Starlin Castro’s promotion from Tennessee to the big leagues sparked a flurry of moves throughout the Cubs’ system on Friday. Chad Tracy was sent down to AAA-Iowa to make room for Castro on the Chicago roster. Josh Vitters was promoted from Daytona to fill Starlin’s spot on the Smokies roster. Rule Five Draft pick Mike Parisi was sent down to Double-A. Top pitching prospect Andrew Cashner was called up to take Parisi’s spot in the I-Cubs rotation. Ryan Flaherty was optioned to Daytona, Marwin Gonzalez was promoted to Tennessee and Jeff Gray was optioned to Iowa.
We’ll find out how everyone is fairing at their new levels and more in today’s Down on the Farm Report.
The Iowa Cubs have a chance to win three of four against the RedHawks with a victory this afternoon, but overall this season they have not played well. Micah Hoffpauir and James Adduci both came close to winning the Cubs’ final bench spot out of Spring Training, but neither of them has been impressive in the PCL this season. Hoffpauir’s hitting just .185 and Adduci checks in at.230.
Esmailin Caridad, who has since rejoined the Chicago bullpen, pitched two innings of rehab against New Orleans on Thursday. He allowed just one hit but it was a solo homer that was the difference in Iowa’s 2-1 loss. The offense wasted a great outing from Jay Jackson, who tossed six strong innings. Bryan LaHair’s solo homer accounted for the only Iowa tally. Darwin Barney recorded yet another multi-hit game. Click for full box score.
A pair of familiar names lifted the Cubs’ to a 4-2 victory on Friday in the series opener against the Oklahoma City RedHawks, a Rangers’ affiliate. Sam Fuld went 3-for-4 and Micah Hoffpauir had his best game of the season with three hits and two RBI. Second baseman Matt Camp knocked in two more runs in the win. Thomas Diamond did not show his usual control, walking five in five innings, but he still only surrendered two runs and remains a candidate to join the Cubs at some point this season. Jeff Samardzija put a pair of zeros on the board and got the win. Click for full box score.
On Saturday, Oklahoma City bounced back and took the second game 4-2. Casey Coleman went seven strong innings but still received the loss. Willie Eyre, brother of former Cub Scott Eyre, got the win for the RedHawks. Sam Fuld’s bat has suddenly come to life. The leadoff man went 2-for-3 including a double and a run. Click for full box score.
Three runs in the eighth gave the I-Cubs a cushion on Sunday as they beat the RedHawks 6-1. Chad Tracy was activated before the game, and then went 4-for-5 in his Iowa Cubs debut. Tracy got the start at third base and batted third in the order. Catcher Mark Johnson was placed on the DL to make room on the roster. Marquez Smith hit a fourth inning homer, one of his three hits. Click for full box score.
Iowa Cubs Player of the Week: Darwin Barney
With Chris Robinson, Micah Hoffpauir, Brad Snyder and Bobby Scales struggling, it’s been up to shortstop Darwin Barney to pick up the slack at the plate. Darwin also plays solid defense, which has some Cubs’ fans asking Jim Hendry to call-up another one of the system’s top middle infielders. He could take Fontenot or Baker’s spot as a utility infielder. For now, though, Darwin will remain at AAA where he’s hitting .302 in 39 games. He has drilled 28 singles on the season. Last week, Barney was named to the College World Series Legends team. The twenty-eight members of the Legends team were selected after voting by fans, writers and coaches.
Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Today VS Oklahoma City 12:05 (J.R. Mathes)
Tuesday @ Las Vegas 9:05 (Andrew Cashner)
Wednesday @Las Vegas 9:05 (Jay Jackson)
AA-Tennessee Smokies – (20-10)
The Smokies have continued to consistently win ballgames. They still sit atop the Southern League North, four games ahead of second place Huntsville. The Tennessee offense may have lost their best hitter, but the Cubs’ #2 prospect, Josh Vitters, will take his place in the lineup.
The Mobile BayBears played a double header at Smokies’ Park on Thursday. The two teams split the pair, with the BayBears taking the first game 8-2 before being shutout in the second game 5-0. Matt Spencer went deep in the game one loss. Chris Carpenter had a rough outing allowing eight runs in just 3.2 innings. Starlin Castro went 2-for-3 with a triple in his final game as a Smokie. Click for full box score. Andrew Cashner went 5.2 innings and got the win in the second game. He walked three but retired eight men on strikes in his last start before being promoted. Click for full box score.
There were two new faces in the Tennessee lineup in Friday’s 6-1 loss. Marwin Gonzalez got the nod at short and was hitting in the two spot, but he went 0-for-4. Josh Vitters got his first Double-A hit and went 1-for-2. Matt Spencer launched another homer and is hitting .379. Hung-Wen Chen walked four to go along with the six hits he surrendered, which led to three runs and a loss. David Cales worked two shutout innings in relief. Click for full box score.
The Smokies scored a run on a Ty Wright RBI single in the bottom of the 10th on Saturday to win the series finale against Mobile 6-5. Austin Bibens-Dirkx allowed just one run on four hits in his six-inning start. Marwin Gonzalez and Russ Canzler both hit longballs. Canzler’s was a two-run job in the sixth. Click for full box score.
After a day off yesterday, Tennessee will return to action tonight. Mike Parisi will make his Smokies debut.
Tennessee Smokies Player of the Week: Starlin Castro
Castro’s elite numbers in his final week as a Smokie earned him the jump to the bigs. He had multi-hit games in all four of the games appeared in this week at Double-A, including a 3-for-5 day against Mobile on Wednesday. Then, Castro was as cool as a cucumber in his big league debut setting a Major League Baseball record with six runs batted in.
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Carolina 6:15
Tuesday VS Carolina 10:30am
Wednesday VS Carolina 6:15
Class A- Daytona Cubs – (11-19)
They Daytona Cubs have not been hitting well. They have six guys with 30 or more at bats that are hitting under .200. Their team batting average is just .239. They have the worst record in all of the Florida State League.
On Thursday they dropped the first game of a series against the Clearwater Threshers 4-1. Brett Jackson went 2-for-4. He’s the only Cub hitting. Rafael Dolis got the loss despite five solid innings. He still only has one win on the season even though his ERA is a sparkling 1.84. Aaron Shafer was touched for two runs, the first two earned tallies he’s allowed all season in 21.2 innings. Click for full box score.
The D-Cubs dropped another home game on Friday when they fell to the Threshers 8-3. Brett Jackson went 3-for-4. Mike Perconte allowed five earned runs on four hits and four walks to blow the game. Click for full box score.
Chris Archer’s five scoreless innings helped Daytona bust out of their slump with a 4-1 Saturday night victory. D.J. LeMahieu, one of the many talented short stops in the organization, went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Click for full box score.
Daytona took the day off yesterday.
Daytona Cubs Player of the Week: Brett Jackson
The Cubs’ 2009 first round draft choice seems to be the only Cub farm hand in the Florida State League that’s hitting well. The lead-off hitting center fielder leads the club in batting average (.324), OBP (.440), hits (36), walks (22), and triples (3). He has at least one hit every game so far this month. This week he recorded four multi-hit evenings, which helped earn him Player of the Week honors. Jackson hit .318 in his first pro season a year ago (split between Mesa, Boise, and Peoria).
*All Times CDT
Tonight @Brevard County 6:00
Tuesday @Brevard County 6:00
Wednesday @Brevard County 6:00
Class A- Peoria Chiefs (19-12)
The Chiefs have continued to play solid baseball and they are tied with Quad Cities for first in the Midwest League Western Division. They have been led by Su-Min Jung, who’s been a pleasant surprise on the hill, and fellow Asian-born prospect Hak-Ju Lee.
Jonathan Mota had two hits and two RBI in the Chiefs’ 11-4 loss to the Cedar Rapids Kernels on Thursday. Mota, a catcher, is hitting .333 in limited duty. Nick Struck pitched poorly (2.1 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 H, 4 BB) and was hit with the loss to fall to 2-3. Click for box score.
The Chiefs got back into the win column on Friday when they topped Kane County 10-5. Mota had two more hits and four RBIs. He was one of 4 Chiefs who had multi-hit games. Trey McNutt gave up four earned runs in four innings. Click for full box score.
D.J. Fitzgerald had three hits on Saturday, but the Kane County Cougars came away with the 5-0 shutout victory on Saturday. Jonathan Nagel’s outing was disastrous. He was removed before he could make it out of the first inning. Three runs had already crossed the plate thanks to six of the first eight reaching base against Nagel. Click for full box score.
A five run ninth inning was not enough on Sunday as the Cougars beat the Chiefs 15-6. Su-Min Jung had a rare bad outing allowing six earned in four innings. He suffered his first loss of the year to drop to 4-1. Outfielder Francisco Guzman showed some signs of life with a 2-for-3 day. He has looked confused at the plate this season and is hitting just .189. Click for full box score.
Peoria Chiefs Player of the Week: D.J. Fitzgerald
Fitzgerald has been a plus for the Chiefs’ offense since he was called up from Extended Spring Training at the end of April. He’s hitting .438 over the course of his last four games, including a five-hit series so far in just 2 games with Kane County. Derrick is hitting .308, which ranks third best on the club. He was drafted last June in the 22nd round.
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Clinton 6:30
Tuesday VS Clinton 11:30am
Wednesday VS Clinton 6:30
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