Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 05/13/10

The Iowa Cubs had one of their wildest games of the year, while the Peoria Chiefs have gone into a slump. The 2010 “Road to Wrigley” game has been announced, as has a number retirement for one Cubs’ legend. Plus, Andrew Cashner made his Triple-A debut Wednesday in Las Vegas.

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

AAA- Iowa Cubs – (14-17)
*Record Accurate going into play on 5/12
The Iowa Cubs played one of the wildest games of the season on Tuesday night. A total of 25 runs were scored in the contest. Sam Fuld is starting to make some noise at the plate. He extended his hitting streak to six games on Tuesday. During Fuld’s tear, he’s boosted his batting average from .158 to .319. Another Iowa outfielder, Jason Dubois, is scheduled to rejoin the club in Reno this weekend. Dubois has been on the disabled list since April 21 with a back injury.

On Monday, the Iowa Cubs were scheduled to take on Oklahoma City in the last contest of a four game home series. However, the game was postponed due to rain.

After the rainout, the Cubs headed to the West Coast to play the Las Vegas 51s. The 51s play their home games at Cashman Field, which hosts two Chicago Cubs’ Spring Training games each year during their “Big League Weekend”. In the first game of the series on Tuesday, the Iowa Cubs pulled off a wild 15-10 win. They set season highs in runs scored, hits (18), pitchers used (6), and hits allowed (17). Micah Hoffpauir led the offensive outburst, who had his biggest game of the season.

Hoff was 2-4 with 2 walks, 3 runs scored, and 5 RBIs. Sam Fuld, Darwin Barney, Chad Tracy, Marquez Smith, Bobby Scales and Matt Camp all had multi-hit games as well. Iowa had their biggest inning of the year scoring seven times in the sixth. J.R. Mathes gave up five runs in his start before Jeff Samardzija improved to 3-0 with the win in relief. Brian Schlitter and John Gaub both pitched scoreless frames in the eighth and ninth respectively to nail it down. Click for full box score.

Andrew Cashner had a solid outing Wednesday night. Cashner allowed just one run on five hits in six innings. Cashner struck out six and walked one in his I-Cubs debut. Reportedly Randy Bush is monitoring Cashner’s progress in Triple-A

Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight @Las Vegas 9:05 (Thomas Diamond)
Friday @Las Vegas 9:05 (Casey Coleman)
Saturday @Reno 9:05 (TBA)
Sunday @Reno 3:05 (J.R. Mathes)

AA- Tennessee Smokies (21-12)
One factor that always plays in to affiliated baseball every summer is promotions (call-ups). As soon as someone gets hot, they get bumped up to the next level, which sometimes makes it hard for clubs to get on a roll. Now, the Smokies are looking to stay on track despite losing their star shortstop to the big leagues. Guys like Josh Vitters, Matt Spencer and Tony Campana will have to pick up the slack to help fill the void left in the lineup.

The Smokies made a roster move on Monday afternoon activating outfielder Brandon Guyer from the DL. To make room for Guyer, Jake Opitz was sent to Daytona. Opitz hit .220 in 23 games before being sent down.

On Monday, the Smokies fell to Carolina 8-3 in extra-innings. The Mudcats scored five against Alex Maestri in the top of the 10th to win the game. Robinson Chirinos went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI, but he struck out twice. Mike Parisi gave up a run on three hits in 2.2 innings. David Cales went 3.1 innings and did not allow a run. Click for full box score.

Tennessee came back with a 4-3 win on Tuesday. Josh Vitters went 2-for-3 and is hitting .444 since being moved up to Double-A. The Smokies scored three late inning runs to record a come from behind victory. Craig Muschko has done a nice job as an innings eater so far this year. He went deep into the game again (seven innings) and allowed just three runs. Scott Maine came on and got his first save of the year with a perfect inning. Click for full box score.

On Wednesday night the Smokies fell 6-5 in ten innings to Carolina. Robinson Chirinos and Josh Vitters each doubled twice. Chris Carpenter gave up only one run in six innings. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Carolina 6:15
Friday VS Carolina 6:15
Saturday @Huntsville 6:00
Sunday @Huntsville 1:00

Class-A Daytona Cubs – (13-20)
After a couple of nights where runs were at a premium, the Daytona Cubs had an offensive explosion on Wednesday. However, the D-Cubs have been competing mostly in the low scoring affairs that are common in the Florida State League.

On Monday, the Cubs met the Bradenton Marauders, a Pirate affiliate, for the first time this season. Each team managed only one tally through nine innings, but then Daytona plated a run to win in extras. Brett Jackson came around to score the go-ahead run on a triple by Ryan Flaherty. Jackson had two hits in the 2-1 win. Junior Lake continued to struggle. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and is hitting just .187. Brooks Raley pitched five shutout innings. Click for full box score.

The lack of run scoring on both sides continued on Tuesday. The Marauders ended up with a 2-0 victory. Dae-Eun Rhee came up on the short end of the pitchers’ duel and fell to 2-4 on the year. Kyler Burke, who is coming off a great ’09 campaign with Peoria, continues to look confused at the plate. His hitless night lowered his average to .179. Click for full box score.

The D-Cubs brought their hitting shoes on Wednesday when they beat Bradenton 10-6. Nelson Perez scored two runs and went 2-for-5 on the night. Smaily Borges nailed a three-run homer in the sixth inning that helped the Cubs pull away. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Tonight @Brendenton 6:00
Friday @Brevard County 6:05
Saturday VS Brevard County 6:05
Sunday VS St. Lucie 4:35

Class-A Peoria Chiefs – (19-15)
This week, the Chiefs have made a couple of exciting announcements about special events that will take place this summer. Peoria will retire the number of future Hall of Fame pitcher and Cubs legend Greg Maddux on June 11. Maddux, who pitched in Peoria in 1985, will attend the game against Great Lakes and throw out the first pitch after the ceremony. Wally Joyner, Mark Grace and Ryne Sandberg already have their numbers retired by the Chiefs. Maddux will sign autographs for charity before the game.

The other date that is now circled on the Chiefs’ calendar is July 7, because they will return to Wrigley Field for the annual “Road to Wrigley” contest. This year’s game will be a rematch of the event’s first year in 2008. It pits the Chiefs up against the Kane County Cougars. The battle will be under the lights with the first-pitch taking place at 7:05 CDT at Wrigley.

After being postponed on Monday, the Chiefs started their series against Clinton on Tuesday night. They fell in a 13-3 route. Rob Whitenack had a disastrous outing in which he surrendered 10 runs (seven earned) on 12 hits. Justin Bour enjoyed a fine day at the plate going 2-for-2 with a two-run homer plus a walk. Click for full box score. Game 2 of the doubleheader was just as ugly. Peoria dropped their fourth straight in 11-2 fashion. It was Jeffry Antigua’s turn to crank up his ERA (seven earned in three innings). Hak-Ju Lee went 2-for-3 with a double. Click for full box score.

The LumberKings finished off the series sweep on Wednesday when they topped the slumping Chiefs 5-4. D.J. Fitzgerald continued his hot spell going 3-3 with a 2-run homer. Nick Struck allowed five runs in 4.2 innings. Steven Grife did not allow a run in 2.1 innings of relief. Click for full box score.

Top Prospect Watch
Brett Jackson: .330 AVG, .446 OBP, 30 games at Daytona
Josh Vitters: .291 AVG in 28 games at Daytona earned him promotion to AA: 4-9, RBI, 3 games
Andrew Cashner: 3-1, 2.75 ERA, 36 IP at AA earned him the promotion to AAA
Jay Jackson: 2-3, 2.50 ERA, 36 IP at AAA
Hak-Ju Lee: .237 AVG, .305 OBP, 30 games at Peoria
Logan Watkins: .267 AVG, .330 OBP, 29 games at Peoria
Chris Carpenter: 1-1, 5.52 ERA, 14.2 IP at AA
Ryan Flaherty: .183 AVG in 23 AA games, sent down to Daytona: .429 AVG in 4 games
D.J. LeMahieu: .226 AVG, .263 OBP, 31 games at Daytona
*Stats accurate going into play on 5/12

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Quote of the Day

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