Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Wicks and Herz promoted to AA; Mervis mashes his 21st HR, Piñango goes oppo to extend hit streak; Dermody and Santana continue hot streaks on the mound
Matt Dermody has been on quite a run recently. He was coming off his best start of the season, and though he didn’t miss as many bats in this outing he didn’t walk anyone and kept the Bisons in check through five innings. He was relieved by Sean Newcomb, who also kept his recent run of good games going. He breezed through two innings, before losing some control in his third, but a nice play by Jared Young with the bases loaded got him off the hook.
After two strong innings, Sean Newcomb had worked himself into a bases loaded, 1-out jam in the 8th. Struck out the next batter on 3 pitches, then second baseman Jared Young bailed him out with this nice play. pic.twitter.com/iJsH2jwomC
Along with Newcomb, Erich Uelmen is also making a case for a shot in the bigs post-TDL:
I see you, Erich Uelman (hopefully in Chicago soon). pic.twitter.com/NgHuUTSZ8i
All of the Cubs runs came on one swing by Greg Deichmann.
Greg Deichmann puts us on top with this three-run shot! pic.twitter.com/1SJ8ZtDYKu
Matt Dermody: 5 IP, 5 H, R, 0 BB, 4 K (W, 5-3, 4.22)Sean Newcomb: 3 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, HBP, 2 K (4.50)Erich Uelmen: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (S, 6, 2.79)Greg Deichmann: 2-3, 2B, HR (7), R, 3 RBI (.235)Jared Young: 2-4, R (.249)Darius Hill: 2-4, 2B (.336)
Everyday we seem to get a highlight from Matt Mervis or Jake Slaughter. Sometimes we get a highlight from both. Slaughter did have a good game (I just don’t have any video clip). I do have video evidence of Mervis’s impact:
Maybe a little Freddie Freeman thrown in
I knew Matt Mervis had power. I expected him to eventually tap into it despite his relatively poor 2021. I did not expect him to figure it out quite this quickly.
There are still some concerns with his plate discipline and pitch recognition, but I love the swing, and he rarely misses the barrel when he get’s a hittable pitch in the zone. He could well see AAA before the end of the year, and a shot in the bigs sometime in 2023 is not out of the question.
We also got a great defensive play from Alexander Canario (and a scare as he collides with Yonathan Perlaza, who exited the game with an injury):
Matt Mervis: 1-3, HR (14), R, 2 RBI, BB (.299)Jake Slaughter: 1`-3, R, RBI, HBP, SB (16) (.338)Bryce Windham: 1-3, R, BB, SB (1) (.201)Bailey Horn: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K (4.00)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
The big news on the farm yesterday was not something that happened on the diamond. The Cubs promoted two Top 10 prospects, and their top two left handed starters (Jordan Wicks and D.J. Herz) to AA. Wicks has gotten locked in over his last handful of starts. After focusing on his new breaking balls earlier in the season, he is now reincorporating his plus changeup more frequently, and it is leading to more whiffs and quicker at bats as he keeps hitters off balance. Herz was pertty much unhittable in South Bend, just as he was pretty much unhittable in Myrtle Beach. I would expect his stuff and deceptive delivery to still play pretty well in AA, but he’ll also run into a few more opponents capable of handling what he brings, and most importantly he’ll face more guys who will lay off pitches he throws outside the zone. This will test his command and control like never before.
Not much to focus on in this one beyond Yohendrick Piñango extending his hit streak to 12 games with an opposite field shot in the 1st. It gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead, but that lead slowly bled away over the course of the game.
Piñango even lifting the ball oppo now? Be still my heart. https://t.co/MqCvAIEs6l
Piñango (.294/.329/.478) has made some slight tweaks to his swing (and approach) this year which has allowed him to tap into his pull side power more frequently. But it is rare to see him go oppo with power. He gets plenty of hits that way, but doesn’t lift the ball to LF often. Piñango gets lost in the shuffle among some of the high profile outfield prospects the Cubs have in South Bend and Myrtle Beach, but please don’t sleep on this guy. He’s already young for High-A (turned 20 in May), and he may well reach AA in the near future.
Yohendrick Piñango: 2-4, HR (12), 2 R, 2 RBI (.294)Fabian Pertuz: 2-4, R (.245)Casey Opitz: 1-3, RBI, BB (.182)B.J. Murray Jr.: 1-3 (.203)Manuel Espinoza: 4 IP, 2 H, R, 5 BB, 2 K (4.86)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
With his 1st inning home run last night, Yohendrick Pinango’s hitting streak is up to 12 straight games and he is hitting over .400 in the month of July!
I’ve missed most of Tyler Santana and Frankie Scalzo Jr.‘s appearances this year, so I don’t have much to report, but I know they’ve had good games, and Scalzo in particular is an arm to keep an eye on. Yesterday they combined to throw eight innings in the Pelicans shutout victory, allowing just five combined baserunners while punching out 11.
Tyler Santana: 5.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K (2.38)Frankie Scalzo Jr.: 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 5 K (W, 3-3, 4.81)Angel Hernandez: IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (S, 2, 4.73)James Triantos: 2-4, 2B, R (.277)Kevin Alcantara: 1-3, R, RBI (.267)Ezequiel Pagan: 1-3, 2B, RBI (.298)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Real chance this guy is a unicorn, with plus power, a good hit tool, and the ability to play good defense at a cornerstone position in CF (even if PCA’s 70 grade glove pushes him to a corner). https://t.co/1aDMLny9nq
Moises Ballesteros blasted his 6th homer of the season. He is now batting .300/.378/.588 over his first 25 games stateside. I’m not sure about his defensive skills behind the plate, but the bat is certainly intriguing.
Speaking of catchers, Miguel Amaya is reportedly nearing a return to AA. He’s now played 11 games in Mesa.
Koen Moreno got the start and pitched the first 2.2 innings of the shutout. He’s been plagued by injury since being an overslot draftee out of the prep ranks a couple of years ago. Hopefully, he can stay on the mound and get on a roll in the 2nd half.
Daily Cubs Minors Recap