Down on the Farm Report – 8/21/07

Hey Cubs fans. I am back from a long break and will try to get you caught up on the latest from the minors. With my long absence I have the updates below a little different this time. I have updated the records and mentioned some of the players of note for the time I was gone. I will get things back on track starting Friday with my next update but first I would like to share with you my definition of “roughing it”. I was on vacation for the last 8 to 9 days and in that time I learned what “roughing it” was like. Was I camping? No I surely wasn’t. We were at a resort west of Chicago with many amenities including a five-hole par-3 golf course. The “roughing it” that I describe was the lack of Internet access in the room as well as not having Comcast Sports from Chicago. As many of you know if the Cubs game isn’t on WGN it is usually on Comcast.

I was happy to have WGN but when I was able to get on the Internet at the activities center, I was saddened to see the Cubs were only on WGN twice that week. We made it through until then by watching the ESPN score ticker and following the games on WGN radio. Then Wednesday comes and we are psyched to watch the game on TV. I love to listen to Ron and Pat on the radio but nothing beats seeing the game on TV, short of being at the game. Game time is nearly here and I turn the channel to WGN and get a message from the satellite company thanking us for use their service. It wasn’t our service but the facility where we were staying. We quickly checked and found, to our dismay, that they were having satellite problems. They weren’t able to resolve them while we were there so we had four less channels than we started with and we missed both games we had been waiting to watch.

Is that considered “roughing it”? Well I guess not for some people but when you are used to watching your beloved Cubs everyday, it is rough to have to huddle around a small clock radio in a bedroom to keep up with the game. It was an enjoyable vacation but the lack of Cubs viewing opportunities surely made it rougher than it should have been. I guess it is like they say; there is no place like home.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 71-58

Since my last update Iowa was 7-6 and remain 7 1/2 games out of first. Their chances for winning the division this year are about as slim as they can get now. They have still had a solid year and can be proud of what they have done.

There have been several solid performances on offense over the last 10 games. Geovany Soto hit .395 with two home runs and 16 RBI’s. Scott Moore came off the disable list but looking at his last 10 games going back to July, he hit .400 with seven home runs and 16 RBI’s. Other performances of note include Jake Fox and his three-homer game on August 11 and Matt Craig and his 15-game hitting streak.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 31-24

Tennessee is 9-2 over their last 11 games and sit only two games out of first in their division. There are also several performances to note from Tennessee. Tyler Colvin hit .362 in his last 10 games adding two home runs and 12 RBI’s plus scored 10 runs. Casey McGehee hit .400 over his last 10 games with two home runs and eight RBI’s.

We finally have some good news about Jeff Samardzija. Since being promoted to Tennessee from Daytona he is 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA. This is obviously a great sign considering the struggles he had early in the season.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 21-35

The D-Cubs are 3-10 in their last 13 games and sit nine games out of first. Their chances for winning the division are not mathematically done but you can say their season is effectively over once they play their last game on September 2nd.

Steven Clevenger has been the best hitter for the D-Cubs. In his last 10 games he is hitting .350 with two home runs and eight RBI’s. Matt Camp has also been good batting .342 with eight runs scored and four stolen bases in his last 10 games.

Unfortunately for the D-Cubs there haven’t been any notable pitching performances lately.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 30-25

Peoria is 6-7 over their last 13 games and have dropped to 5 1/2 games out of first in their division. Peoria was playing strong but have since leveled off and are not likely to reach the playoffs.

James Adduci has been playing well lately for Peoria. In his last 10 games he is hitting .324 with six RBI’s and five stolen bases. Wellington Castillo has been even better batting .406 in his last 10 games with two home runs and five RBI’s. Barney Darwin hasn’t been mentioned before but he has played 29 games with Peoria and in his last 10 he is hitting .351 with a home run, nine RBI’s and two stolen bases.

Marco Carrillo has been solid for the Chiefs from the mound. In his last three appearances he has pitched 16.1 innings and given up four earned runs on 12 hits and struck out 12.

Boise Hawks – Record: 27-32

Boise has also dropped out of first but remain only 1 1/2 games out of first. They still have a good chance of taking their division but need to finish the season strong. The leader in their division is still below .500 so they are lucky to be in the weaker of the two divisions as they would be nearly 20 games out of first in the other division.

Joshua Donaldson remains one of the Hawks’ best hitters. In his last 10 games he is batting .343 with a home run and seven RBI’s. Jonathon Wyatt is another guy that has been solid for the Hawks. In his last 10 games he is hitting .303 with seven RBI’s and two stolen bases.

From the mound, Chris Huseby has been a solid pitcher for the Hawks. He has started 11 games and has a 2-5 record but he has a 3.58 ERA which tells you he hasn’t gotten good run support a la Rich Hill. In three of his losses he has given up a total of five runs. He won his last game by going 6.0 shutout innings giving up only two hits and two walks while striking out four. With a little run support Huseby could be 8-2.

That is the latest from the Cubs farm teams. Please check back later this week for more updates.