Cubs Dominican Area Scout Killed in Santo Domingo

Sad news at Sloan Park Saturday night as informatiion was received that long-time Cubs Dominican Republic Area Scout Carlos Reyes was struck and killed by a car in Santo Domingo on Friday. 

Reyes was one of four Cubs Dominican Area Scouts (the Cubs also have a Dominican Scouting Coordinator). He was hired by the Cubs about twelve years ago after newly-hired Scouting Director Tim Wilken significantly expanded the Cubs international scouting foot-print (the Cubs previously had one Area Scout covering all of the Dominican Republic).  

Reyes signed dozens of Dominican players over the years, including OF Eloy Jimenez, INF Arismendy Alcantara, RHP Jose Rosario, RHP Pedro Araujo, OF Jonathan Sierra, RHP Yunior Perez, INF Luis Diaz, RHP Benjamin Rodriguez, and RHP Luis Ramos.

Per statistics compiled by the World Health Organization in 2016, the Dominican Republic has the highest rate of traffic-related fatalities per 100,000 population of any country in the Americas (Belize is a distant second). Cubs minor leaguers RHP Jose Zapata and OF Kevin Encarnacion (both signed by Reyes) were almost killed (and had their playing careers effectively destroyed) after being involved in a roll-over car crash in the Dominican in January 2014, and another Cubs minor leaguer (not signed by Reyes) -- 16-year old SS Vicente King -- was killed in a motorcycle crash in the Dominican in April 2017, less than two months before he was scheduled to make his pro debut in the DSL.  

Cubs vs. Mets: Series Thread (Games 74-77)

Willson Contreras resuscitated the Cubs offense last night. They'll try to keep the juices flowing in a 4-game series against the Mets. Said Metropolitans enter town at a disappointing 35-39 mark and 2-5 over their last two series. Their offense is just a tick above average by wRC+ (barely behind the Cubs at the moment) and the pitching staff is 4th worst in the majors by ERA-. First baseman Pete Alonso has been the season's pleasant surprise, mashing 24 homeruns before the midpoint in his debut season. Jacob deGrom and Syndergaard remain good but look far more mortal than past iterations. They lost Yoenis Cespedes to an ankle injury that will prevent him from appearing at all this year. Meanwhile, the Cubs have called up Adbert Alzolay to help out of the bullpen while Hendricks and the training staff navigate his shoulder impingement. See below for daily matchups.

Cubs vs. White Sox: Lester vs. Giolito

CHC (39-33): LHP Jon Lester (5-5, 4.08 ERA)
CHW (35-36): RHP Lucas Giolito (10-1, 2.22 ERA)
First pitch 7:05pmCDT

Having squandered the opportunity to join the league-wide pile-on against Ivan Nova last night, the Cubs try to dodge the two-game sweep at the hands of the Sox' best pitcher. Lester heads things up on the run-prevention side. He allowed six earned runs while suffering a loss against the Dodgers last time out. Going back to May 18 he has an ERA of 7.59. Jose Abreu is 6-15 with a homerun off of him.

Cubs vs. White Sox: Hamels vs. Nova (Game 72)

CHC (39-32): LHP Cole Hamels (6-2, 2.98 ERA)

CHW 3(34-36): RHP Ivan Nova (3-5, 6.28 ERA)

First pitch 7:05pmCDT

The Cubs return home to take on their cross-city rivals. They remain 0.5 games behind Milwaukee with the Cards lagging an additional two games behind the Cubs. Cole Hamels made his third start without an earned run, going seven innings with 9 strikeouts in Colorado last time out. Few White Sox have seen much of him. Jon Jay and his 13 at-bats are on the IL. Jose Abreu is 4-9 with a homerun off of him. Hamels has been a tremendous groundball pitcher this year, and the White Sox have the second highest GB% behind the Marlins--that may provide some incentive for Maddon to start his best defensive infield. The general impatience of the Sox lineup should play to Hamels' favor, although he seems to have harnessed his command of late.

Cubs 2018 International Signing Period (J-2 players)

6/16 UPDATE:

With just minutes left before the midnight (Eastern) deadline, the Cubs signed two more 2018-19 J-2 IFA (both from Mexico), bringing the total number of 2018-19 J-2 IFA signed by the Cubs to 39, including 21 since the Cubs acquired $750K in ISBP space from the Baltimore Orioles this past April in return for allowing the Orioles to keep 2017 Rule 5 draft pick RHRP Pedro Araujo.    

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