Midwest Diamond Report - 8/10
The Brewers and Cubs will play a I-94 Rivalry series at Wrigley Field this week.
Yovani Gallardo will start out the series against the Cubs’ Jake Arrieta on Monday. The Brewers’ Wily Peralta and Kyle Hendricks will face off Tuesday. Kyle Lohse will start for Milwaukee in the series finale on Wednesday. The Cubs had not named their starter as of this writing.
For the Brewers, deeply involved in a three or four-team race, every series is important as they enter the stretch drive. They especially don’t want to lose to a team that has struggled as badly as the Cubs have.
The Cubs still look at the series as an intra-division rivalry and would love to play the role of spoilers. They also have called up top prospect Javier Baez and are trying to get a feel for what their future might look like.
Festivities are planned as part of the 100th birthday party of Wrigley Field. Go to the What’s Ahead section of this blog for more on that.
Look for brief game summaries on the Facebook posting of this blog.
Player of the Week
Aramis Ramirez was hitting over .400 for the week going into Saturday night’s game and driving in runs for the Brewers with regularity. So, he gets the MDR Player of the Week honor.
Other MDR teams Players of the Week included:
** the Cubs’ Javier Baez, who hit only .263 in his first week of action, but hit three homers.
** the Twins’ Trevor Plouffe, who hit .391 with seven RBIs for the week.
** the White Sox’s Alejandro De Aza, who hit .429 in five games.
** RHP Mike Fiers became the seventh pitcher to start for the Brewers this season when he started against the Dodgers Saturday. Before that day, the Brewers and Angels were the only teams to use only six starters.
** Jonathan Lucroy is on pace to break Lyle Overbay’s franchise record of 53 doubles.
** RHP Rob Wooten was sent down to make room for Fiers on the roster. Wooten has been up and down between the minors and Brewers three times this season.
** RHP Jacob Turner, acquired from the Marlins on Friday, is expected to join the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday.
** LHP Felix Doubront threw a side session on Saturday, his third since joining the Cubs, but there was no word yet regarding a possible minor league rehab outing for the left-hander.
** Kris Bryant continues to dominate Triple-A pitching at Iowa, but Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says Bryant won't be coming to Chicago this season unless some highly unlikely things happen in the next couple of months.
** Highly regarded prospect Trevor May made his Major League debut for the Twins on Saturday against the A's.
** The Twins optioned first baseman Chris Colabello to Triple-A after Friday's 6-5 loss to make room for May on the roster.
** Twins third-base coach Joe Vavra will undergo surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip.
** OF Avisail Garcia's injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte has resulted in a 13-for-26 showing at the plate.
** The White Sox will honor retiring captain Paul Konerko throughout the month of September with tributes and a special promotional calendar for fans for each of the month's 11 home games, including the creation of "Club Konerko" in Sections 158 and 159.
Of course, the three-game series between the Brewers and Cubs is the biggest event of this coming week.
Associated with that, the Cubs are hosting a seven-game homestand vs. the Rays and Brewers, Aug. 8-14, while honoring the 1980s decade at Wrigley Field. The decade saw important moments like the ballpark's first night game and the "Sandberg Game," as well as the beginning of traditions like Harry Caray's 7th inning stretch.
The Northwoods League ends its regular season Sunday, and the playoffs start Monday. The NWL surpassed 1 million in attendance for the first time in its history this season.
The MDR Blog can be found at the locations below. Updates are periodically added to the Facebook posting of the blog: