According to Jesse Rogers, Carl Edwards is on his way to the Cubs and should join the team in Saint Louis soon. This move, when it becomes official, will come as no surprise. Edwards has been seen just about all season long as one of the more likely candidates for a September call up, and an extra arm in the Cubs’ bullpen as they head down the stretch certainly can’t hurt any.
Edwards may not be alone in making the trip, though. Eric Jokisch, Zac Rosscup, and Yoervis Medina are also on the 40-man roster. Dallas Beeler is on the disabled list, but, if healthy (he just pitched a normal outing Friday), he he could come up. The more pitching options the Cubs’ have to allow them to limit the work on their starters and rest their key relievers as they head into the playoffs, the happier I think the Cubs’ coaches will be.
Outside of the pitching staff, there are only two other players currently on the 40-man roster playing for Iowa: Arismendy Alcantara and Christian Villanueva. Villanueva has quietly had a quality year at the plate for Iowa (.256/.311/.428, 17 HR, 7.0% BB rate, 15.4% K rate), and, while the Cubs’ infield is very crowded right now, the September experience and a few pinch hit at bats certainly would not hurt him any. Alcantara, on the other hand, could offer more apparent value thanks to his greater degree of positional flexibility, greater speed, and the fact he can switch hit. Alcantara did not have as good a year at the plate in Triple A as he did in 2014, though, and it’s questionable whether there would be much playing time for him down the stretch.
To add anyone else in September the Cubs would have to remove someone currently on the 40-man roster, and that could be difficult. While the 40-man does have some players who are candidates to be removed over the winter, I don’t see too many options for in-month shuffling outside of the names already mentioned. Odds are good that the current roster plus these few remaining Iowans are what the Cubs will have to work with as they try to pass the Pirates and move the Wild Card game to Wrigley Field.
Scores From Friday
Iowa – Iowa cruised to an 8-1 win.
Tennessee – The Smokies took a lead in the eighth, but promptly gave it away. They lost 7-3.
Myrtle Beach – Great pitching carried the Pelicans to a 4-0 win.
South Bend – South Bend withstood a late rally to hold on to a 5-3 win.
Eugene – Eugene began their must-win weekend with a 2-0 loss.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Dallas Beeler gave up 7 hits and 4 walks in his 5 innings on the mound, but only one of them crossed the plate. He struck out one.
- [Iowa] Arismendy Alcantara doubled, stole his 16th base, and finished with 2 hits. Taylor Teagarden also doubled and had 2 hits.
- [Iowa] Chris Valaika hit his 7th home run.
- [Tennessee] Pierce Johnson surrendered 8 hits in his 7 innings on the hill, but only allowed one run. He also walked one and struck out 3.
- [Tennessee] Jacob Hannemann homered (his 6th) and finished 2 for 4. He also gunned down a runner at third base.
- [Myrtle Beach] Brad Markey is a name to watch in 2016. He struck out 6 over 7 scoreless innings, and allowed just 3 hits in the process. David Garner and Jasvir Rakkar completed the shutout.
- [Myrtle Beach] Ben Carhart and Jason Vosler each finished with 2 hits.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jeffrey Baez finished 1 for 4 with his first High A steal.
- [South Bend] Dillon Maples struck out 2 and allowed just one hit in his 2 innings of relief.
- [South Bend] Angelo Amendolare and Jordan Hankins both collected 2 hits in this one.
- [South Bend] Kevin Encarnacion (1 for 3) stole his 4th base. David Bote (1 for 4) swiped his 3rd.
- [Eugene] Preston Morrison struck out 3 in 3.1 innings of 1 hit relief. His ERA now sits at 0.81.
- [Eugene] Ian Rice finished with 2 of the Emeralds’ 3 hits.
Scores From Saturday
Iowa – Iowa only scored three runs on their ten hits, and they lost 4-3.
Tennessee – Tennessee surged to a large early lead and never looked back. They won 7-2.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans picked up their 80th win in this 4-2 final. They lost Game Two 6-2.
