Jeremiah Estrada – By Dylan Heuer/Iowa Cubs

Let’s start off with something fun this week.

There’s been a lot of movement the past few days as the ACL and DSL have shut down for the season. We have seen Pedro Ramirez, Haydn McGeary, Brody McCullough, Grant Kipp, Nick Hull, Mat Peters, and Michael Arias get promotions to Myrtle Beach. But that looks to be about it. The teams now have what they have. The most likely moves left will be sending guys up to Chicago like you saw yesterday with Estrada and Little.

Stat of the Week

Card of the Week

Magic Numbers and Schedules

After this week, there are only two more Breakdowns left. As soon as the regular season is over in class A, “The Breakdown” post as you know it will be complete. Although, at the rate we’re going I might have to extend it a week or two because it looks like there are going to be three playoff teams from the Cubs’ farm system make the postseason. That means today we can start talking about magic numbers.

Let’s go!

Myrtle Beach – Zero – They are in after winning the first half division title. This half, has not been kind of the Pelicans. They’ve struggled holding leads and some of the younger kids have kind of been ground down by the long season. We saw some signs of life this week as Triantos and Alcântara are starting to get back in a groove. But this week was really about watching the debuts Pedro Ramirez, Hayden McGeary, and a couple other players that came up from Arizona.

South Bend – 8 – They have just 12 games left and a five game lead over Beloit. Going 10-2 against your closest rival has pretty much made it impossible for Beloit to be in the race. Still, the Cubs are going to have to play well the last two weeks to get that magic number down to zero. The Cubs will be taking on a very good Lake County team who they might see in the playoffs and then they’ll be finishing up the season at Cedar Rapids, who is likely their first round opponent. For South Bend to not make the playoffs, they would have to have another collapse over the next two weeks and Beloit would have to play out of their minds against Quad Cities and Wisconsin. The Cubs also own the first tiebreaker, the head-to-head record. So, South Bend could finish the year in Cedar Rapids and then turn around and then come home for a playoff game and then head back to Cedar Rapids again to close out the opening series. 

Tennessee – It depends what their magic number is. The Smokies have 18 games left. They have two options to get in the playoffs. The first option is if Rocket City wins the division again, which it looks like it’s going to do. The Smokies have the next best season long record by a mile. That means their magic number would be two. If Rocket City somehow loses the division and Birmingham wins, then Birmingham is in. If Tennessee were to win the division and a second half title, their magic number for doing that is currently at 22. So to be quite frank, the Smokies best odds to make the playoffs is for Rocket City to win again or to keep Birmingham from winning the division. The Smokies still have series left against Mississippi, Pensacola, and Chattanooga. Mississippi and Pensacola are hovering around .500 and not in the playoff race while Chattanooga has the worst record in the league. So, the odds for the Smokies making the playoffs is looking pretty high and a good bet. Birmingham has to play Montgomery, Chattanooga, and Rocket City.

Iowa – They’re pretty much out of it. While they are technically still alive, they are 17.5 games back and it would take a miracle for them to get in the playoffs. However, their job of supplying the major league team with players could take an interesting turn over the next month as it looks like Brandon Little, Jeremiah Estrada, and Ben Leeper are all basically ready for their auditions. Matt Mervis is too, although I don’t think he’s going to get a shot this year. He might have a chance to make the club out of spring training next year as he is not even 25 yet. I don’t think the Cubs are in a rush to get him to Chicago. As for Estrada, he is rule five eligible this winter as is Little. I would not be surprised to see both of them added permanently a little ahead of schedule.

Hitter of the Week

When Jordan Nwogu hit three home runs on Thursday night, I thought there’s no way he’s not going to win player of the week. Well, that’s why the award is given on Monday as Matt Mervis went 10-for-21 on the week with the walk-off dinger of all walk-off dingers.

Starting Pitcher of the Week

This one was a tough call. Do you reward a guy who struck out more than the other pitchers but allowed more runs? Or, do you reward a guy who went deeper into the games and didn’t allow any runs but didn’t strike out as many guys. It’s a tough call and that’s what this week’s pitcher of the week came down to. Walker Powell’s six inning performance was a master class of pitching to contact and he did not allow a run and struck out five for Tennessee. He will take home the award as a result.

Reliever of the Week

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Team of the Week

The Iowa Cubs had it going on this week as they went 4-2 and were the only team above .500.