I-Cubs Ride Hot Streak in Nevada

The  I-Cubs are off today and on their way home to begin a binge of games in Des Moines over the next six weeks after a junket to Nevada where they cleaned up by going 7-1 in Las Vegas and Reno. Seems like a good time to check up on them.

In the last 10 days the club has raised its team BA about 25 points. While winning eight of their last nine they've pummeled the opposition by a count of 74-26. Chad Tracy didn’t play in yesterday’s 6-1 getaway win in Reno, but Iowa is 7-0 in his starts since he was demoted in the Castro shuffle. He’s hitting a little league-esque .581!

Thomas Diamond was yesterday’s winning pitcher. He didn’t walk a man in six one-run innings while running his record to 3-0 and now sports a flashy 2.08 ERA for the year. He’s only given up more than two earned runs once in eight starts, and then only three, but hasn’t stretched out too far yet, logging only 43 total innings. He also bears a striking resemblance to golfer Hal Sutton even though his middle name is Nicklaus [yes, that’s how it’s spelled].

Jay Jackson threw another scoreless inning yesterday as he preps for a possible role in the Wrigley relief corps. In contrast to the parent club, the I-Cubs’ bullpen has compiled an ERA of 2.89 in 123 innings.

Another contrast between the siblings is that Iowa is 17-3 when outhitting their opponent. After last night’s mini-sweep of the Rockies the C-Cubs are only 11-9 in that category, another indication of their penchant for wasted opportunity.

Behind the plate Wellington Castillo continues his one-man speed trap for PCL base stealers. He leads the league with a 58% CS rate [10-17].

Micah Hoffpauir finally nudged his BA north of .200 on the road trip, but even when he struggles, he produces. For the year he’s managed to drive in 29 runs with only 28 hits. Very soon he’ll own the team record for career doubles.

Darwin Barney has gotten hot enough to be hitting just over .300 for the year, but he’s fanned 22 times while drawing only five walks. He would seem like a nice accent to a trade package given the talent above and below him in the organization at SS.

Cashner should pitch the Sunday matinee here after winning his first two Triple A starts on the road and I hope to have my first look at him then.

 

Comments

Does anyone know why Blake Parker never gets mentioned in the conversation about possible Chicago bullpen call-ups? He's been really good as the closer at Iowa. Is his stuff not up to snuff?

Mike's comments below echo what I heard. Parker, like others, had a chance to make the team out of ST, but didn't get the job done.

Mike: Nice article. The players I am keeping an eye on are the Bullpen Guys; quite obviously, this is an urgent need in Wrigley.

In addition to Jackson, can you comment on BLAKE PARKER and JEFF STEVENS? It appears Parker is still missing bats but also hasn't walked anyone lately, which was his problem initially. And STEVENS is also dealing. Though he failed last year, he has an advantage in that he is already on the 40-man.

Parker or Jackson would require a 40-man move, though the Cubs have several options: 60-Day Guzman, or Outright Hoffpauir, or outright Berg.

If we like Hoff we can re-sign him, I don't think anyone is going to jump on a 30-year old, .207 AAA First Baseman, though I might be wrong.

I don't think Justin Berg is a major-league pitcher. His minor league numbers show that batters always made contact on him, and his peripherals are actually worse than his 6+ ERA. He should go.

PS, and MITCH ATKINS is also pitching well. Not sure I want him in Wrigley though, he seems very "smoke and mirrors". He just doesn't have good stuff. I give him credit for getting alot of mileage from the pedestrian stuff he does have.

Agree about Berg. You have to miss a bat once in a while.

I'm impressed that Sandberg has taken this roster and turned it into a team that can have a winning streak--although the pitching is quite good. But they've been scoring runs lately in the usual Iowa manner. Von Joshua's mojo seems to be working again. Everybody is hitting or has started to hit (Adduci, Hoffpauir) except Chris Robinson.

Speaking of pitching, Chris Archer (Daytona) had a good outing yesterday: 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 walks, 10 strikeouts.

it is impressive how Sandberg and Joshua are hitting and pitching the team to victory...

You sound like crunch. Are they overpaid, too?

by baseball standards? No

life standards? probably

both combined could save you enough over lou and our greek god of batting coaches to buy a high-end reliever.

lulz.

I'm not sure I realized Berg was still with the team until I read that.

14 IP, 6.43 ERA, 10 BB, 3 K, 13 H

He writes a good song, though.

Submitted by Q-Ball on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 8:27am.

Parker or Jackson would require a 40-man move, though the Cubs have several options: 60-Day Guzman, or Outright Hoffpauir, or outright Berg.

