Major League Baseball returns tomorrow. We only have on more day of the mid-summer drought, and fortunately there are a couple of minor league games with streaming video to tide us over.
Iowa returns to action tonight, opening a home stand against Las Vegas. The Cubs pitcher has not been announced yet, but the I-Cubs do have a ton of promotions running this weekend. Tonight, for example, is Iowa’s Social Media night. If you are in the Iowa area, this might be a good excuse to catch a game in person.
Tennessee hits the road for Montgomery, and fortunately for us Montgomery is wired for video. That means we can get a look at Brad Markey and his surprisingly successful season. Markey’s K/9 (4.03), BB/9 (3.21), HR/9 (1.14), GO/AO (0.93), and allowed BABIP (.255) are all nothing special, but somehow he has compiled an ERA of just 2.59. The peripheral numbers say he is a massive regression case waiting to implode, but his per month ERA fell through each of the first three months of the year. The Curious Case of Brad Markey will be on display on MiLB.tv tonight at 8:05 PM ET.
Myrtle Beach is the third Cubs affiliate to be streamed. They are at home and are starting an hour earlier than Tennessee, and they are sending to Trevor Clifton to the mound. Clifton has been one of the better power arms in the organization for some time, and this year he’s translating that potential into performance. Through 15 starts he has an ERA of 3.12 and a K/9 of 10.0. When he is at his best, he can be nearly impossible to hit off of. When he’s not at his best, the walks can pile up in a hurry.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa is enjoying their All Star break, but the Triple A All Star Game was yesterday. This seems like a good spot for that box score.
International League 4, Pacific Coast League 2
You were rooting for the Pacific Coast League. Sorry.
- Paul Blackburn: 4 IP, 8 R (7 ER), 9 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Starlin Peralta: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 4 K
- Ian Happ: 2 for 4
- Carlos Penalver: 2 for 3
- James Pugliese: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Ryan McNeil: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K
- Charcer Burks: 2 for 4, HR, SB
- Yasiel Balaguert: 3 for 4, HR
Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend was rained out.
- Bryan Hudson: 4.2 IP, 3 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K
- M.T. Minacci: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Chad Hockins: 1 IP, 2 K
- Robert Garcia: 1 for 4, 2B
- Yeiler Peguero: 2 for 4
- Oscar De La Cruz: 3 IP, 3 R (2 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K.
- Andin Diaz: 2 IP, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K
- Yapson Gomez: 3 IP, 1 H, 5 K
- Luis Ayala: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Isaac Paredes: 2 for 4, 2B
- Yohan Matos: 1 for 2, BB, SB
- Oscar De La Cruz is one of the more heralded pitchers in the Cubs organization right now, and was expected to be in either the Eugene or South Bend rotation when the season opened. An unspecified arm injury slowed him, though, and he is just now making his season debut. The fastball is the big story with De La Cruz; it is reported to sit in the mid-90s and he is able to control it fairly well. Once he gets into A ball we should start to get a better idea how his secondary pitches will compete. The Cubs will probably bring him along slow and steady this year, and the results will be far less important than the overall development.
- The key to the Pelicans’ very efficient scoring yesterday was a couple of home runs, including a pretty impressive shot by Balaguert. That homer is featured in the highlight reel: