Down on the Farm Report – 5/11/07

While the Cubs have hovered around the .500 mark all week, for the first time this season all of the Cubs’ farm teams are either at .500 or above. With Angel Pagan being recalled from Iowa on Thursday and Felix Pie being sent back down, the I-Cubs should benefit from his return as he gets valuable playing time while waiting for his next call-up. All the farm teams have been very streaky this year but it is good to see all of the teams playing winning baseball, even if it is just while I am writing this article. Below are the updates for each farm team and who has been hot of late.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 19-15

Iowa has won three games in a row behind some big hitting. Mike Fontenot has been mentioned a lot and he is back. Over the last three games he was 8-of-13 with four runs scored and four RBI’s. Eric Patterson was 6-of-14 to remain one of the hotter Iowa batters and Mike Kinkade gets his first mention since coming off the DL as he was 6-of-12 with five RBI’s.

From the mound, I mentioned Sean Marshall’s outing from Monday in the last update. He ended up with his first win in two outings at Iowa and his ERA for the two games sits at 0.79. That was the only solid performance from an Iowa starter over the last few games. After a slow start, the I-Cubs are a game ahead of the Nashville Sounds for first place.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 16-16

The Smokies are 1-3 over their last four games. Players of note from these games include Jorge Cortes who was 6-of-10 with two runs scored and two RBI’s. Josh Kroeger was 4-of-12 with a run scored and two RBI’s and Sam Fuld was 3-of-7 with four runs scored and a stolen base.

Mark Holliman had another solid outing going 8.0 shutout innings, giving up seven hits and two walks while striking out two. This is Holliman’s fifth win in six starts and he lowered his ERA to an amazing 0.44. The way he is pitching he would have to be close to going to Iowa with an outside shot at seeing Wrigley if he can perform well at Triple-A.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 19-14

Daytona has won their last three games and that included a come from behind win on Wednesday night. They trailed the entire game, and were behind 3-0 in the 8th inning when they put together a five run inning to get the win. There were several good performances on offense over the last couple games with the best coming from Matt Matulia. He was 5-of-7 with a run scored and three RBI’s. Robinson Chirinos was 4-of-6 and Nate Spears was 2-of-6 with three runs scored.

From the mound, Joel Santo had a better outing this time around pitching 6.0 innings, giving up two runs, one of which was earned, on seven hits and four walks with three strikeouts. It was a good comeback from his last outing where he gave up four earned runs in 2.2 innings.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 17-14

The Chiefs are 3-1 over their last four games and they have several players that helped in the cause. Yusuf Carter was 6-of-12 with two runs scored, a home run and five RBI’s. Alfred Joseph was 5-of-14 with five runs scored, three RBI’s and a stolen base. Russell Canzler was 5-of-13 with four runs scored, four RBI’s and a stolen base. Joshua Lansford was 6-of-12 with three runs scored and two RBI’s.

From the mound, Jake Renshaw put in a solid outing to win for the second time. He pitched 6.0 innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits and no walks while striking out eight. It is still early in the year but he is showing some real promise.

Other News: The Chiefs placed Rafael Dolis on the disabled list because of elbow soreness. They also called up Mike Billek, RHP, from extended spring training to take his place. Dolis has been mentioned a lot in the farm updates so I hope it isn’t anything serious. He is the Chiefs leading pitcher at 3-1 and a 1.80 ERA. Dolis is also their youngest player and turned 19 back in January. He pitched in the game on Monday and had to leave after 4.1 innings. Brian Dopirak jammed a thumb while sliding into 2nd base and he was put on the DL as well. Luke Hagerty was released.

The Chicago Tribune reported on Wednesday night that Roberto Novoa, who has been out with shoulder problems this season, will not likely return until July. Also, Wade Miller is expected to make his first rehab start with the Smokies on Tuesday night.

That does it for today’s updates with more to come next week. Have a great weekend!! GO CUBS GO.

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney