Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/30/11

This week in the minors, Iowa gets out of neutral and goes on a six game winning streak. Tennessee is revving up their engine, as they won their last two games. Daytona is idling with a 4-6 record since the break, and Peoria blew the doors off of a losing streak with style, while Boise keeps chugging along.

Along with News and Notes, as well as a weekly recap of action in the Dominican Summer League and the Arizona Rookie League … on to Thursday’s Down on the Farm Report.

Short Season-A – Boise Hawks (8-4)
Luis Liria held the Spokane Indians in check with one earned run in five innings, along with four strikeouts, as Boise defeated Spokane 3-2 on Sunday. Kyler Burke followed and allowed an earned run in his two innings, striking out two for his first hold. Charles Thomas also earned a hold for his scoreless inning of work. Bryce Shafer picked up his third save.

Leadoff hitter Pin-Chieh Chen extended his hitting streak to ten games. Paul Hoilman was 2-for-4 with a double.

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After spotting Spokane three runs in the first inning, Boise went on to sweep the Indians 11-7 on Monday. Dustin Harrington paced the Boise attack, going 3-for-5, while Wes Darvill was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Brad Zapenas, Chad Noble, and Reggie Golden had multi-hit nights, while Pin-Chieh Chen was 2-for -4 with two doubles and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to eleven games.

Jose Rosario and Ben Wells flip-flopped, with Rosario getting the start and he pitched 3.1 innings, allowing three earned runs. Wells piggybacked Rosario and picked up the victory, even though he allowed four earned runs and struck out four in four innings. Dustin Fitzgerald cleaned up the final 1.2 innings, shutting out Spokane the rest of the way and earned his first save.

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Starting pitcher Yao-Lin Wang was the story again, and Boise posted three runs in the sixth inning then held on to win 3-2 at Tri-City on Tuesday. The right-hander went 5.1 innings, only allowing a solo homer while striking out four batters. Cameron Greathouse righted himself and pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless ball, striking out three batters. However, Yilver Sanchez caused concern, and he allowed an earned run in the ninth inning. Bryce Shafer came on to record the final two outs for his fourth save.

Pin-Chieh Chen wasted no time in extending his hitting streak to twelve games, leading off with a double. Wilson Contreras finally got his bat working, as he was 4-for-4 with a double. While posting only one hit, Reggie Golden (1-for-4) drove in two runs with his first homer of the season.

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Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (35-40)
The Peoria Chiefs ended up getting swept by the Kane County Cougars with a 6-1 loss on Sunday, their tenth straight. Hayden Simpson was the hard-luck loser, as only one of the four runs he allowed was earned. Rubi Silva was 2-for-4 with a double, while Elliot Soto was 3-for-4 with a triple.

Peoria took out its frustrations on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, as they snapped their losing streak with a 16-7 victory. Matt Loosen received his first start and repaid manager Casey Kopitzke by allowing two earned runs in six innings while striking out seven batters. Alvaro Sosa wouldn’t be so lucky, as he surrendered five earned runs in his 1.1 innings. Larry Suarez remained perfect on the season, striking out four in 1.2 scoreless innings.

After struggling to score runs, Peoria put up a seven run second inning and never looked back. Matt Szczur was 3-for-6 with a double and two RBI, while Richard Jones was 3-for-6 with two doubles and two RBI. However, Anthony Giansanti was a one man wrecking crew. Giansanti was 4-for-5 with a double, two home runs, and three RBI. Greg Rohan, Ryan Cuneo, and Elliot Soto also recorded multi-hit games.

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The Chiefs continued to go hunting for Timber Rattlers, as Peoria defeated Wisconsin 4-1 on Tuesday. Pierre LePage was re-inserted into the second spot in the batting order and responded with a 2-for-4 evening. Richard Jones also had a multi-hit game, but both of his hits were home runs as he drove in three runners.

Starter Graham Hicks allowed the only Wisconsin run, as he went 3.1 innings. Brett Ebinger struck out three in his 4.2 scoreless innings for his first victory. PJ Francescon was also scoreless and he struck out two for his first save.

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High Class-A Daytona Cubs (50-27)
Daytona pounded out ten hits, but could only manage three runs as the D-Cubs gave one away to Dunedin 5-3 on Sunday. Dae-Eun Rhee gave up all four runs in his six innings, all earned. David Macias was 3-for-4, while Jake Opitz was 2-for-4.

Jeffrey Lorick gave Daytona its 50th win of the season with a 3-1 victory over Dunedin on Monday. Lorick held the Blue Jays scoreless for six innings. The lone earned run was given up by Jeffry Antigua in his two innings of work, while Marcus Hatley put Dunedin down 1-2-3 to earn his fourth save.

Logan Watkins continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-2 with an RBI. Rafael Valdes was 1-for 3 with two RBI.

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Daytona managed five hits as they were shut out by Dunedin 3-0 to close out their series on Tuesday. Juan Serrano started and allowed two earned runs in four innings, while Jordan Latham allowed the final run. Aaron Kurcz and Casey Harman had scoreless outings.

On Wednesday, Brett Wallach simply didn’t have “it”, allowing eight earned runs in 3.1 innings as Daytona went down to Tampa 10-3. Logan Watkins, Matt Cerda, and Dustin Harrington each went 2-for-4 on the evening.

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (46-29)
In a lackluster effort, Birmingham three hit Tennessee, as the Smokies fell 6-0 to the Barons on Sunday. Steve Clevenger was the lone bright spot, going 2-for-4 with a double. Dallas Beeler allowed all six runs (five earned), while Kyle Smit and Ryan Searle mopped up.

After being out for two games following a beaning, Josh Vitters delivered a 13th inning RBI as the Smokies slipped past Birmingham 1-0 on Monday. Ryan Flaherty, Rebel Ridling, and Steve Clevenger all had two hits, and each had a double.

Left-hander Chris Rusin had a fine performance, hurling five scoreless innings. Jeff Stevens, Esmailin Caridad, and Rafael Dolis each continued the scoreless streak, and Kevin Rhoderick picked up the win with two scoreless innings to close it out.

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Tennessee opened their series with Carolina on Tuesday, holding on to win 12-11. Rebel Ridling put on an offensive display, going 3-for-4 with two home runs and five RBI. Not to be out-done, Ryan Flaherty was 3-for-4 with a home run and five RBI. Junior Lake also got into the act, going 2-for-3 with a homer and an RBI; while Blake Lalli was 2-for 4 with a double and an RBI.

Starter Trey McNutt continued to struggle, as he went three innings and allowed four earned runs. Ryan Searle didn’t fare much better, allowing three earned runs in three innings. However, Searle did strike out five batters and earned the victory. Kyle Smit followed and gave up three earned runs in two innings. Jeffrey Beliveau put an end to the game after allowing an earned run with three strikeouts for his first save.

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In a quick outing, Brooks Raley was on top of his game as Tennessee handled Carolina 3-1 on Wednesday. Raley needed 105 pitches over 6.2 innings, as he allowed only an unearned run while striking out two batters. Esmailin Caridad went scoreless for 1.1 innings, while Rafael Dolis picked up his ninth save.

Rebel Ridling was the hot bat, as he was 3-for-4 with a double. Steve Clevenger, Josh Vitters, and even Brooks Raley each had an RBI in the game.

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Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (38-42)
Iowa turned to Marco Carrillo for a spot start on Sunday and he didn’t disappoint, as the I-Cubs defeated Albuquerque 8-3 for their sixth straight win. Carrillo tossed five innings of scoreless ball, striking out four and even helping himself with two hits, including an RBI. Fresh off the disabled list, Austin Bibens-Dirkx came in for three innings and allowed one run; as usual, a gopher ball. Marcos Mateo had a rocky ninth, giving up two earned runs.

Bryan LaHair continues to be a beast, clubbing his twenty-first home run en route to a 4-for-5 afternoon. Welington Castillo went back-to-back with LaHair, while rehabbing Darwin Barney had a three-run blast. Tyler Colvin joined LaHair and Carrillo with a multi-hit game.

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In a 15-inning affair, Chris Robinson singled in Marwin Gonzalez for the winning run as Iowa outlasted Albuquerque 6-5 on Monday. Tyler Colvin put the I-Cubs up early, blasting a three-run homer in the third. Colvin finished the night 3-for-7 with three RBI. Bryan LaHair continues to stay hot with a 4-for-7 night with an RBI. Jonathan Mota also added a solo homer.

Jay Jackson continued his struggles, allowing four earned runs in six innings while striking out five batters. Justin Berg was scoreless for 0.2 innings, while Blake Parker allowed an earned run over his 1.1 innings. The real heroes were Scott Maine and John Gaub, who held the Isotopes scoreless over the final seven innings, Gaub got credit for the win.

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Newly promoted Marwin Gonzalez led the way as Iowa completed the sweep of Albuquerque with a 10-4 victory on Tuesday. Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Rehabbing big leaguers Darwin Barney and Marlon Byrd also enjoyed fine outings. Barney was 2-for-3 with a double, while Byrd was 2-for-4 with a double and a three-run home run.

Jonathan Mota, Scott Moore, and Brad Snyder also enjoyed multi-hit games.

