Pete Crow-Armstrong – Pic via MiLB TV
Covering the Cubs’ system is going to change quite a bit here around 10 AM today. At that time, the Dominican Summer League will begin play. I will have a preview of the two squads coming out at 9:45 AM. It was a big surprise to see the rosters were released last night. I will be updating their affiliate pages over the coming days (Blue, Red).
Later tonight, the Mesa Cubs will begin play in the Arizona Complex League. Since it is opening day for the Dominican, I’ll have a sort of a profile of who actually wound up on each roster. Then this afternoon, I will recap the stats from the opener as the Blue Cubs play the Red Cubs.
Let’s get back stateside.
Card of the Week
Made from a pic by Dylan Heuer/Iowa Cubs – You’ll see why later.
Affiliate Transaction Roundup
As for the regular full season affiliates, there are a lot of things going on at each affiliate. Transactions didn’t just happen on Tuesday last week, they happened all throughout the week. Let’s take a look at who is now where at each affiliate.
Iowa went 2-4 on the week and they gained Levi Jordan. Matt Swarmer and Caleb Killian went up to Chicago. Swarmer got in two starts and Kilian one. Kilian is already back with Iowa while Swarmer looks to be staying put!!! Pitcher Adrian Sampson was signed as a free agent this week but Robel Garcia elected free agency. I thought Garcia would be leaving a little bit later in the month as there is usually a deadline when minor league free agents can choose to opt out if they’re not on the big league roster. Outfielder Darius Hill arrived from Tennessee along with pitcher Brandon Leibrandt. Robert Gsellman also has returned.
Tennessee had a bit of a rough week at 4-2 as they’re still filling in the starting rotation. With Riley Thompson and Ryan Jensen still on the development list for the time being, Dalton Stambaugh and Brandon Leibrandt were filling in, but now Leibrandt is up at Iowa. We could be looking at a South Bend sending up a pitcher next week as Stambaugh is probably not the long-term solution. He is much better out of the pen. Cole Roederer arrived to take the place of Darius Hill and is off to a decent start hitting .313 after a week. Good for Cole! In addition, to replace Jordan, Jake Slaughter arrived from South Bend and reliever Bryan King arrived from Myrtle Beach to take the place of Graham Lawson, who went on the IL.
South Bend had a brutal week going 1-5, but they now have Pete Crow-Armstrong playing centerfield almost every day. Caleb Knight went on the development list for just a few days until Slaughter moved up. Zac Leigh and Casey Opitz arrived from Mesa this week so that should be fun. I don’t know if the Cubs are going to bring up an infielder from Myrtle Beach next week, but it is an option. Kevin Made would fit nicely. So could BJ Murray. Or both!
Myrtle Beach looks like it’s going to be bringing up some young and untested kids the rest of the year. There’s nowhere else to bring them up from other than Mesa and we should see another one on Tuesday as LHP Chase Watkins was placed on IL at Myrtle Beach on Sunday. This week saw pitcher Angel Gonzalez debut at home and pitchers Alfredo Zárraga and Angel Hernandez arrived on Saturday night. This could get interesting. As well, outfielder Frank Hernandez came up and got in a few games. If an infielder does go to South Bend, you know who everyone’s gonna be screaming for the Cubs to call up to play shortstop the second half of the year.
Best News of the Week
It was a busy week in terms of the amount of news that was going on. But there are also a lot of cool performances at the plate and on the mound. So, Let’s get right to the awards for the week.
Reliever of the Week
Joe Nahas struck out 8 guys in 5 innings worth of work. That’ll do!
Starting pitcher of the Week
The box score says it all.
Five scoreless innings.
And he did it all on just 72 pitches.
That’s an amazing game for any pitcher. It’s rare to see a guy get double digit strikeouts in the minors because of pitch counts and innings limits. But DJ Herz turned into a master technician in the third and fourth and fifth innings using only about 10 pitches per frame after he was close to 40 pitches after just two.
Hitter of the Week
Greg Deichmann had 12 RBI this week. That is very impressive! Notice I did not mention that he also homered in four straight games. I am sneaky that way!
Honorable mention goes out to Narciso Crook of Iowa who hit over .500 in 15 ABs, but only had 2 HRs and just 7 RBI.
Team of the Week
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans went 4-2 as the team has now changed quite a bit without PCA, Sheldon Reed, and Jake Reindl, but they just keep rolling!