And so, the second half begins.
Last Sunday, the South Bend Cubs clinched the first half Eastern Division title after an outstanding 7 IP from Kyle Miller and some late heroics from Eloy Jimenez. Eloy’s 2 run double gave the Cubs a 2 run lead late in the game. Later, in the next inning, Pedro Araujo came in for the 2 inning save. Then three days later, the big league Cubs extended their development deal through 2020 with South Bend. Congratulations on two counts, South Bend!
And then this happened last night….
— SouthBend Cubs Radio (@SBCubsRadio) June 26, 2016
It’s a good time to be Eloy. But, he wasn’t the big star of the week. That will come later.
Otherwise, it was a slow news week in the Cubs MiLB system as AA, A+ and A- all had their All-Star Game festivities. Eloy Jimenez (What is it with this guy? 😉 ) of South Bend was named the Top Star after pounding a first pitch slider over the CF wall to tie the game. The HR drove in three. Trevor Clifton came in and got the save for the Carolina League who defeated the California League.
There were also some promotions:
- Ian Happ went from Myrtle Beach to AA Tennessee after winning his second straight Carolina League Player of the Week and hitting over .600 in that span. Last night, he was a triple shy of a cycle. At Tennessee, he is hitting .625. He’s just torturing baseballs right now.
- Gioskar Amaya moved from Myrtle Beach to AA Tennessee
- Ian Rice moved from South up to Myrtle Beach
- David Bote is back in Myrtle Beach
- Alex Bautista is back in Eugene after filling in at Iowa
With the All-Star game/break there were only a few Cubs teams playing until Thursday. Since then, the pitchers, for the most part, stole the show this week.
*Preston Morrison was lights out on Friday night as he went seven innings and struck out six in leading South Bend over Dayton in the second game of the second half.
*Jen-Ho Tseng has a 1.17 ERA since his return from the DL in late May. He went six on Friday night and gave up just one run while striking out 4, but walking 3.
*Faustino Carrera, another 17 year-old from Mexico, went 6 IP with 6 Ks for the Cubs #2 Dominican Summer League team. So far, he has gone 16 IP with 17 Ks and ERA of 0.56 in 3 starts.
*Javier Assad of the Arizona Cubs, just 18 years-old and from Baja in Mexico, went 5 IP with no runs and 4 Ks, but walked 3 and gave up 3 hits in his debut on Friday.
*Ryan Kellogg went 6 IP and struck out 7 in his second half debut on Thursday night
*Young 17 year old Jose Albertos, also from Mexico, made his first start for the Arizona Cubs this week. He only went 4 innings, but he struck out seven, walked one, gave up one hit, and did not allow a run. He worked in the mid to upper 90s for most of the game.
*See my Dylan Cease and Bryan Hudson posts
Here are some happenings from around the system.
|Iowa||4-3 (35-38 – 5.5 GB) – Jeimer, Zagunis, Watkins, and Murton are on fire. The pitching has been serviceable but not outstanding|
|Tennessee||1-2 – Oh, look, Jen-Ho and Ian Happ are here and doing well. I saw a little bit of the game on Saturday night. They just are not driving in runs.|
|Myrtle Beach||1-2 – Ryan McNeil es en fuego.|
|South Bend:||3-0 – Wow! Kellogg and Morrison had stunning starts on Thursday and Friday followed by Bloomquist on Saturday.|
|Eugene||4-3 (6-3) – Their starting pitching might give Myrtle Beach a run for their money as the best pitching staff in the Cubs’ system, especially when it comes to starting pitching.|
|Arizona||3-2 – Stunning starting pitching and hitters that capitalize on mistakes. Very, very young team.|
|Dominican Republic 1||3-2 (9-9) – Getting better. Not hitting for average, but their OBPs are spectacular for 17-18 year old kids.|
|Dominican Republic 2||5-1 (13-6) – Pitching and hitting are both doing very well.|
Players of the Week
Here’s What’s Coming Up Next Week at Cubs Central
The New Mexican Connection
Eugene’s Double Play Combo Tearing It Up
A Week of Willson
June Cards of the Month
June All-Star Team
Articles Coming Up in July
Three Days in Iowa
2 Afternoons at Kane County