As always, Baseball America has the full coverage of the changes to the International Free Agency process.
Most of these changes have to do with when players can visit team facilities, and you’d have to be way more of an expert on the IFA scene than I am to talk intelligently about the impact of those changes. One change with more obvious impact – teams can pay for the travel of a prospect.
This is probably going to cost the Cubs a very slight competitive advantage, but it is a good change. Venezuela has long been a place where baseball is very popular and a lot of players have come from Venezuela. In recent years, though Venezuela has become a very dangerous place and most teams have closed their facilities in that country and removed all team employees. The Venezuelian Summer League shut down because so many teams left, but the Cubs were one of the last teams left.
I’m not sure to what degree the Cubs still have a presense there, but I suspect at the very least they do still have scouts in the country given the number of Venezuelan prospects they have signed in recent years. The ability to pay for travel arrangements will mean that teams can now fly prospects out of that country and into the Dominican Republic for, essentially, a try out, without having to send team officials into the country. This should widen the visibility for players from Venezuela to all teams, not just to teams who are still on the ground in that country.
And it may have side effects. This rule should, I think, also apply to any player who is breaking out in a country without an MLB facility. Say, for example, that a very good pitching prospect emerges in Namibia. Right now it would be difficult for that pitcher to be seen in person by MLB scouts. Now, if the player can manage to intrigue a team even a little, he could be flown into team facilities for a try out.
Is this likely to result in a flood of players from outside the traditional baseball world? Probably not. But it could open up a few opportunities were right now very few exist.
- Jen-Ho Tseng: 4 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Craig Brooks: 1.2 IP, 2 BB, 3 K
- Dakota Mekkes: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 K
- Dillon Maples: 0.2 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 2 K
- Ryan Court: 1 for 3
- Game Two
- Luke Farrell: 4.1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K
- Randy Rosario: 1 IP, 1 H
- Bijan Rademacher: 1 for 3, BB
- Jason Vosler: 2 for 3
- Taylor Davis: 2 for 3, 2B
- Chris Gimenez: 2 for 3, 2B, HR
- Luke Farrell: 1 for 2, 2B
- Thomas Hatch: 6 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 8 K
- Wyatt Short: 1 IP and a line of zeroes
- Allen Webster: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Ian Rice: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
- Erick Castillo: 1 for 3, 2B
- Tyson Miller: 5.2 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K
- Garrett Kelly: 1.1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
- Ryan Kellogg: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 K
- D.J. Wilson: 1 for 5, 2B
- Jhonny Pereda: 3 for 4, BB
- Jared Young: 2 for 5, 2B
- Luis Ayala: 2 for 4, SB
Low A: South Bend Cubs
The Cubs were rained out.
- Zach Mort: 4 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K
- Riley McCauley: 1.2 IP, 2 K
- Casey Ryan: 1.2 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 1 K
- Eugenio Palma: 1.1 IP, 3 K
- Grant Fennell: 2 for 3, BB
- Jesus Tejada: 6 IP, 2 H, 5 K
- Braxton Light: 1 IP, 1 K
- Franklin Tineo: 2 for 3, BB
Rookie: AZL Cubs 2
Cubs 2 had the day off.
- Prior to walking four batters yesterday, Maples had walked just four batters across his previous nine games. He hadn’t walked more than two in a game since July 6.
- The homer for Chris Gimenez (playing first in that game) was just his second of the season for Iowa. Through ten games in August (sample size alert) he is hitting .280/.333/.640 on the month. That includes both his Iowa homers.
- This has been a very rough year for Thomas Hatch, but maybe he’s going to finish strong. Last night was his best start of the season and was his second shutout in three games. He missed the Top 40 because of some very concerning trends in his season numbers (more on that later), but if he has shaken those off he’s right back in the mix for the bottom third of the list.
- Allen Webster hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015, but he is now in the Tennessee bullpen. I doubt he can find a way to pitch himself onto the September roster, but you never know.