As Joe Maddon says, two out of three ain’t bad. The Cubs won the three-game series against the Diamondbacks and completed an excellent 10-game homestand against the Phillies, Dodgers and Diamondbacks with an 8-2 record.
The Cubs hit the road 23 games over .500 even with Jake Arrieta’s incredible run coming to an end on Sunday.
In what defines how unpredictable baseball is. No one would have predicted the Cubs would have lost both games started by Jake Arrieta on the homestand and won eight out of the 10 games.
The Cubs named its Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month for May. There is a lefty reliever in the system to keep an eye on and an outfielder that is performing well at the Triple-A level. Plus, Willson Contreras extended both of his hitting streaks before Sunday’s day off.
Here are all the headlines from the last three days that includes the recaps, news, notes and rumors …
Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/03/16
The end of the week was not that kind to several of the Cubs affiliates in the win-loss column. Several of the pitching and position player prospects stayed on-track.
On the pitching side, Ryan Kellogg and Erick Leal continued to shine. And offensively, Billy McKinney is heating up while Mark Zagunis and Willson Contreras stayed hot.
The Daily CCO: Kris Bryant is Mashing the Baseball and Other Cubs News
In case you haven’t noticed, and it would be really hard not to, Kris Bryant is hitting the ball out of the park with regularity … while defensively moving all over the infield, and outfield. Bryant hit the video board in left field, again, and there is video included in this report to prove it.
Ben Zobrist got robbed of a Player of the Month Award. Hector Rondon’s back was feeling better before his teammates played ‘Screw the Closer’ again.
Report includes details on Marlon Byrd’s 162-game suspension … and all of the news, notes, links and This Day in Cubs History.
Iowa Cubs’ Contreras, Almora Jr., Vogelbach Lead PCL All-Star Team Voting
The Pacific Coast League posted its first fan balloting update for the Triple-A All-Star Game. And three I-Cubs are the leading vote getters at their respective positions.
Willson Contreras, Albert Almora Jr. and Dan Vogelbach have put up All-Star numbers over the first two-plus months of the season. And this report details those numbers and voting results.
Cubs Turn It On Late, Blank the D-Backs – Cubs 6, Diamondbacks 0
The Cubs took advantage of the Diamondbacks shaky defense and scored five runs in the eighth inning on a pair of two-out, two-run doubles from Addison Russell and Javier Baez.
Baseball America’s All-Prospect Team for May Includes Willson Contreras and Eloy Jimenez
Willson Contreras had an excellent month and put up the numbers for Triple-A Iowa. Eloy Jimenez ripped up the Midwest League and put up the numbers for Low-A South Bend. Baseball America noticed and both Cubs prospects made its All-Prospect Team for May.
Lefty Gerardo Concepcion Pitching Well for Triple-A Iowa
Several reports have suggested the Cubs are looking for a lefty reliever that can get big outs against lefties late in games. With the trade market still developing, the Cubs could look at internal options.
Gerardo Concepcion is an option in the organization and he’s pitched well for Iowa since his promotion from Double-A Tennessee.
The Daily CCO: It All Starts with the Cubs Rotation
The Cubs rotation has as much to do with the Cubs leading the NL Central as the offense. Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Jason Hammel and Kyle Hendricks are receiving the props they deserve. With Lackey’s fine outing Friday, all five Cubs’ starters had an ERA of below 3.00 after 53 games.
Anthony Rizzo had another good game Friday and some fun with his former teammate, Welington Castillo, and the report includes the video.
Dallas Beeler reported to Iowa and started a rehab assignment.
The Daily Report includes all of the news, notes and links … plus This Day in Cubstory.
Checking In on Outfielder Matt Murton
Matt Murton has spent time on the DL this season but is healthy now and he’s producing for Triple-A Iowa. Murton is trying to work his way back to the big leagues. With the way he hits lefties, Murton may get another shot with the Cubs before the end of the season.
Cubs Name OF Eloy Jimenez and RHP Trevor Clifton Minor League Player, Pitcher of the Month for May
The Cubs announced the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Month before Saturday’s game with the Diamondbacks.
Low-A South Bend’s Eloy Jimenez took home the player of the month award. Jimenez had an excellent month in the Midwest League. Jimenez, numbers wise, was a little better the catcher Willson Contreras. And at only 19 years, Jimenez is turning himself into one of the top prospects in the system.
The Cubs have more pitching talent in the system than is generally recognized. While some of the pitchers that were ranked before the season have struggled or been injured, Trevor Clifton is one of the young arms that has stepped up. Clifton’s numbers speak volumes and there is room for him to continue to improve.
Hammel Time – Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 3
Jason Hammel pitched through rain at the beginning of the game. And he ended up delivering on the mound and with the bat on Saturday. Hammel pitched seven very good innings and broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run single.
Anthony Rizzo and Dexter Fowler hit homers as the Cubs clinched another series against the D-Backs.
Recap includes video.
Cubs Prospect Willson Contreras Extends Hitting Streaks
Willson Contreras extended two hitting streaks Saturday night at Principal Park while calling a shutout for the pitching staff.
Willson Contreras has hit safely in 13 straight games … and has an extra basehit in 10 straight games.
There is must-see video included in the report.
The Daily CCO: Anthony Rizzo, The Cubs Family and the Latest Theme
Anthony Rizzo was heating up at the plate before Sunday’s day off. Rizzo had two more hits and launched a home run on Saturday. Rizzo had four extra basehits in six games and was 6-for-13 in four games.
The Cubs Family had a good Saturday. Joe Maddon announced the new theme for the upcoming road trip, and photos surfaced of the tracksuits.
Andrew Miller rumors continue to fly.
James Shields was traded.
And the Daily Report not only includes This Day in Cubs History, but it also has all of the news, notes and links for the first Sunday in June.
Arrieta Stumbles, Cubs Unable to Complete the Sweep – Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 2
Jake Arrieta struck out 12 batters and gave up nine hits (eight singles, one double) and lost for the first time since July 25, 2015. Arrieta was off early. He allowed the D-Backs to run up his pitch count and he was out of the game by the fifth inning.
The Cubs offense could not string together any hits against Patrick Corbin … just one groundout after another after another after another.