Starter Casey Coleman was effective, allowing three earned runs while striking out four in seven innings. Robert Coello mopped up for the final two innings, allowing an earned run while striking out three batters.

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Rookie – AZL Cubs (5-3)
The AZL Cubs are currently third, 1.5 games behind East leader AZL Giants. The Cubs have played surprisingly well for a young team, committing only eleven errors in their eight games.

Leading the way offensively is IF Gioskar Amaya, hitting .435. Third baseman Dustin Geiger is batting .414 with two homers and ten RBI. Outfielders Eduardo Gonzalez and Oliver Zapata are also among the leaders; Gonzalez at .391 while leadoff hitter Zapata is batting .308 with five stolen bases. Undrafted free-agent first baseman Ryan Durrence has been a find, with a .321 average, a home run, and eight RBI. Outfielder Dong-Yub Kim leads the club with four home runs.

Starting pitching has had its moments, as Cuban left-hander Frank Del Valle has been unscored upon in his two starts. Brian Smith has a 2.45 ERA, striking out nine while walking two batters. Hunter Ackerman sports a 4.70 ERA in his two starts, but has struck out eleven against walking six batters. In two appearances (one start) Starling Peralta was struck out thirteen while walking one, with an ERA of 4.50.

Dominican Summer League
This week in the Dominican Summer League, the Cubs 1 team has a record of 13-13 and the Cubs 2 team is currently 15-11.

Outfielders Mayke Reyes and Jeffrey Baez continue to be the offensive leaders on C-1. Reyes is hitting .329 with three home runs, fifteen RBI, and fourteen stolen bases. Baez is at .296 with two home runs, sixteen RBI, and sixteen stolen bases. Outfielder-1B Xavier Batista has been coming on lately. The 6’3″, 190 lbs right-handed 19 year-old has been hitting at a .278 clip his last ten games and has five homers and sixteen RBI. Right-handed pitcher Alexander Santana continues to shine at 3-0 with a 1.20 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, and thirteen strikeouts. Relievers Augusto Colinas and Roderik Pichardo have also emerged. Colinas has a 2.45 ERA, two saves, and fifteen strikeouts; Pichardo leads the team with four saves and has a 3.09 ERA with nineteen strikeouts.

On C-2, 3B Jeimer Candelario, OF Delbis Arcila, and SS Carlos Penalver carry the offense. Candelario is hitting .356 with twenty-three RBI and an amazing twenty-one walks. Arcila is the power leader, with four home runs and twenty-seven RBI to go along with a .310 average. Penalver is the table-setter, hitting .304 with six stolen bases and seventeen RBI. Right-handed pitcher Jose Arias has a 1-1 record with a 1.29 ERA and twenty-seven strikeouts, four walks, and a 0.81 WHIP.

News and Notes
The Chicago Cubs assigned OF Marlon Byrd to Iowa and RHP Daniel Berlind to Peoria; optioned IF D.J. LeMahieu to Triple-A Iowa and recalled RHP Marcos Mateo from Iowa. The Iowa Cubs released 2B Bobby Scales.

Catcher Luis Flores and IF-C David Macias were assigned to Tennessee from Daytona. Tennessee SS Matt Camp was suspended. Catcher Chad Noble and IF Dustin Harrington were assigned to Daytona from Boise. Right-handed pitcher Casey Harman was assigned to Daytona from Peoria. Catcher Rafael Lopez and IF Travis Garcia were assigned to Boise from the AZL Cubs.

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Quote of the Day

"There are only two seasons ... winter and baseball." - Bill Veeck

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  • Dorasaga

    I still think there’s no better reason to hold off Ryan Flaherty, Rebel Ridling, and Steve Clevenger from a call-up… Granted, I don’t recall how they played (maybe a Futures Game or during Spring Training? if broadcasted), but boy, this season is lost, what can you do?…

    • Payton34023

      Wow!!! The cubs maybe wising up, Doug Davis was FINALLY released today! Hopefully rodrigo Lopez is next! I’d rather see Ramon Ortiz then those 2 idiots that can’t pitch themselves out of a wet paper bag!

      • paulcatanese

        Thats a little strong dont you think? Those two can pitch, and have for a number of years. They just cannot pitch effectivly at a higher level of baseball.
        give them a break, they didn’t force themselves on the Cubs, so direct the “idiots” at the correct people, the ones that signed them, and continued to play them.

        • Zonk

          Doug Davis had a 13-year major league career; he isn’t an “idiot” or “suck”.

          He’s 35 years old and coming off surgery. It’s time to hang it up.

