There were only a couple of big items to drop this week, but there was a lot of little news.
Let’s start with the big news.
Pete Crow Armstrong is now a major league baseball player. He’s already making big defensive plays, but the bat has not come to play yet. The Cubs still hold a slim wildcard lead. It’ll be interesting to see what his role is going forward. In addition, Alexander Canario was sent down and is now back up. I don’t expect to see him get too much time.
As for the Minor League Big News…
The Pelicans took on Charleston in the Division Championship Series this week. The Birds lost the first game 2-1 but stormed back to win game two behind the excellent pitching of Drew Gray and Kevin Valdez. Unfortunately, game three saw the Pelicans get out to a 2-0 lead only to get steam rolled by a score we won’t mention.
Smokies Get a Championship!
Tennessee clinched the division title this week after clinching a playoff spot last week. They also got some help from Kevin Alcantara, James, Triantos, Christian Franklin, and Moises Ballesteros, who all came up from South Bend. They start their playoff series Tuesday night in Chattanooga.
The two teams have played each other 30 times – that happens in an eight team league. The Smokies won the season series 17-13. The last times the two teams played a six game set, they split the series.
Arizona Fall League Rosters
MLB Pipeline selected one player from each organization that they thought should be in the fall league and they picked Matt Shaw. Not, Really. Shocked.
Shaw had a decorated college career before the Cubs drafted him 13th overall this July, winning the Cape Cod League batting title (.360) and MVP award in 2022 before setting Maryland’s career home run record (53) en route to Big Ten Conference Player of the Year accolades this spring. He combines aggressiveness and discipline at the plate and has raced to Double-A while slashing .366/.418/.642 with seven homers and 13 steals in his first 33 pro games.
The Cubs announced last night who will be attending.
Yes, Chris Kachmar is the correct player and that is the big surprise along with Santana and Laskey. Didn’t see them coming!
I do, however, really like the inclusion of Romero and Hull!!! Both should be working on stepping it up for next year.
MiLB Players of the Week
On Monday, four Cubs were named minor league players of the week. They included 3B Luis Verdugo of South Bend, OF Jared Young of Iowa, and the rare team sweep by 1B Brian Kalmer and SP Kevin Valdez of Myrtle Beach.
Arizona Phil of The Cub Reporter published the Fall Instructs roster this week. It’s a collection of guys who were drafted this summer along with players from the ACL roster from this summer. Currently, the roster has 30 pitchers including Josh Rivera Chase Watkins from South Bend and Kevin Valdez as well as Carter Trice moving to the catcher’s spot along with recently converted Frank Hernandez. But no Matt Shaw
Winter League Draft
Several Cubs prospects were taken in the Dominican Winter League Draft held this week. Whether or not they will play is still up in the air, especially when it comes to pitchers. Surprisingly, Rafael Morel was the first Cub taken followed by Christian Hernandez. Michael Arias was also selected this year along with Yovanny Cruz, Jefferson Rojas, and Marino Santy. That’s a pretty good collection of talent as most of those guys were with Myrtle Beach this year.
Jam of the Week
I just loved Dinosaur Junior’s first major label album . The guitar sounds are just so thick and juicy!