Daily updates have started again and we’ll keep them going throughout the season. If you are new to the site or just catching up with baseball, here a look at the newcomers to the Cubs minors with a story on the pitchers and position players. You can also get caught up with the minor league coaching assignment for 2016.
Johnson gets starts
Pierce Johnson drew the start in the home opener at Sloan Park and went just one innings, allowing two hits with a strikeout in a scoreless frame. The first two hitters singled and then Johnson got Mike Trout to line out to center, fanned C.J. Cron and Andrelton Simmons to groundout to end the threat. The first pitcher ever drafted by Theo Epstein after he took over, Johnson was the Cubs first-round compensation pick in 2012 (43rd overall). He pitched in the Northwest League playoff after signing and the next season finished in Daytona, helping the Cubs to a Florida State League title. The 24-year-old has started the past two seasons on the disabled list but both were due to leg injuries and not his arm. No reason to give up on the right-hander as he still possess three quality pitches and has a great mound presence.
Carl Edwards, Jr. made his spring debut on Friday and worked around a walk and a hit to keep the Angels off the board. After a one-out walk and then a single, Edwards started a 1-4-3 double play to end the frame...... Felix Pena closed out the game with a 1-2-3 9th and per John Arguello of Cubs Den, one of his fastballs hit 96. Pena recorded a strikeout and earned the save.......Cubs (1-1) beat the Angles 3-0 behind a two-run homer from shortstop Addison Russell.
Other minor leaguers seeing action included C Willson Contreras (0-1, BB), 3B Jeimer Candelario (0-1, BB), RF John Andreoli (0-1, RBI Sac Fly), 1B Matt Clark (0-1), CF Albert Almora (0-2),DH Taylor Davis (0-1, BB), LF Jacob Hannemann (0-1)
Cubs add Clark
I missed this one but on Feb. 26 the Cubs signed former Brewers first baseman Matt Clark to a minor league deal. Clark played 14 games in Milwaukee in 2014 and hit .291/.367/.492 in 132 AAA games last season in the PCL. A former 12th round pick of the Padres in 2008 out of LSU, Clark spent five seasons in the San Diego organization before being released and played the 2014 season in Japan. Clark provides Cubs minor league depth at first base at AAA and could share time with Jesus Guzman at first with Vogelbach getting his at-bats in AA.
Here’s some news and notes from the Cubs Class A full-season affiliates as they get ready for their home openers on April 7.
South Bend Cubs
Individual game tickets go on sale March 9 and the SB-Cubs open the 2016 campaign at Four Winds Field on Thursday, April 7, against West Michigan (Tigers). Justin Steele, Carson Sands or Oscar De La Cruz are the early favorites for the opening night start......South Bend and the Illinois Media School are joining forces for a multi-year agreement in conjunction with the school’s new Sports Broadcasting Emphasis program. Students will be exposed to play-by-play duties, field reporting, blogging, game day activities which will include producing each home game for MiLB.TV and broadcast television, features and graphics for the video board and producing a weekly one hour show focusing on the team and the Minor League System that will air on Sundays on WSBT Radio.......South Bend has announced its 2016 promotional schedule and some of the highlights include Gleyber Torres bobblehead, Jimmy Buffet Night, 90s Nickelodeon Night featuring the Rugrats and Star Wars Night. Here’s more on the promo schedule.
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Individual game tickets go on sale March 9 for the Pelicans 2016 season as they open at home with a four-game series against Frederick (Orioles). Unclear where several starters will begin the season but if I had to guess, I’m going with Brad Markey for opening night.....To kick-off the 2016 campaign, Myrtle Beach will head to Charleston for the first year of the Highway 17 Showdown with the river Dogs, the Yankees Class A affiliate. Next year, the Pelicans will host the game...... Along with the 11 firework shows, Thirsty Thursdays, and Backpack Buddies Mondays, TicketReturn.com Field will host their 3rd annual Military Appreciation Night and Military Card Set (May 21), Animal House Toga Party Night (Aug. 18), and Old School Hip Hop Night featuring Biz Markie (Aug. 11). Here’s the full promotion schedule.