As the Daytona Cubs are finding out, it is really hard to win a game when you commit more errors than you score runs. Other than the ongoing disaster in Daytona, the Cubs’ farm system had a pretty good day on Wednesday. Tennessee lost another close game while Iowa and Peoria both collected wins.
When the Chicago Cubs need reinforcements, the players in Iowa will be waiting. In addition to Castillo’s eruption and Vitters staying hot, Tony Campana and Adrian Cardenas both enjoyed another good game at the plate. Cardenas, playing shortstop in this game, hit his second triple of the year and raised his slugging percentage for this season to an impressive 0.760. Even starting pitcher Casey Coleman got in on the offensive act with two hits and an RBI of his own.
On the mound, Coleman, Ryan Rowland-Smith and Blake Parker combined to hold Albuquerque to one run on five hits while striking out seven. Any one of these pitchers could be a candidate to help out in Chicago’s bullpen this season.
[Brett: Coleman left his start a bit early with a "funny feeling" in his arm, but Iowa manager Dave Bialas says it was just precautionary, and came from a swing in Coleman's final at bat. Apparently it's happened before, and it isn't serious.]
Trey McNutt, Jeffry Antigua, and Kevin Rhoderick combined to strikeout twelve in the loss. It was Rhoderick who gave up the winning run, but all three pitchers deserve credit for keeping the Smokies in this one.
Logan Watkins scored the Smokies lone run. Only Elliot Soto managed to reach base twice. So far this season the pitching and defense for the Smokies has been good, but this is proving to be a team that at times has trouble scoring runs. The return of Junior Lake (when it happens) could be a big boost for this offense.
High A – Daytona Cubs. 1 – 5
Daytona has committed thirteen errors in three games. No matter how bad things get in Chicago, I doubt the Chicago Cubs can sink below the low water mark established by their High A farm club. With another lousy day in the field, it should come as no surprise that Daytona got clobbered 7-1.
Greg Rohan and Rubi Silva both had multi-hit games. Silva struggled in High A last season, but so far this year he is 10 for 21 at the plate with an OPS of 1.119. The Cubs have been using him at both second base and in the outfield; that trend should continue if he is promoted to Tennessee later this summer.
The only bright spot on the mound was Brett Wallach. He pitched two innings of one hit ball in relief for the Cubs, striking out two.
Low A – Peoria Chiefs. 3 – 3
Quad Cities scored three times in the first inning, but Peoria kept them off the board for the next eight. Meanwhile, the Chiefs’ offense got those runs back with interest as Peoria prevailed 5-3.
There were plenty of hitters who deserve credit in this game, but Ryan Cuneo eclipses them all. The first baseman was only recently added to the Peoria roster and on Wednesday he collected two hits, including a three run homer.
Michael Jensen was shaky in the first inning, but once he settled down the Quad Cities hitters could do little against him. Yao-Lin Wang and Andrew McKirahan kept that trend going, keeping the River Bandits off the board after the first inning.
I will be traveling for the remainder of this week. The Minor League Daily articles will continue to appear, but I probably won’t be around the comments, the Message Boards, or on Twitter. Unfortunately, despite passing within a few hours of Peoria, I won’t be able to stop in for a game. If you are more fortunate than me, be sure to post any pictures or comments from the games you attend in the Message Boards. Accounts and footage from all the Cubs’ farm teams is always welcome.