The Cubs’ farm system received a boost this past week when Josh Vitters made his debut for the Peoria Chiefs. The rest of his week was not as good as his first game but at least the Cubs’ top prospect is now in A ball. Sean Gallagher turned in a great start with 12 strikeouts and Randy Wells was returned to the Cubs’ system after being taken by the Blue Jays in the Rule 5 Draft this past winter.
Jose Ascanio picked up first win in Iowa Cubs’ 3-2 win over the Memphis Redbirds on Thursday after blowing the save. Koyie Hill drove in Casey McGehee with the winning run in the bottom of the 9th. The Smokies lost to the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx 2-1 on Thursday. Justin Berg gave up a run on 5 hits with 4 walks and 3 strikeouts but Greg Reinhard took the loss after giving up a run in the 9th. The Daytona Cubs beat the St. Lucie Mets 7-2 on Thursday. Chad Fox made his second start and pitched 2 good innings. Scott Eyre made the start on Wednesday in his first rehab appearance. Eyre gave up a hit, struck out a batter and walked a batter.
The Peoria Chiefs were off on Thursday. Here is the rest from down on the farm….
The Iowa Cubs’ season took a slight downturn this past week by going 2-4. The hitting has not kept pace with the pitching. The I-Cubs rank in the bottom part of their league in most offensive categories. Fortunately the pitching has been keeping the team afloat.
The rotation is anchored by 22-year old Sean Gallagher. He had an outstanding start his last time out. He recorded 12 strikeouts and allowed only 3 hits, an earned run and a walk. He is the Cubs’ 6th starter right now due to the fact Sean Marshall and Jon Lieber are not stretched out enough and neither is Kevin Hart. Any stint to the DL from our rotation and Gallagher will get the call.
Neal Cotts is trying to get another shot with the team after failing last year. With Scott Eyre currently rehabbing in A ball, I don’t think there will be much of a chance of him seeing big league action any time soon.
TENNESSEE SMOKIES (9-11) – 5th place – Southern League North
The Smokies have been not been playing good ball of late. In the last week, they posted only 1 win in 6 games (1-5) and lost again on Thursday. The offense has gotten a boost recently with the addition of Doug Deeds from the Twins (Deeds was the PTBNL in the Craig Monroe trade). He has been on a tear and has taken the Smokies from being dead last to third from the last in team hitting.
Tyler Colvin has shown slight improvement over the past week. He needs to continue working on his patience at the plate and knowledge of the strike zone — if he ever hopes to get past AA ball.
Donald Veal is in the same vein as Colvin. Veal needs to improve his command of the strike zone and cut down on the walks. The Shark has been on the flip side of Veal’s problem. Jeff Samardzija has been steadily improving ever facet of his game except for his strikeout numbers — which have lagged his entire career. While I am excited about Jeff’s development, I really hope he brings up his K/9 numbers (strikeouts per 9 innings).
DAYTONA CUBS (11-9) – 4th place – Florida State League East
The Daytona Cubs were 5-2 over the past week and seem to be clicking. This is the team that had the pleasure of having Scott Eyre on their roster over the past week as well. Tony Thomas has been cooling down as of late; he is batting .189 in his last ten games. Luckily for the club, Welington Castillo and James Adduci are picking up the slack,
James Adduci has been hot the entire season and might become a viable prospect for the big league club.
Welington Castillo is getting the bulk of the playing time behind the dish and is greatly improving his hitting, Being a great defensive catcher means he is not expected to be a great hitter. But as long as he is a decent at the plate he is bound to see some time in the show.
Jose Ceda had 2 good outings in a row — with a 10-0 strikeout to walk ratio. Hopefully this will mark a turning point for Ceda. Alessandro Maestri has been ‘Mr. Consistency‘ this season and has shown no signs of slowing down. He is due for a call up sometime to Tennessee.
PEORIA CHIEFS (6-8) – 6th place – MID Western
Dae-Eun Rhee has been the talk of this season but he had a rough outing last time out. He lasted one inning and gave up 3 ERs on 5 hits. This is bound to happen but the important thing is for him not to let it get to him. He needs to have a strong start next time out to keep his confidence up.
Ryan Acosta has been the victim of spotty defense. This is evident by his 12Rs but only 4ERs. He did give up 9 hits in only 4 innings in his last outing but managed to minimize the damage to only 2 earned runs.
The Cubs top prospect, Josh Vitters, made his debut this past week but only had a handful of at bats. In his first game, he went 3-for-4 with 3 doubles — but has done little since.