The Tennessee Smokies have a fairly unusual promotion coming up soon. On Monday, July 30, there will be no peanuts in the Smokies’ home ballpark. In partnership with the Allergy, Asthma, and Sinus Center, the Smokies will play Monday’s doubleheader in an environment completely free of nuts. Well, peanuts anyway.

I never really thought about what being a baseball fan who is allergic to peanuts must be like, but I can’t imagine it would be very pleasant. Peanuts and peanut oil are everywhere in most stadiums; that sounds a little to close to Russian roulette for my tastes. For at least one evening, though, those allergic to George Washington Carver’s handiwork can (hopefully) enjoy two games in relative peace.

I would encourage all fans in the Eastern Tennessee area to make sure these games are sellouts. There are a lot of good players on the Smokies who are well worth watching, and there a lot of good fans who will hopefully be taking advantage of a rare opportunity to take in a live game in a less allergen risky environment. Minor league games are more fun when they are sellouts, so let’s make sure everyone has as great a time as possible by packing that stadium on Monday. I just wouldn’t expect an appearance from Jimmy Carter.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – With this 10-8 loss, Iowa fell into last place.
Tennessee – Tennessee overcame three errors to pull off a 7-5 win.
Daytona – Daytona dropped both ends of a doubleheader 6-4 and 3-0.
Peoria – The Chiefs rode a big third inning to an 8-6 win.
Boise – Boise lost 10-8 in a game that saw 29 total hits.
Arizona – The Arizona Cubs had the day off.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Through five innings Chris Rusin struck out seven (good) and gave up seven runs on ten hits (not good).
  • [Iowa] Esmailin Caridad pitched another hitless inning, striking out two. He could be a bullpen candidate for the Cubs later this summer or next spring.
  • [Iowa] Dave Sappelt doubled and stole two bases as part of his two hit game. He now has 12 total stolen bases and is hitting .306 since the All-Star game.
  • [Tennessee] Trey McNutt entered a one-run game in the sixth, and left a one-run game after the seventh. In between he needed just 24 pitches to retire six of the seven batters he faced, three of them on strikeouts.
  • [Tennessee] Junior Lake had been quiet for a while, but in this game he exploded with a two home run performance that left him with seven on the season.
  • [Tennessee] Justin Bour also had another big night, finishing 3 for 4 with a double.
  • [Daytona] Frank Del Valle had a one hitter through five innings in Game Two, but the bullpen could not keep it going.
  • [Daytona] In Game One, though, it was the bullpen that pitched well. Hunter Cervenka and Eduardo Figueroa combined to pitch 3.1 scoreless innings.
  • [Daytona] Matthew Szczur finished the day with two hits, two walks, and four total stolen bases. His season steal total now sits at 38.
  • [Daytona] Elieser Bonne was 4 for 4 with two doubles in Game One.
  • [Daytona] Rafael Lopez hit his first High A home run in Game One. He finished 1 for 2 with two walks.
  • [Peoria] Knuckleballer Joseph Zeller gave up two runs on seven hits over six innings for the win. He did not allow an extra base hit.
  • [Peoria] Pin-Chieh Chen‘s eighth triple was the only extra base hit for the Chiefs. Javier Baez had the only multihit game.
  • [Peoria] As a team the Chiefs earned nine walks in this game.
  • [Boise] Rafael Diplan gave up two hits and struck out two over three innings in relief.
  • [Boise] So far, Daniel Vogelbach seems right at home in Boise. He finished this contest 3 for 5 with his second short-season double.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Logan Watkins and Junior Lake frequently form the double play tandem for the Smokies. Lake’s stock as a prospect has dropped a bit since the early part of the season while Watkins is still on the rise. Watkins is older by seven months and has played in thirty more games than Lake this season. Currently their stat lines read: Watkins – .285/.372/.402 4 HR, 19 SB; Lake – .285/.337/.423 7 HR, 12 SB.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 41 – 64.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Fourth Place: 22.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 15-17
Southern League North Division – Third Place : 5.0 Games Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 13-20
Florida State League North Division – Sixth Place : 7.0 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 12-19
Midwest League Eastern Division – Fourth Place : 6.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 1-0
Northwest League East Division – First Place (tie) : 1.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 20 – 7
Arizona Rookie League East – First Place : 1.5 Games Ahead

  • ferrets_bueller

    Have they gone nuts?!?!?

  • OlderStyle


    • David

      You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

      • 100 Years of Tears

        Where’s Brett’s picture of Samardzija???

        …Prepare to die.

        • Bric

          He’s only MOSTLY dead…

  • ETS

    The one girl I knew who was allergic to peanuts still wouldn’t go to such a game. She was so sensitive that unless they scrubbed down the whole stadium with some heavy duty cleaners she would probably still be bothered. Interesting promotion though.

  • Cubbie Blues

    My oldest son is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Peanut oil however is OK for those with nut allergies unless it is cold processed.

  • BlueHorizons

    So on the 30th, if he should get the call to the pen, I assume he will just be announced as Trey Mc ? (no nutts in the stadium for that game, you know…)

    • Myles

      Boom Shakalaka

    • BlueHorizons

      I’m only guessing, but if Trey Mc were to pitch really poor game that night, one could probably say that “he got shelled”…

  • Richard Nose

    I’m rolling around in a pile of peanuts right now. It’s so fun.

    • Leroy K.

      your so mean 😉

  • ShootTheGoat

    If you have never been to a Smokies game, you dont know what your missing. Great ballpark and superb gift shop. Probably the best gift shop I’ve seen at a minor league park…

    • Leroy K.

      best gift shop and a nice stadium

  • Cerambam

    Heyyy, only one K for bjax!! thats something right? And what were vitters PA like last night? does anyone know? 0-5 but no Ks, was he making good contact?

  • Beer Baron

    So is McNutt moving to the bull pen full time, or is this just a temporary thing?

    • hansman1982

      from what I understand it is basically permanent – now, if he has wild success as a pen guy they may try starting again

    • Luke

      McNutt seems to have never developed a high enough quality off speed pitch, but his fastball and slider should work very well out of the back of the bullpen. He should keep getting better as learns the bullpen routine and how to attack hitters as a reliever.

      He’s absolutely a closer candidate as a reliever, and I see no reason he can’t be in the majors in the later part of the next season.

  • MightyBear

    The write up on Lake and Watkins is exactly why I think the Cubs should trade Barney if they can get good value for him. The Cubs seem to have a lot of middle infielders doing well on the lower levels.

  • Derrick

    I feel like the lone member of the Justin Bour fan club def my sleeper put him in left and he is going to hit mark my words.

    • Brandon – AA Correspondent

      Justin Bour is a GREAT GUY. Great teammate and has dominted the southern league in terms of run production (without huge power). Justin Bour is going to hit. No doubt. The thought of him in the outfield is a bit scary, but I am betting he could at least give it a go. They have thrown several players out there this year (Samson and Watkins both have time in the OF just to keep their bats in the lineup). If the Smokies fall out of contention for the 2nd half (which could happen) it would not shock me to see Justin make a move to the OF. He appears to have lost about 10 pounds since April, and moving around a bit better around the infield. But, being honest, this guy would need A LOT of conditioning to be able to be a regular in an outfield. But hey…..I’ve seen a lot of things as it relates to lineups in the minor leagues. I say GO FOR IT!

      • Derrick

        Thanks for the info Brandon

      • Luke

        To say Bour would need a lot of condition to play the outfield regularly is probably being kind. That kid is just not an outfielder. I think he will see the majors as a platoon 1B / DH one day, and he could probably handle himself in left in an emergency, but it would be rather surprising if the Cubs began seriously working him out as a regular outfielder.

        Imagine Vogelbach playing left. You get the idea.

