I drove to Nashville yesterday, which meant I had to pass near the home of the South Bend Cups (who were out of town playing the Midwest League Championship) and enter the Tennessee Smokies (…who were playing three hours away). I did a poor job of going out to see Cubs affiliates this year, but I suppose that’s the case with two kids under the age of eight. I’m trying out to see Brennen Davis’ Mesa Solar Sox next month and definitely need to start working on my annual backfield spring training plans, but oh my gosh, who knows.
Let’s break down today into the Minors for Cubs, as the Tennessee Smokies threw their opener opener, and kept the South Bend Cubs alive…
Honorable Mention: B.J. Murray is now 8 for 16 in the playoffs (with more walks than strike), which follows a 17-game stretch to finish the season at .367/.465/.550. Could the Bahamas play their way to the 2023 opening mission in Tennessee? I’d like to be on second base, but I’ll probably beat a dead horse in there and have to focus on the really fun skill set we’ve been seeing lately…just speaking the truth here: Chase Strumpf is 13th wRC+ out of any Double Hitter -A qualifying in 2022…Riley Martin and Jake Rendell are perhaps the most impressive South Bend shooters of the season; If neither of them is available for tonight’s crucial final, High-A is falling short. I want to score it here: Reindl will be one of the 15 best Cubs relief options in 2023, no matter who signed off this season… John Hicks continues to prove in 2022 that his 32-year-old season saw no hiatus, and he is exactly The same excellent deep-catcher that has been since 2017. The Cubs of the big league didn’t have a chance to use him this year.
Five: Cole Roderer
Tennessee fell 7-0 at this opener in a playoff game in 2022 and then their hottest hitter tried his best to breathe some life into a tired team. Roderer came 10th home in 2022 – count that, thank you – against Ben Joyce, the three-figure pitcher who was drafted on the second day of the year. This was Cole’s sixth home in the last 10 matches, and it shows the speed of the bat is now in better place than ever. Roeder’s rescue of something from 2022 in the final month of the season is the best story on the farm in September, bar none.
Fourth: Dalton Stampo
It’s been trick runs, but after tough appearances from Riley Thompson and Hunter Pegg, Stambaugh got into an ugly game yesterday and looked like the “big” of the Tennessee pitching team. Three goalless runs, with six hits, for the 25-year-old who has bounced between South Bend and Tennessee this season. I’ll note that Stambaugh’s previous appearance, on September 15, came as an instant start for Jordan Wicks, who appears to have been shut out after a great final start on September 9. Bought him a chance in 2023, as high-hit appearances like his last two will likely make him on the radar.
Three: Jonathan Berlaza
Within the Cubs organization, Farm System employees know if Perlaza has accepted a new contract to return to the organization (in a minor league deal) in 2023. This information makes talking about Perlaza, in the context of it being a beneficial opportunity for the Cubs specifically, more intriguing. I will say that I think it is highly unlikely that the Cubs would add him to their roster of 40 players and keep him banned from the minor league free agency, but I think he would be at the top of the list of the most interesting players in this market if he chose to enter it. Right-sided improvements, lower bends and more successful land use were one of the many reasons for the 2022 step forward.
I just realized, by chance, that I assigned three five-star players to the team that lost last night, and only one to the team that won…
Two: House Crowe Armstrong
Triple shy of the PCA tournament, who didn’t make much of an impact in the Midwest League playoffs, but his solo shot to the right midfield proved to be successful in saving the game in South Bend’s 4-3 victory. I’m so happy this South Bend race to the Finals is going the full distance – the six-match max allowed by a better two-round format – because it really provides an opportunity for a pressure-packed board appearance for the likes of PCA, Owen Caissie, Jordan Nwogu and more South Bend studs. And I can’t say at this point that anything Crow-Armstrong does surprise me anymore, but the affirmation that he’s a claw player above all else only provides more confirmation that he could be a factor in the 2023 Cubs.
First: Alexandre Canario
First, we get the function of a slice extending the arms to the right sphere. Second, we get a nice crushing ball that canario stays through, as the ball moves 30 feet farther than you’d expect from the video. And third, poor Omaha is trying to throw a left-handed on the mansion’s best hot and cold hitter on a night he’s already twice deep. You can guess how it went. And now, it looks like the Cubs will have two hitters go from level A to Triple A during the magical 35-hour seasons.
Canario is back on the field after an ankle injury to save something of his mission in Triple-A, and I believe when the I-Cubs season is over, he will take his talents to Las Aguilas Cibaeñas of the Dominican Winter League. Canario vs. Brinnen vs. Velazquez vs. Open in the center field (and the short-term questions vs. the long-term questions) is one of the most wonderful conversations we’ll have this winter, I think. I must get this right.