kane county cougarsKane County is hotter than hot right now. It may be more of a hassle to get out to that ballpark as opposed to Wrigley, but right now the Cougars might be more fun to watch. The Cougars probably won’t provide the same cardio workout the Cubs do in the late innings, but everyone’s heart needs a break now and then. Any Chicagoland fan who has not wandered out to see Kane County play should give serious thought to doing so before this particular collection of prospects is broken up. Once the Cubs start to clear their stockpile of outfielders at the major league and Triple A levels a little, a chain reaction should begin that ought to move Rock Shoulders and perhaps Pin-Chieh Chen right out of town. I would not be surprised to see this team take further losses around the trade deadline either. Kane County is well worth watching; catch them while they are hot.

Scores From The Weekend

Friday – Mother Nature did not like Iowa.
Saturday – Mother Nature really did not like Iowa.
Sunday – But finally the skies parted and Iowa managed a double header. Game One was a 5-2 Cubs win, but they lost Game Two in 10 innings by a final of 4-3.

Friday – A rough weekend for the Smokies started with a 3-2 ten inning loss.
Saturday – That was followed by an 8-0 shellacking.
Sunday – And the weekend ended with another loss, this one a 6-0 shutout.

Friday – It turns out that it rains in Florida too.
Saturday – The Cubs scored ten runs in three innings on their way to an 11-5 win.
Sunday – And then the winning streak ended as Daytona lost 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth.

Kane County
Friday – Kane County keeps their winning streak alive, though. They won this one 3-1.
Saturday – That was followed by a 6-1 triumph on Saturday.
Sunday – And they capped the weekend with a 2-0 shutout victory.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins has appeared in nearly every Performances of Note this season, and today is no exception. He finished the weekend with a triple, two walks, and no strikeouts. Through his last ten games (47 PA) he has struck out just 8 times. That’s good for about a 17% rate. Not bad. On the downside, he’s only stolen one base over that same stretch.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters returned to the Iowa lineup with a bang. His 5 for 9 weekend featured his first homer of the season.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies did not have an extra base hit Saturday or Sunday. Over that same stretch they walked just three times and compiled a total of nine hits. It was not a good weekend for the Double A franchise.
  • [Tennessee] Except for some of the pitchers, that is. Alberto Cabrera struck out 8 and walked 2 in 6 innings of work on Friday, and a number of relievers (including Zach Rosscup and Marcus Hatley) had some nice outing. At least the weekend wasn’t a complete loss.
  • [Daytona] It looks like Jorge Soler is warming up again. He homered on Saturday and has now walked in three straight games. The walks were missing when he slumped; I think the return of his patience is probably a good thing.
  • [Daytona] Remember Yeiper Castillo? We’ve talked about him briefly before, and he was at it again on Sunday. Through six innings he struck out seven, walked one, and surrendered just two hits.
  • [Daytona] While it is true that Javier Baez has heated up himself lately, his K% still sits at a disturbing 27.9%. He was looking better in that department for a time, but Whiff City has returned with two Ks in three of his last four games.
  • [Kane County] The starter in the Sunday shutout was Michael Heesch. Heesch fanned five as he pitched into the eighth. Nathan Dorris finished things off.
  • [Kane County] The Cougars walked 14 times over these three game, and struck out just 10 times. If this is what the entire organization is going to look like after a few more drafts and a few more seasons of the Cubs Way, then I can’t wait.
  • [Kane County] Felix Pena fanned seven in seven innings for the win on Saturday.
  • [Kane County] It looks like Jeimer Candelario may be starting to shake off his slump as well. The KC third baseman has a hit in four of his last five games now. Over his last ten games he is hitting just .121. Hopefully he has made the necessary adjustments and is about to take off again.

Other News

  • Kyuji Fujikawa struck out two and walked one in his inning of rehab work on Sunday.
  • There is flying under the radar, and then there is Ben Carhart. The Cubs pushed him with a season opening promotion to Daytona and Carhart has responded. He is currently hitting .314/.333/.410, but that jumps to .459/.459/.622 over his last ten games. I’m not thrilled with his low BB%, but I can’t really argue with the K% (just 15 strikeouts outs this season). He probably needs to show a little more power to really start moving up the charts at third base, but his emergence is a nice bright spot this season.
  • It is pretty much official at this stage: I will be making my annual trip to Tennessee in mid August and will be in Section 104 at the Smokies games on August 12 and 13. With any luck I’ll see some current Daytona Cubs on that trip, particularly guys like Jorge Soler, John Andreoli, and Ben Wells. Baez would be nice, but unless that K rate takes a severe nose dive in the next month or so I’m not optimistic.
  • Frank F.

    I don’t know why the OF moves would affect Shoulders promotion. You’d think he or Vigelbach would be moved, as they’re our only two minor league 1st Basemen that are actual prospects. On a side note, is if at all realistic to see Baez, Soler, Almora, Vogelbach, and Shoulders at the same level at some point this season? Maybe Amaya along with them. Assuming that this is the wave of the future, would it not be a good idea to get them all playing together as early as possible?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The Cougars have been playing Shoulders in left, and I strongly suspect they’d like to keep him there since that is his most likely path to the majors (should he make it that high).

      Amaya will probably be in KC all year. Soler should head to Tennessee mid season. It’s too early to say about Almora, but I doubt (thanks to the injury) he gets more than a cup of coffee in Daytona. Vogelbach could move up to Daytona, as could Shoulders, around midseason, but unless Baez improves that K%, I don’t think he’ll leave Daytona this season (although he might head for the AFL).

    • Chad

      Shoulders plays a lot in the corner outfield spots since Rizzo is blocking him at the ML level and Vogs is a pretty decent prospect at 1B. Shoulders will be directly affected by the OF changes since the organization probably sees him as a better option in the OF than at 1B.

      • Rcleven

        Shoulders has been getting in to most games at first and DH. Outfield seems pretty crowded right now. Chen is getting most of the work in left with Shoulders rotating in about once a week. Zapata has been impressive in center and Rademacher in right. When Almora is promoted it is going to get even more crowded.
        Could see Zapata rotate to left when Almora comes in to play center.
        Don’t see Chen moving to Daytona till his bat comes around.

    • Kyle

      That doesn’t seem likely to me.

      Well, first, Shoulders doesn’t belong listed alongside the other four.

      But mostly, you don’t promote prospects in groups like that. Each player will have individual levels of ability that need to be challenged at the most appropriate level. I could see maybe three out of the four together very briefly, if Vogelbach gets a late-season promotion, but I have a very hard time seeing Almora getting to Daytona before Soler gets to Tennessee.

  • ETS

    Logan WALKins!

  • ETS

    Does anyone know if is garza still slated to start for Iowa today?

    • Rcleven

      Still slated to get his 45 pitches in today.

      • ETS

        Thanks. I think I’ll be there.

  • Jp3

    I think Shoulders’ promotion could be linked to the OF moves because he’s also a LF. The domino effect with that is pretty ridiculous actually.

  • Josh

    Anyone know why Bruno has been playing so sparingly lately? Is he dealing with an injury? Only seen him play twice since 4/21.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yes – he’s hurt. Not sure with what, but I believe he was just put on the DL.

    • AB

      He was hit on the wrist by a pitch a week or two ago.

  • Kramden

    Might Mr. Vitters be showing Mr. Stewart the door, making many of us happy?

    • Chad

      That would be nice. Stewart served his purpose as the means to get rid of Colvin (who has been sent to AAA for the rockies). Just cut the loses and move on. Get someone of future value to the team some reps.

  • willis

    Vitters just went yard again.