Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

kane county cougarsThe next big summer holiday, July 4th, is right around the corner. Now is the time to make your baseball watching plans, while tickets are still available. Of course you could do the TV thing again this year, or you could make this the year you pack up the entourage and take in a minor league game.

Kane County is just one of many teams holding some sort of special promotion on the Fourth. For a $38 fans get rooftop access to the game as well as all the food they can eat. The menu includes the usual (hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken) as well my personal favorite – a cookie and brownie tray.

Keep in mind that we are in the promotion season.  If you haven’t seen this current Kane County roster in action, you may want to hurry.  I strongly suspect a few of them could be moved up the organizational ladder soon.  On the other hand, some of the 2013 draft class could arrive in Kane County before too much longer as well.  All the more reason to make your plans early.

Scores From The Weekend

Friday – Iowa opened the weekend with a doubleheader. Game One went to the Cubs 5-4, and Iowa concluded the sweep with an 8-6 win in Game Two.
Saturday – In a battle for first place the Cubs lost to the Redbirds 6-2.
Sunday – Iowa was completely shut down in this 6-0 loss.

Friday – The Smokies opened the weekend with an 8-7 loss at Chattanooga.
Saturday – Saturday saw another loss, this one 11-8.
Sunday – Yesterday proved no better. Tennessee fell 5-2.

Friday – The bats were quiet on Friday as Daytona lost 3-1.
Saturday – The Cubs bounced back with a 2-1 win on Saturday.
Sunday – And they closed out the weekend by pulling away late for a 6-1 win.

Kane County
Friday – The Cougars lost this one 4-2.
Saturday – Kane County led this one late, but ultimately lost it in 11 innings 6-5.
Sunday – Sunday’s game also ended in a loss, 6-1.

Friday – The Hawks kicked off the weekend with a 4-1 win in Spokane.
Saturday – Saturday brought a double header. Game One was a Boise loss, 3-2. And Game Two was much the same, a 4-3 loss.
Sunday – The weekend ended with another loss, this one 8-6.

Friday – This game ended in a 6-4 Cubs win.
Saturday – The Cubs gave up some late runs in this 7-5 loss.
Sunday – The AZL Cubs had Sunday off.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins played very well in the doubleheader. His 2 for 3 Game One included a double and his 6th home run. His 2 for 4 Game Two included a double and his 7th home run.

  • [Iowa] Brian Bogusevic, Junior Lake, and Donnie Murphy also all homered in Friday’s Game Two.
  • [Tennessee] Ronald Torreyes tripled in back to back games over this weekend. Last year he struggled in the first half of the season and then exploded in the second. Well, we are in the second half of the season and his explosion is certainly off to a good start.
  • [Tennessee] Second baseman / shortstop Arismendy Alcantara is up to 10 home runs now. Not bad for a guy whose previous career high was 7.
  • [Tennessee] A potential reliever for the 2014 Cubs, Zach Rosscup again struck out the side on Friday. He now has 44 K in just 28.2 innings of work.
  • [Daytona] All three Daytona games included some good pitching, and in all three we saw the pattern of a starter pitching roughly 6 innings and a reliever pitching roughly 3. Ben Wells, Zach Cates, and Kyler Burke were the starters while Larry Suarez, Yao-Lin Wang, and Austin Reed handled the relief duties.
  • [Daytona] Javier Baez both homered and stole a base this weekend. He is up to 16 of the one and 8 of the other.
  • [Kane County] Add Carlos Escobar to the list of Cubs’ catching prospects emerging into the spotlight. Escobar has been splitting time behind the plate, but he has produced his share of offense during his games. Over his last ten games (stretching back into late May) he is hitting .333/.385/.556.
  • [Kane County] Albert Almora hit his second home run on Saturday.
  • [Kane County] Through his first 15 games Reggie Golden has been playing quite well. His OPS is a healthy .808, and while the K% is higher than I’d like to see it, it is important to remember that he is facing real pitching for nearly the first time in two years after losing all but a few games last season to a leg injury. A higher K% is understandable in that context.
  • [Kane County] Michael Heesch pitched 6 scoreless inning on Saturday, striking out 6 in the process.
  • [Boise] Jacob Hannemann has arrived in Boise and already has his first double and his first home run. For now, those are his only two hits.
  • [Boise] Shawon Dunston, on the other hand, has hit safely in all 8 games he has played. His 1.021 OPS is the highlight of his line, but the 3 BB and 4 K look pretty good too.
  • [Boise] And then we have Kevin Encarnacion. This switch hitter has an OPS of 1.200 through 12 games thanks to 7 walks, 2 home runs, and 3 doubles over that span. He also has 3 steals.
  • [Boise] Another 2013 draftee, Cael Brockmeyer, is also in Boise. He has only been in two games so far, but the collegiate catcher already has two hits, including a double.
  • [Arizona] Alexander Santana struck out 4 in 4.2 innings of work in his start on Saturday.
  • [Arizona] In just his second game Kevin Brown picked up his first professional triple. He also has a stolen base on his resume.
  • [Arizona] Also playing well in the desert is switch hitting third baseman Mark Malave. In two games his three hits include both a double and a triple.

Other News

  • Remember Casey Coleman? As a full time reliever this year Coleman has done quite well, and he’s gotten better as the season progresses. I don’t think we should imagine him as the Cubs’ future closer … but is he any more unlikely than Kevin Gregg? Look for Coleman to get another shot in the majors, this time as part of the bullpen, by year’s end.
  • Matt Szczur may have solved Double A pitching. His season line of .297/.368/.391 isn’t bad, but it is his June line that stands out. In 85 trips to the plate Szczur is hitting .342/.425/.434 with 9 walks against 12 strike outs. Should he be promoted to Triple A soon we could potentially pencil in his name as a fourth outfielder in Chicago in the second half of next season.

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