Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Wicks, Clarke, Bain, and Martin shine on mound as South Bend sweeps doubleheader; Alcantara keys six run fifth to rally Pelicans to another win; Simmons kicks off rehab

Daily Cubs Minors Recap: Wicks, Clarke, Bain, and Martin shine on mound as South Bend sweeps doubleheader; Alcantara keys six run fifth to rally Pelicans to another win; Simmons kicks off rehab

Max Bain (photo by Rikk Carlson)

MLB

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Wade Miley will throw a bullpen today to see how his arm responded to his first rehab appearance the other day. If he feels good, I think it is possible he joins the Cubs and starts May 10th even though he is not fully stretched out. It’s not like any of the Cubs starters have been working beyond four innings consistently anyway.

AAA

St. Paul 9, Iowa 2

Game Recap

The Iowa bullpen has been one of the strengths of the team over the first month of the season, but it fell apart on Saturday. Sure, it didn’t help that this was a bullpen day from the start but James Bourque and Eric Stout put in some good work early for the club, allowing just one earned run through four innings. But from there the wheels fell off. Anueris Rosario gave up three runs, Cayne Ueckert continued to struggle with his command/control which led to three walks and a run allowed, and then Erich Uelmen struggled through the final inning (four runs, two earned).

To be fair, the bullpen didn’t get much help from the defense (two errors led to three unearned runs on the afternoon) and the offense mustered just two runs despite getting five combined doubles from Jared Young, Nelson Velazquez, and Nelson Maldonado in the middle of the order.

Save that baseball! Nelson Velazquez’ first Triple-A hit is this double in the fourth inning! pic.twitter.com/wECZ29aaIT

— Iowa Cubs (@IowaCubs)

May 7, 2022

Not a replay. pic.twitter.com/6hiVWSnGN7

— Brad (@ballskwok)

May 7, 2022

Nelson Maldonado doubles to tie the game. pic.twitter.com/VRLlOlTcyp

— Brad (@ballskwok)

May 7, 2022

Top Performers

Jared Young: 2-4, 2 2B (.261)Nelson Velazquez: 2-4, 2 2B, CS (1) (.500)Nelson Maldonado: 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, SF (.333)Ildemaro Vargas: 2-5, R (.265)Eric Stout: 2.1 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 3 K (2.93)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Andrelton Simmons started at SS and played about 2/3 of the game. The ball never did find him while he was in there so I’ve got nothing to report regarding how his throwing looks as he comes back from his sore shoulder. He did go 1-for-3 at the plate. If he suffers no setbacks Simmons should be ready to go before Nico Hoerner requires another day off in Chicago.

AA

Birmingham 6, Tennessee 2

Game Recap

This was a rough one, as the Smokies just couldn’t get their offense going all night. Darius Hill had three singles, but the rest of the squad combined for just one hit. Tennessee didn’t much done on the mound either. Anderson Espinoza put up another inconsistent effort. He looks good against most of the batters he faces, but there are always slips ups in command/control which lead to mistakes to several hitters a game. He gave up a four runs over four innings.

Just a forgettable day all around.

Top Performers

Darius Hill: 3-5, R, RBI (.317)Bryce Ball: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB (.292)Blake Whitney: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, K (3.00)

High-A

South Bend 3, Peoria 2 (Game 1)

South Bend 4, Peoria 0 (Game 2)

Game Recap

South Bend managed to put up a decent amount of runs in both games based mostly off of stringing together a bunch of singles, which is admirable, but not the story of the day.

In Game 2, Max Bain was lights out with five punchouts over four innings. We are starting to see the guy who impressed in workouts and bullpen sessions the last two offseasons show up more often on the mound in game action. He’s gotten himself in top shape this year and reworked his delivery to become a bit more fluid which has helped his command. He’s also settled into a consistent repertoire after doing a lot of experimenting with different grips and pitches last season.

Riley Martin followed with three shutout innings and five strikeouts of his own. A breakout story for the Pelicans throughout April, Martin had dominated in Low-A with an insane K rate. His first foray in High-A was less successful however, as he was knocked around for six runs over three innings. He returned to his Myrtle Beach form in this one though.

Max Bain just toying with guys so far today. pic.twitter.com/dkOoMuNBIo

— Brad (@ballskwok)

May 7, 2022

HIGHLIGHTS
Cubs pick up a shutout victory in game two behind gems from @mbain_38 and @Riley_Martin16 plus @mmervis12 extends the longest active hitting streak in High-A to 13 games. pic.twitter.com/Ni8rZf2Fae

— South Bend Cubs (@SBCubs)

May 8, 2022

Game 1 it was Jordan Wicks and Chris Clarke combining to shut down the Chiefs. Wicks did allow two runs but they were both unearned. The two weren’t quite as dominant as the Game 1 duo, but still, the Chiefs rarely threatened.

HIGHLIGHTS
Game 1 today was another nail-biting victory… Jordan Wicks ( @jordan_wicks99) got the start, Chris Clarke (@topher_clarke) got his 3rd win and the Cubs clawed back from a 2-run deficit to win 3-2. pic.twitter.com/LkJ14gojUw

— South Bend Cubs (@SBCubs)

May 8, 2022

Top Performers

Max Bain: 4 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K (2.84)Riley Martin: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K (W, 1-1, 9.00)Jordan Wicks: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, BB, 2 K (4.42)Chris Clarke: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K (W, 3-1, 3.42)Scott McKeon: 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB , SB (3) (.231)Edmond Americaan: 2-3, 2B, R (.214)Ed Howard: 2-3, R (.253)Jake Washer: 2-3, RBI (.405)Matt Mervis: 2-5, R, RBI, BB (.303)Fabian Pertuz: 1-3, 3B, R, RBI (.229)Yohendrick Piñango: 2-6, R, RBI (.247)Bradlee Beesley: 1-3, RBI (.250)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Max Bain was also pitching for a good cause yesterday:

ICYMI: @SBCubs RHP Max Bain (@mbain_38) will wear special cleats during his outing today.

Growing up 15 minutes from Oxford, MI, he’s honoring the victims of the mass shooting and supporting @42StrongTate. Here’s how .

FULL STORY: https://t.co/KMvxTcnBHo pic.twitter.com/6zWrUjUiuH

— Bennett Wise WSBT (@bennettmwise)

May 7, 2022

Low-A

Myrtle Beach 9, Salem 6

Game Recap

The red hot Myrtle Beach offense was held in check through the first four innings, but finally exploded for six runs in the fifth to break the game open. Kevin Alcantara delivered the big blow, a three-run homer. He also doubled later in the game and delivered a nice play in the outfield as well. The young outfielder has had some rough games mixed in throughout the first month, but he’s always responded with good efforts soon after.

SIX RUNS in the top of the fifth for the Birds!

Kevin Alcantara highlights the inning with a three-run homer.

Pelicans 6, Red Sox 1 in the bottom of the fifth. pic.twitter.com/erwTj8dy16

— Myrtle Beach Pelicans (@Pelicanbaseball)

May 7, 2022

Alcântara doing it all pic.twitter.com/hYhvftgHFk

— Todd (@CubsCentral08)

May 8, 2022

And of course, would it be a Pelicans game if it didn’t include Pete Crow-Armstrong reaching base multiple times? Yesterday, it was three singles from the 20-year old centerfielder to push his average over 400, his OBP to 500, and his SLG well above 600. Not bad for a 20-year old with 26 games of total pro experience.

One of the guys who turned heads in April, Porter Hodge, was on the mound for Myrtle Beach. It was the first time though the opposition was able to get to him a bit this season. He gave up four runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings. Luis Rodriguez came on in relief and shut down any hopes of a Salem comeback, earning a well deserved win in the process. The lefty doesn’t overpower but he’s been very effective for Myrtle Beach since he joined the team last season.

Once we get more games with better cameras for Pelicans games I hope to provide a bit more detailed insight into their games. It’s been a bit of a frustrating first month as a watcher, despite the stellar performance, simply because I can’t do much evaluating beyond boxscores.

Top Performers

Kevin Alcantara: 2-5, 2B, HR (2), R, 3 RBI (.247)B.J. Murray Jr.: 2-3, 2 R, HBP (.306)Pete Crow-Armstrong: 3-5, R, RBI, SB (8) (.410)Cole Roederer: 0-3, R, 2 BB, SB (1) (.429)Liam Spence: 1-3, RBI, BB (.143)Luis Rodriguez: 3.2 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K (W, 2-0, 1.26)

Injuries, Updates, and Trends

Another 3 hit game for Pete Crow-Armstrong gets him to the coveted 400/500/600 triple slash. His current batting line is 410/500/627 in 20 games for Myrtle Beach.

In 26 career Low-A games (his entire pro career) he has hit 411/515/598

— Michael Ernst (@mj_ernst)

May 8, 2022

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Nice to see both of the Nelson’s have nice days at the plate yesterday (Saturday) at Iowa. Looks like they’re…
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Eeeeesh! 3 hits and 9 walks to the Dodgers in game two. Can’t win very many that way.
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In reply to Michael Ernst:
If he can translate the stats he’s putting up in AA to the MLB club, he might be the regular…
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In reply to Cliff1969:
For sure, just watching the current level of play, is pretty depressing.
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Morel definitely fits the definitions of quick twitch athleticism and wiry strong. He’s got one of the top three arms…
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