Sometimes I feel off on my own here on BCB. Sure, I'm always welcome to comment on the major league team and I often do, but recently, with all the stuff we've been trying to bring you with minor league coverage, I just haven't had the time to devote to chit-chatting about our Cubs. In fact, because of things going on in my own life, I didn't even have the time to follow today's game. It sometimes gets lonely toiling in the minors.
Then a day like today happens, and I couldn't be happier to have a place to hide. So this is my invite to everyone to forget about the major league team and revel in the hope that these kids provide. I wish I had better news today, but it's been a great minor league season so far.
On to our prospect lists, your choice for the Cubs number four prospect is Jay Jackson. The right-hander was a ninth round pick in 2008 and is looking like the steal of that draft. He's a true starter with four solid pitches: a 92 mph fastball, a mid-80s slider, a high 70s curveball and a changeup that works when he needs it. This season, the Cubs jerked him around between the rotation and the pen. He pitched well out of the pen before the Cubs decided to call up Cashner instead to take over the set-up role. He's struggled a bit since returning to starting, but that's probably just a result of having to re-adjust to starting.
So to take over his spot in the race for the number five prospect is infielder Ryan Flaherty. Flaherty tore up the Midwest League the second half of last season, so the Cubs had him skip Daytona and go straight to Tennessee to start this season. Flaherty struggled there, so he was demoted to Daytona, where he's been getting on base and hitting a ton of doubles. He doesn't really have a defensive position yet, but he gets called a left-handed hitting Mark DeRosa sometimes, so maybe that's not a problem.
The Iowa Cubs bowed down to the Omaha Royals, 10-7.
Casey Coleman had a rough start tonight, giving up eight runs over five innings. Coleman surrendered nine hits and walked four, which Coleman can't afford to do. He struck out only one.
First baseman Micah Hoffpauir hit a sixth-inning solo shot, his ninth of the year. Hoffpauir was 1 for 4 with a walk. Four batters later, catcher Welington Castillo hit a three-run home run. It was his eighth of the season. Castillo was also 1 for 4 with a walk.
I might be the only one who cares about this, but Jason Dubois got one home run closer to the all-time Iowa record with a ninth-inning solo home run. Dubois now has 10 home runs this year and 76 all-time for the I-Cubs. The record is 90, held by Joe Hicks.
The Tennessee Smokies lost their first game of the second half, 11-4 to the Carolina Mudcats.
Starter Chris Carpenter didn't pitch poorly, but ended up with the loss after allowing three runs on four hits over five innings. Carpenter walked one and struck out five.
Third baseman Josh Vitters hit his third AA home run tonight in the eight inning with a man on. Vitters went 2 for 4 with a double and the home run. Vitters just had the one run scored and the two RBI.
Second baseman Tony Thomas also homered tonight, a solo shot that was his fifth on the season. Thomas was 2 for 5 overall.
First baseman Russell Canzler went 3 for 5 with a double and a run scored.
The Daytona Cubs were done in by the Dunedin Blue Jays, 9-3.
Starter Dae-Eun Rhee got whacked for seven runs, five earned, in five plus innings. Most of the damage was done after he started the sixth inning. Rhee gave up nine hits and issued one walk as his record fell to 2-7. Rhee fanned three.
Shortstop Junior Lake hit a two-run home run in a 1 for 3 night. Lake also walked once. It was his first homer on the year.
Center fielder Brett Jackson left the game after being hit by a pitch in the second inning. Jackson was 1 for 1 with a run scored before leaving the game.
The Peoria Chiefs got the second half off right with a 4-2 detasseling of the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
Starter Ryan Searle got the win, giving up only one run over five innings. He gave up six hits, but didn't walk anyone. Searle struck out four.
Frank Batista pitched the ninth and got his first save. Batista allowed one hit but no runs. He didn't walk anyone and struck out one.
First baseman Justin Bour hit home run number seven tonight, a third-inning solo blast. Bour was 1 for 4.
Shortstop Hak-Ju Lee was 2 for 4 with two RBI. Right fielder Jae-Hoon Ha went 2 for 3 with a double and a walk. Ha scored once.
The Boise Hawks got blasted by the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, 5-1.
Starting pitcher Joseph Zellar didn't make it out of the second inning. He allowed four runs on four hits over 1.2 innings. In his defense, only one of the four runs was earned. Zellar didn't walk anyone and struck out two.
Third baseman Brandon May went 2 for 4 with an RBI.
Cubs 13th Round pick, shortstop Pierre LePage, was 5 for 5 with two steals and two runs scored.