If you have not yet made the trip to Peoria to watch the Chiefs play, then June 24 might be the day to change that. In addition to a great ballpark and some fine baseball from some of the Cubs’ best prospects, including shortstop Javier Baez, Sunday’s game will feature additional fun and insanity for the whole family. For example, the first one thousand fans under twelve will receive a special Peoria Chiefs Build-A-Bear.
And for the rest of the fans, June 24 is another Candy Drop. For those who may have missed it earlier in the season, the Peoria Chiefs’ Candy Drops are quite literally nothing less than pounds and pounds of candy being dumped out of a helicopter onto a crowd of frantic children swarming in the outfield. I remain in awe of the brilliant mind that came up with this promotion, and I only regret that I will not be there to witness the madness in person.
Not convinced? Check out this three minute video of candy drop madness from a similar promotion at another minor league stadium. It’s almost enough to make me wish I was twelve again.
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – The Iowa offense did not show up in this one, and the result was a 6-2 loss.
Tennessee – The Smokies were very impressive as they opened the second half of the season with a 3-1 win.
Daytona – Led by some great pitching, the Cubs won again by a score of 3-0.
Peoria – Peoria was off on Thursday. The open the second half this evening at home.
Boise – The Hawks had to rally in the ninth, but they did win the game 5-4.
Arizona – The bullpen struggled as the AZL Cubs fell 5-1.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] On the mound, relievers Ryan Rowland-Smith and Jeff Beliveau probably had the best day. The two combined for two and a third hitless innings, but they had just one strikeout between them.
- [Iowa] Josh Vitters hit his eleventh home run of the season. Brett Jackson, back in the leadoff spot, doubled and struck out twice.
- [Tennessee] Nick Struck kicked off the second half of the schedule with a brilliant pitching performance. He struck out seven in six innings and allowed no runs save a solo homer. His season ERA dropped to 3.90.
- [Tennessee] Junior Lake was 4 for 5 with a double and a run scored to lead all Tennessee hitters. Justin Bour was right behind him with three singles and a stolen base.
- [Daytona] Austin Kirk spread four hits and two walks over seven scoreless innings, and he was rewarded with his third win of the season. Ryan Searle and Jeffrey Lorick were equally effective in relief.
- [Daytona] With a home run, two hits, and a walk in this game, it seems Ronald Torreyes is continuing to turn his season around.
- [Boise] James Pugliese started the game and pitched five pretty good innings, but the winning pitcher was Hayden Simpson. Simpson was dominant as he allowed one run on one hit and one walk while striking out seven in four innings.
- [Boise] Jeimer Candelario enjoyed another big game as he went 3 for 4 with a walk and his second home run of the year.
- [Boise] For many players, triples are harder to hit than home runs. Gioskar Amaya does not seem to have that problem. The Boise season is only a week old and he has already belted a trio of three-baggers.
- [Arizona] Young-Il Jung started the game and gave up just a hit and a walk while striking out three in three innings.
- [Arizona] The Cubs’ offense struggled to score runs, but Ben Carhart and Timothy Saunders both had good games. Both players finished 2 for 4, Carhart with a triple and Saunders with a double, and Carhart also drew two walks.
Other Minor League Notes
- Yesterday’s news that Rebel Ridling had been demoted to Daytona was a surprise to many of us, but I think there may be an explanation that makes some sense of it. Rebel Ridling is primarily a first baseman, and as a first baseman he put up some good numbers with Tennessee last season. He was due for a promotion to Iowa until the Cubs traded for Anthony Rizzo. Rather than let Rizzo block the progression of all first baseman in the system, the Cubs chose to double up on first basemen in Double A by promoting Justin Bour to play first while Ridling spent more time in the outfield. The result was a marked decline in Ridling’s production. The answer? Ridling goes to Daytona where he is able to once again play first on a daily basis while he gets his bat going again.
- Last season Logan Watkins got off to a dreadful start, but made the necessary adjustments and put up very nice numbers for the rest of the year. This season, he might be doing that again at the Double A level. After hitting just .242 in April and .219 in May, Watkins’ June average now stands at .375 with an OBP of .500. Getting on base in the core of Watkins’ game. He’s not a big power threat (although he does have three home runs and four triples), but he is a true lead off hitting candidate for the Cubs. If Darwin Barney should leave Chicago, Watkins might be his heir apparent.
Farm System Standings
AAA – Iowa Cubs : 31 – 43.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Second Place: 14.5 Games Behind.
AA – Tennessee Smokies : 36-35
High A – Daytona Cubs : 31 -38
Low A – Peoria Chiefs : 35 – 34
Midwest League Eastern Division – Third Place (tie) : 9.0 Games Behind
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks : 2 – 5
Northwest League East Division – Second Place : 1.0 Game Behind
Rookie League – AZL Cubs : 1 – 1
Arizona Rookie League – First Place (tie) : 1.0 Game Behind