South Bend Cubs at Fort Wayne TinCaps series preview

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Parkview Field
Parkview Field Fort Wayne, Indiana. Photo: Mitch J. Brunner

After spending two weeks in Michigan, the TinCaps return home and welcome the South Bend Cubs to Fort Wayne.

A familiar face will be in the visiting dugout for this series.

Former TinCap starting pitcher Anderson Espinoza was traded to the Cubs. This was in part of a deal that sent Chicago outfielder Jake Marisnick to the Padres.

The Cubs were sellers at the MLB trade deadline. In this particular trade, I believe San Diego got the better deal here. Marisnick provides instant depth in the outfield as the Padres push for a playoff spot.  Espinoza has battled injuries and has already had two Tommy John surgeries. He was also infamously ejected this year in Fort Wayne when the umpires found a sticky substance in his glove. He has been added to the Chicago Cubs 40-man roster.

This is the third series of the year that these two teams will meet. There was also a benches-clearing brawl that took place between these two clubs earlier this year. The TinCaps currently lead the season series 7-5 with the Cubs. Both of the previous two series were in South Bend.

Although both teams reside in the state of Indiana, they are in different divisions. The TinCaps play in the East and South Bend in the West.

TinCaps Leaders: 

Dan Denz SP: Recently named High-A Central pitcher of the week. In his last two starts, Denz has not given up a run. He went five innings against Lansing while giving up only two hits. Last Saturday against Great Lakes, the lefty went four innings, gave up two hits, struck out three on 57 pitches.

Dan Denz warms up before a start against Dayton. Photo: Mitch J. Brunner

Tirso Ornelas IF: Leads the High-A Central in doubles with 25.

Grant Little OF: On Thursday against Great Lakes, Little swiped five bases in the first three innings. Which is a TinCaps/Wizards record.

Agustin Ruiz OF: Currently leads the team in batting average (.254), runs scored (51), home runs (15), and RBI’s (56).

Recent Transactions:

Noel Vela LHP-Assigned to Fort Wayne TinCaps from Lake Elsinore Storm.

Luke Boyd RHP- Assigned to Fort Wayne TinCaps from ACL Padres.  NOTE: 2021 Draft Pick (Baylor)  In his TinCaps debut, he threw one inning, striking out two in relief. 

Kelvin Alarcon IF– Assigned to Lake Elsinore Storm.

Keys to Victory:

The TinCaps need to make the Cubs earn their way on base. They are second in the league in stolen bases. Applying pressure on the basepaths has been the Cubs’ game plan all year. However, recently the Cubs did promote speedster Delvin Zinn to the Tennessee Smokies, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. Zinn did lead the High-A Central in stolen bases. We will see how that affects their game plan moving forward.

The TinCaps batters need to be patient at the plate. The Cubs pitching leads the league in walks, hits by pitch, and wild pitches. They are second in the league in runs allowed, earned runs allowed, and runs allowed per nine innings.

High-A Central Standings:

The top two teams in the league will battle in a five-game playoff series at the end of the regular season. In the West division, currently, 24 games separate first to the last-place team.  The East currently is only separated by six games. If the season ended today, the East would need to win a tie-breaker to even get a team in the playoffs.

– East Division Aff W L W-L%
Quad Cities River Bandits KCR 55 26 0.679
Great Lakes Loons LAD 45 38 0.542
Cedar Rapids Kernels MIN 45 38 0.542
Lake County Captains CLE 44 39 0.53
Dayton Dragons CIN 43 40 0.518
Lansing Lugnuts OAK 40 43 0.482
West Michigan Whitecaps DET 40 43 0.482
Fort Wayne TinCaps SDP 39 44 0.47
Beloit Snappers MIA 39 44 0.47
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers MIL 38 44 0.463
South Bend Cubs CHC 36 46 0.439
Peoria Chiefs STL 32 51 0.386

Series Information:

  • Location: Parkview Field Fort Wayne, Indiana.
  • When: Tuesday-Sunday 8/10-8/15.
  • How to follow: ESPN 1380 Fort Wayne, MiLB TV app or San Diego Padres | East Village Times Down on the Farm recaps.

All statistics provided were as of 8/7/2021. Follow me on Twitter at @tincaps_wizards

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Mitch J. Brunner
I was born, raised, and still reside in the Hoosier state. I am a 2008 graduate of Ivy Tech Community College. I am married to my beautiful wife Kristen, father to Garrett, with another child on the way. A baseball enthusiast covering the Fort Wayne TinCaps, High A affiliate of the San Diego Padres.

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