This season is going by very quickly. Triple-A Iowa has played 17 games this month so far while the lower affiliates will have 15 games under their belt after today. That is basically 1/10 of the season. That happened quick, too quick. I’m not sure I’m ready for this, but I am ready for this next week as I will traverse off to Davenport for games on Tuesday and Thursday. It looks like I will see Chris Clarke and DJ Herz pitch for sure. I am not sure if I’m going Friday or Saturday. I’ll see how tired I am and how everything is at home. Although, I will be at the game next Sunday. I am sure I’ll have a ton of photographs from the week and hopefully the weather will be kind and not too cold or too wet.
As for the news this week, it was pretty quiet to start the week. They were only a couple of moves early in the week as Tim Susnara joined the Smokies and Juan Mora was sent to Myrtle Beach. On Thursday, Cory Abbott was traded to the Giants and on Friday, Frankie Sclazo was placed on the IL while Johzan Oquendo was taken off the Development list. On Friday night, Iowa announced that Greg Deichmann had cleared waivers and was sent to Iowa.
The Cubs also signed international free agent Dilbert Gomez, an 18-year-old catcher from Cuba, this week.
Expect more international signings the next six weeks as the Cubs get their DSL rosters ready for the new season. I would expect to see a lot of pitchers coming.
Upcoming Monthly All-Star Team
Yesterday, I began checking out some stats for players who might make my monthly All-Team, the first one I will be doing for North Side Bound. Right now, I have about 10 position players in mind. Yohendrick Pinango looks to be a lock along with Nelson Maldonado, Nelson Velazquez, and Darius Hill. Most of the other players vying for a spot on the squad will need to keep their averages above .275 or their wRC+ above 110-120. The player I am enjoying play the most right now is Pete Crow-Armstrong. That goes for at the plate, on the field, and on the basepaths. He is looking pretty special.
As for pitching, there are many too many, as Peter Gabriel might say, to pick just 6 starters and 6 relievers. This is a good problem to have when picking an All-Star team. There are still 6 games to go between now and next Saturday for those pitchers to separate themselves from the pack.
BA International Review
Baseball America’s Ben Badler also published a review of the Cubs international free agent class so far this year. It was your typical look that examined Adan Sanchez, Alexis Hernandez, and Jefferson Rojas. The biggest head turner in the article was that Badler thought that recent signee Yoanis Aleksandrov from Bulgaria was going to be the sleeper to watch. I’ve been following this kid on Instagram since he signed and he is a work out machine. I don’t think I go to the point of calling him an athletic freak, but it is close. This kid is going to be very interesting to follow this summer if he gets assigned to the Arizona Complex League.
Prospects Live Mock Draft 2.0
On Thursday, Prospects Live dropped their second mock draft and there was a lot of shuffling within the top 10. It wasn’t really a change of names, where there was a change of position. The publication had SS Brooks Lee from Cal Poly falling to the Cubs. If that’s the case, all I have to say is thank you for whoever didn’t pick him ahead of the Cubs.
Daniel Palencia Background
Andy Martinez of the Marquee Sports Network went behind the curtain to take a look at Daniel Palencia and just how he became a pitcher and the motivation behind his velocity. It is a pretty cool story. Andy also examines how Palencia went through the trade process as well as detailing just exactly what he worked on this winter. Check it out!
He built on that offseason, refining his routine, getting stronger and fine-tuning his pitch-mix which includes a fastball that topped off at 97-mph in 2021, an 88-mph changeup, an 88-mph cutter, an 85-mph slider and a 79-mph curveball.
Extended Spring Training/Picture of the Week
Arizona Phil of the Cub Reporter is back covering the action out in Mesa before the Complex League begins. Cole Roederer is doing well along with top prospect Cristian Hernandez. Right now, the Cubs playing are a mixture of rehab guys and young prospects destined for Mesa. Check out Bill Mitchell’s shot of Hernandez sliding into home in the picture of the week.
Players of the Day
We are really enjoying our newest feature called “Players of the Day.” To give you a peek behind the curtain, I write the piece, but all four of us talk about who should get which award. It’s fun for us to pick the players. Some performances are pretty clear cut, but there have been few close calls we had to reach a consensus about. Check out the cumulative Players of the Day page that contains all the winners for this month. You can also access it everyday by hovering over the home tab in the menu and it is at the top of the dropdown menu.
Here are two guys you need to follow. @TimTreilly007 is taking pics for the @SBCubs and does fantastic work. @MicahHManuel1 has done the same for Tennessee for the past year. Give both a follow on Twitter as well as instagram!!! Both are outstanding photographers you need to catch!
The Cards Returneth!
Alrighty then, I am back in the swing of making cards. I hit the sixty mark yesterday and I might hit 100 next weekend, depending on how many of my own pictures I turn into cards. If you want to buy some hand drawn cards, you should go check out the work of Rikk Carlson. You can buy one of his pre-made ones or he can make a card specifically for you. Hit ‘em up!
Coming Up Next Week
The Breakdown will be back tomorrow and Tuesday Transactions. I will have some content about South Bend’s roster this week as I talk to some players this week. Greg Huss is closing in on his stats page and Jimmy will have his game of the week tomorrow. As for Greg Zumach, he and I are working on some draft content for you later in the week. Hopefully.
Jam of the Week
I have been listening to some Steely Dan all week. Let’s go with them and “Do It Again!”