I-Cubs Ride Hot Streak in Nevada

The  I-Cubs are off today and on their way home to begin a binge of games in Des Moines over the next six weeks after a junket to Nevada where they cleaned up by going 7-1 in Las Vegas and Reno. Seems like a good time to check up on them.

In the last 10 days the club has raised its team BA about 25 points. While winning eight of their last nine they've pummeled the opposition by a count of 74-26. Chad Tracy didn’t play in yesterday’s 6-1 getaway win in Reno, but Iowa is 7-0 in his starts since he was demoted in the Castro shuffle. He’s hitting a little league-esque .581!

Thomas Diamond was yesterday’s winning pitcher. He didn’t walk a man in six one-run innings while running his record to 3-0 and now sports a flashy 2.08 ERA for the year. He’s only given up more than two earned runs once in eight starts, and then only three, but hasn’t stretched out too far yet, logging only 43 total innings. He also bears a striking resemblance to golfer Hal Sutton even though his middle name is Nicklaus [yes, that’s how it’s spelled].

Jay Jackson threw another scoreless inning yesterday as he preps for a possible role in the Wrigley relief corps. In contrast to the parent club, the I-Cubs’ bullpen has compiled an ERA of 2.89 in 123 innings.

Another contrast between the siblings is that Iowa is 17-3 when outhitting their opponent. After last night’s mini-sweep of the Rockies the C-Cubs are only 11-9 in that category, another indication of their penchant for wasted opportunity.

Behind the plate Wellington Castillo continues his one-man speed trap for PCL base stealers. He leads the league with a 58% CS rate [10-17].

Micah Hoffpauir finally nudged his BA north of .200 on the road trip, but even when he struggles, he produces. For the year he’s managed to drive in 29 runs with only 28 hits. Very soon he’ll own the team record for career doubles.

Darwin Barney has gotten hot enough to be hitting just over .300 for the year, but he’s fanned 22 times while drawing only five walks. He would seem like a nice accent to a trade package given the talent above and below him in the organization at SS.

Cashner should pitch the Sunday matinee here after winning his first two Triple A starts on the road and I hope to have my first look at him then.

 

Comments

Does anyone know why Blake Parker never gets mentioned in the conversation about possible Chicago bullpen call-ups? He's been really good as the closer at Iowa. Is his stuff not up to snuff?

Mike's comments below echo what I heard. Parker, like others, had a chance to make the team out of ST, but didn't get the job done.

Mike: Nice article. The players I am keeping an eye on are the Bullpen Guys; quite obviously, this is an urgent need in Wrigley.

In addition to Jackson, can you comment on BLAKE PARKER and JEFF STEVENS? It appears Parker is still missing bats but also hasn't walked anyone lately, which was his problem initially. And STEVENS is also dealing. Though he failed last year, he has an advantage in that he is already on the 40-man.

Parker or Jackson would require a 40-man move, though the Cubs have several options: 60-Day Guzman, or Outright Hoffpauir, or outright Berg.

If we like Hoff we can re-sign him, I don't think anyone is going to jump on a 30-year old, .207 AAA First Baseman, though I might be wrong.

I don't think Justin Berg is a major-league pitcher. His minor league numbers show that batters always made contact on him, and his peripherals are actually worse than his 6+ ERA. He should go.

PS, and MITCH ATKINS is also pitching well. Not sure I want him in Wrigley though, he seems very "smoke and mirrors". He just doesn't have good stuff. I give him credit for getting alot of mileage from the pedestrian stuff he does have.

Agree about Berg. You have to miss a bat once in a while.

I'm impressed that Sandberg has taken this roster and turned it into a team that can have a winning streak--although the pitching is quite good. But they've been scoring runs lately in the usual Iowa manner. Von Joshua's mojo seems to be working again. Everybody is hitting or has started to hit (Adduci, Hoffpauir) except Chris Robinson.

Speaking of pitching, Chris Archer (Daytona) had a good outing yesterday: 6 innings, 2 hits, 0 walks, 10 strikeouts.

it is impressive how Sandberg and Joshua are hitting and pitching the team to victory...

You sound like crunch. Are they overpaid, too?

by baseball standards? No

life standards? probably

both combined could save you enough over lou and our greek god of batting coaches to buy a high-end reliever.

lulz.

I'm not sure I realized Berg was still with the team until I read that.

14 IP, 6.43 ERA, 10 BB, 3 K, 13 H

He writes a good song, though.

Submitted by Q-Ball on Wed, 05/19/2010 - 8:27am.

Parker or Jackson would require a 40-man move, though the Cubs have several options: 60-Day Guzman, or Outright Hoffpauir, or outright Berg.

==================================================

Q-BALL: Blake Parker was added to the Cubs 40-man roster last November. You are right about Jay Jackson not being on the 40, though.

command holding back both parker [walked 9 in 16 IP] & stevens [10 in 21]...atkins has given only 15 hits in 25 IP & has a 0.92 WHIP [same as jackson's]; last 2 appearances starts after 8 relief outings to start the year...

WGN-HD available on DirecTV...

http://www.dbstalk.com/

... plus ESPNU HD and TravelChannel HD. Thanks for the link/info!

With a name like that, he's got to be a good pitcher. In 1896, that is.

so when zorro rejoins the rotation who leaves? are we going 6-man? did anybody ask 'the decider' these questions?

Time to put away your Tom Gorzalany jersey.

Don't know if this was posted but radio is reporting Marshall will be the 8th inning guy.

probably not tonight though agains the lefty-heavy Phils, he's gone 3 days in a row.

great news for my fantasy team though...only took Lou a month and a half to realize what everyone could see the first week.

it would seem so easy to trade a starting pitcher in this market...

seems to me the move to long relief for Z is a delay tactic since he could be in the rotation in 3-4 days if they wanted him to be on an 80-90 pitch count and be up to normal by 2-3 starts. How much work is really going to get in mop-up duty?

Bad news, Gorz: Your rotation spot and, as a result, perhaps, your entire Cubs career might ride on your performance tonight. Welcome to CitBank.

probably no Marshall tonight, leaving Russell and Grab-Ass to face Utley (if he's over the flu), Rollins, Victorino (switch-hitters), Howard and Ibanez

You don't think Gorzellany goes the distance?

is there rain in the forecast?

He's the lefty version of Rich Harden. If he could just get through the first innings in decent shape, he could probably get pretty deep into games. Against the Phillies I expect another five inning, 7K, 4BB outing, though.

16.6 pitchers per inning on the season. Not Madduxian, but not evil bad either. That comes to 116 pitches for seven innings.

He's been lucky on his FB/HR ratio, though. Hopefully that luck continues, at least one more night.

nothing like the Phillies offense and Citizen Bank Park to test the theory.

He's also been unlucky on his BABIP, so maybe it'll even out a bit.

That is a helluva' lot of pitchers per inning. Do teams have that many pitchers on a roster?

good thing we got everything ironed out before we start playing the big league portion of the schedule...

I have to admit I'm pretty excited about Diamond and of course Cashner.

Diamond was the top prospect in the Rangers system in 2005, dropping to 3 and 4 the following years before undergoing TJ surgery, which usually isn't more than a speed bump. Problem was he had an ankle injury while rehabbing the arm that delayed him further and for whatever reason the Rangers soured on him.

awesome story from Wikipedia if true

In the fall of 2004, Diamond made a name for himself in an obscure Instructional League game during which he tripped and fell on the mound while attempting a pickoff move. The opposing Oakland A's prospects laughed at Diamond, who then walked off the mound towards the A's dugout and told them that the next person to laugh was going to be wearing a fastball in the temple. Diamond then threw his next pitch three feet behind the hitter at the plate and then delivered nine consecutive strikes to punch out the side.

oh snap...

Diamond's peripherals don't look so good this year. His 1.82 SO/BB ratio is not so good, and he will not be too successful in the big leagues if that ratio continues. He is also 27.

UPDATE: Looks like his SO/BB ratio either went up after yesterday, or was misrepresented where I saw it earlier. But still it is only 2.18. That needs to get better.

cynic.

I floated you a trade idea btw.

realist.

and i'm thinking about it. its intriguing.

no rush.

Looks like Ricketts' Toyota sign will happen, but only if it's more horizontal and less vertical and mounted inside the park. The locals also aren't buying Ricketts' BS about just one sign. They want a comprehensive plan for all future signage, not a piecemeal approach.

more

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/cgi-bin/blogs/...

"The locals also aren't buying Ricketts' BS about just one sign."

Screw them!! They don't live in Wrigley Field.

If they don't like it, Ricketts should move the team to Addison and see how those a-holes like their property values then.

that tale about diamond would make a great movie scene!

Victorino CF, Polanco 3B, Utley 2B, Howard 1B, Werth RF, Rollins SS, Ibanez LF, Ruiz C and Moyer

Phillies with a .846 OPS against lefties so far this year, tops in the majors.

Cubs at .783 for 5th best...

Cubs lineup vs. Moyer: riot, castro, lee, byrd, rami, sori, BAKER (RF), soto, gorz.

no Nady, ruh roh

Jeff Stevens at the park, not sure who's going although I'd guess Caridad back to DL or Berg sent down.

"no Nady, ruh roh"

Is he hurt? Besides, you know, the whole no right arm thing.

~shrug~

could just be the couple 3 lefties (4 w/ Moyer) and the switch-hitters...figured they'd run on him all day.

So Lou puts a guy who's played outfield a grand total of 3 times in last 3 years in right against one of the most potent lf lineups in NL?

Because he bats RH?

Just checking.

Baker did go 1/3 against Moyer last year with a double.

You cannot refute that sort of statistical ownage.

Now I'll sleep better.

Caridad to the DL it is...

I love batting one of the team's best hitters, and highest OBP guy, right in front of the pitcher.

And Baker? Really? Can't Colvin play right?

Lou's following Dusty's "Desperate Times Call for Stupid Means" book.

it'll only be his 3rd start since the last week of april.

they gotta play sometime.

right field???

yeah, him over nady and giving either castro or riot a break is an odd one...

still, baker's gotta see some time starting in order to know what pitches still look like...he's no colvin hehe.

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicagocubs/post/_/id...

bunch of quips from radio appearance by Ricketts on the Wriglet Field experience...

Recent comments

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  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 1 hour 21 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 1 hour 22 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 11 hours 4 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 14 hours 1 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 14 hours 14 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 14 hours 23 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 14 hours 28 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 14 hours 46 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 15 hours 23 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 15 hours 40 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 15 hours 42 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that close...one he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 16 hours 24 sec ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 16 hours 7 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 17 hours 3 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 17 hours 21 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 17 hours 25 min ago view