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I know some of my readers are better baseball historians than I am, so I’m putting out a call for help on this one. Has any full season minor league team played all their home games in a major league stadium during a season in which the major league team also played there? And if that has not happened, is there any compelling reason why it hasn’t?

To use a real world hypothetical example, consider the Peoria Chiefs. Let’s suppose that the Chicago Cubs had ample training and player facilities in a newly renovated Wrigley, enough facilities to house a minor league team as well as a major league one. Suppose as well that the Cubs were looking for a way to maximize revenue from the stadium. Logistically, it seems to me that the Cubs could arrange for the Chiefs to move to Chicago and join the Cubs in Wrigley. Many of the Chiefs games would take place when the Cubs are out of town, and the remainder would allow for day-night, minor-major league doubleheaders. If the Chiefs averaged just five thousand fans a game, that would be over a third of a million more fans that would pass through the Wrigley turnstiles. There are other logistical concerns, but none that are insurmountable. In fact, it seems like a such a possible idea that I began to wonder if it had not already been tried.

The Cubs are probably not the best case scenario for such a plan, but the baseball landscape is littered with possibilities. The Memphis Cardinals could join St. Louis under the Arch, for example. Or New Orleans could move down the coast to play in Houston. There are numerous places where a team could lower their costs and increase fan excitement in the minor league product with this sort of a stadium sharing arrangement, and the deeper you dig into baseball history the more such potentially advantageous cases appear. But has it ever been tried?

I know there are some baseball historians out there. Any ideas?

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Although Iowa fell behind early, they made a game of it. Unfortunately, they still lost 7-6.
Tennessee – The Smokies took an early lead and held on late for the 4-3 win.
Daytona – In a game that became very interesting late, the Cubs fell short 7-6.
Peoria – Despite seven hits, Peoria was shut out 4-0.
Boise – The Hawks wrapped up their home stand with a 7-2 win.
Arizona – The AZL Cubs won easily 9-1.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Ryan Searle made his Triple A debut in this game. He allowed three hits over 2.2 scoreless innings, and struck out two.
  • [Iowa] Alfredo Amezaga enjoyed one of his best games as a Cub. He finished 4 for 5 with a double and his 12th stolen base.
  • [Tennessee] Tony Zych stuck out three over two innings of one hit relief.
  • [Tennessee] The big blow in this game was Justin Bour‘s 16th home run. The three run shot in the third inning put the Smokies ahead for good.
  • [Daytona] Robert Whitenack held Lakeland to a single run over the first four innings of the game, and Matthew Spencer followed that up with two scoreless innings of his own.
  • [Daytona] We knew it was coming. Javier Baez finally broke out of his High-A slump with a 3 for 4 performance that featured a double and his first Daytona home run.
  • [Peoria] The Chiefs’ pitchers allowed just three hits and struck out twelve in this game, but they also walked eleven. The three team errors did not help matters.
  • [Peoria] Timothy Saunders returned to the lineup and finished 2 for 3. Dustin Geiger also had two hits.
  • [Boise] Pierce Johnson struck out five over two hitless innings; he allowed just one walk.
  • [Boise] Willson Contreras had three hits in this one, including a double. Albert Almora and Carlos Escobar both doubled as part of their two hit nights.
  • [Boise] Gioskar Amaya reached base four times on three walks and a triple. His line with Boise now reads .317/.392/.523.
  • [Arizona] Once again, the Arizona Cubs enjoyed some very good pitching. Anthony Prieto gave up one hit and struck out three over the first three innings. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino allowed a run on two hits and two walks while striking out seven in his five innings of work, and Jin-Young Kim struck out one in a perfect final frame.
  • [Arizona] The Cubs dropped Shawon Dunston to third in the order, and he responded with his second home run and a 3 for 5 game.
  • [Arizona] Yasiel Balaguert homered and doubled for his two hits on the night. Trevor Gretzky and Carlos Penalver also had a double and two hits.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Today Boise begins a long, ten game road trip through their division that will decide their playoff fate. They begin this trip in first place with a five game lead. If they can win at least four times, I think the odds are good that they will still be in first when they return home for their final series. As always, the radio call for every game in this crucial road trip will be broadcast through the Boise Hawks website for free.
  • The Arizona Cubs are still in second place, but they remain on track to the make the playoffs. They hold a 4.5 game lead for the league’s only Wild Card slot.
  • Remember the name Carlos Penalver. He was one of the Cubs’ more acclaimed international free agents a few summers back, but as is often the case with IFAs we had not heard very much about him since then. The 2012 season is his first in the United States. After a slowish start for Arizona, the young shortstop has started to put together some very good games. I think he has a decent chance to be a starting infielder for Peoria next season.
  • Looking for something to do next week? I’ll be visiting the Tennessee Smokies on August 23 and 24, and I’d be happy to talk all things minors with anyone who joins me there. If the Smokies can win a few games this weekend they might still be in the playoff hunt. Even if that does not happen, we should still get to see potential future Chicago Cubs like Junior Lake, Matthew Szczur, Jae-Hoon Ha, and Logan Watkins in action.
  • Cubbie Blues

