The Cubs’ farm system is in the middle of a profound change, a change that likely began when Theo Epstein signed on the dotted over the winter. We can see aspects of that change in a number of places, but none of them are more readily apparent the transformation that has occurred on the base paths. The era of the Chicago Cubs being a station-to-station offense is nearly over. The minor league Cubs run. They run regularly, they often run unsuccessfully, but they do run consistently. Whether we are talking about expected speedsters like Logan Watkins, breakout players like John Andreoli, catchers like Micah Gibbs, or highly paid elite talent like Javier Baez and Jorge Soler, the Cubs’ prospects are nearly all running.
Of course, this being the minor leagues, they often run themselves into outs instead of extra bases. That is simply part of the learning process and is something that should not distress us. The better these players become in the minors, the better they will be in the majors. And that is important, because I do not think the running Cubs are going to be a purely minor league phenomenon. I think we are seeing an organizational change that will manifest itself at the major league level just as soon as the Cubs’ have the players capable of doing so. Personally, I think it is definitely a change for the better.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa won Saturday’s suspended game 10-8. The Cubs were not fortunate in Game Two; they lost the nightcap 3-2.
Tennessee – Another day, another shutout. Tennessee again blanked the opposition and earned a 4-0 win.
Daytona – Mother Nature had no mercy on the Cubs. Sunday’s doubleheader was cancelled due to unplayable field conditions; the games will not be made up.
Peoria – Peoria fell behind in the first and could not recover the lead as they lost 6-5.
Boise – Boise jumped out to an early lead, but it was not to last. The Hawks lost 10-9.
Arizona – Like Boise, Arizona also jumped out to an early lead before falling in the end. The final tally in the desert showed a 10-8 Cubs loss.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Jairo Ascencio was the only Cub pitcher in Game One who pitched particularly well. He earned the save by recording the last four outs without giving up a hit. Casey Coleman, the starter before the rain delay on Saturday, left the game early with shoulder pain.
- [Iowa] Blake Lalli hit his seventh home run in Game One, and Greg Rohan added three hits of his own. Dave Sappelt also had three hits, including his third triple.
- [Iowa] Frankie De La Cruz struck out seven over five innings in Game Two.
- [Tennessee] Four Smokey pitchers, Yoannis Negrin, Zach Rosscup, Casey Weathers, and Frank Batista, combined to pitch the shutout on Sunday. For Batista, the game marked his 21st Double A save this season.
- [Tennessee] Logan Watkins reached four times on a single and three walks. He also stole two more bases, leaving him with 25 on the year.
- [Tennessee] Junior Lake doubled and stole his 18th base as part of a two hit night. He was the only Smokey to put together a multi-hit game.
- [Peoria] Starling Peralta only allowed five hits in his six inning start, but he also gave up five walks.
- [Peoria] Zeke DeVoss stole his 34th base for the Chiefs. Pin-Chieh Chen, who stole his 27th base, is not too far behind.
- [Boise] Willson Contreras homered once and Xavier Batista homered twice. The two each finished the game with three home runs.
- [Arizona] Albert Almora finished this game 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Carlos Penalver and Alberto Mineo also had two hits.
- [Arizona] Shawon Dunston, Trevor Gretzky, and Daniel Lockhart all had a stolen base in this game.
Other Minor League Notes
- This is just a reminder that my wife and I will be in the stands for the Tennessee Smokies home games on August 23 and 24. I’d be happy to meet any BN’ers who live in the area or are able to travel in for the contests. The Smokies remain on the fringe of the playoff hunt, just five games out, and there are some solid prospects worth watching on that team. I am really looking forward to making the trip and finally seeing this team in person.