Congratulations to Iowa Cub outfielder Lou Montanez, whom you voted the first Bleed Cubbie Blue Minor League Player of the Month. Montanez isn't a prospect, but it is possible that he still turns into a productive ballplayer. If the rest of his season is as good, let's hope the Cubs don't bail on him like they did Andres Torres.
Now it's time for your choice for Cubs Minor League Pitcher of the Month. The candidates are:
RHP Ramon Ortiz: The winning pitcher for game 3 of the 2002 World Series has been a pleasant surprise for an Iowa Cubs team that has been struggling to find a quality start. Ortiz has started four games and while he's 0-1, three of those four starts were quality starts. Ortiz has a 4.15 ERA in 21.2 innings. He's struck out 21 and walked only five. He's also only allowed one unearned run.
RHP Trey McNutt: McNutt had to leave a game early and miss a start with a blister, but he's had a very solid 2.31 ERA and a 1-2 record for the Smokies in April. McNutt has struck out 10 and walked four in 11.2 innings.
RHP Robert Whitenack: The 22-year old pitcher, an 8th round pick out of SUNY Old Westbury, started the year with Daytona, but after three starts in the Florida State League proved to be no challenge, he made a start for Tennessee and tossed six shutout innings for them, too. In five starts between Daytona and Tennessee, Whitenack was 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in April. In the 29 innings he pitched, he struck out 28 and walked one.
LHP Zachary Rosscup: This 22-year old lefty came over to the Cubs along with Matt Garza from Tampa Bay. The Cubs had him skip low-A and go straight to Daytona, where he's more than held his own over four appearances. His record is only 1-0, but he's got a 2.79 ERA and has fanned 17 in 19.1 innings.
LHP Graham Hicks: Hicks is another recent addition, coming to the Cubs from Washington for Tom Gorzelanny. He is repeating low-A, but he may not stay in Peoria long as he's posted a 2.75 ERA over 19.2 innings and four starts. Control has been a bit of a problem, since he's walked 11 and struck out 14.
Tonight's wrap up after the jump.
The Iowa Cubs were rolled by the Round Rock Express (Rangers) 5-0.
Starter Robert Coello pitched four innings and allowed four runs on six hits. All four runs scored on a pair of home runs in the fourth inning. Coello walked three and struck out three.
The I-Cubs only managed three hits tonight.
The Smokies buried the Carolina Mudcats (Reds), 9-4 to take the five game series, three games to two.
Starter Robert Whitenack looked mortal today, but he pitched well enough to pick up his first Double-A win. Whitenack pitched five innings and gave up four runs on seven hits. He walked two and struck out four.
Third baseman Josh Vitters broke out of his slump in a big way this afternoon, going 2 for 4 with a double and his fourth home run this season. The homer was an eighth inning solo shot. He scored twice.
Right fielder Matt Spencer also hit a home run today with a man on in the seventh inning. It was his third homer this season. Spencer was 2 for 4 and he also scored twice.
Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez was 3 for 4 with two RBI. Second baseman D.J. LeMahieu went 2 for 5 with a double and two runs scored. First baseman Rebel Ridling went 2 for 4 with an RBI. He also crossed home twice.
The Daytona Cubs made the Dunedin Blue Jays blue, 7-5.
Starter Jeffrey Lorick lasted 4.1 innings and surrendered three runs on four hits. Only one of the runs was earned. He walked two and struck out two. He also speaks for the trees. (Sorry, I have a pre-schooler at home.)
The win went to Juan Serrano since Lorick didn't go five. Serrano pitched 2.1 innings and was touched for two runs on four hits. One of the two runs was unearned. He did not have a walk or a strikeout.
Frank Batista collected his sixth save with a perfect ninth. He had one strikeout.
The Cubs took a big lead early when right fielder Nelson Perez launched a grand slam in the first inning. It was his third home run this season. Perez went 2 for 4 and scored twice.
Shortstop Junior Lake went 3 for 5. He scored once, batted one in and stole a base. Third baseman Matt Cerda was 2 for 4 with a walk.
The Peoria Chiefs were stung by the Burlington Bees (Athletics) 3-2.
The start tonight went to Robinson Lopez, and he turned in a solid start. He went six innings and allowed two runs on five hits. He walked three and struck out two.
The loss went to Bryce Shafer when the winning run scored on an error at on a play at third. Shafer pitched one inning and allowed one unearned run on no hits and a walk. He did not have a strikeout.
Right fielder Rubi Silva was 3 for 4. Shortstop Eliot Soto was 2 for 4.
Center fielder Matt Szczur was 0 for 3, but he walked twice and stole three bases. He also scored a run.