    With the current situation in Wrigleyville it can’t happen because of the limitation of night games. It would be pretty sweet though. It would also limit when rain make-ups happen (for both the major and minor league teams).

  • Idaho Razorback

    Boise is going on a 10 game road trip. What’s the over/under on the number of bus breakdowns? I’ll set the line at 1.5.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’ll take the over.

      • J. Edwards

        I wonder if the scheduling of one or two MiL teams based on their parent club schedules (have to play when the big league team is away) would make it workable for the rest of the teams they play? I think the scheduling could works when you look at the ML team and their affiliate but I’m not sure the affiliate’s schedule works for the rest of the minor league.

  • Brandon – AA Correspondent

    Justin Bour for Southern League MVP. That is all.

    • ibcnu2222 (John)

      I see that Bour has 105 RBIs. Nice.

      • Brandon – AA Correspondent

        Yep…..he has had a very solid year. He is the first player in the Southern League t have 100+ RBI since 1999. Clearly our team’s MVP……but he is also leading all of AA in RBI. Solid season.

        • Can’t think of a cool name

          Bour seems to be improving at every step. What’s his ceiling as a an MLB player?

  • Adam1680

    I think this is two or three days with no Soler.. Any word what’s going on with him? Also Javier Baez is heating up it seems with his second good day in a row.

    • fortyonenorth

      Undisclosed illness/injury. Peoria coach said something to the effect of “something he came here with and tried to play through.”

      I also read a Twitter comment that he had his hand or thumb taped up last night.

    • Gabriel

      Soler has a minor thumb injury – they are holding him out as a precaution, as he had been playing through it for a few days prior. Expected to be back this weekend.

      As far as Baez – he had the same sort of disastrously bad start at Peoria when he was sent there from EXST. We all know what happened there…I expect great things for Baez going forward.

    • Nick Nesler

      I saw a comment on another site. The commenter had talked to Baez’s high school coach and evidently he has been battleing the flu for some time. He had been spending alot of time traveling back and forth from Daytona to Jacksonville.

  • donnie kessinger

    Luke (or anyone), how about a breakdown on Justin Bour … is he a legitimate prospect? Would he land in our top 20 prospect list?

    • King Jeff

      Not really. He’s been a little old for each league he’s been in the last few years, and hasn’t done much standing out in any of those years. He’s a fairly patient hitter with ok, but not good power. When I saw him play he reminded me of James Loney, which is probably his ceiling offensively. He’s terrible defensively, even at first. He’s not a top 20 prospect, and with the influx of new talent, I don’t think he’s even a top 20 positional player for the Cubs.

      • Spriggs

        Agree. He’s slow and pretty bad defensively. I think Loney (who really blows offensively for a MLB first basemean) is a decent ceiling comp… though I was thinking you might not have to look any farther than Micah Hoffpauir or maybe even the July/August version of LaHair.

  • Idaho Razorback

    I always get Jae-Hoon Ha and Pin-Chieh Chen mixed up. I’m sure South Korean Bleacher Nation readers get Brett Taylor and Luke Blaize mixed up too.

    • Brandon – AA Correspondent

      Don’t forget AA Pitcher Dae-Eun Rhee

      Another Korean prospect.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      Are you saying we all look alike?

  • Flashfire

    I’m kind of surprised by the Dunston move. This Cubs front office has generally been using prospects in the minors where they’ll be used in the bigs. I can’t see Dunston as a future middle-or-the-order hitter.

    • Scotti

      In reality many prospects would be used as 7th or 8th place hitters but it obviouly makes no sense to use them there in the minors (too few AB). A minor league manager is going to use his line-up as best he can to put out the best product he can while balancing development. That is true for a Theo led FO or a Hendry led front office.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      One, anybody who is guaranteed a PA in the first inning is top of the order. Two, where Dunston Jr. or anybody else bats in the order is not really going to affect how he’s evaluated: the FO wants to see the guy put up a solid OPS, and that’s done the same way: lay off of pitches you cannot hit well and try to smash the ones that you can hit well.

      The only thing that putting Dunston in the Top 3 does is get him a few more PAs than the guys batting 4-6.

    • ssckelley

      You are probably right but the Arizona team has been stripped of all their big bats (Soler, Vogelbach, & Almora). Of the players remaining Dunston is 2nd on the team in RBI’s and I think tied for the lead in home runs.

  • Spriggs

    Interesting you mention Carlos Penalver in your minor league notes today. This guy catches your eye. He reminds me so much of Ronnie Cedeno, it’s downright scary. His build, his face, his swing, all the way to the errors and bonehead plays. He just turned 18 this year and he definitely has some talent. He has made outstanding plays at SS, he’s got some speed, and can square up a ball. His power, I think, will eventually show. BTW, when you see all the errors being made in the AZL (Carlos has made his share at SS — 13 in 31 games), that field is in, by far, the worst shape I have ever seen. Half the grass is burned out in the IF. Check it out when you see some of those videos from when Almora and Soler where here. It’s embarrassing.

  • dreese

    Doing that would limit the Cubs ability to host concerts/soccer games and other stuff. Would they really get more money substituting minor leagure games for concerts?

  • Paul

    Having minor league teams around the country helps to build the MLBs fan base. Most of these fans won’t ever attend a game at the MLB team’s stadium however they are probably watching games on TV and purchasing things like shirts and hats supporting their MLB team. It extends an MLB team’s fan base beyond the city that they play in. I don’t know if a minor league team has ever played a full season in a MLB team’s park however from a business perspective I wouldn’t think that would be a good idea. Giving fans more access to the MLB team’s ballpark at cheaper rates would most likely reduce the number of fans that would purchase a more expensive ticket to see the MLB team plan. Plus 5000 fans attending a game in Peoria (a much smaller stadium) looks better than 5000 fans attending a game at Wrigley.

  • Cedlandrum

    The Cubs have a great problem at this point. They have some very good SS prospects. I think Penalver may get stuck in Boise this next year because if you bump everyone up a rung there is nowhere else for him to go. Hernandez is likely headed to Peoria unless they view Penalver a better prospect, but I don’t know if that is the case. Baez will likely start in Daytona, Alacantra will likely start in AA and Lake in AAA.

    Very good depth at the position. Very good depth really up the middle with SS, 2nd, and CF in the Cubs system.

    • Spriggs

      Yes, lots of depth in middle IF. I think Hernandez is clearly the better prospect overall, and especially at this point. Would be stunned if Penalver jumped past him. Ever.

      What they really, really lack in up the middle strength is a good catcher.

      • Cedlandrum

        Yep and it seemed a year ago that was an o.k. position. I really am surprised that Micah Gibbs has been bad. Then with the graduation of Castillo and Clevenger we are scary thin. Brenly could be a backup big leaguer maybe. Outside of that you look at guys like Rosario, Marra and Lopez and I think maybe a couple of those guys could develop o.k. Marra and Rosario are super young and seem to have upside.

