The world’s worst-kept secret became official today when the Cubs announced they’re moving their Class A Midwest affiliation to Kane County. The Cougars will be a Cubs farm team beginning next year. The Cubs also renewed player-development contracts with Class A Daytona and Class A Boise. All three agreements run through 2014.
The Peoria Chiefs, the Cubs’ longtime Midwest League club, have signed on with the St. Louis Cardinals. Sounds like a win-win for all, with all of the Cardinals fans downstate and the Cubs being able to keep a close eye on their kids at Kane County. I hope to get out there a lot next season.
“With Kane County, it is exciting to know we now have a Cubs affiliate right in our backyard,” Cubs scouting and player-development chief Jason McLeod was quoted as saying in a press release.
The Cougars have made 13 postseason appearances in their 22-season history. They’ve been an affiliate of the Orioles, Marlins, Athletics and Royals. “The close proximity between both organizations will be mutually beneficial in numerous ways,” said Cougars GM Curtis Haug. “We believe that the Cubs organization and their philosophies about the minor leagues, including scouting, player development and involvement in the community are a fantastic fit for our franchise.”
On to tonight’s game. The wind this afternoon is howling out as the Cubs take on the Reds. Chris Rusin goes for the Cubs against right-hander Mike Leake. Luis Valbuena starts at third base for the fourth straight time for the Cubs as Josh Vitters sits again. Lineup:
We haven’t talked about quality starts a lot lately. They’ve been few and far between for the Cubs since the trades began on July 30. Since July 31, when Casey Coleman started, the Cubs have gotten 17 quality starts and 30 non-quality starts. Their record over that time is 15-32. Eight out of the last nine games have been non-quality-start games.
For the season, the Cubs are 41-29 in quality-start games, and their starters have an ERA of 1.86 in those starts. When the Cubs don’t get a quality start, they are 17-61, and the starters have an ERA of 7.51.
From the game notes: Darwin Barney has gone 51 straight plate appearances without striking out. That’s the longest current stretch in the majors. Barney also has a career-high 13 game hitting streak, which is tops on the team this year. He’s 18-for-44 (.409) in the streak with 6 walks and a .480 on-base percentage. Barney’s errorless streak at second base is now an NL-record 133 straight games. The major-league record for a single season is 141, set by Placido Polanco of Detroit in 2007.