==================================================

Q-BALL: Blake Parker was added to the Cubs 40-man roster last November. You are right about Jay Jackson not being on the 40, though.

command holding back both parker [walked 9 in 16 IP] & stevens [10 in 21]...atkins has given only 15 hits in 25 IP & has a 0.92 WHIP [same as jackson's]; last 2 appearances starts after 8 relief outings to start the year...

WGN-HD available on DirecTV...

http://www.dbstalk.com/

... plus ESPNU HD and TravelChannel HD. Thanks for the link/info!

With a name like that, he's got to be a good pitcher. In 1896, that is.

so when zorro rejoins the rotation who leaves? are we going 6-man? did anybody ask 'the decider' these questions?

Time to put away your Tom Gorzalany jersey.

Don't know if this was posted but radio is reporting Marshall will be the 8th inning guy.

probably not tonight though agains the lefty-heavy Phils, he's gone 3 days in a row.

great news for my fantasy team though...only took Lou a month and a half to realize what everyone could see the first week.

it would seem so easy to trade a starting pitcher in this market...

seems to me the move to long relief for Z is a delay tactic since he could be in the rotation in 3-4 days if they wanted him to be on an 80-90 pitch count and be up to normal by 2-3 starts. How much work is really going to get in mop-up duty?

Bad news, Gorz: Your rotation spot and, as a result, perhaps, your entire Cubs career might ride on your performance tonight. Welcome to CitBank.

probably no Marshall tonight, leaving Russell and Grab-Ass to face Utley (if he's over the flu), Rollins, Victorino (switch-hitters), Howard and Ibanez

You don't think Gorzellany goes the distance?

is there rain in the forecast?

He's the lefty version of Rich Harden. If he could just get through the first innings in decent shape, he could probably get pretty deep into games. Against the Phillies I expect another five inning, 7K, 4BB outing, though.

16.6 pitchers per inning on the season. Not Madduxian, but not evil bad either. That comes to 116 pitches for seven innings.

He's been lucky on his FB/HR ratio, though. Hopefully that luck continues, at least one more night.

nothing like the Phillies offense and Citizen Bank Park to test the theory.

He's also been unlucky on his BABIP, so maybe it'll even out a bit.

That is a helluva' lot of pitchers per inning. Do teams have that many pitchers on a roster?

good thing we got everything ironed out before we start playing the big league portion of the schedule...

I have to admit I'm pretty excited about Diamond and of course Cashner.

Diamond was the top prospect in the Rangers system in 2005, dropping to 3 and 4 the following years before undergoing TJ surgery, which usually isn't more than a speed bump. Problem was he had an ankle injury while rehabbing the arm that delayed him further and for whatever reason the Rangers soured on him.

awesome story from Wikipedia if true

In the fall of 2004, Diamond made a name for himself in an obscure Instructional League game during which he tripped and fell on the mound while attempting a pickoff move. The opposing Oakland A's prospects laughed at Diamond, who then walked off the mound towards the A's dugout and told them that the next person to laugh was going to be wearing a fastball in the temple. Diamond then threw his next pitch three feet behind the hitter at the plate and then delivered nine consecutive strikes to punch out the side.

oh snap...

Diamond's peripherals don't look so good this year. His 1.82 SO/BB ratio is not so good, and he will not be too successful in the big leagues if that ratio continues. He is also 27.

UPDATE: Looks like his SO/BB ratio either went up after yesterday, or was misrepresented where I saw it earlier. But still it is only 2.18. That needs to get better.

cynic.

I floated you a trade idea btw.

realist.

and i'm thinking about it. its intriguing.

no rush.

Looks like Ricketts' Toyota sign will happen, but only if it's more horizontal and less vertical and mounted inside the park. The locals also aren't buying Ricketts' BS about just one sign. They want a comprehensive plan for all future signage, not a piecemeal approach.

more

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/blogs/...

"The locals also aren't buying Ricketts' BS about just one sign."

Screw them!! They don't live in Wrigley Field.

If they don't like it, Ricketts should move the team to Addison and see how those a-holes like their property values then.

that tale about diamond would make a great movie scene!

Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Rollins SS, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C and Moyer

Phillies with a .846 OPS against lefties so far this year, tops in the majors.

Cubs at .783 for 5th best...

Cubs lineup vs. Moyer: riot, castro, lee, byrd, rami, sori, BAKER (RF), soto, gorz.

no Nady, ruh roh

Jeff Stevens at the park, not sure who's going although I'd guess Caridad back to DL or Berg sent down.

"no Nady, ruh roh"

Is he hurt? Besides, you know, the whole no right arm thing.

~shrug~

could just be the couple 3 lefties (4 w/ Moyer) and the switch-hitters...figured they'd run on him all day.

So Lou puts a guy who's played outfield a grand total of 3 times in last 3 years in right against one of the most potent lf lineups in NL?

Because he bats RH?

