The Cubs named Double-A Tennessee outfielder Albert Almora Jr. and Class A Eugene right-handed pitcher Oscar De La Cruz the Minor League player and pitcher of the month for August, respectively.
Almora, 21, batted .352 with 14 doubles, one triple, one home run, 22 runs scored, 15 RBI and 11 walks in 31 August games. He posted a .413 on-base percentage and a .504 slugging percentage, good for a .917 OPS. Almora had a 13-game hitting streak from Aug. 4-16, including seven-straight multi-hit games. He finished the month with 14 multi-hit games and hit safely in 28 of his 31 contests.
Almora also led the Southern League in average and doubles in August, ranked tied for first in hits, second in runs scored, fourth in OPS and seventh in OBP and slugging percentage.
De La Cruz, 20, went 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA (9 ER/29 2/3 IP) in five starts with Eugene, striking out 32 batters and walking five. He held opponents to a .209 average (23-for-110) and a .250 on-base percentage while posting a 0.94 WHIP. He allowed zero earned runs in three of his five outings and did not walk more than one batter in four of his five starts.
De La Cruz led the Northwest League in August in innings pitched, strikeouts, opponents average and WHIP, while tying for the lead in wins and ranking sixth in ERA. After spending each of the last two seasons with the Cubs Dominican Summer League team, De La Cruz is in his first season with Eugene.
Jake Arrieta and Kris Bryant were both honored on Thursday. Arrieta was named the National League pitcher of the month for August, while Bryant was named top NL rookie of the month.
Arrieta went 6-0 in six August starts, posting a 0.43 ERA (2 ER/42 1/3 IP). His ERA was the lowest among qualifying ML pitchers. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Arrieta became the first pitcher to go 6-0 in six starts with an ERA
below 0.75 in a calendar month since Jim Kaat went 6-0 with a 0.35 ERA in September 1974 for the White Sox. Arrieta is the first NL pitcher to do so since Hall of Famer Bob Gibson in consecutive months in 1968, going 6-0 over six starts with a 0.50 ERA in both June and July.
Arrieta capped the month with his first career no-hitter on Sunday against the Dodgers, striking out 12. The no-hit effort marked the third consecutive outing in which Arrieta did not give up an earned run. He currently leads the Majors in wins and ranks second among qualifying pitchers with a 2.11 ERA.
Bryant hit .330 (33-for-100) in August, good for third among NL rookies, while his seven homers and 20 RBI both were tied for second behind teammate Kyle Schwarber. Bryant had the League’s highest rookie slugging percentage (.620), while his .422 on-base percentage and 62 total bases were tops among all ML rookies. He also ranked among League rookie leaders in runs scored and hits.
Bryant, 23, currently ranks first among all ML rookies and leads his team with 12 game-winning RBI and 22 go-ahead RBI this season. It’s his second such honor; he also was voted NL Rookie of the Month for May.
Taylor Davis had three hits, including a double, and one RBI in Iowa’s 11-3 loss to Oklahoma City. With the loss, the Iowa Cubs were eliminated from playoff contention. Making his Triple-A debut, Fernando Cruz gave up 10 runs on 10 hits and two walks over four innings. Zac Rosscup pitched a perfect inning in relief, striking out two. Emilio Bonifacio had two hits, and now is 10-for-15 in his last four games.
Tennessee had Wednesday off, and opens its final series of the regular season Thursday at Biloxi. Andres Santiago is scheduled to start.
Jonathan Martinez threw six shutout innings in Myrtle Beach’s 4-2 win over Potomac. Martinez improved to 9-2 with a 2.58 ERA. He has gone 3-0 with an 0.30 ERA in his last five starts. Victor Caratini hit a double and drove in two runs. In his Myrtle Beach debut, Gleyber Torres was 0-for-2 with a walk.
South Bend lost, 10-1, to Dayton. James Norwood gave up four runs over 5 1/3 innings. Charcer Burks had two hits, including a triple. Gioskar Amaya had two hits, both doubles.
