iowa field of dreamsIowans, mark your calendars. On June 20 and June 21 Bleacher Nation will be visiting your fair state in person. Well, part of Bleacher Nation anyway. I will be in the stands when the Cubs take on El Paso that Friday night and Albuquerque on Saturday.

Additional details will follow in the weeks ahead. If there is enough interest we can look to set up some sort of a meet up at a nearby establishment around one or both of the game times. This will be my first trip to Des Moines in a decade or so, and my first ever into Principal Park, so I will have to defer to you for recommendations.

I have no idea who will be on the mound for the Cubs in those games – counting out rotations this far in advance doesn’t really tell you much – but I suspect that Kris Bryant will have joined Javier Baez, Christian Villanueva, Matt Szczur, and Arismendy Alcantara in the Iowa line up by then. I am hoping that John Andreoli will have made it to Triple A as well, and perhaps Rafael Lopez and Arodys Vizcaino, too.

Regardless, it should be a great weekend, and one I have been looking forward to for a long time now. I know Bleacher Nation has a sizable following in the Iowa area, and I hope to meet a small army of you at the ballpark the weekend of June 20.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa had the day off.
Tennessee – The Smokies game was rained out.
Daytona – Daytona scored four in the eighth for the 6-2 win.
Kane County – A run in the first was all Kane County scored. They lost 2-1.

Performances of Note

  • [Daytona] Albert Almora launched his 2nd home run of the season and finished 2 for 4. Tim Saunders also finished 2 for 4 with this 2nd homer of the year.
  • [Daytona] Dan Vogelbach finished 2 for 3 with a walk.
  • [Daytona] Yao-Lin Wang struck out 4 and allowed 2 runs (one earned) on 3 hits and 3 walks in his 4.2 innings of work.
  • [Daytona] Zack Godley allowed a hit and struck out a pair in his 2 innings of relief. Starling Peralta pitched 2.1 innings of relief and allowed a hit and a walk while striking out 3.
  • [Kane County] Ben Carhart, at third base in this game, drove in Carlos Penalver for the Cougars’ only run.
  • [Kane County] Cael Brockmeyer singled twice for Kane County’s only multi-hit game.
  • [Kane County] Juan Paniagua walked 4 and struck out 3 in his 3.2 innings on the mound. He allowed both runs to score on 4 hits.
  • [Kane County] Justin Amlung had a very nice apperance. Over 3.1 innings he allowed no walks, no hits, and struck out 3. Tyler Bremer put up a row of zeroes in his one inning of work.

Other News

  • One factor to keep an eye on as pitching prospects start to surface in Cubs trade speculation and rumors is ground ball rates. As we saw in This Week In The Minors on Sunday, ground balls are generally a win for the pitcher. A pitcher who produces a lot of grounders is probably going to give up fewer extra base hits and home runs than a pitcher who produces more line drives and fly balls. In checking the fly ball rates that have been floated in speculation lately, we have Colorado’s Eddie Butler with a GO/AO of 1.29, Toronto’s Marcus Stroman with a minor league GO/AO of 2.23, and Miami’s Andrew Heaney with a GO/AO of 1.45. There are more stats to consider than just GO/AO, but that number is one of the reasons why I would be very happy to welcome Stroman to the Cubs system in a trade.
  • Myles P


  • ssckelley

    Damn, I will be in Lansing that weekend otherwise I would have made the trip.

    • miggy80

      Damn, I’ll be in Venice that weekend for my honeymoon.

  • Chad

    I will be in Des Moines the two weekends before that but not that weekend unfortunately. If you are a barbecue guy I like Jethro’s (several locations) or Smokey D’s. Both very good.

    • Cheese Chad

      I would totally recommend Battles Barbeque if people were willing to take a trip to Ames (no bias I promise). El Bait Shop or High Life Lounge are fantastic places to get an adult beverage before or after the game as well. Look forward to hopefully meeting some of you fine people.

      • Chad

        Battles is good, better than Hickory Park for sure, but not better than Jethros or Smokey D’s even without the drive. Just not as many options/sides etc.

        • Cheese Chad

          I can accept the “not as many options/sides” rebuttal. I hear great things about Jethros too and shame on me for not trying it. This might have to be the trip to make it happen.

  • Darth Ivy

    Is it plausible for John Andreoli to become the Cubs (big league Cubs) lead off guy?

    I like his OBP, better than Alcantara’s or Almora’s.

    • Luke

      Possible, but I’m not sure how likely. I’m very interested to see how he’ll do in Triple A, though.

  • ssckelley

    If Godley keeps pitching like that he will not stay in Daytona very long. Unless the plan is to stretch him out and make him a starter again.

  • gratefulled

    Cool, look forward to meeting you. We will certainly be spending some time at El Bait Shop.

  • cubbiehawkeye

    High Life Lounge is a great place to go before Iowa Games. It’s right up the road from Sec Taylor. Then again the whole Court Avenue district is a short walk so you have a ton of good options. Mullets across the river is also a great place. Keep the Des Moines folks updated.

  • 5412


    I hope Vizcaino is in the major leagues by then.


  • http://BN Sacko

    My hopes are that Bryant, even if Jed says there is no promotion soon, will indeed put some pressure on at least the players that were signed to ML contracts and taking up playing time and are making very little impact.
    My opinion which may be irrelevant to most, but I think RR is trying a lot of combinations position wise and BP wise that will be solidified soon. In addition it really is allowing those players with little MLB experience to develop. Im hoping that will lead to a lot more W’s as we have been in it most games. I don’t want to see a big sell off. I want players like Bryant moving players like Coghlan.

  • Javier Bryant

    Unfortunately I’ll be in Minnesota the same weekend taking in a game at Target Field. I’ve been to Principal Park once before, but not for a game. Just got a small tour, it’s a pretty nice stadium

  • jp3

    Bryant needs to get a promotion ASAP and Bryant needs to get hot. I live in Durham, NC and the AAA all star game is here this year, no offense to Wada but I’d like to see more Cubs prospects than just him while I’ve got the chance. It’d be really nice to see the home run derby with Bryant and Baez

  • Diego Javier

    Next Saturday, (May 24) is Javier Baez jersey night. First 1000 fans get Javy jerseys. Hell yes.

    How does a 20 something guy get a jersey signed by a 21 year old kid, and not look creepy? Send the wife.

    • Jed Jam Band

      Not sure why that would be creepy. My first thought was age gap, but then I re-read and saw you said you are 20-something (welcome to the club). I think, at this point, Javy is probably used to it given his status among Cubs fans. Also, I don’t think he minds at all. He has that real superstar attitude where he really seems to like the attention and soaks all of that up. Which, it should go without saying, will aid him greatly in the Chicago media.