eugene emeralds logoAfter rampaging through the league to the tune of a .697 winning percentage, the Eugene Emeralds clinched the first half title in the Northwest League South Division with their win last night. Based on the first half results, the Emeralds have to be the prohibitive favorites when those playoffs arrive in September. The next best record in the league is .500.

Clinching the playoffs means celebration, and celebration in Eugene means a ton of coverage via social media. Looking at the coverage, I get the impression that the Emeralds are pretty happy about heading to the playoffs.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Salt Lake 5, Iowa 0
Iowa 6, Salt Lake 3
Despite trade distractions, the Cubs split the doubleheader.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Mississippi 8, Tennessee 2
The Smokies were behind by four before they ever came to the plate.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Pelicans had the day off.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Burlington 7, South Bend 5
The Cubs allowed three runs in the ninth as this one slipped away.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 4, Hillsboro 0
Holding your opponent to just two hits is a convincing way to clinch a first half title.

Rookie: Arizona Cubs
Cubs 7, Angels 6
The Cubs are now back in first by half a game.

Other Notes

  • Dexter Fowler and Jorge Soler went a combined 0 for 6 with 5 strikeouts in the first game of their rehab assignments. Soler did not play in the second game. Fowler was the DH and went 1 for 2 with a double and a walk.


  • Based on the observations of Tommy Birch, the best Twitter follow for all things Iowa Cubs, it looks like Fowler is coming along very nicely and could be back in Chicago in short order. Soler is going to need some more time to get his swing working again. I suspect that means Soler will still be with Iowa for much of the rest of the month. [Brett: Which doesn’t hurt the roster crunch, for what it’s worth.]
  • The Cubs may wait a bit before promoting a position player to Iowa to take Dan Vogelbach’s spot. With Fowler and Soler in house, I think they can fill first base and DH for a time without calling anyone from Tennessee. And they may be receiving a bat or two back from Chicago in the next few days as well.
  • Tennessee, on the other hand, may need a starter to replace Paul Blackburn. That could come via a demotion from Iowa, or it could come from their own bullpen, or from Myrtle Beach. ┬áThere are cases to made in each of those scenarios, and it will be interesting to see how the Cubs fill that gap.
  • On that note, immediately after the Eugene game it was announced that starter Jose Paulino is on his way to South Bend. That could be the start of a chain reaction that ends up with a promotion to Tennessee. We’ll see what happens today.
  • Eloy Jimenez had missed a few games, but he was back in the lineup for South Bend yesterday as the DH.
  • So, just how does a minor league team with a lot of under 21 players celebrate? Like this.




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