Love them or hate them, the minor leagues are full of mascots. And now you get the chance to decide which mascots are the best.
The ballot is here. And there are some strange, strange costumes on that ballot.
Pull up the Southern League page, for example, and after you get done voting for Slugger (he’s on the bottom), take a look at Lookie the Lookout. I think he’s supposed to be Lookout Mountain? It’s a little abstract, but it sort of works.
And then we have the Montgomery Biscuits mascot, who appears to be a cross between an anteater and an elephant. He looks happy, whatever he is.
Jumping down to the Northwest League page, after voting for Humphrey Hawk (who looks like he means business), try to figure out what’s up with Barley. He represents the Hillsboro Hops, and so far as I can tell is supposed to be his namesake agricultural product. Salem-Keizer offers Crater, sure to star in nightmares near you, and the Spokane Indians represent themselves with a oddly-nosed blue thing called… and I’m not making this up… Otto the Spokanasaurus.
The South Atlantic League (no Cub affiliates there) offers the… thing… called Woolie. Googlie eyes, one tooth, and antennae. That certainly says Hagerstown Suns to me.
I think I’ll have to come back to this later in the week. There are just too many awesome (or awful) mascots to pack into a single introduction. In the meantime, don’t forget to go vote up the furry representatives for all the Cubs teams by August 1.
Scores From The Weekend
Friday – They tied it in the eighth and won it in the tenth. The final was a 3-2 Tennessee win.
Saturday – The Smokies put up runs early and never surrendered the lead after the second inning. They won 7-4.
Sunday – The Smokies lost on Sunday, though, 8-1.
Friday – Rain caused this game to be finished on Saturday, and what a game it was. Scoreless through 12 straight innings, the Cubs lost it in the bottom of the 13th 1-0.
Saturday – After completing that marathon, the Cubs then played 15 innings in a game that finally ended after midnight in a 2-2 tie. That’s right, a tie.
Sunday – On Sunday the Cubs played only nine innings in this 7-5 loss.
Kane County -
Friday – In a game called early by rain, the Cougars lost 8-6.
Saturday – In another game called early by rain, the Cougars won 8-4.
Sunday – We have a winning streak! Kane County won 6-5 in ten innings. That’s their second win in a row!
Friday – Boise got the weekend off to a great start with this 9-2 win.
Saturday – A four run ninth inning rally fell just short in this 8-7 loss.
Sunday – But Boise bounced back with a 7-0 win on Sunday.
Friday – The AZL Cubs had the day off.
Saturday – This one was cancelled by rain. Even Arizona is getting the rainouts this year.
Sunday – Arizona scored early, but they were not helped by seven errors and lost 10-9 in ten innings.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Josh Vitters would like to remind the Cubs that he is still around and should not be forgotten. His first game back from the DL (Friday) was a 2 for 4 outing that included his 4th home run. On Saturday he followed that up with another 2 for 4 game that included a double.
- [Iowa] Did not see this one coming. Nick Struck came in as a reliever for the first time this year on Friday. He pitched 1.1 innings in relief of Brooks Raley, but he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits. I’m not sure if this move to the pen is permanent for Struck.
- [Iowa] Barret Loux pitched 5 scoreless innings on Sunday. He struck out 5, allowed 3 hits, and gave up a disturbingly high 5 walks.
- [Iowa] Alberto Cabrera is now back in Triple A, but on Sunday he showed up in relief. He pitched well (2 IP, 1 H, 2 K), but I’m not sure what this means for his future as a starter, either. [Brett: I wondered about this, too, when I saw he came out of the pen. I suspect it's just a matter of a little bit of a rotational glut at AAA right now - Rusin, Raley, Loux, Moscoso, Struck, Arrieta ... I think the Cubs probably expect it will be resolved in a week or so, and Cabrera can move back into the rotation.]
- [Tennessee] Dae-Eun Rhee, an injured and oft-forgotten but still talented pitching prospect, has returned to Double A. he tossed 3.2 innings as the Friday starter, allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and struck out 3. Two of the hits he gave up were home runs.
- [Tennessee] Zach Rosscup pitched the final two innings in hitless fashion on Friday. Even though I think he could be promoted any time, I hope he is still with Tennessee when I visit the Smokies on August 12 and 13. I am looking forward to seeing his stuff in person.
- [Tennessee] Good news for the Chicago bullpen. Marcos Mateo tossed two hitless innings of his own on Saturday. He could be in the bullpen picture next spring.
- [Tennessee] At this point big games from Arismendy Alcantara are almost expected. He certainly met those expectations this weekend. Friday was a 2 for 5 game with a double. On Saturday he doubled again as part of a 3 for 4 performance. And then on Sunday he doubled again, giving him 26 for the season.
- [Tennessee] John Andreoli is another player I am looking forward to seeing in person. After a 4 hit weekend his Double A line now reads .279/.351/.426.
- [Daytona] The Scoreless Marathon was started (6 IP) by Ivan Pineyro. He allowed 4 hits and struck out 3. Eduardo Figueroa then game in for another 6 innings and allowed 7 hits while striking out 2.
- [Daytona] Matt Loosen got the start in the second marathon. He lasted 6 innings and struck out 7 while allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks. They heavy lifting in the bullpen came from Jeffrey Lorick (4 IP) and Dayan Diaz (3 IP).
- [Daytona] Bijan Rademacher fell a home run short of the cycle on Saturday. His 4th double and 3rd triple joined a walk as parts of his 3 for 5 day.
- [Daytona] Zeke DeVoss had a very nice game on Sunday. He finished 2 for 3 with 2 walks and 2 steals. He has now stolen 27 bases this season.
- [Daytona] Lendy Castillo is in Daytona now. He struck out 4 in his first 2 innings of work.
- [Kane County] Gioskar Amaya put together a 2 hit day that included his 5th home run on Friday. On Sunday he topped that with a 4 hit day that featured a walk. In over 100 plate appearances after the All-Star break, Amaya has an OPS of 1.038. That’s impressive.
- [Kane County] After 2 more scoreless innings on Sunday, Michael Hamann still has an ERA of 0.00. He has now worked 14.2 innings over 11 games split between Boise and Kane County.
- [Kane County] Albert Almora had been slumping a little, by his standards anyway. Hopefully a 3 for 5 game that featured his 4th triple on Sunday will get him going.
- [Boise] Sunday’s 3 hit shutout was a combination effort by James Pugliese (5 IP, 2H, 3 K), Tyler Skulina (2 IP, 5 K (!)), and Michael Wagner (2 IP, 2 K). I think Pugliese and Skulina may not be in Boise much longer.
- [Boise] Shawon Dunston had a great weekend, finishing with 8 hits over the three days. His OPS is now over .800.
- [Boise] Friday saw another good outing from Corbin Hoffner. He allowed 4 hits in 3 scoreless innings while striking out 3.
- [Arizona] The big story for the AZL Cubs on Sunday was the professional debut of Kris Bryant. He finished 0 for 3, struck out once, and committed 3 errors. In short, he played like a guy who hasn’t been in a real game in a couple of months.
- [Arizona] Also in the lineup on Sunday was Jacob Hannemann, apparently rehabbing from the injury that affected him in Boise. Hannemann went 1 for 4 with a double. David DeJesus, also on a rehab assignment, also doubled and finish 1 for 4.
- [Arizona] Mark Malave, playing fist base in this one, led the AZL Cubs with his 3 for 5 game that included a double.
- On Saturday Kane County struck out twice and walked an impressive nine times. Those sorts of ratios will eventually lead to a lot more wins than what the Cougars have suffered through so far.
- For more on the Hawks and their recent run of success, particularly on the road, check out the latest piece by Mike Safford on his MiLB Blog.