Well, let’s get right into it…C.J. Edwards is still being held out with shoulder stiffness. Obviously, that’s not exactly what we wanted to hear about Edwards. However, with the abundance of caution taken with Jake Arrieta, this isn’t a big surprise. In the mean time, let’s continue to hope that’s all it is. An MRI showed no structural damage, so in that regard, good news. Jorge Soler left Thursday’s game his hamstring tightness, “tweaking” it while making a catch in right field, according to Mick Gillispie. And Corey Black left his last start early. So, rough going on the injury front in Tennessee. Break out the bubble wrap and hide Kris Bryant.
Injuries of Note: Lendy Castillo (7 Day DL), Cael Brockmeyer (7 Day DL), C.J. Edwards (7 Day DL, Shoulder), Lance Rymel (7 Day DL), Giuseppe Papaccio (7 Day DL), Ivan Pineyro (7 Day DL, Right Forearm Strain), Hunter Cervenka (7 Day DL)
Kane County Cougars
Record This season: 26-14, 1st Place (+2.5) MWL West
The starting rotation in Kane County is definitely something to watch. Daury Torrez, Paul Blackburn, Tyler Skulina, Duane Underwood, and Jen-Ho Tseng have all made at least 6 starts, and only Skulina has an ERA over 3.00. The bullpen has been rock solid, too, led by closer Zack Godley, who has 25 strike outs in 15 innings, and 7 saves on the young season. The pitching is what has led the Cougars out of the block with a 2.5 game lead in the MWL West early on.
Record This Season: 12-24, 5th Place (-14.5) FSL North
The D-Cubs were rained out on Thursday, which is the only thing that can dampen the hot bat of Albert Almora. In his last two games, he is 5-9, with 3 doubles, a home run, and 8 RBI. His numbers for the season are not eye-popping at .258/.287/.383, but as a 20 year old in the Florida State League, that’s nothing to be terribly concerned about. He is still making contact, with an 11.7 K%, and as he gets more comfortable and more experience, his talent should drive his numbers in a positive direction.
Record This Season: 23-17, 2nd Place (-3.5) Southern League North
It seems unfair to continue talking about Kris Bryant and the video game numbers he is hanging on the pitchers of the Southern League. We’ll just leave it at this…he went yard 3 more times this week, drove in 11 more runs, and hit a solid .364. Southern League pitchers can be found frantically looking for Theo’s e-mail address, begging to promote him. Jorge Soler has come back swinging, as well. He hit 7 doubles over the course of the week, and driving in 7 runs of his own. Although, as mentioned, he did leave Thursday’s game with “hamstring tightness.” That may be worth keeping an eye on, but he did leave the game under his own power.
Record This Season: 21-16, 1st Place (-) PCL American North
Javier Baez had one hit this week. One. A single. Granted, it was a 10th inning walk-off single on Monday night, but for a consensus top ten prospect in baseball, and the Cubs’ best prospect, a single in a week’s time is a massive cold streak. He has walked 3 times, which is nice. But he’s also struck out. A lot. Christian Villanueva is starting to put it together, with a .270/.325/.378 line in his last 10, boosting his season numbers to .217/.286/.342. A lack of offense and prolonged slumps have been a theme early on for the I-Cubs. The weather hasn’t helped, but there are too many talented hitters to be struggling so mightily as a whole. It is something definitely worth watching. If and when they get a welcomed positive regression, the offense should be something to behold.
* Major League Affiliations in parenthesis after opposing MiLB teams*