By losing 10 of its last 11, Iowa should be well out of the race but find themselves four games behind Omaha with seven left. They’re also are three games behind Oklahoma City so jumping both teams will be tough. Losing Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Kyle Hendricks and Tsuyoshi Wada to the big league club may have something to do with the I-Cubs recent decline..........Heading into Monday night’s action, the Smokies held a one-game lead over Chattanooga and were up three games on Birmingham. Tennessee has two more home games with Jacksonville and then head to Chattanooga for a five-game set that will decided the second half champ........Daytona holds a 2.5 game lead over Tampa and are five up on Brevard County. D-Cubs head to Dunedin for three games and then conclude the season with three home games with Tampa........Kane County won the first half and hold a two-game lead over Cedar Rapids for the second half title. The Cougars will host a MWL first-round playoff game on Sept. 4.......Boise has some work to do and needs some help. They are currently five games out of first place behind Hillsboro in the second half with eight games left. If the Hops (first-half champs) can win the second half, Boise holds one game lead over Salem-Keizer for the wild card spot, which is determined by best overall season record. The Volcanoes play the final three games of the season at Boise........Mesa has been eliminated from the playoffs while both the DSL and VSL Cubs failed to make post season.
Schwarber named FSL Player of the Week
I guess the big news would have been if he hadn’t been named player of the week. In eight games the Cubs first-round pick was 15-for 30 with seven homer, four doubles, 13 RBI and eight turns. He slugged 1.333 and had a OPS of 1.863. Those numbers are hard to put up in the back yard with friends. He’s currently in the midst of an 12-game hitting streak and has homered in five straight games. It marks the third time Schwarber has earned player of the week, picking up the honor in the Northwest League with Boise and the Midwest League with Kane County. Schwarber’s selection ends a five-week drought for Cubs prospects not being selected as a player of the week. Fifteen different Cubs prospects have been honored.
Alcantara, Wada, and Parker named to 2014 All-PCL squad
Arismendy Alcantara, Tsuyoshi Wada and Blake Parker were all named to the post-season all-PCL team by the league. Alcantara hit. .307/.353/.537 in 89 games with 10 HR and 41 RBI. Wada made 18 starts for the I-Cubs, going 10-6 with a 2.77 ERA and 120 K in 113.2 innings. Parker has converted 23-of-25 saves opportunities and has 46 K in 33 IP with 12 B and a ERA of 1.91. Reno had two players selected and no one else had more than one. It marks the first time three I-Cubs have been named to the post-season all-star team.
Kane County’s Mark Johnson named MWL Manger of the Year
The Midwest League has recognized Kane County Cougars manager Mark Johnson as 2014 Midwest League Manager of the Year. Johnson has guided the Cougars to a record of 86-46 this season, the best mark among all Major League and Minor League Baseball teams. Under Johnson’s guidance this season, the Cougars clinched the Western Division first half championship and will play in September’s Midwest League playoffs as the top seed in the Western Division. This is Johnson’s fourth season as a manager in the Cubs’ system. Johnson made his Kane County managerial debut last season and prior to that, skippered the Short-A Boise Hawks in 2011 and 2012. The ’12 Hawks advanced to the Northwest League Championship Series. Johnson enjoyed 17 professional seasons (1994-2010) on the field including 332 Major League games with the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. No Cougar players were named to MWL All-Star team.
AAA—Iowa 8, Tacoma 0—Soler headed to Chicago
Jorge Soler slugged a three-run homer off Taijuan Walker in the top of the third and sometime while he was circling the bases, was promoted to Chicago as he never headed back out to the field. And the I-Cubs blanked the Rainiers for a club-record 14th shutout.
At the Dish: After striking out in his first at-bat, Soler ripped a three-run shot in the I-Cubs four-run third. It was his 8th AAA homer and his 15th of the season. 1B Jonathan Mota (.248) replaced Soler in the lineup and had two hits, including his 2nd AAA homer. DH Junior Lake was 3-for-5 and knocked in a pair while C Rafael Lopez (.290) and SS Elliot Soto (.209) had two hits each.
