Cubs Minor League News: Hendricks impressive, Triantos raking, Hertz strikes out 9, more
Professor looked sharp in his rehab start

Cubs Minor League News: Hendricks impressive, Triantos raking, Hertz strikes out 9, more

by - Senior Writer -

Granted, the first half of the week was miles better than the second half, but the Cubs Minor League system still had a great week as two teams split their series, one team won, and one team lost. You would like that ratio to be slightly better, but that is how baseball sometimes goes.

Sunday, gave the Cubs some positive momentum heading into next week as the Cubs posted a 2-2 record. Not only that, but the pitching seemed to shoulder the load, which is something fans can smile about when you look at how the Chicago Cubs pitching held up this week.


One thing we have learned about Iowa this season is that they have one of the best, if not the best, offense in AAA. However, their pitching makes them vulnerable when that offense is held in check. That was the case on Sunday as the Cubs bullpen allowed four runs in the eighth inning in a 6-2 loss.

That took another strong start away from Kyle Hendricks, who has looked very good in his last two outings. Hendricks gave the Cubs five innings again, allowing two runs on six hits. He walked two and strikeout four as the Cubs face a tough decision on what to do with him next.

He was relieved by Cam Sanders, who tossed a scoreless outing before Bailey Horn and Manny Rodriguez struggled late. It was the first earned runs he has allowed with Iowa for Horn, as he has been very good.

One of the most significant issues for Hendricks the past few seasons has been the long ball, and after Justyn-Henry Malloy took him deep in the first, those concerns remain. However, Hendricks minimized the damage, which is all you can ask for. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the first, Miguel Amaya cashed in with his first AAA RBI using an RBI single to tie things up 1-1.

That score remained the same until the sixth inning, as both teams were getting great pitching across the board. An Andrew Knapp groundout put Toledo on top 2-1 in the sixth, with David Bote using a sacrifice fly to tie things up again. That would be it for the Cubs offensively as the Mud Hens pulled away in the eighth with a four-run inning.

Corey Joyce delivered the game-winning RBI single in that inning, but it was the three-run homer by Michael Papierski that busted the game open and paved the way to the 6-2 win. Amaya had a fantastic day at the plate, picking up four of the team's nine hits with an RBI. Sergio Alcantara added two hits, with Nelson Velazquez grabbing one.


The Smokies may have taken the series' first three games, but all three were filled with dramatics. The back end of the series was all Montgomery, which concluded with a 4-1 win to tie the series. DJ Herz was back on the mound as he continues to work his way back after spending the first month on the developmental list.

Herz pitched into the fourth but didn't finish it as he allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings. He walked three but struck out nine, as this was the best he had looked in a while. The problem is when your offense only gives you one run of support, wins will be hard to come by. The problem is having starter Shane Hunley give you five innings of one-run ball as he paved the way for a trio of strong pitchers that struck out eight.

Montgomery got off to a quick start, with Matt Dyer opening the scoring with a two-run single in the second to put the Biscuits up 2-0. Evan Edwards added an RBI double in the fourth to push the lead to 3-0 before Owen Caissie put the Smokies on the board with a sacrifice fly to make things 3-1. That was it for the Smokies offense as Logan Driscoll added a solo shot in the eighth to cap off the scoring in the 4-1 Biscuits win.

The Smokies were held to just three hits in the game, with Pete Crow-Armstrong leading the way with two. Caleb Knight added the other hit in what was otherwise a slow night.


After three miserable games that the Cubs didn't look great, they managed to end the week on a positive note by tying the series with an extra-inning win. Manuel Espinoza opened the game with three scoreless frames before giving way to Frank Scalzo Jr, Brad Deppermann, and the rest of the Cubs pen.

With the Cubs holding the Rattlers scoreless through six, Joe Nahas took over in the seventh and allowed one run in three innings, with Sheldon Reed finishing things off for the final two. Despite the Cubs delivering a great pitching effort, Cameron Wagoner matched them pitch for pitch going five shutout innings with four punchouts as pitching set the tone all game.

Picking things up in the seventh with the game tied 0-0, Bryce Ball delivered the first big hit of the game as his RBI single gave the Cubs a 1-0 lead. Ball was sent back to High-A from AA and, since his arrival, has been looking more comfortable at the plate. Holding that 1-0 lead into the eighth, Nahas gave up the lone run for the Cubs as Robert Moore reached base on a fielders choice that brought the game back to even 1-1.

That score would remain the same through nine innings and go to extras with things still up in the air. It was in the 11th when the Cubs finally cashed in for good as James Triantos delivered the game-winning RBI single before Reed finished them off in the bottom of the 11th.

Triantos led the way with two of the Cubs five hits, with Ball, Fabian Pertuz, and Casey Optiz picking up the other three.


What started off as a rough start to a 12-game homestand ended on a positive note as the Pelicans took the series' final two games. The last of those came on the verge of a 3-1 decision as they have moved back to .500 for the season.

Brody McCullough bounced back from a rough start last time and returned to his April form. He gave the Pelicans five innings of three-hit ball, allowing one run. He walked two and struck out eight as his ERA sits at 2.92.

They needed his performance on the mound, and Brandon Noriega as the Hillcats allowed two unearned runs in their 3-1 loss.

The first of the unearned runs came in the third when the Pelicans opened the scoring. Juan Mora began the game with an RBI single to put the Pelicans in front 1-0, with Moises Ballesteros adding a single shortly after. Initially, that single was not going to allow a run, but an error on that play allowed for a second run to score as the Pelicans held a 2-0 lead.

Immediately following that inning were the Hillcats cutting the deficit in half, with Jose Devers picking up an RBI single to make things 2-1. That would be it for the Hillcats offense for the day as the 2-1 score held until the Miguel Fabrizio single in the eighth to cap off the 3-1 win.

Mora had a great day at the plate, picking up three hits with his RBI. Rafael Morel and Cristian Hernandez added two hits as Hernandez has started to catch fire in the last 10 games.

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