Cubs

Cubs name 2015 minor league player and pitcher of the year

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Cubs name 2015 minor league player and pitcher of the year

The Cubs announced catcher Willson Contreras as the organization's minor league player of the year and right-hander Ryan Williams as the pitcher of the year Monday.

Contreras, 23, won a batting tile in the Southern League with a .333 average and added eight homers, 34 doubles, 71 runs and 75 RBI with Double-A Tennessee.

Contreras finished with a slash line of .333/.413/.478, good for an .891 OPS that was 202 points higher than his 2014 total (.679 OPS for Advanced Class-A Daytona).

He has a career .275 average and .744 OPS in seven minor-league seasons with the Cubs.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up, Cubs fans!

Williams, 23, was a 10th-round draft pick of the Cubs in 2014 and went 14-3 with a 2.16 ERA and 0.896 WHIP this season while making 26 apperances (24 starts) between Class-A South Bend and Double-A Tennessee.

The East Carolina University product was 10-2 with a 2.97 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 88 innings for Tennessee.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: If Cubs somehow miss the playoffs will Joe Maddon's seat start heating up?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: If Cubs somehow miss the playoffs will Joe Maddon's seat start heating up?

David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Nick Friedell (ESPN.com) and Patrick Finley (Chicago Sun-Times) join David Kaplan on the panel.

The guys discuss Welington Castillo’s 80-game PED suspension, the Cubs struggles and if Joe Maddon could be on the hot seat if the Cubs somehow miss the playoffs in 2018.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: