Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 04/09/10

Last night was Opening Day for the four full-season Chicago Cubs minor league affiliates. The AAA Iowa Cubs opened up with a home game at Principal Park, while the Smokies, Daytona Cubs, and Chiefs all started out the year on the road.

AAA Pacific Coast League – Nashville Sounds 6, Iowa Cubs 3
J.R. Mathes got the nod as the Iowa Cubs Opening Day starting pitcher. The I-Cubs were scheduled to play an exhibition game against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Wednesday, but that game was cancelled due to rain. Mathes, a left-hander who posted a 3.62 ERA last season, did not fare well against Nashville last night.

The Sounds pounded out five earned runs on nine hits against J.R. in his five innings of work. The Cubs put a third inning rally together during which they plated two. The rally, however, did not consist of a single hit. Walks to Sam Fuld and Micah Hoffpauir and a throwing error by the pitcher accounted for the Iowa tallies. They would not score again until the 7th, when Bobby Scales scampered home on a Sam Fuld sacrifice fly.

After Mathes was removed, the bullpen looked sharp. Mitch Atkins tossed two shutout innings, Jeff Stevens allowed one run on a solo homer in his inning of work, and Jeff Gray retired the side in order in the top of the 9th. Gray is a candidate for an early big league call-up if someone struggles in Chicago.

Here is the full box score courtesy of MiLB.com:

CF- Sam Fuld: 1-2, RBI, Run
2B – Darwin Barney: 0-4
1B – Micah Hoffpauir: 0-3, Run
RF- Brad Snyder: 0-4
LF- Jim Adduci: 0-4
C – Chris Robinson: 0-4
3B – Bobby Scales: 1-1, 3 BB, Run
SS – Matt Camp: 2-4
P – J.R. Mathes: 0-2
PH – Bryan LaHair: 0-1
PH – Jason Dubois: 0-1

The 6-3 loss opened the 42nd season of AAA baseball in Des Moines and the 30th season as a Cub affiliate.

Upcoming Games and Pitchers:
*All times CDT
Friday VS Nashville 6:35 (Jay Jackson)
Saturday VS Nashville 6:35 (Thomas Diamond)
Sunday VS Nashville 1:05 (Casey Coleman, Ted Lilly)

Mike Parisi, the Rule Five Draft pick who was originally listed as the Opening Day starter, will not make his season debut until Monday.

AA Southern League – Tennessee Smokies 4, Mississippi Braves 3
The Tennessee Smokies survived some late drama last night to open the season with a win. Two of the most highly touted prospects in the organization strutted their stuff in this thriller.

Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner struck out ten in 4 2/3, but he did serve up a three-run homer in the fifth before being removed. It took five Smokies relievers to get through the remaining four-plus innings, but they got the job done posting nothing but goose eggs on the board.

Dustin Sasser got himself into some 9th inning trouble allowing the first two men he faced to reach, but he ended up working out of it. The final out was recorded with the bases loaded on a Travis Jones pop up to first. Starlin Castro was the second of the top prospects to make an impact in this game. He went 2-4 with an RBI triple.

Here is the full box score courtesy of MiLB.com:

CF – Tony Campana: 1-2, 2 R, 2 BB
SS – Starlin Castro: 2-4, RBI, Run
LF – Ty Wright: 1-3, 2 RBI
1B – Blake Lalli: 1-4, Run
C – Robinson Chirinos: 0-4
3B – Russ Canzler: 1-3, BB
PH/RF – Brandon Guyer: 1-2, BB, RBI
PH – Nate Samson: 0-1
2B – Ryan Flahery: 0-3, BB
P – Andrew Cashner: 0-2
PH- Steve Clevenger: 0-1

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Friday @Mississippi 7:05
Saturday @Mississippi 7:05
Sunday @Mississippi 2:05

Class-A Florida State League – Brevard County Manatees 3, Daytona Cubs 0
The Daytona Cubs offense was silent in their first game of the season. Rafael Dolis pitched five innings of shutout ball. He allowed only two hits and struck out five. Dolis is returning to Daytona for his second year after going 3-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 2009. Unfortunately, Cubs pitchers got no run support (sound familiar?). Michael Brenly, son of Cubs’ broadcaster Bob Brenly, scratched out the only hit allowed by Manatees pitching all game. Michael’s hit was a single to lead off the second. Former LSU Tigers’ short stop D.J. LeMahieu did reach base twice via the base on balls. Korean righty Dae-Eun Rhee surrendered 3 runs (2 earned) in relief of Dolis and was hit with the loss. Luke Sommer also saw action on the mound, retiring both men he faced.

Here is the full box score courtesy of MiLB.com:

CF- Brett Jackson: 0-3, BB, K
2B – D.J. LeMahieu: 0-2, 2 BB
RF – Kyler Burke: 0-4
3B – Josh Vitters: 0-4, 2 K
1B – Marwin Gonzalez: 0-3, 3 K
C – Michael Brenly: 1-3
DH – Nelson Perez: 0-3, 2 K
LF – Smailey Borges: 0-3, K
SS – Junior Lake: 0-3, 2 K

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Friday VS Brevard County 6:05
Saturday VS B.C. 6:05
Sunday @B.C. 12:05

Class-A Midwest League – Peoria Chiefs 5, Clinton Lumber Kings 4
The Peoria Chiefs got off to a good start with a win in Clinton last night. They were propelled by a four run 4th inning, which included a Greg Rohan two-run homer. Rohan, who played with Boise after being drafted out of Kent State last June, was the designated hitter for the Chiefs in the win.

The pitchers bat in AA and AAA, but for Class-A on down the DH rule is used. Robert Whitenack was on the mound for Peoria. He was credited with the win despite allowing four runs on seven hits over five innings. Nicholas Struck, Steven Grife, and Jordan Latham all pitched scoreless frames in relief to help the Chiefs hang on for the win.

Here is the full box score courtesy of MiLB.com:

SS – Hak-Ju Lee: 0-4, BB, Run
2B – Logan Watkins: 1-3, BB
3B – Matt Cerda: 2-4, 2B, BB, RBI
LF- Richard Jones: 0-4
C – Jovan Rosa: 0-3, BB, Run
1B – Justin Bour: 1-4, 2B
DH – Greg Rohan: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, Run
RF – Jesus Morelli: 1-4, 3B
CF – Jose Valdez: 2-4, 2 Runs, 3B

Upcoming Games (Probable Pitchers):
*All Times CDT
Friday @Clinton 6:30 (Jeff Antigua)
Saturday @Clinton 6:30 (Jonathan Nagel)
Sunday @Beloit 4:00 (Su-Min Jung)

Remember
If you have any questions or comments regarding my posts, feel free to email me at cubsblogmailbag@aol.com. All suggestions are welcome. Also, I write a blog where I post daily on the Chicago Cubs over at www.everythingcubs.blogspot.com. For more minor league updates you can follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/cubsfarmupdates.


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