Today is good a day for Cubs fans.
First of all, it is Willson Contreras Day! Although he will likely be on the bench for the Cubs today, I strongly suspect he’ll get a late inning pinch hit appearance. We probably won’t see him catch today, but today should be pretty great even without that highlight.
Second, today is the season opener for the Eugene Emeralds. Now that Eugene is hooked into Milb.tv, we should be able to get our first actual look at very hard-throwing right hander Dylan Cease. Cease is one of the best pitching prospects in the organization, and he is the scheduled starter tonight at 10:05 PM ET.
And finally, we should get plenty of good baseball from the rest of the minors as well. Myrtle Beach, for example, will be playing a double header in Potomac (weather permitting), while in South Bend the Cubs try to extend their first place lead as they send a pretty good pitcher in Casey Bloomquist to the mound against third place Lake County. Iowa will head east for a series in Memphis, and their starting pitcher will be Aaron Brooks. This will be just our second look at the guy the Cubs received from Oakland in the first Coghlan trade.
That’s a lot of good baseball things to look forward to. Hopefully you have enough screens to accommodate it all.
- Gerardo Concepcion: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 K
- John Andreoli: 2 for 6, 3B, HR. That’s Andreoli’s tenth homer.
- Mark Zagunis: 2 for 4, 2B, BB. Six straight multi-hit games.
- Dan Vogelbach: 1 for 4, HR, BB. Vogelbach is just two ahead of Andreoli with twelve homers.
- Matt Murton: 3 for 5
- Jeimer Candelario: 1 for 4, 3B, BB
- Brad Markey: 5.1 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 8 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- David Berg: 2.2 IP, 1 K. Eight up, eight down is a great day for a reliever.
- Chesny Young: 1 for 4, 3B
- Ben Carhart: 1 for 4, 2B
- Kelly Dugan: 1 for 3, 2B
High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Pelicans were rained out.
- Preston Morrison: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K. Nine strikeouts are a career high.
- Pedro Araujo: 2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 3 K
- P.J. Higgins: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
- Eloy Jimenez: 2 for 4, 2B
- Donnie Dewees: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Tyler Alamo: 2 for 3, BB
- The Iowa Cubs still lead the Pacific Coast League with four* players ticketed for the Triple A All Star Game. Dan Vogelbach, Willson Contreras, Albert Almora, and Spencer Patton are all in line to finish high enough in the voting to earn a slot. Munenori Kawasaki is sitting in second place at shortstop, and former Iowa Cubs Arismendy Alcantara is in fifth at second base.
- *Ok, so that ‘four’ is misleading. Almora and Contreras are both in the major leagues right now, and if they are both still in the majors when the All-Star weekend roles around, they will not (I believe) be playing in the Triple A All Star game. That means Iowa might have four players voted in, but only actually send two for the best of all possible reasons.
- Replacing Contreras on Iowa’s roster is the minor league journeyman catcher who is also a prospect, Cael Brockmeyer. After playing at all four full season levels as well as in the Arizona Fall League last year, Brockmeyer this season has already had stops in High A and Double A. Now the 24-year-old catcher gets to add his third level of the season, and we’re not even halfway through the year. Brockmeyer wins praise primarily for his receiving skills, but he’s shown flashes with the bat from time to time.
- Ian Happ was added to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans’ crew of All-Stars, together with pitchers Jake Stinnett, Zach Hedges, and Trevor Clifton.
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