Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenez could be closing in on a promotion to Double-A Tennessee.

Assuming outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Dylan Cease are part of the Cubs’ long-range future — and not part of a trade-deadline deal — team officials will have an interesting time deciding when to promote them to a higher minor-league level.

In the case of Jimenez, a promotion to Double-A Tennessee seems realistic given the strides he has made in preparation as well as production.

"He’s still 20 years old," Jaron Madison, the Cubs’ director of player personnel, said last week during a break in his evaluation period through the minor leagues. "There’s still a maturing process, but he’s getting close."

Jimenez missed the first six weeks of the season due to a right shoulder injury, but he’s rebounded with a .271 batting average with eight home runs and 32 RBIs in 42 games with Class A Myrtle Beach. Jimenez struck out in each of his two at-bats Sunday in the All-Star Futures Game.

"We’ll let him dictate when he’s moved, but I’d love to do to nothing more than to move him to Double-A when the time is right," Madison said.

The case of Cease, 21, is slightly more delicate, considering he already has exceeded his 2016 innings total by seven despite missing three weeks due to an ankle injury.

"I’d love to be able to move him up, but because he missed so much time we’ve got to get him back in a routine," Madison said of Cease, who has struck out 74 in 51 2/3 innings to go with a 2.79 ERA in 13 starts at Class A South Bend. "He’s going to have limited innings. You don’t want to put him in a situation and promote him and then shut him down.

"When he’s on the mound, it’s special to watch. There aren’t too many guys who can throw 100 mph with the curve and the changeup that’s coming."

Jose Albertos, RHP, Class A Eugene: Albertos, 18, pitched five innings of one-hit ball Sunday in his debut for the Emeralds in a 2-1 win over Tri-City. Albertos received a $1.5 million bonus out of Mexico in 2015.

Vimael Machin, 3B, Class A South Bend: The left-handed hitting Machin, 23, went 5-for-6 with a two-run home run and four RBIs Sunday in a 13-5 win over Dayton. Machin, a 10th round pick in 2015 from VCU, is batting .318 with 10 home runs and 56 RBIs.

Twitter @MDGonzales

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