Baseball is definitely my favorite sport to watch on television, but international soccer has become my second favorite. I do not follow professional soccer at all, so I have no idea who I am seeing on the field other than at the national level. My understanding of the strategies of soccer is rudimentary at best. I know enough of the rules to know I don’t know enough of the rules, and in nearly every game I have no attachment to either of the teams on the field.

So why do I like watching soccer?

Because in soccer, the clock does not stop. That means there are absolutely no commercials for at least forty consecutive minutes. And that is just fantastic.

Speaking of fantastic, the Peoria Cheifs are on a roll. They have lost just one game in the month of June and have pulled to within two games of .500. If you are anywhere near that ballpark, this would be a great time to go see the Chiefs in action.

AAA – Iowa Cubs. 28 – 35
For the second day in a row Iowa faced a double header, and for the second day in a row they split the two games. The Cubs won Game One 1-0, but lost Game Two 3-2.

Brooks Raley was excellent in the opener. He needed just 90 pitches as he threw all seven innings, striking out six on his way to a six hit shutout. Without a doubt, this was his best performance in Triple A.

The pitching in Game Two was pretty good as well. Esmailin Caridad, usually a reliever, was pressed into duty as a starter in this game. He gave up two runs on two hits and three walks in four innings of work, striking out three. Ty’relle Harris, recently arrived from Tennessee, allowed a solo home run in his two innings. Scott Maine struck out three in the final frame.

Matt Tolbert hit a first inning home run in Game One; that was all the offense Raley needed. In Game Two, Ty Wright and Luis Valbuena both doubled; Wright’s extra base hit came as part of a two hit night.

AA – Tennesse Smokies. 29 – 33
It took a late inning rally to seal the deal, but Tennessee walked away on Saturday with yet another win. The happy final was 6-4.

Dallas Beeler allowed three runs on five hits in his five inning start. Jeffry Antigua followed that effort up by striking out three in two innings of relief. Frank Batista hit the pointless pitching stat daily double by picking up both a blown save and the win.

Wellington Castillo, on a rehab assignment, caught for the Smokies in this game. He also walked in all three of his trips to the plate. He then headed to the bench and was replaced behind the plate by Michael Brenly who proceeded to drive a double in both of his two at bats.

Michael Burgess also had a two hit night. Nate Samson went one better – he had three hits. The biggest blow of them all, though, was the two run homer hit by Rebel Ridling.

High A – Daytona Cubs. 27 – 33
This game was close early but got away from Daytona late. The Cubs fell 7-0.

Frank Del Valle struck out four in his five innings. He gave up just four hits, but those hits turned into three runs (two earned) as Del Valle took the loss. Eduardo Figueroa and Joseph Zeller each gave up two runs in their respective innings of work. Ryan Searle pitched a scoreless final frame.

Daytona managed only three hits in this game. The only real offensive highlight was Arismendy Alcatara’s 16th stolen base.

Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 30 – 32
Thanks to their 2-1 win on Saturday, the Peoria Chiefs became the first team in the Cubs’ organization to win 30 games.

Kyler Burke had a great game. He pitched seven shut out innings, allowed just two hits, and struck out nine. Larry Suarez and Luis Liria were able to finish what he started, and Burke walked away with his second win of the season.

Anthony Giansanti had another good game, going 3 for 5. Paul Hoilman and Wes Darvill each had two hits, and each had a double. Javier Baez reached on a walk and stole his fourth base of the season. Zeke DeVoss, who reached four times on a hit and three walks, stole his 15th base.

So far this season, DeVoss has managed to compile the unusual combination of a .244 batting average and a .381 on base percentage. He knows his job is to get on base by any means possible, and he is good at his job.

  • Leroy K.

    Good to see Peoria is playing good ball, when our minor league teams play well our major league teams….well, maybe not.

  • Larry bittner

    I must say, I have never read or followed the Cubs minor league teams/players as much as I’m doing this year. I liken the whole “upside, development” discussion on individual players to the fantasy football draft. A lot of fun. I’m concerned that people are losing focus on what matters here. A couple of stories that are emerging 1) how will Dale adapt his clubhouse management to this Piece of shit team as the losing continues? Like the late Sparky Anderson, does Dale know who to kick in the ass, pat on the ass, or to leave alone? Does Dale panic, lay down, bend over to Theostein, or reinsert his leadership? which players are going to respond? IMHO, playing in this environment will show us which players are the losers and leaders. Watch carefully which players get moved down or “are thrown in” from the Cubs in the next 2 months. Losing games will magnify a “bad attitude” considerably.

    A second story of interest is Theo’s reaction to the upcomming Bo Sox series. Theo will, predictably, get baited, to disclose information, how does Theo respond? I think there will be opportunities to see the real Theo come out, and hopefully, gain insight on the whole “rebuilding plan” and his confidence.

    Third story, how is this season affecting the / upper management relationship? Will Theo/Jed/ and Dale work better together or will the relationship become strained, as management forces Dale to “play/sit” more young guys?

    These strories are emerging and are more significant than a story about Dillon Maples 4 hit, minor league game. (Although, it is fun to dream that the Cubs prospects actually are meaningful at this point).

    (pardon the poor grammar and misspelled words).

