Write Derek at drksmart @ gmail.com
Write Phil at phil.bencomo @ gmail.com
Help is on the Way?
by Alex Ciepley
While the Cubs get ready for a tour of the nation's capital, here's a quick stroll through a few AAA pitchers and AA hitters:
IP ERA HR BB K 34.3 5.77 5 15 20
That's no good. Brownlie entered the season as a potential Mid-Season Helper (aka Wood-Prior Replacement), but his tater-happiness, iffy control, and strikeout-aversion aren't going to help the Cubs anytime soon--while there've been plenty of bombs and walks issued by the major league staff, at least they're striking guys out, too.
As for the other potential Rotation Saviour, Angel Guzman, he has yet to pitch, sidelined with an arm injury. Carrie Muskat reports:
Guzman has been slowed by a strained right forearm that has been described as something similar to a hamstring injury. Cubs player development director Oneri Fleita says they decided to add an additional 10 days to Guzman's rehab time in Mesa, Ariz., and if he shows improvement, he could join a minor league team in mid-June. If healthy, Guzman might have been considered for a spot in the rotation now.
At a level lower, the Cubs' AA team, the Diamond Jaxx, have been throwing out the following first seven batters every day.
Felix Pie OF
AB BB K AVG OBP SLG 118 9 26 .364 .409 .627
Adam Greenberg OF
AB BB K AVG OBP SLG 91 17 25 .308 .418 .407
Matt Murton OF
AB BB K AVG OBP SLG 118 16 13 .407 .485 .602
Matt Craig 3B
AB BB K AVG OBP SLG 60 6 11 .317 .377 .550
Brandon Sing 1B
AB BB K AVG OBP SLG 89 19 26 .337 .459 .685
Buck Coats SS
AB BB K AVG OBP SLG 100 13 20 .320 .395 .430
Ryan Theriot 2B
AB BB K AVG OBP SLG 103 16 10 .330 .413 .427
Are you kidding me? The Jaxx currently stand at 25-8, and it is no wonder with a lineup producing at that rate. Take a look at those on-base percentages: .409, .418, .485, .377, .459, .395, .413. Derrek Lee may be the only Cubs on the big league roster that will end up with an OBP that even matches the lowest of those numbers.
Of course, not all these Jaxxers are considered hot prospects, but the doings of youngster Pie and Nomar-caddy Murton are especially encouraging. And this from a minor league system that for years has been known as pitching-heavy. Keep on keepin' on, D-Jaxx.