As the major league team continues its turnaround from a slow start, let’s check in on the affiliates and see what’s cracking.
South Bend Cubs (A)
Monday, May 6th was a whirlwind of an evening for Chicago Cubs single-A affiliate. They had their “Dog Day Monday” promotion going on, and it got even better from there. They also unveiled a new team-themed craft beer, Crooked Catcher by Round Barn Brewery. Do I smell a road trip and beer review, Juice Man? Speaking of catchers, Víctor Caratini made his first rehab start in his return from a broken hamate bone. What else was there? Oh yeah, they also threw a combined no-hitter against the Cedar Rapids Kernels! Derek Casey fired off seven perfect innings, and Peyton Remy completed the save with his one walk standing in the way of a perfect game. Neither player is on the MLB Pipeline top 30 list for the Cubs, but I’ll always #CrackUm for a no-no. They lost Tuesday night to those same Kernels, 2-1, but if Victor continues to progress on his rehab I’ll take it 10 times out of 9.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Advanced-A)
The Pelicans started this season with some struggles, just like the major league team they hope to one day grace. They’ve been on a little bit of streak lately, winning their last five games, including a 4-3 victory last night over the Down East Wood Ducks. Quite the treat on “$2 Tacos and Tall Boy” Tuesdays. With today’s 4-2 win, they look to sweep the Wood Ducks tomorrow. Keep your eyes on these boys, they know how to entertain.
Tennessee Smokies (AA)
The Smokies have been yo-yoing throughout the 2019 season with a 15-16 record. With Nico Hoerner on the injured list, we haven’t been able to see Theo Epstein’s favorite new toy in action for a few weeks. Pitching prospects Justin Steele and Cory Abbott (8th and 9th in the Cubs system per MLB Pipeline) are having a yin and yang start to the year. Steele got tagged for the loss yesterday and is 0-2 with a 10.97 ERA and a .400 average against. It’s tough to get positive results when your opponents are Ted flipping Williams against you. Abbott picked up the win the Smokies last victory on May 4th. It was probably quite the “Sunday Family Funday” (as sponsored by US Cellular.. shout out Guaranteed Rate Field, shout out @chisoxmkz) and there were also Light Sabers. Abbott improved his record to 3-1 to go with an ERA 2.83. I’m a little alarmed with the five home runs allowed through 35 innings, but he’s keeping opponents off the bases and only giving up solo shots. Maybe we’ve got a Cole Hamels disciple in bloom?
Iowa Cubs (AAA)
Up until recently, I was of the opinion that they should change their name to something more appropriate, like the Iowa “2018 Chicago Cubs Opening Day Rosters” or something slightly more poetic. So far this week the Chicago Cubs have recalled Carl Edwards Jr. and Addison Russell got the call ahead of tonight’s game vs. the Marlins. Mike Montgomery could be back any day. As recently as Sunday, May 5th you could have seen CJ, Addy, Monty, Brian Duensing, and Ian Happ in Iowa. That’s 20% of the 2018 opening day roster. The Iowa Cubs have been off to a great start with a recent eight-game winning streak. Hopefully, Duane Underwood Jr. and Dillon Maples can continue to improve and we build up an army of arms (Arm-y? A-rmy). Since John Cusack is happy, we should all be. If he wasn’t happy, why would he ‘Say Anything’?
Featured Photo: Cubs Insider