Cubs' Minor League Daily: Geography

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Cubs’ Minor League Daily: Geography

Chicago Cubs

Minor league affiliates due indeed move. The potential movement of the Cubs from Boise has been in out of the news this season, and just yesterday rumor broke that the Cubs could pull out of Peoria for Kane County. All of this is routine stuff for the minors. If the Cubs leave Peoria (or Boise), that city will simply have a new major league affiliate; nothing else will change.

“But,” some of you have been asking, “why can’t the Cubs just move their High A team from Daytona to Peoria, or maybe their Double A team from Tennessee? If they want their farm teams closer to Chicago, then why not move them all closer to Chicago?”

The answer is simply one of geography. Because minor league teams tend to travel by bus, each of the leagues in the minors tend to be geographically compact (except for Triple A). The Cubs can’t place a High A team in Central Illinois because the only High A Leagues are in California, the Carolinas, and Florida. Likewise, the Tennessee Smokies are already about as close to Chicago as the Cubs’ can reasonably expect. The other potential Double A leagues are in Texas or along the Eastern seaboard.

If the Cubs do pull out of Boise, it is possible they could make a bigger move and land much closer to the Midwest. Should the Cubs move out of the Northwest League entirely, they could place their team in the New York – Penn League, a short season league that exists in and around New York City and parts of Pennsylvania. I do not think that will happen, though, because the Cubs seem to like having their short-season team as close to their training facilities in Mesa as possible.

Scores From Yesterday

Iowa – Iowa triumphed in another unexpected pitcher’s duel by the final of 2-0.
Tennessee – The Smokies fought into the eleventh inning before losing their own pitchers’ duel 2-1.
Daytona – Anyone care to guess what happened to Tuesday’s Daytona game? That’s right, it was postponed, again. The Cubs, weather permitting, will attempt the doubleheader today. Bring an umbrella.
Peoria – Peoria finished off the series in Wisconsin with a 4-2 win.
Boise – Boise won their final game against second place Yakima 7-4.
Arizona – There was a doubleheader in the desert on Tuesday, and Game One ended with a 7-6 AZL Cubs win. The Cubs lost to the Mariners 4-1 in Game Two.

Performances of the Day

  • [Iowa] Seth McClung, Scott Maine, and Blake Parker combined to shut out the Cardinals. McClung pitched seven innings, allowed six hits, and struck out six. Neither Maine nor Parker allowed a hit in relief.
  • [Iowa] The Cubs did not have very much offense in this game. Ultimately, though, Jeff Frazier‘s two run homer in the seventh would provide all the runs the Cubs would need. It was just the fifth homer this year for Frazier.
  • [Tennessee] Eric Jokisch was not at his best, but did he keep Chattanooga from scoring for the first five innings. The Smokies’ lefty allowed five hits and three walks over five innings while striking out four.
  • [Tennessee] After Jokisch left the game, the Smokies bullpen did a nice job preserving the shut out until the ninth. Trey McNutt worked one hitless inning and Tony Zych held the Lookouts hitless for two more to get the game to closer Frank Batista. Batista, however, suffered one of his very rare bad games and blew the save.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies scored their one run in the first inning when Justin Bour drove in Logan Watkins.
  • [Tennessee] Jae-Hoon Ha and Matt Cerda both had two hits for Tennessee.
  • [Peoria] Austin Reed allowed just one hit in 2.1 innings of relief for the win. Starter Jeffry Antigua pitched well, as did closer Larry Suarez.
  • [Peoria] Jorge Soler and Sergio Burrell both had three hits for the Chiefs. Burrell, a catcher, also stole his first base of the season.
  • [Boise] Pierce Johnson gave up three runs on three hits in his three innings of work, but Felix Pena and Eduardo Orozco were able to limit the damage to just one more run the rest of the way.
  • [Boise] Gioskar Amaya led the offense with a 3 for 4 night that produced his seventh home run, two runs scored, and two RBI. Stephen Bruno also scored twice.
  • [Arizona] The Cubs’ pitching did not do so well in Game One. Only Carl Lang and Chad Martin were able to post scoreless innings.
  • [Arizona] Duane Underwood opened Game Two with three no-hit innings. Anthony Prieto, however, struggled and allowed four runs to score in his 2.1 innings on the mound.
  • [Arizona] Shawon Dunston and Anthony Giansanti both had two hits for the Cubs in Game One. Justin Marra and Trevor Gretzky had two hits each in game two. Marra, with a double and a triple, had the best day of anyone in either game.

Other Minor League Notes

  • Iowa won their pitcher’s duel on Tuesday, and they did so by beating the Cardinals’ Shelby Miller, one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball. Miller struck out 12 Cubs over seven innings, but Frazier’s two run shot handed Miller the loss.
  • With the loss the Smokies fell back to six games behind Chattanooga. The two teams continue to play through Thursday.
  • Boise now journeys to Vancouver with a five game lead in the division. They are in great shape to make the playoffs. Vancouver is the first place team in the other division, though, making that series a challenging road test for Hawks.
  • Tueday’s doubleheader in Arizona was the American debut for former DSL outfielder Jeffrey Baez. Baez singled in his first game as a stateside professional.
  • I also hit the road the today for my first real vacation in several years. In the middle of our hiking, disc golf [Brett: I love disc golf!], and barbecue, my wife and I will be stopping by the Tennessee Smokies’ for Thursday’s game against Chattanooga and Friday’s game against Mobile. I’ll continue to write up the Minor League Daily’s while I’m on the road, but they may be a little on the short side until I return home this weekend.

Author: Luke Blaize

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