Alexander Canario – Picture by Todd Johnson

I am not sure how to begin this week’s article. It was a weird week as there was more speculation in the news. That speculation revolved around Pete Crow-Armstrong and Jordan Wicks getting called up to Chicago. As of this morning, Wicks has been called up. A week from now, things probably could, and should change for both of them.

And then Alexander Canario went out and has changed the calculus on everything this week.

The fact that Alexander Canario came back this year from his dual injuries has been nothing short of miraculous for lack of a better phrase. There were those who thought that if he came back this year that he would not do much in terms of production or activity. Just playing was considered the best case scenario. Yet, there he was in June playing an extended spring training, and then the Arizona Complex League. Then I saw him at South Bend where he played for a couple of weeks. 

When I saw him in Beloit in June, he looked to be in great shape and great spirits. I talked to him for a couple of minutes and wished him well, but you could definitely see in batting practice that he was still a little tentative at that point in fully planting his left foot and turning when he drove the ball. that made me think that a lot of his hits, if he could get his timing back, would be to right and right center. And, sure enough, a lot of them were the first six weeks.

When Canario got to Iowa, things started to slowly change. The power that we saw last year we had to creep in. He began to pull the ball more with authority. Then, in the last two weeks, we’ve seen him really begin to drive the ball to the pull side with power. It’s a thing of beauty!

The last two weeks he’s been tearing it up for power and average at the plate and now he’s put himself in the mix to have a shot at Chicago. He could be a guy the Cubs call upon here in the next month as he is already on the 40-man. They don’t need to make a spot for him, they just need to send somebody down when they call him up. Whether they do that is a different question. But having that kind of thump, either on the bench or in right field is pretty tempting.

For the past two weeks, people have been talking about PCA. Well, they need to talk about Canario as well.

Is PCA a Future 20/20 Guy?

MLB Pipeline published an article this week on 20/20 Guys for each system in the majors. For the Cubs, it was no shock to see Pete Crow-Armstrong selected as the Cubs’ representative to hit 20 home runs and steel 20 bases. Pipeline said:

In case there was any worry that PCA would be challenged after a promotion to Triple-A Iowa, the 21-year-old has laid those fears to rest. He is slashing .292/.386/.556 with four homers in 17 games, which is even better than he was hitting at Double-A Tennessee. It also leaves him two long balls shy of the 20-20 mark after he barely missed it in his first full professional season last year (16-32).

Jordan Nwogu Pub

It is no secret that Jordan Nwogu struggled mightily at the plate this year Tennessee. He is still not hitting .200 for the year, but he’s doing some damage in August. He’s hit five home runs in driven and 12 while hitting .262 with a .911 OPS and he was named the Southern League player of the week last week we hit over .500. This week he also got some pub for minor league baseball with an article on pipeline about changes that he’s made. Hopefully he can keep it together for a stretch through the end of the year.

Photos of the Week

Stephanie Lynn went to Myrtle Beach this week and, along with a big bruise she got from being hit by a baseball, she had some great pictures with a lot of action shots of the Pelicans!

Video of the Week

Transaction of the Week

Coming up on North Side Bound This Week

Things start off normally tomorrow with “The Breakdown.” I have not started writing it yet, so I don’t know what’s going to be in it. On Tuesday, the Cubs on Deck podcast will drop along with Tuesday Transactions which will not be out until noon. On Wednesday, I will have my latest international free agent class grades. I haven’t done those for a couple of years, actually since this website started. On Thursday and Friday, I will have draft pick profiles of Daniel Brown and Ethan Flanagan. That means there will only be three left after next week along with the two undrafted free agents. I can’t believe the series is almost over. On Saturday, I’ll break down how the Cubs might address minor league free agency with their own players at the end of the season.

Jam of the Week

Well, it’s actually two jams in one video. Here is the moment where I first got to see REM live back when I was in college in 1983. I listened to those first five of six records nonstop when I bought them because they were so different and so unique. Here they are making their national television debut on David Letterman after the release of the first major record, “Murmur.”