Cubs Notes: South Bend Affiliate Will Be Called…The Cubs

The Cubs’ new Low-A affiliate on Thursday announced it will now be called the South Bend Cubs. The affiliate was most recently located in Kane County, and won the Midwest League Championship this year.

It sounds like the Cubs made the move based on player development factors. At a press conference announcing the name change, Theo Epstein said, “It is important to have first-class facilities not only at the big league level, but also throughout our farm system. South Bend provides exactly what we were looking for both as a community and as a farm club.”

Watch a (somewhat cheesy) video on some of the upcoming changes that will be made to South Bend Four Winds Field. Six new batting cages and two pitching mounds will be installed, as well as new weight training rooms.

A familiar face

I had the pleasure of attending the Giants-Padres game in San Francisco on Thursday, and former Cub Andrew Cashner was on the mound for San Diego.

Cashner, who was traded for current Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, did not look sharp. He gave up six earned runs and eight hits in five innings, including two home runs.

Cashner had the velocity working — consistently in the mid-90s — but wasn’t really fooling anybody.

I think we can all agree that the current regime’s best trade is Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. But the Rizzo trade is not far behind, in my eyes. Even if Cashner hadn’t been battling injuries since the trade, I would still say the Cubs got the better end of the deal.

Other notes

* Jason Hammel got the start for Oakland on Thursday. He pitched six solid innings, giving up only one run and five hits (zero walks). The A’s bullpen blew it in the end, however. Although unlikely, I wouldn’t mind seeing Hammel return to the Cubs next year, despite his struggles since the trade.

* Patrick Mooney writes about Rick Renteria’s outlook on next year’s club and compares the styles of Renteria and previous manager Dale Sveum. I still don’t think we have an answer on whether Renteria is the manager to take this club to the next level. I believe he’ll be here next year, but beyond that is up in the air.

* The Milwaukee Brewers have officially been eliminated from the playoffs, after spending a majority of the season leading the Central Division. I had my doubts about this squad all year, so I’m not surprised. I think the Cubs can beat out the Brewers and Reds next season. Whether they can top the Cardinals and Pirates is a different story.

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