Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 04/16/12

Successes are from the top down this week as Welington Castillo, Luis Valbuena, Anthony Rizzo, and Josh Vitters have led Iowa to the best team batting average in the Pacific Coast League. Tennessee is third in the Southern League in pitching thanks to the efforts of Trey McNutt, Dallas Beeler, Dae-Eun Rhee, and Brooks Raley. Rubi Silva continues to be a beast in the Florida State League, while opportunities go unfulfilled for Peoria in the Midwest League.

Whatever league you’re in … check out Monday’s Down on the Farm Report.

Note: Monday’s report will cover games from Wednesday to Saturday. Thursday’s report covers games Sunday through Tuesday.

Low Class-A – Peoria Chiefs (3-6)
After losing the first two games of the week, Peoria bounced back on Wednesday as the top of their batting order strutted their stuff in a 5-3 win over Quad Cities. The Chiefs got on the board in the third inning, as Ryan Cuneo, fresh off the disabled list, was hit by a pitch. Paul Hoilman (1-for-2) doubled and Reggie Golden (1-for-3) walked to load the bases. Eduardo Gonzalez brought home Cuneo on a fielding error, while Hoilman scored on a Taylor Davis groundout. Leadoff man Zeke DeVoss (2-for-5, double) and Wes Darvill (2-for-4) were on in the fourth when Cuneo (2-for-3) slammed his first homer of the season.

Michael Jensen got his second start of the season, and struck out five in six innings. He let in his first runs of the year, allowing the River Bandits to score three times in the first inning. After that, he faced only 18 batters over the next five innings. Yao-Lin Wang replaced Jensen in the seventh and struck out three over two scoreless innings. Andrew McKirahan was a little shaky in the ninth, being bailed out by a double play, but survived to earn his first save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

In a very close contest Thursday, Peoria’s pitching fell apart in the late innings and allowed the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to pull ahead to defeat the Chiefs 4-2. Starter PJ Francescon gave up a first inning solo home run, but looked in control until the sixth inning. Francescon surrendered a leadoff homer, a single, a wild pitch, and an RBI single before giving way to Austin Reed. After walking the first batter of the ninth inning, and a bunt advanced him to second, Reed uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the clinching run to score. The Chiefs’ offense revolved around Brad Zapenas and Rafael Lopez. Zapenas was 1-for-2 with a walk, stolen base, and two runs scored. Lopez batted 3-for-4 with a stolen base and an RBI. Pin-Chieh Chen also drove in a run as he was 2-for-4 with a stolen base.

The Chiefs’ offense continued to misfire on Friday, wasting some scoring chances and placing undo pressure on their pitching as they lost 5-2 to Wisconsin. Peoria tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth after Marco Hernandez (2-for-3, double, home run, stolen base, two RBI) doubled home Eduardo Gonzalez (1-for-3). But Hernandez made a baserunning error on a Brad Zapenas (1-for-4) grounder, ending the scoring threat. Starter Jose Rosario then allowed three earned runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the Timber Rattlers in front for good. Rosario ended the evening with four earned runs and two strikeouts in five innings. Bryce Shafer followed and wasn’t as bad as in previous outings. Shafer gave up an earned run and posted two strikeouts in two innings. Jeffrey Lorick stayed perfect on the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. Pin-Chieh Chen may have awakened at the plate by going 2-for-4.

Peoria once again failed to capitalize on scoring chances as they lost Saturday’s game 4-3 to Wisconsin. Over the past three losses, the Chiefs have left 12 runners in scoring position with two outs. Peoria had to play catch-up once again as the Timber Rattlers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Starter Ben Wells ended up going 5.2 innings with five strikeouts. Wells did not give up any other earned runs after the first inning. Reliever Scott Weismann recorded the final out for Wells in the sixth. The Chiefs scored two runs in the third as Zeke DeVoss (2-for-5, home run, three RBI) homered with Pin-Chieh Chen (1-for-2, two walks) aboard. They tied the game in the ninth as Brad Zapenas (1-for-3) scored on DeVoss’ RBI single. Paul Hoilman was also 2-for-4 in the game. With the game tied at 3-3, Kyler Burke, who took over in the seventh inning, gave up a single and a double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and gave Wisconsin the victory. Burke ended up striking out two in 2.2 innings.

