A Trip Around the Minors...

Kevin Hart-Hart won his first decision of the year, giving up 3 runs (2 earned) over 5 innings (his longest outing). Since returning to Iowa, he has a 2.87 ERA over 4 starts. When Chad Fox went on the D.L., the Cubs considered recalling Hart. But he's been so effective in the I-Cubs rotation, they decided to continue to stretch him out and let him stay.

Rich Hill-on the D.L.

Bonus-Andres Torres was a minor league free agent the Cubs acquired to provide some depth at the centerfield position. In 132 AB's this year, the switch hitter's hitting .326 with a .424 OBP.

Tyler Colvin-I was hoping Colvin's big game mentioned in last week's ATAtM would help him turn the corner. It hasn't. Before that game, he was hitting .225. After that game, he was hitting .247. Now, 10 days later, he's hitting .231. The promising news is that he's only struck out once in the past week. Hopefully, that means that the Cubs have told him to focus on his plate discipline.

Donnie Veal-Veal pitched twice in the previous week. Last Friday, he gave up 4 earned in 5 and a 1/3. All the runs came in the sixth inning. He was the hard-luck loser on Wednesday night. He only gave up 2 earned over 7 innings. Overall, his 2-4 record isn't impressive, but his ERA is currently at 3.20.

Jeff ND-Samardzija struggled again on Tuesday. In 5 innings of work, he gave up 6 runs, including 3 HR's. In his defense, the wind was blowing out at 25 MPH. Guys seemed to be swining for the fences against him, as 7 of the 14 plays in which outs were recorded (one double play) were in the air.

Bonus-Matt Craig has made two separate trips to the D.L. this year, but that hasn't slowed him down. Granted, the results are limited...he's only had 46 AB's, but in those 46 AB's, he's hitting .370 with an OBP of .547 (thanks to 17 walks, which is 5 more than the number of K's he has this year). Craig is another 1-sack who could be caught in the D-Lee logjam (see Hoffpauir, Micah).

Tony Thomas-Thomas' one week slump has turned into a two week slump, dropping his BA to .250. Despite his speed (7 stolen bases), he is second on the team in GIDP's, with 6.

Jose Ceda-Ceda started twice in the past week. Last Saturday, he went 6 innings, giving up only 2 runs. He allowed only 4 hits, but walked 3. Last night, he went 5 strong, yielding only 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks. However, Daytona was shut out and therefore, Ceda took the loss.

Bonus-Josh Lansford (6th Round, 2006), son of former Big Leaguer Carney Lansford, has struggled at the hot corner for Daytona. In 42 games, he has 12 errors.

Josh Donaldson-Donaldson's BA remains below .200, falling even further this week to .192. 12 of his 29 hits have gone for extra bases. Hopefully, the Midwest's cold weather has a lot to do with this, as only 8 guys in all the Midwest League are currently batting over .300

Bonus-Jovan Rosa is one of those players hitting over .300, at .306. Rosa was a 22nd round pick of the Cubs in 2006 as a draft and follow player. After playing mostly SS in high school and college, the 6-3 Rosa has been playing the 1 and 3 sacks for Peoria.

Josh Vitters-still at EST

Message from a White Sox Fan

I hate the White Sox. I hate their team. I hate their manager. I hate their GM. I hate their jerseys. I hate their fans. I hate that they won the World Series as a fluke. I even hate Journey. I hate everything about this video-but here you go.

Anyone Can Have a Bad Century

While we await more baseball after yesterday's off-day, I thought it good to (finally) get this interesting article up. Let's hope that this is the last article we ever post here from anything even remotely related to the AARP. This article from the "AARP Bulletin Today" is a nice little piece on the memories of some of the oldest Cubs fans...100 years of memories. What does 100 years of getting beat down again and again by a team you give your heart and soul to do to a person? Ask Richard Savage, the 100 year old Cub fan pictured above, and he'll give you a grim assessment:
“Expectations are still dim,” Savage says. “But I still have hope.”
We here at TD are generally much older and crankier than our years. But let's hope that 100 years from now, when we're 100 year old Cub fans still living in our parents' basement, not only will we have a few World Series championships in our memories, but we'll also still have the hope that this year, as always, is "the year."

New Feature: Minor League Movers

A need has arisen to provide a more in-depth look at transactions happening down on the farm. While TD will continue to provide the latest in breaking news (such as the major Dubois signing) and A Trip Around the Minors on a weekly basis, the new weekly feature Minor League Movers will give the millions of TD fans a quick look at what is happening at all levels of the Cubs farm system. Without delay...

When Felix Pie was sent to Iowa, it meant that the Cubs needed to make a move. That move was to send Sam Fuld back to Tennessee. Fuld had been struggling at Iowa, hitting only .222.

Rich Hill was put on the DL after complaining of back stiffness during his last start. Minor League DL's are only 7 days and reportedly, he will be good to go this weekend when he is eligible to come off the DL.

Carmen Pignatiello came off the DL after the requisite 7 days. He was battling a calf problem.

With the addition of Jose Ascanio to the Bigs, the Cubs promoted Jim Henderson to Iowa. Henderson hadn't yielded a earnie in just over 6 innings over work, yet his one unearned run had netted him a loss, so his line looks like this 0-1, 0.00 ERA.

The only Tennesse move (other than getting Fuld) was placing pitcher Matt Avery (9th round, 2005) on the DL. Avery was 1-1 with a 5.72 ERA in 15 relief appearances.

No News

The Chiefs have been busy over the last week, sending 4 guys back to extended spring training and bringing 4 guys up from EST. The most notable demotion was Kyler Burke, the throw-in in the Michael Barrett-Rob Bowen trade. Originally a supplemental first round pick of the Pads, he was struggling with Peoria, hitting only .206. The most notable promotion was Brandon Guyer, a 5th rounder from last year's draft.

Zambrano's Shoulder

There are whispers that the Cubs are a bit concerned about Big Z's shoulder, which has been stiffening. I don't know if it's too much Red Bull, not enough banana's, or if he's been breaking bats over his shoulder. Hopefully, it's nothing. But if something comes out about his shoulder, remember, you heard it here first.
May 22nd update-The Cubs are downplaying the shoulder issue, but it seems that the stories on this one are all over the board. First, there are reports that it wasn't actually his shoulder, it was his neck. He slept wrong on his neck and it was only a one day thing. But another report says that it was his shoulder, but it wasn't anything major, and he threw a terrific side session, pain free. I hope one of these is true and it isn't an issue.

Pie goes Yard

Felix Pie went yard last night for the I-Cubs in the first inning. That HR sky-rocketed his BA up 59 points to, well, .059. That's right, Pie was 0-16 before tonight. He went 0-1 for the rest of the game and his BA is back down to .056. I think someone may be taking the demotion a little hard.

Ryan Dempster: Show Him the Money

Tough loss for our new favorite starting pitcher, Ryan Dempster, tonight against the 'Stros. Though a bit more hittable than most of his starts thus far this year (6 H in 6 IP), Dempster pitched fairly well...save for Bottom 4 when he loaded the bases and allowed the game winning grand slam to Hunter Pence.

Moving on from tonight and looking into Dumpster's future, I thought we'd get something up about an article I saw today on MLBTradeRumors.com. Dempster's contract is up after this year. With his so-far-successful move from the 'pen to the rotation, Dempster seems to be making himself a lot of cash this year. MLB Trade Rumors is guessing Dempster has earned somewhere in the neighborhood of 3 years and $35MM. If that's the case-I say let's start talking extension with this guy now.

Dubois is back!

Jason Dubois, the man who was so bad he platooned with Todd Hollandsworth, is back with the Cubs. The I-Cubs. Dubois was a great AAAA player...tearing up Iowa in 2004 with 31 HR's and 99 RBI's. Then, he hit 7 HR's in 142 AB's with the Cubs, but hit a mere .239 and was traded to the Indians for Jody Gerut. He comes back to the Cubs organization after being released by Columbus (AAA affiliate to Washington).

Jose Ascanio on his way

Well, Chad Fox's time in Chicago was short. After feeling something pop yesterday, Fox is headed back to the DL. He gave up 2 runs in just 3 and 1/3 and was credited with one of the Cubs 17 losses.

To replace him, the Cubs have called up Jose Ascanio. Ascanio, traded to the Cubs in the offseason for Omar Infante and Will Ohman, was 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 17 games for Iowa. Since the calendar turned to May, he had only yielded 1 run in 7+ innings. He was serving as the team's closer, racking up 9 saves.

Short Hops

  • Remember, One catch doth not maketh the man. Just because James Patrick Edmonds made an over the shoulder catch doesn't mean I like him, or think it was a good move to bringing him to the Cubs. With Pie's speed, he may not have needed to go over the shoulder. I don't know. He was in the cornfields last night.
  • Speaking of the Padres, Ken Rosenthal was asked yesterday where Greg Maddux would be playing on August 1st, given that the Padres are terrible. While Ken stated that he honestly didn't know and couldn't even speculate, it was interesting to hear the name Chicago roll off his tongue. With the pitching the Cubs have, I don't really see that as a possibility, but it is interesting that he even mentioned it.
  • I have to give Bob Brenly some credit. I will admit that when I heard BB's rhetoric about The Glass Ego just needing to get his timing down, I thought he was just trying to put a positive spin on things. But, I guess he was right. Or at least concidence triumphed.

Glenallen Hill

There are times when I am compiling the weekly poll question when I already know the fan's response. This was such a week, as Glenallen Hill received unanimous support, despite a strong field that included Lloyd McClendon and Candy Maldanado. This week, we look at the CF's.

Jeff Samardzija How to throw a Fastball

PHEW- Now I am going to go and try out for the team!