Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/03/13

Cubs Down on the Farm Report – 06/03/13

It wasn’t a good end to the week as both Kane County and Iowa are on losing streaks while Tennessee had all sorts of problems in Birmingham. Daytona flexed their offensive muscles thanks to Javier Baez, Ben Carhart, Dustin Geiger, Chadd Krist, and Jorge Soler. Now, if the D-Cubs could only get their pitching on the same roll. For more details, take a look at Down on the Farm.

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

Low Class-A – Kane County Cougars (24-29)

Wednesday saw Kane County manage only five hits as they lost to Quad Cities 2-1 in a pitcher’s duel.  Pierce Johnson moved into second place in the league in strikeouts as his seven in 5.2 innings would give him sixty on the season. The only earned run Johnson gave up was a solo home run in the sixth inning. Justin Amlung relieved and met the same fate. Amlung served up a solo home run while striking out two in 2.1 innings. A bid to come back by the Cougars was cut short as Gioskar Amaya (2-for-4) laced a two out single and made it to second on a throwing error. Carlos Escobar (2-for-4 with a RBI) drove in Amaya with a base hit.

After a rainout on Thursday, Kane County was never in the game on Friday as they lost 5-2 to Cedar Rapids. Jose Rosario was responsible for all of the Kernels’ runs. Rosario allowed five earned in five innings while striking out three batters. Eddie Orozco was able to set down the side in order in the sixth. Brian Smith went the rest of the way, striking out three in three scoreless innings. The Cougars bookended their runs, scoring one each in the first and ninth inning. Pin-Chieh Chen (2-for-3) led off the game with a walk and moved to third on a groundout and wild pitch. Chen scored on a single from Dan Vogelbach (1-for-5 with a RBI). Kane County tried to rally in the ninth as Gioskar Amaya walked to start the inning. One out later, Amaya moved to third on a double from Reggie Golden (2-for-4), and scored on a double by Marco Hernandez (1-for-4 with a RBI). However, with the bases loaded, Albert Almora struck out and Dan Vogelbach grounded out to end the game.

It wasn’t a very happy birthday on Saturday as Kane County was pounded by Cedar Rapids 15-2. South African Tayler Scott got the nod on his 21st birthday and allowed seven earned runs and struck out four in four innings. Long man Ian Dickson was greeted just as rudely. Dickson surrendered five earned runs in three innings. Lefty Nathan Dorris restored some semblance of order with a scoreless inning. But out of pitchers and with Bijan Rademacher hurt, infielder Davis Bote added pitcher to his growing résumé. Bote pitched an inning and gave up three earned runs. The Cougars scratched out two runs in the fifth inning as one out singles by Gioskar Amaya (1-for-3) and Albert Almora (2-for-4) along with a throwing error scored a run. Almora later scored after a groundout and wild pitch.

High Class–A – Daytona Cubs (27-26)

After winning in dramatic fashion the night before, Daytona settled on sheer pitching domination on Wednesday as they shut out Tampa 3-0. Zach Cates scattered five hits over six innings while striking out five batters. Yao-Lin Wang took over and got his second save of the season the hard way as he struck out five while tossing three innings. The D-Cubs broke the ice in the third inning as successive two out singles by Taylor Davis (1-for-3), Zeke DeVoss (2-for-4), and John Andreoli (2-for-3 with a RBI) scored Davis. Daytona then put away the Yankees in the sixth inning, as a single by DeVoss and a double from Andreoli put runners on second and third. DeVoss scored on a sacrifice fly, while a Dustin Geiger (1-for-3 with a RBI) single scored Andreoli and added to his league leading total of 43 RBI.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Daytona could not make up enough ground in time on Thursday as they lost 5-4 to Tampa. The Yankees pulled out to a 3-0 lead before the D-Cubs could score their first run in the fifth inning. Walks to Chadd Krist, Taiwan Easterling, and Wes Darvill loaded the bases, with Krist scoring on a groundout. It took one swing in the sixth to put Daytona within one run as Javier Baez (1-for-4 with a home run) hit his eighth home run of the season. Losing 5-2 in the eighth, Tim Saunders (1-for-3 with a stolen base and a RBI) led off with a single and got the free walk home as Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) belted his second home run of the season. Ben Wells struck out five but he is usually effective when he keeps the ball down, but the Yankees connected with four hits that scored three runs. Sheldon McDonald gave up two runs (one earned) in an inning of work. Luis Liria continues to lower his ERA as he held Tampa scoreless for two innings while striking out three batters.

On Friday, Daytona used 12 walks to build a six run lead, only to see it evaporate as they lost 10-9 to Brevard County in ten innings. Middle relief was the undoing of the D-Cubs as both the front end and back end pitched well enough to win. Kyler Burke was the starter and allowed three earned runs while striking out six in five innings. Eduardo Figueroa started a succession of pitchers throwing an inning and giving up two earned runs as Jeffrey Lorick and Larry Suarez followed the same pattern. Frank Del Valle worked around a double in the ninth, but was unable to escape in the tenth. Del Valle allowed an earned run and struck out two in 1.1 innings. Things began well for the Daytona offense as Zeke DeVoss (0-for-2 with three walks) and Tim Saunders (1-for-3 with three walks) led off the game with walks, while Jorge Soler (2-for-4 with a RBI) had a one out single but DeVoss was thrown out at home. Dustin Geiger (2-for-5 with three RBI) then stepped up and launched a three run, opposite field home run to extend his league RBI total to 46. In the third inning, Soler walked and stole second and Ben Carhart (1-for-4 with a RBI) reached on a force out. Chadd Krist (1-for-5 with two RBI) was hit by a pitch and Taiwan Easterling walked to plate Soler. DeVoss then drew a two out walk to bring in Carhart. Daytona upped their total to seven in the fourth inning as Javier Baez and Soler walked and both moved up ninety feet on a wild pitch. Krist lined a single off an infielder’s glove that scored Baez and Soler. The D-Cubs started the sixth with singles by Soler, Geiger and Carhart that scored Soler. Daytona tied the game in the ninth as Wes Darvill (2-for-4) led off with a single, Saunders walked, and Baez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. A force out by Soler drove in Darvill.

After blowing a six run lead the night before, Daytona made sure of things on Saturday as they wiped out Brevard County 14-5. P.J. Francescon was the beneficiary of the offensive outburst as he struck out six and allowed only an earned run through six innings. Austin Reed showed some cause for concern as he gave up three earned runs while striking out three in two innings. Sheldon McDonald had some control issues in the ninth and walked in a run.

The D-Cubs got busy in the first inning as Tim Saunders (1-for-4) led off with a single, and doubles from Ben Carhart (3-for-6 with two RBI) and Javier Baez (5-for-6 with a home run, three doubles and six RBI) brought him home. Daytona never looked back after the second inning as a one out single by Taylor Davis (2-for-5) and a walk to Saunders put two runners on base. Both Carhart and Baez hit back-to-back doubles again as Davis, Saunders, and Carhart scored. One out later, Dustin Geiger (2-for-4 with a RBI) doubled to plate Baez, and he scored on a single from Chadd Krist (2-for-3 with three RBI). Daytona continued to pummel Manatees’ pitching in the third as Wes Darvill (3-for-4) and Davis singled to start things off. A one out base hit by Carhart scored Darvill, and the bases were wiped clean as Javier Baez clubbed his ninth home run. A single by Jorge Soler (2-for-5 with two RBI) and a double from Geiger restarted the inning, and both scored on a double by Krist. The D-Cubs capped their scoring in the fourth as Baez laced a two out double and got the free walk home on Jorge Soler’s eighth home run of the season.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Double-A – Tennessee Smokies (28-26)

In a game commemorating America’s oldest ballpark, Rickwood Field, Tennessee let the game get away from them in the early innings as they fell to Birmingham 6-3 on Wednesday. Yeiper Castillo gave up the most runs he has ever allowed in an appearance in 2013. Castillo was tagged for five earned runs while striking out four in 3.2 innings. A.J. Morris got the call as the long man and allowed an earned run and struck out five in 3.1 innings. Trey McNutt worked a 1-2-3 eighth while striking out a batter. The Smokies scored all of their runs in the sixth inning, as Arismendy Alcantara (3-for-4) led off with a single, but was forced out at second on a fly ball by Ty Wright (1-for-4). A single from Rubi Silva (1-for-4) moved Wright to third, and a double by Christian Villanueva (1-for-4 with two RBI) scored both runners. A line drive to center was Lance Rymel’s (1-for-3 with a RBI) first Double-A hit and RBI as he plated Villanueva.

Pitching gave Tennessee the upper hand on Thursday as they beat Birmingham 5-1. Alberto Cabrera had everything working for him as he struck out seven and allowed only an earned run in six innings of work. Tony Zych kept the Barons off the board for 1.1 innings and recorded a strikeout. Zac Rosscup finished things off by striking out two in 1.2 innings.

The Smokies jumped out ahead in the first as Matt Szczur (2-for-4) led off with a triple and was driven in by a single from Ty Wright (2-for-4 with two RBI). In the second, Anthony Giansanti (2-for-4) laced a two out double and scored on a single by Chad Noble (2-for-4 with two RBI). It stayed that way until the sixth inning when Wright singled to score Ronald Torreyes (1-for-5), who had tripled. Two more runs scored in the seventh as Rubi Silva (2-for-4) started things off with a single and moved to third on a double from Giansanti. Noble plated both runners with a single.

Click Here for Complete Box Score

Tennessee was never in the game on Friday night as they lost 11-3 to Birmingham. Starter Eric Jokisch was coming off of two solid performances, but laid an egg as he allowed seven runs (six earned) and struck out six in five innings. Hunter Cervenka continued his struggles after his promotion by giving up four runs (one earned) in two innings. Kevin Rhoderick was able to work around two hits to shut out the Barons in the eighth. The Smokies managed their first run in the sixth as Arismendy Alcantara (2-for-4) hit a two out single and scored on a double from Rubi Silva (2-for-4 with a RBI). Tennessee added two more runs in the ninth, with Silva and Christian Villanueva (3-for-4) singling and scoring on a double from Rafael Lopez (1-for-4 with two RBI).

The Smokies were on the wrong end of a blowout again on Saturday as Birmingham beat Tennessee 9-3. Matt Loosen was the loser for Tennessee, but he had some help. Loosen pitched 5.1 innings and gave up eight runs, but only four of them were earned as the Smokies committed three errors. Frank Batista was brought in to stop the onslaught and he held the Barons scoreless for 1.2 innings. Trey McNutt relieved and allowed an earned run on a solo home run in an inning of work. Birmingham pitching has put the Tennessee offense into a funk, as the Smokies relied on the long ball for all of their runs. In the sixth inning, Arismendy Alcantara (1-for-3 with a RBI) worked a two out walk and scored on Christian Villanueva’s (1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI) fourth homer of the year. Alcantara added a solo shot of his own, his ninth of the season, in the eighth inning.

Triple-A – Iowa Cubs (24-30)

Iowa was not able to survive some early offense from Nashville on Wednesday as they lost 4-3. Nick Struck was unable to get through the first two innings. Struck gave up two earned runs in the first two frames and ended up allowing four runs in five innings with three strikeouts. Casey Coleman no-hit the Sounds the rest of the way while recording two strikeouts in three innings of work. The I-Cubs made a late charge and scored two runs in the fourth inning. Brian Bogusevic (1-for-4) led off with a walk and scored on a double from Dave Sappelt (1-for-3 with a RBI). A single from Brad Nelson (1-for-1 with a RBI) plated Sapplet. Iowa narrowed the gap to one as J.C. Boscan (1-for-3) started the inning with a walk, moved to third on a double by Struck and scored on a single from Logan Watkins (1-for-5 with a RBI).

