Wrigley Bound

Cubs' Daily Minor League Report Archives

Around the Minors- June 6th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 10-4

Player(s) of the Game:
CF Sam Fuld- 2-5, HR, RBI, R

  • Chad Tracy went yard and batted in 3 runs, continuing his Pacific League dominance. Since his demotion, he's at .373/.409/.566 with 3 HRs and 7 2Bs in his 24 games. Looks like he'll get another shot at the Cubs roster this year, and with good reason. Heck, he's probably better than Aramis Ramirez, and his lefty bat would be fairly welcome. It's only a matter of roster space before he finds his way back up, and the next injury or trade may be his opening.
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Around the Minors- May 26th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 9-3

Player(s) of the Game:
RF Brad Snyder- 2-4, 2B, R, SB

Not a good showing for the I-Cubs. Particularly rough day for Darwin Barney, who was 0-5 with a K at the plate and made an error (though just his 6th of the season).
Snyder is stringing together a terrific season, now swatting .322/.384/.594. I'm always amazed he never got a big league shot, and he's probably past the point where he'll get one. It's a shame, because the guy can really hit and had the potential to be an above-average offensive big league player.
Jeff Samardzija pitched today, and threw a decent amount of strikes, at least relative to his prior performances. I still think he's a terrible pitcher with upside as a long reliever type. Sorry Jeff. Find some movement on your fastball and get your slider to break harder again and we'll talk.
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Around the Minors- May 25th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 8-2

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Casey Coleman- 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K

  • Coleman's BABIP on the year has been incredibly low (.235 entering Tuesday), but on the bright side he's controlling the zone beautifully. He's getting lucky again this year, albeit in a different way (hits as opposed to HRs). Makes you wonder if he has a skill for being lucky.

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Around the Minors- May 24th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 1-0

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Thomas Diamond- 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

  • Diamond has quietly been better than any Cubs minor leaguer not named Cashner. After today he's down to a 2.01 ERA with 45 Ks and 19 BBs in his 49.1 innings of work. His stuff isn't where it once was, but he's missing plenty of bats, and hitters are only making contact on 26.3% of the strikes he throws, a rate even lower than Cashner's.

  • Jay Jackson had his longest stint in the bullpen, throwing 32 pitches over three innings of work. He's actually been pitching more to contact since moving to the pen, which means his stuff hasn't played up like some people hoped. To his credit, Jackson just walked his first hitter since the bullpen move today in 31 batters faced. I'm sure he'll still get a chance at the MLB bullpen, with lots of room available for anyone willing to not walk people.
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Around the Minors- May 23rd

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Matt Swain

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

You may have noticed I took the weekend off of ATM. Hope you didn't miss it terribly.

AAA Iowa Cubs-
W 11-7

Player(s) of the Game:
RF Jim Adduci- 3-5, R, 4 RBIs

  • How about Jason Dubois' line today? 0-0 with 4 BBs, 3 Rs, and an RBI. He had another day way back in April when he totaled 3 walks, meaning that 7 of his 9 on the season came on just two days.

  • Since his demotion, Jeff Samardzija has thrown 221 pitches, and just 116 of them have gone for strikes (52%). That's a lower percentage than any other pitcher in the upper minors by a pretty good amount. It's also the primary reason that he's issued 10 walks in 12 innings, and the latest concern in a career that has so far been defined by disappointment.

  • May has been kind to both Darwin Barney and James Adduci, who each had 3 hits Sunday. For the month, Barney is hitting over .400, though he only has 2 walks and 9 extra base hits among his 39 hits. His 25% line drive rate is impressive though, and while he lacks several things, he certainly can hit singles with the best of them.
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Around the Minors- May 19th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- Off day

AA Tennessee Smokies- L 11-3

Player(s) of the Game:
3B Russ Canzler- 2-4, R, HR, RBI

  • Alberto Cabrera was just coming onto my radar when he was promoted to Tennessee a week or two ago after a strong start for Datyona. Apparently the kid can't handle the pressure that came with an esteemed blogger like myself watching, because he's been pretty terrible. He hasn't been throwing enough strikes (56%), and the ones he has been throwing are getting demolished. Cabrera's allowed 20 baserunners in 6.1 IP for a total of 12 ER. Yikes. Hopefully he's just adjusting slowly to the new level and comes around in the next few weeks.

