This might have been the fastest week of the year. Between the rainouts, school events, mowing, and more mowing, I was not sure if I was coming or going. I did get to see Myrtle Beach play several times when they were on MiLB.TV. It was fun watching their pitchers work, especially Clifton, Null, and Stinnett. There were also several bats who caught on fire this week, some of them are the top prospects in the system.
Despite not having a good week (3-3), the South Bend Cubs moved into first place. Eloy Jimenez hit 3 HRs, all on the road. Andrew Ely and Matt Rose added to the power display Friday and Saturday. At Iowa, the starting pitching, which once seemed stabilized, now is not. Conversely, Myrtle Beach continues to pitch well, but the hitting is starting to come around. Gleyber Torres is now at .255, after his average was a scant .179 three weeks ago. Tennessee, after two weeks at 1-4, now are showing some signs of life as Mark Zagunis and Victor Caratini are on rolls. On the other hand, Duane Underwood is still struggling since coming off the DL.
On Saturday night, a lot of fireworks took place as Andrew Ely went for 4-5 with a HR and 4 RBIs. Jeimer Candelario went nuts with a grand slam and 7 RBIs. Candelario went 9/24 (.375) on the week with 1 HR and 9 RBIs on the week while Ely went 12/26 (.462) with 2 HR and 7 RBIs.
Arizona and Eugene are now less than a month away from opening day. Add in the fact that the draft is less than three weeks from beginning, the season is moving along at breakneck speed.
Record: 18-22; 6.0 GB
Last Ten: 3-7
Weekly: 0-6, lost 6 in a row
Record: 20 – 22; 5 GB
Last Ten: 5-5
Record: 23-18; 5.5 GB
Last Ten: 7-3
Record: 24 – 16; +1.0 GB
Last Ten: 6-4
Extended Spring Training
Dylan Cease had a fabulous start Monday going 4 IP with 5 Ks. Aramis Ademan, Isaac Paredes, Jonathan Sierra, and Jonathan Perlaza (all 2015 IFAs) all had big weeks at the plate. Bryan Hudson and one of my favorite prospects, Erling Moreno, also had good starts this week.
Players of the Week
Hitter of the Week – Andrew Ely – South Bend.
I thought for sure this was going to be Eloy Jimenez who went 11/27 (407) with 3 HRs and 5 RBIs. But Ely out did him while hitting leadoff for the Cubs. Ely saw his average rise from .282 to .327 on the week.
Starting Pitcher of the Week – Trevor Clifton – Myrtle Beach
This was a tough choice but Trevor did not allow a run in 5.1 innings while striking out 7 and lowering his ERA to 2.62 on the year and 1.10 for the month. Runner up was Rob Zastryzny who went 7.2 innings with 2 ERs and 8 Ks.
Reliever of the Week – James Norwood – South Bend
Since mid-April, he’s been quietly going about his business. Now he’s racking up some saves, 5 in his last five outings. I really like his fastball, which sits at 95-96, His secondary pitches still need some work. Runner up – James Farris had been on a roll until a blown save on Friday night.
Team of the Week – Myrtle Beach Pelicans
If this team ever gets to hitting, they could really take off. Now that Salem’s Andrew Benintendi has been promoted, the Pelicans could have a chance to catch Salem in the playoff chase.
Coming Up This Week at Cubs Central
A series preview with the Cardinals
The Six Pack Peaks at the Phillies Series
And maybe some draft stuff, maybe