Max Bain

Featured photo of Max Bain by Rich Biesterfeld

Some good progress for the Cubs in the Arizona Complex League as they posted a 2-3 record, even if their record doesn’t fully reflect it. During Week 3 of the ACL, the Cubs pitching staff averaged 10 BB’s per game and they reduced that this week to 6.6 per game – a step in the right direction. Several pitchers on the staff are from higher levels while rehabbing in the ACL and they contributed to bringing that rate down. On the offensive side, hitters are putting better swings on the ball and you’re seeing more multi-hit games throughout the line-up.

Musings on Perspective

As I was watching ACL games this week, I received a couple reminders about perspective and the game of baseball. While attending the game on Monday night versus the Diamondbacks Red Squad, the D-backs catcher, Alberto Barriga, went down hard as he approached first base on a fly out. He was in agony and paramedics were called who took him out on a gurney and I learned later he suffered a broken femur and had surgery for it a few days later. It’s easy to get caught up in frustration if a player or a team isn’t having the success you would like them to have, but seeing that young man in pain reminded me that it’s a game and not to make too much of a bad game or outing.

During the same game, I was sending updates to one of the parents that I’ve met since Gameday provides a basic box score but not much detail and it can often lag behind the action. She mentioned that the coaches have identified specific things they want her son to work on while in game action. While that wasn’t news to me, it’s easy to forget that there might be a reason a pitcher is throwing his second or third pitch instead of his primary weapon. While it may cause lesser results in the short term, it may be helping their development in the long term and helping the individual and the team achieve success.

Some Highlights from the Week:

  • Max Bain had 2 appearances on the week going 3.2 IP with 6 K’s. He’s been pounding the zone and throwing strikes which is exactly what he needs to do in order to be promoted to one of the full season affiliates.
  • Leonel Espinoza went 7-16 on the week with a pair of BB’s. He was a singles machine and helped drive the ACL offense this week. He was signed as a shortstop but has been seeing some action in the outfield where he’s still adjusting and learning how to run more efficient routes.
Leonel Espinoza
  • Kenyi Perez was activated by the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on 6/30 after completing his rehab in the ACL where he was dominant. He was used as a multi-inning reliever usually going 2+ innings, getting lots of swings and misses. In his final ACL outing, he went 2.1 IP with 6 K’s.
Kenyi Perez
  • Jefferson Encarnacion spent the first 2 months of the season in Myrtle Beach before being reassigned to the ACL. He went 4-9 with 4 walks and only 1 strikeout this week and seems to be dialing in his batting eye and stroke.
  • Jose Escobar went 6-13 with only 1 K and also swiped a base on the week. He seems to be learning to use his speed more to his advantage.
Jose Escobar

Comings and Goings:

Additions to the roster: Tyler Duffey rejoined the Cubs organization. Christian Franklin was assigned from South Bend after spending some time on the Development List.

Departures from the roster: Alexander Canario was reassigned to the South Bend Cubs. Brailyn Marquez, Stephen Gonsalves and Kenyi Perez completed the ACL portion of their rehab assignments and were assigned to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

A Look Ahead:

The Cubs will have a busy week as they are scheduled for 6 games rather than the customary 5, due to the All-Star break from 7/9 – 7/12 in the following week. They will play day games on Monday and Tuesday against the Mariners this week due to the 4th of July holiday.  Wednesday through Friday will have night games against the Reds, Royals and A’s before they finish the week with a day game on Saturday.