I-Cubs Schedule Play Dates With New Playmates
So the Iowa Cub schedule released this week and it’s, well, different. Different opponents, different format, different duration. But the difference that matters most is that there will be a season this season.
No more Pacific Coast League for the ultra landlocked I-Cubs. As charter members of the newly conceived Triple A East League/Midwest Division, they’re slated to play 142 games, all of them against intradivisional foes Louisville Bats (Cincy), St. Paul Saints (Twins), Columbus Clippers (MLB team to be renamed later that’s at home in Cleveland), Toledo Mud Hens (Detroit), Indianapolis Indians (Pittsburgh’s partners; team, city and state to be renamed later?) and the same old, same old Omaha Storm Chasers, née Royals, longtime cousins of the big club in Kansas City.
Get this: 42 games with Omaha and 36 versus St. Paul, Iowa's next door neighbors in the comparatively close knit divisional cul de sac, make up more than half of the schedule. All series will be Tuesday through Sunday, six-game arrangements. Everybody gets Mondays off and all travel between cities will be by bus to reduce both possible COVID exposure in airports and on commercial flights and operating expenses. The far flung PCL consortium required lots of flying time. This first year of the reorganized MiLB with the pandemic still a major factor throughout the minors will present an opportunity for new rivalries to spring up quickly as teams get sick of seeing each other six days in a row. Iowa’s first two series, on the road at Louisville and at home facing Toledo, will be like blind dates arranged by the MLB matchmakers who orchestrated the fruit basket upset of the bush leagues that lopped off 40 town teams on the lowest rungs.
Also, a season that’s traditionally ended on Labor Day will extend through September 19 this year, thereby curtailing next winter by a couple of weeks.
I’m curious about the new league’s new ball. In 2019, for the first time, Triple A used the exact same ball as MLB, only with a different monogram. The big leagues announced they’re tweaking their model (again) in ‘21 and I suppose the ones they ship here will be stamped what, Triple A East? No ring to it, but I’m sure there’ll be the proverbial “CRACK!” when a bat hits it. I can almost hear it now.
tim815 2 min 2 sec ago (view)
MLB.com rated the Cubs 22 out of 30.
This season figuresc to tell quite a bit. No teams are terrible at player development anymore, and no teams look at the draft as a hopeless puzzle.
KingKongvsGodzilla 3 hours 7 min ago (view)
Are these guys out of the org now?
K Dub 7 hours 44 min ago (view)
PHIL: Any velo readings on Ramos? Earlier reports also had him sitting 98-99. Thanks!
George Altman 13 hours 44 min ago (view)
Phil, serious question: How good is the Cubs Player Development Department? Scale of 1 to 30 with 1 being best. I mean, I can think of 5 teams right now who don't have near the Cubs resources but do better year after.
I mean there are organizations across sports who seem to coach the crap out of their draft picks and signees. They just got 4 teenagers for Darvish, but do they have the coaches to get any of them to the show?
My pessimistic grade would be about 24.
Arizona Phil 13 hours 59 min ago (view)
DJL: How about Eddy Julio Martinez as a spectacular miss? A $3M signing bonus out of Cuba and he never made it out of AA.
Dolorous Jon Lester 14 hours 6 min ago (view)
Wow, that's a pretty spectacular miss. He was so highly thought of when he signed.
Arizona Phil 14 hours 38 min ago (view)
TIM: Richard Gallardo doesn't seem to be progressing as a SP, so he has apparently been moved to the bullpen. He has a tendency to labor through innings and nibble too much and throw a lot of pitches.
tim815 14 hours 51 min ago (view)
Anything on Gallardo, of interest, from today?
Arizona Phil 14 hours 53 min ago (view)
The Cubs have released LHP Ryan Kellogg, RHP Alex Moore, 3B Fidel Mejia, OF Jose Gutierrez, OF Eddy Julio Martinez, and OF Zac Taylor from Minor League Camp.
Arizona Phil 14 hours 59 min ago (view)
And despite what you might read elsewhere, It was - NOT - a "hot" gun.
Arizona Phil 15 hours 26 min ago (view)
He certainly could have forced the Cubs to release him with full salary as termination pay, so he must like it with the Cubs.
Charlie 17 hours 16 min ago (view)
Follow-up on last week's discussion of Baez's contact and plate discipline woes. Another Fangraphs article notes that he is among league leaders in combined positive change in zone swing rates (swinging at more pitches inside the strike zone) and reduction in chase rate (swinging at pitches outside the zone). See the last table: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/lets-look-at-some-earl...
This makes his 45% strikeout rate and 1.7% BB rate all the more strange.
crunch 20 hours 18 min ago (view)
he may not be worth much to us as fans, but every indication points to him being quite popular in the dugout. nice to see him stick around as an emergency callup catcher.
Wrigley Rat 1 day 8 hours ago (view)
Tony Wolters clears waivers and is sent to the Alternate Training site in South Bend.
bigsky33 1 day 13 hours ago (view)
Hi Phil, are they letting you into Sloan? Great to see your write-ups!!
crunch 1 day 16 hours ago (view)