Cubs: Triple-A schedule expanded to 150 games for the 2022 season
Well, if CBA talks keep going as they have – it looks like the Iowa Cubs will play more games than the Chicago Cubs this season.
As Major League Baseball seeks a federal mediator in hopes of sparking talks with the MLBPA, Minor League Baseball announced the Triple-A schedule will span 150 games this year – up from 144. There have been no changes announced for the lower levels of the minors, which makes sense given the reasoning behind the expansion at MiLB’s highest level: better alignment with the big league calendar.
This will allow teams to keep players ready at Triple-A for a potential late-season call-up; with the expanded schedule, the Triple-A season now ends just four days prior to the final scheduled game of the big league regular season. Of course, the expanded 40-man September rosters we once knew are now a thing of the past. Teams can now add just one pitcher and one position player down the stretch – which means having somewhere to keep these guys fresh is more important than ever.
From the MiLB side of things, it’s another week of ticket sales and revenue. As someone who lived in Des Moines, I can tell you that Principal Park in late summer will not be taken for granted by fans – especially as the Cubs work to rebuild at the big league level and this new wave of prospects makes its way through the system, eventually making a stop in the Hawkeye State before, hopefully, coming to Chicago.
Iowa Cubs add six games, including one final home stand in late September
Brennen Davis will (at least early in the year) headline the Iowa Cubs roster. It’s widely expected he’ll be promoted sooner rather than later – but that’ll be an exciting feature early in the year for the I-Cubs. The pitching this year could be something to behold: Dakota Mekkes, AFL star Caleb Killian, Brendon Little and Ben Leeper could all start the year at Triple-A (among others).
Iowa will open the 2022 regular season on April 5 – and play their home opener the following week, on April 12, against Toledo. The expanded slate adds one final home stand to the docket, from Sept. 26-28. At least we’ll have some baseball this year – regardless of how the showdown between the league and players winds up.