Steve Clevenger-The I-Cubs catcher is starting to hit like he did at Tennessee. Entering tonight's game, Clevenger has a 9 game hitting streak. During the streak, he's hitting .382 (13 for 34) with 4 doubles. In his last 5 games, he has 6 RBI's. He also stole his first base this week.
Kevin Hart-now with the Big Boys
Jeff ND-Samardzija must make scouts want to bang their head against a wall, because his good game, bad game streak continues. This week was his good game. 8 innings of shutout baseball, dropping his ERA by over half a point. It was also his longest outing of the year and his 7th consecutive start with a decision. Samardzija also went 1 for 3 at the plate.
Bonus-Maybe something to starting to click with Mitch Atkins. When he toed the rubber on June 6th, he had a 2-7 record with an ERA approaching 9. But in his last four, he is 3-0 with an ERA of 2.73 and a WHIP of 0.91. Last night, Atkins had a no hitter going into the 8th inning before the wheels came off (a little); he gave up 2 singles and a double, along with a sacrifice, before being lifted.
Welington Castillo-Last year's representative in the Future's Game for the Cubs won't be making a return trip this year. Castillo has played in 5 games this week, going 2 for 15. On Father's Day, he hit his 6th HR of the year in a 3 RBI, 2 run performance. But he followed that up on Monday with an 0 for 4, 3 K performance.
Tyler Colvin-Colvin's hitting streak ended at 8, but has hit safely in 11 of his last 12. He added another HR last Friday (giving him 4 in 3 days) and went yard on Wednesday night in a 3 for 4 performance. He's now hitting .319 with 6 HR's (in 69 AB's) at Tennessee. Maybe he's concerned he'll lose his status as the most athletic player in the Cubs organization (with the signing of 1st round pick Brett Jackson) or his status as College World Series star (to 2nd round pick D.J. LeMahieu).
Jay Jackson-I get the impression that people keep waiting on Jackson to fail. Well, they'll have to keep waiting. Another strong performance for Jackson this week. A really strong performance. 5 innings, 1 hit. No walks, no runs. He also struck out 5. Since May 19th, he has an ERA of 1.01. There's not much more to say about how great he's pitching.
Bonus-Marco Carrillo made one appearance in Daytona before being called up to Tennessee at the end of May. In his 2nd appearance at Daytona, he gave up a solo HR over 2 and 1/3 innings. That is the sum total of the runs he's given up this season. 1 run over 16 and 2/3 innings in total. The only concerning aspect for Carillo is that he has walked 7.
Starlin Castr0-The Cubs shocked some "experts" when they put the younger, more inexperienced Castro at Daytona while keeping the polished Ryan Flaherty at Peoria. How has Castro handled it? Well, along with the FSL All Star selection, Castro has been named this week to the Future's Game World squad. Speaking of that All Star game...Castro was named MVP, thanks to a 4 for 4 performance which included an inside the park HR.
Andrew Cashner-Tuesday's start was a typical Cashner start...meaning it was short and sweet. 4 innings pitched, 1 hit. No walks, no earned runs. In his last 5 starts, he's allowed a total of 2 earnies. I still find it interesting that the Cubs say they project Cashner as a starter, yet he hasn't thrown more than 4 innings twice this year. A lot of guys who project as relievers still start to get more work in, but you'd expect Cashner to be stretched out by now.
Bonus-Unfortunately, Ryan Searle didn't enjoy the same success in the All Star game as Castro. The Australian came in in relief, yielding 4 earnies. According to former Daytona head coach and Cub Jody Davis, it was the first time Searle had ever pitched in the rain.
Josh Vitters-Vitters will join Castro in the Future's Game, but will actually oppose him on the U.S. squad. Vitters started the MWL All Star game, going 0 for 3 with a strikeout. He closed the first half of the season at .308 with 13 HR's and 42 RBI's in 250 AB's (that would be 31 HR's and 101 RBI's over a 600 AB season).
Ryan Flaherty-Flaherty was probably happy to get a few days off for the All Star break after a disappointing .236 BA in the first half. But despite a low BA, Flaherty managed 22 extra base hits and 36 RBI (good for 4th on the team). Flaherty has been seeing some time at the 2-sack recently with Junior Lake (the Cubs #14 prospect according to BA) playing SS.
Bonus-Why not give a little love to Michael Brenly? Brenly has hit safely in 6 of his last 7 games, driving his BA from .235 to .278. During that stretch, Brenly has three 3 hit games and 4 doubles. He has driven in 6, or more than a quarter of his total runs batted in for the year (to date). He's also drawn 3 walks (he only had walked 5 times previous to this streak).
Hak Ju Lee-While his arm may still be recovering from off-season Tommy John surgery, his bat was ready for Northwest League pitching. He's opened the season on a 6 game hitting streak, giving him a .400 BA. He has 7 runs in the 6 games and has already stolen 2 bags (I guess his wheels are OK too).
Bonus-Obviously, a small sample size to choose from, but 8th round pick Robert Whitenack got his professional career started in the right direction. The 20 year old righthander pitched two innings of perfect relief, facing 3 righties and 3 lefties. He struck out one.
No news on Dae Eun Rhee.
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