I wrote in this week’s ESPN Power Rankings that “The Cubs have posted a .545 winning percentage since May 26, which trails only the Dodgers, Cardinals and Pirates in the NL.” With a four game series against one of the worst teams in baseball, you’d think that win percentage would continue to rise. Unfortunately it took a little dip Monday night. Thankfully there are three games to go.

  • Jeff Samardjiza pitched great and had a no hitter into the 5th. It got me thinking and reminded me that I’ve never watched a no hitter from start to finish without prior knowledge of the fact that it was going to happen. I say it that way because sometimes I watch games delayed on DVR or we jump into a game in the 7th because you go get word so and so is close. I missed the Carlos Zambrano no hitter because it was blacked out on TV. One day I’ll see one.
  • We faced a guy last night in Kyle Lohse who is a master at the first pitch strike, which got me wondering a little bit about our staff and how our guys do in that area. Be on the lookout for some research being reported on my end very soon.
  • My boyfriend, Pedro Strop, signed the scorecard on his first rough outing of the year, allowing five earned runs in the 9th and leaving with the loss. His ERA instantly jumped from 0.00 in the NL to over 4. Ouch. That’s why looking at ERA for relievers is so deceiving. If that’s all you go by, you’d be misled based on how well he’s pitched this year, especially how well he did the other night getting out of a bases loaded, no out jam.
  • Today we have a double header, which means both the Cubs and the Brewers are allowed to carry a 26 man roster today due to the fact that it is a day-night double header. Newly acquired starter, Jake Arrieta, will take the spot for the Cubs and get the start in the night game.
  • In case you missed it, the Brewers are now giving away $10 vouchers for future games for every game you purchase in the month of August and September. It’s a good PR move for a team that has been horrible and has lost one of it’s stars to a suspension for the remainder of the year. Sometimes, it’s about doing the right thing. They didn’t have to do this, but in the long run, they will come out ahead for it with the concessions alone once those vouchers are used.
  • Also in the in case you missed it file, former Cub starter and current minor league pitching coach, Frank Castillo, passed away on Sunday near his home. He drown on a boating outing. He was 44 and is survived by a wife and two kids. He was one of my favorite Cubs pitchers growing up. Sad to see people go so young.

Minor League Recap 7/29

by Rob Willer

Iowa Cubs- Brooks Raley was once again dominant on the mound pitching a sharp six and two third innings. Henry Rodriguez struggled again and ended up with the loss giving up two runs which raised his earned run average to 5.40. Mike Olt continues to struggle at Triple A Iowa where he is 2 for 23 which is good for a .087 batting average. Second Base Prospect Logan Watkins pitched in a two hit night also adding a double while Ty Wright hit a home run and knocked in two runs.

Looking Ahead– Iowa will travel to Salt Lake City for a four game series with the Salt Lake City Bees. Current Triple A starter Jake Arrieta will be called up Tuesday to fill in for the night cap of the double header. Since this is a double header the Cubs are allowed to have 26 men on the active roster for the game.

Tennessee Smokies- Dae-Eun Rhee pitched quite the ball game as he went six and one third innings. Rhee gave up two runs both earned and struck out five batter while walking one batter. Arismendy Alcantara had a breakout game going three for four with three singles and four runs batted in. Alcantara is batting .273 through 388 at bats at Tennessee with 13 home-runs and 55 runs batted in. You may remember seeing Alcantara in the futures game where he hit a towering home-run to right representing the Cubs system well. Overall the Smokies managed 10 hits and had eight runs to go along with those hits.

Brett Jackson Demotion– Brett Jackson was struggling in Arizona on his rehab assignment which led him to being sent to Tennessee while Marcos Mateo got promoted to Iowa. Jackson went one for four with a single in his first game at Tennessee.

Featured Article for the Week: Tuesday night I have tickets for the Kane County Cougars game against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers at Fifth Third Ball Park. Wednesday morning’s article will be centered around the game as I will include in game analysis, scouting reports and even some commentary from some fellow writers that will be attending the game.

As always follow me @Rob_Willer for the latest on Cubs Minor League News or stay here at viewfromthebleachers.com

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids and helps people protect their assets as an independent insurance agent. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail