I feel like I’m just coming down from my focus on this years draft immediately followed by the trade deadline festivities and now that I’m back settled in with my routine of everything, there’s just about a month left of minor league regular season action. We are cruising to the finish, folks. Let’s talk about a few things…

Brennen Davis

He’s back. Well, sort of. Davis made his way back to the Arizona Complex League this week in his first taste of rehab games. Coming from a guy who just kinda assumed the Cubs top prospect would be out for the remainder of the season, it’s an incredibly pleasant surprise to see him get a shot of some Iowa action at the tail end of the season.

Remember, Davis got off to a rough start this year, maybe due to the impending surgery he had on his back. I really liked the way Brett Taylor over at Bleacher Nation phrased it yesterday when he called Brennen’s situation “a surgical procedure implicating his back” as opposed to “back surgery.” That’s appropriate given that it was dealing with a vascular malformation pushing against a nerve — not anything disc related.

Stat Leaders

Like I said, we are on the home stretch of the season and that means players are doing all they can to improve their stats as much as they can so they can before it all wraps up. Sometimes the mind plays tricks on us and a guy with a 2.90 ERA feels so much better than someone with a 3.10 ERA when it reality, there’s not a whole lot of difference there. I’ve threaded some major statistical leaders in the tweets below, but remember that you can always find these numbers in our Statistics Database here at NSB. I update them every Monday!

Draftees Showing Up

We’ve got action! The Cubs signed 19 players from this year’s draft class and, as I shared here before, only a select few have a real shot of making their full-season debut this season. On the other hand, we have already seen several guys pop up on the ACL roster down in Mesa.

On the pitching side of things, it’s just fifth rounder Brandon Birdsell, although undrafted free agent signing Grant Kipp actually has been added to the Myrtle Beach roster.

At the plate, third rounder Christopher Paciolla, 15th rounder Haydn McGeary, and 17th rounder Andy Gariolla are all getting ABs.

Alfonso Rivas Splits

It’s a tale as old as time. There’s a reason we label players as Quad-A guys. For a huge number of professional baseball players, the jump from Triple-A to the Majors is too great.

I just don’t think that’s the case for Alfonso Rivas.

Sure, we can take a look at the pretty damning numbers…

Iowa: 78 PA, .348/.423/.493/157 wRC+, 23.2 K%

Chicago: 201 PA, .232/.313/.316/78 wRC+, 31.3 K%

But I really do think there’s more there from Rivas and we aren’t looking at another Quad-A situation. While the Frank Schwindel story was fun in 2021, there’s really no reason why Frank the Tank should have been bumming ABs off Rivas throughout this season. Consistency is such an outrageously important element in the game of a guy like Rivas who’s bread and butter is putting together professional and lengthy plate appearances.

In 27 of his 71 Major League games this year, Rivas failed to log more than two plate appearances. I use the word “failed” associated with the first baseman there although it should more accurately be connected to David Ross for not putting Rivas in a position to succeed.

Get the 25-year-old back up to Chicago. Let him start every day. Watch him change the storylines.

Road To Wrigley

Last Friday night, Marquee debuted their new show Road to Wrigley. I can’t say enough good things about it. Using a whiparound, Red Zone-style show hosted by Elise Menaker, Lance Brozdowski, and Jim Callis was a genius use of the network’s capabilities. While all four minor league teams were in action, the network bounced around from game to game, showing highlights and breaking down prospects.

It’s what I do on a nightly basis, what fans of the minor leagues have desired on Marquee, and honestly, a way to grow Cubs fans passion for the Major League team as well. Becoming connected with these players when they are in the minor leagues allows for fans to root a little extra for them once they reach the Majors years later. “I saw him play for Myrtle Beach when he was just a teenager! Hope he kills it now that he’s made it!”

Plus, I have a little extra connection to the title Road to Wrigley.

Myrtle to The Bend

It’s actually kinda crazy how successful the Cubs have been with their pitching in the lower minors. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans opening day starting rotation has been promoted, in its entirety, up to South Bend.

The quintet of Luis Devers, Porter Hodge, Tyler Schlaffer, Richard Gallardo, and Luke Little took turns dominating Single-A pitching this season and now find themselves in a High-A rotation alongside South Bend holdovers Kohl Franklin and Daniel Palencia.

Devers and Hodge have been up a while now and are performing even better with their new challenge but it will be interesting to follow this entire bunch as they climb the organizational ladder.