It seemed to me that more major league talent was dealt for major league talent at the trade deadline this year than in recent years. I also recall that we have heard several times recently that teams are valuing their prospects more strongly than in the past. I suspect both of these factors stem from the restrictions on talent acquisition imposed in the last Collective Bargaining Agreement, and both may well be positive long term trends for the sport.
But I’m not sure of that. This will probably be something to revisit over the winter, certainly after the Winter Meetings trade-fest if not before. This winter now looks harder to project, that’s for sure. Fortunately the Cubs are largely stacked with position prospects at the top of the farm system, so even if prospect acquisition has become more difficult, the Cubs are still in good shape.
Scores From The Weekend
Friday – The Smokies won a ten inning thriller on Friday by a final of 2-1.
Saturday – Another pitching duel, but this time the Smokies lost 2-1.
Sunday – Another day of great pitching led to this 4-1 win.
Kane County –
Friday – The Cougars broke their losing streak with this 6-2 win.
Saturday – Kane County never trailed in this 8-2 win.
Sunday – The Low A Cubs affiliate poured on seventeen hits on route to this 9-5 win.
Boise Hawks –
Friday – The Hawks rallied in the ninth to tie it, then scored in the eleventh for the 11-10 win.
Saturday – Another ten inning game, but this time the Hawks lost 5-4.
Sunday – Boise never trailed in this 3-2 win.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] This weekend included home runs from Josh Vitters (10 and 11), Jorge Soler (3), Eli Whiteside (5), Kris Bryant (14), and Javier Baez (22 and 23).
- [Iowa] Vitters not only homered in back to back games, he also doubled as part of a 3 hit Sunday. Over his last ten Vitters is hitting .308/.357/.692.
- [Iowa] Matt Szczur is also playing well right now. He had 6 hits this weekend and is coming off a July in which he stole 10 bases. There is effectively no power in his bat, but lately he’s been getting on base at a decent clip and letting his speed play.
- [Iowa] Mike Olt is sitting on an 8 game hitting streak that includes 4 doubles and a homer and has his Iowa OPS at an even .850. His strikeout rate, however, remains right around the 30% mark.
- [Iowa] On the mound, the relievers were the story with Kyuji Fujikawa, Arodys Vizcaino, and Armando Rivero all having good outings.
- [Tennessee] The only Smokie to homer this weekend was Addison Russell. He hit long balls number 7 and 8.
- [Tennessee] Albert Almora doubled and collected 3 hits for the weekend, but he also reached and scored twice in a hitless Sunday.
- [Tennessee] The big story out of Tennessee this weekend was the pitching, and the starting pitching particular. Corey Black led things off with 7 strikeouts over 6 innings on Friday. He allowed just one run on 5 hits and a pair of walks.
- [Tennessee] C.J. Edwards made his return to Double A on Saturday, and over 3.1 innings (61 pitches) he struck out 5 and allowed a run on 2 hits and 2 walks.
- [Tennessee] The weekend concluded with Pierce Johnson striking out 6 over 6 scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits and a walk.
- [Daytona] Chadd Krist doubled twice on Friday, and Gioskar Amaya walked twice on Saturday. Those are your offensive highlights for this weekend.
- [Kane County] Cael Brockmeyer had the only weekend home run for Kane County, his 5th.
- [Kane County] Daniel Lockhart returned to the Cougars lineup for the first time since mid-June. In two games this weekend he doubled and finished with 4 hits and a walk.
- [Kane County] Jeimer Candelario doubled, tripled, and finished the weekend with 4 hits.
- [Kane County] New Cubs farm hand Victor Caratini played two games this weekend, and already has 4 hits for Kane County.
- [Kane County] Jeffrey Baez continued his recent streak of red hot hitting with a double, a triple, and a 4 hits in the two games he played this weekend.
- [Kane County] Chesney Young also played in two games this weekend, and he finished with 5 hits.
- [Kane County] The Cougars also got some solid starting pitching performances over the last three days. Tyler Ihrig struck out 6 over 5.1 innings on Friday. He allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks.
- [Kane County] Saturday’s starter was recently acquired Jonathan Martinez. Over 5 innings he allowed a run on 3 hits while striking out a pair.
- [Kane County] Daury Torrez concluded the weekend with 6 strikeouts over 6 innings in which he allowed 3 runs on 5 hits and a walk.
- [Boise] Hawks homers came from Justin Marra (7) and David Bote (2).
- [Boise] Trevor Clifton was very good on Sunday. He allowed just one hit and a pair of walks while striking out 6 over 5 shutout innings.
- [Boise] Mark Zagunis doubled and finished the weekend with two hits. More notable is that his season walk total (27) exceeds his season strikeout total (25)
- [Arizona] Roney Alcala hit the only homer for the AZL Cubs this weekend. It was his first.
- [Arizona] Justin Steele (3 IP, 3 K) and Carson Sands (2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) combined for the rain shortened shutout. Both of their ERAs are now at or near 1.00.
- [Arizona] Gleyber Torres doubled and finished the weekend with 3 hits to raise his season OPS to .790.
- [Arizona] Kevonte Mitchell stole two more bases on Saturday. He is up to 9 now, and has yet to be caught.
- Minor league playoffs matter. There is no substitute for playoff experience, for the pressure to perform in must win situations, and for the intensity of ten thousand plus excited fans overreacting to every play. Despite how well he has been playing lately, I strongly believe the Cubs are better off leaving Baez in Iowa until Iowa is eliminated from playoff contention, or their postseason run is over. That sort of experience, small though it may be compared the major league version, cannot be recreated by playing out the string of August and September games for a bad big league team. The same thing goes for Soler. And Bryant. [Brett: I’m glad you say this Luke, because, at least with respect to Baez, I disagree, and it’s fun to disagree politely. More on that later, you poophead.]
- Lars Anderson looked decent enough in left field that I would be open to seeing if he could take a fourth/fifth outfielder job for the Cubs out of spring training next year. His left handed power would be a nice addition to the twenty five man roster, and I think he could hit enough to have value in a select part-time arrangement. Hopefully he can get some more outfield work in during the winter leagues somewhere. There was a time not so long ago that Anderson was consider an elite prospect.
- The pink camo breast cancer awareness jerseys worn by the Daytona Cubs earlier this year remain up for auction for a few more weeks. Almora’s jersey is getting pricey, but the uniform of plenty of other Cubs can be scored for under a hundred.