“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.” – Nuke Laloosh from the movie Bull Durham
Well, yesterday, the rain won. I got in my truck about 4:45 P.M. to head over to Clinton, Iowa to see the South Bend Cubs take on the Clinton Lumberkings. Five minutes into the trip it started to rain. That came as no surprise as I had been frantically checking the radar all day long. I only went 15 miles and was crossing the bridge into Oregon, Illinois that I got the message the game had been canceled. I figured if I stayed home, they would play and I would kill myself for not going. So I went. And it rained.
Today, it is supposed to be sunny and 85. In the spirit of Ernie Banks, the Cubs and Lumberkings will play two games starting at 5 P.M. Central. I will be there with camera and recorder in hand. I really like the stadium where the teams will play. As a history teacher, I love to teach about the 1930s and the stadium at Ashford University in Clinton was built by the WPA. All of the grandstands are covered in a wooden frame roof reminiscent of stadiums in the film, A League of Their Own. There’s also a lady who makes funnel cakes to order in front of you. They are sooooo good! It’s one of my top 5 places to see a game!
Anyway, here are some things I will be looking for today.
1. Eloy – Coming off his big showing at the Futures Game, I expect Eloy to be locked and loaded today. The breeze will be blowing from the west at the stadium along the Mississippi River, which should aid any balls Eloy pulls.
2. Preston Morrison – One thing I have loved about this season is watching the MiLB camera angles at South Bend. When Preston Morrison pitches, you get a great view of the movement on his pitches. Today, I get to see them in real time.
3. Eddy Martinez – He is one of my favorite stories of the year. He has totally changed his approach this year. In just a few months, it has paid off and he is the hottest hitter on the team.
4. Justin Steele – He will take the bump in the second game. I am looking to see how well he commands his fastball. At just 20, he did not have the best spring, but he could have a good second half.
5. Andruw Monasterio – He is one exciting player. Great speed and hustle, but he still needs to polish his skills. As much as he is prone to create excitement, he is equal in his measure to cause errors.
6. I am sure there will be a lot more awaiting me than these five things.
Other Random Bits
*I still haven’t heard anything about Dylan Cease either way. He is supposed to pitch a side session the next couple of days. If it happens, that’s a good thing. If it doesn’t, don’t think the worst. Maybe they just skip a start.
*Like Cease, I have not heard anything on Duane Underwood’s injury either, although he missed one start so far.
*Oscar de la Cruz finally saw some action last night in Arizona. He wasn’t sharp, but then who would be, as he gave up three runs in three innings, but according to this tweet, things were happening.
Oft-injured Cubs prospect, Oscar de la Cruz, 91-95, long arm action, cross body. Flashed plus slider 78-80, 40 change at 85.
— Eric Longenhagen (@longenhagen) July 14, 2016
Enough with the injuries…
*Myrtle Beach is in first !!!! That’s right, the Pelicans have won four in a row. The offense at the top of the order is humming along and the bullpen has been magnificent. Charcer Burks, Rashad Crawford, and Gleyber are having a nice ten game span. I am sad, though, because I will have to miss Trevor Clifton’s start tonight! I love to watch him pitch. I guess I can watch it tomorrow morning. He is turning into a top flight arm in the system.
*Eugene’s magic number is down to 8 with a 5 game lead. Tonight, Jose Paulino pitches. He’s pretty efficient and aggressive.
*The Cubs DSL 2 teams continue to roll along. They are 23-10 including 15-1 at home, yet they only lead by one game in their division.
Stay tuned to my Twitter account CubsCentral08 for pics and video from tonight!