Down on the Farm Report – 5/18/07

Could Sean Marshall and Carlos Marmol be what Lou Piniella needs to sure up his pitching staff? Marshall has been very effective in four starts with Iowa and won his second game this season on Thursday night. Marshall gave up one run on two hits in 8 innings of work and lowered his ERA to 1.82. Carlos Marmol has been moved to the I-Cubs bullpen and made his first relief appearance on Thursday. Marmol hit the first batter he faced, struck out 2 and gave up a run on one hit. He threw 16 pitches, 12 for strikes in 2/3 of an inning. Here are the rest of the updates from the farm. Iowa Cubs – Record: 23-17

The I-Cubs won two and lost one in their last three games. They were destroyed 12-2 on Monday by the Sacramento River Cats. The Cubs did not receive any pitching of note but they did see some consistency from the offense. The best hitter in the two games was Mike Kinkade. He went 5-of-9 with three runs scored, a home run and two RBI’s. Felix Pie was 3-of-9 with two runs scored and a home run with one RBI. Eric Patterson was 3-of-9 with a run scored and Micah Hoffpauir went 3-of-9 as well and added an RBI.

On Thursday, the I-Cubs beat Oklahoma 9-2. Ronny Cedeno went 3-for-4 and Felix Pie was 2-for-5 with a run scored and 2 RBI’s.

As many of you already read on the CCO, the Cubs called up Mike Fontenot from Iowa and optioned Rocky Cherry back to Triple-A. Fontenot has been tearing it up at Iowa so it was an obvious choice for Cubs management. Fontenot picked up his first major league hit when he led off the 8th inning with a double. He then scored on a sacrifice fly from Michael Barrett. I hope Fontenot makes the most of his stay with Chicago.

A Look at the I-Cubs Bullpen

Clay Rapada is 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA and is leading the Iowa with 4 saves.

Carmen Pignatiello has given up 2 runs in 8.2 innings of work since being called up from Double-A Tennessee. He has struck out 9 and walked 1.

With Carlos Marmol being moved to the bullpen, John Webb joined the I-Cubs starting rotation.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 20-19

The Smokies are 2-2 over their last four games and the most consistent hitter they had was Jake Fox. He batted 9-of-12 with five runs scored, three home runs, and four RBI’s.

The Smokies’ offense has not been very consistent and they did not receive any solid performances from their pitchers either but they did enough to win a two out of their last four.

From the mound, Wade Miller made his first rehab start for the Smokies and pitched 5.2 innings, gave up three earned runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out one. It is still too early to tell if he will be able to get himself back to the form the Cubs were looking for but we will continue to watch his progression. If Angel Guzman continues to pitch well, Miller might get traded or take a spot in the bullpen.

Mark Holliman has been solid this year but he faltered in his latest outing to take his first loss. He pitched 5.0 innings, giving up five earned runs on nine hits and three walks while striking out five. Even with the poor performance his ERA is still a low 1.37.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 20-19

Daytona is winless in their last four games. Jesus Valdez hit well going 5-of-9 with a run scored and an RBI. Tyler Colvin was 3-of-8 with two runs scored and two RBI’s and Chris Amador was 3-of-8 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Mitch Atkins pitched well in a losing effort for his 2nd loss. He pitched 7.0 innings, giving up one unearned run on four hits and two walks while striking out four. His ERA on the season is a respectable 2.17.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 20-18

The Chiefs are 1-2 in their last three games. They did have a few good performances in each of the games. Yusuf Carter had a good game Tuesday in a win versus the Beloit Snappers. He was 2-of-4 with two runs scored, a home run and two RBI’s. Joshua Lansford and Wellington Castillo both added two hits each in that game.

From the mound, Jason Ruhlman pitched 3.0 innings in relief to pick up the win on Tuesday. He gave up only one hit and one walk while striking out three. His ERA on the season sits at 2.64. Alessandro (Alex) Maestri started the same game pitching 4.0 innings, giving up one earned run on three hits and one walk while striking out one.

That is it from down on the farm. I will have more updates next week. I will be at the Cubs-White Sox game on Sunday and I will try and share some pictures with you next week. As always, GO CUBS!