cubs azl spring training logoOne of the very few dim spots in an otherwise very nice vacation was that I was unable to keep up with the Minor League Daily while I was away. Sometimes the best laid plans simply don’t work out.

But that was last week. I’m back, the Daily is back, and just in time, too. The end of the minor league season is right around the corner, and that means we are on the doorstep of the playoffs. South Bend, Eugene, and Arizona have all already clinched a playoff slot, and I expect Myrtle Beach to join them within a few days.

Once the Pelicans are mathematically guaranteed to finish no lower than second in the division in the second half, their ticket to the postseason is assured. Currently they are in a tie for first place in the division with Salem (the first half winner), and no other team in the division is close. Myrtle Beach has a playoff magic number of three.



Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Memphis 4, Iowa 1
Like their Chicago counterparts, the Cubs fell behind in the first and never took the lead.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Jacksonville 5, Tennessee 2
I did see two Smokies games last week, and I’ll have some thoughts on this team based on those games later on.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 7, Lynchburg 6 in ten innings
The Pelicans trailed 6-4 at the start of the ninth.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Lansing 3, South Bend 2
Despite twelve hits, the Cubs managed just two runs.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Everett 4, Eugene 1
After winning fifteen in a row, the Emeralds have now dropped two straight.

Rookie: Arizona Cubs

Arizona had the day off.



Other Notes

  • If you are new to following baseball, you may be new to the concept of a Magic Number. And since you are going to be hearing it a lot in the next few weeks, an explanation is probably in order. The magic number refers to the number of team wins OR relevantĀ opponent losses that will guarantee a particular event. In the case of Myrtle Beach, the “relevantĀ opponent” is Winston-Salem. The Pelicans need to be assured of finishing no lower than second, and the current third place team is Winston-Salem. Any combination of Myrtle Beach wins and Winston-Salem losses that adds up to three will guarantee the Pelicans no worse than a second place finish. Thus, the Pelicans have a magic number of three.
  • At one point Gerardo Concepcion seemed to be a lock to return to Chicago when rosters expanded, and given that he is on the 40-man roster it still makes sense for him to get the call, but I’m not sure how often he would be used. His second half of the season has been a disaster. Starting in June, his monthly ERAs are 5.19, 9.58, 16.20. Compared to his really good early season work, the walks are up, the strikeouts are down, the homers are way up, and the results just aren’t there.

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