Injuries, Etc.

Injuries are a part of every season, in every sport, and the Cubs farm system (like all others) has had their fair share of them this year.

In addition to Brian Dopirak's season being over at Double-A, so too is outfielder Nic Jackson's. Jackson injured his hip flexor last month after batting over .300 through most of the year.

He missed all of 2005 and most of 2004 with injuries, and began 2006 at Class A Daytona of the Florida State League before eventually moving up to Double-A West Tennessee.

Gary Cates may never have garnered the same amount of interest from fans and prospect guru's alike, but had provided the Jaxx with some versatility around the infield and outfield – particularly at shortstop and left field.

Cates is also done for the year after breaking his hand while sliding into home plate on an inside the park home run in Jacksonville last week. The 25-year-old batted .266 in 84 games with the team in his first season with the Cubs' organization.

Cates had spent seven seasons with the Baltimore Orioles' farm system before signing as a minor league free agent with the Cubs this past off-season. He was a career .273 hitter with the Oriole system.

In Daytona, OF Sam Fuld has not played since July 29. He was batting .300 at the time through 89 games and had missed playing time earlier in the season with a bulged disc in his lower back.

Fuld is expected to return from the DL as early as this week, said first-year Daytona media relations director and broadcaster Derek Ingram.

Likewise, right-hander Billy Petrick went on the disabled list after beginning the year in Extended Spring Training following shoulder surgery last year. He eventually went to Boise for the start of short-season play and was later promoted to Daytona, where he has made three starts and is 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA in 16 1/3 innings.

Petrick was plagued by shoulder soreness following his most recent start on Aug. 9, but says he could come off the DL as early as Friday.

Also in Daytona, pitcher Jeff Teasley was released Monday. The 6'8" right-hander was an all-star at Class-A Peoria, but made only four appearances with Daytona. He allowed 10 runs in 5 2/3 innings with the club. With Peoria, he was 2-3 with a 4.30 ERA in 29 games, all in relief.

Speaking of Peoria, shortstop Dylan Johnston hasn't been seen since early July. His season is over as the result of an ankle sprain, Cubs Farm Director Oneri Fleita said. The fourth-round selection of a year ago from Hamilton High School in Chandler, Ariz., was batting just .200 in 58 games.

And in Boise, left-hander Darin Downs returned to the Hawks over the weekend after nursing an oblique injury down in Arizona. The left-hander is in his third straight season with the short-season affiliate after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2003 draft.

Downs had appeared in three games with the Hawks before being placed on the DL and had allowed 10 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings. He pitched two innings on Tuesday night and allowed one hit to seven batters for his second win of the season.

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