High Class-A – Daytona Cubs (2-7)
Daytona continued to struggle on Wednesday night, as pitching and defense was their undoing in a 7-1 loss to Dunedin. Eric Jokisch flirted with disaster for the first three innings; helping himself by starting a double play in the first and having his defense thwart a scoring opportunity in the third. However, Jokisch served up a two-run home run to start the fourth, and two booted grounders by shortstop Arismendy Alcantara led to another run. Jokisch was finished in the sixth inning after allowing his second two-run homer, ending with four earned runs and three strikeouts over six innings. Brett Wallach bounced back from a poor Opening Day outing and shut the Blue Jays down for two innings while striking out two batters. But Larry Suarez gave up another two earned runs in the ninth to put the game out of reach. The only run for the D-Cubs came in the fifth as the hot-hitting Rubi Silva (3-for-4, double) singled and was tripled home by Dustin Harrington (1-for-4).

On Thursday, Daytona squandered a good effort by starter Hayden Simpson, as the bullpen failed to hold the lead in a 5-4 loss to Tampa. Simpson wasn’t overpowering, but came within an out of a quality start as he allowed three earned runs and struck out a batter over 5.2 innings. After the Yankees scored two in the first inning, the D-Cubs got the lead back with a three run third inning, and added a run in the fifth. Daytona used their speed, as Elieser Bonne and Matt Szczur stole bases and eventually scored. Unheralded Chad Noble was 1-for-4 and drove in two runs. John Andreoli (1-for-3) also had an RBI and Richard Jones’ bat came alive, going 2-for-5 with an RBI. However, after Casey Harman slammed the door for Simpson by pitching 1.1 scoreless innings; AJ Morris came on in the eighth and gave up two earned runs, and the victory, to Tampa.

The bottom of the order came through on Friday, as Daytona had its biggest offensive output in defeating Tampa 8-4. Rubi Silva continued to feast on FSL pitching, as he was 2-for-4 with a double and RBI to raise his batting average to .429 for the season. Chad Noble came up big again, going 2-for-4, including a double and two RBI. Arismendy Alcantara provided the thunder by belting a two-run homer, as he was 1-for-4. Greg Rohan and Richard Jones also got into the act by going 2-for-5 and an RBI each. Nelson Perez had his best day of the season, doubling and driving in a run as he went 2-for-4.

Usually a middle reliever, Eduardo Figueroa was given the surprise start and the task of getting the D-Cubs out of their season-opening funk. Figueroa delivered a fine performance, letting in only one earned run in five innings. Recently assigned Joe Zeller then came on and struck out four in two innings, also allowing an earned run. Larry Suarez and Brian Schlitter followed suit, each giving up and earned run in an inning of work.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The woes just continued for Daytona on Saturday as starter Zach Cates had another miserable outing and the D-Cubs managed only three hits as they were shut out by Tampa 8-0. Cates lasted a little longer than the one inning he had in his previous start, but still let in eight runs (five earned) in 3.1 innings. Brett Wallach, who seems to be scheduled to follow Cates, fared better this time, tossing 1.2 shutout innings. Ty’Relle Harris was able to strike out four in two innings of work, while Tony Zych struck out two in setting down the side in the eighth. Ronald Torreyes, Greg Rohan, and Dustin Harrington were the only D-Cubs to record hits.

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (6-4)
The Smokies wasted another fine pitching performance, as they lost a 2-1 squeaker to Jackson on Wednesday. Trey McNutt got his second start and labored once again, tossing 77 pitches in four innings. However, he held the Generals scoreless, striking out five and walking three over that span. Jeffry Antigua, who appears to be McNutt’s tag-team partner, allowed an earned run and struck out four in 3.1 innings. The usually reliable Kevin Rhoderick gave up the lead on a home run to start the ninth. Tennessee continues to get consistent offensive play from Logan Watkins, Jae-Hoon Ha, Michael Burgess, and Elliot Soto who each collected a hit; Watkins scoring the only run. Rebel Ridling also singled, while Juan Apodaca doubled.

Tennessee was locked in a tense 1-1 contest in the eighth inning on Thursday, until a bullpen meltdown allowed Jackson to come away with a 3-1 victory. Starter Dallas Beeler was able to keep the Generals at bay, allowing an earned run over six innings with two strikeouts. Alberto Cabrera breezed through the seventh inning, but his control was lacking in the eighth. A walk and three singles put Jackson ahead. Then a ball in the dirt that was eventually called a passed ball scored the final run of the game. After a stint on the disabled list, Marcus Hatley cleaned up in the ninth. Elliot Soto had a whale of a game, going 3-for-4 with a stolen base and an RBI. Michael Burgess was 2-for-4 with a double, while Jae-Hoon Ha went 1-for-4 and a stolen base. Michael Brenly scored the only run and was 1-for-3 with a double.

It looks like close games will be the norm in eastern Tennessee this year, as the Smokies waited until the sixth inning before pulling away from Jackson in a 4-1 victory on Friday. It looked as if Jae-Hoon Ha had his first homer of the season to start the fourth inning, as his opposite field blast appeared to leave the park and then ricochet back into the field of play. However, the umpires ruled it a double and Ha ended up 1-for-1 with two walks. Rebel Ridling seems to be improving his fortunes at the plate, as he was 2-for-4 with a stolen base and three RBI. Justin Bour and James Adduci also collected hits.

Starter Dae-Eun Rhee had his off-speed and breaking ball working for him, making several batters look bad has he allowed only one earned run and struck out four over 6.1 innings. Ryan Searle then held the Generals scoreless for 1.2 innings while striking out three batters. Frank Batista picked up his fourth save by striking out the side in the ninth.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

In the final game of the series with Jackson on Saturday, Tennessee exploded for five runs in the second inning and rode the arm of Brooks Raley to a 5-2 win. Raley had his stuff working for him, as he allowed two earned runs in seven innings. His only blemish was a familiar bugaboo, a solo home run in the fifth inning. Casey Weathers had his best outing of the season by getting a strikeout in a scoreless inning of work. Kevin Rhoderick had the Generals leave town quietly in the ninth and picked up his second save.

The scoring started for the Smokies when Rebel Ridling (1-for-4) tripled to lead off the second inning. Michael Burgess (3-for-4, home run, two RBI, outfield assist) then launched a two-run bomb to center. James Adduci (1-for-3) doubled after one out and came home on a double by Michael Brenly (1-for-3) for his first RBI of the year. With two outs, Logan Watkins (1-for-4, home run, two RBI) capped the scoring by cracking his first home run of the season. Elliot Soto, enjoying his recent promotion to the lead-off spot, was 2-for-4 for the evening.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (6-4)
For the second time in three days, an Iowa pitcher was his own best offense as the I-Cubs defeated Albuquerque 5-1 on Wednesday in a game that wasn’t as close as the score makes it appear. The Isotopes were never in the contest as starter Casey Coleman allowed an earned run and struck out three in five innings; helping himself by going 2-for-3 with an RBI at the plate. Coleman was already ahead by four runs when Albuquerque scratched out a run in the fourth inning. Ryan Rowland-Smith then came on in the sixth and delivered three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Blake Parker finished things off with his third shutout inning of the season.

It was the Welington Castillo show on offense, as he singled to start off the scoring in the second inning. Josh Vitters (2-for-3, two RBI) singled to put two men on for Coleman, who brought Castillo home with a single. Vitters then came in on a Tony Campana (2-for-5, RBI) two out single. Castillo struck again with one out in the third, popping his first homer of the season. He ended the night 3-for-3 with a double, home run, and an RBI. A Vitters sacrifice fly plated Adrian Cardenas (1-for-3, triple), who tripled ahead of him. An insurance run was added in the seventh as Castillo, who doubled, came around on Vitters’ RBI single.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

The I-Cubs finished their homestand on a small roll, as they took the series from Albuquerque with an 8-2 victory on Thursday. Iowa basically put the game away in the second inning, scoring five runs on five hits and two walks. It was Dave Sappelt’s turn to join the party, as he was 2-for-5 with a solo home run and three RBI. Josh Vitters continued to stay hot, adding a double and his sixth RBI while going 2-for-4. Anthony Rizzo recorded his team-leading tenth RBI as he went 2-for-4. Both Ty Wright and Matt Tolbert were 2-for-3, with one of Wright’s hits a double. Luis Valbuena also had a multi-hit game, as he was 2-for-5 with an RBI.

Chris Rusin overcame a rocky first inning by picking a runner off and inducing a double play. Rusin ended up allowing two earned runs and recording a strikeout in seven innings of work. Manny Corpas looked a little steadier than his last appearance, striking out two in a scoreless inning. Scott Maine stayed sharp by blanking the Isotopes for an inning.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Iowa went to the bat rack and brought out the big sticks on Friday, launching four home runs to propel them to a 6-5 win over Round Rock. Anthony Rizzo started the show in the first inning by slugging a two-run shot. Welington Castillo (3-for-4, home run, RBI) added a solo blast as part of a two-run fourth inning. Rizzo then cranked his own solo home run in the sixth, and ended the night at 2-for-4 with two homers and three RBI. Brett Jackson joined the party by hitting his first longball of the year, which proved to be the game winner, in the seventh. Blake Lalli was also 2-for-4 in the winning effort.

In the business, they call it “five on the fly” as Jay Jackson earned his first victory by striking out four and allowing two earned runs in five innings. The reins were turned over to Frankie De La Cruz, who struck out a batter in two shutout innings. Jeff Beliveau recorded two outs in the eighth, and gave way to Esmailin Caridad to finish the inning. However, Caridad walked two to start the ninth and was replaced by Scott Maine. Maine did appear to be ready to come in, as he hit three batters and walked another before recording an out. Blake Parker got the final two outs to record his first save.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

A good effort by the offense went for naught, as the bullpen surrendered three runs on Saturday in a 6-5 loss to Round Rock. Iowa now leads the Pacific Coast League with a .318 team average after pounding out 14 hits against the Express. Leading the way is Welington Castillo, who raised his season average to .500 by going 3-for-4 with an RBI. Luis Valbuena, hitting .400, was 2-for-3. Anthony Rizzo (.385) was 1-for-4 with a double, while Josh Vitters (.375) drove in two and was also 1-for-4 with a double. Brett Jackson hit his second home run in as many nights as he was 2-for-5 and an RBI. Tony Campana collected two hits and his fifth stolen base.

It was another pedestrian effort by Travis Wood as he struck out seven, but allowed three earned runs in five innings. After a scoreless sixth inning, Nate Robertson ended up wearing the horns as a three-run seventh was the deciding factor in the ballgame. Manny Corpas bailed Robertson out and shut down Round Rock in the eighth, but the damage had already been done.

News and Notes
The Tennessee Smokies activated RHP Marcus Hatley from the 7-day disabled list; RHP Joe Zeller assigned to Daytona. The Daytona Cubs placed RHP Matt Loosen on the 7-day disabled list. The Peoria Chiefs placed OF Reggie Golden on the 7-day disabled list; OF Oliver Zapata assigned to Peoria.

According to Baseball America, the Cubs released RHP Dustin Fitzgerald and SS Leugim Barroso. RHP Starling Peralta was placed on the 7-day DL.

CCO’s Prospect Watch

  • Javier Baez (IF) – Extended Spring Training
  • Jeimer Candelario (3B) – Extended Spring Training
  • Zeke DeVoss (2B) – .273, two doubles, home run, five RBI (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Reggie Golden (OF) – .192, stolen base (Peoria Chiefs)
  • Junior Lake (IF) – is currently inactive
  • Dillon Maples (RHP) – Extended Spring Training
  • Matt Szczur (OF) – .125, RBI, three stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Ronald Torreyes (2B) – .188, double (Daytona Cubs)
  • Josh Vitters (3B) – .375, two doubles, eight RBI (Iowa Cubs)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) – Extended Spring Training

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO

Quote of the Day

"The riches of the game are in the thrills, not in the money." – Ernie Banks

Share on Fancred
  • TomO

    It’s a shame that half of the Prospect Watch is inactive or in Extended Spring Training.  Perhaps some of them will end up in Peoria as the season progresses.  I would love to see that as I frequent many Chiefs’ games.

    Until then, it’s easy for Tom U. to update their stats!

    • Chadaudio

      Is Junior Lake hurt?

      Man, I was really hoping Travis Wood would start putting it together… is he going to have to get demoted?  At least the I-Cubs offense looks good – here’s hoping they make some moves to the big leagues fairly soon.

      • Neil

        Junior Lake has been dealing with a back injury. Was not thought to be serious.

        • Chadaudio

          Ahh.  That’s right – Thanks Neil.

  • Dorasaga

    Some thoughts on this organization:

    – These Korean players look good in double-A.

    The international scout director (Suarez?), the Pacific rim scouts, and all those aiding the Cubs on the Korean peninsula should be credited.

