News in the System
- With the big Cubs having some troubles up the middle with their depth, it might be about that time to make a roster move that might just include adding a player to the 40-man roster. Both Robel Garcia and Trent Giambrone have been hot over the last month and could be options.
- Even though he is in Chicago, we still get to claim Adbert Alzolay as long as he is still technically a prospect. He has now logged three games on the mound and his stuff has looked terrific. Except for Monday night, that is.
- Along with plenty of bullpen depth in Iowa, the organization has several rotation arms that could easily make a transition to relief roles. Duane Underwood Jr. has looked terrific in making that transition.
- Cubs Insider is now home to a brand new podcast! Growing Cubs: A Chicago Prospect Podcast debuted on Monday and will cover everything you need to know about the farm. Hosts Greg Huss and Jimmy Nelligan will be updating you on all the news and notes from the system while giving their thoughts and analysis along the way. Be sure to check out the one and only Cubs farm system podcast!
Triple-A Iowa Cubs
- The I-Cubs rounded out the month of June by going 5-2 last week to put their season record at 47-36, still in first place in the division by nine games. They have two opponents on the schedule for this week as they play the San Antonio Missions and the Memphis Redbirds.
- Jeff Passantino got the call to Iowa for a spot-start last week after spending the entire season in South Bend and Myrtle Beach. No matter the level, he continued his dominating ways on the mound and put up four innings of one-run ball. He struck out six while only walking one batter.
- The bats were on fire last week as five hitters put up an OPS of over .900: Jim Adduci, Taylor Davis, Trent Giambrone, Dixon Machado, Robel Garcia, and Mark Zagunis.
- I think it is time to consider Zagunis for a return to Chicago. During his time with the big league club, the problem was that he just was not receiving enough consistent playing time. His .333/.396/.529 slash line since returning to Iowa might be worth a look, especially with Albert Almora Jr. struggling.
- Giambrone is up to a team-high 18 home runs while in Iowa, while Garcia has an organization-high 21 bombs between Iowa and Tennessee.
- We could be seeing Zack Short make his way back to Triple-A very soon. After making some starts in Arizona, he is now wrapping up his rehab in Double-A and should be back for good soon.
Double-A Tennessee Smokies
- The boys from Kodak put together a record of 4-3 last week in their first full week since the All-Star break. They will play games against the White Sox affiliate Birmingham Barons and the Rays affiliate Montgomery Biscuits this week.
- Alex Lange made his second consecutive impressive start since his promotion to Double-A, going six innings and only giving up one run on four hits.
- This Tyson Miller fella is pretty good, huh? He went a total of 12.2 innings over two starts and gave up only four runs on eight hits. His 10:3 K:BB ratio was good too.
- Oscar De La Cruz continues to work out of the bullpen, a move that I think could be good for him because his two-pitch mix that could play up as a reliever. He only allowed three hitters to reach base against him without giving up a run in his 4.1 innings.
- Slick defensive outfielder Connor Myers had a heck of a week at the plate, slapping five doubles and two triples in just 26 plate appearances.
- Righty Tyler Peyton received a promotion from High-A Myrtle Beach and will look to get things going much like how Lange has. In 34.1 innings out of the bullpen with the Pelicans, Peyton put up a 5.24 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, and opponents hit .273.
High-A Myrtle Beach Pelicans
- The Birds put together their most impressive week of the season so far, going 5-2. They were scoring runs at a blistering rate, putting up games of 12, 7, and 6 runs in a few of their wins, and will look to continue that hot streak as they advance into the second half schedule by playing the Carolina Mudcats, the Lynchburg Hillcats, and the Down East Wood Ducks.
- I think Jesus Camargo has proven he’s ready to get the call up to Double-A. After 5.1 more innings last week of six strikeouts and no walks, his season WHIP sits at 0.95 and opponents are hitting just .177 off of him.
- Paul Richan fell into some tough luck in his start, going five innings and allowing three runs, but he only gave up two hits and struck out four batters along the way.
- DJ Wilson had zero home runs going into last week, then homered twice on Thursday and once on Sunday, raising his OPS 89 points along the way.
- Carlos Sepulveda was bumped up to the three-hole in the lineup and had a decent week, walking 19.2% of the time and only striking out once.
- A healthy Enrique De Los Rios was promoted to High-A after spending some time rehabbing in both Eugene and South Bend over the last couple weeks. He did not give up a run in his three innings of work.
Low-A South Bend Cubs
- South Bend continued the winning ways in the system as they went 4-2. They will look to stay competitive in a really strong Midwest League as they finish play with a home-and-home with the West Michigan Whitecaps before traveling to downtown Dayton for a series.
- Riley Thompson is doing his best to be considered the top pitching prospect in a system with Brailyn Marquez and Adbert Alzolay. Last week he went one hit, no runs, five strikeouts, one walk in his five innings of work. His ERA this season is down to 2.29.
- I proclaimed Monday that Jack Patterson has been my favorite pitcher in the system this year. Last week he went another five innings without giving up a run, allowing just one hit and two walks while striking out eight. He promptly received a promotion to Myrtle Beach.
- Six hitters had an OPS above .900 last week: Tyler Durna, Delvin Zinn, Cole Roederer, Christopher Morel, Brennen Davis, and Marcus Mastrobuoni.
- Roederer did this thing on Tuesday, going 5-for-5 and and hitting for the cycle with an extra double for good measure. It was the best performance the system has seen in years.
- The cycle sort of overshadowed Zinn’s second 5-hit performance of the season and Morel’s 4-for-5 night with a double and a triple.
- Young bullpen arms Carlos Vega and Ivan Medina got the call from Eugene and made their season debuts in full season ball.
- Durna and Zinn were promoted to Myrtle Beach Tuesday.
Short Season Eugene Emeralds
- The Ems just could not complete the sweep as they were the only affiliate that failed to put up a record over .500 last week. They had a rough one, falling to 1-6 on the week thanks to a six-game losing streak. This week they face off with Tri-City, Everett, and Salem-Keizer as they try to climb out of the cellar of the Northwest League South.
- A Kohl Franklin fan club is forming. His stuff is way more advanced than you would ever expect from a 19-year-old kid and he went five more strong innings last week with two hits, one run, five strikeouts, and one walk.
- Jeremiah Estrada looked terrific in his appearance, going 4.1 innings and only giving up a run on two hits. He left the game with the trainer, but it does not appear the injury is too serious as he was seen fist bumping teammates as he walked off the field.
- I think Yonathan Perlaza has been my favorite guy to watch in Eugene so far this year. He is built well and seems to be athletic enough to play either third or second moving forward. Last week he cranked out four doubles in 27 at-bats.