  • David Cales is having a pretty good year, and a scoreless inning extended a stretch over which he's thrown 11.1 scoreless innings, allowing just 1 H, 1 BB, and striking out 10. He's got a great slider, generates groundballs, pounds the strikezone and is just 22, so he's an interesting name to keep an eye on for the bullpen over the next couple years.
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Around the Minors- May 18th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 6-1

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Thomas Diamond- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

  • Sam Fuld had a little bit of a rough start to the year, battling injuries and a slump in April, but he's come around and is back to doing exactly what he does best-- get on base. After a triple and double today, he's hitting .278 with an excellent .391 on-base percentage. Sam's playing this year at 28 and needs an injury to even get a 5th outfielder role on the Cubs. His MLB career is not looking so promising.

  • This was the best outing of the season for Diamond, who actually has a lower contact rate on strikes for the season than ballyhooed teammate Andrew Cashner. The key is really if he can hit his spots, and on the days when he's in and around the strikezone he's excellent. It's about a 50/50 proposition whether he will be or not on a given day though, which holds him back.
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Around the Minors- May 17th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 9-2

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Andrew Cashner- 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
SS Darwin Barney- 3-5, 3 R, 2B, RBI, SB

  • A bit of a weird line for Cashner, who just wasn't fooling people like he normally does. His strike % was right in line with where it has been this year, so it's not like he was pounding the zone especially hard; he just wasn't generating swings and misses. That's fine now and again when he can get away with it like he did today as long as he doesn't make a habit of it. At 70 pitches, it was also the shortest outing of his season to date. In his first 7 starts he averaged 92 pitches.

  • Matt Camp is quietly having an unexpectedly decent season. Aside from just the .328 batting average, he's got a 7/4 BB:K ratio while also displaying his usual versatility. He's played mainly at 2B, but has also spotted time at 3B, SS, and LF. He's got to be behind Barney on the utility infielder call-up list right now, but he's definitely on the list.
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Around the Minors- May 16th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 3-1

Player(s) of the Game:
3B Matt Camp- 2-4, RBI

  • Jay Jackson made his third appearance from the bullpen, going 2 scoreless and allowing just 1 hit while striking out 1. His overall line is at 4.1 innings, 6 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 3 strikeouts. It's good, but not dominant or anything. Certainly not enough to discourage the Cubs to make him Justin Berg's replacement in the next week or two. It'll be nice to see some more minor leaguers graduate to the big club, with SS Starlin Castro, OF Tyler Colvin, and RP Esmailin Caridad already seemingly entrenched for the near future, and others like RPs James Russell and Berg up for now at least. By this time next year Jackson, SP Andrew Cashner and SS Darwin Barney should all be up too, while other possibilities would include 3B Josh Vitters, C Robinson Chirinos, SP Casey Coleman, RP Blake Parker and others. If all goes according to plan, with all the quality prospects in the system right now plus Randy Wells, Geovany Soto, and Carlos Marmol the Cubs team 3 years from now could be mostly homegrown. How cool would that be? Of course, if you know baseball, you know nothing ever works out like you think it will.

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Around the Minors- May 15th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 11-1

Player(s) of the Game:
C Welington Castillo- 2-3, BB, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
SP Mitch Atkins- 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K; 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI

  • Chad Tracy was 4-4 today, and now is 17-28 for a .607 batting average with 2 BBs and 4 2Bs in his first 6 games. He's incredibly hot, and has had three 4-hit games in a week. Shame he didn't do this with the Cubs, or he may still have a big league job.

  • Welington Castillo is realizing the raw power he's always had. Coming into the season with 38.1 AB/HR and a .129 ISO, his 5th home run Saturday puts those numbers at 13.4 AB/HR and a .298 ISO. He doesn't have the polished bat he would need to start, but his power could be useful in a backup role. On a similar note, the Cubs system is lousy with backup catchers. If only there was a trade market for them.