South Bend – South Bend scored twice in the first, but did little thereafter. They lost 5-2.
Eugene – Eugene lost another critical game 4-1.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Carl Edwards, Zac Rosscup, and Armando Rivero each pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the Cubs.
- [Iowa] Emilio Bonifacio and Chris Valaika both finished 3 for 4. Bonifacio also walked and stole his 6th base as a Cub.
- [Iowa] John Andreoli singled, walked, and picked up his 32nd steal.
- [Tennessee] Jacob Hannemann doubled and tripled (his 9th) on his way to a 2 for 5 game.
- [Tennessee] Willson Contreras walked and doubled.
- [Tennessee] Jeimer Candelario hit his 5th home run for the Smokies.
- [[Myrtle Beach] Jason Vosler, Gleyber Torres, and Daniel Lockhart all finished with 2 hits in Game One. Lockhart doubled for one of his.
- [Myrtle Beach] Jen-Ho Tseng struck out 6 and allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk over 5 innings in the first game. Josh Conway struck out 3 and allowed one hit over the final 2 innings
- [Myrtle Beach] Ben Carhart hit his 7th homer of the season in the second contest.
- [South Bend] Erick Leal struck out 8 in his 6 innings on the mound. He allowed just one run on 6 hits and no walks.
- [South Bend] Jordan Hankins finished 2 for 4 and drove in both the Cubs’ tallies.
- [South Bend] Charcer Burks walked and stole his 9th base.
- [Eugene] Eloy Jimenez collected 2 of the Emeralds’ 3 hits.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – Iowa picked up their 80th win in this 8-5 final.
Tennessee – The Smokies were rained out.
Myrtle Beach – The Pelicans scored three times in the first as they won 4-1.
South Bend – The Cubs were shut out for a 3-0 loss.
Eugene – In a game they had to win, Eugene never led. They lost it 3-2.
Performances of Note
- [Iowa] Emilio Bonifacio and Christian Villanueva each finished with 3 hits, including a double for Villanueva.
- [Iowa] Taylor Teagarden and Adron Chambers also doubled for the I-Cubs.
- [Myrtle Beach] Michael Heesch, David Berg, and Jasvir Rakkar each pitched an inning of scoreless relief. All three allowed one hit apiece.
- [Myrtle Beach] Victor Caratini doubled twice and finished with 3 hits. Ben Carhart doubled and added 2 hits.
- [Myrtle Beach] Mark Zagunis stole his 12th base of the season. Jeffrey Baez swiped his second in High A.
- [South Bend] Ryan McNeil struck out 3 over 2 innings of relief and allowed a run on 4 hits. Corbin Hoffner stuck out one in a hitless frame.
- [South Bend] At 1 for 3 with no strikeouts, Jordan Hankins had the best day of any of the Cubs’ hitters.
- [Eugene] Pedro Araujo struck out 4 over 4 innings of relief and allowed a run on 2 hits. Carson Sands struck out 2 over 3 innings to start the game, allowing 2 runs (one earned) on 3 walks and 2 hits.
- [Eugene] Donnie Dewees walked and finished 2 for 4 with a pair of steals. He finished his season with 19 stolen bases for Eugene.
- There were a lot of good stories in the farm system this year, but the return of Kevin Encarnacion after spending a year recovering from a terrible car accident might be my favorite. Making the story even better is that he played pretty well in South Bend, including respectable numbers in the walk rate (7.5%) and strikeout rate (18.1%) categories. He is now well behind the age curve, but it is still a good story.
- As it turned out, Eugene really did need just one win over the weekend. Boise came through a win over Salem-Keizer on Sunday, and, had the Emeralds pulled out a win against Hillsboro in any of those three games, that S-K loss would have sent the Emeralds into the playoffs. Instead, the Emeralds head home and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans will be the only Cubs’ affiliate playing postseason ball in the minors (Arizona qualified, but their season already ended).
- Eugene’s season is now over. The final regular season game for the rest of the organization is today. The Pelicans then start their playoff games on Wednesday.