          The big problem wasn’t signing Davis, it was that the AAA rotation completely failed when they were needed.  First, 2 starter went down week 1; bad luck that.  Then, all 5 Iowa Starters STANK:  Diamond, Coello, Jackson….any of them could have had a ML rotation spot, if they didn’t completely tank in April.  This is the failure; none of these guys stepped up.  Thus, we had to go get a guy off the waiver wire.  

          • paulcatanese

            Different slant but true, and I agree with you.

    • zonk

      We may see a couple of these guys soon, but we have to clear 40-man space first. 

      We won’t see Clevenger until Koyie Hill is gone.  We won’t see Flaherty until we trade an infielder, though I bet we see him in September. 

      I don’t think Rebel Ridling is considered much of a prospect.  He is having a good year, but is 25 years old in AA, and defensively challenged.  He strikes out too much in AA to project well at the ML level.

      • paulcatanese

        Unfortunatly Hill will not be gone until Quade and “Quality” Hendry are. Hopefully soon. I think trading an infielder is a distinct possibility as we
        have and abundance of them that can play, maybe not great, but an abundance that could make it happen. I do hope tho that a trade is not made using prospects that only the brass has seen play and not brought up for evaluation. Sometimes I think the Cubs do exactly that, hide them and know other teams will take them and the Cubs prefer Vets over prospects.

    • Aaron

      Flaherty and Clevenger the past 2 years in Spring Training have held their own. In fact, Clevenger was probably the most impressive offensive prospect I saw this year in Spring Training. He clearly knew what he was doing up there, and made consistent contact (a problem in the Cubs’ system)

      One thing is abundantly clear. You do NOT want to bring prospects up with this moronic manager we have right now. He would try to pinch hit with them all the time, and give them one start every other week or so.

      But I would hope that the Ricketts family at least has the decency (and intellectual fortitude) to get rid of Quade before September rolls around, as that is when I’d bring up all of these guys…unless veteran trades happen at all.

      I’ve said this multiple times recently. The guys that need a call-up immediately are: Flaherty, Clevenger, Ridling, M. Smith (currently on shelf for some undisclosed injury), Spencer, Wright, and even LaHair right now…and it’s all due to age as all of them are 25+years old

      Guys that can wait until September, include: M. Gonzalez, Beliveau, B. Jackson, Jay Jackson, LeMahieu, McNutt, etc.

      I just hope everyone, fans and ownership alike, realize that neither Hendry nor Quade are even remotely good for this team. They are nothing but excuse makers and guys that are doing nothing but “CYA” right now, doing damage control. From the injuries comments to other roster comments to comments from Quade about winning 2 of 3 in every series the rest of the year being preferable to winning 3 in a row (the Cubs are the ONLY team in MLB not to accomplish this feat)…..they’re so out of touch with reality, it’s actually humorous. Fans should be paying to watch the Hendry and Quade comedy show versus the product on the field…it’s far more entertaining…..and the sad thing is, they’re NOT trying to be funny.

      I love the Cubs and will always root for them, but quite frankly, this is getting hard to watch. Because it’s so rare that the Cubs even win a game, it seems like every time this happens, Cubs’ brass will come out, and say they’ll give the team “a few more weeks to sort things out” before making changes. 

      If you’ll recall in May, Hendry said he’d give them until the end of June….now he’s saying up to the deadline. I can’t put into words how much of a dumba$$ I think he is. He’s beyond that term….I don’t even know if there is a term to describe the Cubbery we’re seeing right now.

      Fire the following in order:
      Kenney
      Hendry
      Bush
      Hughes (mainly for his recent comments about Cubs adding vs subtracting)
      Quade
      Riggins

      Hire the following in order:
      Gillick-President/GM
      Cherington-AGM (while Gillick grooms him)
      Fleita-AGM (he will be the AGM-in-waiting while Cherington is groomed)
      Chris Buckley (of the Reds)-replaces Hughes as top scout and advisor
      Sandberg-manager
      Maddux-pitching coach
      Joshua-hitting coach (I like Rudy, I really do, but there’s something to be said for a guy like Joshua who fixes Colvin’s swing in a matter of days when Rudy’s been with him the whole year, and didn’t tinker with anything…not to mention, Cubs hitters have shown absolutely no plate discipline under Rudy……I’d actually prefer to have a George Brett or a Molitor or someone else in this position, but Joshua would do for now)

      • paulcatanese

        Love to see Brett or Molitor, that would be fantastic as they have the credentals to make it work. I think the players would pay attention to either.
        Maddux, absolutly, teaching pitch location, etc. That would be a no brainer,I think he at least would stay awake on the bench and have an impact, something that Rigg does not.
        Sandberg,of course.
        Once the upper echelon is gone, a bright future.
        Good article Aaron.

  • Tom U

    Thank you to everyone for your comments.