Oscar De La Cruz and Thomas Hatch highlight Tennessee Smokies Opening Night roster

Top pitchers and some possible breakout hitters highlight the Opening Day roster of the Cubs’ Double-A affiliate.

Part three of our tour of the four Cubs full-season minor league affiliates brings us to the Double-A Tennessee Smokies, who are celebrating their 12th season in the Cubs system. Only the Cubs affiliation with Triple-A Iowa is longer.

I’ve already written a piece on why you should go see a Cubs minor league game and how to do it. The Smokies are one of the best values in the minor leagues so if you live anywhere near there (I don’t, unfortunately), you should check them out this season.

Who’s in charge? Manager Mark Johnson will lead the Smokies for the third straight season and his eighth season in the Cubs system. You might remember him as a backup catcher for the White Sox in the late-nineties, early-aughts. He finished his playing career with the Iowa Cubs in 2010 and has been coaching in the system ever since.

For the third straight season, Johnson will be paired with pitching coach Terry Clark. Prior to coming to the Cubs system, Clark spent 13 years as a pitching coach or coordinator in …Read the Rest

Source:: Bleed Cubbie Blue

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