boise hawksHave you ever wondered how a player goes about choosing a bat? There are a lot of factors that must to go into but, but most of them seem very small individually.

Ash versus Maple? All the ratios of length to weight, not to mention the various options for handle width? To me it is mostly indecipherable. I know it is all important, but it is hard to understand just how one would go about figuring out which bat is right.

I suppose it might be similar to the way I am with keyboards. As both a writer and a gamer, my keyboard is extremely important and I am picky. I’m not sure I could put into words exactly what I am looking for in a keyboard or why one works for me while another one does not, but I know a good one when I find it.

And maybe it is the same way with bats. I have no idea, but I do wonder.

Scores From The Weekend

Friday – A big sixth inning carried the Cubs to a 9-5 home win.
Saturday – An even bigger sixth inning carried the Cubs to another win, 8-7.
Sunday – Iowa closed out the weekend with this 3-1 loss.

Friday – Tennessee had plenty of hits but only got three of those runners over the plate. They lost 4-3.
Saturday – The Cubs rallied in the eighth inning on Saturday and took the 5-3 win.
Sunday – On Sunday, though, it was the Smokies who gave up the rally. They lost this one 4-1.


Daytona had the weekend off thanks to the Florida State League All-Star Game. Not only did Cub prospects do well in the game itself, Javier Baez finished second in the home run derby.

Kane County
Friday – The Cougars lost this one 5-1.
Saturday – Despite some good work by the bullpen, they lost this one 11-5.
Sunday – They salvaged the weekend, though, with this 4-2 win.

Friday – The Hawks opened up the season the right way with this 7-0 win.
Saturday – The lost a pitching duel on Saturday, though, by a final of 1-0.
Sunday – But on Sunday the bats roared to life as the Hawks claimed their second road win 8-2.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Jeffry Antigua has become a bit of a long man for Iowa since vaulting up from Kane County, and he tossed three scoreless innings on Friday.
  • [Iowa] Larry Suarez made his lone appearance for Iowa on Friday, striking out one in a scoreless final frame. He was returned to Daytona later in the weekend.
  • [Iowa] If there is any doubt who the Cubs should call up to Chicago next, Steve Clevenger is doing his best to put it to rest. Playing third base on Friday, Clevenger finished 3 for 3 with a home run. He followed that up with two more home runs on Saturday while playing catcher.
  • [Tennessee] Kyle Hendricks had one of his rougher starts on Saturday. Over 7 innings he gave up 8 hits and struck out 3. Thanks in part to no walks and no home runs allowed, though, he gave up just a single earned run and walked away a winner.
  • [Tennessee] The Cubs raised a few eyebrows when they raised Pin-Chieh Chen all the way to Tennessee, but he made them look genius on Friday as he went 2 for 3 with triple.
  • [Tennessee] Rubi Silva had a nice weekend. He opened with a 3 for 5 performance on Friday that included yet another double. After an 0 for 4 Saturday he finished the weekend by going 3 for 4 on Sunday. Sunday’s double was his 15th on the season.
  • [Tennessee] Silva still trails Arismendy Alcantara in two-baggers, though. Alcantara pushed his total to 16 with two doubles on Saturday. He also stole his 17th base in that game.
  • [Daytona] Not only did Baez finish second in the Home Run Derby, his two doubles accounted for half of the FSL North’s hits in the All Star Game.
  • [Daytona] And he wasn’t the only Cub putting his stamp on the box score. John Andreoli had the North’s only RBI, Dustin Geiger had the only walk, Frank Del Valle led the pitchers in strikeouts, and Jorge Soler was the only starter who did not get an At Bat. I suppose that means the Cubs also account for the game’s only controversy as well.
  • [Kane County] Dillon Maples had another game in which he had trouble finding the strike zone on Saturday. I am not certain what is going on here, but it is far to early to give up on Maples. He was and is a very talented pitching prospect with a very high ceiling and plenty of work to do to reach that ceiling.
  • [Kane County] The big blows on Saturday came from Bijan Rademacher. Leading off as the DH, Rademacher finished 3 for 5 with a double and his second home run.
  • [Kane County] Reggie Golden has been putting up some decent numbers in the early going. With just 12 games under his belt he already has two home runs and a triple. The strike outs were a problem early, but he has had just one since June 9th.
  • [Boise] Let’s start with the pitching. Friday’s shut out was provided by James Pugliese (5 IP, 3H, 7K), Jasvir Rakkar (2 IP, 3K), Matt Iannazzo (1 IP) and Michael Hamann (1 IP, 1K).
  • [Boise] Paul Blackburn was pretty good on Saturday. He struck out 8 while giving up just 1 hit over 5 innings. Corbin Hoffner struck out one over three hitless innings of relief.
  • [Boise] Loiger Padron had the start on Sunday, and while he pitched 4.2 scoreless frames, he did give up 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 3. Carlos Martinez-Pumarino and Matt Iannazzo set up Michael Hamann for his first save.
  • [Boise] Shawon Dunston Jr. opened his season 4 for 6 with a double and a steal. He had another hit on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • [Boise] Kevin Encarnacion is also off to a good start. Through three games he is already up to 4 hits (one double) and 3 steals. This is the first year the switch hitter has played in the United States, but he posted an OPS of .912 last season in the DSL while walking 39 times against 27 strike outs. That’s the sort of line that first brought Jeimer Candelario to our attention. Then again, Candelario is two years younger than Encarnacion.

Other News

  • It is still too early to take the Sample Size Alert off of Junior Lake‘s Triple A numbers, but his numbers through 10 games and 45 Plate Appearances are interesting. The 8.9% walk rate, if it stays that high, would be a career high. The 13.3% strike out rate would be a career low (by a wide margin). Conclusive? Far from it. But it is interesting and encouraging. If he can keep this up, the Cubs are going to have some tough decisions to make in Spring Training next year.
  • If you have not yet checked out the Tennessee Smokies auction in support of the Oklahoma City Red Cross, now is your last chance. The bidding closes at noon Eastern time, and with it your chance to score an Alberto Cabrera signed Cubs hat for $35. Oddly enough, as I write this there is a bid on the baseball signed by Darwin Barney, but not the one signed by Anthony Rizzo. They are the same price. Gold Glove effect?
  • You remember that Baez four home run game? You want to see the fourth home run? Click here. Better not blink, though. That ball got out to left in a hurry.
  • Baez isn’t the only slugger in the system. Rock Shoulders has tied him with 13 home runs apiece. Brad Nelson of Iowa has 12, and Dan Vogelbach trails slightly with 11.
  • On the Farm

    Back-to-back rough starts for Maples, last start he didn’t make it past the second inning, and this one he didn’t even complete the first inning and a K/BB ratio of 1/11. I hope the break gives him some time to kind of refresh so he can re-group and put up some strong second half numbers.

    • Spriggs

      Between the lack of command and the injury risk, this guy might never be able to get enough work in to ever approach his ceiling.

      • King Jeff

        From what I see of him, he might be an excellent candidate for the back end of the bullpen down the road.

  • bryan

    Luke is Stephan Bruno injured?

  • BluBlud

    Has anyone ever seen someone make this massive of an adjustment in the middle of a baseball season. Stats fluctuate up and down pretty conistently, but SO rate is usually pretty consistent. Even when it goes one way or another, it’s usually over a period of time. If he sustains this new lower level of SO through the remainder of the season, it may be the geatest feat we have seen in baseball this year.

    • Timothy Scarbrough

      Are you talking about Baez or Lake?

      • BluBlud

        Hell, either one. I think this FO might be on to something, and if they are, then it could be golden. Maybe Baezs SO rate skyrocketed because he was working on something that the coaches wanted him to. Maybe he struggle with the adjustment innitially, but now he’s starting to understand. Same with Lake. We have not seen him from the start, due to injury, but he may have been working on the same thing.

        Im at a point where I’m like screw the big team rusults, what they are doing with these prospects is golden. They are starting to extend my patience, because once these kids hit the show, we could be deadly. IT probably going to be well worth the wait.

        • Jp3

          Now I’m really confused, are you talking about Lake, Baez or Reggie Golden? You made reference to golden several times😀

  • David

    Will someone please tell me why Soler was scratched? Was he hurt or just for kicks and giggles.

  • Jp3

    I’m curious about that too, since he played half an Inning I’m thinking he felt a twinge in a hamstring fielding a ball or something and the single A coach didn’t want to feel the wrath of Cubs upper management and pulled him immediately. Or Soler threatened someone with a bat again, I’m going with the 1st option though

    • JayPaul

      As long as it isn’t a Visa issue………..

      • Spriggs

        Or mono

        • BluBlud

          or a twitter related suspension

  • JayPaul

    It wouldn’t surprise me if an actual study was done for bat composition using player variables for the “Cubs Way”.

  • cubbie blue thru n thru

    Cant find the tweet, but during the FSL ASG apparently baez hit one of his doubles off the foul pole but the ump says it hit the wall so take that for what its worth

    • Jp3

      Sweet, so he should’ve gotten a double and a homer yesterday? Nice, he didn’t K in the game did he?

      • Spriggs

        I thought he K’d in his last AB, but could be mistaken.

        • Jp3

          Shoot, if he K’d that game he did in 25% of his ABs😜 SSS

    • King Jeff

      Yeah, a lot of people watching the game thought and still think it should have been a home run.

  • Spriggs

    Is Rhee coming back this year? What kind of injury does he have, anyone know?

  • Rcleven

    Skipped the Cubs yesterday. Went to the KC game to see Johnson pitch and wasn’t disappointed. Although he didn’t have his best stuff you can see this kid just has it. Went seven shutout innings giving up just three hits. Not too many hard hit balls. A lot of balls hit over the top resulting in weak grounders hit back to the pitcher and infield. Walked a few hitters but the ground balls induced wiped em out on the DP. Johnson pitching well above -A level and needs to be challenged at A ball.
    Almora is just something else in center. Great instincts on his breaks and makes it look easy handling balls hit on the line and fly.
    Golden is a big man. Arms are huge. Hits the ball hard when he makes contact. Chased a few balls high out of the zone and was made to look silly on a straight change. D needs a lot of work.
    BP is the weakest part of this team. Too many walks then they give up the hit.
    Perakslis is a interesting prospect too. Haven’t seen enough of him to form a strong opinion but he can throw strikes.

  • Dwhit33

    According to Baseball America, the Cubs released Chad Martin, Hunter Ackerman, and Dong-Yub Kim