Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

arismendy alcantara featureStill more help is on the way. Even after promoting Kris Bryant and Addison Russell, the Cubs still have a few reinforcements getting ready in Iowa who could help out in Wrigley sooner rather than later.

Arismendy Alcantara is probably the closest to being ready for a return to Chicago (more on him in a bit), but the player who could yet prove to have the biggest impact remains Javier Baez. Baez still has some work to do first, but Sunday certainly looked like a step in the right direction. In addition to his first homer and second double of the year, he also singled and struck out just once. That strike out was just his fifth in four games since joining Iowa, and that includes the three strikeouts in his first game of the year.

Of course the sample sizes here are way too small to mean anything, and it is also true that he has yet to draw a walk, but at least in the early going the horrible strikeout tendencies that I think a lot of Cubs fans were afraid of just haven’t consistently shown up. Not yet, anyway. It is only a start, but it is at least a positive start for a very young player who could yet be a 30+ homer guy in the majors.

Scores From Friday

Iowa – Iowa committed four errors on their way to this 5-4 loss.

Tennessee – The Smokies were out hit ten to four, but they took the game into extras before losing 3-2.

Myrtle Beach – The game was shortened to seven innings by rain, but the Pelicans still found plenty of time to score. They won 7-3.

South Bend – The South Bend offense erupted again, this time for seventeen hits, in this 11-5 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] For Dallas Beeler, 70 pitches only carried him into the 4th inning. He only allowed one earned run in that span, but gave up 3 total tallies. He struck out 4 and walked 4.
  • [Iowa] The back of the bullpen pitched well in this one. Armando Rivero and James Russell both pitched a hitless inning with one strikeout each, and Brian Schlitter struck out one while allowing just one hit in his inning on the hill.

  • [Iowa] Rubi Silva had a nice day. He finished 3 for 4 with a double and a triple.
  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara had just one hit in this one; it was his second triple of the season.
  • [Tennessee] Kyle Schwarber and Elliot Soto both walked twice in this one. Neither had a hit.
  • [Tennessee] Willson Contreras had 2 hits, one of them a double.
  • [Tennessee] In this game the Smokies got another effective start from former closer Frank Batista. Over 6.2 innings (96 pitches) he allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 3.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Duane Underwood struck out 6 in his 5 innings on the mound, but he also walked 4 and allowed 3 runs, one earned, on 3 hits. Michael Heesch struck out 2 over 2 hitless innings to complete the game.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Jeimer Candelario doubled twice and finished 2 for 4. He now has 8 two-baggers this season.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Kevin Brown, Jacob Rogers, and Carlos Penalver each had 2 hits in this one.
  • [South Bend] Every player in the Cubs lineup picked up at least one hit in this game. The two extra base hits, both triples, went to Gleyber Torres (he finished 2 for 5) and Yasiel Balaguert (finished 2 for 3).

  • [South Bend] Chesny Young led the team in hits with 3.
  • [South Bend] Other 2 hit games were provided by Rashad Crawford, Cael Brockmeyer, and David Bote.

Scores From Saturday

Iowa – Iowa kept the game close most of the way, but still lost 4-1.

Tennessee – The Smokies got a Schwarber homer in the top of the tenth to win this one 6-5.

Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach led by four after the fourth inning and held on to win 5-4.

South Bend – The Cubs needed a three run rally in the eighth to secure this 5-4 win.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara and Rubi Silva each had 2 hits in this one, including a double for Silva. Alcantara also stole his first Triple A base of the season.
  • [Iowa] Tsuyoshi Wada struck out 5 and allowed just 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk over 7 innings in this start. He only threw 78 pitches.
  • [Tennessee] Dan Vogelbach had been in a bit of a slump (by his standards for this season, anyway), but he broke out of it in this game with a 3 for 4 performance that included both a double and a triple.
  • [Tennessee] In addition to the Kyle Schwarber game winning shot in the 10th, Bijan Rademacher also went long for his 2nd of the year.
  • [Tennessee] Corey Black struck out 10 over 5.2 innings while allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 2 walks.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Mark Zagunis hit his first homer of the season and finished 1 for 3 with a walk. He also stole his 3rd base of the year.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Paul Blackburn struck out 2 and walked one while allowing a run on 6 hits over 5 innings.
  • [South Bend] Chesny Young and Cael Brockmeyer each finished with 2 hits in this game.
  • [South Bend] Yasiel Balaguert had the only extra base, a double.
  • [South Bend] Gleyber Torres singled, walked, and stole his 8th base.
  • [South Bend] Trevor Clifton finished with a 5 inning performance that included 3 runs (one earned) on 3 hits and 2 walks with 3 strikeouts.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – The Cubs finally got a win over Oklahoma City in this 7-3 final.

Tennessee – Shutouts are fun when you’re winning them. The Smokies won this one 3-0.

Myrtle Beach – Offense was scarce in this one, but the Pelicans found enough for a 2-1 win.

South Bend – This game was scoreless until the seventh inning, but when it ended the Cubs had lost 6-3.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Donn Roach only needed 87 pitches to dominate 8 innings in this game. He finished with a line of 3 runs on 5 hits to go with his 2 strikeouts.
  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara finished 3 for 5 with his 3rd Triple A home run this year.
  • [Iowa] Javier Baez finished 3 for 5 with a double and his first homer of the year. And just one strikeout.
  • [Iowa] Also with 3 hits was catcher Rafael Lopez. He also doubled.
  • [Tennessee] Ivan Pineyro struck out 5 and allowed 5 hits over 7 shutout innings. C.J. Edwards struck out 2 over 2 hitless innings to end the game.
  • [Tennessee] Elliot Soto led the Smokies with 3 hits in this game. He also stole his 2nd bag of the year.
  • [Tennessee] Jacob Hannemann doubled and finished 2 for 5. Bijan Rademacher both double and tripled for his 2 hit game.
  • [Tennessee] Kyle Schwarber and Dan Vogelbach each finished with 2 hits as well. Schwarber’s came along with 2 walks.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Billy McKinney was the Pelican’s offense in this game. His 2 solo home runs were all the scoring necessary and left him with 3 homers on the season.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Tyler Skulina struck out 8 over 6 innings of one hit ball. He walked one.
  • [South Bend] Ryan Williams struck out 5 over 6 scoreless innings while allowing just 4 hits. His ERA is now 0.35 over 25.2 innings. That is not a typo.
  • [South Bend] Charcer Burks doubled and finished 3 for 5 with 2 more steals. He now has 5 this season.
  • [South Bend] Chesny Young doubled twice to finish 2 for 4. Rashad Crawford also doubled.

Other News

  • Alcantara was playing third base in Sunday’s game, a move that could indicate the Cubs are practicing his versatility a bit before bringing him back to the major leagues (or could indicate absolutely nothing). At the plate he currently has a six game hitting streak going during which he has as many extra base hits as strikeouts (five total, three homers and two triples). While the tape and the coaches will be the final factors in determining when he is ready to go back up, based on his production he could be close.

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