    As much as we like to bash Jim Hendry for his failures, he hired the right people and did the right thing in Korea. It’s not easy to scoop up talents there. Asian baseball communities are closed to themselves. Recent event of the O’s scouts barred from Korean playing fields had proven how difficult it can be to even gain access to see players, if not done the right way.


    – Is it necessary to argue over a fifth starter?

    Recent studies had shown that most Major League teams don’t even have a fourth starter. The Cubs have been one of the ten teams or less that got a healthy inning-eater every fifth day. Like Maholm or not, he’s serving our purpose. The Cubs have a good rotation. Shark, ol’Demp, and Garza can go a long way, deep into the season. Perhaps not “great,” but for any rebuilding ball club, this is a dream team.


    – A good hitting AND powerful first baseman is rarer than we now believe.

    Fans are forgetful. It is not until perhaps post-2004 when the crops of Fielder, Votto, consistently great hitting, came to this scene. Before then were only three or fewer first basemen per six years. Teixeira and Albert Pujols, then further back with Bagwell and Jim Thome. Most first basemen were converted or DH, and couldn’t field. They come and go. I can imagine that in five or less years, as Pujols, Fielder, AGon, and Votto age, we’ll be back to 1990s when great first basemen were hard to find. Rizzo may be a centerpiece for this ball club in its near future.

  • Zonk

    I still can’t help but look at our AA roster, and there just isn’t alot of prospects there.  I hope I am proved wrong.  McNutt is the only one that right now has a high projected ceiling, and a couple others like Ha have a shot.  But seems dry to me.

    • Chadaudio

      I agree Zonk.  I also think Ridling and Watkins are interesting… but over all, it’s slim pick’n in AA.

      • Zonk

        On the bright side, we have more young talent at Iowa than we have had in a long time.  So that’s a good thing. 

        To me, AAA though is more of a marginal-veterans league, and AA is more of a “prospects” league.  AA players are nearly always 26 and under, while AAA is a mix of young players on their way up, marginal ML talent, and vets who are there to cover for injuries.

        • Chadaudio

          That’s true, but AAA used to be a lot more of a “developmental” step then it’s been the past few years.
          I actually think giving prospects more time in AAA is a good idea.

  • cc002600

    Speaking of the minor leagues and prospects, what the heck ever happened with Jorge Soler ?  

    We have not heard anything about this guy for well over a month.

    and yes, I know we had to wait for him to setup a residence in DR before anyone could negotiate with him, but jeez its been a long time.

    Is he actually playing anywhere right now ?

    • Chadaudio

      I was just thinking about him too.
      Last I heard, in light of the recent embarrassment of Fausto Carmona, etc., the offices at MLB are requiring this kind of process to take even longer then it has in the past.
      I guess we’ll just have to wait even longer.
      Also, I’m sure after the terrible showing of Cespedes in the DR league, Soler’s agent isn’t excited about the idea of him playing for any team before he is signed.

    • Neil

      Soler is not playing right now and has not established residency in the DR yet. There is a lot of speculation as to why he has not established residency, Chad mentioned one below.

  • Coachdon

     Here is a thought to ponder for the future; if Stewart actually succeeds at third, Lahair ends up playing some left field after Soriano leaves, Rizzo succeeds at first base, and Jackson becomes our starting center fielder with DeJesus staying in right; could Vitters become the right handed bench guy that backs up all of the lefthanders at third, first and the corner outfield spots?

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Peoria – Michael Jensen (2-0, 2.45)
    Daytona – Eric Jokisch (0-1, 4.50)
    Tennessee – Trey McNutt (0-0, 0.00)
    Iowa – Casey Coleman (1-1, 4.50)

    Today’s spotlight game: Iowa v. Round Rock

    One of the CCO’s own, Cubtex, has said he will be at today’s game, so we”ll highlight them. Casey Coleman has been almost more important with his bat (2-for-3, RBI) than his arm. The I-Cubs pounded out 22 hits in a 11-10, 13 inning loss yesterday.

    • cubtex

      On my way to the game. Will give updates

      • Tom U

        What are you wearing? Maybe we’ll see you on!

        • cubtex

          First row behind Cubs dugout. Black Army hat. My 2 boys next to me wearing Cubs hats. My son is doing the promo in the 6th. Something about panty hose :) Nothing like minor league baseball:)

          • cubtex

            For the 7th inning.

