Did anyone else stay up for the end of the Boise Hawks game? The season opener lasted twelve innings and, unfortunately, ended in a Boise loss. The best part, I think, was listening to baseball on the radio (well, internet radio) and hearing the name Dunston again. Some things just sound right. That alone almost made it worth staying up until 1:30 AM.

As a result of Boise starting to play, we’ve made some changes to the Minor League Daily. The old format would have gotten much too long and cumbersome with the addition of Boise today and Arizona next week, so we had to make some changes to streamline things a bit. You will still get most of the same data, but it is now better organized and provided in some more bite sized chunks. The goal was to make the Daily easier to read whether you are just interested in one team, or want to know everything that happened in every game.

Right at top, just below this Introduction, you will find the ‘Scores From Yesterday’ section. The box scores for each game should be linked here.
Below that you will see a ‘Performances of the Day’ section. This is the place to look if you want to see the more notable performances from the farm system. I’ll be populating this section on a purely subjective basis, giving some preference to the more significant prospects. General minor league notes come in below that section, and the location of each team in their respective league standings check in at the bottom of the article.

We are still working the bugs out of this new format, and I have no doubt that we’ll continue to tweak things until we’ve got it right. Let us know what you think in the comments and we’ll be happy to take that feedback into consideration as we set our future plans.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa lost at home to Albuquerque 4-3.
Tennessee – The Smokies beat Birmingham 6-3.
Daytona – Daytona is off this weekend for the Florida State League All-Star Game
Peoria – The Chiefs kicked off their final home stand before the All-Star break with a 6-4 win.
Boise – Boise lost their road opener 3-2 in 12 innings.

Performances of the Day

  • Matt Tolbert and Alfredo Amezega both enjoyed a 3 for 4 game for Iowa.
  • Michael Bowden threw two innings of one hit relief for Iowa, striking out three.
  • Ty’relle Harris had a great night, pitching three hitless innings in relief of Dallas Beeler. His Double A ERA now stands at 2.00.
  • Junior Lake, batting third for the Smokies, had two singles and two stolen bases.
  • Tennessee’s lead off hitter, Logan Watkins, was 3 for 4 with a walk, a run scored, and a stolen base (his 12th this season).
  • Sheldon McDonald and Yao-Lin Wang combined to pitch three and two thirds innings of scoreless relief in support of the Cheifs’ starter Starling Peralta.
  • Dustin Geiger, 3B for Peoria, had another 3 hit game.
  • Pin-Chieh Chen was batting second in the Cheifs’ lineup, and responded with two hits, a walk, and his 12th stolen base.
  • Yasiel Balaguert raised his season average to .221 with a four hit game for the Chiefs.
  • Boise starter Jose Arias got off to a great start. He pitched five scoreless innings, allowed three hits, no walks, and struck out two.
  • The Boise bullpen had a nice night as well. Rafael Diplan and Bryce Shafer combined to pitch five and a third scoreless innings while striking out five.
  • Xavier Batista kicked his Hawks career off nicely with a 2 for 4 game that featured two doubles and an intentional walk.
  • Shawon Duston Jr. was the lead off hitter and center fielder for Boise, and although he is still looking for his first hit, he did draw two walks. That’s an encouraging start for a player thought by many to be fairly raw.

Other Minor League Notes

  • If you get the chance, be sure to listen in to Florida State League All-Star Game at 6:30 PM (ET) this evening. The audio link will be on the Daytona Cubs homepage around game time. The Cubs’ left handed pitching prospect Austin Kirk will be starting for the North Division. Arismendy Alcantara, Nelson Perez, and Greg Rohan will also be participating in the festivities.
  • In a fairly rare occurrence, the Iowa Cubs did not have an extra base hit on Friday. Anthony Rizzo, Josh Vitters, and Brett Jackson combined to go 1 for 10 with two walks and a run scored.
  • With their win on Friday, the Tennessee Smokies have regained the .500 mark. Their surge will not carry them into a first half playoff spot, but it should set them up nicely for the start of the second half of the season.
  • The Smokies were off and running again. Three different Tennessee players combined for four stolen bases. This type of aggressive base running is percolating throughout the farm system. I think it is only a matter of time before the Cubs’ become the terror of the National League base paths.
  • At the start of the game on Friday, Boise had just 21 players available (two late additions were still traveling). The Hawks’ roster currently stands at 23. I assume one of those empty slots will go to Pierce Johnson. Is the other one reserved for Almora?

