Cubs Minor League Daily: Eugene Enters First Half Playoff Stretch

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Cubs Minor League Daily: Eugene Enters First Half Playoff Stretch

Chicago Cubs

We are about a week away from the end of the first half in the Northwest League (July 23), and the defending league champion Eugene Emeralds are in the middle of a fight for the first half division title and resulting playoff slot.

As things stand now, Eugene (17-13) is in first place in the South division by one game over both Boise and Hillsboro. That gives the Emeralds a magic number of eight. Unfortunately, the Cubs’ affiliate does not play either of those teams again before the half ends. Instead, they play four more against Everett (12-18) at home, and then head to Tri-City (15-14) for five, although the first half ends after the fourth game of that set.

Basically, for Eugene, if they just win out they are in the playoffs. That’s probably not how things will fall, though, so it should be an interesting week in the Northwest League.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs

Iowa was rained out yet again.

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Mobile 6, Tennessee 3
Anderson’s fifth rehab start looked a lot like the first four.

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Pelicans were rained out.

Low A: South Bend Cubs
South Bend 1, Cedar Rapids 0
The Cubs enjoyed some very good pitching in this one.

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Eugene 4, Everett 3
The Emeralds had eleven hits, but did not score after the second inning.

Rookie: AZL Cubs
Mariners 7, Cubs 0
The big news in this one are rehab outings for Zastryzny and Stinnett.

Other Notes

  • Jose Paulino scatted four hits and no walks in yesterday’s 88 pitch, 7.1 shutout inning masterpiece. In his previous start he allowed just four hits and two walks over 5 innings (82 piches) giving him back to back scoreless efforts. So far, through three starts, his July ERA is 0.55.
  • Rob Zasztryzny last pitched for Iowa on May 15. Coming into the season we expected that he would be a valuable part of the Chicago bullpen, likely as part of the crew that shuttled back and forth to Iowa. Instead, 2017 has been marked by injuries. If he can get healthy and back to his 2016 form, though, he could be a asset towards the end of the season when the Cubs may be looking to rest some of their other bullpen arms.
  • Jake Stinnett, we hoped, would spend 2017 building on a quietly successful 2016 campaign. Instead, he quietly went on the disabled list and had not been heard from until yesterday. The good news that he is back on the mound. Stinnett could still pitch himself into the Cubs’ pitching plans post-2018.
  • For Brett Anderson, the rehab starts have been very similar: not a lot of strikeouts, some hits, some runs, and lots of ground balls.  At this point that’s pretty much who Anderson is, a groundball guy who is going to rely on his infield defense more than the strikeout to be effective.  He is nearing 90 pitches now, though, so if the Cubs want him back in the rotation he should be ready to go. How exactly that would work logistically now that Jose Quintana has arrived and Kyle Hendricks is nearly back, however, is an open question.

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Author: Luke Blaize

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