Featured photo of Jonathon Long by Ray R. Rardin II (@rrardin_ray)
I wrapped up my latest travels last week with a visit to the South Bend Cubs. I missed many of the draft pick debuts in the ACL, but I did have the opportunity to see Matt Shaw and Josh Rivera play for South Bend and came away convinced they are both going to be excellent additions to the Cubs organization!
It was a challenging week in the ACL as the Cubs went 1-4 and got blown out in one of the games. The team’s season record stands at 16-28 and I’m confident the staff and players would like it to be better, but it’s also a reminder that minor league baseball is about development. Wins and losses count, but what the organization needs to see is improvement in individuals, as well as the team, and I do feel that this has been evident over the last month. And there are silver linings as more members of the draft class are being activated, and they are showing another talent infusion to the organization as a whole. Several members of the pitching staff appear to be taking steps forward and have been stringing together good outings. The moral of the story is not to get too hung up on the record and the standings to determine if it’s been a successful season in the minor leagues.
Some Highlights from the Week:
- Jonathon Long made his pro debut and went 3-7 on the week with a double and a home run. As an advanced bat coming out of college, I suspect he might get a shot at some time in a full season affiliate yet this year if there is playing time available.
- Zyhir Hope went 4-9 and slugged his first home run.
- Branden Noriega made 2 appearances of 2 innings each this week. He collected 8 strikeouts, only walked 2 hitters and didn’t allow any hits. Hopefully this is a sign that he’s finding a way to better master his control because his raw ‘stuff’ has always been great!
- Luis A. Reyes pitched 3.2 shutout innings across 2 appearances while striking out 6 batters. He is another member of the staff who has been getting more consistent in his outings as the season has progressed.
Comings & Goings:
Additions to the roster: Jonathon Long was activated; Cristian More was sent to the ACL from Myrtle Beach.
Departures from the roster: Shane Greene and Tyler Duffey were sent to Iowa. Matt Shaw and Josh Rivera were promoted to South Bend; Brett Bateman and Brian Kalmer were promoted to Myrtle Beach
A Look Ahead:
The Cubs return to their traditional schedule of games on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. But they are primarily on the road next week with games against the Guardians, Giants Orange Squad, Reds and Padres, with only a single home game against the Giants Black Squad.