Eugene lost, 3-2, to Salem-Keizer. Oscar De La Cruz gave up one run over six innings. Andrew Ely had three hits. Donnie Dewees had two hits and one RBI.
Mesa’s season ended Tuesday, finishing 16-9 in the second half.
Iowa was swept in a doubleheader by Oklahoma City. Taylor Davis was 3-for-9 with two doubles in the first game, which went 19 innings. Carlos Pimentel gave up three runs over six innings in the second game. He’s 12-6 with a 2.99 ERA.
Tennessee lost, 11-0, to Jacksonville. Bijan Rademacher had three hits.
Myrtle Beach lost, 4-3, to Potomac. Jacob Rogers hit a RBI double. Tyler Skulina gave up one hit over five scoreless innings and did not get a decision.
Tommy Thorpe gave up one run over six innings in South Bend’s 9-2 win over Bowling Green. Gleyber Torres had three hits, including two doubles, and one RBI. Angelo Amendolare had two hits and three RBI.
Eugene scored four runs in the fourth in a 5-4 win over Salem-Keizer. Justin Steele gave up one hit over four innings. Blake Headley had three hits.
Mesa lost its playoff game to the Mariners, 3-1, and finished the season 31-23, winning the East Division second half title. Carlos Jimenez had three hits. Dylan Cease gave up one run over three innings.
(My note: Sorry for late posting of Tuesday’s games)
Rookie Kyle Schwarber was scratched from Wednesday’s game because of right rib soreness. He apparently felt some discomfort while batting prior to Wednesday’s game, and was taken for a precautionary MRI. The hope is that with Thursday’s off day, he’ll be ready to go on Friday.
Here’s the new Cubs lineup:
La Stella 2B
Jason Hammel gets the start Wednesday in the Cubs series finale against the Reds. Here’s the lineup:
La Stella 2B
In his last start, Hammel took the loss against the Dodgers, giving up three runs over five innings. This will be his seventh start against the Reds. He’s faced them twice this year, and has not gotten a decision in either game. Hammel has a 3.52 ERA in 13 home starts so far.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon and his wife Jaye will host “Respect the Main Event” at Ravenswood Event Center on Wednesday.The charity boxing event will feature several local youth boxers at various skill levels as well as a special main event bout.
Guests will be able to sit ringside with Cubs players and enjoy cocktails, hand-rolled cigars and spirits tasting stations, dinner courtesy of Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse and a premium auction including wine and unique sports memorabilia. A portion of the net proceeds will benefit Crushers Club’s youth boxing program in Englewood. For more information, please visit www.Cubs.com/Maddon.
*On Thursday, Joe and Jaye Maddon will host “Spoxing for Charity,” a one-day pop-up fitness event under the Wrigley Field marquee at Clark and Addison streets. “Spoxing” is a group class, which combines spinning and boxing with a warm-up on stationary spin bikes followed by a heavy bag and boxing glove workout. Participants will partake in a 45-minute version of the class, offered during several sessions throughout the day. Net proceeds from the event will benefit Joe Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation. For more information, please visit www.Cubs.com/Popup.
Dan Haren gets the start Tuesday night at Wrigley for Game 2 of the three-game series between the Cubs and Reds. Here’s the lineup:
*The Cubs didn’t waste any time getting Javier Baez into the lineup. The infielder said his hand injury may have helped him.
“Right when I got hurt, I could only swing with one hand, and that’s what I was doing was swinging with one hand, and I
finally got my swing back,” Baez said.
*Other roster moves: both James Russell and Rafael Soriano were designated for assignment to open spots on the 40-man roster for Quintin Berry and Trevor Cahill. David Ross was activated from the family medical emergency list. Outfielder Austin Jackson joined the team.
Anthony Rizzo stoopped by Lurie Children’s Hospital on Tuesday to see patients. It’s also fitting because September is
Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Rizzo brought teddy bears and hats, signed autographs and posed for photos. He also has started a new tradition, asking the children he visits to sign his jersey. Someday, he’ll get it framed.