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Cubs Minor League Daily: The Arizona Cubs Are In Contention

Cubs Minor Leagues and Prospects

In some ways the Arizona Rookie League is the most important league to monitor. That is usually where we get our first look at players who were just drafted or were signed as international free agents, players we often have little if any data on. Arizona is also where players go to switch positions, or to rehab injuries that require surgery, or to rehab back into game action after other extended absences. Basically, the Arizona Rookie League is a key league.


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But it is also a very difficult league to cover. There is no video, no radio crews, very little newspaper coverage, and not much in the way of online documenation.

I thought Arizona ran a split first/second half season, but I couldn’t find any info on the league site to confirm that, so I figured I was wrong and have been listing the AZL Cubs as having no shot at the playoffs as a result. I was not wrong. Or, rather, I was wrong, but I was wrong in thinking I was wrong. Arizona does run a split schedule, and the Cubs’ awful first half has not tanked their playoff chances.

Far from it. Turns out the AZL Cubs are in second place, just one game out of first.

So add another team to your playoff watch list as we come down to the final days of the season. Myrtle Beach is in, Eugene has a fighting chance, and now Arizona is right in the thick of things.


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Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa 4, Memphis 2
Iowa’s second half resurgence has brought them back to .500.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Montgomery 6, Tennessee 2
The Smokies held them scoreless after the third.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Carolina 10, Myrtle Beach 5
The Pelicans rallied for three in the ninth, but they need a lot more than that.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 7, Lake County 4
The Cubs gave up an unearned run, but they won the game anyway.


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Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 8, Salem-Keizer 3
Eugene carried a shutout into the eighth.

Rookie: AZL Cubs
Cubs 5, Giants 4
The Cubs four game winning streak have them one game out of first place.

Other Notes

  • We are coming to the end of the minor league season. Arizona plays their final regular season game on September 2; they have just six games left. Eugene wraps up on Sept 3, and the full season leagues end their 2017s within a few days of that.

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  • Bailey Clark, one of the more promising draft picks from 2016, as been promoted to South Bend. Clark had an ERA of 3.83 in 44.2 innings (11 starts) for Eugene, and a strikeout rate of 8.87 K/9. The righthander had some trouble with walks (5.64 BB/9), but did a decent job keep the ball in the ballpark (0.20 HR/9).
  • Matt Swarmer had already been bumped up the system, and that is the SB Cubs roster hole Bailey filled. Swarmer was the pitcher who was jumped to Iowa when the I-Cubs badly needed pitching help, and promptly pitched 7 innings of shutout baseball with 8 strikeouts. He then dropped down to Tennessee for yesterday’s start … and that one didn’t go so well.

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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.