  • oswego chris

    I remember seeing something about Ricketts really liking DeVoss

    Kyler Burke is the outfielder we recieved for Michael barret I believed….have to look up his age…

    • Luke

      He was an outfielder before switching to the mound.  Because of that position switch, age vs level is less important in his case.  At least for now.

  • fester30

    I have really enjoyed Chiefs games since they built the new park. It’s a shame they don’t get a large enough following from the local fan base. I fear the Cubs will find another city for the low A team, like they did in the 90s, and the Cardinals or someone else will try it again. Last time there was a really good turnout was when Ryno was manager there. I went to the ballpark early one day and got his autograph (squealed like a little girl, well not really, but I felt like it; okay I admit I squealed). He had been my favorite player since June of ’84 when my dad took me to see the Cubs play the Cards in Wrigley and he hit two homers. I was 6, so it’s all pretty fuzzy now. When managing the Chiefs, he set aside about a half hour before each game for autographs. It was neat.

  • hogie

    I will be going to the I-Cubs game today. Hope they get better results than Friday when i saw the big club in Minneapolis. I am going with my dad, who has the best scouting eye of anyone I know, so I’ll take notes and relay the Hogan knowledge to the masses!

  • Idaho Razorback

    After a horrendous start, it’s nice to see all the affiliates doing well and improving as the season moves along.

  • Idaho Razorback

    fester30 that was The Sandberg Game. Two game tying homeruns off future Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter then little used utility man Dave Owen had the game winning rbi in extra innings. Sandberg is my all-time favorite Cub and after Sveum is fired I hope to God that they will name Ryno as the next manager of the Cubs.

  • nkniacc

    Twins close to deal with Buxton that leaves only Gausman who is still playing ahead of the Almora yet to sign

    • Cubs Dude

      Has anyone in top 10 signed over slot yet? Just curious..

  • farmerjon

    I don’t want to get the cart too far in front of the horse, is there an early favorite for the #1 pick next year…another Upton brother, Strasburg,Trout?

    • nkniacc

      The likely #1 pick at this point is Fla P K.Winston

      • Cubs Dude

        He’s not Strasburrg or Harper good. It’s all about leverage IMO. We pay one of the top 5 way underslot and overslot some other guys, like the Astros did.

      • farmerjon

        Is Carlos Rodon LHP NCST, draft eligible next year?

        • Brett

          I think I saw someone ask Keith Law that earlier today, and he said no.

          • farmerjon

            So how does that work? He’s a sophomore now I believe, was he drafted out of HS and not sign? Is it some sort of deterrent for not signing?

            • Brett

              Basically, if you don’t sign out of high school and go to a four-year college, you have to be a certain age by Draft Day to be eligible. For most players, it’s after their junior season, and for a few, it’s after their sophomore season. I assume it was to help colleges out.

  • nkniacc

    No not in the top 10 i don’t believe

  • calicubsfan007

    Just needed Baez then they became great. Personal opinion there.

  • Kyle

    Some minor league thoughts:

    Holy balls, Anthony Rizzo. Seriously. Two more home runs today. How is a 22-year-old outclassing AAA like this? I know the pre-season thinking was that Rizzo didn’t have an elite bat ceiling, merely very good, but I think the sky’s the limit at this point.

    We’re starting to see the rookie league rosters come out. The Cubs have two rookie league teams. Boise is higher-rated one where the better prospects will play. Arizona is the bottom rung of the minor league system, basically extended extended spring training. Dunston Jr. made Boise, which is a nice feather in his cap and a good sign. Vogelbach did not make Boise, which is pretty disappointing considering how hyped some of us were about him, but he hit something like .190 with only 2 HRs in 40+ games in extended spring training against the weakest competition he’ll see as a pro.

    • Brett

      Whoa. Vogelbach isn’t starting out at Boise? As you said, that’s very disappointing.

      • Kyle

        It’s not official, but Rock Shoulders made Boise and that should take up 1b there. And it seemed this week like intra-squad EXST games were split into “Going to Boise” and “going to Arizona” and Vogelbach was with the Arizona group.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          “Rock Shoulders” is a Marvel Comic book character, or should be…..

    • DocPeterWimsey

      tsk, tsk, Kyle: we all know that Rizzo is AAAA.  He thoroughly demonstrated that he couldn’t hit MLB pitching in that huge sample size of PAs in San Diego last year.


      • ferrets_bueller

        Same with that Trout kid! Look how horrible he was last year. Bum!

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Yeah, I duped some sucker in one of my fantasy leagues inot giving me Andrew Cashner for him.  I haven’t checked lately, but I’m pretty sure that Trout is back in AAA and Cashner is on his way to 20 wins, right?

          Editors note: I’m lying through my teeth: Trout has been a stud for me this year!

  • Ralph

    DougieD and I went to the I-Cubs game today and saw B-Jax go yard once and Rizzo go yard twice… and the I-Cubs won 14-3. Rusin pitched well and I must say that I did heckle the Sounds’ left fielder, one Corey Patterson… yeah… I don’t really feel bad.

  • Cubs5050

    Saw Mr.Cub at the Peoria Chiefs game last night. Also was sitting by Baez brothers at the game.