Cubs Minor League Daily: Eugene Renews with the Cubs for Four More Years

Social Navigation

Cubs Minor League Daily: Eugene Renews with the Cubs for Four More Years

Chicago Cubs

The Eugene Emeralds will be part of the Cubs’ organization for at least four more years. The two teams have agreed to keep the relationship alive until at least 2022.

This is a big deal. Eugene, who shares a field and some facilities with the University of Oregon, is said to have some of the best facilities in the Northwest League. Unless the Cubs want to move their short-season affiliate to the New York – Penn League (something that has been rumored, but would create some issues given the Cubs main training complex is in Mesa), Eugene is probably the place to be.

This also means the Cubs’ affiliates are likely to remain stable for some time. Iowa’s agreement technically expires in 2020, but I would be stunned if the Cubs left Iowa. South Bend’s agreement also expires in 2020, but again, I just don’t see that breakup happening.

Myrtle Beach also expires in 2020, and I’m not quite as sure how the Cubs will play this one. You read nothing but good things about the Pelicans and their facilities, but there are some quality options elsewhere. Myrtle Beach is relatively new to the Cubs, and they are somewhat remote from the rest of the organiztion. A move isn’t inconceivable.

For one thing, switching to the California League isn’t a totally crazy idea (again, given the Mesa connection), although watching the resulting explosion in prospect ERAs might give some Cubs’ fans a heart attack (if you think the Pacific Coast League is hitter friendly, you ain’t seen nothin’). Even staying within the Carolina League, though (I don’t think the Cubs are likely to return to the even more remote and endlessly rain-plagued Florida State League), the Cubs might consider moving. I suspect we’ll find out one way or the other well before 2020 gets here, but right now I expect that verdict to be at least a two year renewal.

And that leaves Tennessee. The Smokies’ agreement with the Cubs expires this year, and I don’t expect the Cubs to leave. There are no teams in the Eastern Leagues ending their affiliations this year, and while several teams will potentially be available in the Texas League, it has been a long time since the Cubs played in that league and I don’t really expect that to change. There maybe some potential Southern League options, however. That said, with the possible exception of Chattanooga, I don’t really see a better fit for the Cubs than Tennessee. My guess is that sometime in the next few weeks we hear that the Cubs are renewing their deal with the Smokies for another four seasons.

And we might hear more than that. There have been rumors in the past that the Cubs would consider adding a Rookie level Appalachian League team that would share some facilities with the Smokies. I think this is less likely now that the Cubs have two teams in the Arizona League playing in Mesa, but probably not completely out of the question. Factor in previous rumors of the Smokies contemplating a move to Knoxville, and I wouldn’t rule out any announcement from the Smokies including more than just a four year renewal.

One other trend to watch for – the Cubs buying one or more minor league affiliate, in whole or in part. The need to invest in player development is now well understood across baseball, and many teams are responding by buying minor league affiliates and then investing more heavily in those area to build up the facilities. So far the Cubs have not done this, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see either the ownership group or the team itself move in that direction in the next few years, particularly once the new media contract starts delivering even larger mountains of cash to the organization.

If you want to see how the affiliate landscape currently lies, check out the updated chart from Baseball America.

Triple A: Iowa Cubs
Las Vegas 9, Iowa 6
Iowa’s four errors led to four unearned runs.

  • Trevor Clifton: 4.2 IP, 5 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 5 K
  • Craig Brooks: 4 R (0 ER), 1 H, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Rob Zastryzny: 2 IP and a line of zeroes
  • Stephen Bruno: 3 for 5, 2B
  • Trey Martin: 2 for 4, BB, SB
  • Ryan Court: 1 for 4, BB, SB

Double A: Tennessee Smokies
Tennessee 7, Jackson 1
Everything was working for the Smokies as they try to climb back into contention.

  • Michael Rucker: 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 4 K
  • Daury Torrez: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K
  • Ian Rice: 3 for 4, 2B, HR, BB
  • P.J. Higgins: 2 for 4, 2B
  • Michael Rucker: 2 for 2

High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Potomac 1, Myrtle Beach 0
Potomac 2, Myrtle Beach 1
Including both games of the doubleheader, the Pelicans managed just four hits.

  • Cory Abbott: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 5 K
  • Zach Davis: 1 for 2, SB
  • Roberto Caro: 0 for 2, BB, SB
  • Game Two
  • Bryan Hudson: 5 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 5 BB, 4 K
  • Yapson Gomez: 1 IP, 2 K
  • Jared Young: 1 for 3, HR

Low A: South Bend Cubs
Bowling Green 6, South Bend 0
The Cubs were shut out for the third time in the span of a week.

  • Enrique De Los Rios: 5 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Garrett Kelly: 2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Miguel Amaya: 1 for 4
  • Christian Donahue: 1 for 4, 2B
  • Delvin Zinn: 1 for 3

Short Season A: Eugene Emeralds
Spokane 7, Eugene 2
Thanks to a pair of errors, the Emeralds gave up three more unearned runs.

  • Eury Ramos: 3.2 IP, 3 R, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K
  • Mitch Stophel: 3 IP, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Grant Fennell: 1 for 3, BB
  • Nelson Velazquez: 1 for 2, 3B, BB
  • Jake Slaughter: 2 for 3, 2B, BB

Rookie: AZL Cubs 1

Cubs One had the day off.

Rookie: AZL Cubs 2
Cubs Two 10, Brewers 7
You wouldn’t think the wind was blowing in by looking at the score, but it was.

  • Jack Patterson: 4.1 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K
  • Jonathan Bruzual: 1.2 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K
  • Luis Silva: 2 IP, 1 R, 3 H, 3 K
  • Henderson Perez: 2 for 4, BB
  • Cole Roederer: 2 for 5, 3B, 2 SB
  • Fidel Mejia: 2 for 2, BB
  • Raymond Pena: 2 for 4, 2B, BB

Other Notes

  • Since their losing streak ended on July 26, the Smokies have played .500 baseball. They are only four and a half games out in the division, but the minor league season wraps up in about a month. They can get back into it, but it will be easier if they can rip off a winning streak to offset that loss of nine in a row.
  • Bryan Hudson has been getting very good results lately. His ERA in July (five starts) was just 1.27 despite that month having one of his lowest ground ball rates of the year and the fact that he walked 14 and struck out 16 in just 28.1 innings. Last night was more of the same: lowish strikeouts (4), highish walks (5), good but not great ground ball rates, but just four hits allowed.
  • Outfielder D.J. Artis (7th round, 2018) played on June 22 and 23, and then we didn’t see him again until yesterday. There was no official DL stint in there, but that isn’t unusual for the Arizona League. So far we know the 5’9″ lefty can take a walk. He has very, very small sample size OBP of .625 despite still looking for his first career hit.

Author: Luke Blaize

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