A Trip Around the Minors...

In this week's edition of ATAtM, news on some new All Stars, the addition of a regular to the ATAtM Lineup, and much more...


Felix Pie-Pie is on a 7 game hitting streak, dating back to Independence Day. Over that stretch, he's hitting .406, most of them singles. He's struck out only 4 times over those 32 AB's. I think both of these are telling signs that the Cubs brass may finally be getting through to Felix that he doesn't need to swing for the fences every AB.

Rich Hill-On D.L., rehabbing in Arizona

Jeff ND-Jeff ND pitched his best game since joining the Iowa staff, and maybe his best game all year, on the back half of a doubleheader. Minor league doubleheaders are only 7 innings long, so his 7 inning performance was technically a complete game. In the game, he gave up 7 hits, 2 earnies (both coming in the 7th), and struck out 7 in taking the victory. But the thing that far and away impressed me: Zero walks. He only had one clean inning, but he also was able to strand runners in a few innings after stolen bases and moved them into scoring position.

Kevin Hart-Hasn't pitched since the July 7th edition of ATAtM, and was expected to toe the bump tonight, until he was recalled today.

Bonus-Micah Hoffpauir was named PCL Hitter of the Week for the week ending July 6th, after hitting .485 and slugging 1.000. While his 8 game hitting streak ended, he had another strong performance last night, going 3 for 5 with an HR and 4 RBI's.


Welington Castillo-Castillo has been added to the regular ATAtM lineup, thanks to his nomination to the Futures Game. Castillo came off the 7 day D.L. on July 5th and has hit an average .267, but has a .352 OBP. He has managed to score 3 runs in 5 games for the Smokies.

Tyler Colvin-Colvin is in the midst of a modest 5 game hitting streak. During that streak, he has 3 doubles, 2 triples, and has scored 7 runs. He has also added 11 points to his batting average, now at .242. Colvin was a streaky hitter in college and that has carried over to his professional career. Let's just hope he starts having more peaks in his batting than valleys.

Donnie Veal-Veal had another strong outing on Monday, but didn't figure in the decision. He only threw 5 and 2/3 innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen, who blew the 3-1 lead 2 innings later. Veal's only run was earned, but he struck out 9 in the effort. Veal hasn't lost a game in exactly one month.

Jose Ceda-To say that Ceda's switch from the rotation to the closer's spot has been effective would be an understatement. After an ERA of nearly 5 as a starter at Daytona, Ceda has reversed course since joining the back end of the Smokies bullpen. In 9 games over 13 and 1/3, he has only yielded 2 runs. His WHIP is sitting at 0.98. He has 20 K's, good for an average of 13.5 K's per 9. He has faced 16 batters with runners in scoring position. He has given up two hits, 1 run, and one walk. 7 of the batters he's faced with RISP have struck out.

Bonus-The Smokies added 3 more guys to the All Star team, joining Donnie Veal. Doug Deeds, (the TD position player of the 1st half), Mitch Atkins (the TD pitcher of the 1st half), and Nate Spears will play in the AA All Star game. Deeds and Atkins were broken down here, so here's a little more on Nate Spears. Spears, acquired in the Corey Patterson deal, has hit .299 with a .382 OBP this year.


Tony Thomas-Thomas must've read the late edition of ATAtM earlier this week and took exception, because since it's release, he's gathered a hit in every game. Over his 4 game mini-streak, he is hitting .412. The only troubling this is that his strikeout numbers are high; he has a total of 81 K's in 324 AB's since year. He added a stolen base to his total, now at 13 (out of 18 attempts).

Bonus-Adam Harben, acquired by the Cubs in exchange for Phil Nevin and a member of the Cubs 40 man roster, has struggled for Daytona this season. He has thrown in 17 games, including 7 starts, and has an ERA of just over 5. He has walked 51 batters in just 49 and 2/3. But two things make the situation a little more promising. First, he has only yielded one earned run in his last 10 and 1/3 innings (over 5 games). Second, he has allowed only one HR all year. Sounds like he needs to worry less about giving up the long ball and more about throwing strikes.


Now that Josh Donaldson is toiling in the A's farm system, the Cubs don't have any Top 10 prospects playing for Ryne Sandberg.

Bonus-Catcher Luis Bautista (32nd Round, 2007), the brother of Pirates 3-sack Jose Bautista, has been on a tear lately. He has had at least 2 hits in 7 of his last 10 games, raising his overall batting average from .308 to .368. He's only has 155 AB's on the year (he spent most of his time behind Donaldson), but has managed to hit 9 HR's and 30 RBI's. He has an OPS of 1.082.


Josh Vitters-Vitters has only played in 3 games since the late edition ATAtM, going 4 for 13 (.308 average) and dropping his average to .333. He is currently 6th in the Northwest League in batting. In the last two games, Vitters has collected 6 RBI's, bringing his total to 17, good for tops on the team and 3rd in the Northwest League.

Bonus-Josh Harrison, the Cubs 6th round pick from a month ago, is having a solid season at Boise. He is hitting .298 with 7 of his 17 hits going for double. He has a good eye, taking 15 walks while striking out only 11 times, good for a .446 OBP. He has 6 stolen bases in just 19 games.

Comment (1)


July 12, 2008 at 7:48 AM

With the way he's throwing, I'd really like to see Ceda get the call to Iowa real soon. If he can hack it there, let's give him a shot with the bug boys before the stretch run. Pitchers like this can be hugely valuable in the playoffs, especially given Wuertz's struggles of late. I'm not saying Ceda is Carlos Marmol, but...