Cubs' Minor League Daily: Knuckleballs and Fireworks

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Cubs’ Minor League Daily: Knuckleballs and Fireworks

Chicago Cubs

Happy Fourth of July!

If you don’t have plans to view the evenings’ traditional fireworks displays, consider calling up your local minor league baseball team and seeing if they are at home and still have tickets available. There will be lots of post game fireworks celebrations at ballparks all around the country today, and those fortunate enough to view them from the luxury of a ballpark will enjoy good seating, good drinks, and a better pre-fireworks show than most of those watching from outside a ballpark.

Of course, given the severe heat wave and drought strangling much of the country, fireworks may not be much of an option for some of you. In that case, a minor league game makes a great fall back plan.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Thanks to some good pitching, Iowa won 3-2.
Tennessee – Tennessee led early, but their bullpen completely fell apart in this 11-6 loss.
Daytona – Daytona scored six in the eighth, but their rally ended a touch early. They lost 9-8.
Peoria – Offensive struggles doomed Peoria to a 4-1 loss.
Boise – Boise committed four errors on the way to a 6-4 loss.
Arizona – Arizona lost in a high scoring affair, 8-7.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Randy Wells allowed one run in five innings, walked two, and struck out four.
  • [Iowa] Michael Bowden continues to pitch well for the Triple A Cubs. He struck out two in the ninth and earned his first save.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters had just one hit, but thanks to a sac fly he was able to drive in two of the Cubs’ three runs.
  • [Tennessee] Trey McNutt struck out four in his four inning start, but he also gave up two runs on seven hits and three walks.
  • [Tennessee] Logan Watkins (2 for 5) and Michael Burgess (2 for 4) both had a triple in this game. It was the seventh triple for Watkins and the first for Burgess.
  • [Daytona] Matthew Spencer pitched two and a third innings and allowed just a single hit and a single walk. Even though both runners scored, it was not a bad outing.
  • [Daytona] Elieser Bonne and Rubi Silva combined for five hits (including a triple each), three runs, and four RBI.
  • [Peoria] Joseph Zeller gave up two runs on six hits in his first game as a starter for Peoria. I have a little more on Zeller later in this article.
  • [Peoria] Hunter Cervenka might need to head to Daytona soon. He pitched three more scoreless innings in this game, striking out four in the process.
  • [Boise] Rafael Diplan pitched three innings of one hit baseball in relief.
  • [Boise] Jeimer Candelario finished with two hits and a walk. Through 71 AB his OPS stands at .952.
  • [Arizona] Daniel Adrian pitched two and two thirds innings and allowed one run to score on no hits, no walks, and three strikeouts.
  • [Arizona] Isaac Garsez hit his first home run of the season as part of a four hit game.
  • [Arizona] Jacob Rogers has looked good early in his career. He had another two hit game and currently sports a .500 batting average.

Other Minor League Notes

  • We’ve seen the other Cub farm teams step up their aggressiveness on the base paths from time to time this season, and on Tuesday the Iowa Cubs got into the act. Brett Jackson, Alfredo Amezaga, and Dave Sappelt all had a stolen base in this one.
  • Pitching against the Tennessee Smokies yesterday was none other the L.A. Dodgers’ top pitching prospect Zach Lee. The Dodgers have been heavily linked to the Cubs in a number of trade scenarios, and Lee is one name that occasionally comes up. I would say the odds are good that the Cubs had a scout or two of some type in the stands.
  • As I speculated last week, Joseph Zeller has been stretched into a starting pitcher and is now in the Peoria rotation. This otherwise routine maneuver is made artificially significant (at least for me) because Zeller is one of the few knuckleballers currently in the game. I am a huge fan of the knuckler as a pitch, and as a result I am seriously rooting for Zeller to find his way to Chicago one of these days. I would love to see him pitching in the back of the Cubs’ rotation for a dozen years or so.
  • Boise Hawks radio voice Mike Stafford wrote an interesting piece on the declining attendance numbers in Boise (and elsewhere) and some possible causes of that.

Farm System Standings

AAAIowa Cubs : 35 – 51.
Pacific Coast League American Northern Division – Third Place: 19.0 Games Behind.

AATennessee Smokies : 6-7
Southern League North Division – Fourth Place : 3.0 Game Behind

High ADaytona Cubs : 7-6
Florida State League North Division – Second Place : 0.5 Games Behind

Low APeoria Chiefs : 3-9
Midwest League Eastern Division – Third Place : 5.0 Game Behind

Short-Season ABoise Hawks : 6 – 13
Northwest League East Division – Fourth Place : 5.0 Games Behind

Rookie LeagueAZL Cubs : 8 – 4
Arizona Rookie League East – Second Place : 1.5 Game Behind

Author: Luke Blaize

Luke Blaize is the Minor League Editor at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @ltblaize.