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iowa cubs logoBaseball will welcome its next commissioner early next year in the person of Rob Manfred. The new man in charge will likely have a crowded plate of issues to deal with when he takes office, and even though he appears to be cut from the same cloth as Bud Selig it is probably reasonable to assume there will be some changes.

Hopefully he finds some time to take a look at the issue of minor league player salaries. Actually, he will have to take some time to consider this issue because he’s going to be dealing with a lawsuit on that very topic.

Minor league players are not well paid. Some of them did receive large signing bonuses when they were drafted, but they tend to be the exceptions. The rest of them, the lawsuit alleges, make less than minimum wage. They do receive benefits other than their salary that should be part of the discussion (training resources, for example), but even when those are priced into the compensation it is hard to escape the sense that minor league players should probably be better paid. They don’t all need to be millionaires, but a salary that starts at $1,100 a month for half the year seems low.

It would be nice to see the new commissioner take the lead on this issue and work with the MLBPA and representatives of both the minor league players and the minor league team owners to find a resolution that works for everyone and ensures that minor league players are not left behind to this degree. Since being a professional athlete requires a year round training and conditioning commitment, one good place to start might simply be continuing to pay minor leaguers all year and not just during the season.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa - Storybook players give you storybook endings. Iowa won 6-5 in twelve innings and in epic fashion.
Tennessee - Tennessee also won in walk off fashion by a final of 1-0.
Daytona - The Cubs split a doubleheader, winning the first one 6-2 while dropped the second 2-1.
Kane County - Kane County again saved all their runs for the end, and again they won. The final was 4-1.
Boise Hawks – Boise posted five on the board early in this 7-2 win.
Arizona – Arizona fell behind early and never recovered in this 6-2 loss.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Kris Bryant hit his 18th home run for Iowa and 40th of the year. Even better, he hit it with Iowa trailing by a run in the bottom of the twelve and a man on base for the game winner. If you haven’t watched it yet, you should go watch it.
  • [Iowa] Mike Olt hit his 7th home run. He also doubled and finished 2 for 5.
  • [Iowa] The bullpen pitched very well in this one. Armando Rivero, Zac Rosscup, Blake Parker, and Marcos Mateo combined to strike out 11 over 6 innings.
  • [Tennessee] Dustin Geiger drove in the game winner with his second hit of the night. Albert Almora and Taylor Davis also had two hits.
  • [Tennessee] C.J. Edwards allowed 4 hits over 6 innings and 71 pitches. He gave up just one walk while striking out one.
  • [Tennessee] Hunter Cervenka and Frank Batista allowed no hits in relief to complete the shutout.
  • [Daytona] Jacob Hannemann doubled in both ends of the doubleheader, raising his Daytona OPS to .710.
  • [Daytona] Ben Carhart finished 2 for 3 with a double in the first game of the double header. Billy McKinney also doubled in that contest.
  • [Daytona] With two more walks in the first game, Rock Shoulders has extended his walking streaking to 7 games. He has earned 13 free passes in that span.
  • [Kane County] Duane Underwood allowed just 3 hits over 5 scoreless innings while striking out 4. He also walked 4.
  • [Kane County] Shawon Dunston tripled (his 7th) and walked.
  • [Kane County] Chesny Young doubled and finished 2 for 3.
  • [Boise] Jeremy Null struck out 2 and allowed a run on 3 hits over 3 innings for the Hawks. Trey Lang tacked on 4 innings of one run ball, and Daniel Lewis finished things off.
  • [Boise] Third baseman Jesse Hodges finished 4 for 4 with a run scored.
  • [Boise] Rashad Crawford walked twice and hit his first Boise homer of the season.
  • [Arizona] Catcher Tyler Pearson hit his first homer of the season.
  • [Arizona] Yasiel Balaguert tripled for the Cubs. Calvin Graves doubled for the only other extra base hit.

Other News

  • Brett Jackson has been traded to Arizona for right handed reliever Blake Cooper. Jackson has been a bit of a punchline among many Cubs’ fans ever since he struggled in his first taste of the majors, but I think in a bench role for the right team he still offers some value. He does pretty much everything well except make contact, but that is a big enough of an exception to effectively eliminate him from the Cubs plans. He can be a fun player to watch, though, and I hope he does well for the Diamondbacks and carves out a niche for himself on their bench one day.
  • Blake Cooper is an interesting pitcher. He has pitched purely as a reliever at Double A and Triple A this year, and between those two stops he has posted the gaudy GO/AO of 2.28 (2.62 in Triple A). That is the mark a guy who is really, really good at getting grounders. That is where the good news ends, though. His strikeout rate is ok (7.50 K/9 for Triple A) but not great. His walk rate was good in Double A (2.65 BB/9), but ballooned in Triple A (6.38 BB/9). I have not been able to watch too much video of his stuff in action yet, but for now I would not consider him a candidate for the Top 40 prospects list. I would, however, consider him a fringe candidate for a major league middle relief job if he can bring that walk rate back down to his Double A levels.
  • You can read some nice things about Billy McKinney here.

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