RHP, Ben Christensen
The Cubs waved goodbye to RHP Ben Christensen, their first round pick in the 1999 amateur draft, on Thursday. Christensen was 12-19 with a 4.54 ERA in five-plus seasons in the Cubs' minor league system, including 0-1 with a 4.91 in nine games with the AA-West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx this season.
Christensen was the center of a storm of controversy when the Cubs drafted him in '99. The right-hander, then 21 at the time, shocked the baseball world by intentionally throwing at Evansville's Anthony Molina in the on deck circle for no other reason but timing pitches. Molina suffered cracked bones above his left eye in addition to problems with his vision, and subsequently had to retire following the 2000 season.
Christensen got off to a great start in the Cubs' system. He won seven games between High-A Daytona and AA-West Tenn in 2000, finishing with a 2.37 ERA in 17 starts. But the right-hander had to undergo a series of arm surgeries that shut him down in 2001 and for much of 2003.
IF, Mike Dzurilla
IF Mike Dzurilla was activated from the 7-day DL on Thursday by the Diamond Jaxx, who promoted IF Matt Creighton to AAA-Iowa.
Dzurilla, recently sidelined with a strained groin, is hitting .255 on the year with no homers and six RBIs. He turned 26 this past Tuesday and is in his sixth minor league season with the Cubs. Dzurilla was drafted in the seventh round of the 1999 amateur draft and attended college at St. John's.
IF, Matt Creighton
Matt Creighton was promoted to Iowa Thursday despite batting only .220 for the Diamond Jaxx in 18 games this season. Creighton, 25, is a career .293 hitter in two seasons of minor league ball with the Cubs. He had fanned 12 times in AA while drawing just one walk before being promoted.
LHP, Ryan O'Malley
The left-hander's time at AAA-Iowa was very short-lived, pitching in only one inning of work and giving up two runs on two hits. O'Malley was demoted to AA-West Tenn on Friday. He was previously promoted to AAA from the Class A Daytona Cubs earlier this week. O'Malley is 9-5 with a 2.78 ERA and 1.241 WHIP in two seasons with the Cubs' farm system.
RHP, David Manning
The Iowa Cubs signed veteran minor leaguer David Manning, 31, on Thursday. In 11 seasons of minor league ball, Manning is 52-64 with a 4.46 ERA in 143 career starts. The right-hander started for Iowa on Friday and gave up four runs in 3.1 innings in a loss to Colorado Springs. Manning was 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA in six games previously this season with the Mexico City Reds of the Mexican League.
IF, Damian Jackson
The Cubs promoted Damian Jackson from AAA-Iowa Thursday. Jackson, 30, was hitting .269 in 27 games with Iowa this season. He hit .261 in 109 games with the Boston Red Sox last year and is a career .246 hitter in eight major league seasons. The speedy Jackson could fill in for injured shortstop Alex Gonzalez.
LHP, Andy Pratt
The Cubs placed LHP Andy Pratt on the disabled list Wednesday. Pratt was 0-4 in four starts for the I-Cubs since being demoted from the parent club after a rough go of things in Chicago. Pratt served up a whopping 15 walks in only nine innings before going on the DL. He had a combined ERA of 20.29 between the big league club and the AAA-Cubs.
RHP, Bryan Corey
The Iowa Cubs released Bryan Corey on Wednesday despite the right-hander having a 2-0 record and 3.38 ERA in 10 games pitched. Corey, 30, is 47-41 lifetime in minor league career, which has spanned nine-plus seasons. He also had five saves in as many chances for Iowa.
RHP, Craig Green
Right-hander Craig Green was promoted from Class Mid-A Lansing this week. The 22-year-old Green made his Daytona debut on Saturday night and threw 1.1 innings in relief for the win.
LHP, Justin Jones
The question, "Where is Justin Jones?" has been asked repeatedly by Cubs fans this season. The 19-year-old Jones was added to the Lansing Lugnuts' roster Saturday along with OF Carlos Mejia. Jones, suffering from dead arm this spring, went 3-5 with a 2.28 ERA in 16 starts with Lansing last season. He struck out 87 and walked 32 in 71 innings in that span.
OF, Carlos Mejia
Carlos Mejia was also added to the Lansing Lugnuts roster before Saturday night and went 2-for-4 in Lansing's 3-2 victory over Peoria at Oldsmobile Park. Mejia hit .262 in 49 games with the rookie league Mesa Cubs last season.
OF, Kyle Boyer
OF Kyle Boyer, the Cubs' seventh round pick in last year's draft, and LHP Ed Campusano were demoted to the Mesa Cubs of the Arizona League. Boyer and Campusano had both been struggling this season. Boyer, 22, was hitting just .205 in 13 games with the Lugnuts and striking out at a feverish pace. The Cal State Fullerton product had fanned a total of 20 times in only 44 at-bats.
LHP, Ed Campusano
The 6'4 lefthander was 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA in 17 innings pitched for the Lugnuts. He was demoted alongside Kyle Boyer to rookie league ball in Mesa. Campusano appeared in six games while at Mesa last year, going 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA in 22 innings pitched.
Minor League Notes, Transactions: May 3-9
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