Cubs Prospect Notes: PCA Injury, Promotions, Estrada, McAvene, Jensen, Young, More

We get another dose of Cubs prospect goodness tonight, with Caleb Kilian making his second big league start (great piece from Bryan here if you missed it). Some more Cubs prospect news and discussion for you …

  • Starting with some of the good news: promotions and activations! At last, and as predicted by prospecting nerds, relief prospect Jeremiah Estrada did get the bump to Double-A Tennessee this week. Having owned at High-A all year (23.0 IP, 1.17 ERA, 42.9% K rate, 11.0% BB), and being Rule 5 eligible after the season, this was a necessary move to see how he handles the new challenge. I’d say there’s a chance Estrada, 23, could even reach Triple-A this year – we see that sometimes with relief movers – but that probably doesn’t so much matter when it comes to the 40-man decision. If he keeps showing the stuff he’s been showing, I’ve gotta believe the Cubs will protect him in November.
  • Corner infielder B.J. Murray, 22, also got the long-awaited bump from Low-A Myrtle Beach to High-A. There was just nothing left for him to do at Low-A, so the 2021 15th rounder is off to South Bend.
  • Part of the reason there was an opening for a position player at South Bend, though? That’s the bad news. Maddie Lee reports that Pete Crow-Armstrong suffered a hand injury (no details yet), and “is expected to miss a week or two.” Hopefully that last part means that it isn’t super serious (but then, nobody acted like Seiya Suzuki’s hand injury was all that serious initially either). And here we were just enjoying PCA’s newly-anointed Basically Consensus Top 50 Prospect status.
  • Here’s a visual on the hand, with a little more information from a fan who saw PCA at Wrigley Field:
  • At Wrigley Field makes you think PCA was getting evaluated by team doctors, and maybe there was a fear that it was worse? So maybe this is actually great news that it’s just a bone bruise? In any case, there’s no reason to push things right now, because, if he’s back in a few weeks, he’ll still get in plenty of time at High-A to wrap his season.
  • Joining Murray at South Bend is righty Michael McAvene, who is hopefully finally fully healthy and ready to really go. The hard-throwing, high-upside, third rounder from 2019 has thrown just 13.1 total innings as a pro thanks to injuries and the pandemic (just 0.2 last year), so I have zero idea of what to expect from him at High-A in what is almost like his pro debut.
  • Cubs pitching prospect Ryan Jensen just came off the Development List with two perfect innings at Tennessee. Looks like he was working on a delivery change, which is notable for him, because he’d previously had some of the longest arm action I can remember seeing:
  • Wondering what the Development List is, by the way? Todd Johnson has a good summary here at Northside Bound. In short, it is a way to remove a minor league player from his active roster spot on a minor league team (they have roster limits, too), even if he isn’t injured. Say a pitcher is working on a new pitch or mechanical tweak – he could head to Arizona to do it without having to take up a spot on a roster. (Each organization is subject to an overall limit of 180 domestic players, though.)
  • The bats have been so good at Triple-A Iowa lately (Narciso Crook and Darius Hill, especially) that I barely even get a chance to mention that Nelson Velazquez – a guy we had previously been talking about constantly! – is hitting .302/.375/.628/160 wRC+ over the last two and a half weeks. It goes by almost unnoticed.
  • One of those Iowa bats, by the way, belongs to Jared Young, who has recently been playing some third base. Nice to see the versatility increasing, which will give him a better shot at making it to The Show. In theory, he can play the infield and outfield corners, and he’s hitting .263/.333/.485/114 wRC+, and .299/.366/.520/133 wRC+ since May 4. Young was part of the back-to-back-to-back homers on three straight pitches last night.
  • The Myrtle Beach Pelicans pitching is just silly:
  • written by

    Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

    more cubs news

    Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 5, Cardinals 1 – July 12, 2024

    The Cubs keep on rolling, with their fifth straight win. In theory, that was the toughest match-up of this Cardinals series, too, with Sonny Gray generally pitching very well, and Kyle Hendricks having struggled. I don't know how he does...

    Pre-Gamin’: Cubs at Cardinals (7:15 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

    CUBS LINEUP — We do not do intros anymore. We also are all still wearing the same underwear, watching these games in the same seats, and eating the same meals everyday, right? Chicago Cubs Lineup: Nico Hoerner, 2B Michael Busch,...

    More Mock Drafts? Why Not! The Latest Cubs Picks

    Just two days to go before the 2024 MLB Draft kicks off with the first two rounds on Sunday evening. I can't wait. Which means I am consuming whatever last-minute mock drafts come out, and looking with great interest up...

    MLBits: Skenes Named NL Starter, Bichette and Anderson Forgot How to Hit, Phillies Statement Sweep, More

    MLB NOTES — After Paul Skenes' final start before the MLB All-Star Game on Thursday, I tweeted in jest that I would riot if he weren't named the starter for the National League team. Thankfully, I can proceed in peace....

