Down on the Farm Report – 6/29/07

Looking back since my last update a lot has happened. In thinking about it all I thought I would take a page from Brian and give you my opinion rambling style. But first a little bit of All-Star news. Micah Hoffpauir and Eric Patterson were named to the PCL All-Star team on Thursday. The Southern League announced their roster for the Northern Division All-Star team on Tuesday. Jorge Cortes, Jake Fox, Matt Craig and Mark Holliman will represent the Smokies.

Here is the latest from the farm and ramblings about the big league club….

  • Jacque Jones was almost traded to Florida (and is rumored to be going somewhere before today’s game in order to make room for a 12th pitcher). The Cubs reportedly were willing to pay $6.6 million of Jones’ $7.2 million in salary through next year. How good can you feel as a player when a team is willing to pay $6.6 million for you to play on another team?
  • I can’t say enough good things about Mike Fontenot. He has been great lately and has been a big shot in the arm to this team. I see them playing as well as they have all year.
  • Unbelievable game on Tuesday. We give up six runs in the 9th. I had missed the Mets game where we gave up five so it wasn’t a lot of fun seeing what it must have felt like the first time.
  • Who was that guy that ran on the field after the 3-run home run and why didn’t someone tell me Brian Urlacher worked security for the Cubs? Wow, what a tackle!!
  • Why would someone run on the field to talk to Howry? What are you going to say to him? He sucks? I saw the look on his face; I don’t think anyone needed to tell him, he already knew.
  • I was watching the game the other night and made a comment to my wife that I think the camera operators have inside wagers going on who which can get the hottest girl on camera. She disagreed and said they were just doing their job. When you think of it, she might be right. If you give a guy a camera that can zoom like that, what else is he going to zoom in on?

That is it for my rambling. Now read on for updates about the Cubs farm teams.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 45-33

The I-Cubs were 1-2 in their last three games and are back into 2nd place by a half game. Ronny Cedeno was 8-of-14 with a home run, three RBI’s, three runs and a stolen base. After starting off slowly at Iowa, Cedeno has raised his average to .385. Cedeno was also involved in the fourth triple play in Iowa Cubs history on Tuesday.

Josh Kroeger was 4-of-9 with a home run and two RBI’s. Kroeger had a slow start after joining Iowa from Tennessee but he has begun to turn things around and it bringing up his average. Buck Coats was also 5-of-12 with a home run and three RBI’s. Coats has been as hot as Mike Fontenot has been with the big club. Over the last 10 games, Coats is batting .474 with five home runs and 16 RBI’s.

Geovany Soto was 5-of-13 with a home run and four RBI’s and is playing regularly now. He had been sharing time at catcher with Koyie Hill but since Hill was sent to Chicago, Soto has been playing nearly every day and has been impressive. In his last 10 games he is hitting .361 with three home runs and nine RBI’s.

Brent Prinz, who recently signed with the Cubs, picked up his first win in relief on Tuesday. He pitched 2.0 scoreless innings without giving up a hit. He did give up a walk and struck out one. Prinz has now appeared in two games and pitched 3.0 innings without surrendering a run. Don’t go thinking he is the answer for the Cubs’ bullpen problems though. He also pitched lights out for Charlotte of the International League but had an 8.10 ERA for the White Sox this year before they released him.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 6-4

Tennessee was also 1-2 in their last three games and also sits in 2nd place in their division. Tyler Colvin was 6-of-13. After a slow start with Tennessee he has raised his average to .250. Issmael Salas was 4-of-9 with three doubles.

Donald Veal pitched 5.0 innings Wednesday and gave up only one run on two hits and four walks while striking out 11. It is Veal’s highest strikeout total on the season but he continues to give a high number of walks. His ERA is still high at 5.64 and he has 73 strikeouts while giving up 49 walks on the season. He has averaged about three walks a game in his last two seasons.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 1-6

I am noticing a trend as Daytona was also 1-2 in their three games and that included their first win of the second half of the season. On offense, Chris Amador has been swinging a hot bat of late and was 8-of-13 with two home runs, three RBI’s and a stolen base over his last three games. Robinson Chirinos was the only other hitter of note as he went 3-of-8 with a stolen base.

From the mound, Greg Reinhard pitched Wednesday and did well enough to get the win but the bullpen didn’t agree and gave the game away. This isn’t something that Cubs fans aren’t accustomed to and the D-Cubs tried to come back in the 9th but the rally fell short and they lost 6-5. Reinhard pitched 6.0 scoreless innings giving up four hits and two walks while striking out six. He was trying to win his first game since he was sent down to Daytona.

Joel Santo picked up his 5th win of the season on Tuesday. He pitched 6.0 innings giving up one earned run on four hits and four walks while striking out six.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 4-3

Peoria bucked the trend and won two of their three games. They are in third place in the division only one game out. Russ Canzler was 6-of-10 with a home run, two RBI’s, a stolen base and three runs scored. Canzler is hitting .487, with three home runs and nine RBI’s over his last 10 games and has hit safely in eight consecutive games. Jonathon Mota was 3-of-8 with a home run and a stolen base while Alfred Joseph was 4-of-12 with a stolen base.

Jake Renshaw picked up his 7th win of the year on Wednesday. He pitched 5.0 scoreless innings giving up four hits and four walks while striking out eight. Renshaw has been real inconsistent this year but this is his second start in a row where he has held the team scoreless.

Another good outing came from Robert Hernandez on Tuesday. He pitched 6.0 innings giving up an earned run on seven hits and a walk while striking out four to pick up his third win. It was his first quality start of the season.

Boise Hawks – Record: 1-8

Boise started the season with an eight-game losing streak before finally winning their first game Wednesday. Funny enough, they were also 1-2 over their last three games. Mario Mercedes has been the best hitter so far for the Hawks and was 3-of-4 with two runs scored and a stolen base on in the Hawks lone win. So far he is batting .455 early in the season and he is the only hitter of note over the last few games.

From the mound, pitchers Zachary Ashwood, John Muller, Harol Tolentino and Audy Santana worked together to get the Hawks that first win. Ashwood pitched 3.0 scoreless innings giving up one hit and two walks while striking out three. Muller pitched one inning and gave up three walks. Tolentino, gave up the only run on two hits and a walk while striking out five over 3.0 innings. Santana pitched the last two innings, giving up no runs on two hits and a walk while striking out four.

That does it for the minor league updates. Check back Tuesday for more from Down on the Farm. Have a great weekend and Go Cubs. Lets 3-Sweep.

Quote of the Day

"The struggle you're in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow. Don't give up." - Robert Tew
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