Down on the Farm Report – 5/22/07

With the promise Lou Piniella made to shake up his pitching staff, all eyes are on the Iowa Cubs waiting to see who will be called up and who will be sent down. There were reports on ESPN 1000 in Chicago on Monday that indicated Sean Marshall would be recalled and make the start on Wednesday against the Padres with Neal Cotts being sent down to Iowa, but the Cubs have not made an official announcement.

Wade Miller made his first rehab start for Iowa on Monday and he allowed 4 runs on 6 hits in 6 innings of work. Miller struck out three, walked three, threw a wild pitch and of the 89 pitches he threw, 54 were for strikes. Of the 6 hits he allowed, four were doubles and his velocity topped out at 88 MPH.

Here are more updates from the Cubs’ farm teams.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 24-19

The I-Cubs split their last four games with the majority of the help coming at the plate. The most consistent hitters for the I-Cubs were Mike Fontenot who was 4-of-7 with three runs scored. Buck Coats was 6-of-17 with five runs scored and a stolen base and Scott Moore was 3-of-11 with four runs scored, two home runs and six RBI’s.

Besides Marshall and Miller’s outings, there is nothing of note to mention about the pitchers. Carlos Marmol is still with the Cubs after pitching well with Iowa. The Cubs called him up Friday to give them a 12th pitcher. Sean Marshall has been pitching even better since his return from the DL and that is why he is likely to get the fifth spot in the rotation and should start for the Cubs Wednesday or Thursday.

I have been watching the minors all year for the CCO and back on May 10th when the Cubs sent Felix Pie back to Iowa and recalled Angel Pagan, I questioned why. After all, in 33 games he was batting a very mediocre .250. Pie has been hitting the ball well all year so how could Pagan be a better alternative than Pie? Well, I hate to admit it but he has impressed me. He has been hitting the ball well, he has been hustling, and he has been coming up with the big hit.

In the game on Friday he made a big two-out hit to tie the game and later scored the go ahead run on a wild pitch. I was at the game Sunday and although he didn’t get a hit, he drew two walks, stole a base and scored two runs. He is batting .385 and his on-base percentage is .429. Angel has been a positive for the Cubs since he was called up so I hope he keeps it up. I was in the bleachers Sunday and the fans out there were appreciative of his play and you could see Pagan is happy to be helping out. Keep up the good work Angel and keep hustling.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 22-20

The Smokies split their last four games to remain two games above .500 and sit 1/2 game out of first. On offense, Jake Fox was 7-of-17 with four runs scored and received more time at first base. Josh Kroeger was 6-of-13 with five runs scored and five RBI’s. Casey McGehee was 5-of-15 with three runs scored and three RBI’s.

From the mound, Mark Holliman rebounded well from his poor outing. He pitched 8.0 shutout innings and gave up two hits and one walk while striking out five to earn his 6th win. His ERA is at 1.17 on the season.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 21-21

Daytona is 1-3 in their last four games and with that they have little to talk about on offense. Their long bright spot was Alberto Garcia who was 5-of-12 with a home run.

The best outing for a D-Cubs pitcher was put in by Jesse Estrada who made the start last Thursday. He pitched 6.0 scoreless innings giving up four hits and three walks while striking out five batters.

Joel Santo pitched 2.2 innings of relief to get the win on Saturday. He didn’t allow a hit but gave up three walks and struck out five. Scott Koerber made his first start of the season in the same game. He pitched 4.1 innings, gave up one earned run on five hits and no walks while striking out one.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 20-21

The Chiefs are back below .500 and have lost five in a row while scoring only six runs over the five game stretch. One of the few bright spots on offense was Joshua Lansford. He was 8-of-15 with three RBI’s.

One pitcher I wanted to note this week was Rocky Roquet. Not many have heard of him, especially being in A-ball, but he has now pitched 19.2 innings of relief and has yet to give up an earned run. He has a strikeout to walk ratio of 24-to-9 and has nine saves on the season.

Obviously, no Chiefs pitchers have won a game lately but Jose Pina did pitch well enough to win last Thursday. He pitched 6.0 innings, giving up one earned run on four hits while striking out four.

Those are the latest updates from the minors.

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