The Iowa Cubs ended their season on Thursday with a loss in Nashville. Rather than relocate the scheduled four game weekend series in New Orleans to Iowa or a neutral site, the decision was made to simply cancel those games outright. It was probably the best decision.

Iowa finishes a disappointing campaign with a record of 53-87, but at least many of those games were close. The Cubs led all of minor league baseball by playing in 54 one run games, and in those contests they finished 22-32. That doubtless made for a long and frustrating season for the players, but it also provided those players with close game experience. Such experience could pay some minor dividends for the Cubs in the future.

I did not expect Iowa’s season to be quite this rough. Many of the players who were in Iowa played on playoff teams for Tennessee over the past few seasons; judging in part from that I expected more from the Triple A franchise. The biggest problem holding the Cubs back this year was their lack of offense. At the plate, the Iowa Cubs were among the worst teams in the league. They actually finished near the middle of the pack in many of the pitching categories, though, with the notable exception of walks allowed (the gave up the second most in the league).

Still, it is only a matter of time before the higher level of talent deeper in the farm system starts to have an impact in Triple A (and, of course, the majors). 2013 should be a better year for Iowa, and 2014 better still.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Once again, despite seven hits, Iowa had trouble scoring. They lost their season finale 6-1.
Tennessee – The Smokies win again. They beat Pensacola by a final of 4-2.
Daytona – Daytona could not take advantage of three errors as they lost 6-5.
Peoria – Peoria lost 11-7 in ten innings.
Boise – The Hawks rallied for two in the ninth, but it was not enough. They lost 4-3.
Arizona – Not much went right for the Cubs in their one game playoff. It ended with a 15-3 blowout loss.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] The newest Cubs, catcher Anthony Recker, finishes his Iowa campaign having appeared in just three games. He performed well enough in those three games to earn an Iowa OPS of 0.873.
  • [Tennessee] All four Smokie runs came from the long ball. Logan Watkins hit his eighth, Justin Bour his 17th, and Matt Cerda his third.
  • [Tennessee] Trey McNutt struck out the side in his one inning of relief. Brian Schlitter struck out four in his two innings of work.
  • [Daytona] John Andreoli had three more hits, including a double, but he was caught stealing in his only attempt.
  • [Daytona] Javier Baez had one hit in this game, a solo home run in the fourth inning.
  • [Peoria] Pin-Chieh Chen finished this game 3 for 4 with a triple and his 34th stolen base. Wes Darvill also had three hits.
  • [Peoria] Jorge Soler had another two hits in this game.
  • [Boise] Rock Shoulders hit a pinch hit home run, his tenth, to drive home both runs in the bottom of the ninth.
  • [Boise] Stephen Bruno continued to hit well with another two hit game that included a double. Albert Almora also doubled.
  • [Arizona] The AZL Cubs committed six errors in this game. That certainly did not help the pitches, none of whom pitched especially well.
  • [Arizona] Shortstop Carlos Penalver did his part with a 3 for 4 game. Get used to hearing about this guy; I think I’ll be talking a lot more about him in the next couple of seasons.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Njriv

    When people say the Cubs will never have a line-up with Castro, Rizzo, Jackson, Soler, Baez, Almora and Watkins in it, I know its pretty early, but the way these guys are going they are making a decent argument.

    • Quintz

      I will consume my own footwear at time of said event if it occurs……and I hope it happens.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      well, we never saw that lineup with Patterson, Choi, Hill, Kelton, Montanez and Cline, did we!

      • Steve

        I’d you just say…. Pat Cline???

    • hansman1982

      Out of the names you mentioned we should be ecstatic if 4 of those guys turn into Major League regulars (even factoring in that Castro is a lock and Rizzo is about as close to a lock as you can get).

      We should expect 1 of Baez, Almora, Soler to make it and 1 of Jackson, Rizzo and Watkins. I think we can agree that Castro has already made it and should be a regular for a long time.

      • Drew7

        “We should expect 1 of Baez, Almora, Soler to make it and 1 of Jackson, Rizzo and Watkins.”

        Even with me very much (attempting to) temper my expectations, that seems a bit pessimistic; especially with the 2nd group you mentioned.

        With Rizzo “as close to a lock as you can get” I think its ok to expect 1 of Jackson and Watkins to make it as well. As for the other 3, I think 1 of the group is fair, but I wouldn’t call someone crazy if they said they see 2 of them making it as well.

        SSC is right though – it is far more likely that we see a couple of them traded in the next few years for impact talent.

      • cubchymyst

        I think we will be ecstatic with 4 of them making if not more. I don’t think 2 out of 3 with Baez, Almora, and Soler is an unreasonable expectation with what we have seen so far. Baez has been impressive, Almora is said to have a relatively high floor, Soler all we have for him are projections until he gets more experience. I’ll concede a lot can happen between now and when they are expected to make the Majors and maybe i’m being to optimistic

    • ssckelley

      We can dream but I doubt we will ever see a lineup like that as it is a slim chance all of those prospects will pan out. A couple of them may crack the lineup, some will flame out, and others may be used in a trade to acquire other pieces. A productive farm system rarely will fill your lineup, hopefully some day the Cubs will be buyers at trade deadlines and that they have talent in the minors that other teams actually want.

  • farmerjon

    I, for one, am really excited about “the build”. I look forward to next year (and the coming years) to see the development of these young players. A very big thank you Luke for all of your hard work throughout the season. I love baseball…in a difficult season to watch at the major league level it has been great to still have something to keep up with daily. I remain hopeful and optimistic about the future and direction of our beloved franchise and am truly excited to see how it all unfolds. I would also like to thank the positive, intelligent, intellectual, informed commenters; I feel I have learned as much about baseball this year than I have since I was a little boy. To all of the negative nellies and trolls that peruse this site…I hope you are able to find the peace you seek (maybe elsewhere? 😉 ), try to be patient…and go cubs go. I am getting off my stump and going to cut hay, cubs on the radio this afternoon, life is good. Have a great weekend everybody!

  • Brandon – AA Correspondent

    What does Taxi Squad mean as it relates to the AFL??

    • Spriggs

      They are not on the regular roster, but are eligible to play on certain days. In the past it has been Wednesday and Saturdays. Last year, Beliveau was the Cub guy on the taxi squad. In 2010 Bryce Harper was one of those guys.

      • Brandon – AA Correspondent

        Thanks Spriggs