, the Pelicans have been happy to have him this year, as he entered the the game with a 3-0 record coming out of the pen, before getting his first start yesterday.

Powell would keep the Fireflies off balance all afternoon as he mixed his pitches effectively. He would punch out six batters over five near-perfect innings. The only baserunner he allowed reached via an error (his own).

Walker Powell and his changeup Along with velocity readings from the broadcasters pic.twitter.com/le7taE38fT

— Todd (@CubsCentral08)

May 2, 2022

After his exit (60 pitches), groundball specialist Adam Laskey came on to try to keep the no-no intact. The lefty walked one batter but quickly eliminated him with a double play, as he faced the minimum in his two innings of work.

From there it was up to Jake Reindl to preserve the no-hitter. Manager Buddy Bailey called on the right guy. Reindl has had the ball dancing in the early part of the season. He’d allowed just one hit over his first three appearances (four innings). The righty used his impressive slider to blow away Columbia hitters. He struck out four in his two innings, including the final out:

ANOTHER NO-HITTER ALERT! #Cubs prospect Jake Reindl and @Pelicanbaseball wrap up the third nine-inning no-no in franchise history! pic.twitter.com/njUmNlb6Ro

— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB)

May 2, 2022

Laskey and Reindl have both been plagued by injuries dating back to their collegiate days. They are getting a bit older, but I still consider both to be darkhorse prospects if they can manage to stay on the mound long enough.

And the catcher should never be overlooked on day like this. Though he entered the org with a reputation as an offensive catcher who might not stick as a catcher, Ethan Hearn has sort of been the opposite in his young career. He offers a big target, solid mobility and a strong arm behind the plate. I’ve heard nothing but good things about the way he works with pitchers too. His offense hasn’t progressed as hoped up to this point, but Hearn is a big kid with some power, and did contribute a double in this game.

The Pelicans put in some great work at the plate too. Kevin Alcantara and Juan Mora hit their first home runs on the year, and Pete Crow-Armstrong reached base three times to lead the way.

Kevin Alcantara with his 1st HR for Myrtle Beach. pic.twitter.com/j1W1ksyc2j

— Itsacon (@thats_so_cub)

May 1, 2022

This is fun… pic.twitter.com/fLUN3mcxr7

— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball)

May 1, 2022

PCA on base for the third time tonight. pic.twitter.com/r2MZ2keUx3

— Brad (@ballskwok)

May 1, 2022

Top Performers

Walker Powell: 5 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K (W, 4-0, 2.50)Adam Laskey: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, K (0.00)Jake Reindl: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (0.00)Kevin Alcantara: 2-4, HR (1), R, 2 RBI, BB (.242)Juan Mora: 1-5, HR (1), R, 3 RBI (.303)Pete Crow-Armstrong: 2-4, R, RBI, BB (.382)Yeison Santana: 2-4, 2 R, SB (2) (.304)Liam Spence: 1-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB (.135)Ethan Hearn: 1-4, 2B, R, HBP (.192)Ezequiel Pagan: 1-3, BB (.167)

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I’m glad you’re feeling better. That Myrtle Beach team seems to be the best to watch in the whole organization…
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Madrigal needs to be playing every day. I’m tired of the mantra that the Cubs are trying to be like…
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btw, Wicks had a terrible day today. As Emily Litela used to say “never mind.”
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I also think Jed is the right person now, just as Theo was the right person back then. I can…
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