Down on the Farm Report – 8/31/07

On this day, the last day of August, I start by offering forgiveness. Who am I asking for forgiveness? You might be surprised to know that it is Jacque Jones. I was hard on him early in the season and didn’t let up on him. I wanted him traded. Heck, just give him away to someone and put Felix Pie in full-time. There has to be a team that would take him. Well the Cubs tried, and he was almost a Florida Marlin. The Cubs were willing to pay most of the salary too but the league wouldn’t let it happen. As bad as he was playing I still wanted something in return so I agree it wasn’t a good trade and with his current play I am glad it didn’t go through.

I apologize to Jacque for all I said about him but in reality, he was really bad. If I am offering forgiveness maybe he should be also, for the way he started. He should apologize to all Cubs fans but then again, with his current play, maybe that is his way of saying sorry for being so bad to start the season. If that is the case, I accept.

When you look at the numbers, Jones has been the Cubs leading hitter in August. In his last 30 days he is hitting .362 which leads the team. He also led the team in RBI’s with 21 and added three home runs and four stolen bases. Early in the year when Jacque came to the plate I and most Cubs fans would grimace knowing it was unlikely to be a good outcome. When he comes to the plate now you expect good things to happen and they have been. On Tuesday he hit the game tying double and eventually scored the go-ahead run. On Thursday he had a big RBI that gave the Cubs the lead.

I am glad to have Jacque back at least for now. I hope the trade rumors were the cause of his problems and he will keep it up through the rest of the season, no matter how long that lasts. I ask but one favor of Jacque. Could you please go over and touch Carlos Zambrano. He needs a little of the mojo you have going on right now. His August was about as bad as yours was good. Keep up the good work Jacque and I will try to not get down on you again, but then I can’t promise anything.

Now that I have that off my chest, read on for the latest updates on the Cubs farm system. There are only a couple updates left before the minor league season ends.

Iowa Cubs – Record: 78-61

Iowa is out of the division race in the Pacific Coast League but it isn’t keeping them from playing hard to finish out the season. They were 2-1 since my last update.

On offense, Eric Patterson was 5-of-13 with four stolen bases. Koyie Hill appeared in two games for Iowa and was 3-of-5 with two RBI’s. Matt Craig was only 2-of-11 in three games but he did add a home run and six RBI’s. Ronny Cedeno was 6-of-13.

From the mound, Les Walrond pitched well Wednesday night to earn his 11th win. He went 6.0 shutout innings giving up six hits and one walk while striking out four. Will Ohman made a relief appearance in the same game and gave up one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three. He also appeared in Monday’s game and went 0.2 innings without giving up a hit or walk.

Tennessee Smokies – Record: 34-31

The Smokies were 2-1 since Monday and sit 1 1/2 games out of first. They still have a shot to win their division but need to play good ball the rest of the way and not let any games slip away.

On offense, Tyler Colvin has been solid in the three games going 5-of-12 with two home runs, three RBI’s and five RBI’s. Kyle Reynolds was also 5-of-12 with a home run and five RBI’s in two games.

From the mound, Jeff Samardzija pitched well again but was stuck with his 2nd loss for Tennessee. He pitched 7.0 innings giving up three runs, two earned, on five hits and no walks while striking out two. The Smokies had three errors in the game, which helped account for the unearned run. It was bad luck for him but he is still pitching well and that is what we all like to see. I still think he has an outside shot at getting a September call-up.

Daytona Cubs – Record: 25-41

Daytona went 1-1 in their two games played. They are just trying to finish strong and have some solid performances but it isn’t going well. The D-Cubs eked out a win on Monday 4-3 and then got blown out 11-0 on Wednesday. Matt Camp was the one bright spot for the D-Cubs going 3-of-6 with a stolen base. The D-Cubs have three games remaining so hopefully the next update will have more to report on.

Peoria Chiefs – Record: 36-29

Peoria is also in “finish out the season” mode but continue to play solid baseball for manager Ryne Sandberg. It has been a positive second half of the season for the rookie manager. They were 2-1 in their last three games.

On offense, James Adduci continues to hit the ball well and was 5-of-11 with an RBI in his last three games. Brian Leclerc was 6-of-12 with five RBI’s in his last three games.

From the mound, Robert Hernandez picked up his 2nd win in a row on Wednesday. He pitched 6.0 shutout innings giving up only four hits and three walks while striking out one. Hernandez is finishing his season on a high note.

Jeremy Papelbon also won his 2nd game in a row after he pitched 7.1 innings giving up two earned runs on six hits and no walks while striking out a season high 10 batters. Papelbon improved to 8-6 on the season with a 3.18 ERA. He has appeared in 38 games with seven coming in a starting role.

Boise Hawks – Record: 32-37

Boise was 2-1 and sits one game out of first with six games left to play. Helping on offense was Tony Thomas who was 4-of-13 with four RBI’s and a stolen base. Brandon Guyer had identical stats with a 4-of-13 performance with four RBI’s and a stolen base. Kyler Burke was also solid in the three games going 5-of-12 with a home run and four RBI’s.

From the mound, Zachary Ashwood pitched 6.2 shutout innings to pickup his 4th win of the season. He gave up five hits and a walk while striking out six. Simon Lee saved the game for Ashwood in his first game with the Hawks. He pitched the other 2.1 innings giving up a hit and striking out one.

That does it for the latest updates. There are few chances left for the players to stand out so I hope to have a lot more with my last couple updates. Have a great weekend and as always, GO CUBS!!

Quote of the Day

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