A Trip Around the Minors...

Felix Pie-I don't know what to say about Pie's performance anymore. He is hitting .193, thanks in large part to a 3 for 4 game last night that saved another otherwise after a 4 for 27 week. You can try to convince me that all guys have BA that fluctuate due to big games, but with Pie, we need some consistency. He has some mildly impressive stats for the week; 3 out of his 6 hits were doubles, he only K'd 3 times and he managed to collect 5 RBI's and 5 runs. But those stats seem hollow when you're batting worse than you did in the Bigs.

Rich Hill-Hill made two starts this week, after his 6/5/08 start was rained out. Last Friday night, he threw 5 scoreless innings, giving up only 1 hit. But he also walked 7. 7 walks in 5 innings? Ouch. Wednesday night proved Hill's ability to work around walks isn't going to work on a consistent basis. 4 innings, 6 walks, 3 earnies. If you look at the hit stats for the week, it's pretty good: 4 hits in 9 innings of work. If you look at the walk stats, you realize why he's at AAA: 13 walks in 9 innings.

Kevin Hart-Back to AAA on Thursday. Didn't pitch Thursday night.

Bonus-Before being recalled by the Cubs yesterday, E-Pat was hitting .326 with 93 total bags in 59 hits. He also stole 10 bases without being caught. The biggest concern from a statistical view is his K's...41 in 47 games.

Tyler Colvin-Colvin had a rough week. 3 hits in 25 AB's. Not a single walk. He managed to collect 3 RBI's last Saturday. While his strikeout total has now settled below one per game, he still has as many K's as he does hits. Those thinking he was on the fast-track may need to reconsider.

Donnie Veal-Veal got lit up in his one start, coming on Wednesday. He must've been talking to Rich Hill, because he walked 5 guys in just 2 innings of work, giving up 4 earned runs. Obviously, he didn't have his A game or his control in the game. Despite that, his ERA is still at 3.10. He just needs to cut down on the 40 walks in 72+ innings.

Jeff ND-Jeff ND threw in one game this week. His numbers were consistent with his number over the course of the year. 3 earned runs over 5 and a 1/3, dropping his ERA from 5.34 to 5.32. He walked 4, which has to be a concern of the Cubs after he finally seemed to be coming around, giving up only one free pass in his last two starts combined. Positives? He has thrown at least 5 innings in his last 4 starts and has K'd at least 4 in each of those starts.

Bonus-Not a focus on any player, but worthy of note. The Smokies, currently sitting in the basement of the Southern League at 26-41 and 14 games back, decided to reverse their fortunes a few weeks back by burning some of their equipment. They have lost 6 games straight.

Tony Thomas-Thomas is currently riding a 8 game hitting streak, despite Dunedin's attempt to end it Wednesday night, walking Thomas 3 times. With Wednesday's hit, Thomas hit the 100 total base plateau. He also scored 6 runs this week. The icing on the cake is two more stolen bases for Thomas.

Jose Ceda-Seeing how much Ceda has struggled this year, the Cubs have pulled him for the rotation, at least for now. That doesn't come as that great a surprise to me; when I saw him pitched he looked more like a reliever than a starter. Ceda made three relief appearance this week and fared no better. While his one performance was solid; 2 innings of one hit, 3 K baseball, he struggled in the other two. On Monday, he only gave up 1 hit and walked no one, but thanks to a hit batsmen, he yielded 2 earned runs. Last night, he gave up a earnie in one inning of relief.

Bonus-Blake Lalli (a NDFA who signed before the 2006 draft as a fifth year senior can) has been a overlooked man for Daytona. The catcher turned first basemen is second in the Florida State League in hitting with a .327 average.

Josh Donaldson-Things are hopefully looking up for Donaldson. His batting average is safely up over .200 now, at .207. He's only played in 3 games this week, but went 4 for 12 with a double and a HR. Donaldson's struggles have been primarily against right-handed pitching, where he's hitting only .182. In limited plate appearances against Lefties, Donaldson is actually hitting .306.

Bonus-Blake Parker (16th round, 2006), a right-handed relief pitcher, has a 1.31 ERA over 48+ innings this year. Parker has nearly one K per inning, while only walking 17.
Josh Vitters-Boise opens it's season in 4 days.

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