Cubs Minor League Daily: About Those Cougars...

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Cubs Minor League Daily: About Those Cougars…

Chicago Cubs

kane county cougarsKane County is hotter than hot right now. It may be more of a hassle to get out to that ballpark as opposed to Wrigley, but right now the Cougars might be more fun to watch. The Cougars probably won’t provide the same cardio workout the Cubs do in the late innings, but everyone’s heart needs a break now and then. Any Chicagoland fan who has not wandered out to see Kane County play should give serious thought to doing so before this particular collection of prospects is broken up. Once the Cubs start to clear their stockpile of outfielders at the major league and Triple A levels a little, a chain reaction should begin that ought to move Rock Shoulders and perhaps Pin-Chieh Chen right out of town. I would not be surprised to see this team take further losses around the trade deadline either. Kane County is well worth watching; catch them while they are hot.

Scores From The Weekend

Friday – Mother Nature did not like Iowa.
Saturday – Mother Nature really did not like Iowa.
Sunday – But finally the skies parted and Iowa managed a double header. Game One was a 5-2 Cubs win, but they lost Game Two in 10 innings by a final of 4-3.

Friday – A rough weekend for the Smokies started with a 3-2 ten inning loss.
Saturday – That was followed by an 8-0 shellacking.
Sunday – And the weekend ended with another loss, this one a 6-0 shutout.

Friday – It turns out that it rains in Florida too.
Saturday – The Cubs scored ten runs in three innings on their way to an 11-5 win.
Sunday – And then the winning streak ended as Daytona lost 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth.

Kane County
Friday – Kane County keeps their winning streak alive, though. They won this one 3-1.
Saturday – That was followed by a 6-1 triumph on Saturday.
Sunday – And they capped the weekend with a 2-0 shutout victory.

Performances of Note

  • [Iowa] Logan Watkins has appeared in nearly every Performances of Note this season, and today is no exception. He finished the weekend with a triple, two walks, and no strikeouts. Through his last ten games (47 PA) he has struck out just 8 times. That’s good for about a 17% rate. Not bad. On the downside, he’s only stolen one base over that same stretch.
  • [Iowa] Josh Vitters returned to the Iowa lineup with a bang. His 5 for 9 weekend featured his first homer of the season.
  • [Tennessee] The Smokies did not have an extra base hit Saturday or Sunday. Over that same stretch they walked just three times and compiled a total of nine hits. It was not a good weekend for the Double A franchise.
  • [Tennessee] Except for some of the pitchers, that is. Alberto Cabrera struck out 8 and walked 2 in 6 innings of work on Friday, and a number of relievers (including Zach Rosscup and Marcus Hatley) had some nice outing. At least the weekend wasn’t a complete loss.
  • [Daytona] It looks like Jorge Soler is warming up again. He homered on Saturday and has now walked in three straight games. The walks were missing when he slumped; I think the return of his patience is probably a good thing.
  • [Daytona] Remember Yeiper Castillo? We’ve talked about him briefly before, and he was at it again on Sunday. Through six innings he struck out seven, walked one, and surrendered just two hits.
  • [Daytona] While it is true that Javier Baez has heated up himself lately, his K% still sits at a disturbing 27.9%. He was looking better in that department for a time, but Whiff City has returned with two Ks in three of his last four games.
  • [Kane County] The starter in the Sunday shutout was Michael Heesch. Heesch fanned five as he pitched into the eighth. Nathan Dorris finished things off.
  • [Kane County] The Cougars walked 14 times over these three game, and struck out just 10 times. If this is what the entire organization is going to look like after a few more drafts and a few more seasons of the Cubs Way, then I can’t wait.
  • [Kane County] Felix Pena fanned seven in seven innings for the win on Saturday.
  • [Kane County] It looks like Jeimer Candelario may be starting to shake off his slump as well. The KC third baseman has a hit in four of his last five games now. Over his last ten games he is hitting just .121. Hopefully he has made the necessary adjustments and is about to take off again.

Other News

  • Kyuji Fujikawa struck out two and walked one in his inning of rehab work on Sunday.
  • There is flying under the radar, and then there is Ben Carhart. The Cubs pushed him with a season opening promotion to Daytona and Carhart has responded. He is currently hitting .314/.333/.410, but that jumps to .459/.459/.622 over his last ten games. I’m not thrilled with his low BB%, but I can’t really argue with the K% (just 15 strikeouts outs this season). He probably needs to show a little more power to really start moving up the charts at third base, but his emergence is a nice bright spot this season.
  • It is pretty much official at this stage: I will be making my annual trip to Tennessee in mid August and will be in Section 104 at the Smokies games on August 12 and 13. With any luck I’ll see some current Daytona Cubs on that trip, particularly guys like Jorge Soler, John Andreoli, and Ben Wells. Baez would be nice, but unless that K rate takes a severe nose dive in the next month or so I’m not optimistic.

Author: Luke Blaize

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