I was not familiar with the music of Almora until I started writing this column, but that isn’t surprising considering they are a Turkish band that has apparently not crossed the Atlantic to any significant degree. Their sound blends up tempo guitar-led rhythms and a strong percussion score with something that sounds an awful lot like a flute, all underscoring a lady singing in what I assume is Turkish. The sound reminds me of some of the European Symphonic Goth Rock bands such as Within Temptation and Epica, and that is pretty much a good thing (if you like that sort of thing). Those unfamiliar with Almora would do well to start with their songs Kalihora’s Song or Shehrazad, largely because they popped up in a Google search and I liked the names.

If you’re more interested the baseball player by the same name, then you’d probably be interested to know that he made his professional debut in the Arizona Rookie League last night.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The one run Iowa picked up in the eighth turned out to be meaningless. The Cubs lost 3-1.
Tennessee – The Smokies had a badly needed day off on Monday. They resume play today in Jacksonville, FL.
Daytona – Mother Nature wins again. The Daytona game was stopped by rain for the second day in a row. This one will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Peoria – The Chiefs were shut out, 2-0.
Boise – Three Hawks’ pitchers combined to toss a five hit shutout in their 3-0 win.
Arizona – The Cubs took advantage of five Brewer errors in this 7-3 win.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Brooks Raley struck out eight over five innings, but he also allowed eight hits.
  • [Iowa] Esmailin Caridad pitched two hitless innings in which he struck out two.
  • [Peoria] Yao-Lin Wang allowed four hits and struck out five over 3.2 innings in his second game as a starter.
  • [Peoria] The Chiefs managed just two hits in this game. Both of the hits, off the bats of Chadd Krist and Yaniel Cabezas, went for doubles.
  • [Boise] Taylor Scott opened the game by striking out four as he allowed three hits over the first six innings. Hayden Simpson allowed two hits over two innings while striking out one, and Matt Iannazzo tossed a perfect ninth.
  • [Boise] Gioskar Amaya finished 3 for 4 with two stolen bases. He swiped both second and third in the same at bat.
  • [Arizona] Albert Almora played center field and hit his first professional home run in the fifth inning.
  • [Arizona] Daniel Lockhart stole his fifth base in a game in which he walked twice.
  • [Arizona] Ben Carhart had another very good game. He finished 4 for 5.
  • [Arizona] Trevor Gretzky replaced Almora in the lineup for the latter part of the game and finished 2 for 2 with his first stolen base.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Josh Vitters is seriously locked in right now. Since his hitting streak ended on July 18 he has hit safely in another four consecutive games. In two of those games he hit a double, and in the other two he hit a home run.
  • At long last, Yao-Lin Wang is being stretched back into a starter. I have been hoping for this since the beginning of the season. The Chiefs used him as a closer for a time, but after pitching 3.2 innings as a starter on Monday I am fairly well convinced he is being moved back into the rotation. Wang already shows signs of being a quality strike out pitcher. His ceiling likely depends on his secondary offerings, but he is a prospect worth monitoring.
  • I am very glad I am not music critic.
  • Almora’s first home run was once again caught on tape by Cubs’ Den reader Danny Weryzynski, and once again it is well worth watching. I especially like the speed with which Almora rounds the bases on his home run. That kind of energy and hustle is very good to see.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 41 – 62.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 20.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 13-17
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 5.0 Games Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 12-18
Florida State League North Division – Fourth Place : 5.5 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 11-19
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fifth Place : 5.5 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 13 – 25
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 8.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 17 – 7
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place : 1.0 Games Ahead

  • cjdubbya

    Concur on the hustle on the homer trot by Almora. It didn’t have the shotgun blast quality of Soler’s, but it was still hit a long way and sounded good (also, Almora’s a bit smaller than Soler).

  • Stuart

    Also note that Vogelbach is being sent to Boise, good luck to him.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for that, Stuart. That’s great.

    • Scotti

      Dying to know what took them so long…

    • Richard Nose

      That can only mean he and Shoulders would split time at 1B correct? Of course they can both get the AB’s, is Shoulders being moved up or can he play another position too?

  • Adam

    Raley only gave up one double out of his 8 hits. Yesterday you gave Volstad a bit of a break due to the Isotopes launching pad field. So I’ll take 8 strikeouts with 7 singles and a double. The other 8 outs were made up of 7 groundballs and 1 flyball. I’d say that is a solid outing. His defense didn’t help him out trying to get through the 6th either.

  • Idaho Razorback

    Great for Almora! What was the attendence, 8?

    • Jackalope

      No kidding. You could practically count the number of handclaps.

  • Jack Weiland

    “Samardzija flashes brilliance.”

