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Around the Minors- May 12th

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Matt Swain

Illinois engineering student, way too emotionally invested in the Cubs.

First of all I want to thank you for reading, we've enjoyed a couple great days including setting new records for visitors and page hits on Tuesday, which is awesome. So thanks a lot for stopping by, I appreciate all the views and comments. As always, hit me up with any feedback, questions or suggestions at wrigleybound@gmail.com.

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 6-1

Player(s) of the Game:
1B Micah Hoffpauir- 2-4, HR (5), 3 RBI
SP Andrew Cashner- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K

  • It pretty much looks like Cashner is ready at this point, and I would guess he's just in a holding pattern waiting for a spot to open up in the big league rotation. That could take a while, since there's already about 7 capable starters (including Zambrano and Marshall) at the major league level, but should any kind of injury befall one of the 5 starters, Cashner probably gets the call. Now if Jim Hendry wants to be a genius and win back some points, he should sell high on Carlos Silva in the next few weeks to a contender needing SP help (Mets? Rangers? Dodgers?) for a decent prospect or two, and open up the spot for Cash. It would probably improve the MLB team while shedding salary and adding an asset to the organization. Of course, it would be quite a feat to convince a team to make a deal like that, and I'm afraid that it's heart-breakingly unlikely to even be seriously considered. Surprise me, Jim. Please.

AA Tennessee Smokies- L 6-5

Player(s) of the Game:
3B Josh Vitters- 2-4, R, 2 2Bs
SP Chris Carpenter- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

  • Vitters appears to be happy to have escaped the Florida State League with his life. In his two years in Daytona, he had lines of .232/.255/.354 and .213/.275/.426 at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. He's now 6-13 since his promotion with 3 doubles and could be poised for a big year.

  • Robinson Chirinos watch: 2-4 with 2 doubles, now up to .330/.396/.608 on the season. He doesn't have any promotion prospects right now with Chris Robinson and Welington Castillo ensconced at Iowa, but still may be the next catcher to get a Cubs call-up, and I think he could be a good MLB player. If I'm a GM of a team like Kansas City or Milwaukee with a need at catcher, I wait for him to slump a little bit and then offer a mediocre relief arm for Chirinos and something else. He would be able to contribute right away for them, and even if he's not a huge improvement he's cheap at least has some upside (cough Jason Kendall cough Gregg Zaun cough cough).
A+ Daytona Cubs- W 10-6

Player(s) of the Game:
CF Kyler Burke- 1-2, BB, 2B, RBI, 2 R

  • No Brett Jackson for second straight game. We'll have to wait and see what comes out about this. I would guess he's just sick since we haven't heard anything yet on an injury, but that's complete speculation.

  • Rafael Dolis threw today, walking 4 and striking out just 3 in his 4 innings of work. I know he's working on his secondary stuff and whatever, but I just really wish he would have more success. Hopefully he goes Carlos Zambrano and just saves it all for the major league, at which point all his numbers will suddenly have a huge upswing.
A Peoria Chiefs- L 5-4

Player(s) of the Game:
DH D.J. Fitzgerald- 3-3, BB, 2 R, 2B, HR (1), 2 RBI

  • Fitzgerald has been on a tear lately, hitting .417/.447/.556 over his last 10 games. Unfortunately, he's just not that good of a hitter. He has poor discipline and light power, despite some athleticism.

  • Nick Struck has come crashing back down to earth following his no-hitter, and allowed 5 R (4 ER) today in 4.2 innings, sustaining another loss. Having seen him in Peoria, his stuff is decent but not especially impressive, and he's a tiny little guy at 5'11" and 185 pounds that just doesn't look like a major league pitcher.

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6 Comments

WearShades said:

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I've too noticed how productive Vitters has been since the move to Tennessee. Obviously it's early, but it's great to see Vitters begin to reestablish himself as a top prospect. If nothing else it makes him a valuable trade piece, though I expect he'll stick with the club given the lack of any real 3rd base prospects in our system.

Doogolas said:

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Or for that matter, in the majors right now. Though I'm quite confident Rammy will come around.

Matt Swain said:

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I actually liked the 3B depth coming into the year, but Flaherty and Quez Smith have been atrocious so far, though both are showing signs of a turnaround.

But Ramirez just looks terrible, so bad that it makes me question if he will indeed turn it around. Usually you can say "well he's just getting unlucky" but Aramis looks like a different guy up there, swinging and missing far too often. Only explanation I could see is that the shoulder is still bothering him in some way, or he altered his swing to make it feel better or something.

Doogolas said:

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I will say this, Ramirez has been HEAVILY cutting down on the K's of late. And making MUCH more solid contact the last 4 or 5 games. I think if he's gonna turn it around, we'll find out in the next week or so.

toonsterwu said:

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real quick side note, but with Jon Lucroy now up in AAA, I don't think Milwaukee will make any trades for a young catcher to be their future. As a stopgap, maybe, but Lucroy is a solid prospect.

ningximin said:

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Lucroy is a solid prospect

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