Down on the Farm Report – 6/12/07

The Cubs’ farm teams have been playing a big role in the success of the big club this year. Felix Pie, Angel Pagan, Sean Marshall, Carlos Marmol, Rocky Cherry, Koyie Hill, Mike Fontenot and Sean Gallagher have all contributed in varying degrees with the Cubs. I am glad to see Pie playing well because I want him to stay and I think he will. Pagan had some early success but has seen his playing time dwindle since Pie rejoined the team. Sean Marshall has been lights out on the mound since he made it back from his injury and although he was just on a rehab assignment I was still watching him in the minors. Marmol pitched well just the other day when Lilly was ejected from the game. Fontenot did what he could to help them win the game and even took a hit from a sliding Edgar Renteria in the process.

I cannot see how Pie and Marshall are not in Chicago to stay with how they have played. Marmol surely has been solid in the bullpen and should at least remain in that role with the team. Cherry was sent back down after a so-so stint. Hill and Gallagher are not likely to stay with the big league club either once players start returning from the DL. Fontenot has impressed me since the Cubs called him back up but I do not see how they can keep him for long. With Ramirez on the 15-day DL it should give him a couple more weeks to show what he can do. I hope he does well. We have enough guys like Jacque Jones that have not been performing so if we find players that can give us a spark I hope we can find a way to keep them in the majors. With that being said, here is an update on the guys that are still playing in the farm system.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 36-26

The Iowa Cubs finally ran into some struggles this week and have been victorious in just one of their last four games. You can’t blame them as they lost their best players to the big club quite a bit lately. It is a good thing for the Cubs fans but not so good for those still playing with Iowa. The Cubs have struggled to find a consistent lineup and Iowa is having the same trouble now.

With all the changes of late there have still been some good performances over the last four games. Micah Hoffpauir is one of the better hitters still left with Iowa. In his last four games he is 7-of-17 with three RBI’s and four runs scored. Buck Coats was 5-of-7, Eric Patterson was 6-of-19, and Geovany Soto was 6-of-15 with a home run and four RBI’s.

The offense that Iowa put forth wasn’t all that bad but the pitching wasn’t able to keep them in the game usually. Iowa played New Orleans in the four games since my last update and in those four games New Orleans has scored 52 runs. This includes back-to-back games where they scored 18 runs on Friday followed by 19 runs on Saturday. Neal Cotts started the game Friday and pitched only 1.2 innings giving up nine earned runs on six hits and four walks. He was able to strikeout two batters. This isn’t a good outing for a guy the Cubs are trying to turn back into a starter.

Latest News: The Cubs promoted Alberto Garcia to Iowa all the way from high-A Daytona. He was hitting just .232 with three home runs and 14 RBI’s at Daytona before his call-up.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 33-29

The Smokies also went 1-3 in their last four games. The stats from the offense aren’t as solid as they normally are which is likely why they have struggled to win games. Josh Kroeger went 7-of-18 with a solo home run. Jorge Cortes was 5-of-14 with two RBI’s and three runs scored while Sam Fuld was 7-of-19 with three RBI’s and a stolen base.

From the mound, Donald Veal put in a decent outing going 5.0 innings, giving up two earned runs on one hit and two walks. He also struck out eight batters. He left with the lead but they lost the game in extra innings. Baseball America has Veal rated as the Cubs #2 prospect so it would be nice to see him string together more solid outings and get his season ERA down. He currently sits with an ERA of 6.00.

Latest News: The Cubs promoted Rocky Roquet from Daytona. He had only been at Daytona for a couple weeks since being promoted from Peoria. Roquet has been impressive thus far so it is good to see him moving up quickly.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 30-32

Daytona had the best record of all four teams which isn’t saying much when you consider they were only 2-2. Tyler Colvin continues to be the most consistent hitter for the D-Cubs and over the last four games he is 9-of-19 with a home run and four RBI’s. Robinson Chirinos has also been mentioned several times and over his last four games he was 7-of-13 with a stolen base and three runs scored.

From the mound, Mitch Atkins picked up his fifth win on the year. He pitched 6.0 innings, giving up an earned run on six hits and a walk while striking out four.

Greg Reinhard was demoted from Tennessee and made his first appearance with Daytona. He looked impressive going 4.0 shutout innings, giving up two hits and one walk while striking out four batters. Reinhard wasn’t exactly awful at Tennessee so I am unsure why the Cubs sent him down but he has started well since the demotion.

Latest News: Nathan Sampson joined Daytona from extended spring training and Charles Platt was promoted from Peoria. Platt was 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA at Peoria before his promotion.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 30-32

Peoria was also just 1-3 over their last four games. Ryne Malone continues his strong play since joining the team. In the last four games he was 7-of-15 with a home run and an RBI. Also helping out on offense was Ryan Norwood who was 5-of-14 with two runs scored and James Adduci who was 3-of-7 with two runs and two RBI’s.

From the mound, Robert Hernandez put in a solid outing going 5.0 innings, giving up an earned run on three hits and no walks while striking out five. Hernandez has made five starts on the season and is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA.

That should have you up-to-date with the farm teams. I will have updates again on Friday.

Quote of the Day

"You can’t sit on a lead and kill the clock. You’ve got to give the other man his chance. That’s why baseball is the greatest game." - Earl Weaver