Down on the Farm Report – 7/03/07

Good day Cubs fans. Back for more updates on the Cubs farm teams. Since it is the start of a new month I have also listed the best hitters and pitchers for each team through June.

Before I get to the updates I want to talk about one person not getting much attention. That person is Billy Petrick. I can honestly say I didn’t mention him once in my twice a week updates although I probably could have. It isn’t because he wasn’t worthy of mention, it was just that he was not a starter and seldom did he put together a couple wins to garner any attention. He only pitched in relief and usually it is a few guys in relief that make the difference, not just one guy.

He impressed me with his outing on Friday. He comes into a game where the Cubs are behind, the starter lasted three innings, and most Cubs fans are just hoping the bullpen isn’t in trouble for the rest of the series. After he is done, he has two more innings under his belt, he had surrendered no runs and he gave up only one hit while striking out a couple. Just what the Cubs need to keep the Brewers close so they could eventually win it in the 9th. No, he wasn’t the only reason for the Cubs win that day but he was one part of it and he impressed me with his composure after a move from AA to the big leagues.

Yes, I am a Billy Petrick fan. The Cubs recently tried to send him down to make room for Rocky Cherry but Cherry was placed on the DL and you all know who came back to take his spot? You betcha baby, Billy Petrick. Now Petrick isn’t the second coming of Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens. He was in Double-A and came and did what many in the Cubs bullpen have struggled to do this year, he pitched two innings in relief and didn’t give up a run and added another scoreless inning on Monday night against the Nationals. Friday was a great outing on a big stage. Saturday, the Cubs told him to head for Iowa. Well he made it as far as Joliet before the Cubs called him to come back. I hope he can stay awhile and continue to pitch well. I am now off my soapbox and you can read on for more updates.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 46-37

The Iowa Cubs have lost five in a row although they did pick up a win from a suspended game they finished from April 12. With their recent losing streak the I-Cubs have fallen four games out of first in their division.

Buck Coats continues to hit well and was 6-of-18 with a home run, four RBI’s and a stolen base in his last four games. Eric Patterson was 7-of-19 with four runs scored in his last four games. Ronny Cedeno is making a case to make it back to the majors going 5-of-15 with four home runs and seven RBI’s over his last four games. He hit home runs in four straight games with five total homers in four games. There obviously isn’t any room for Cedeno at the big league level, so it is likely he is trade bait should the Cubs stay close before the end of July.

From the mound there was very little good to talk about. I guess when you lose five in a row that is to be expected. One outing I wanted to mention was that of Sean Gallagher. The Cubs sent him down to Iowa after he help the big club for a short time. He made his 2nd start last Friday and went only 4.0 innings giving up four earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out two. Gallagher got a taste of the big time and he has some talent so he will obviously work hard to give himself a chance to return to the show.

At the end of June, the leading hitting for the Iowa Cubs is Ronny Cedeno with a .387 average. Micah Hoffpauir is leading the team in home runs with 16 and also in RBI’s with 73. Eric Patterson leads the team in steals with 12.

From the mound, the best pitcher at this point in the season is Cory Bailey. He is a relief pitcher for Iowa and has made 31 appearances for the I-Cubs. He is 1-1 with a 2.78 ERA. The pitcher with the best record is Les Walrond but he has a 4.86 ERA so I think he’s been on the receiving end of some offensive outbursts.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 8-6

The Smokies were even in there last four games going 2-2 with Sam Fuld being one of the hottest hitters. He was 5-of-6 with a stolen base in the two games he played in. Issmael Salas was 5-of-13 with four RBI’s and Joseph Simokaitis was 3-of-10.

From the mound, Mark Holliman pitched 7.0 innings giving up one earned run on nine hits and four walks while striking out three. Although he allowed 13 hitters to reach base he was able to work out of trouble, which shows that this kid has what it takes to succeed.

Kevin Hart picked up his 6th win after pitching 7.0 innings giving up four earned runs on five hits and a walk while striking out nine. Hart also went 2-of-3 at the plate with two RBI’s and he scored two runs.

After three months of the season, Sam Fuld is the leading hitter with a .308 average. Jake Fox is leading the team with 14 home runs and 50 RBI’s while Gary Cates leads the team in stolen bases with 14.

Mark Holliman is the top pitcher for the Smokies with a 7-6 record and a 2.64 ERA in 16 starts.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 3-8

Daytona have been struggling in their second half of the season, they were 2-2 in their last four games. They currently sit near the bottom of their division. Brian Dopirak was 6-of-13 with two home runs and six RBI’s. Over his last 10 games, Dopirak’s average is .342 with four home runs and 11 RBI’s. He has struggled this year so he is hopefully turning things around. It would be nice to see him display the talent that once made him our top prospect. Alberto Garcia was also a hot hitter over the last four games. He was 7-of-10 with a home run.

From the mound, Jeff Samardzija won his first game of the season going 5.0 innings giving up an earned run on three hits and two walks while striking out two. It is a good sign for a guy that has struggled while learning some new things. With all his trouble this year his ERA is still 4.99 which isn’t bad, all things considered.

The top hitter at the end of June with the D-Cubs is Chris Amador with a .265 average. He also leads the team with 16 stolen bases and is tied with Brian Dopirak with 10 home runs. Jesus Valdez leads the team in RBI’s with 38.

The top pitcher for the D-Cubs through June is Mitch Atkins with a 6-5 record and a 2.86 ERA.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 6-5

Peoria was also even at 2-2 over their last four games and remain one game out of first place in their division. James Adduci was 4-of-12 with two RBI’s while Matt Camp was 5-of-13 with a home run, two RBI’s and three runs scored. Jonathon Mota was 4-of-13 with three runs scored.

From the mound, Marco Carillo won his 2nd game of the year going 7.1 scoreless innings giving up three hits and one walk while striking out two. It was Carillo’s longest outing of the year and his first game to qualify as a quality start.

Jose Pina pitched 7.0 innings and also held his opponent scoreless. He gave up four hits and three walks while striking out two. It was also his 2nd win of the season.

Through June, Russell Canzler leads the team in hitting with a .291 average and also leads the team with seven home runs. Joshua Lansford leads the team with 39 RBI’s and Matt Camp leads with 26 stolen bases.

Jake Renshaw leads the pitchers with a 7-4 record and a 4.24 ERA. Renshaw seems to either be really good or really bad. He has held opponents scoreless in four of his last 10 starts and at the same time he has given up at least five earned runs in four of his last 10 as well.

Boise Hawks – Record: 2-11

Boise still hasn’t figured out how to win games consistently and is1-3 in their last four games. Even with their trouble winning and with the fact they are in last place, they are still only four games out of first in their division.

Ty Wright was 5-of-13 with a home run, two RBI’s and two stolen bases. Mario Mercedes was 3-of-7 while Steven Clevenger was 6-of-11 with three RBI’s.

The Hawks season is less than two weeks old but their leading hitter is Mario Mercedes with a .444 average. Ty Wright is leading the team with two home runs, seven RBI’s and is tied with two stolen bases.

There isn’t much good to say about the pitching but I have to mention Al Alburquerque as their top pitcher at this point. He doesn’t have a win but he has a 3.46 ERA and has 19 strikeouts in only 13 innings. It is still too early in the season to see much but next month should be easier to decide who the leaders are with Boise.

That is the latest from the minors. Check back later this week for more from Down on the Farm.

Quote of the Day

"Baseball, just a game as simple as a ball and a bat. Yet, as complex as the American spirit it symbolizes." - Ernie Harwell
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