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Cubs Minor League Daily: The Pelicans, But Only The Pelicans, Win

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

myrtle beach pelicans logoDay one of the minor league playoffs… wait… that’s not quite right. The AZL Cubs of the Arizona Rookie League had their playoff experience last week. It was only a one game experience, but playoffs are playoffs. Let’s try this again.

Day one of the non-rookie league minor league playoffs was yesterday, and all in all things did not go badly for the Cubs’ organization. Myrtle Beach got the opening win they needed, South Bend played into extra innings in the only road game of their opening series, and Eugene did the same as South Bend.  It would have been nice to see all three teams win, but losing in the playoffs in extra innings on the road in a series in which you have home field advantage isn’t the worst thing in the world.

All three of these series are best of three. That means Myrtle Beach could advance with a win tonight, and South Bend and Eugene are now in a must win situation. If you like instant drama, then the minor league playoffs are for you.

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High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Myrtle Beach 8, Salem 1
A six run third chased the opposing starter and essentially put the game out of reach.

Highlights of the Pelicans’ home win can be seen below.

Best of Three Series: Myrtle Beach leads 1-0
Next Game: Tonight in Salem at 7:05 PM ET.
Matchup: Preston Morrison (Myrtle Beach) against Trey Ball (Salem)

Ball is a tall lefty who tied his season high for strikeouts at seven in a six inning start in Myrtle Beach on August 10. In 23 starts this year, though, he has a BB/9 of 5.22 against a K/9 of just 6.60. Once again, if the Pelicans can stay patient they may be able to get to him. His FIP of 4.91 certainly suggests as much.

Preston Morrison, on the other hand, has a K/9 of 9.34 with Myrtle Beach in six starts (8.29 with South Bend), a walk rate of just 2.52 BB/9, and a High A ERA of just 1.77. He has faced Salem twice since joining the Pelicans, and in those two starts (12.1 IP) he has allowed just one run.

Nothing is certain in the playoffs, but I do like this pitching matchup for the Pelicans.


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Low A: South Bend Cubs
West Michigan 3, South Bend 2 in eleven innings.
An unearned run proved very costly in this one.

Best of Three Series: West Michigan leads 1-0
Next Game: Tonight in South Bend at 7:05 PM ET
Matchup: Beau Burrows (West Michigan) against TBD

Burrows is a 2015 first round pick for the Tigers. He has not piled up the strikeouts this year (6.22 K/9), but he hasn’t given up many free passes (2.78 BB/9) and barely any home runs (0.19 HR/9). He isn’t the sort of pitcher who is likely to dominate a game, but he probably won’t make many mistakes either. The last time he faced the Cubs, on September 2, he pitched five scoreless innings, held the Cubs to six hits, and struck out eight.


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Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Hillsboro 4, Eugene 3 in ten innings.
The Emeralds’ defense did not help themselves in this one.

Best of Three Series: Hillsboro leads 1-0
Next Game: Tonight in Eugene at TBD
Matchup: Pedro Silverio (Eugene) against TBD

If Silverio can keep his 6.14 BB/9 from hurting him, his 9.41 K/9 could ensure Eugene is off to a good in their must win Game Two. He does not give up many home runs, which helps. He also set his season high for strikeouts against Hillsboro on July 10 when he fanned seven over 4.1 innings. That was the last time he saw Hillsboro. He has been showing steady improvement all season long, particularly in the walks department, so it is certainly possible that he could better that mark tonight.

Myrtle Beach Highlights


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Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.

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