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Around the Minors- May 14th

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Matt Swain

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

Video of the day is K-Strass the yo-yo master, who gets high marks for his creativity in practical jokes. If you're curious about the guys story, I recommend "Kenny (K-Strass) Strasser and the yo-yo mystery" on YouTube.


 
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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.

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Around the Minors- May 11th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 15-10

Player(s) of the Game:
1B Micah Hoffpauir- 2-4, 2 BB, 3 R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI

  • Everybody hit in this one, with Sam Fuld and Darwin Barney each piling up 3 hits and Hoffpauir, Chad Tracy, Marquez Smith, Bobby Scales, and Matt Camp collecting 2 apiece.

  • Jay Jackson out of the bullpen? Whaaaa? Looking at the I-Cubs rotation, you see Mathes, Diamond, Coleman, Cashner and Atkins in the rotation, Jay Jackson appears to have been booted from regular duty, and he pitched an inning in Tuesday's game. If this is more than a one time thing, I'm going to be SUPER pissed. Jackson is an excellent starting pitching prospect, and if he's getting shifted to make room for J.R. Mathes, something is wrong with this organization. I'll keep this situation monitored...

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Around the Minors- May 9th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 6-1

Player(s) of the Game:
DH Marquez Smith- 3-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI

  • Darwin Barney continues to hit out of his mind, and after 3 more hits today he's now 18 of his last 38, but still with just 3 2Bs, 1 3B, and 2 BBs over that span. At 24, what you see is what you get; he'll likely carve out a career as a singles hitter and defensive specialist.

  • Smith and James Adduci were both 3-4, hopefully signs of turn-arounds for two guys who have had a lot of struggles this year.

  • Blake Parker completed his 4th consecutive appearance (6.1 IP) without a walk, though his strikeouts are down during that span. He needs to find that balance before he'll be able to handle a bullpen job with the Cubs.
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Around the Minors- May 8th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 4-2

Player(s) of the Game:
CF Sam Fuld- 2-3, 2 BB, 2B, R, RBI

  • Wow, Sam Fuld. After being injured early, he's come back with a vengeance, and today's performance raised his season line to .297/.460/.405. He's got 11 BBs compared to just 2 Ks (!) in his first 37 at-bats. Obviously we're looking at an extremely small sample size here, but it's hard not to be impressed by that plate discipline. Unfortunately for Fuld, his only current hope for a big league job is an injury to an OF or the club deciding to get Tyler Colvin more regular playing time.

  • Casey Coleman gave up another home run today, his 3rd of the season, putting him on pace to eclipse his 8 last season. His control has improved a lot so far though, which kind of evens him out in the eyes of FIP.

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Around the Minors- May 6th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 1-2

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Jay Jackson- 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

  • Jay Jackson has probably been the luckiest pitcher in the system so far. .179 BABIP? 5 HRs and only 9 ERs? 92% strand rate? I take that back. Jay Jackson has been one of the luckiest pitchers in the minor leagues. His ERA should be closer to 5 than 2.31.

  • Darwin Barney has been out of his mind lately, with 6 multi-hit games in a row now after going 2-4 today. He's now hitting over .300, though he still has shown very little patience or power. He should find a major league job for a number of years, though it's unlikely it will be as anything but a backup.

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Around the Minors- May 3rd

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Matt Swain

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

Since I'm both lazy and self-serving, instead of searching for an awesome link for today I'm just going to refer you to the top 30 Cubs prospect list I posted earlier tonight.

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 3-2

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Casey Coleman- 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K; 2-2, RBI

  • Remember that little talk we had about BABIP the other day? Casey Coleman apparently doesn't like defense independent pitching theory, and he refuses to be it's slave. He had a low .286 BABIP last year (league average was .300) and is had a .256 mark coming into today, when it went down even further. He also doesn't allow HRs on flyballs at nearly a normal rate, with just 3% marks ever year compared to a 10% average. He's been consistent enough to make you wonder if he's some kind of exception to the rules, but they're still rules. I don't expect it to continue. Best of luck to Casey proving me wrong though, I'd like nothing more.

  • Good to see Esmailin Caridad back in a box score, and he picked up a hold despite allowing 2 baserunners in an inning. Hopefully he can make his way back to Wrigley soon enough and send Jeff Gray or someone else packing.
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Around the Minors- May 2nd

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Matt Swain

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

Let's lead off the week with this awesome sign from the Sunday Night Baseball game.

Hat tip to Harry Pavlidis of Cubsfx.com for the link.

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 5-4

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Thomas Diamond- 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
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Around the Minors- April 30th

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Matt Swain

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

In honor of a no-hitter*, I'll lead with Peoria today and let them have top billing for once.

*over 5 innings due to rain

A Peoria Chiefs- W 4-0 in 5

Player(s) of the Game:
Hmmmm.....
SP Nick Struck- 5 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

  • Well it's more like a half no-hitter, but it counts in the record books, so congratulations to Nick, who's had a terrific start to the season. The 20-year-old former two-way player gets his fastball into the low 90's with good control, and has a nice 4 pitch mix. He is a definite player to watch this year after getting an above-slot signing bonus in last year's draft, and he'll certainly garner some more eyes after today's outing.

  • At the plate, 3B Greg Rohan is doing his best to make himself relevant on the prospect scene, kicking off the season with a .276/.337/.461 start in a league where the average hitter sits at .247/.323/.366. His power is more advanced than I would have expected, and 3 home runs in a month of MWL play is a moderately impressive accomplishment. Still, he's got to keep this up for at least a season before he'll get much recognition as a prospect.
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Around the Minors- April 29th

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Matt Swain

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

Brought to you by my third consecutive 4:30 AM+ night of studying and fueled by a can of Pibb Xtra, here is today's abbreviated ATM:

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 7-11

Player(s) of the Game:
RF Brad Snyder- 3-4, 3B, HR, 3 RBI, R

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Around the Minors- April 28th

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Matt Swain

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

Today's ATM brought to you by Marlon Byrd's sick catch.


On a side note, I read a nice comment from someone about the Around the Minors recaps I write every night, and I wanted to thank him for that (you know who you are) and also thank you for reading. It's sometimes tough to write these every night, so thanks to those of you who check in every once in a while and make me feel like I'm not wasting my time.
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Around the Minors- April 27th

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Matt Swain

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

Today's video of the day is a premature celebration in the Adriatic League final, leading to an incredible and hilarious ending. I don't know about you, but I'm just excited the season is over so we can get start talking AL hot stove and write up some mock drafts.

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Around the Minors- April 25th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 1-5

Player(s) of the Game:
C Welington Castillo- 1-3, HR, RBI, R
SP Jay Jackson- 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K

  • Pretty easy choices for POGs in this one, as Jackson had another solid outing and Castillo provided the Cubs' only offense.

  • Castillo's got great power, but at some point you'd like to see him hit some singles. He's got an odd .194/.306/.677 line, explained in part by having 6 hits, all of them for extra bases. Obviously that's not going to keep up, and he'll have some singles fall at some point, but it does expose the major flaw in his game. He's got holes in his swing that will sap his batting average and rack up the strikeouts, but when Castillo hits the ball it tends to go a long way.

  • Hey Jay Jackson, you're doing great so far, but I would appreciate if you would strike some more dudes out. Thanks in advance.
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Around the Minors- April 22nd

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Matt Swain

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

Inspired by the NFL draft, today's video of the day is the most impressive workout feat I've ever seen, Adrian Wilson's 66 inch vertical jump. One though I had while re-watching it was that this could have gone very differently and probably been an even bigger hit on YouTube if he was a couple inches lower on the jump.


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Around the Minors- April 21st

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Matt Swain

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

Sorry I didn't get an ATM post up last night, the site was down when I normally write these and I didn't get a chance during the day. In any case, I hope that this awesome play at the plate can make up for it (h/t to The Sporting Blog).


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Around the Minors- April 19th

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Matt Swain

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

Today's ATM brought to you by Brendan Ryan's mustache. I wish we had more Cubs players this likable.


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Around the Minors- April 18th

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Matt Swain

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

Link of the day is this Vitamin Water commercial, where Steve Nash shows his lighter side and 50 Cent makes an awesome cameo.