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 29 – 40.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Second Place: 14.5 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 34-34
Southern League North Division – Second Place (tie): 7.0 Game Behind.

High ADaytona Cubs : 29 -36
Florida State League North Division – Fourth Place : 12.5 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 34 – 34
Midwest League Eastern Division – Third Place (tie) : 10 Games Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 0 – 1
Northwest League East Division – First Place (tie) : 0 Games Ahead

  • Leroy K.

    Love the new format

  • fivetoolmike

    I love the new format. Easy to discern where to find the information you want to know. Not sure if it’s possible to separate the “Performances of the Day” by level, but overall it’s a great improvement (loved reading this before, too).

    • Spencer

      Agreed. Maybe have the performances sorted from highest to lowest level? And including the teams for which all the guys play for, just in case an unfamiliar one pops up. Looks good.

  • Nick Nesler

    I don’t know a ton about Batista but I followed his numbers in extended st and he seemed to be right up there with Baez. Hope to hear more about him.

  • MattyMatt

    Great format. I agree with fivetoomike, performance by level would be good. I just don’t know the level of the players well enough yet.

    • Andrew

      Agreed – subgroupings under the performances of the day would be helpful for those of us not as familiar with the system. But, it’s definitely a quick and easy read, which I like.

      Of course I could pay closer attention to the fact that you said either the name of the team or the level on every bullet.

      • BD

        Maybe something like: Josh Vitters (Iowa)

  • Kyle

    Awful night for the Iowa trio. Jackson and Vitters with a big wad of Ks once again.

  • MichiganGoat

    Nice format gives a quick view of all the meaty details.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Nice job Luke. These are the first box scores of any of the minor league teams I’ve seen all year.

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    good stuff maybe you should offer your own thoughts

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      My editorial introductions aren’t going anywhere.  That is where a lot of my thoughts will go.  I also left myself plenty of room in the Notes to add some color commentary, as needed.  This format gives me plenty of flexibility in that regard.

  • djriz

    Good format. Thanks.

    Does Boise have a set roster limit? Or can they have as many players as they want (that they can properly split playing time)?

  • Mdel78

    Like the updated format. Always good information.

    Suggestion: Maybe add a section on the “top 10” prospects’ performance.

  • http://bleachernation.com JY

    Is there chance that Junior Lake could be called up this year?

    • calicubsfan007

      5% chance, at most.

      • Drew7

        I think its higher than that. Hes on the 40-man (right?), so a sept cup of coffee wouldnt hurt anything.

    • http://bleachernation.com JY

      What part of his game needs the most work? Lake that is….I have a feeling he is going to be a star.

      • Kyle

        Like almost all middle infielders his age, he needs to work on consistency in the field.

        Beyond that, he just needs lots of at-bats against advanced pitching. Hitting AA stuff is a lot different from hitting MLB stuff. It takes time.

  • Kyle

    As a regular player? No chance at all.

    I could see him getting a call-up in September when the rosters expand and the minor league season is over, just to get him a little taste of big-league life and ride the bench around some good, veteran influences.

    But even then, I doubt it.

  • Joe

    The new format looks great. The only change that would be helpful to me would be to sort the top performers by minor league level. Also liked the idea of top 10 performances. Thanks for all the hard work, I look forward to these minor league posts.

  • Dougy D

    I am also liking the new format.