Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 08/05/10

Three different Cubs prospects earn Player of the Week awards for their respective leagues. John Gaub, a product of the Mark DeRosa trade, is hammered in a rehab appearance in Mesa. Chris Rusin put together a good start in his Double-A debut. Brett Wallach’s first start in the Cubs organization turned into his first loss of the season. The Daytona Cubs winning streak is finally history. One Cubs recent draft pick leaves his team to return to college for football practice.

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

AAA-Iowa Cubs – (63-48)
Bryan LaHair, a first baseman/outfielder playing for the Chicago Cubs Triple-A affiliate, hit three homers on July 31 to help him earn the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week award for July 26-August 1. LaHair, who saw time in big league Spring Training and could be called up sooner rather than later, was one of three Cubs farm hands to win a Player of the Week honor for that week.

The I-Cubs have made several roster moves this week, especially on the pitching staff because of the vast amount of promotions to Chicago. Jeff Muyco, who was with Double-A Tennessee, has been added to the Iowa roster to help replace now big leaguers Thomas Diamond, Casey Coleman, and Mitch Atkins. Outfielder James Adduci has been activated from the 7-day DL, but Jason Dubois has been disabled once again, this time with a right ankle injury.

The Iowa Cubs beat the RedHawks on Monday 5-3 with help from Jason Dubois and Welington Castillo, both of whom hit home runs. Austin Bibens-Dirkx continued a great season allowing only three runs in five innings to improve to 3-0 since his promotion to Iowa. Austin has a sparkling ERA of 1.89. Jeff Gray went 2.1 innings without yielding a run. First baseman Micah Hoffpauir also had a big day at the plate with three singles. Click for full box score.

Iowa’s four-game winning streak came to a close when they fell to Oklahoma City 5-1 on Tuesday. Hoffpauir and Dubios both had multi-hit games, but neither of them have batting averages that would warrant a big league call-up. Jeff Muyco pitched two shutout innings in relief of J.R. Mathes, who had another bad outing to fall to 8-8. Mathes, the I-Cubs all-time leader in wins, allowed five earned runs to boost his ERA to 5.46. Click for full box score.

The Cubs smashed the Tacoma Rainiers 9-3 thanks to a six run fourth inning. Welington Castillo homered again and now has 13 on the year. Brad Snyder drove in three runs while Sam Fuld reached base three times. Hung-Wen Chen worked six quality innings to beat opposing starter and long time big leaguer Ian Snell. Scott Maine and Marcos Mateo both worked scoreless innings out of the pen. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight VS Tacoma 7:05 (Jeff Samardzija)
Friday VS Tacoma 7:05 (Jay Jackson)
Saturday VS Tacoma 7:05 (Austin Bibens-Dirkx)
Sunday VS Portland 1:05 (J.R. Mathes)

AA-Tennessee Smokies – (65-43, 23-16)
Brandon Guyer was the Tennessee player to earn Southern League Hitter of the Week honors. Guyer, an outfielder, hit .524 last week, driving in eight to pace his team’s hot offense. It was the ninth league award for the Smokies this season, but the first for Brandon. The Smokies made a move of their own to add some pitching depth by promoting Chris Rusin from Daytona on Monday.

Matt Spencer singled and scored in the top of the ninth to tie the game at three, but Montgomery won it in ten on Monday. The Biscuits scored the winning run in the bottom of the tenth against Blake Parker. Tennessee wasted a great start by Chris Carpenter, who went seven innings and allowed only two runs, one earned. Right fielder Matt Spencer had a perfect day at the plate going 4-for-4. Click for full box score.

The Biscuits bested the Smokies in another one run game on Tuesday, this time 3-2. Spencer and Nate Samson drove in the Tennessee runs. Chris Rusin did not allow an earned run in five innings in his Double-A debut, but a Steve Clevenger error led to a run and Rusin ended up with the loss. Click for full box score.

In Wednesday’s game, it was the Smokies turn to win a close decision. They edged Montgomery 3-1. Russ Canzler had a 3-for-4 game including two doubles and an RBI. All-Stars Blake Lalli and Robinson Chirinos had two hits each. Craig Muschko was extremely effective, allowing only one run in seven innings. Kyle Smit did not allow a run and earned his first save as a member of the Smokies. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games and Probable Pitchers:
*All Times CDT
Tonight @Montgomery 7:05 (Chris Archer)
Friday @Montgomery 7:05 (Rafael Dolis)
Saturday VS Huntsville 5:15
Sunday VS Huntsville 4:00

Class-A Advanced Daytona Cubs – (60-49, 26-13)
Rebel Ridling was the Florida State League Hitter of the Week last week. He drove in ten runs in just five games during the week to help Daytona to a huge winning streak. However, Ridling and the D-Cubs need to continue to win with consistency if they want to stay atop of the FSL North!

On Monday, Daytona won the first game of a double header to notch their 14th straight victory, but then Bradenton took game two to snap the streak. The D-Cubs scored a run in the bottom of the eighth, in a game that was supposed to only be seven innings, to win game one 2-1. The Marauders outhit Daytona 9-2, but the Cubs still came out on top! Brooks Raley gave up nine hits but worked out of a lot of jams and only surrendered one run. Click for full box score. Bradenton’s game-two victory was thanks to three earlier runs against Chris Siegfried. A late rally came up short as Daytona fell by a final of 4-3. DJ LeMahieu doubled in the final at-bat for Daytona to drive in a run, but that was all the Cubs could muster up. Michael Brenly crushed a solo homer in the second inning. Click for full box score.

The Marauders routed the D-Cubs 11-5 on Tuesday. Ryan Flaherty had three hits, David Macias nailed a solo homer, but Rob Whitenack was knocked around on the hill. Rob gave up six runs in four innings to suffer a loss in his first decision since being promoted from Peoria. Junior Lake reached base three times. Click for full box score.

After a 14-game winning streak, suddenly Daytona has suffered three straight losses. They were walloped by the Jupiter Hammerheads in an embarrassing 18-4 defeat on Wednesday. Jupiter erupted for ten runs in the eighth, six charged to Oswaldo Martinez. Catcher Mark Reed came on to try to get out of the inning, but he was tagged for four more runs. Ryan Flaherty hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to make the game slightly less lopsided. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Tonight @Jupiter 6:05
Friday @Jupiter 6:05
Saturday @Jupiter 6:05
Sunday Off Day

Class-A Peoria Chiefs (55-50, 17-19)
The Chiefs playoff hopes seem slimmer than any other Cubs affiliate. Even though their season record is above .500, they will need to improve their second half mark to squeak into the Midwest League playoffs. They recently suffered a hit when productive outfielder Francisco Guzman was placed on the disabled list. Anthony Giansanti was promoted before Wednesday’s contest to fill the spot in the outfield. Giansanti was signed on June 14 as an undrafted free agent.

After taking the first two in Beloit, the Chiefs lost to the Snappers on Monday 7-5. A three-run ninth inning for Peoria included clutch doubles by Justin Bour and Matt Cerda. Sloppy defense irked the Chiefs as D.J. Fitzgerald and George Matheus were both charged with errors. Cerda made two miscues to bring the team total to four. Brett Wallach made his first start since being traded to the organization in the Lilly/Theriot deal. Wallach gave up five runs (3 ER) in 4.1 innings to suffer his first loss of the season. Click for full box score.

The Chiefs only managed three hits and one run in Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to Wisconsin. Hak-Ju Lee and Logan Watkins, the first two hitters in the lineup, suffered 0-for-4 nights. Ryan Searle was hit hard, allowing four runs, five hits, and three walks in five innings. Jae-Hoon Ha scored the only Chiefs run. Click for full box score.

The Chiefs scored in the first inning on Wednesday, but then the offense was quiet the rest of the night. They lost 3-1 and have now dropped three straight. Brandon May, whose offensive prowess at Boise earned him a promotion, singled to drive in the only Peoria run. Ronny Morla continued to pitch well by working 2.1 innings and giving up only one hit. The Timber Rattlers, who were swept at O’Brien Field last week, now have command of this four game series. Click for full box score.

Upcoming Games:
*All Times CDT
Tonight @Wisconsin 7:05
Friday @Wisconsin 7:05
Saturday VS Quad Cities 6:30
Sunday VS Quad Cities 1:00

Updates from Boise/Mesa
The Hawks have dropped five of their first seven since the standing reset to start the second half. Pitchers from this year’s First Year Player Draft like Cameron Greathouse and Eric Jokisch are gaining valuable experience on the Boise staff even though the numbers aren’t there yet for the young guys.

Matt Sczcur hit .397 in 18 games for the Hawks before being called up to Peoria, where he continued to hit. Now, Matt will stop for a visit at Wrigley Field before returning to Villanova for the start of the football season. The Hawks also recently lost slugger Brandon May to a Peoria call-up, but they have yet to make a corresponding transaction.

Triple-A lefty John Gaub has joined the Mesa Cubs for a rehab assignment. He only retired one man on Sunday night and had to leave after allowing four runs, a hit, and two walks. Manager Juan Cabreja has led his rookie ball team to a 15-20 record so far this year.

Top Prospect Watch
Brett Jackson: .290 AVG, .403 OBP, 3 HR, 14 RBIs, 24 games at AA
Josh Vitters: .223 AVG in 63 games at AA, disabled with a broken hand
Jay Jackson: 8-6, 4.19 ERA, 118 IP at AAA
Hak-Ju Lee: .284 AVG, .357 OBP, 93 games at Peoria
Logan Watkins: .250 AVG, .333 OBP, 87 games at Peoria
Chris Carpenter: 7-5, 3.21 ERA, 101 IP at AA
Ryan Flaherty: .285 AVG in 77 games at Daytona
D.J. LeMahieu: .295 AVG, .330 OBP, 104 games at Daytona
*Stats accurate going into play on 8/4

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Quote of the Day

"People who write about Spring Training not being necessary have never tried to throw a baseball." – Sandy Koufax