Minor League Roundup: Cubs 2015 first-round pick promoted to Double-A, White Sox recall two prospects

Minor League Roundup: Cubs 2015 first-round pick promoted to Double-A, White Sox recall two prospects

Each week, goes down on the farm for a minor-league report from both the Cubs and White Sox system, presented by Service King.


The Cubs promoted 2015 first-round pick Ian Happ to Double-A, it was announced Thursday.

Happ was the latest in a string of college bats Theo Epstein took a chance on in the first round, following Kris Bryant (2013) and Kyle Schwarber (2014).

Happ won't be 22 until August and was raking at Advanced Class-A Myrtle Beach with a .296 average, .410 on-base percentage and .885 OPS. He also hit seven homers, 16 doubles and stole 10 bases while drawing 48 walks in 69 games.

He has been hot of late, earning the Carolina League Player of the Week award on Monday (his second of the season) after going 13-for-25 with six doubles, a tripe and a homer in seven games.

Happ has spent most of his time in the minors this season playing second base, but he also has some experience in left field and played all three outfield spots last season.

Sounds like the kind of guy that would be perfect for Joe Maddon, right?


When the White Sox traded for James Shields, Jerry Sands was the man who was designated for assignment. Sands cleared waivers and was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

Sands has played in five games with the Charlotte Knights since the designation. His best game came on Wednesday when he went 2-for-4 with two homers and four RBIs.

Michael Ynoa was promoted to the big leagues last week. The 24-year-old pitcher made his MLB debut on June 14 against the Detroit Tigers and pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts and two walks.

The White Sox also recalled 25-year-old pitcher Chris Beck after Zach Putnam was placed on the 15-day disabled list. Beck made his second major league appearance – and first this season – on Thursday against the Boston Red Sox. He came out of the bullpen and allowed one hit, one earned run, two walks and one strikeout.

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu Darvish suffering another setback puts his 2018 season in jeopardy

Yu have to be kidding me (Sorry, couldn't resist). 

The Cubs were expecting Sunday's rehab start to be the beginning to an end of what has been an extremely disappointing 2018 season for their $126 million man Yu Darvish. Darvish was scheduled to start Sunday for the Cubs single-A affiliate in South Bend, IN, but after just one inning Darvish was checked on by the trainers and eventually pulled before the 2nd inning started. 

According to Steve Greenberg, Darvish asked for an MRI on Monday which likely closes the door on him returning to the Cubs in 2018.

The frustrating thing about Darvish's rehab is that in his two rehab starts, the 32-year-old pitcher has had excellent stuff, touching 95 mph in Sunday afternoon's game before being pulled. 

At this point in the season, it seems unlikely Darvish will be able to return to the Cubs rotation for the regular season. And it would be incredibly risky to roll with Darvish in the playoffs, who even when healthy hasn't shown he's deserving of a postseason roster spot. The Cubs do have options at starter in the minors like Duane Underwood or James Norwood, and despite his shortcomings, Tyler Chatwood is an option out of necessity now.  

Drew Smyly, who looked like a possibility as a late-season addition, is still not quite ready to come back and be an effective rotation piece at the moment. And with Mike Montgomery heading to the disabled list earlier this week, the Cubs were hopeful Darvish would be healthy by the time rosters expand in September. 

Luckily, Jon Lester, Cole Hamels, and Kyle Hendricks have all looked stellar recently and hopefully can continue their success on the mound as the Cubs continue to fight past injuries to maintain their grasp on the NL Central. 

But Theo Epstein said himself last week that if Darvish didn't perform well during his rehab stint, that was essentially his 2018 season. Don't expect to see Darvish returning to the mound until 2019, Cubs fans. 



Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 48th homer 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's 48th homer of the season came off of the St. Louis Cardinals on August 19, 1998, in a 6-8 loss.

With two-outs, Sosa sent a deep shot off of Kent Bottenfield.

The home run was even more special for Sosa, due to it coming against the Cardinals and Mark McGwire, his home run adversary for the year. 

In the game Sosa went 2-for-4 with two RBI, the exact same stat line McGwire finished with.