          • Dorasaga

             Sure your son had fun :)

  • Tom U

    On a slow news day, here are some of the things I saw over the weekend:

    I saw some good breaking ball pitchers. Dae-Eun Rhee has a curve and change-up that can keep hitters off-balance. Yao-Lin Wang’s breaking pitch seemed to give hitters fits. 

    I can see why the national-types love Alberto Cabrera. He has some wicked movement on his pitches. But at 23 years old, in Double-A, and re-inventing himself as a reliever, it looks like the clock may be working against him.

    The organization must be happy with the starts of Elliot Soto, Rubi Silva, and Wes Darvill. Each has been moved to near the top of the line-up and given more responsibility.

    Zeke DeVoss is an offensive talent, but he’ll have to improve to raise to the level of an awful second baseman. Lost doesn’t come close to describing how he looks on defense. He looks very awkward fielding ground balls, seems to be off-balance every time he throws, and his release point had Ryan Cuneo doing gymnastics at first trying to corral   his throws. 

    • Neil

      Tom, so you know Edgar Gonzalez was activated today and Ty Wright was sent down to Double-A.

      Rizzo just has the night off.

      • Tom U

        Thanks Neil!

  • paulcatanese

    Very happy that Campana hit his home run OVER the fence. But to put things in perspective, if he would have saved the home run, divide it into how far he usualy hits the ball he could have had twenty five more singles on his resume.And an additional twenty five stolen bases.
    And thanks Tom for letting me know.

    • cubtex

      Your boy just got gunned down. Brett Jackson strike out looking…..Campana thrown out stealing.

      • paulcatanese

        The sun must have got in his eyes:)

    • cubtex

      Paul…Campana stole 2nd and 3rd . Ball went into left after he stole 3rd and scored. His speed would be nice on the big club!

      • paulcatanese

        Meant to reply right away to thank you for the post on Tony, but was busy and could not. But thanks again.

  • cubtex

    Vitters just missed one! Quick hands!

  • Tom U

    A runner just erased by Welington Castillo

  • Anthony

    Cuneo is hitting and probably would love to be traded.

    The Swiss Queso Brothers went 2-9(2 flares) with 4 K’s for Daytona, and both still have a BA that starts with the # .1

    Can’t replace them with Easterling, hitting .80 cents so far, didn’t Theo put them thru Carmen?

    Where’s Abner Abreu when you need him?

    • Neil

      Please no more nicknames. Thank you.

      • Dorasaga

         I must admit I called Darvish “the Persian” :-/

  • Aaron

    In case nobody knows….The Smokies are getting no-hit into the 8th inning by Tyler Thornberg, a 2010 3rd round pick by the Brewers….seems like a decent pitcher: 

    He’s also not just no-hitting them, he’s got a perfect game thus far.

    • Tom U

      Michael Burgess just broke it up with a one-out single in the eighth. Jonathan Mota then doubled him in.

      • Neil

        Sorry for the double-post

    • Neil

       Michael Burgess broke it up with one out in the eighth.

  • cubtex

    Highly recommend taking a family to a minor league game if you get the chance. Took my 2 boys. 3 tickets for a total of $20. Sat in the first row behind Iowa dugout. My older son was asked if he would do a competition on the field in the 7th inning. He won that so he got 4 free tickets for a future game and 4 free pizzas to Papa Murphys. My younger son got a baseball in 1st inning from Cardenas. We talked with several Iowa players. Talked to former Cub and Express 1st base coach Brant Brown. I’ll tell you what……Brant Brown still looks like he could be playing! What a fun night!

    • OttawaBob

      Tex,, How tough is it to get tickets at the gate??

      • cubtex

        Not hard at all during the week. I usually buy lawn tickets and you can pretty much sit anywhere you want.

    • paulcatanese

      Sounds like it was a great evening, and can remember those day’s in Chicago, taking the boys to games.
      Now it’s reversed they take me and thats fun also.
      Funny how things turn around.
      Family and athletic connection’s are a precious thing.
      Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Chadaudio

      Wow. That sounds awesome!

  • paulcatanese

    Tom, I have kind of soured a little on Baez since reading about his attitude and being somewhat of a showoff.
    Always had the idea of being careful how one treats other people on the way up as they will also be there on the way down.
    Hopefully that will improve, I had some high hopes for him and would hate to see the attitude become a problem.