It was one of those nights when the Iowa offense just decided not to show up as they lost to Nashville 6-1 on Thursday. The lone run came in the eighth inning as Darnell McDonald (1-for-4) singled, took second on defensive indifference, and scored on a base hit by Brian Bogusevic (1-for-1 with a RBI). Started Brooks Raley even tried to kick-start the offense with a single of his own in the fifth inning. Raley lasted six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out four batters.  Marcus Hatley got into trouble with one out in the seventh as he gave up a single and walk, with catcher J.C. Boscan ejected after arguing the call. After another walk, Hatley was tagged for a grand slam, as ended up going only 0.2 innings. Hisanori Takahashi got the last out in the seventh, while Blake Parker struck out the side in the eighth.

Once again, the offense scuffled against one of the worst teams in the Pacific Coast League as Iowa lost 3-1 to Nashville on Friday. Yoanner Negrin was given his second start and allowed only an earned run through six innings until the wheels came off the cart in the seventh. After spending a good part of the top of the inning on base, Negrin couldn’t seem to find the plate upon taking the mound in the bottom half. Negrin gave up three hits and a walk, along with two more earned runs. Brian Schlitter was able to hold the Sounds scoreless for two innings while striking out a batter. The only run for the I-Cubs came in the third as Logan Watkins (1-for-3) and Brian Bogusevic (2-for-3) led off the third with singles, and Watkins scored on a sacrifice fly.

The I-Cubs failed to put away New Orleans on Saturday and allowed them to peck away at a five run lead as New Orleans ended up beating Iowa 7-6 in 13 innings. The Iowa offense showed some signs of life after going silent in Nashville. Logan Watkins (1-for-6) led off the game with a double and scored on a groundout. Brett Jackson (1-for-5 with a home run) then slugged his third home run, but Ian Stewart (1-for-3 with two RBI) flied out to end the inning with two runners on base. Brett Jackson walked and scored on a double from Dave Sappelt (3-for-4 with a RBI) in the third. Brad Nelson followed with a walk and Sappelt touched home on a double by Brent Lillibridge (4-for-6 with a RBI). Stewart doubled in Nelson and Lillibridge. Starter Guillermo Moscoso continued to run hot-and-cold as he struck out ten in 5.2 innings, but allowed four runs (three earned). Hisanori Takahashi blanked the Zephyrs for 0.2 innings, while Casey Coleman added another 1.2 scoreless innings. But New Orleans tied the game off of Eduardo Sanchez, who gave up two earned runs in his inning of work. Marcus Hatley bounced back from a rough outing and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Newly promoted Jeffry Antigua struck out four in his Triple-A debut, but allowed the winning run in two innings.

News and Notes

The Chicago Cubs designated RHP Alex Burnett for assignment; assigned RHP Michael Bowden to the Iowa Cubs; selected the contract of RHP Blake Parker. The Iowa Cubs placed RHP Barret Loux on the 7-Day disabled list. The Kane County Cougars activated OF Reggie Golden from extended spring training; assigned C Yaniel Cabezas to the Daytona Cubs.

Top Prospect Watch

  • Albert Almora (OF) – .444/.487/.583/1.071 with five doubles and four RBI (Kane County Cougars)
  • Javier Baez (SS) – .277/.319/.519/.838 with 15 doubles, four triples, nine home runs, 35 RBI, four stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Jeimer Candelario (3B) – .250/.338/.354/.692 with 17 doubles, a home run, 17 RBI (Kane County Cougars)
  • Pierce Johnson (RHP) – 3-4 with a 2.89 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP, 53.0 innings pitched, 17 earned runs, 60 strikeouts, 15 walks (Kane County Cougars)
  • Dillon Maples (RHP) – 0-1 with a 9.18 ERA and a 1.62 WHIP, 16.2 innings pitched, 17 earned runs, 16 strikeouts, nine walks (Kane County Cougars)
  • Tim Saunders (IF/OF) – .183/.282/.246/.529 with two doubles, two triples, one home run, 10 RBI, 15 stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Jorge Soler (OF) – .295/.367/.509/.876 with 11 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 28 RBI, five stolen bases (Daytona Cubs)
  • Christian Villanueva (3B) – .259/.319/.429/.747 with 18 doubles, one triple, four home runs, 29 RBI, four stolen bases (Tennessee Smokies)
  • Dan Vogelbach (1B) - .279/.341/.428/.768 with 10 doubles, seven home runs, 36 RBI, three stolen bases (Kane County Cougars)
  • Logan Watkins (2B) – .228/.350/.397/.747 with eight doubles, four triples, five home runs, 14 RBI, five stolen bases (Iowa Cubs)

 

 

Don’t Forget

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Quote of the Day

"Be who you are and say what you feel. Because, those who mind, don't matter and those who matter, don't mind." - Theodor Seuss Geisel

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  • redlarczykg

    Tom,
    Thank you again for all the efforts your to give Cub Fans more insight into the Farm System. I went to the Kane County Cougars game Sunday and found out that Jeffry Antigua was sent to AAA Iowa. I was planning on asking him why he way down in low A ball when he deserved to be in AA or AAA. Was he getting special help on his pitching craft or was it a secret?
    Anyway, Almora looks like the real deal hitting .475 in his first 40 AB. He probably will be sent to Daytona soon, but I wonder if the reported Solar-Baez attitude issues could be a concern of rubbing off on him? But on the other hand, from all I have heard about Almora, his good attitude might be the example Solar-Baez might need to be around.

    • Tom U

      Redlarczykg, there has never been any explanation as to why Antigua began the season at Kane County, so it’s hard to say whether this is a promotion of need or part of the plan.

      I do know that the organization has had a hard time deciding what to do with Antigua since his arm surgery a few years ago.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Tom, do you know what’s the dynamic between Baez and Soler on a personal level? Being two big stud prospects with larger contracts on the same team, do they have some common ground that maybe the two of them “get,” each other more than they relate to others on the team? Are they friends?

    Thanks for the great information as always…

    • paulcatanese

      I would imagine they get along well as they both had their gold neck chains made from the same jeweler,(links that open up to add another for each home run):)
      P.S. Tom, good job again as usual, couldn’t let that one go by:)

    • Tom U

      Boardrider, Baez has toned things down this season on Twitter since updating us (practically) every time he exhaled last season (and he usually was considered the best ever). Its hard to say who he hangs with, but I haven’t heard Soler mentioned.

      There is a large social group on that squad that includes Dustin Geiger, Ben Carhart, Stephen Bruno, Taylor Davis, Zeke DeVoss, Tim Saunders, and perhaps a few others. Like the scouts I talked to said, they all seem to like Baez when he is doing well.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Great to see Reggie Golden have some hits!

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    Trey McNutt continuing to get guys out! Love to see that…

    • 07GreyDigger

      Too bad McNutt won’t be getting anyone out on the big club. I don’t quite understand why they fought so hard to keep him, but he’s yet to advance past Double-A in three tries and his BB/9 has rised the past four seasons.

  • Ray Ray

    Starlin Castro’s average is now below .260. I never thought that would happen to someone with his ablility to put the bat on the ball and just flat out hit…I hope the FO will just stop messing with his head and let him be who he is. If they want him to be something he is not you might as well trade him. It is so frustrating to see how far this kid has fallen from where he was.

    • Ray Ray

      I think I have come up with my theory. Castro was outstanding before he had Rizzo hitting behind him in the lineup. If you look back in 2011 and 2012. He was hitting .321 on June 1st in 2012. When Rizzo was brought up the end of June…Castro’s average dipped and has continued to dip into this year(with Rizzo hitting behind him). He is not getting the pitches he got to hit before. Had to throw out a little light humor to start the week.

    • redlarczykg

      When the league scouts you and finds out you’re a free swinger, no plate discipline and look like the reincarnation of Shawn Dunston, why throw strikes, except by accident.

      • paulcatanese

        Actually by watching Castro lately, they do throw him a strike, the first pitch, right down the pipe, for some reason he seems to take that pitch, as if surprised, and then starts chasing, but not pitches just off the plate, but way off the mark, totally a mystery. The way he is now approaching, he is more willing to be hit by the pitch, and wouldn’t be surprised if he reaches first base more often being hit than taking a walk.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Ala Wellington Castillo?

          • paulcatanese

            Yes, high, higher and higher yet.
            That’s his zone.

      • Tony_Hall

        EXACTLY!!!!

      • Ray Ray

        See above. The scouts had seen him have 1500 AB’s.

    • RynoTiger

      hey Ray, can you share some evidence of the FO messing with his head that has impacted his development? I know Sveum has called him out in the media during interviews, but please provide some evidence of the FO messing with him.

      • paulcatanese

        Ryno, not speaking for Ray Ray, but even the announcers (last game ) were mentioning that the Cubs ( and I assume the front office as well) were commenting how they are trying to get Castro to drive the ball by taking full swings and getting away from the weak approach and hitting soft ground balls and little flairs to right field.
        I also would assume that Sveum was hired because he believes what the front office is trying to do. So in effect Sveum is an extension of the front office,
        (not to be confused with Quade, an entirely different situation).
        I believe this is one big team, from Ricketts down to Sveum, all on the same page, which is not bad, but quick results all the way down the line.
        So I believe that bad or good they all share what goes on.

        • Ray Ray

          Thanks Paul. The Red Sox are doing that now with their young shortstop Iglesias. He has struggled with the bat for years trying to use the philosophy of working the count etc. I was listening to a game and the announcers said that the FO of the Red Sox had told Iglesias to just go up there and hit. Don’t think too much. Don’t worry about working the count etc. and although it is an extremely small sample size…Iglesias has never hit better in the majors than he is currently.

          • Ray Ray

            Again….this is an extremely small sample size but since Jose Iglesias has been recalled. He has 57 PA only 1BB but his average is .434 and OBP is .456. He has been told to not worry about working counts and to go back to what he used to do.

          • paulcatanese

            Got to say about this kid, if he never ever got a hit, or was even had the pitcher DH for him,

            his glove is so far above anyone

            else, they have to keep him out there. Telling not to worry and just do what he used to do sounds like great information.

          • Tony_Hall

            Give the pitchers some time, they will lower his average once they find what he will chase.

          • Ray Ray

            See above. He had close to 1500 PA and he was one of the top young hitters in the game. This is not Bryan LaHair after a couple of months.

      • Ray Ray

        There is a philosophical difference in hitting philosophies that the FO is trying to instill throughout the organization. Would you agree with this? If a hitter had been successful just going to plate and reacting(which he was extremely effective hence the 200 hit season) and is now being told to walk more, take more pitches,etc….he starts to think instead of react. Kind of what Paul mentioned below. You take a first pitch right down the middle instead of jumping on it like he did before. Then…he is down in the count and he swings at a pitch that he normally wouldn’t have and his average starts to dip. He begins to bat with stress and presses. I have said this before….but you have a jewel in Castro. He is in elite company as far as how many mlb hits he has at his age. Leave him alone! Don’t make Castro hit like Valbuena. Valbuena can’t hit like Castro!

        • djriz

          Ray Ray. You hit the problem right on the head. Let Castro be who Castro is. Before Theo/Jed/Dale came along, Castro was @ .300/.330. As a 20/21 year old. (oh, btw, it’s not about pitchers adjusting, because I would assume they tried to adjust in 2010 and 2011).

        • Tony_Hall

          NO ONE is telling Castro to take the pitch down the middle.

          NO ONE!

          They are trying to get him to stop swinging at the pitches outside the strike zone, more so the ones in the LH Batters box, that he seems to have picked up from Soriano how to swing at.

          They want him to stop swinging at the low and away pitch that he ground out to the right side on, and won’t hit over 200 swinging at.

          NO ONE is telling him to walk more. The walks will be the RESULT of not swinging at these pitches. The other result will be a higher batting average, OBP, Slugging, etc, as right now, a pitcher does NOT have to throw Castro a strike to get him out.

          Castro’s average has gone down, because of this, not because of coaches trying to help him improve, but because he has no strike zone discipline to speak of.

          • Ray Ray

            So in 2010 he has 506 PA and hits .300.
            In 2011 he has 715 PA and hits .307 with 207 hits
            and in 2012 he is hitting .321 on 6/1 and they want him to stop swinging at a low and away pitch??? OK. That makes perfect sense. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

          • Tony_Hall

            Oh, your old school thoughts are just that, old.

            After more AB’s, pitchers see more stats and charts on how and where to get a player out. In case you haven’t notice, he is swinging (and missing) more often at those pitches.

            If you were a pitcher, wouldn’t you try it?? Of course you would, because even you know that it is the way to get him out, because he will chase it. Until he stops chasing it, he will not have a high average again.

          • Ray Ray

            You know what my old school thoughts are….Correct. Why is he swinging and missing more now than before? Because the FO is messing with him. He is pressing. He is told to lay off certain pitches. Think young grasshopper. Don’t be aggressive. If you hit this pitch you will hit .25 points higher etc. Everyone knew about hot zones back from high school and little league days. You can be too anyalytical and mess with a kid. This is what has happened to Castro. Mark my words. If he gets traded to a team that doesn’t mess with his approach…he will become a .300 hitter again.

          • Tony_Hall

            I don’t normally link to other Cub sites on here, but you really need to read this site and this article on Castro.

            http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/06/starlin-castro-is-in-a-slump-that-is-all/

            You will bring your old school thoughts into a new world if you read this site more often.

  • Tom U

    The Cubs have named Tennessee’s Kyle Hendricks and Daytona’s Dustin Geiger as their minor league pitcher and player of the month for May.

  • Tom U

    A flurry of minor league roster moves, I’ll start from the top down:

    The Cubs have assigned C Steve Clevenger to Iowa for rehab. RHP Alex Burnett cleared waivers and was assigned to Iowa, Burnett accepted the assignment.

    Tennessee placed IF/OF Tim Torres on the 7-day DL. OF Pin-Chieh Chen was assigned to Tennessee from Kane County. Tennessee demoted RHP Matt Loosen to Daytona.

    LHP Austin Kirk was promoted from Daytona to Tennessee.

    • Tony_Hall

      Movement both up and down….got to like it.

      • Tom U

        Exactly

  • RynoTiger

    uh oh…ESPN is reporting that top draft prospect Jonathan Gray tested positive for Adderall during baseball’s pre-draft drug testing program. And he didn’t have a prescription. hmm…well that’s not good. As a VP/GM now I have to wonder how long has he been taking it and does he have any other problems with drugs that I need to know about. Can he be trusted?

    • Tony_Hall

      Not good, but from the CCO twitter feed.

      RT @JonHeymanCBS: major leaguers can receive exemptions for stimulants. 1 GM said he didnt see Gray’s failure as a big issue. about 14 mins ago

      RT @JonHeymanCBS: Gray, 1 of top 3 MLB draft prospects, fails for Adderall. no other failures among 200 tested known.http://t.co/RS2W7ffp8Z about 15 mins a

      • DWalker

        wouldn’t be surprised if it comes out most of the the gm’s already knew. not like the drug test was a surprise, so in his position it would have been smart to say hey, this is the deal.

  • Tom U

    Thanks for all of your comments. I’ll try to keep you up to date on thing tonight.l

  • Tom U

    Cubs minor league Pitcher of the Month Kyle Hendricks goes the distance in Game 1 to beat Taijuan Walker and the Jackson Generals 2-0. Hendricks scattered 7 hits and struck out 7 in 7 innings.

  • Tom U

    Reggie golden hits his first HR of the season, Kane County leads 4-0 top of the third