This week went by really fast. I was down and out for most of the week with issues with my teeth. I had an infection that I had to wait until Tuesday to get treated and then Friday to get two root canals. Needless to say, I did not teach classes or grade papers, nor did I do the daily recaps. Today is my second full day of no pain.

Today also marks the end of the regular season for South Bend and Myrtle Beach. The Pelicans, however, will be back at it on Tuesday against Charleston in the best of three series to advance to the Carolina league title game. Tennessee’s magic number is slowly getting to zero. It is currently at one.

2024 Schedules

The affiliates also began releasing their schedules. For me, I got excited when I saw South Bend’s as I will be doing some major photography in April as the Cubs will be in Beloit in the middle of the month for six. I will also be in Davenport on Opening Day, weather permitting. After school gets out, I will be back in Davenport for a week and then June finds me in Peoria a few days and I will go to Appleton for an overnight or two trip. Looks like I will not be busy at all in July as South Bend will mostly be at home until they return to Appleton again for the last week. And in August, I will be off to Cedar Rapids just before school starts.

Myrtle Beach also released their schedule and, like South Bend, the Pelicans will be playing a 132 games season from April 5 to September 8.

Meanwhile, the Smokies go from April 5 to September 15, or 138 games. Their schedule was also released this week


The biggest news of the week was of Luke Little getting called up to Chicago and then pitching well in the ninth in his first MLB game. I met his parents back during the opening weekend of 2023 in Davenport when he started with South Bend. They were extremely nice and excited for his upcoming season and reasonably so. It is so cool to see him become the 9th homegrown pitcher on the Cubs’ staff! All in all it was just a cool day and moment for the Littles!

PCA got some love from MLB Pipeline this week after he hit his third grand slam of the year. It is a short article, but it puts the grand slam in its perspective about how frequent they do occur and how anomalous PCA’s run has been.

PCA was also selected by Callis as one of the top 3 candidates for being the possible Rookie of the Year in 2024. He wrote:

In the National League, Lawlar is the top candidate with Cubs Pete Crow-Armstrong and Pirates right-hander Paul Skenes right behind him. For me, the combination of hitting ability and opportunity make Lee and Lawlar the frontrunners.

Matt Shaw also got some pub from Pipeline over his hot start. They said of Shaw’s quick pro start:

One of the top college hitters in the 26023 Draft, Shaw won the Cape Cod League batting title (.360) and MVP award last summer, then set Maryland’s career home run record (53) en route to B1G Player of the Year accolades this spring. The 13th overall choice, he combines aggressiveness and discipline at the plate and has batted .398/.441/.678 with six homers and 12 steals in 29 games between three levels while reaching Double-A.

I am beginning to wonder just how will Matt Shaw’s season end? I am not the only one.

Draft Pick Profile Series Comes to an End

Hard to believe that what began on July 9 ended on September 9 with all 20 draft pick profiles completed and published. Check out all 20 profiles below (the chart is also at the bottom of each profile). I always enjoy doing these as I am learning about the players as I do the post. In addition, it is also exciting this year because 13 guys have gotten in some action this year after signing!

113SSMatt ShawMaryland
268SPJaxon WigginsArkansas
381SS Josh RiveraFlorida
4113SPWill SandersSouth Carolina
5149CMichael CaricoDavidson
6176OFAlfonsin RosarioP27
7206SSYahil MelendezB You Academy (PR)
8236OFBrett BatemanMinnesota
92661BJonathon LongLong Beach State
10296SPLuis Martinez-GomezTemple College
11326OFZyhir HopeColonial Forge HS
123562B/OFCarter TriceNC State
13386SPSam ArmstrongOld Dominion
14416RPGrayson MooreVanderbilt
15446SPTy JohnsonBall State
16476RPDaniel BrownCampbell
17506SPEthan FlanaganUCLA
185363BBrian KalmerGonzaga
19566SPNick DeanMaryland
205963BDrew BowserStanford

Pictures of the Week

Our own Stephanie Lynn sorted through some pics from her recent trip to Myrtle Beach and it was cool to see a lot of new shots of new players and draft picks!

Poll of the Week

The Cubs have not really released a full slate of players who will be doing a gig in the Arizona Fall League. The league starts in early October, which is three weeks from now.

Coming Up Next Week on NSB

Tomorrow will see the final Breakdown article of the season while Tuesday I will have an article about some underreported storylines we should have covered more. There will be playoff coverage of Myrtle Beach on Tuesday through Thursday night. I will also profile two nondrafted free agent signings this week. After Friday, I am going to have to come up with some other stuff to talk about.

Jam of the Week

Jeff Beck’s backing band was always an interesting mix of players. The 70s saw keyboardist Jan Hammer, bassist Phil Chen, and drummer Richard Bailey play in the band. In the 80s, he had keyboardist Tony Hymas and drummer Terry Bozzio and I loved that trio. However, my favorite Beck grouping was during the 2000s and 2010s when he played with then teenage wunderkind/prodigy bassist Tal Wilkenfeld and drummer, Vinny Colaiuta. I just loved their versatility and virtuosity and fun! Case in point.