Down on the Farm: Angel Guzman

guzmancrop.jpgAfter a move to the bullpen last year, Angel Guzman started to look like a key piece for the Cubs as they began their playoff push. Guzman had 26 strikeouts and only nine walks in 30.1 innings. He seemed to be thriving in his new role, holding righties to a .218 batting average. But on June 6, the Cubs were forced to place Guzman on the DL with a right elbow strain. Unfortunately, test revealed that the Venezuelan would require Tommy John surgery to fix the rupture in his right ulnar collateral ligament.

After the surgery and months of rehab, Guzman is back in the minors, currently pitching for the Tennessee Smokies, the Cubs Double-A affiliate. The 26-year-old is pitching well (stats below) and hopes to be healthy enough to make it back to Chicago for September call-ups. If so, the Cubs will have another weapon to use late in games in an already deep ‘pen.

                                                             —Zach Martin

Tennessee Smokies (AA): 25-26 Overall
smokies.gifNorth Division 2nd Place (-8.0)

Tennessee relinquished an early six-run lead and fell to Birmingham, 10-8.

RHP Angel Guzman (ND 0-0, 0.00) 3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

HOMERS – Jake Fox (20)

? Starting pitcher Angel Guzman pitched 3.0 scoreless innings in his first major league rehabilitation start for Tennessee … he allowed three hits and struck out two, throwing 43 pitches, 32 for strikes.
? 1B Jake Fox hit a three-run homer in the first inning and finished the evening 1-for-3 with two walks, the homer, a run scored and four RBI … his 20 roundtrippers lead the team.
? CF Sam Fuld was 2-for-4 with two walks, a run scored and two RBI … his is 6-for-8 with three  walks, two runs scored and three RBI over his last two games, raising his average from .232 to .248.
? SS Matt Camp went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI … the four knocks are a season high.

 Iowa Cubs (AAA): 71-52 Overall
iowa cubs.gifNorthern Division 1st Place (+6.0)

Iowa tied a franchise record by scoring 12 runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on the way to a 15-6 win over New Orleans.

RHP Randy Wells (ND 8-4, 3.99) 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

? LF Andres Torres went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, an RBI and his team-leading 21st stolen base … he has 21 straight stolen bases after being caught in his first three attempts of the season … he is 6-for-11 (.545) with four stolen bases in the past three games.
? 2B Luis Figueroa recorded his third straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with a walk, a double and two runs scored … he is 7-for-14 (.500) over his four-game hitting streak.
? SS Andres Blanco finished with a season-high four hits, going 4-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and a season-high four RBI.
? Starting pitcher Randy Wells threw 6.0 shutout innings, allowing three hits and one walk while striking out five, lowering his ERA from 4.24 to 3.99 … he has recorded quality starts in three of his last six outings.
? 1B Micah Hoffpauir went 3-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two RBI … prior to the game he was named Pacific Coast League hitter of the week for the second time this season, going .422 (12-for-27) with five home runs, 11 runs scored and 11 RBI for the week of August 4 – 10.

Peoria Chiefs (A-): 25-26 Overall
chiefs.gifWestern Division 6th Place (-5.5)

Peoria scored two runs on three hits in the first inning, then went hitless over the next eight innings, falling to Beloit, 7-2 in the finale of the four-game series.

RHP Josh Whitlock (L 0-1, 7.27) 4.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

? CF Brandon Guyer went 1-for-3 … he is 4-for-11 (.364) with a triple, a home run, three runs scored and two RBI over the past three games.
? 2B Josh Harrison (1-for-4) opened the game with a double and scored on 3B Jovan Rosa’s (1-for-4) single to center.
? RHP Jose Pina threw 3.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit while striking out three.

Boise Hawks (A-): 32-23 Overall
boise.jpgEast Division 2nd Place (-6.0)

Boise collected 12 hits, holding off Spokane, 10-8.

LHP James Leverton (ND 1-2, 4.58) 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

HOMERS – Ryan Flaherty (6)

? 3B Josh Vitters extended his hitting streak to 19 games, going 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI … he is 31-for-86 (.360) with nine doubles, two homers, 15 runs scored and 10 RBI over the streak.
? SS Ryan Flaherty went 2-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and an RBI … he is  22-for-54 (.407) over his current 12-game hitting streak.
? Starting pitcher James Leverton limited Spokane to two hits and two walks while punching out two in 4.0 scoreless innings.
? 2B Marwin Gonzalez had a pair of two-run doubles, finishing the night 2-for-4 with the season-high four RBI.

 Mesa Cubs (R): 7-7 Overall; First Half: 18-10 Overall
mesa.gifArizona League Tied 4th Place (-4.0)

Mesa collected nine hits, but fell to the AZL Rangers, 6-2.

RHP Erik Hamren (L 1-1, 7.94) 1.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K

? CF Tony Campana went 1-for-5 with a run scored and his seventh stolen base … he is 6-for-16 (.375) with a walk, five runs scored and three stolen bases in his last four games.
? SS Starlin Castro went 2-for-4 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI.

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