- Trayce Thompson: 2-4, HR (11), 2 R, RBI (.225)
- Nick Martini: 1-5, HR (7), R, RBI (.253)
- Ian Miller: 2-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, SB (9) (.278)
- Tony Wolters: 1-2, R, 2 BB (.273)
- Sergio Alcantara: 1-4, BB (.333)
- Alfonso Rivas: 1-4, BB (.284)
- Michael Rucker: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (4.81)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Veteran outfielders Ian Miller (.278/.333/.354) and Nick Martini (.253/.388/.445) continue to swing hot sticks. Miller hit .343 in June and has followed it up with a .300 average in July. Martini spent the first couple of months getting inconsistent at bats in Iowa and Chicago, but he’s found his groove of late. Over his last 10 games he is batting .406 with a .536 OBP and 3 home runs.
Chicago fans have already seen a decent amount of Sergio Alcantara (.333/.474/.493) this season. They know he provides really good defense with a strong arm. He’s also got a decent eye at the plate and some unexpected pop in his bat (when he makes contact). The contact has not been as much of an issue at AAA (20 BB/20 K in 75 ABs). He’s picked up right where he left off when his excellent play at the AAA level prompted his promotion to Chicago (.171/.266/.354), as he’s reached base 7 times during his 3 games back with Iowa. It has only translated in spurts at the MLB level thus far, but Alcantara, who just turned 25, will undoubtedly get another shot after the trade deadline. Until then, he can regain some confidence.
Another player aligning himself for a post trade deadline call up is 1B/LF Alfonso Rivas (.284/.414/.474). Acquired from Oakland two offseasons ago, Rivas has finally gotten to show off the skills which made him appealing to the Cubs. He lacks the power profile of a typical first baseman, and his defense in left field is still an open question, but the 24-year old left-handed hitter does a few things at the plate the Cubs could use more of: he makes contact (< 20 K%), he uses the whole field, and he gets on base (21 BB/HBP compared to 23 K). He isn’t putting the ball in the air a lot, but since he opened the season a little rusty with 7 games in June (2-for-20), he’s gone on to hit .333/.468/.560 in July. Whether the Cubs move Anthony Rizzo or not, there should still be enough roster room after the trade deadline to begin letting Rivas get his feet wet in the Majors. He’s Rule 5 eligible, so they’ll need to make 40-man room regardless, and the Cubs will want to take a look at him with an eye toward 2022.
A complete no-show by the South Bend offense (3 hits, 4 walks). Good news did come out of this one in the form of Chris Clarke making his first start for the Cubs. He’d made one appearance in Mesa earlier in the week, and then in his first taste of full season affiliate ball on Sunday he did pretty darn good. I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but his line is kind of what I would expect from him at this level. Clarke features a fastball he can run up into the mid-90s, a really good curve, and has always managed pretty solid command and control. If he stays healthy, I’d expect him to make his way to AA at some point during the 2nd half, with an eye toward him competing for a slot in the Iowa rotation next spring.
- Chris Clarke: 4 IP, 4 H, R, 0 BB, 3 K (L, 0-1, 2.25)
- Jake Washer: 1-2, BB (.193)
- Jake Slaughter: 1-2, BB, CS (3) (.244)
Injuries, Updates, and Trends
Rowan Wick completed his rehab assignment with South Bend. He looked ready to return to big league action.
Max Bain was placed on the developmental list. A big topic in the blogoshphere and social media over the offseason, Bain is a feel good story who went undrafted, lost more than 50 pounds, got big into the Driveline trend and started throwing mid-to-upper-90s with promising spin on his breaking balls. It’s been a rocky transition for him to take a turn pitching every 5 days in the South Bend rotation. There have certainly been flashes, his fastball in particular has popped at times, but the consistency just hasn’t been there.
Despite having the frame and stamina you look for in a starter, I’ve never been convinced he is the type of athlete capable of repeating his delivery to command his pitches well enough to be a starter. I certainly hope I am wrong, and there is still big reliever potential for Bain even if I’m right, but for the time being it appears they want to have him step back and worth through some things outside of game action. My guess is there is a mechanical issue they’ve identified which they want him to sort through before sending him back out.
Myrtle Beach also had a rough day at the dish, managing just 5 hits and a walk. They too received a solid start, in their case from Richard Gallardo, who had his power sinker working (9-to-1 GO-to-FO). A throwing error by Ed Howard led to three unearned runs in the 3rd.
- Richard Gallardo: 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 ER, BB, 3 K (L, 2-6, 4.60)
- Bailey Reid: 2 IP, H, 0 R, BB, 2 K (3.82)
- Ezequiel Pagan: 2-4 (.264)
- Kevin Made: 1-3 (.200)
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap