Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

albert almora cubsWhile the major league (and Triple A) players are celebrating their All-Star break, there are a few Cubs’ prospects in Canada participating in the Pan Am Games.

On Saturday Canada beat Columbia 10-3, and the final pitcher for Canada in that game was Myrtle Beach closer Jasvir Rakkar. Rakkar allowed a hit and struck out one in a scoreless inning of work.

Meanwhile, Albert Almora has emerged as the regular left fielder for the US team. He went hitless in a pinch hit appearance in the American’s first game, but in both their other contests he has been the starter and sole left fielder. Against Cuba on July 12, a game the US won 5-2, Almora finished 1 for 2 with a walk. On the 13th, in a 5-3 win against Columbia, he finished 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout. That means, through three games, Almora is tied for the team lead in walks.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – All-Star break.
Tennessee – Tennessee fell into an early hole and lost this one 9-2.
Myrtle Beach – Myrtle Beach scored twice in the first and tacked on an additional run three times on their way to this 5-0 win.
South Bend – The Cubs found plenty of offense in this 8-1 home win.
Eugene – Eugene tied it up late, but could not quite take the lead. They lost 5-4.
Arizona – Arizona scored in the first, but not thereafter. The Cubs lost 6-1.

Performances of Note

  • [Tennessee] Credit Rafael Soriano with another hitless appearance out of the Smokies’ bullpen. He went one inning, walked 2, and struck out one.
  • [Tennessee] Elliot Soto and Wes Darvill both doubled.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Paul Blackburn, back from the DL, allowed 2 hits over 3 innings and struck out 2 on 33 pitches. He was followed by Brad Markey (4.2 IP, 2 H, 4 K).

  • [Myrtle Beach] Jacob Rogers doubled and drove in 3 runs as part of his 3 for 4 game. Jeimer Candelario and Pin-Chieh Chen also doubled.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Chesny Young raised his High A average to .330 with his 2 for 4 game.
  • [Myrtle Beach] Stolen bases in this game came from Daniel Lockhart (his 5th) and Mark Zagunis (his 10th).
  • [South Bend] Zach Hedges struck out 7 in his 7 innings on the mound. He walked 3 and allowed a run on 4 hits.
  • [South Bend] Ryan McNeil pitched 2 scoreless innings of relief, walking one and allowing one hit.
  • [South Bend] Every hitter in the Cubs lineup (using the DH this game) had at least one hit, except for Jason Vosler. The biggest hit was the 3rd homer of the season for Jeffrey Baez. Baez also doubled, stole his 14th base, and finished 3 for 4.
  • [South Bend] Charcer Burks tripled as part of a 2 for 5 game. Gioskar Amaya also had 2 hits, as did David Bote.
  • [Eugene] Justin Steele did not give up an earned run, but he did allow 3 runs on 4 hits and 3 walks over 3 innings. He struck out 2.

  • [Eugene] Jae-Hoon Ha struck out 3 in 2.2 innings of relief. He gave up one hit and one unearned run.
  • [Eugene] Frandy Delarosa and Eloy Jimenez both finished with 2 hits in this one. Jimenez had been out about ten games with what I believe was a hamstring issue.
  • [Arizona] Trey McNutt pitched a flawless inning of relief.
  • [Arizona] Robert Garcia finished 2 for 4 and was the only Cub with a multi-hit game.

Other News

  • The mid-season Top 10 for the Cubs, per Baseball America, is a fairly significant reshuffling. Part of that is due to the number of promotions the Cubs have enjoyed this year, and part of that is due to the number of breakout performances (Willson Contreras probably being the most notable).
  • Don’t forget, though, that the Cubs’ list of breakout prospects doesn’t stop with those on BA’s top ten list. Ryan Williams has had a huge year so far, and nearly every day it seems like Wladimir Galindo has come up with a hit or two. Chesny Young keeps getting on base, and all over the minors we are seeing pitchers put up high quality multi-inning relief appearances (not to mention the development made by the starters, particularly in Myrtle Beach and lower). From a developmental standpoint, this has been a really good year for the Cubs. And we’re only halfway through July.
  • And that, in turn, means the mid-season re-ranking of the Bleacher Nation Top 40 Prospects List will probably be as challenging as it has ever been. Because the Cubs are expected to be buyers and some of these prospects may exit the system soon, I’ll hold the re-ranking until shortly after the July 31 trade deadline. It is coming, though, and fairly soon.

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