Pierce Johnson, the Cubs first-round supplemental pick in 2012, has been promoted to high A Daytona and Cuban Armando Rivero will make his pro debut as he has been assigned to Kane County. Left-handed reliever Sheldon McDonald was sent from Daytona to Kane County to make room on the Cubs roster for Johnson.
The right-hander from Missouri State started 13 games in the Midwest League posting a 5-5 record in 69.2 innings with a 1.29 WHIP and a 3.10 ERA. Using a fastball in the low 90s and a hard breaking ball, Johnson, 22, fanned 74 hitters with 22 walks as he showed good command and control. His best outing was May 18 against first-half champs Cedar Rapids and top prospect Byron Buxton as Johnson blanked the Kernals for six innings with nine punchouts. His last start was June 16 vs. Wisconsin (7IP, 4H 0R, 3BB, 5K). Johnson could make his FSL debut on Saturday at Jackie Robinson Ballpark against Dunedin.
Armando Rivero, a 25-year-old Cuban who signed a $3.1 million bonus in March with the Cubs, will make his professional debut in the Midwest League with Kane County. The Cubs started Rivero on a throwing program in March and he hasn’t pitched competitively in over a year. The right-hander has been building arm strength at extended spring training in Mesa and appeared in three games, based on stats complied by Arizona Phil of TheCubReporter.com. (3.2 IP, 5H, 3ER, 2BB, 5K).
The 6-foot-4, 190-pounder features a three-quarters delivery with a fastball in the mid-90s along with a breaking ball and a splitter. Rivero should be no stranger to the Cubs organization as he is represented by the same agency, Praver Shapiro Sports Management, as outfielder Jorge Soler, and was a former teammate to Gerardo Concepcion, who received a five-year, $6 million deal from Cubs last year. They both played for Industriales in Cuba’s top league.
Relief pitcher Sheldon McDonald has been added to the Kane County pitching staff from Daytona. The left-hander made 16 relief appearances for Daytona with 16 K and 13 BB in 26.1 IP with a 3.42 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP.