Wednesday, May 26, 2004
0-1 vs. Ass-Trolls; Minor League Highlights
Didn't see it, but I didn't have to - Roy Oswalt was on his game, Carlos
wasn't, Cubs lose.
Maddux tonight in game 2 of the abbreviated series. Let's go for the split.
Minor league highlights:
Iowa - Did Not Play
West Tennessee - 2B Richard Lewis was 4-5 with a run scored in a 3-2 loss;
OF Aron Weston was 3-5. Lewis, who came over in the Juan Cruz trade, is now
batting .327 on the season. Carmen Pigniatello was roughed up, but it was
encouraging to see Russ Rohlicek pitch well again (Rohlicek came over in the
Tom Gordon trade to the Ass-Trolls). Rohlicek's ERA is a microscopic 1.21.
Daytona - LHP Richard Hill continued rolling in his breakout season,
throwing 6 1/3 innings of 1 hit ball, with 3 BB and 10 K's. OF Nic Jackson
went 0-5 in his ongoing rehab stint, but finds himself at .340 in his time
at Daytona. Look for Jackson to move back to Iowa soon.
Lansing - Almost forgot.... Prior's line was 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB,
8 K. RHP Carlos Marmol got blown up behind him in his worst outing of the
year to date, giving up 10 hits and 5 ER in 4.2 innings pitched. DH/1B
Kevin Collins was 4-6 with 3 RBI (.336 YTD).
Monday, May 24, 2004
Wood Update; Sirotka APB; The Labrum
According to ESPN and the Chicago Tribune, Kerry Wood's arm is "structurally sound" (i.e. no bone spurs) but he is still expected to miss more time. At present, Wood plans to take a week off and then resume throwing, with an anticipated return sometime in early June.
Will Carroll has a nice piece in the latest Slate on the most devastating of all pitching injuries - the torn labrum. Carroll's article answers a question I had about former White Sox player Mike Sirotka, who was signed by the Cubs as a reclamation project:
Coming off a 15-10 season in 2000, Mike Sirotka was a key player in an off-season trade between the Blue Jays and White Sox. Before he ever put on a Blue Jays uniform, Sirotka's left shoulder started barking. The culprit: a torn labrum. While he had been a coveted commodity just a few months before, the Sox and Jays now treated Sirotka like the plague—Commissioner Bud Selig ultimately had to force the Blue Jays to accept the trade. Sirotka, now 33, did have surgery to repair the labrum. After missing three full seasons, he tried a comeback this year. The Cubs released him in spring training.
Off Day: Martin's Progeny, Hinske's Worth, Whither Wylie?
Blogger had a few technical problems over the last few days, but things should be resolved by now.
No comments on this past week's games that will add anything of note to other bloggers' posts on the subject. Nice wins on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and an ugly game on Friday that cost Mitre and the Cubs. It could have been a sweep if not for some ugly defense that led to 2 or 3 (arguably) unearned runs off of Mitre. Mitre didn't pitch well, but deserved a slightly better fate...
Some stats of note:
|Van Buren||(A)||0-1|| 1.80||3||5.0||6||1||5||7|
|Van Buren||(AA)||0-0|| 0.00||12||16.0||5||0||4||20|
Van Buren? That's Jermaine Van Buren, not Martin Van Buren.
A former second round pick of the Colorado Rockies in 1998, Van Buren pitched five seasons in the Colorado system, only getting to high Single-A. He posted a 28-26 record with Colorado affiliates and a 4.15 earned run average in 92 games, with 75 starts and 422 2/3 innings. Last year, pitching exclusively as a starter, Van Buren went 9-4 with a 3.07 earned run average for the Rockies High-A affiliate, allowing 107 hits in 111 1/3 innings, with 37 BB and 113 K's.
Obviously, someone in the Cubs system liked Van Buren, and the Cubs signed him as a minor league free agent this off season. Upon arriving in AA West Tennessee, Van Buren was installed as the closer and has never looked back. To date, Van Buren has dominated Southern League batters on his way to 9 saves, without surrendering a single run in 16 innings pitched (to go along with 20 K's). Although I don't know much about Van Buren beyond the information above, I have seen some suggestion that he has a power arm and is an ideal closer candidate. Although I realize that Van Buren's stats are somewhat skewed based on the small sample size, we'll keep an eye on him as a player to watch.
On the topic of once-and-future closers, does anyone know what happened to Jason Wylie? After posting a dominant season last year, Wylie started the season in Daytona and got shut down after three appearances.
Finally, Scott Chiasson (a.k.a. the player traded for current Blue Jay Eric Hinske) has come back from surgery rehab to post a pretty nice line at AA West Tennessee. Chiasson was once regarded as primary set-up or closer material, so we'll have to watch to see how his recovery plays out. With luck, Chiasson may see some major-league action in September.