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Around the Minors- April 17th

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Matt Swain

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

Link of the day today is this ridiculously cool picture of the volcano eruption in Iceland.

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 1-7

Player(s) of the Game:
C Chris Robinson- 1-3, BB
RP Jeff Stevens- 1 IP, 0 ER, 1 K

  • As you can probably tell from the uninspired selection of POGs, this wasn't a banner game for Iowa. The offense struggled with just 6 hits, and starter Mike Parisi was roughed up a little bit, giving up 7 runs (5 earned) in 4 innings of work. He hasn't looked very good yet, and he's much further away from the Cubs than when he got here
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  • One guy who is not far from the Cubs is Stevens, who has had a nice start to the year, with 1 ER and 7 Ks in his first 4.1 innings. Unfortunately, his command hasn't been very good, with 5 walks, and that's the big question for him. Still, he's got some MLB experience and throws with his right hand, so he may be an option for the Cubs in the coming weeks and months.

  • The Iowa offense is not very good. I suggest firing hitting coach Von Joshua and bringing in Rudy Jaramillo as a replacement. I hear he's bilingual.

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Around the Minors- April 16th

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Matt Swain

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

Sorry for missing ATM yesterday, had some illness and some internet problems.

AAA Iowa Cubs- W 7-4 in 11

Player(s) of the Game:
SP Casey Coleman- 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 Ks

  • Nice outing from Coleman, who continues to not give up many hits or home runs, despite a high number of balls being put in play. Time will tell if that's a skill or just dumb luck.

  • Jason Dubois hit his 4th home run of the season, bringing his season line to an interesting .250/.276/.679. Gotta love early season stats.

  • Speaking of early season stat lines, Darwin Barney went 2-6 Friday, bringing his season totals to .300/.317/.300. It's something of a hyperbolic display of his one dimensional offensive skill-set. He'll hit for some average, but he doesn't bring anything else to the table. He hits nothing but singles and doesn't take walks, which will prevent him from ever being considered for a starting role.


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Around the Minors- April 14th

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Matt Swain

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

Today's ATM is brought to you by a 22-year-old Ichiro and his low 90's fastball.


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Around the Minors- April 13th

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Matt Swain

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

Today's ATM is brought to you by neighbor Kalli Burns, who is dressed as a gorilla.

AAA Iowa Cubs-
L 6-7

  • The good news for Darwin Barney? His 3-5 day in the leadoff spot brings him to a .308 batting average on the season. The bad news? His overall line now is .308/.308/.308. That's right, no walks or extra base hits, which is kind of his skillset in a nutshell.

  • Bobby Scales isn't good enough to warrant a major league roster spot, but he sure is a professional hitter. 2-3 with a triple and 2 RBIs bring him to a .462/.579/.692 on the young season.

  • Good outing from Jeff Stevens, who threw 2.1 innings of scoreless relief with 5 Ks, 2 BBs and 1 H. Control is his main problem, but I do enjoy watching him throw that curveball.
AA Tennessee Smokies- off day


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Around the Minors- April 12th

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Matt Swain

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

Today's installment of ATM is brought to you by this dog, who spent his night making a great case to get adopted. My favorite part is the outfielder who makes absolutely no attempt to help the grounds crew.


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Around the Minors- April 11th

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Matt Swain

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

You thought the Cubs couldn't hit? After a combined 16 games of action and 539 at-bats, the Cubs minor league system as a whole is hitting .219/.300/.304 right now with just 8 HRs.

In other words, if the Cubs minors were a major leaguer, they would have just completed a full season and finished at the Yuniesky Betancourt/Aaron Miles level of futility. Ugh. 

Normally you might blame cold weather, but that hasn't been an issue so far. Just slow starts all the way around. What an organization.
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AAA Iowa Cubs- L 4-2

  • Ryne Sandberg is still winless. Pff. And people wanted him to manage the Cubs.

  • Most of the blame falls on Iowa's anemic offense, where Jason Dubois is really the only guy off to a good start. He hit his 2nd bomb of the year in his first at-bat to score the first Iowa run, and the other was provided by a Micah Hoffpauir RBI double.

  • Casey Coleman had his first start of the year and yielded 3 runs (2 earned) over 6 innings. He added 4 Ks and 0 BBs.  Overall a successful debut, though he did give up a home run, which is one of the stats to watch I pointed out prior to the season.

  • Interesting to note that Sam Fuld has just 2 at-bats in the first 4 games. He must have fallen out of favor with Sandberg or something, because it's unusual for a guy so close to making the major league roster to find himself in a bench role behind guys like Dubois and Brad Snyder. I would imagine the front office will encourage Sandberg to find some more innings for Fuld, who at least should be kept sharp in case an injury makes him an option for the Cubs.
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Around the Minors- April 10th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 2-1 in 10

  • Even more Ted Lilly news tonight, as his back stiffness will keep him from starting Sunday's game for Iowa. He's now slated to pick up a start either Wednesday or Thursday in Des Moines.

  • Even more poor hitting from the I-Cubs in this one, and they squandered a pretty good start by Thomas Diamond, claimed this offseason off of waivers from the Rangers. The 27-year old is easily the least successful of the DVD trio of Ranger prospects from the mid-2000's, as John Danks and Edison Volquez have both established themselves as successful big league pitchers. He missed the 2007 season with injury and the control just hasn't been there for a number of years now. Maybe tonight's 5 IP, 1 ER, 5 K, 1 BB performance is the start of his bounce back year. Maybe.

  • At the plate, Jim Adduci was 2-5 with a 2B out of the leadoff spot. I might just be his biggest fan out there. He get's on base, can field three outfield positions, and runs well. It's a perfect recipe for a fourth outfielder, no? He's essentially Sam Fuld's understudy. I guess that's not that spectacular for most people, but he should have a major league career, which makes him a valuable prospect.

  • Micah Hoffpauir went 0-4 and is now hitting .095 on the year. Remember when we were debating if he was better than Derrek Lee? Wasn't that long ago.
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Around the Minors- April 9th

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Matt Swain

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

AAA Iowa Cubs- L 5-2

  • Ted Lilly was actually supposed to start for Iowa tonight, but had some back stiffness and was pushed back to Sunday. He'll have up to 75 pitches, according to the Des Moines Register.

  • Another bad day offensively led to another loss for the I-Cubs. All they could muster was two solo home runs, one each from Micah Hoffpauir and Jason Dubois. Dubois is starting his 5th season at Iowa and blew his best chance to do anything more in 2005, when he opened the season as the starting left fielder for the Cubs. 2010 will actually be Hoffpauir's 7th season with time at Iowa, if you can believe that. The two are kind of the "Bash Brothers" of AAA.

  • Top pitching prospect Jay Jackson made his season debut tonight, throwing 5 pretty good innings of 3 ER ball. All three runs came on a pair of homers, and other than that he was pretty effective. 4 Ks and just 1 BB, if you're interested (and you should be).

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Around the Minors- April 8th

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Matt Swain

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

Welcome back to a new season of Around the Minors, the only Cubs minor league wrap where you get my sparkling commentary and hopefully learn something the box score doesn't tell you. But if the box score is what you're after, well, we have those too.

Check back every day to keep tabs on your favorite Cubs prospects.

As always, I'm interested in suggestions about anything you'd like to see done differently around here, so send any questions or feedback to wrigleybound@gmail.com.

AAA Iowa Cubs-
L 6-3

  • Ryne Sandberg lost in his Iowa debut as starter J.R. Mathes yielded 5 ER in 5 IP, striking out 5 and walking just 1.

  • Mathes is a 28-year-old soft-tossing lefty beginning his fourth season in Iowa. He's a career minor leaguer who would need a 2006-level disaster for the Cubs to get a major league shot. If you were wondering what the J.R. stands for, his full name is Alfred George Mathes. Go figure.

  • Not much going on with the offense, who could only muster 4 hits. Bobby Scales was the lone standout, reaching base 4 times on a single and 3 BBs.

  • Interesting to note that Darwin Barney started at 2B with Matt Camp at SS. Camp plays all over the field, so it seems weird that they would give him the nod over such a highly touted defender at shortstop. It's just one game though, we'll have to see what Sandberg does over the course of the season.

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