The Chicago Cubs named their minor league Pitcher and Player of the Month yesterday, sending both awards to Tennessee. Neither pick matched my own selections, but I can’t argue with either of them.
The pitcher of the month went to Nick Struck. The right hander posted a 2.45 ERA over five starts in June while striking out 23 in 29 innings. Second baseman Logan Watkins earned Player of the Month honors by hitting .352 with an OBP of .452 and a thirteen game hitting streak. Both players have major league potential, Struck as a back of the rotation starter and Watkins as a quality starting second baseman, and both could be in Chicago in the next year and a half or so.[Brett: I think Luke was being very clever with that headline, but I can’t be certain…]
Scores From Yesterday
Iowa – With their 4-1 loss, the Cubs fell twenty games out of first place.
Tennessee – The Smokies took advantage of four Chattanooga errors and won 6-4.
Daytona – Daytona used a six run sixth inning to power their way to a 7-3 win.
Peoria – The Chiefs had three errors and were the victims of a shut out. They lost 6-0.
Boise – Boise took an early lead but could not hang onto it. They lost 7-5.
Arizona – The Cubs out hit the Rangers 12 to 9, but they lost anyway 5-4.
Performances of the Day
- [Iowa] Chris Rusin struck out five in six good innings of work, but a rare bad game by Jeff Beliveau wasted the effort.
- [Iowa] Josh Vitters went 2 for 4 with a double, the Cubs’ only extra base hit of the night.
- [Tennessee] Greg Rohan has finally reached Double A, and on Monday he announced his presence with a four hit game that included two doubles. Here’s a suggestion for Southern League pitchers: find out what Chattanooga’s scouting report on Rohan was, then do something else.
- [Tennessee] It wasn’t just Rohan hitting on Monday. Jae-Hoon Ha, Junior Lake, and Michael Burgess each had two hits apiece.
- [Tennessee] Dae-Eun Rhee did not have a good game, but his bullpen of Tony Zych, Ty’relle Harris, and Frank Batista picked up the slack with four scoreless frames.
- [Daytona] P.J. Francescon allowed two more home runs, but he only gave up three runs and struck out five in his six innings of work. Ryan Searle followed up with two perfect innings of relief.
- [Daytona] Elieser Bonne had a 3 for 3 game to lead the Cubs. Matthew Cerda collected two hits along with his first steal of the year.
- [Peoria] Jose Rosario did strike out seven in seven innings, but he also allowed ten hits. Sheldon McDonald struck out three in two hitless innings of relief.
- [Boise] Gioskar Amaya had three hits for the Hawks, including his fifth triple of the season. He also had a stolen base.
- [Arizona] Daniel Vogelbach hit his second home run of the season. He has now homered in consecutive games.
- [Arizona] Hunter Ackerman pitched three scoreless innings, striking out three. Arturo Maltos-Garcia did allow a run on one hit in his one inning, but he also fanned three.
Other Minor League Notes
- The Cubs are definitely still willing to make mid-season promotions when and where it makes sense. Without counting them up, it seems to me that the pattern and rate of midseason roster shuffles has not changed much under the new front office. For example, Nelson Perez, Greg Rohan, and Tony Zych are all fairly recent promotions to Tennesee, and all relocations were well deserved. This lack of a change in organizational management is not too surprising considering that the man directly in charge of the farm system, Oneri Fleita, has not changed.
- Peoria finished the first half of the season with a prolonged hot streak that put them in Wild Card contention in the final week of play. With that good finish, I thought they would be certain to get off to a strong start in the second half and hang around first place for the remainder of the season. Whoops. The Chiefs are now five games under .500 and four games behind the leaders. They still have time to recover, but this is an unexpected and disappointing start.
- The Hawks only allowed four hits in their loss yesterday, but the ten walks they gave up were enough to ensure the loss.
Farm System Standings
AAA – Iowa Cubs : 34 – 51.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 20.0 Games Behind.
AA – Tennessee Smokies : 6-6
Southern League North Division – Third Place : 2.0 Game Behind
High A – Daytona Cubs : 7-5
Florida State League North Division – Second Place : 0.5 Games Behind
Low A – Peoria Chiefs : 3-8
Midwest League Eastern Division – Third Place : 4.0 Game Behind
Short-Season A – Boise Hawks : 6 – 12
Northwest League East Division – Third Place : 4.0 Games Behind
Rookie League – AZL Cubs : 8 – 3
Arizona Rookie League East – Second Place : 1.0 Game Behind