Happy Opening Day, Part 2!

Keegan Thompson (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

Keegan Thompson (photo by Stephanie Lynn)

I nearly labeled today as the real Opening Day for baseball but I know most don't hold my view on the matter. Sure, the Majors are more important, but in my mind the season doesn't get into full swing until we get the baseball overload of not just the dozen or so MLB games, but another 10+ games across each of the four full-season Minor League levels. Of the many ways that baseball is different than other sports this abundance of action on a daily basis is probably my favorite.

The Iowa Cubs have the privilege to kick off the first of 55 MiLB games across 27 states at 3:05 CST. Even accounting for the inevitable rain outs we are still looking at the potential for 60+ baseball games played today if you also include the slate of 11 scheduled MLB matchups. The festivities in Des Moines became even more unique thanks to a late announcement that the I-Cubs will now play an Opening Day doubleheader. Due to inclement weather expected this weekend, Sunday's contest will be played tonight instead. Somewhere Mr. Cub is smiling.

Announcements on the starting pitchers has been late in coming. At this time only Myrtle Beach has published their choice, 2017 3rd round selection Keegan Thompson.


My guess is that Jen-Ho Tseng and Alec Mills will be handling the duties in Iowa but as to which will pitch the opener... (UPDATE: I was half-wrong. Tseng will start the opener while veteran Michael Roth pitches game two. The Smokies have announced Trevor Clifton will take the ball for them tonight.)

Jen-Ho Tseng by Bill Mitchell

Jen-Ho Tseng by Bill Mitchell

Cubs Den will of course begin our Daily Cubs Minors Recaps tomorrow. The format will start off much the same as it did at the end of last season, but I might experiment, or at least tinker here and there, as the season progresses. I will also be posting more prospect video on my twitter account (@mj_ernst) than I will be able to include in the daily posts, but I will insert snippets like the one above when relevant. I would also highly recommend signing up for MiLB.TV if you have $50 to spare. All five of the Cubs top affiliates broadcast their home games and the Myrtle Beach, South Bend and Eugene broadcasts in particular have been very well done the past couple of years. Without John's presence in Mesa this summer I will be relying mostly on AZ Phil's articles over at the The Cub Reporter for Extended Spring Training news.

Comments

Leave a comment
  • Nice article Michael. The local media here in Des Moines have been saying Tseng will start the afternoon 7 inning game. With lots of snow coming on Sunday, that game will be played as part of a doubleheader today. 50 degrees today for the first time in two weeks. The minor league opener is officially scheduled for January 95th!

  • In reply to BobMiller146:

    Thanks. And it looks like Roth will start game 2. I will update the article.

  • fb_avatar

    The wife and I will be at South Bend tomorrow night where it looks like snow for the second year of the last three....gotta love northern Indiana in April! Go Cubs!

  • In reply to Scott Tomkiewicz:

    Sounds like you've been to Four Winds before. I haven't but plan to this year. I like to roam and take in different vantage points depending on the game action. Is it assigned seating and are they strict? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    It is all assigned seating from what I could gather in my short time there.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Thanks, Michael. I've been to some parks that are strict. I don't know if it's club policy or overzealous employees, but like I said, I like to roam depending on who I want to see.

  • In reply to BarleyPop:

    I'm sure you can move around a little, it is not going to be like Wrigley where the ushers chase you down, but it also isn't bleacher seating like some MWL parks have.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to BarleyPop:

    Barley, like Michael said it is assigned seating however, depending on the crowd, sitting just about anywhere you want is ok, we have done the same as far as roaming. There is construction going on...apartments are being built behind the left field wall and will be similar to being at Wrigley....rooftop seating! At least sometime in the future anyway. When do you plan on making out here? If i may ask?

  • The second Iowa Cubs game will also feature top Dodgers prospect Walker Buehler on hill. Buehler is BA's 5th best pitching prospect and 13th best overall.

  • In reply to Michael Ernst:

    Buehler has nasty stuff. Probably not long until he's up.

  • When I read the title I thought this was going to be about the Cubs home opener at Wrigley North tonight

  • In reply to NextYearIsHere:

    That works as well :)

  • I'll be making my first ever visit to see the Iowa Cubs in late July and am really looking forward to it.

  • fb_avatar

    Thanks Michael. I said the other day that as much as I look forward to opening day—especially these last few years—it’s not completely opened until the minor league games start and since I found Cubs Den and started reading the recaps. That’s what I look forward to reading every day. Thank you John again for Cubs Den and you Michael (and the others) who will give us all the minor league information.

  • fb_avatar

    Lester got him!!

Leave a comment