    Cubs Farm Report | July 12, 2024: Wiggins Dazzles, Nearly Helps Myrtle Beach Throw a Combined No-No

    CUBS PROSPECTS — On Thursday, Jaxon Wiggins and Tyler Schlaffer teamed up for a near-no hitter for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Cubs Prospects Report | July 12, 2024 Triple-A Iowa Cubs Prospects The Iowa Cubs lost 10-4 to the Nashville...

    Cubs Injury Notes: Tauchman, Brown, Wicks, Bellinger

    [ankin_law] I guess I'll just get the Cody Bellinger part out the door first, because you all already know he's got a fractured left middle finger (throwing hand), and went on the Injured List yesterday. That means you're wanting to...

    One Week In, and We’re Nearly a Third of the Way to the FULL Make-A-Wish Blogathon Experience!

    We are just one week into raising funds for Make-A-Wish, and you've already pushed us to nearly half of our goal! A reminder that I'm offering to blog for 40 straight hours - NO SLEEP -  at the 2024 MLB...

    The First Half Ends with Four Games Against the Cardinals in Three Days … Let’s GO

    [BN_drinks] Cubs vs Cardinals — Well that was a surprise. The Cubs just swept the Orioles in Baltimore, which brought them "up" to just four games under .500. And that means, the Cubs can technically get back to .500 if...

    The Boys Are Rolling, What Lies Ahead, Stellar Steele, and Other Cubs Bullets

    I am hopelessly and completely sucked back into "make a freaking miracle run" mode. I think that says as much about how desperate we've been for a good stretch of baseball as it says about my belief that the Cubs...

    Turns Out We Haven’t Seen a Game Like Seiya Suzuki’s in a Long Time

    This is one of those factoids that is not necessarily important, but struck me as pretty darn fun. We knew that Seiya Suzuki had a big night at the plate last night, with two doubles, a triple, and three runs...

    Latest News

    Mets vs. Rockies Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, July 13, 2024

    The New York Mets (48-45) and Harrison Bader (2 HR in his last game) are favored (-228) on the moneyline for their matchup with the Colorado Rockies (33-62) on Saturday at 4:10 PM ET on SNY.Christian Scott will get the...

    Phillies vs. Athletics Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, July 13, 2024

    The Philadelphia Phillies will take the field against the Oakland Athletics (36-60) on Saturday. The game begins at 4:05 PM ET on NBCS-PH, with the Phillies listed as -192 favorites on the moneyline.Philadelphia's Tyler Phillips and Oakland's Mitch Spence have...

    Red Sox vs. Royals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, July 13, 2024

    MJ Melendez leads the Kansas City Royals (52-43) into Saturday's matchup with the Boston Red Sox (51-42) on a two-game homer streak. His Royals are underdogs for the contest, however, with sportsbooks naming the Red Sox as -131 moneyline favorites....

    Reds vs. Marlins Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, July 13, 2024

    The Cincinnati Reds (46-49) are -161 favorites for their Saturday matchup with the Miami Marlins (32-62). Andrew Abbott gets the ball for the Reds and will look to earn his 10th win of the campaign.Cincinnati's Abbott gets the start, and...

    Astros vs. Rangers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, July 13, 2024

    The Houston Astros (50-44) will put their four-game win streak to the test when they host the Texas Rangers (44-50) Saturday at 4:10 PM ET on BSSW. Oddsmakers consider the Astros -145 favorites to extend their streak, while the Rangers...

    Orioles vs. Yankees Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, July 13, 2024

    The Baltimore Orioles (57-37) host the New York Yankees (57-39) at 4:05 PM ET Saturday for a sluggers' duel between two of the best power hitters in MLB. For the favored Orioles (-135), Gunnar Henderson has racked up 27 homers...

    Brewers vs. Nationals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, July 13, 2024

    The Milwaukee Brewers (54-41) are set to take on the Washington Nationals (43-52) Saturday at 4:10 PM ET, airing on BSWI. The Brewers are listed as -276 favorites by sportsbooks, while the underdog Nationals have +228 odds for the contest.Milwaukee's...

    Guardians vs. Rays Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Saturday, July 13, 2024

    The Cleveland Guardians (57-36) hope to avoid their fourth straight defeat when they visit the Tampa Bay Rays (47-47) Saturday at 4:10 PM ET on BSSUN. The Guardians are listed as -113 favorites to snap their losing skid, while the...

    Today’s Copa America 2024 Predictions, Picks and Odds – Saturday, July 13

    There is one match on Saturday's 2024 Copa America schedule, so let's look at the betting odds for this match.All of today's Copa America play provides betting opportunities, so here's an in-depth look at the odds.Head to Fubo to watch...

    Guardians vs. Rays Probable Starting Pitchers – July 13

    The Cleveland Guardians (57-36) visit the Tampa Bay Rays (47-47) on Saturday after a streak of three losses. First pitch is at 4:10 PM ET.The Guardians will look to Gavin Williams (0-1) versus the Rays and Zack Littell (3-6).Guardians vs....

    more cubs news