There are three big stories on the minor league front right now, and the biggest is the draft. That is receiving plenty of coverage in dedicated articles, though, so I’ll ignore it here for now.
The second story covers the playoff chases. Three Cubs teams are fighting for a first half playoff slot, and I’ll update those situations below.
The third story is the hardest to track, but it is connected to the other two – promotions. The Cubs have started shuffling minor league rosters a bit, and we have started to see some players move up as a result (Jacob Hannemann to Iowa, Dakota Mekkes to Myrtle Beach, to name two recent ones). That is going to continue. Some players are also going to be assigned to Eugene to fill out that roster before the Emeralds begin play this week, and others will join draftees and recent international free agent signings in Mesa.
But a lot of the movement may not have happened yet. In short, these playoff chases matter. The Cubs have shown repeatedly that they place value on getting prospects, particularly their best prospects, postseason experience. Almost as good as postseason experience is the experience of being in the hunt and having to fight for a playoff slot. And I strongly suspect they have made or not made promotions at times to get some players that kind of experience. Once we know for sure who has punched their playoff ticket in the first half, I think we may see some additional roster shufflings take place.
Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Iowa had the day off.
- Jen-Ho Tseng: 6 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 4 H, 4 BB, 5 K
- Daury Torrez: 2 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 2 K
- Charcer Burks: 1 for 4, 2B, SB
- David Bote: 2 for 3, BB
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 4
- Ryan Kellogg: 5 IP, 4 R (3 ER), 10 H, 1 BB, 1 K
- Scott Effross: 2.1 IP, 4 H
- Bryant Flete: 1 for 4, 2B
- Eddy Martinez: 1 for 4, 2B
- Jesse Hodges: 1 for 4, 2B
- Eloy Jimenez: 0 for 2, 2 BB
- Bryan Hudson: 3.1 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 2 K
- Marc Huberman: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K
- Zack Short: 2 for 4, 2 2B, SB
- Isaac Paredes: 2 for 3, 2B, BB
- Tyler Payne: 2 for 4
- Tennessee might be in trouble. After yesterday’s loss, they are now a game and a half behind Chattanooga for first place in the division. If that is the margin when Chattanooga comes to town for five games starting Wednesday, the Smokies will need to win four of the five to win the division. Winning only three will leave Tennessee a half a game behind. Both Tennessee and Chattanooga play today, so that margin could shrink to half a game. Or not.
- The Pelicans just keep winning, and as a result they are very comfortably positioned. Their division lead is a robust four games, and their magic number is down to three. If they can find three wins between now and Sunday, they’ll have the division won regardless of what happens elsewhere.
- The top two teams in each Midwest League division go to the playoffs, and the Cubs are back in third. They are one game out of second. Since they do not face second place Dayton directly, so all they can do is win and hope for the best.