There was just one game in the farm system yesterday – in the entire organization, actually – but the Cubs’ affiliate won it, so it still qualifies as a good day.
In that game, Ian Happ launched his fourth homer of the season as part of yet another two hit game.
Happ has played well in his first twenty games in High A, but I’m not convinced the Cubs need to rush him up the system. For now the Cubs are committed to developing him as a second baseman, and the Double A Tennessee Smokies currently have a second baseman by the name of Chesny Young. He’s also having a pretty good year. I tend to doubt the Cubs will want to bench Young or force him into a new position to make room for Happ right now.
And Young, who probably needs more games in Double A before we can start talking about a promotion, is blocked in Iowa by Arismendy Alcantara. Alcantara was the first of the Cubs’ recent wave of prospects to hit Wrigley, and although he did not stick in the majors last season, he hasn’t played badly in Iowa to start this season. Alcantara could still be a very valuable part of Chicago’s bench, or a useful trade chip, if he can get his bat back into 2014 form. I suspect the Cubs are perfectly willing to give him a chance to do just that.
In other words, there is no hurry to promote the Cubs surging young second base prospects. It will be good to see these guys be challenged, but it isn’t a bad thing to let them sit still and continue to work where they are. That goes doubly so for Happ given he is effectively learning a new position.
However, while I think patience is in order (at least for now) for Happ, that doesn’t apply to all prospects. Bijan Rademacher can’t get to Iowa fast enough to suit me, but that’s an article for a different day.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa had the day off.
Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee had the day off.
- Zach Hedges: 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 6 K
- Daury Torrez: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Gleyber Torres: 1 for 4, 2B
- Ian Happ: 2 for 4, HR
- Jason Vosler: 1 for 2, 2 BB
- Jeffrey Baez: 0 for 4, SB. That was his 10th steal.
- Daniel Lockhart: 2 for 4, 2B
- Cael Brockmeyer: 1 for 4, HR
Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend was rained out. They will play a doubleheader today to make up the lost game.
- If you are hungry or on a diet, stop reading now.
- The annual Minor League Food Fight, the MiLB.com online voting contest to pick the best food in the minor leagues, is now underway. You can see the current leaderboard here, but I’m warning you… unless you really like pork it isn’t a pretty sight.
- Iowa’s entry in the contest is the Perfect Game Burger (if Arrieta pitches a perfecto, do you think they’ll rename it?). This is a 16 ounce burger topped with cheese, bacon, sriracha mayo, and those obligatory bits of vegetation that clutter up any good burger. Believe or not, that isn’t the largest burger on the list. And it definitely isn’t the largest meat sandwich (looking at you, New Hampshire).
- Tennessee checks in with Homer’s Grand Slam. Start with a foot long hot dog, add pulled pork (via Calhoun’s BBQ), macaroni and cheese, friend onions, and top it off with BBQ sauce (also provided by Calhoun’s). A dish like this is probably going to live or die on the quality of the pulled pork; trust me, it is good pulled pork.
- Rather than tap into their seaside heritage, Myrtle Beach enters the contest with a taste of Chicago brought to South Carolina. Take two Chicago classics, Italian beef and Italian sausage, and stuff them into the same roll with jalapeños and… carrots and celery? Do Chicagoans really put celery on a sausage? Celery? Chicago, you’ve got some explaining to do.
- South Bend, as you probably could have predicted, is represented by the Porknado. If there is a better savory way to fill a waffle cone than pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, and coleslaw, I’m not sure I know what it is.
- There are a few other culinary highlights from around the minors that shouldn’t be missed. The Akron RubberDucks have concocted something called The Squealer. Somehow they are stuffing a half a pound of hot dog with pulled pork and cheddar, then wrapping the concoction in bacon before deep frying it. I’m thinking Brett is only about a hundred miles from Akron and that a taste test of the Squealer would go nicely on Baseball is Fun. Just sayin’.
- New Hampshire also has a dish called the Squealer, and I think you’d have to be a little crazy to order it. The bread is shaped to look like a pig (seriously, go find it on the menu and take a look), and within that bread is bacon, ham, Italian sausage, pepperoni, pulled pork, and cheese. Five pork products and a cheese. Not sure I’m brave enough to order that thing.
- The most out of place item in this sea of pork, and the one that is oddly making me the hungriest, is the humblest of the lot. Kannapolis has created the Mater Sandwich – grilled bread, tomatoes, and mayonnaise. Clean, simple, and it sounds wonderful. Do you have any idea how long it has been since I last had a good tomato sandwich? A really long time, that’s how long. I wonder if any local tomatoes are in season yet …
- I’ll pull more tasty ballpark foods to discuss here in the Daily from time to time while this contest runs, but be sure to take a look over the whole menu to make sure you don’t miss a single tasty deep fried, pork filled morsel. And don’t forget to do some voting!