Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/17/10

One Cubs prospect hit for the cycle! Another was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week. In Daytona, the Cubs are hoping for a second half that involves a lot more winning than their first half did. The Peoria Chiefs are looking forward to their All-Star break, which is about a week away. The Boise Hawks are set to start their season tonight.

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

AAA-Iowa Cubs – (36-30)
The I-Cubs and the Round Rock Express have had bad luck with the weather when the two teams meet. The Cubs have only played in three double headers this season and all of them have come against the Express. Iowa is now 5-1 in twin bills with Round Rock, and they’re up in the season series 7-3.

On Monday the I-Cubs won the series opener against the Express at Principal Park by a score of 5-4. A two run top of the ninth inning rally helped Round Rock move within striking distance, but they were unable to complete the comeback. Sam Fuld had a marvelous day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two walks, a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored. Matt Camp went 3-for-4 to help support starting pitcher Thomas Diamond (5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB). James Russell made his first appearance at the minor league level this season. Russell did allow one hit but got out of the inning unscathed. Click for full box score.

Tuesday the I-Cubs continued to dominate double headers when they swept the Express. The final of the first seven-inning game was 2-1 with Casey Coleman going the distance and allowing just two hits. Darwin Barney’s 2-for-2 game led the offense. Click for full box score. The Round Rock offense continued to be shut down by Iowa pitching in the second game, which ended in a 2-0 Cubs win. Jeff Samardzija got his second straight spot start in place of Mitch Atkins (who briefly was called up to the big league but will now return to the Iowa starting five). Jeff continued to pitch well in the starting role at AAA going five-shutout innings to improve to 5-0. Blake Parker was electric out of the bullpen striking out five in just two innings. Click for full box score.

Iowa beat Round Rock 3-2 on Wednesday. They have now beaten the Express four consecutive times to start the five game series which concludes tonight at Principal Park. Jason Dubois and Bryan LaHair both homered to provide some pop in the win. Mitch Atkins returned to Triple-A after a brief stint with the big club. Atkins allowed just one run in five innings. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Round Rock 7:05 (Jay Jackson)
Friday VS Albuquerque 7:05 (J.R. Mathes)
Saturday VS Albuquerque 7:05 (Thomas Diamond)
Sunday VS Albuquerque 1:05 (Casey Coleman)

AA-Tennessee Smokies – (40-25)
The Smokies won their series with rival West Tenn to remain in the first place! On Monday, Tennessee right-hander Chris Carpenter was named the Southern League Pitcher of the Week for June 7-13. Chris Carpenter had two very good starts against Huntsville and West Tenn during the week to earn the honors.

On Sunday, the Smokies made a pair of roster moves. They placed left handed pitcher Dustin Sasser on the 7-day DL. With the corresponding move, they called up Oswaldo Martinez from Daytona.

Tennessee won a hard fought final game against the Diamond Jaxx on Monday in a 2-1 pitcher’s battle. Hung-Wen Chen (6 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 0 R) won the battle to move to 7-5 on the year. David Cales allowed a run on three ninth inning hits, but he was able to work out of it and escape with his sixth save. Steve Clevenger delivered a crucial pinch-hit RBI single. Click for full box score.

A five-run ninth inning completed a huge offensive Wednesday night as the Smokies beat Mobile 13-5. Outfielder Brandon Guyer posted a three hit, two homer game! Tennessee launched a total of six homers in the contest. Josh Vitters, Russ Canzler, Marwin Gonzalez and Tony Thomas all got in on the power surge as well as Guyer. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight @Mobile 7:05 (Austin Bibens-Dirkx)
Friday @Mobile 7:05 (Craig Muschko)
Saturday @Mobile 7:05 (Chris Carpenter)
Sunday @Mobile 6:05 (Hung-Wen Chen)

Class-A Daytona Cubs – (31-33)
The Daytona Cubs have started the second half of their season after enjoying the All-Star break this past weekend. The D-Cubs have showed some signs of coming around. They are now just two games under .500, but they’re still in fifth place of six teams and seven games out of first.

The D-Cubs won 6-4 in an 11-inning thriller against Lakeland on Monday. Brett Jackson provided the heroics and enjoyed the best game of his young professional career … so far. Jackson already had three hits, a single, a double, and a triple, when he stepped in with a runner on in a tied game in the 11th. With one swing, Brett gave his team a 6-4 win and completed his cycle! Marco Carillo came through with some clutch pitching. He shutdown the Flying Tigers in the ninth, the tenth, and the 11th. Click for full boxscore.

On Tuesday Daytona made it back-to-back wins to start the second half when they topped Lakeland 5-4. Jackson followed up his huge night with two more hits and an RBI. Chris Archer was the winning pitcher, striking out ten in 5.1 innings. A total of 13 Flying Tigers fanned on the night. Michael Brenly had two hits and drove in two runs. Click for full box score.

The D-Cubs dropped a 4-3 ten-inning decision on Wednesday. Brett Jackson stayed hot by rapping two doubles. Chris Rusin allowed two runs (1 ER) in seven innings. Chris Seigfried was hit with the loss because of his wildness. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Dunedin 6:05
Friday VS Dunedin 6:05
Saturday VS Dunedin 6:05
Sunday Off Day

Class-A Peoria Chiefs – (36-30)
They’re six games over .500, but still six games off the pace. It has been a frustrating year for the Peoria Chiefs because they’ve won ballgames, meshed well as a group, and done their job but they still are not close to the top of the division. Peoria is in fourth place and still within striking distance in the Midwest League Western Division.

The Chiefs brought the lumber on Monday in a 12-5 route of Burlington. A four run fifth inning highlighted the scoring for the Chiefs. Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee showed off his swift stroke with three singles and two runs scored. Matt Cerda also had three hits including a triple, three RBI, and three runs scored. Rob Whitenack was good enough on the hill to get the victory (6 IP, 5 H, 3 R). Click for full box score.

Nick Struck got the loss Tuesday to fall to 2-7 on the year. Struck has had no luck and is getting very little run support. Burlington won the game 2-0. Nick allowed just one run in hits five innings. Click for full box score.

The Chiefs pulled out a wild 12-7 ballgame against Burlington on Wednesday despite a huge ninth inning for the Bees. D.J. Fitzgerald had two hits, two walks and scored three runs, while Nelson Perez went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI. Trey McNutt struck out 10 with only one walk in five innings of work. McNutt allowed only one hit. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Today Off Day
Friday VS Quad Cities 6:30
Saturday VS Quad Cities 6:30
Sunday VS Quad Cities 1:00

Boise Hawks/Rookie Ball Updates
The Boise Hawks of the Northwest League are the Class-A Short Season affiliate of the Cubs. The Hawks are set to begin their year tomorrow night in Yakima. They will have the home opener on Monday as they host Salem-Keizer. Boise expects to have some of the Cubs picks from the First Year Player Draft in town soon, but they will start their season with mostly guys who just got done with Extended Spring Training. Some familiar names on the roster include Austin Kirk, Chris Huseby and Wes Darvill. The Hawks have two former Cubs on their staff in manager Jody Davis and pitching coach Jeff Fassero. The Mesa Cubs of the Arizona Rookie League will get their season started next week.

Top Prospect Watch
Brett Jackson: .293 AVG, .404 OBP, 57 games at Daytona
Josh Vitters: .222 AVG in 31 games at AA
Jay Jackson: 3-5, 2.90 ERA, 68.1 IP at AAA
Hak-Ju Lee: .276 AVG, .342 OBP, 58 games at Peoria
Logan Watkins: .256 AVG, .331 OBP, 56 games at Peoria
Chris Carpenter: 5-2, 3.40 ERA, 53.0 IP at AA
Ryan Flaherty: .323 AVG in 34 games at Daytona
D.J. LeMahieu: .269 AVG, .299 OBP, 60 games at Daytona
*Stats accurate going into play on 6/16

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Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt