Down on the Farm Report – 7/06/07

A couple nights ago I was able to take my family out to watch fireworks and that was especially nice since earlier that day I was not able to see any from the Cubs offense. I cannot complain though as they have been playing well lately. Rich Hill does have me worried but Sean Marshall put together a solid outing on Thursday.

Looking at other Cubs business, is anyone still questioning the signings of Ted Lilly and Jason Marquis? I’m sure not because they have been solid this year minus a couple poor outings. Jacque Jones is still with the Cubs and that means Lou cannot add another pitcher to his bullpen. Billy Petrick was sent down on Thursday to make room for Sean Gallagher, but Petrick has opened some eyes and should be back soon.

Let’s hope the Cubs can finish strong before the All-Star break, Pittsburgh just took three of four from the Brewers and the Cubs might be playing them at the wrong time but that is enough about the big club. There has been movement in the farm system. The Cubs released a familiar name, made a few promotions, a few demotions and signed a few as well….here are updates from down on the farm.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 46-40

The Iowa Cubs have now lost eight in a row and sit five games out of first in their division. Their trouble has been with pitching and errors lately. Their starting pitchers didn’t perform well while the defense committed five errors over the three games. There were only a couple performances of note on offense. Ronny Cedeno was 5-of-11 with a home run and three RBI’s and Geovany Soto was 7-of-12 with three RBI’s. Cedeno was named the Pacific Coast League batter of the week.

There wasn’t anything to note from the pitchers this time around and overall the team is struggling after being solid all year. With all the movement they have seen I would imagine it would get to a team after a while so they just need to get through this hard time.

Recent News: The Cubs signed a pitcher and a position player on Wednesday and assigned them to Iowa. Mike Nannini was 1-1 with a 4.95 ERA in 14 games, 20 innings with Double-A Altoona (Pirates). The 26-year old right-handed pitcher struck out 19 and walked 5. He pitched in one game for Triple-A Indianapolis. Nannini was in the Cubs organization in 2002 and 2003. He was acquired from the Astros along with Russ Rohlicek for Flash Gordon in 2002. He was a part of the Derrek Lee trade with the Marlins in the winter of 2003.

John Nelson, utility infielder/outfielder, was with Triple-A Memphis (Cardinals) and was hitting .162 in 47 games with 5 of his 17 hits being home runs. Last year he hit 21 home runs and drove in 48 in 125 games while hitting .215.

Micah Hoffpauir injured his knee running the bases on Monday night and was placed on the DL.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 9-8

The Smokies struggled to a 1-2 record over their last three games. On offense, Matt Craig was 4-of-8 with two runs scored while Sam Fuld was 5-of-14. Jake Fox also had a good few games going 4-of-11 with two home runs and three RBI’s.

From the mound, Donald Veal picked up his 5th win of the season to bring his record even. Veal gave up one earned run on five hits and three walks while striking out six. Veal is now 4-1 with a 4.82 ERA in his last ten outings. This is a good sign for this guy and he has hopefully turned things around and will only continue to get better.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 5-8

Daytona has won their last two games including a rain shortened five-inning game. They didn’t give up a run in either game. Gary Reinhard was on the winning end of the rain shortened game after pitching scoreless 5.0 innings giving up five hits and a walk while striking out three. Joel Santo pitched 8.0 scoreless innings giving up only two hits and no walks while striking out seven.

There isn’t much to mention on offense but Nate Spears was 2-of-3 with an RBI and a run scored in his one game played while Alberto Garcia was 2-of-5 in his two games played.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 8-6

Peoria was 2-1 over their last three games and have pulled into a tie for first in their division. They piled up on the runs Tuesday winning 15-3 over Kane County. Helping on offense over the last three games was Jonathon Mota who was 4-of-10 with four RBI’s and three runs scored. James Adduci was 4-of-13 with a home run and three RBI’s and Blake Lalli was 5-of-12 with three RBI’s. Matt Camp was solid also going 6-of-10 with three RBI’s, three stolen bases and three runs scored.

From the mound, Jake Renshaw had another quality start going 6.1 innings and giving up two earned runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two. He improved his record to 8-4 on the season with a 4.12 ERA.

Recent News: The Chiefs placed pitchers Miguel Cuevas (fractured left foot) and Donny Walters (fractured right hand, his pitching hand) on the DL and demoted Oscar Bernard to the Boise Hawks on Tuesday. Also, the Chiefs released Ryan Norwood. Derek Schermerhorn (1B) and lefty Casey Lambert were promoted from Boise. Right-handed pitcher, Michael Bartek was added to the Chiefs roster from the Mesa Cubs.

Ryan Norwood hit .253 without a home run and 5 RBI’s in 22 games and was a 9th round pick in 2004.

Boise Hawks – Record: 4-12

Boise was 2-1 in their last three games and have won two in a row. They are still only four games out of first in their division. Jonathon Wyatt has been very good in his last two games going 5-of-8 with an RBI, two stolen bases and scoring four runs. Andrew Rundle was also solid going 4-of-12 with a home run, three RBI’s, a stolen base and five runs scored.

From the mound, Dustin Sasser was good going 6.0 innings giving up one earned run on three hits and no walks while striking out five. He evened his record at 1-1 and his ERA on the season is 2.77.

Other Minor League Signings:

The Cubs signed Chris Rivera from the Independent Frontier League. The right hander was 8-0 in 17 games with a 2.44 ERA (88.2 innings, 64 strikeouts and 18 walks) for Virginia Wesleyan College before pitching in two games for the Washington Wild Things.

Catcher Matt Hudgins was signed as a non-drafted free agent.

That is it for this update. Have a great weekend and I will have more next week.

Quote of the Day

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life." – Arthur Ashe