Down on the Farm Report – 4/24/07

With Wade Miller’s third poor showing on Sunday there has been a lot of talk about Angel Guzman and Carlos Marmol possibly getting a shot at the starting rotation. Wade Miller was put on the DL with back spasms and Rocky Cherry was recalled from Iowa. Early reports are that Angel Guzman will get a chance in the starting rotation depending on how he pitches in his next start in Iowa, the Cubs will not need a 5th starter until May 1st.

Alfonso Soriano returned to the starting lineup on Monday night, which means the Cubs will soon have to make a decision on Felix Pie’s future with the big league club. Pie has not been impressive at the plate but his defense has been very good. With the move of Soriano back to left field, center field is now open for Pie if they choose not to send him back to Iowa, and if they do, it looks like Jacque Jones will become the everyday centerfielder for the Cubs. Here are the highlights from the Cubs’ farm teams….

Iowa Cubs – Record: 9-8

The Iowa Cubs are 1-2 over the last three games and one of the losses was a start by Angel Guzman. He struggled mightily giving up five earned runs over 3.0 innings. If you watched the Cubs-Cards game Sunday on WGN, Bob Brenly suggested this is normal considering the adjustment needed.

Ryan O’Malley pitched well for the I-Cubs going 6.0 innings, giving up five hits, an earned run, while walking two and striking out one. The I-Cubs lost the game in extra innings but it was still a solid outing for O’Malley.

Offensively Scott Moore and Mike Fontenot were the most productive. Moore was 3-of-7 with a grand slam while Fontenot went 4-of-12 with a home run and two stolen bases.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 9-6

For the Smokies, Kevin Hart won his 2nd game going 7.0 shutout innings, giving up four hits, two walks and striking out four. For the season he has a 3.71 ERA.

Justin Berg put in a surprising outing pitching 5.2 shutout innings giving up seven hits, one walks and five strikeouts.

Chris Walker had a great 4-game stretch going 6-of-14 with a home run, five RBI’s and two stolen bases. Gary Cates was 5-of-12, Jorge Cortes was 3-of-8, Josh Kroeger was 6-of-12 with a home run and four RBI’s, and Jake Fox was 4-of-11 with a stolen base.

The Smokies are leading their division and have a solid team this year.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 8-8

The Cubs are back at .500 after losing 2-of-3 versus St. Lucie. The highlights of the last few games include Chris Amador who was 5-of-12 with a stolen base and Kyle Reynolds was 4-of-12. For the year, Amador is batting .340 with seven stolen bases.

The D-Cubs pitchers were not impressive over the last few games so there isn’t much of note to talk about there. Hopefully the next update will have better news.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 9-6

The Chiefs won 6 of their last 7 since their 5-game losing streak and they received production from the offense as well as their starting pitchers.

On the offensive side D.J. Lewis went 5-of-12, Alfred Joseph went 5-of-14, while Welington Castillo was 3-of-11 with a home run and two RBI’s.

The Chiefs received impressive outings from Rafael Dolis and Jose Ceda. Dolis pitched 5.0 innings, giving up only four hits and one earned run for the win. He also walked two and struck out two. Ceda pitched 6.0 shutout innings to earn a win, giving up only two hits, while walking none and striking out five.

That is the latest from down on the farm. More updates Friday.

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt