Cubs

On The Farm: Loman stays hot for Dash

On The Farm: Loman stays hot for Dash

Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010
10:15 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOX
Winston-Salem (A)
Seth Loman closed out July on a hot streak and has opened August in the same fashion. He had yet another big evening on Tuesday as Winston-Salem defeated Wilmington, 8-5, at BB&T Ballpark.

The victory was the Dashs 37th at home this season, tops in the Carolina League and tied for second-best overall in the minor leagues. Loman helped pad that mark by going 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBIs. Loman has 71 RBIs and is the owner of a five-game hitting streak during which he is batting .450 (9-for-2) with nine RBIs.

Brandon Short hit his 15th homer of the season and drove in his 72nd run. Joe Serafin picked up his first Carolina League victory in five starts, allowing four runs on nine hits over six innings.

Bristol (Rookie)
The Sox received a brilliant pitching performance from trio of hurlers Tuesday night as they blanked Burlington, 3-0.

Matt Heidenreich started and earned the victory, allowing three hits in seven innings while fanning four. Josh Billeaud and Kevin Moran (sixth save) each pitched a scoreless inning. Drew Lee had three hits and an RBI, giving Bristol all it would need with a run-scoring double in the third.

Kannapolis (A)
The Intimidators scored a pair of eighth-inning runs as a result of a Greenville throwing error and that was the difference in their 6-4 victory at Fieldcrest Canon Stadium.

Ryan Hamme and Miguel Gonzalez scored on an Arquimedes Caminero error. Jose Vargas paced the offense the rest of the evening with three hits, including a homer, and two RBIs. Zach Piccola earned the win, his first of the season.

In other action, Birmingham dropped a 5-0 decision at Jacksonville. The Barons managed only six hits as they remain on course to challenge many of the Southern League records for futility. They need to win 11 of their final 32 games to avoid tying the 1967 Knoxville Smokies (47 wins) for the fewest wins in a Southern League season. They need to win 12 games to avoid equaling Carolinas 1992 mark for most losses in a season (92).

CHARLOTTE (AAA)
The Knights saw Carlos Torres get promoted to the White Sox on Tuesday and it threw their whole rotation into flux. The result was six pitchers taking the mound for Charlotte in a 12-10 loss to Rochester at Knights Stadium.

Freddy Dolsi started and allowed four runs on two hits in an inning. Miguel Socolovich then allowed two runs in two innings before Randy Williams stabilized everything by throwing three shutout innings. The Wings, however, touched Jhonny Nunez for three runs in an inning and Jon Adkins for three runs in an inning to complete their offensive outburst.

The Knights did manage 10 runs on 11 hits, scoring five times in both the third and seventh innings. Brent Morel hit a seventh-inning grand slam while Stefan Gartrell had a three-run homer in the third. Fernando Cortez was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. ... Torres was returned to Charlotte following his start for the Sox on Tuesday.

CUBS

The Cubs top four affiliates struggle Tuesday night with each coming out on the losing end. Daytona was bested by Bradenton, 11-5, at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Robert Whitenack took the loss in his Florida State League debut, allowing six runs in four innings. DJ LeMahieu had three hits, extending his hitting streak to six games. Peoria was on the losing end of a 5-1 decision at Wisconsin. The Chiefs managed only three hits. Outfielder Matt Szczur was placed on the temporarily inactive list while he returns to Villanova for his senior season of football. Outfielder Anthony Giansanti was moved up from mesa while infielder Brandon May joined the team from Boise. Oklahoma City scored four fifth-inning runs and topped Iowa, 5-1, at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. J.R. Mathes allowed all five runs. Jake Muyco, who was bumped up from Tennessee prior to the game, pitched two scoreless innings. The Smokies activated LHP Ryan Buchter off the DL prior to their 3-2 loss at Montgomery.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

CubsTalk Podcast: How new coaching staff will help ensure Maddon's tactics won't get stale

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USA TODAY

CubsTalk Podcast: How new coaching staff will help ensure Maddon's tactics won't get stale

ESPN’s Jesse Rogers stops by the CubsTalk Podcast to chat with Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki about his new book on Joe Maddon. The trio also debate whether Maddon’s tactics get stale and how the new coaching staff will affect the season.

Plus, who should hit leadoff? Fans are all in on Albert Almora Jr., but that might not be the best option. And whose side do you take in the Willson Contreras-Yadier Molina tiff?

Listen to the entire podcast here:

Who should lead off for Cubs in 2018?

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USA TODAY

Who should lead off for Cubs in 2018?

The Cubs' offseason has been hyperfocused on pitching, pitching and more pitching.

But what about the offense? Specifically: Who's going to hit leadoff for the 2018 Cubs?

That question seems to be one of the hot topics surrounding the team as they strive to make Even Year Magic a Chicago thing and win another World Series in 2018.

Before we get into who SHOULD lead off, I'll tell you who shouldn't: Albert Almora Jr., who is a popular choice among fans to fill in for the ghost of Dexter Fowler atop the order.

That's not a knock on the young outfielder, who seems primed for a breakout in 2018 when he should be playing on a regular basis and seeing a lot more time against right-handed pitching. 

This will only be Almora's second full season in the big leagues and given he was in a platoon for most of last year, he still only has 411 career plate appearances in the majors. 

So he's not much more experienced than Kyle Schwarber was when he was penciled into the leadoff spot for the Cubs to kick off 2017 and we all know how that experiment went. Leading off is a tough position to put players in, especially those that are still growing in their big-league skin.

Plus, Almora simply doesn't see enough pitches. He swings at the first pitch often (more than 11 percent of the time) and saw only 3.45 pitches per plate appearance in 2017. That mark was good for 29th on the Cubs behind eight pitchers (Dylan Floro, Kyle Hendricks, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Eddie Butler, Jose Quintana, Jake Arrieta and Hector Rondon), though the pitchers obviously have a small sample size of plate appearances.

Still, that's a shockingly small number for a position player. Almora would've been tied for 143rd out of 145 position players in baseball in pitches per plate appearance if he had enough at-bats to qualify.

But as for who SHOULD lead off, my choice is Ian Happ, though I would like to see Kris Bryant get some run up there and maybe even another Anthony Rizzo stint as "The Greatest Leadoff Hitter of All Time."

Here are my Top 5 suggestions if Joe Maddon were writing out the lineup today:

1. Ian Happ
2. Kris Bryant
3. Ben Zobrist
4. Jason Heyward
5. Anthony Rizzo

Here's more on the reasoning behind that:

Hot Stove - Cubs Leadoff Hitters/2021 White Sox Predictions

Who should be the Opening Day leadoff man for the Cubs? What will the 2021 White Sox lineup and rotation look like? We make our predictions and want to hear yours NOW on Hot Stove Live!

Posted by NBC Sports Chicago on Wednesday, January 17, 2018