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iowa cubs mascotLove 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

Iowa
Friday – Iowa had the hits, but not the runs. They lost 10-4.
Saturday – Saturday went similarly to Friday, right down to the outcome. Cubs lost 5-2.
Sunday – The Cubs were shutout 3-0.

Tennessee
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.

Daytona
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!

Boise
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.

Arizona
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.

Other News

  • 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.
  • MichiganGoat

    OMG Hillsboro Hops… as in the hops that gives my delicious IPA its wonderful taste? I now have a new team that I must follow, the Cubs so need to buy this team.

    • MichiganGoat

      Look at their hat! A hop that is ready to kick some ass!
      [img]http://hillsborohops.milbstore.com/store/Vendor25/300/47_home_300.jpg[/img]

      • MichiganGoat

        The Hops are in the same group as the Boise Hawks right? Short Season A? Because I want to start a petition to get the Cubs to transfer to the Hops!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          The Hops in the SS-A Northwest League with the Boise Hawks, but I don’t see the Cubs switching any time soon. The Cubs just re-upped with the Hawks, and one of the reasons they did so was rumored to be that there are direct flights from the Mesa area to Boise.

          • MichiganGoat

            DAMN IT I WANT THE HOPS ON TEAM CUBS

          • ssckelley

            I did not know that, Boise must be a popular team for anyone that has a rookie team in Arizona.

      • FFP

        He looks bitter.

    • MichiganGoat

      So the Hop’s Mascot is a Hop but they name him Barley
      [img]http://www.milb.com/milb/images/fans/mascot_mania/y2013/mascots/large/t419.jpg[/img]

      • Jp3

        Some better hops names? Maybe Tomahawk, warrior, magnum, or nugget? All these seem to be more appropriate names I’m thinking

        • MichiganGoat

          Cascade would be the best since Cascade Hops was developed in Oregon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_hop and is very common hop to use for brewing.

          • Jp3

            I thought about cascade hops but that’s not a very tough sounding type of hops, not that nugget is…

            • Jed Jam Band

              I would want Warrior for his name, but then I’m a homer for FFF.

  • Chris

    Can we trade this Kris Bryant kid, for anything? He looks like a bust! #sarcasm.

  • Jp3

    His debut def sucked and we wouldn’t want to see this for more than a month but I bet we all will get man crushes the 1st fuzzy camera recorded 450′ HRs hit hits😄

  • cubchymyst

    Reading Fightin Phils mascot Crazy Hot Dog Vendor made me laugh.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’ll be featuring Crazy Hot Dog Vendor a little later in the week. And probably some of the monkeys too.

  • abe

    Do you think Alcantra will be promoted soon?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I don’t see any reason to. I’d rather see him get in a full season with the Smokies and (hopefully) pick up some valuable playoff experience.

      • roz

        What about Almora? He still seems to be killing it at Kane County, any chance he moves up to Daytona this year?

        • MichiganGoat

          I don’t think so and I hope not. Almora is still very young and keeping him at one level for his first full year of pro-baseball is good thing. The will only move him if they think he has absolutely nothing else he can learn or he is just smashing the ball that the FO decides he needs a challenge. My guess is he starts at Daytona next year with the plan that he will be moved to AA by mid season.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Very possible. I could easily see Almora coming up to Daytona for a couple of weeks in August to be part of that playoff push.

        • ssckelley

          I have been wondering the same thing, they did move Baez up for the final month last year perhaps they will do the same thing with Almora. One minor problem is DeVoss is not ready to move up, but I cannot see that stopping Almora’s growth. It would be neat to see him challenged in a league known for pitching, plus they appear to be in the playoff picture.

          • Ballrock20

            Almora did two things yesterday that I haven’t seen too often from the MLB team. First, he successfully did a hit and run with Gioskar Amaya at first base. While the 2nd baseman went to cover the bag, he hit perfectly at the spot he left.
            However, I was a little disappointed later in the game with the score tied, runner on 3rd with two outs. He ran in to catch a shallow fly ball and basically caught it on his left side with one hand. It was a catch you would have been yelled at for in high school or even college ball.
            Overall, he had a great game but definitely shouldn’t of had a triple in the first. It was a long fly ball where the outfielders didn’t communicate and collided. His other hits were good, so I do expect him to be moved up within a few weeks. He knows that he is to good for the league. Which isn’t a bad thing.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              But professional players catch the ball that way all the time.

              • MoneyBoy

                Yes they do Doc, and it drives me crazy!!! Puig did it the other night and the runner was called safe, though the throw was other worldly. If he’d have caught it with two hands and centered it, it may have shaved fractions off …

                I hope the ‘Cubs Way’ includes little details like this!!!

            • ssckelley

              You will get things like that from a 19 year old who is only 82 games into his professional career. I do not think stuff like that will keep him from being moved up to Daytona. Kane County has next to zero shot at making the playoffs and I would think they would want to get Almora as many games as possible this year.

  • MichiganGoat

    The Bristol White Socks mascot is named… DINGBAT

    [img]http://www.milb.com/milb/images/fans/mascot_mania/y2013/mascots/t557.jpg[/img]

    Perfect!

    • Jp3

      Fitting for sure. I thought they’d just use an old bobblehead of Ozzie though. Zing!!!

    • ETS

      Glad to see ozzie guillen is still getting work.

  • cubchymyst

    [media]http://cdn.fangraphs.com/not/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Vogelbux.gif[/media]

    Not sure if this is recent but Vogelbach bat flip is epic (hopefully this works)

    • cubchymyst

      [img]http://cdn.fangraphs.com/not/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Vogelbux.gif[/img]

      • MichiganGoat

        I think the flip there was too forced… he needs some coaching and development to master the “I don’t give a F—” nature of the bat flip.

      • Tyler31

        That looks like an aluminum bat, so I would say it was him in high school

        • MichiganGoat

          good call and I hope he no longer walks like he is all that after a home run.

          • Jp3

            I agree about hope he doesn’t do that anymore BUT that’s looks pretty badass since it was probably a bomb opposite field. This would be sure to get his protection behind him to get plunked in the ear for certain so probably not a good idea going forward.

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

              There are no reports of him ever doing anything of the kind as a professional. I’d say there’s nothing to worry about.

              • Jp3

                Yeah I don’t think anyone here thinks there is anything to this since someone pointed out it was an aluminum bat and he was probably 16 or 17 years old… I think he gets a pass at that age on baseball etiquette

  • MichiganGoat

    The Northwest League has the best by far- btwn Webbly and Crater you’re bound to find the fear. But luckily you have Barley and his sweet hops to keep you calm.

  • MichiganGoat

    Its a shame that the Cubs organization doesn’t have one crazy named and crazy mascot in the organization. Everything is pretty tame compared to what is out there.

  • Justin

    To me putting Cabrera in the pen is a big head scratcher, even if it’s just for a game it’s extra weird. He’s like the only guy on that staff that has something to him more than a fill in starter. Doesn’t make any sense..

    • Josh

      He does already have quite a few innings this year at AA. Maybe they are just trying to keep is innings down. Same could be said for Pierce Johnson who hasn’t pitched in 11 days and who hasn’t thrown in 9. The organization could just be looking to control innings for a while.

  • ssckelley

    Jeez, my nightmare is coming true. Bryants first game featured 3 friggin ERRORS!!! I hope my 1 hit out of 10 at bats does not come true.

  • Cedlandrum

    I’ve enjoyed the last two drafts, but they have left R and SS with very little to follow in the lineups. Right now I look for Dunston and the pitching box to see how they are doing.

  • ISU Birds

    Whoever is in charge of all the Cardinal mascot suits has a very twisted and terrifying view on what a Cardinal looks like. I hate Fredbird with a firey passion but at least he won’t give me nightmares like what I just saw.

  • #1lahairfan

    Can anyone please tell me what happened to Marcelo Carreno? He’s been gone all season!

    At the start of the year I know he was rehabbing an injury, but there is no way rehab for a minor injury could take this long, right?

  • Mr. B. Patient

    Not to be a debbie downer, but what’s up with Pierce Johnson? Skipped a start when he went from A to A+, and now hasn’t pitched since July 11th. Innings only at 91, a typical college season, so that can’t be it.

  • MoneyBoy

    Luke … Don’t want the morning to pass without a *big* thanks for the Mike Safford piece. It’s not often fans in Chicago get that kind of insight into a team so far down the ladder.

    I don’t know if he’s the only one who does something like that, but I for one would love to know if there are other blogs!!

    Thanks so much!!

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