Chicago Cubs Minor League Recap: Matt Mervis returns to Iowa

It was a pretty pedestrian Friday for the Chicago Cubs' affiliates. One game got rained out, one game was a shut out and the other two teams scored a combined three runs. Just means the offenses are due for a big Saturday, right?
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Chicago Cubs Minor League Recap: Matt Mervis returns to Iowa

  1. Iowa Cubs (AAA)
  2. Tennessee Smokies (AA)
  3. South Bend Cubs (A+)
  4. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A)

Iowa Cubs (AAA)

The Iowa Cubs beat the Indianapolis Indians 2-1

Iowa took an early lead yesterday and never gave it back. They went up 1-0 in the 2nd inning and then added an insurance run in the 5th. They’d only give up one run even though they let Indianapolis scatter seven hits as the pitching performances were pretty solid, with the lone exception being a player that Cubs’ fans would really like to see get right. 

Yonathan Perlaza (OF) went 1-for-3 with a double.

David Bote (3B) went 2-for-3 with a solo home run and has gotten his batting average up to .264 for the year at AAA.

Matt Mervis (1B) is sadly (or mercifully, depending on how you look at it) back in AAA and he went 1-for-3 with a single. 

Riley Thompson (RHP) went five scoreless innings as the starter and struck out three while walking one and giving up four hits. 

Rowan Wick (RHP) went one perfect inning and struck out one. 

Brendon Little (LHP) also pitched a perfect inning and struck out all three of the batters he faced. 

Jeremiah Estrada (RHP) gave up the lone run in this one by giving up one hit and three walks and only getting two outs before Manuel Rodriguez came in to bail him out. Estrada and Mervis need to get right in AAA in order for the Major League squad to have any hopes of salvaging a .500 season. 

Tennessee Smokies (AA)

The Tennessee Smokies and Birmingham Barons game was rained out

South Bend Cubs (A+)

The South Bend Cubs lost to the Cedar Rapids Kernels 3-1

The offense couldn’t get going yesterday. Only three guys had multiple hits, but more importantly not a single Cub drew a walk. You can chalk that up to a solid pitching performance from Cedar Rapids, but it would be nice to see a little more patience from a team that struck out ten times. 

Ezequiel Pagan (OF) went 2-for-4 with a double, a single and an RBI to raise his batting average to .338 on the year. It’s not as high as it was a couple of weeks ago but that’s still worthy of a call-up when Crow-Armstrong makes his inevitable move to AAA.

Kevin Made (SS) went 2-for-3 with two doubles and a run scored. 

Brandon Birdsell (RHP) took the loss in this one despite a solid start. He gave up two earned runs over five innings on five hits and a walk while striking out four. 

Manuel Espinoza (RHP) was a surprise reliever in this one. I don’t put a ton of stock into pitching appearances at High-A but it would at least be a little disappointing to see Espinoza converted to a reliever at this point. He went three innings and struck out two while giving up a run on three hits and two walks. 

Myrtle Beach Pelicans (A)

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans lost to the Fredericksburg Nationals 2-0

If South Bend couldn’t get the offense going forward yesterday then Myrtle Beach had the offense running backward. The Pelicans also failed to draw a walk and only had three hits (no extra-base hits) and couldn’t drive anyone in. It was another great pitching performance from the starter which is nothing new in Myrtle Beach, but unfortunately another disappointing offensive performance that is equally common lately. 

Cristian Hernández (SS) went 1-for-3 with a single and two strikeouts to bring his average to .243 on the season. 

Moises Ballesteros (C) went 1-for-4 with a single. 

Nick Hull (RHP) was solid again like we’ve come to expect. He went six innings and only gave up one run on three hits and struck out four. That one run was enough to take the loss though and drop his record at Myrtle Beach to 3-1 on the season. 

Johzan Oquendo (RHP) finished the game by striking out two over 1.2 scoreless innings in which he didn’t allow a walk and only gave up one hit.

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