Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 05/06/10

The Cubs’ Pacific Coast League club was shut out for the first time this season. One Cubs’ right-hander has joined the I-Cubs for rehab. The Peoria Chiefs have snuck up on the rest of their division. Starlin Castro “will” be in the big leagues at some point this season. Another young shortstop, Darwin Barney, is recording multi-hit game after multi-hit game.

All that and more in today’s Down on the Farm Report.

AAA-Iowa Cubs – (11-15)
The Iowa Cubs are managed by the only Hall of Famer actively skippering a MiLB club, but so far this season that has not helped them on the field. Brad Snyder’s hitting streak is history, Micah Hoffpauir is slumping, and the I-Cubs are in last place. The only hot hitter is shortstop Darwin Barney, who extended his streak to five-straight multi-hit games and is hitting over .600 during the streak.

Despite a Zephyrs’ run in the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs held on for a 3-2 win on Monday. Darwin Barney reached base three times including a pair of singles. Casey Coleman not only pitched seven innings and allowed just one run, but he also went 2-for-2 with an RBI at the dish. Jeff Samardzija surrendered a walk and two hits, which led to an earned run in his 0.2 innings of work. Esmailin Caridad worked a scoreless inning. Caridad is on a big league rehab assignment, he could return to Chicago by the end of the week. Click for full box score.

Iowa left a lot of men on base in Tuesday’s 3-0 shutout loss. Darwin Barney stayed hot with another multi-hit game. Barney knocked his first triple of the season. Mike Parisi was hit with the loss, but Mitch Atkins and John Gaub were impressive in their outings. This was the first time this season that the I-Cubs failed to get on the board. Click for full box score.

The Cubs bounced back with a 9-5 win in New Orleans on Wednesday. They scored four in the first and continued to tack on throughout the evening. Darwin Barney went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Bryan LaHair had three hits including a grand slam and an eye-popping total of six RBI. Micah Hoffpauir reached base twice but is still hitting just .172. Blake Parker pitched a scoreless inning in relief and has an ERA of 1.46. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight @New Orleans 7:00 (Jay Jackson)
Friday VS Oklahoma City 6:35 (Thomas Diamond)
Saturday VS Oklahoma City 6:35 (Casey Coleman)
Sunday VS Oklahoma City 1:05 (Mike Parisi)

AA-Tennessee Smokies – (18-8)
Tennessee hitters still rank at the top of the Southern League. They lead the league in batting average (.293), runs (158), OBP (.374), fewest strikeouts (144), and several other categories. Tennessee ranks near the middle of the pack in the pitching areas.

Chattanooga fell to the Smokies on Monday in a 13-inning thriller. The game was the series finale. All eight of the starting position players reached base at least once in the extra inning affair. Starlin Castro scored in the top of the 13th on a single by Matt Spencer that was the difference in the game. Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed one run (it was unearned) on just three hits in his seven-inning start. The Smokies’ pen was just as impressive as Scott Maine, Dustin Sasser and Alex Maestri each threw two scoreless frames. Click for full box score.

Thirteen hits were not enough on Wednesday as the Smokies plated just one and lost to Mobile 2-1. Craig Muschko allowed just one run in six innings on the mound. Starlin Castro went 3-for-5, Blake Lalli doubled twice and walked once, Robinson Chirinos went 3-for-4, and Matt Spencer was 2-for-3. The hit parade did not turn into a run parade however, as Spencer drove in the only Smokie run. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Mobile 4:30 (Chris Carpenter)
Friday VS Mobile 6:15 (Andrew Cashner)
Saturday VS Mobile 5:15 (Austin Bibens-Dirkx)

Class-A Advanced Daytona Cubs – (10-17)
Inconsistency. That’s the word that has haunted the Cubs’ High-A affiliate so far this season. The D-Cubs have shown that they can put together a couple of wins in a row, but then they’ll follow that up with a string of losses. As a team, they are hitting just .239 which is near the bottom of the Florida State League pack.

Four ninth inning runs propelled the Daytona Cubs to victory on Monday in their 6-3 win over Lakeland. Former Chicago Cub David Patton did not allow a run in 1.2 innings and notched the win. Brett Jackson and Junior Lake had two hits each. Click for full box score.

The Flying Tigers bounced back with an 11-hit attack on Tuesday to beat Daytona 7-3. Josh Vitters scored two runs including one in the ninth inning rally that came up short. D.J. LeMahieu went 2-for-4. Brooks Raley was pounded for seven runs (six earned) in just three innings. He gave up seven hits and three walks. Click for full box score.

Dae-Eun Rhee did not pitch well in his first four starts (1-3, 5.31 ERA) but on Wednesday he allowed just one run in five solid innings. The D-Cubs topped Lakeland 4-3. Michael Brenly went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Josh Vitters contributed as well with a single and a double. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Clearwater 6:05
Friday VS Clearwater 5:35
Saturday VS Clearwater 6:05

Class-A Peoria Chiefs – (18-9)
The Peoria Chiefs are red hot. They are in a stretch where they’ve won eight of nine. They have even climbed into first place in the Midwest League Western Division. They continue to take advantage of the home edge O’Brien Field gives them.

Matt Cerda came through big time against Clinton on Monday night. After a tough ninth inning loss on Sunday, Peoria was tied in the ninth. Manager Casey Kopitzke went to his bench with two on and two out and called up Cerda to pinch hit. Matt, the left-handed batting first baseman, drilled a three-run homer to give the Chiefs the 4-1 victory! Jonathan Nagel struck out four and allowed just one hit over three scoreless innings. Click for full box score.

Su-Min Jung (0.78 ERA this season) had another strong outing on Tuesday. He picked up his fourth win of the year with five strong innings. He was touched for two runs, but both were unearned. The Chiefs took Game 1 of the series against Cedar Rapids 6-4, continuing their dominance at home this season. Jordan Latham came on and snagged his seventh save of the year. Logan Watkins went 2-for-4 with a double and drove in a run. Click for full box score.

The Chiefs scored five times in the eighth inning on Wednesday night to come from behind to beat the Kernels 9-6. They pounded out 12 hits including two from D.J. Fitzgerald. D.J. also worked a walk. Greg Rohan had two RBI in the win. Steven Grife got the win in relief to move to 2-0 on the year. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Today VS Cedar Rapids 11am (Nick Struck)
Friday @Kane County 7:00 (Jeffry Antigua)
Saturday @Kane County 5:00
Sunday @Kane County 1:00

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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