A Trip Around the Minors

Posted by Lionel on June 8, 2009.

Low level All Star teams announced (6 for the D-Cubs) and as the new draft class gets announced (starting tomorrow), news on 7 from the '08 class.


Steve Clevenger-Iowa hasn't been quite as kind to Clevenger as Tennessee pitching was. In 13 games, he's hitting .227 (he hit .364 at Tenn.) with a .517 OPS (.976 at Tenn.). He's playing nearly everyday at Iowa, either behind the dish or as the team's DH (a luxury not afforded at Tennessee, where the pitcher's bat). In fairness to Clevenger, he was logging most of his PT at Tennesee against righthanders compared to an almost even number of AB's against both at Iowa.

Kevin Hart-What a difference it's been since Kevin Hart moved to the starting rotation. In 4 starts, Hart has pitched 19 innings and given up a total of 2 earned runs, giving him a sub 1 ERA (compared to a 5.75 ERA in relief). He's only allowed 7 hits and 8 walks (a 0.79 WHIP), but 5 of those came in his latest outing. I'm guessing they keep Hart in the rotation for the time being.

Jeff ND-For every solid performance Samardzija has put up in AAA, he has a bad one to counter it. As a result, he is 2-2 with a 4.43 ERA. He's started twice since the last ATAtM, and kept his rollercoaster going. In a shortened 7 inning game (as is the custom when you play a doubleheader in the minors), Jeff ND threw a complete game, giving up 2 earnies over 6 hits and 3 walks. But then he came back on Thursday and gave up 4 over 5 innings with 9 hits and 2 walks. He's no stranger to seeing the ball leave the playing field from the mound...he's given up 7 HR's in just over 40 innings.

Bonus-Blake Parker was promoted to AAA after a solid month at Tennessee where he posted a 1.46 ERA in 12 innings of relief with 19 K's. In his first outing with the I-Cubs, he gave up an earned run. A month later, that remains the only blemish on his ERA, which now sits at 0.82. He has 6 saves in his 11 appearances, and while he hasn't posted the 13.86 K/9 ratio he did at Tennessee, he is still over one per inning (9.82).


Welington Castillo-If you remove a 3 for 4 performance on May 30, Castillo is hitting a buck twenty five since the last ATAtM posting. But with that 3 for 4 performance, his BA jumps all the way to .214. Since the calendar turned to June, he has 2 hits in 20 AB's with 6 K's and nary a walk. Then again, he only has 5 walks on the season. In comparison, Koyie Hill has managed 9 walks in half the AB's with the big club.

Tyler Colvin-Colvin was bumped back up from Daytona as he slowly progresses from offseason Tommy John surgery. After struggling to a .250 BA at Daytona, he's off to a good start at Tennessee. He's hitting .316 in 8 games with 3 extra base hits, including an HR. He had a 4 game hitting streak end yesterday.

Jay Jackson-For the first time all season, there's something in which to be disappointed regarding Jay Jackson. After posting another strong performance on May 29 (5 and 2/3, 1 earnie on 2 hits and 3 walks), Jackson headed to the D.L. with a bruised right leg. Jackson has a 3.35 ERA on the season.

Bonus-One of Oneri Fleita's strengths is finding talent in the later rounds of the draft, and last year was no exception. While top pick Andrew Cashner stole the headlines and Jay Jackson has been annointed with the early title of great find, his teammate and draftmate Casey Coleman can't be overlooked. The 15th round pick from last year is arguably pitching better than Jackson. He has a 5-2 record with a 2.89 ERA, topping the team in both wins, IP, and ERA (among starters). In his last four starts, he has a 1.93 ERA.


Starlin Castro-Castro has hit safely in 8 of his last 9 games, hitting .343 over that stretch and raising his BA from .291 to .302. In addition to the hits, he's stolen 3 bags in 4 attempts during that stretch and is drawing walks. Prior to this 9 game stretch, Castro had a total of 4 walks on the season. He has walked 3 times in the last 9 games and 4 times in the last 10. The combination of speed and hitting has landed him a spot on the Florida State League All Star team.

Andrew Cashner-In the 1st inning of Cashner's May 26th start, he gave up a run before shutting the opponent down over 5 innings of work. Since then, he hasn't allowed a runner to cross home plate; a span of 11 and 1/3 innings. He still isn't going deep into games, witnessed by the 7 total innings in his last two starts, but the results have been great. He has a 1.75 ERA for the season and has struck out nearly a batter per inning.

Bonus-It's a double bonus, as catcher Robinson Chirinos and pitcher Ryan Searle will join Castro on the FSL All Star team. After advancing to Tennessee last year, Chirinos found himself back at Daytona this year with the catcher logjam the Cubs have. He has responded by hitting .344 with 8 HR's in 27 games (assuming a catcher only gets in 140 games a year, he'd be on pace to hit 41 over the course of a full season). He has become noted for his two grand slam game on May 31. As for Searle, the 19 year old Australian was selected prior to his last outing, which is a good thing. He was 4-3 with a respectable 3.13 ERA in 10 games (9 starts). But yesterday's stat line for Searle was ugly. 3 and 1/3, 6 earned, 7 hits and 3 walks. His 3.13 ERA jumped to 4.01.


Josh Vitters-Vitters has cooled off after being named BA's hotest prospect. In his 9 games since the last ATAtM, he hitting a mere .257. But he closed the month of May with a .386 BA and 12 HR's and 27 RBI for the month. Vitters is second in the Midwest League in HR's and fourth in batting average, which made him an easy choice for the Midwest League All Star team.

Ryan Flaherty-Flatherty has a 4 game hitting streak and has hit safely in 5 of the last 6, giving him a .292 BA since the last ATAtM. He also added 3 HR's, including in back to back games Saturday and Sunday, almost doubling his HR total for the year. While his BA still sits at .243, his OPS is up to .749.

Bonus-This bonus is times 5. Let's take a look at all the D-Cubs All Stars:

Kyler Burke-(OF) .278 BA, .812 OPS, 5 for 5 in stolen bases
Josh Harrison-(DH) .346 BA, .880 OPS, only 21 K's in 208 AB's, 8 for 15 in stolen bases
Rebel Ridling-(reserve INF) .270 BA, 6 HR's
Chris Carpenter-(P) 3.04 ERA in 11 starts, 49 K's in 50.1 IP, .204 BAA
Ryan Buchter-(P) 2.35 ERA in 23 innings of relief, 28 K's, 4 saves

The Rest

No news on Dae Eun Rhee or Hak Ju Lee

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