A Trip Around the Minors...

Kevin Hart-Hart pitched 4 innings in one start over the past week, yielding 1 run while K'ing 6. His 0.90 WHIP from last week has actually decreased to 0.84.

Rich Hill-Hill will toe the bump tonight for the third time since being demoted. While he has logged an impressive 1.69 ERA, he has still walked 5 guys in just 10 2/3 innings. Lou was quoted earlier in the week as saying he needed to continue to work on his control, so it may be a while before he is back in the Bigs.

Bonus-Sean Marshall also made his first start since being returned to AAA. In 4 innings, he gave up 2 runs on 3 hits and 2 walks. With Hill and Hart, the I-Cubs have 60% of their starting staff as guys who have been sent down from the Bigs.

Tyler Colvin-Colvin was recognized by BA this week as having one of the best games of any minor leaguer this year. Colvin went 4-4 with 2 HR's, 2 doubles, and 5 RBI's. He maintains his over a K per game, as he has fanned 45 times in just 41 games.

Jeff ND-Following up from an earlier post on Jeff ND this week, he followed up his worst performance of the year with another bad performance. Jeff ND gave up 6 runs in 4 innings. He gave up 10 safeties and walked 5 dudes in the process. Jeff ND started the current 6 game losing streak the Smokies are in.

Donnie Veal-Veal made one start this week, giving up 2 runs in 4 2/3 innings. The positive news was that after loading the bases with no outs, Veal struck out the next two. The Smokies then pulled Veal and Tanner Watson got the third out, so Veal saved himself and Watson saved Veal from having worse numbers.

Bonus-Kyle Reynolds (6th Round, 2005) and Joe Simokaitis (10th Round, 2005) have combined for 15 errors in 34 games, playing third and short, respectively.

Tony Thomas-Thomas continues to struggle, as his BA is now down to .257 (it was near .300 jsut two weeks ago). He is striking out once per game, but does have 6 steals in 8 attempts to tie for the team lead.

Jose Ceda-Ceda is following the top prospect theme in struggling. His ERA is now a robust 5.52 in 8 starts, walking 18 batters in 31 innings.

Bonus-Billy Petrick is now in his second week with the club as he continues his rehab. He has 4 runs, 3 earned in just 5 1/3 innings.

Josh Donaldson-Just when Donaldson appeared to be coming out of his funk, his BA dropped back down to .198. He continues to lead the team in RBI's (14 in just 26 hits).

Bonus-Looking for a silver lining in an otherwise downer of ATAtM, I found a pitcher who is throwing well. Billy Muldowney (8th Round, 2006) has made three starts for the Chiefs, and despite his 0-0 record, he has a 2.31 ERA, including a 4 inning performance where he yielded no hits. Even in his worst outing (3 runs in 3 2/3), he K'd 7 of the 8 outs he recorded.

Josh Vitters-still at Extended Spring Training.

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