    Cheeky! I bet brilliance loved that … what a hussy.

    • Jack Weiland

      Wrong story. I’m dumb. :-(

      • Joker

        Dumb, but still funny.

        • Ian Afterbirth

          Dumb AND funny!

          My favorite!

  • donnie kessinger

    It was still a great line no matter what story…

  • ETS

    The AZ outfield was(not in order) soler, Almora and Shawn Dunston Jr and Trevor Gretzky came in to relieve almora. Pretty exciting time to be in AZ if you’re a cubs fan.

  • Shawon O’Meter

    OK, I have always loved Bleacher Nation, but with the reference to Epica (mmmm, Simone Simons, which by the way, Brett, is a lovely redhead and would be a welcome entry into the Series She-View), Within Temptation and Almora, my affinity is off the charts!!! I actually am familiar with Almora, the band. I would say they incorporate the middle eastern qualities of Therion or Orphaned Land, the folkiness of Elvenking, and the female vocals of old school Nightwish, but not as operatic.

    Baseball and metal…it’s like my own personal Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup! \m/

    • beerhelps

      Not to start a debate here, but are you stretching the definition of metal just a touch? But maybe I listen to too much Behemoth.

  • Chris S

    That Almora clip was sweet.. But just strange how eerily quiet the stadium was.

  • Oswego chris

    Great stuff as always Luke…but I especially love the reference to this obscure Turkish band that looks like a bunch of pissed off Vampires…

  • Cerambam

    Bjax 0-4 with 3 strikeouts eeesh.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Watching the Almora vĂ­deo, what really stood out to me was how quiet he was in the batters box. He looked a bit like pujols in that regard; no moving parts.

    • Smitty

      I noticed that as well. He gets all his movement out of the way by waving the bat at the pitcher a few times and then settles in.

  • Jackalope

    Anyone know where Concepcion is? It looks like he last pitched for Peoria on June 28.

    • Cedlandrum


      • Jackalope

        Thanks Ced. Do we know if it’s a real injury or more of a “he’s completely tanking so let’s give him a break to clear his head” kind of injury.

  • mark

    Re Vitters. While he’s hitting, and hitting more consistently for power, since being moved up in the lineup, it does appear that he has also 1) stopped taking walks, and 2) started striking out more frequently. “Stopped taking walks” may sound odd as applied to Vitters, but this summer he has demonstrated a greatly improved approach. That appears to have gone down the tubes for the time being. His overall OBP for the season is still an extremely impressive (esp. for him) .354 or thereabouts, but has dipped significantly since the Rizzo callup. I wonder whether he’s pressing a bit, looking for a callup.

    • Jackalope

      Yeah, noticed that he has a 1:16 K:BB ratio since the AAA all-star game.

    • djriz

      Nice assessment. He’s probably feeling pressure to fill in the power gap from Rizzo’s departure. When you try to hit homers, you don’t. He seems to be calming down as of late.

    • http://BeacherNation TobaccopouchinIvy

      While his offense is improved, he has committed a error in each of the last 3 ballgames:(

  • MightyBear

    The only thing keeping Logan Watkins out of the write up is a day off. I hope Vitters gets the call up soon. I’m dying to see what he can do on the next level.

  • Carew

    Almora has one hell of a swing

  • LWeb23

    wait, did that HR hit the scoreboard?

  • Luke D

    Good to see Almora’s hustle. If you watch the video of Soler’s first home run you see him watch it for a little bit and a coach or two is screaming at him to hustle

  • Austin

    I was at the Chiefs game last night and there was NO offense untill the bottom of the 8th inning for the Hawks. Krist had a bomb to center that was a close to a homerun as you can get without it being gone (From where I sat it looked like it hit the top of the fence on the top of the wall). Baez looked terrible against Bradley and the other pitchers, he could NOT catch up to Bradley’s fastball at all.

    Wang and Jeffey Antigua looked good keeping the bats a bay for the most part. Luis Liria looked good the first inning but couldn’t keep it going in his second inning. Krist’s arm is not that good based from what I saw he almost overthrew at 2nd and none of his warm up throws down to 2nd looked good (yea he could’ve not been trying).

    Game was just a pitcher’s duel and the Chiefs bat’s just never came alive. Had Krist hit been called a Homerun I really think this game would be a different outcome. Also 0-7 with RISP is never good.

    On a side note Archie Bradley is going to be a helluva Pitcher he was hitting 95 consitently and his breaking ball had some movement which is why I think most of the players couldn’t catch up to his fastball, they were worrying about his breaking ball.

  • Zach

    Luke afetr you post the Team records you should write a batting line for the cubs top 20 prospects. Your top 20 prospects not BA’s.