A Trip Around the Minors...

In this week's ATAtM, the Cubs system has a busload full of succesful relievers, Jovan Rosa may have set a record for most extra base hits out of a power spot with only one RBI, and much, much more!


Felix Pie-Pie has been getting a lot of AB's and a lot of hits of late. This week, he went 9 for 27 in 6 games (averaging a hit and a half per game, while averaging 4 and a half AB's per game). He had 2 doubles and a HR among those 9 hits. He also added 4 RBI's and 6 runs while hitting out of the leadoff or #2 spot. The only thing that is concerning as we head into September is the fact that Pie's K numbers will be higher in August than any previous month.

Kevin Hart-Hart has been really, really good since returning to Iowa and moving to the 'pen for them. He has a 1.65 ERA in 15 appearances, including 5 saves. Batters are hitting .148 off him as a reliever. This past week, he pitched 2 and 2/3 in three appearances, yielding one hit, no walks and no runs. It seems like his September magic might be returning to Wrigley Field.

Mitch Atkins-Atkins started only once this previous week. After his winning streak was snapped last week, Atkins had his first no decision in a long, long time. He went 5 innings on Sunday, giving up 2 earned runs on 5 hits and a walk. The one walk is the real positive sign, as he had walked at least 3 in 4 of his last 5 starts. The negative sign is that Atkins gave up another HR, his 10th in 9 starts since joining Iowa.

Bonus-Angel Guzman continues his rehab with Iowa and is expected to get called up in September. He pitched in two games for Iowa this past week, throwing 2 innings in each. He gave up a run on three hits last Friday, but logged the victory. He was relatively dominant on Tuesday, striking out 5 of the 7 batters he faced, giving up only a walk.


Tyler Colvin-Colvin had an average Colvin week. He went 6 for 23 (a .261 BA), which is slightly higher than his .255 season average. He had a double, 2 RBI's, 2 walks, a run, and 3 strikeouts. He was also caught stealing once. He will end the month of August having his best month, hitting over .300 for the first month, assuming he gets a hit or two over the weekend. In fact, August will be the first month he hit over .250.

Welington Castillo-Castillo played in 3 games this week and pinch hit in another. He had a big 3 RBI game on Sunday, bringing his RBI total for the month from 1 to 4. He went 4 for 11 (.364) for the week. He also tacked on 4 more strikeouts to his rising K total, which has now creeped up to 50 in 56 games at Tennessee (he had 23 in 33 games at Daytona). For the month, Castillo only has one extra base hit. But his defense prowess has been excellent; he has thrown out 42% of basestealers for the Smokies.

Jose Ceda-Ceda threw 2 and 2/3 innings over two appearances this week and didn't allow a run. As with his previous performance, Ceda came in in the eighth on Friday and recorded a 5 out save. He hasn't allowed an earned run in his last 5 appearances and only 1 run in his last 7 appearances. He struck out 5 of the 8 outs recorded. While I thought Ceda was being prepped for a call up (and he might still be), I am not as sure now, given the fact that the Cubs have kept him on a tight schedule of pitching him every third day for the entire month of August.

Donnie Veal-Donnie Veal pitched only two innings this week, in a start for the Smokies on Wednesday. He gave up 2 earned runs on 4 hits without walking a batter. Both runs came off solo HR's. Veal was pulled after two innings due to an almost 3 hour rain delay.

Bonus-Rocky Roquet (NDFA, 2006) has had an up and down year for the Smokies, but appears to be ending it on a good note. He has only allowed 1 earned run in the month of August over 9 appearances, giving him an ERA for the month of 0.61. The righthander has a 3.30 ERA for the year (he spent a month in Daytona after a slow start) and has only allowed 3 HR's in over 57 innings pitched. The Cubs have selected him to play in the Arizona Fall League.


Tony Thomas-Thomas had 4 hits in 4 games this week and was on base 7 times. He scored 5 times this week after only 2 runs scored in the previous 3 weeks. He also stole a base (in two attempts). All good things for the D-Cubs leadoff hitter. Unfortunately, he also managed to strike out 5 times, giving him 108 on the season. On the season, he has 22 stolen bases in 32 attempts (69% success).
Bonus-Brian Schlitter, the Cubs return in the Scott Erye trade, has shown his worth so far in Daytona. He has 8 innings over 6 appearances and has allowed nary a run (that means he hasn't allowed a run). He has 3 saves. Batters are hitting .111 with runners on against him.
No Top Ten Prospects
Bonus-Jovan Rosa (22nd round, 2006) has been one of the few offense bright spots for Ryne Sandberg this year. He hit in all 5 games this week, going 10 for 21 (.476). Of those 10 hits, 7 went for doubles and one went for 3 bags. That's a .905 slugging percentage for the week. Despite all that success, he only managed 1 RBI, even as he hit out of the 3 or 4 hole in the lineup.
Josh Vitters-The Vitters hit parade finall hit a snag. He had 6 hits to start the week, but only has 1 hit since. He still managed a .250 batting average for the week and is hitting .328 on the year, but the last 4 games has dropped his average 18 points. He did swipe his first successful bag of the year, although he's now 1 for 4 in that department.
Bonus-Marwin Gonzalez (NDFA, 2005) started the year at Peoria before being demoted to Boise. He went 3 for his first 30 at Boise as the calendar turned to July. He had a solid July, but has really come on as of late. Gonzalez has a 6 game hitting streak and has 7 RBI's for the week. He is hitting .351 in the month of August and has 27 RBI's in 26 games.

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