Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

tennessee smokies logoYesterday, this entire week actually, was a fairly busy time in the land of minor league transactions. The headliner, as you saw yesterday, was the well deserved promotion of Billy McKinney to Tennessee.

But McKinney did not move up alone. Joining him in Tennessee will be infielder Wes Darvill. Darvill, a left handed hitting utility infield prospect, appeared in thirty nine games for the Smokies a year ago and posted an OPS of .594 at the age of twenty two. Darvill was seventeen when he was drafted by the Cubs in 2009 (that’s the Brett Jackson draft) and has been bouncing around the lower levels of the system ever since.

To make room for the new Smokies, Dustin Geiger (who had not played much this year) was released and Pin-Chieh Chen was sent down to Myrtle Beach. Chen was hitting .247/.354/.392 at the time of his demotion.

Myrtle Beach, meanwhile, released pitcher Ben Wells, brought Jordan Hankins back from the disabled list, and sent Andrew Ely to South Bend while adding Chesny Young from the Low A Cubs. Ely, a second baseman, was drafted last year and had not yet made an appearance this season. Young, also drafted last year, is a utility infielder who was doing quite well in the Midwest League. He was promoted with a line of .315/.385/.380 with twelve walks against seven strikeouts and nine steals in twelve tries.

And even after all of that I don’t think the Cubs are done shuffling. They still have Tyler Ihrig in Iowa, which is curious, and quite a few pitchers who are dominating their league and could stand to be moved. And within another few weeks, we may be talking about the need to move a couple of Double A sluggers as well.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Thanks to a four run seventh, the Cubs held off the Sounds for a 6-4 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies got a big addition to the lineup and won big, 8-1.
Myrtle Beach – This was game postponed.
South Bend – Runs in the late innings made the game close, but South Bend lost this one 8-6.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Tsuyoshi Wada did pitch on Thursday, and he pitched pretty well. Over 7 innings he struck out 6 and allowed just one run on 4 hits.
  • [Iowa] Javier Baez had a 2 for 4 game that included no strikeouts.
  • [Iowa] Rubi Silva doubled and finished 2 for 3.
  • [Tennessee] Ivan Pineyro struck out 7 while allowing a run on 4 hits over 5 innings. Michael Jensen and Fernando Cruz each added 2 scoreless innings of relief.
  • [Tennessee] Billy McKinney, just arrived from Myrtle Beach, doubled twice and finished 2 for 4 in his Double A debut.
  • [Tennessee] Kyle Schwarber and Willson Contreras both finished with 3 hits, including a double from Contreras.
  • [South Bend] Cael Brockmeyer finished 3 for 5 and scored two of the Cubs runs. His season OPS now sits at .840.
  • [South Bend] Gioskar Amaya finished 2 for 4 and stole his 3rd bag of the year.
  • [South Bend] Gleyber Torres and Jason Vosler also had 2 hits each.

Other News

  • Tommy La Stella has been reassigned to Tennessee for continuing rehab, but he did not appear in yesterday’s game. He should be making his first appearance for the Smokies today or this weekend.
  • Baseball America is running a contest to declare the best logo in the minors in the form of Logomania, a bracket style tournament based on fan votes. And Cubs’ affiliates need your vote. In the current round the Myrtle Beach Pelicans are in a fowl contest against the Toledo Mud Hens, and the Tennessee Smokies are facing the newly re-branded former Cubs’ affiliate Daytona Tortugas. But don’t stop voting there. At the bottom of the ballot, new Short-Season A affiliate Eugene is facing off against Modesto. If things go poorly this round, over half of the Cubs’ organization could be swept off the ballot. That would be bad. So go vote!

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