The third place Iowa Cubs (13-15) are sitting five games back of first place Colorado Springs, but they are going to have a tough time making up ground this week. A good Memphis team is in town until Tuesday, and then the Cubs hit the road (where they are sub-.500) for Salt Lake City.
Meanwhile, in Double A, despite a very good week, Tennessee remains in second place. The 17-11 Smokies own the second best record in the entire league, but that still leaves them two games behind Jackson for first in their own division. That will change this week. The Smokies play a doubleheader against Jacksonville today, and then they hit the road for five games in Jackson and a chance to take over first place.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans also had a good week, and their 17-13 record is good for third best in the league. But they also remain stuck in second, two games behind Buies Creek. The Pelicans have taken two of the first three in their current four game series with Buies Creek, and a win today could pull them within a game of first. After that the Pelicans head up to Winston-Salem.
At 18-10, the South Bend Cubs have the second best record in the league, but they trail first place Dayton by half a game. The Cubs are riding a four game winning streak; hopefully that success continues. After a six game road trip through Burlington and Peoria, the Cubs come home next Monday to face first place Dayton.
- Eddie Butler: 6 IP, 4 H, 6 K
- Jose Rosario: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K
- Jeimer Candelario: 2 for 4, BB
- Bijan Rademacher: 1 for 2, 2B, BB
- Victor Caratini: 1 for 4, HR
- Tommy La Stella: 1 for 2, HR
- Duane Underwood: 5 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K
- Brad Markey: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Jacob Hannemann: 2 for 3, BB
- Yasiel Balaguert: 1 for 2, 2 BB
- Ian Rice: 1 for 2, HR, BB
- Carlos Penalver: 2 for 2, 2B
- Oscar De La Cruz: 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 6 K
- Carlos Sepulveda: 2 for 5
- P.J. Higgins: 2 for 4
- Bryant Flete: 2 for 4, 2B
- Eddy Martinez: 1 for 4, HR
- Matt Rose: 2 for 4, HR
South Bend 3, Clinton 2
Even though it was the second game finished yesterday, this was a full nine innings.
- There will probably be a lot of speculation that Eddie Butler is in line to get a shot at the majors now that Anderson is injured, and I hope he does. Butler has not been overpowering in Iowa, but he has not given up very much hard contact at all. I think he’ll do just fine in the majors, so long as fans aren’t expecting too much.
- Yesterday marked one of the better starts we have seen from Oscar De La Cruz this year. Against a tough Buies Creek team, he walked none, held the damage to a solo home run, and struck six in six innings. That’s exactly the sort of performance we were expecting to see from one of the Cubs’ best pitching prospects.
- Dylan Cease appears to be cruising right along in South Bend, but I do not think the Cubs should be in any hurry to promote him. For one thing, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a young pitcher enjoying some success. Second, he has only finished the fifth inning in half his starts, and has been pulled before hitting 80 pitches in all but two. The Cubs are still being careful with his workload as his arm recovers from surgery, and there is no reason to risk stressing that arm by pitching at a higher level where better hitters may force him into longer innings just yet. Third, even though he has done a great job piling up the strikeouts, he has done less well avoiding walks. Another half a dozen starts in South Bend won’t hurt him any; there is plenty of time to promote him, should things still be going well, when we get into mid-summer. If then.
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