Down on the Farm Report – 5/15/07

With Lou Piniella’s statement about the bullpen on Monday night, the Cubs farm system could be playing a role for the big league club sooner than expected. While Wade Miller was not effective early in the season, if he could provide the Cubs with a 5th starter that might allow Lou Piniella to return Angel Guzman to his role of long relief out of the bullpen. Miller is scheduled to make his first rehab start tonight for the Tennessee Smokies since going on the DL on April 23. Miller has struggled badly this year with his velocity and command while posting a 0-1 record in three starts with an ERA of 10.94.

Angel Pagan has been solid for the Cubs since being called up from Iowa. He has four hits in 11 at-bats with a home run and 4 runs scored. In 116 at-bats for Iowa he was hitting just .250 so I expect his hitting to drop off eventually. Pagan obviously is not the long-term answer for the Cubs in centerfield but they wanted Felix Pie to get regular at-bats, which meant a trip back to Iowa. Pie started off hot again, if he continues to hit and Piniella can find room for him, Pie could be back very soon. Here is more information on what has been happening in the minors.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 21-16

The I-Cubs had their winning streak stopped at eight on Saturday but started a new streak with a big win Sunday. The Cubs are 3-1 over the last four games and won big Sunday 17-7. Felix Pie picked up right where he left off and is 10-of-20 with six runs scored, five RBI’s and a stolen base since rejoining the team.

Koyie Hill is 4-of-7 in his two games played and added a home run, four RBI’s and three runs scored. Mike Fontenot continued his tear going 10-of-18 with two home runs, nine RBI’s, and eight runs scored. Over the last 10 games, Fontenot is batting .500 with two home runs, 14 RBI’s and 15 runs scored.

Eric Patterson is also on a tear as he is 9-of-16 over the last four games with three home runs, four RBI’s and nine runs scored. He is batting .512 over the last 10 games, with four home runs, nine RBI’s and 15 runs scored.

From the mound, Carlos Marmol had the best outing of any of the Cubs starters. He pitched 6.2 innings, gave up three earned runs on four hits, and a walk and he struck out seven. His ERA for the year sits at 3.79.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 18-17

Tennessee was 2-2 over their last four games. There were two hitters and one pitcher that turned in good performances over the last four games.

Sam Fuld was 6-of-16 with three runs scored in the four games he played. Jorge Cortes appeared in three games and was 4-of-10 with home run, two RBI’s and three runs scored.

From the mound, Sean Gallagher put in the best outing for a starter, going 7.0 shutout innings giving up four hits and four walks while striking out eight batters. Gallagher lowered his ERA on the season to 3.11 and now sits with a record of 4-2. Donald Veal pitched 6.0 innings giving up two earned runs on three hits and one walk while striking out six. It was a 2nd solid outing for Veal and he lowered his ERA to 6.03 on the season.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 20-15

Daytona was 2-1 over their last three games with their only loss coming in a 17-inning affair. Their most consistent hitter was Tyler Colvin, who was 7-of-16 with four runs scored, six RBI’s and a stolen base. Jesus Valdez was 5-of-13 with four runs scored, three RBI’s and a stolen base and Matt Matulia was 5-of-16 with five runs scored in three games.

The D-Cubs pitchers didn’t have any outings of note over the three game stretch with the offense getting the credit for the two wins.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 19-16

The Peoria Chiefs played a doubleheader Sunday and played five games over the last four days and ended with a record of 3-2.

Alfred Joseph was 7-of-15 with four runs scored and two stolen bases. Matt Camp was 8-of-21 with four runs scored and three stolen bases. Dylan Johnston played in two games for the Chiefs and was 3-of-8 with a home run, three RBI’s, two runs scored and a stolen base. Welington Castillo was 5-of-11 with two runs scored, a home run and three RBI’s.

From the mound, Jake Renshaw struggled in his outing but thanks to some good run support, he was able to earn his third straight win. He pitched 6.1 innings giving up five earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out six. It is his first poor outing of the season and his ERA is still at a solid 2.54. Renshaw has been the Chiefs second-best pitcher behind youngster Rafael Dolis, who is currently on the DL.

That is the latest on the Cubs’ farm system. I will have more updates on Friday.

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