Gotta start off with a quick PSA. In case you were considering choking and think you have picked out a good time to do it, don’t let my headline fool you. There is never a good time to choke, boys and girls. It’s not advised, but for the Cubs bullpen, particularly Kevin Gregg and James Russell, yesterday was about the worst possible day for it to happen and it happened to both of them.

For the last few weeks, both have been on the trade market and have had suitors. With today’s 4pm EDT deadline for non-waiver deals quickly approaching, the blow ups by both of them in the double header against the Brewers was not helpful. On the small picture side, the blowups probably cost the Cubs both games and assured the series loss. Looking big picture, the blowups are the last thing scouts will see before the deadline since the game tonight isn’t until after the deadline. Now we have to hope that the teams interested in both of them are swayed more by the body of work and less on the last thing they saw. I’d like to report a deal for both of them tomorrow morning. I’m a firm believer that you cultivate your pen from within the organization and with scrap heap filler / flyers like Gregg. If you can build a solid pen from that on the cheap, you can spend the money on guys who play on a regular basis and in turn flip those pen guys as assets.

I expect at least one deal today, despite the rather cold stove for the Cubs since the Alfonso Soriano trade, but I don’t know who to tell you it will be.


by Rob Willer

Kane County Stars Shine

Cougars 4 Timber Rattlers 2 

Game Recap: The Cougars started their four game series with the Timber Rattlers with a bang as they pulled out a 4-2 win on Tuesday night. Starting Pitcher Jason Amlung went three innings giving up no runs and four hits while striking out three lowering his earned run average to 4.42. Nathan Dorris was next to hit the mound as he is one of the better middle relief options for the Cougars. Dorris pitched four innings giving up two runs and six hits. His earned run average is 2.81 and he picked up the win improving to 6-3. Dorris regularly hit between 88-90 with his fastball and showed off his curve which sat anywhere from 74-76. Steve Perakslis threw the final two innings without allowing a run for his fourth save.  Right fielder Reggie Golden hit home run number six and it was a towering drive to left-field that still hasn’t landed. Some other notes from the game were Catcher Carlos Escobar who was 2 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored. Cougars left fielder Oliver Zapata chipped in with a 2 for 4 performance with an RBI triple in the eighth inning.

Possible Promotion for Almora -The atmosphere was electric at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark where we might be in the final days of Albert Almora at Kane County. Almora went 1 for 3 on the night with a walk and is batting .328 on the year for the Cougars. It seems its only a matter of time before he gets promoted to Daytona. For now the Cubs feel he is doing just find in Kane County. Should be an interesting month of August with Cubs Prospects as many promotions could be in order.

Interview Alert- I will be attending Wednesday’s game as well and have a interview in place with Cubs prospect and third baseman Jeimer Candelario. If I’m able to do the interview I will record it and post it for Thursday’s Down with the Farm piece.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. 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. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail