A Trip Around the Minors

Posted by Lionel on July 10, 2009.


Steve Clevenger-Clevenger's slow start at the plate since since promotion seems to be over. He has a 6 game hitting streak in which he's batting .417. Last night, he went 3 for 4 with his first triple since joining Iowa (he has 4 on the year).

Bonus-After a solid month in Tennessee, the Cubs promoted Blake Parker to Iowa to see how he'd handle pitching in AAA relief. In the closer's role, Parker has 9 saves and a 1.66 ERA. He's striking out more than a batter per inning and righties are hitting a mere .185 off him. You have to think the Cubs may consider adding the former 16th round pick to the roster come September.


Welington Castillo-Until last night, Castillo had one hit this month in 23 AB's (that's an .043 batting average). But he went 1 for 4 and watched his monthly BA jump to .074. He now passes other Smokies in July hits, namely Marcus Mateo, Jay Jackson, Jake Muyco, and Andrew Cashner. Of course, there all pitchers (but to be fair, Muyco used to be a catcher). Castillo pulls into a tie with Casey Coleman.

Tyler Colvin-Last Sunday, Colvin had a very Colvin-like performance. In 5 AB's, he had 2 doubles and a HR with 2 runs and 2 RBI's. Unfortunately, that was surrounded by 5 0'fers. He went 1 for 4 as last night's DH, but is still hitting below .200 for the month of July.

Jay Jackson-Jackson took his first loss since April on Tuesday in his worst outing since April. 5 and 1/3, 4 earned. It was a bit of a weird night for Jackson. After giving up two singles in the first and having the runner's advance on a fielder's choice, Jackson balked in a run. He gave up a solo shot in the 3rd, but that was all the hits he surrendered. He was pitching pretty well until the 6th inning, where he walked the bases loaded before being removed.

Andrew Cashner-Cashner had two starts this week. On the 4th of July, he yielded one run over 5 innings pitched while striking out 6. Cashner's outing last night was an interesting one, because he took his first loss of the year despite not giving up an earned run. After 4 scoreless frames, he had runners on first and second with two outs. Nate Samson commits a throwing error, allowing one run to score. Cashner leaves the game with runner's on second and third, both of whom score.

Bonus-Make it 7 All Stars for the Smokies, as Tony Thomas was added as an injury replacement. The former top 10 prospect is hitting .261 with 8 HR's and 8 stolen bases, but has committed 13 errors this year and has been caught stealing 12 times (yes, a 40% success rate). He's also struck out 78 times in 81 games.


Josh Vitters-Vitters hasn't quite adjusted to FSL pitching just yet. In his first 8 games, he's hitting .194, including 0 for 5 against lefties. His season average is still above .300 and I'd expect this is just a slump for Vitters.

Starlin Castro-For the week, Castro is hitting .353 with 3 extra base hits. One was his third HR of the year and first since May. Castro has an impressive 10.5% strikeout ratio, and with only 11 walks, he's putting almost every ball in play.

Bonus-A 24th round pick last year, David Cales struggled at Tennessee but is lighting it up at Daytona. The last time the D-Cubs closer gave up a run, it was May. He has a WHIP of an even 1.00 and righties are hitting .176 against him at Daytona. He has struck out at least one batter in his last 8 appearances.


Ryan Flaherty-Flaherty has hit safely in his last 4 games and 7 of his last 8. He's scored 7 runs in during that stretch and he's hitting .346. He also hit his 10th HR of the year, which is 2nd on the team to former Chief Josh Vitters.

Bonus-Hopefully, Kyler Burke can turn his warning track power into HR power. He leads all of the minor leagues in doubles, with 30. The 21 year old's doubles are helping him to an .801 OPS and he's a perfect 8 for 8 in the stolen base department. He was the player thrown in in the Michael Barrett for Rob Bowen trade.


Hak Ju Lee-Lee has a 4 game hitting streak and is hitting .286 for the year. He is 6th in the league in runs scored, with 16 in 18 games. He is also 2nd in the league in stolen bases, with 7. The bad news continues to be his defense...he has 11 errors in 18 games (that would be nearly 100 over a 162 game season).

Bonus-In the 2nd inning of his first appearance, Jeffry Antigua gave up a 2 run HR. In the 11 1/3 innings since then, he hasn't allowed a run. In fact, that HR was one of only 6 hits Antigua's allowed in his 13 innings of work. He's walked 5 (giving him a WHIP of 0.85) and struck out 11 (giving him a K/W ratio of over 2 to 1). Righties are hitting .097 off him so far this season.

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