Down on the Farm Report – 4/13/07

The biggest news from the minor league system came on Thursday when Mark Prior left his extended spring training start with pain in his right shoulder. While the future of Mark Prior is unknown, several players in the Cubs’ farm system are making some noise. Here is the latest from the farm…. Iowa Cubs – Record: 3-4

The Iowa Cubs won two in a row after starting the season 1-3 but lost Wednesday night 12-8 to Albuquerque. Randy Wells gave up nine earned runs over three innings for the loss. Offensively, Felix Pie continued his hot start as he is 6-of-12 with a home run and a stolen base in the last three games. Micah Hoffpauir is also hot at the plate as he is 7-of-14 with a home run over the same three games. After a slow start Eric Patterson has heated up also and is 5-of-11 with a stolen base.

There is little else to mention from the mound. Carlos Marmol started on Tuesday and gave up two earned runs over four innings but he did strike out six batters. John Webb picked up the win in the game Marmol pitched and has been solid in relief so far with a 1.80 ERA in three relief appearances.

The I-Cubs Home Opener is Friday (today) against Round Rock.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 2-3

Tennessee was rained out Wednesday so they have only one game in since the last update. The only item of note is that Smokies pitcher Mark Holliman went six scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and one walk while striking out 7 batters. The Smokies lost the game in the bottom of the 9th inning 1-0. Holliman isn’t well known to Cubs fans but it was a promising outing for him. We will surely keep an eye on him.

The Smokies are having a “Reverse the Curse” night in honor of Friday the 13th in hopes of reversing the big league club’s “curse” that has kept them out of the World Series since 1945.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 3-3

The Daytona Cubs have lost two of their last three games and the way the offense has been hitting they are lucky to have the one win. Matt Matulia started off hot but has cooled quickly going 1-for-8 in the last three games. Chris Amador is 3for-11 in those same three games with a home run and a stolen base.

On the mound Mitch Atkins, Joel Santo and Scott Taylor had decent outings but all went winless. Atkins pitched 4.1 innings, gave up two hits, six runs, one of which was earned, one walk and four strikeouts. Santo, who the Cubs got from San Diego in the Williamson trade, pitched five innings, gave up one earned run on six hits, with one walk and one strikeout. Taylor pitched five innings, gave up two earned runs on four hits, with two walks and three strikeouts. For Daytona, the pitchers could have used a little help from the offense.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 3-1

The Peoria Chiefs have not gotten to play many games since the season started with only four games in the books including the first game of a Thursday doubleheader. Matt Camp has been the team’s hottest hitter and he continued that in the last three games on 3-of-9 hitting and he also stole another base. Russell Canzler has been hitting well also on 3-of-7 hitting and he also stole a base. Welington Castillo appeared in one game at catcher and was 2-of-4 with a home run.

On the mound the Chiefs had some good outings and wins from a couple of their starters. Rafael Dolis won on Monday going five innings, giving up two hits, and one unearned run. He also walked two and struck out eight. Jose Ceda won on Tuesday and pitched five innings, he gave up three hits, three runs, two of which were earned and he walked two while striking out eight.

That is the latest from down on the farm. More updates to come next week.