Just checking.

Baker did go 1/3 against Moyer last year with a double.

You cannot refute that sort of statistical ownage.

Now I'll sleep better.

Caridad to the DL it is...

I love batting one of the team's best hitters, and highest OBP guy, right in front of the pitcher.

And Baker? Really? Can't Colvin play right?

Lou's following Dusty's "Desperate Times Call for Stupid Means" book.

it'll only be his 3rd start since the last week of april.

they gotta play sometime.

right field???

yeah, him over nady and giving either castro or riot a break is an odd one...

still, baker's gotta see some time starting in order to know what pitches still look like...he's no colvin hehe.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicagocubs/post/_/id...

bunch of quips from radio appearance by Ricketts on the Wriglet Field experience...

Recent comments

Subscribe to Recent comments
The first 600 characters of the last 16 comments, click "View" to see rest of comment.
  • Hmmm, my math might be fuzzy but if he retired 3 batters with 3 pitches, how did he get a 1/1 GO/AO ratio?

    bradsbeard 55 min 8 sec ago view
  • Pls DFA Peralta when Richard comes back. Richard 1 IP, O R, O ER, 0 BB, 2 Ks in first rehab appearance. We really need to trade for a LHRP.

    chitownmvp01 1 hour 12 min ago view
  • "The Boston Red Sox were banned from signing any international players for the next year and had five of their teenage prospects declared free agents on Friday after a Major League Baseball investigation showed they circumvented signing-bonus rules last year, a source familiar with the situation told Yahoo Sports."

    https://www.yahoo.com/sports/news/source-red-sox-b...

    Rob Richardson 4 hours 51 min ago view
  • The thing with Heyward is its not just free agency. He is way under performing his career #s. He's making the same % of contact but his soft contact is much higher and hard contact much lower than all his previous years so there is something very specifically going on this year causing the issues. Chances are he will eventually get back to his previous #s and it's better to get the slump now and get that hot run later but I wish I knew what is different about this year. He's either just not seeing the ball as well or a swing change is causing it.

    johann 5 hours 6 min ago view
  • Only 3 pitches for Leathersich. Not much of a rehab outing.

    Thanks for the reporting Phil.

    QuietMan 5 hours 19 min ago view
  • He's the nastiest pitcher I've seen in awhile. I'm gonna give them all a mulligan on this one.

    Coghlan's strike out was more disappointing. He was fighting off a lot of pitches and not swinging at crap, and on the last pitch, he swung at stuff he was laying off, and struck out.

    And Heyward, too. I don't blame Heyward - I blame free agency. I hate it. You almost never get a valid return on the investment.

    I look forward to the day when ball players own the teams. The current economics are not sustainable.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 20 min ago view
  • Oh, I'm sure you're right. He's not 27-27 in saves for nothing. But, man, I hope they learned last night that he didn't throw a single pitch in the zone to KB, Contreras or Baez, and they all just kept swinging.

    billybucks 8 hours 28 min ago view
  • Sounds like a much better game than last night's fiasco in Flushing.

    Old and Blue 8 hours 44 min ago view
  • I'm pretty sure it looks like a sweet pitch on the way in. How many sinkers like that are there at 98 mph? I agree that they should just do a Lackey and stand their with their bat on their shoulders until he throws a strike next time, but I can see how that's hard to do.

    The bullpen, on the other hand, is a mess, and Heyward is starting to piss me off.

    Old and Blue 8 hours 45 min ago view
  • I noticed that too. He's getting to everything, but when he gets right under it on a high flyball he looks uncomfortable

    cubbies.4ever 17 hours 19 min ago view
  • Did you expect anything different?

    billybucks 17 hours 50 min ago view
  • Wow, did they blow this game. Stupid plays by the kids in the 7th -- Almora throwing to 3rd instead of 2nd to keep the DP in order (when a DP probably wins the game) and Baez throwing to 3rd (to a backpedalling KB) instead of getting the easy 2nd out at first - cost them the game. Also, Contreras almost throws the ball into RF on a nonexistent pick-off play. And Maddon, for using Peralta in the first place. Did they do a bunch of shots in the dugout before the 7th? Unbelievably bad baseball. I thought Almora had a high baseball IQ?

    billybucks 18 hours 11 min ago view
  • men on 2nd/3rd, 0 out...and nothing.

    cubs lose :(

    crunch 18 hours 44 min ago view
  • UH OH! RALLY TIME!

    crunch 18 hours 54 min ago view
  • Getting tired of this Heywood weak sauce

    jacos 19 hours 5 min ago view
  • Yep, can't say I disagree with that. His first batter and resulting walk was just brutal. Reminded me of a bit of Jacque Jones spiking his throws into the ground from RF.

    Eric S 19 hours 13 min ago view