        • JB88

          What do you think the Cubs would do with Rizzo if Vogelbach is a stud when he arrives?

  • willis

    Iowa pitching is so putrid. Kind of sad.

    Baez and Vogelbach just killing it this season. Great to see such production out of those 2011 picks.

    It seems that the bullpens at most levels are pretty solid, but that the starting pitching is pretty much full of awful.

  • Ogyu


    I truly appreciate the terrific service you are providing here and I know that you face the problem of trying to squeeze too much information into too little space, but I’d like to make a request, nonetheless. Might it be possible for the regular player updates to include a daily update on each of the very top prospects, like Jackson, Baez, Soler, and Almora. Currently, unless I do my own research on a daily basis, I only read about prospects in your column when they do something good, which paints an incomplete picture. I also want to know if these guys struggling. Moreover, I find myself constantly wondering what Brett Jackson’s frequent absence from your daily updates means. Is he really doing badly? Or is he puttering along hitting moderately well but not well enough to make the headlines? Anyway, please consider this request for what it is worth and thank you again for your service.

    • Brett

      As a semi-aside, it’s a fair bet that, if you don’t see a top guy’s name in the Daily for a long time … he’s struggling.

      • Ogyu

        True. I just like to know how much and am too lazy to go to on my own. :)

        • Luke

          A feature of that nature is on the radar for next season. I don’t have any other changes planed for this year, but I am always considering things.

          I don’t want to commit to adding another section just yet, mainly for time reasons on my end. That said, it isn’t impossible and it is something I’m looking at for the future.

          • Ogyu

            We can ask no more. Thanks.

            • TWC

              Watch me.

  • Derrick

    Whatever happen to the myth the legend Dillion Maples? I know he had an injury is he going to pitch anytime soon?

    • Luke

      He’s coming. Just be patient a few more days.

    • MightyBear

      July 29 in Arizona for 1 inning.

  • Brandon – AA Correspondent

    Looking forward to getting my first in person look at Billy Hamilton when the Pensacola Blue Wahoos come to Smokies Park next week. That kid can FLY…..or so I’ve read.

    One of the Smokies whom I had dinner with in Chattanooga last week says they expect to see some of their teammates traded before the deadline. All were instructed to be “packed and ready”. Interesting coincidence that Junior Lake seems to have found his hitting stroke just in time huh??…..just sayin’.

    • Mysterious4th

      The reds AA team here in pensacola has some talent. I live here and I always go catch games. Plus the ballpark looks out over the gulf! Its worth it to just see the view. And its always sold out.

    • Luke

      I am expecting Lake to be traded. I don’t see him fitting in the Cubs’ long term plans, and his value is as high now as its ever been.

  • Dougy D

    I once saw Andre the Giant in person outside of a hotel, in St. Louis, when I was a kid (6 years old or so). I kinda wanted to get out of the car and say hi to him, but he was kind of scary. It was about a year or so before he died. Totally not baseball related, but kind of cool.

  • R.E.S

    I once heard that there was some thought of converting Lake to a pitcher ( one of the stronger arms in the minors). Luke have you ever heard anything like that.

    • Luke

      Sure. With his cannon of an arm its hard not to think about what he could do on the mound. Right now, though, he has more value as a shortstop prospect with the potential for a high level offensive game.

      If the Cubs did convert him, it would likely be two to three years before he made it back to Double A (if he did).

  • Luke

    Jae-Hoon Ha has been carried off the field on a stretcher after colliding with the outfield wall. No word yet on the severity or location of the injury, or his status. But I think we can assume it’s bad.

    Best case scenario is probably a possible concussion and an abundance of caution. We’ll not talk about worst cases yet.

    • calicubsfan007

      Oh my God, I hope that he will be okay.

    • Luke

      Update on Ha. He was apparently alert and responsive as he was taken off the field. Most likely the fear was a concussion, but I still don’t know that for certain.

  • #1lahairfan

    The dempster curse just took it’s first victim.