On the Hill: Eric Jokisch (9-10, 3.63 ERA) only lasted 2.1 innings before a blister cut his night short. He finished with a line of 2.1 IP, 1H 0R, 0BB, 2K....Alberto Cabrera tossed 4.2 frames, allowing three hits and two punchouts. Arodys Vizcaino saw his first action in 10 days, retiring the side in order, and Armando Rivero closed out the shutout in the ninth.
I-Cubs Notes: Dan Straily (7-7, 4.00 ERA) gets the start on Tuesday night.
AA—Jacksonville 2, Tennessee 1
Tennessee dropped its fifth straight game but kept its one-game lead over Chattanooga.
At the Dish: Smokies were held to five hits and scored their run in the third on a RBI groundout by SS Anthony Giansanti. Pin-Chieh Chen had two hits and Rubi Silva had a single in his first game in AA since June 27.
On the Hill: C.J. Edwards (1-1, 2.31 ERA) only gave up one hit, a two-out single in the first that scored a run. The right-hander threw 86 pitches but had to leave the game with a blister. He finished with line of 5 IP, 1H, 1R, 3BB, 8K. Andrew McKirahan took the loss giving up a RBI triple in the 7th. He worked two innings and fanned two. Hunter Cervenka worked a scoreless 8th and Blake Cooper fanned the side in the 9th.
Smokies Notes: OF Jae-Hoon Ha was promoted to AAA Iowa and Rubi Silva was activated from the disabled list.
High A—Dunedin 8, Daytona 7
Daytona scored six runs in the final four innings but fell the rally fell short as Willson Contreras fanned with the bases loaded in the ninth.
At the Dish: Gioskar Amaya homered in his second straight game, his fourth of the season. The 21-year-old also tripled, scored twice and knocked in two. Bijan Rademacher’s two-run homer (9) in the ninth pulled Daytona within a run. Kyle Schwarber extended his hit streak to 13 games with a single and knocked in his 28th run. Marco Hernandez had a RBI and scored twice while Contreras finished 1-for-4 with a RBI.
On the Hill: Yao-Lin Wang (4-5, 4.99 ERA) tok the loss allowing two homers and five runs in four innings. Austin Kirk’s roller coaster season continued as the lefty gave up three runs in two innings on five hits and two walks. Starling Peralta worked two scoreless innings.
D-Cubs Notes: The Cubs will look to make it 11 straight wins with Rob Zastryzny (4-6, 4.54 ERA) on the mound. The 2013 second round pick is 3-0 with a a 3.20 ERA (50.2 IP, 47 H, 20 BB, 45 K) in his last 10 starts.
Low A—Kane County 8, Burlington 3
Kane County moved to within one win of tying the franchise record scoring five runs late to down the Bees.
At the Dish: Yasiel Balaguert and Jeffrey Baez hit back-to-back homers in the 7th to give the Cougars the lead for good. Balaguert finished 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs. Jeimer Candelario had three hits and Jacob Rogers had two hits, including a two-run double. Carlos Penalver and Mark Zagunis knocked in runs.
On the Hill: Paul Blackburn (9-4, 3.29 ERA) went five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. He fanned two and got eight ground ball outs. James Pugliese got charged with a blown save, surrendering an unearned run in the sixth to tie the game. Jasvir Rakkar added two more innings to his scoreless streak (17 IP) at Kane County and Francisco Carrillo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Cougars Notes: Duane Underwood (5-4, 2.55 ERA) gets the start on Tuesday as Kane County goes for the series win.
Short-Season—Boise 3, Everett 0
Trevor Clifton tossed seven shutout innings as Boise blanked Everett in the series opener.
On the Hill: Trevor Clifton (4-2, 3.86 ERA) had his best outing as a pro as the 19-year-old tossed seven shutout frames. He allowed six hits, fanned three and got nine ground ball outs. Ryan McNeil fanned a pair to earn his first hold while Corbin Hoffner got the final four outs for his second save.
Hawks Notes: Josh Conway (0-1, 2.35 ERA) gets the start on Tuesday night..... Gleyber Torres has been assigned to Boise from Mesa. The 17-year-old was considered one of the top international prospects last July
Arizona Rookie League—Cubs
Had the day off.