        How have they looked in AZ?

        • Spriggs

          I will be very surprised if Rosario sticks at C. Though he’s struggled at the plate this year, I think his only value is his bat. He can hit. Ive seen him in last year’s AZL, EXT ST, and this year in the AZL. He absolutely blows behind the plate and is miles away from being an acceptable catcher in my opinion. I have flat out never seen a worse catcher – though he supposedly does have a decent arm. He is horrible at blocking balls even close to the dirt.

          Marra looks to be a better catching prospect – and seems like he has a good approach at the plate. He bats lefty, haven’t seen power from him, but I think it’s there. Haven’t seen as much of him.

          I was actually surprised when they brought Koyie back this year instead of just giving Brenly a few games. Didn’t understand that.

          • Cedlandrum

            Thanks Spriggs. Knew Rosario’s bat was his strength but yikes on the defense.

          • ssckelley

            Rosario is only 18 years old and is throwing out more runners than Marra, I would not give up hope just yet.

            • Spriggs

              He does have time on his side and like I inferred, his am is not the problem. He just has a very long way to go. He is put together pretty well…

          • MightyBear

            Don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think. LOL

    • ssckelley

      I agree, the infield positions in the Cubs system are loaded all the way around the diamond with the exception of catcher. The outfield is not looking bad either and I think the pitching prospects will get better once these picks in the last couple of drafts start moving up. All of these legit prospects make me wonder it the Cubs will not have a top 10 system next year, which would be a HUGE step from where it came from.

  • Mick

    Gioskar Amaya = most under-rated prospect in Cubs’ system.

    1. Baez
    2. Soler
    3. Almora
    4. Vizcaino
    5. Amaya!!! (“Hey 1-4, objects in your mirror are closer than they appear!!”

    • Cedlandrum

      That may be a tad high for Amaya. I dig him a lot, but I don’t see him that high. Top ten probablyish.

      • Mick

        Hey, who crapped in your Corn Flakes?

        • Mick

          I kid, I kid. Amaya’s done everything right to this point, plays a premium position, bats for power and average, heck he even got called up and got an AB at Iowa to which he doubled??? Does anyone have the backstory on why he was called up to AAA? He’s only 19!

          • Spriggs

            It was an emergency roster need. Keep in mind too though – he had at least a couple games and at bats in spring training this year againt major leaguers.

            The amount of triples he’s hit this year is freakish.

          • ssckelley

            I was wondering the same thing. Anyone know why Amaya only got 1 at bat with Iowa?

            • Chris

              He was a warm body in extended spring training and Iowa needed a roster spot filled temporarily.

        • Cedlandrum

          Don’t get me wrong, I like him a lot. He has killed it with the bat, just not sure he will get ranked that high this year. Next year if he repeats that success in Peoria then he might. There are flashier guys in the system with maybe a bit more name recognition that will get ranked higher.

          • Spriggs

            Agree. Long term though- I think he will be there. I love this guy.

    • Cedlandrum

      Think about it like this. He may be the 5th best ranked prospect on the Boise Hawks with
      Almora, Candelerio, Vogelbach, Pierce Johnson and then him in some order. This takes nothing away from Amaya.

      I imagine the top ten will take shape based upon the number of AB’s that Jackson and Vitters receive. Both need roughly 100 more ML ab’s to not qualify for top ten list I believe. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

      The top 5 could look like this- So this is really rough and haven’t put a lot of time or thought into it. 6-20 is where it gets really interesting.
      Baez
      Soler
      Almora
      Candelerio
      Vizcaino

      • Mick

        I like what you’ve done there, Candelerio’s got the measurables, we’ll see what the national prognosticators determine as our top-10, especially in Jackson and Vitters are no longer options. I could see them bumping Lake up and also finding somewhere in the top-10 for Pierce Johnson. I’m taking this one deep…

        1. Baez
        2. Soler
        3. Almora
        4. Vizcaino
        5. Amaya
        6. Vogelbach
        7. P. Johnson
        8. Candelerio
        9. Underwood
        10. Golden
        11. Szczur
        12. Lake
        13. Villanueva
        14. Hernandez
        15. Maples
        16. Alcantra
        17. Wells
        18. Bour
        19. Torreyes
        20. Whitenack

        • Cedlandrum

          Got to find a place in there for Watkins.

          • Spriggs

            Not suggesting top 20, but what do you guys think about Burgess? I am still hoping it’s not too late for him to turn a corner (of some kind). Am I nuts?

            • Cedlandrum

              I think he could be a decent player. A guy to come off the bench with some pop and decent defense. He has too much swing and miss to be an everyday player in my opinion.

        • Drew7

          Szczur outside the top-10?

          I’d also have Maples higher than 15, but that’s all about how you much you value ceiling I’d guess.

        • Flashfire

          Torreyes under Golden, Bour, Wells, and Hernandez is kinda silly. He’s more than holding his own as a 19-year-old in a pitcher’s league.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            More than that, he’s currently over some REALLY unique thresholds that you typically see only from elite prospects – he has more BB than K, and more extra base hits than K. If it weren’t for his BABIP being more than 100 points below his BABIP the previous two years, his line would be insane. I respect scouts’ opinions on his size, but, I mean, the kid is clearly an elite, elite, elite hitter.

            • Flashfire

              Thanks for those. I knew he had more walks than strikeouts, but hadn’t noticed the rest of that.

              He’s supposed to be an above average defender, too. We’re not talking Darwin Barney level of brilliance, but he isn’t iron hands out there, either.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                I’ve been an unapologetic huge Torreyes fan since the Marshall trade, and he’s only improved his stock in my eyes since. He could conceivably be putting up good numbers at AA next year as a 20-year-old. I don’t care how small he is, that’s super impressive. Heck, if he’s 6’0″, he’s probably right there in our discussions of Almora/Soler/Baez.

                • hansman1982

                  2nd base seems to be a good landing for those of us who are “vertically challenged”

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    That was my spot … :)

                    • hansman1982

                      kickball is a whole different can of worms but to preserve your “special-i-tudiness” we won’t get into it…

                    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                      I play CF for kickball. I was talking about my glory days of actually playing baseball many years ago.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      Hey, whatever you have to tell yourself…

                      Plus, all the cool kids played C back in little league…

                  • Drew7

                    Your wife must be really short, Hans. You are towering over her in that pic.

                    • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

                      I’m 5’10 and she is 5’4”

                      Needless to say, our kid doesn’t stand a chance.

                • Flashfire

                  I thought he was intriguing when he came over. When he started off ice cold, I was thinking he was another guy that just couldn’t hit “real” pitching. Then I started listening to the DCubs in early June, and it seemed like every time he put the bat on the ball the announcers were describing it as “hard hit” — at which point I figured he had to be better than his numbers were saying. Man did he prove that over the next two months.

                • JB88

                  If he was 6’0″ there is almost no way the Cubs land him in the Marshall trade. Certainly not in a trade that also lands them Wood and Sappelt.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    Clearly.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Top 20 is very high for Bour. He’s a nice player to have in the system, but he’s not that nice.

  • donnie kessinger

    What is the breakdown on Amaya…. I must say his stats have caught my eye.

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  • cubloserz105plus

    Never judge a player on a small sample size.
    Never judge a player on the internet because you are not qualified
    Never judge a player because the check writers don’t care about you
    Never judge a player unless you have knowledge of baseball tools/details

    • Spriggs

      NEVER!

      And how about this one: never read an internet forum if you don’t want to hear what other people have to say.

  • LT Cool J

    *Like*

  • Leroy K.

    Brett it hasn’t happened in baseball that I can tell, but the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) and they’re AHL counterparts the Philadelphia Phantoms both played in the same stadium.

  • chiorgerg

    Is it just me, or is Anthony Prieto pitching great? It seems like he is a top performer on the Minor League Daily every week.

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