With the tragic loss of Cardinal reliever Josh Hancock, the Cubs shuffled their rotation for the week. Angel Guzman was to make his first start of the season today for the Cubs but instead he will make the start for Iowa. Ted Lilly is scheduled to start tonight’s game in Pittsburgh with Jason Marquis slated to pitch in the finale on Wednesday. With the Cubs having off days on Thursday and Monday, they will not need a 5th starter for now and that means Angel Guzman could either start at Wrigley on Sunday against the Washington Nationals or on the road versus the Phillies to start their 6-game road trip on May 11th. Early reports are Lou Piniella would prefer to use him at home but we will see later this week when the official announcement is made.
The I-Cubs have struggled since Felix Pie left for Chicago and are 1-3 in the last four games.
Offensively there have been some solid performances over the last four-game stretch. Geovany Soto was 6-of-10, Carlos Rojas was 4-of-11, and Mike Fontenot was 7-of-14 with two home rums and six RBI’s. Eric Patterson was 4-of-14 with one home run, five RBI’s and two stolen bases.
Angel Guzman pitched on Thursday and improved over his last outing. He didn’t go deep into the game and he hasn’t pitched well since being sent to AAA but it was better than his first outing. Hopefully he will be even better in his next start before pitching for Chicago. On Thursday, he pitched 4.1 innings, gave up four hits, two earned runs, he walked none and struck out five. I would like to see the kid get a shot because of the struggles Wade Miller had before he was put on the DL.
Tennessee Smokies – Record: 11-11
The hot hitters for the Smokies over the last four games are Gary Cates and Josh Kroeger. Cates was 6-of-10 and Kroeger was 6-of-14 with a home run and five RBI’s.
From the mound, Mark Holliman had yet another solid outing picking up his third win and has yet to lose a game. He surrendered his first earned run of the year going 6.0 strong innings. He gave up six hits, (the one earned run), walked two and struck out one. For the year he sits with an ERA of 0.33.
Donald Veal had a better outing this week pitching 6.0 innings, giving up three hits, three earned runs, two walks and he also struck out a season high nine batters. Hopefully Veal can continue to show improvement.
Daytona Cubs – Record: 12-11
The best hitters for the D-Cubs over the last four games were Tyler Colvin and Matt Matulia. Colvin was 5-of-15 with a stolen base and Matulia was 6-of-17 with a stolen base.
The only outing of note over the last four games was by Joel Santo. He improved to 3-1 after pitching 6.0 innings. He gave up seven hits, one earned run, walked two and struck out five.
Peoria Chiefs – Record: 12-8
The Peoria Chiefs continue to do well this year and currently lead their division after going 3-1 in their last four games. The hottest hitters at the plate were Russell Canzler, who was 4-of-10 with a home run and two RBI’s, and Alfred Joseph who was 5-of-15 with a home run, five RBI’s and two stolen bases.
From the mound, the best outings were by Rafael Dolis and Charles Platt. Dolis pitched 6.0 shutout innings, gave up four hits, two walks and he struck out two. He failed to get the win but he kept his team in the game and they eventually did win. Platt pitched 4.0 shutout innings in relief, gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three to get the win. Platt has pitched 8.0 innings of relief and has yet to give up an earned run.
That is the latest from down on the farm. Check back Friday for more updates.