Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

kyle schwarber smokiesKyle Schwarber is coming! Kyle Schwarber is coming! Kyle Schwarber is coming! Kyle Schwarber is coming!

When the Cubs sweep through some AL parks starting on June 17, Schwarber will available to play DH, pinch hit, put on a base-stealing clinic, and hopefully do a little catching. Somewhere in there he’s a good bet to work some deep counts, draw a few walks, and give a permanent deformation to a few baseballs. He’ll probably look foolish on a few swings, but he may also deposit a few souvenirs into some outfield bleachers.

What I am really hoping for, though, is a few innings behind the plate. It is very hard to determine how he measures up in the pitch framing department from minor league data. For that we really need the advanced pitch tracking tools that only exist at the major league levels, and I really hope that we get even just a bit of that data during this short major league showcase.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa had no problem scoring runs in this 6-3 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies scored first, last, and often in between. They won 5-1.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans tried to rally late, but it came up short. They lost 7-4.
South Bend – The Cubs were rained out.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara struck out 3 times, but he also hit 2 home runs as part of his 2 for 5 game. He now has 10 homers for Iowa.
  • [Iowa] Rafael Lopez doubled and finished 2 for 4. Jonathan Mota also had a double.
  • [Iowa] Carl Edwards Jr. allowed a run on 2 hits and a walk in his 2 innings of work. He struck out 2.
  • [Iowa] Drake Britton has generally been a reliever with the Iowa Cubs, but he started this one. Over 5 innings and 74 pitches he allowed just 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk while striking out 5.

  • [Tennessee] Ryan Williams struck out 7 over 6 innings. He scattered 3 hits and walked 2.
  • [Tennessee] Schwarber was behind the plate for this game, and he finished 2 for 5 with a double. No steals, though.
  • [Tennessee] Dan Vogelbach attempted a steal (and did not get it), walked, and finished 1 for 4.
  • [Tennessee] Other two hit days went to Albert Almora (who tripled) and Jacob Hannemann.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Chesny Young had the only multi-hit day for the Pelicans, finishing 2 for 4.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Jeimer Candelario, fresh off the disabled list, walked twice and finished 1 for 2.

Other News

  • After his brief sojourn with the big league team, Schwarber will head to AAA Iowa, in an effective promotion. In Rafael Lopez, Taylor Teagarden, and Taylor Davis, the Iowa Cubs already have a roster full of catchers. In about a week they are scheduled to add Kyle Schwarber. Davis is versatile enough of a player to pick up some games on the infield corners, and he’s already played once in the outfield, so I suspect he’ll stick around. Lopez and Teagarden are both catchers who are more likely to contribute in the majors with their glove than their bat, and either of them could continue to get in their glove work as part of the Smokies. I suspect Lopez will be sent down to replace Schwarber, but it could be either. A third option would be to release Teagarden. Now that Schwarber will be the Cubs’ fourth catcher (behind Lopez, in that scenario) they would have the luxury to do so without significantly impacting their depth behind the plate. Then again, with two post-30 catchers at the big league level, the Cubs may want to make sure they have a veteran glove-man available in case of injury.

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