White Sox

Birmingham Blanks Mobile

Birmingham Blanks Mobile

Saturday April 30, 2011
Posted: 9:15 p.m.

WHITE SOXBirmingham AA
Josh Phegleys RBI single in the bottom of the ninth lifted Birmingham to a 1-0 victory over Mobile Saturday night at Regions Park.

The Barons and the BayBears battled in a dandy pitching duel for 8 innings before Brandon Short got the winning rally started with a two-out double. After Christian Marrero was walked intentionally, Phegley singled to center for the game-winner. Its been a struggle in the early going for Phegley, but he finished with two hits for his fourth multi-hit game of the year to push his average past the Mendoza Line to .203.

Dan Remenowsky picked up the win after pitching two perfect innings of relief. Matt Zaleski started and struck out eight while giving up two hits over seven innings. It was quite the contrast from his last outing, during which he allowed six runs on eight hits over 3 23 innings at Huntsville.
Winston-Salem A
Terry Doyle continued to pitch in tough luck Saturday as Winston-Salem dropped a 3-1 decision to Wilmington at Frawley Stadium.

Doyle 0-3 remained winless as the Dash fell to 0-5 in games that he has started. The loss also marked the 18th time in 22 games this season that Winston-Salem has played a game decided by three runs or less. Doyle certainly pitched well enough, allowing two runs in a season-high seven innings. He scattered six hits but allowed two third-inning runs and that was the difference.

Jose Martinez went 0-for-4, dropping his average to .382. Nick Ciolli had a double and an RBI while Ian Gac extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Hes hitting .364 16-for-44 during that stretch. Winston-Salem was 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

In other action, Chris Villanuevas RBI single in the bottom of the 10th lifted Hickory to a 2-1 victory over Kannapolis. Jimmy Ballinger took the loss. Brady Shoemaker and Dan Black each had two hits for the Intimidators. Spencer Arroyo started for Kannapolis and allowed a run over seven innings. Charlotte saw its modest two-game winning streak come to an end Saturday night as Columbus blanked the Knights 6-0. Gabby Hernandez had another miserable effort in falling to 0-4. He allowed five runs on eight hits in 5 13 innings.
CUBS Peoria A
The Chiefs exploded for five 10th-inning runs Saturday afternoon and scooted by Beloit, 13-8, at Pohlman Field.

Smaily Borges solo homer got the 10th inning started, snapping what had been an 8-8 tie. Richard Jones added a two-run single to fuel the inning and make a winner of Marcus Hatley 2-0, who pitched two scoreless innings and fanned four.

Hayden Simpson started and went the 4 23 innings, marking the fifth time in as many outings that he didnt make it past five innings. He gave up two homers and a season-high five runs. The Chiefs allowed a season-high six homers.

Matt Szczur and Micah Gibbs extended their hitting streaks to 12 games. Included in Gibbs effort was his first professional homer. While Greg Rohan didnt drive in a run, he did have three hits to finish April with a .357 average. His 22 RBIs are the most in April for a Chiefs player since Travis Hansen had 26 in 2003. Peoria had a season-high 19 hits.
Daytona A
Jae-Hoon Ha smacked a two-run homer Saturday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium to lead Daytona to a 4-2 victory over Dunedin.

Has blast was part of a three-run third inning. Justin Bour added a solo shot in the sixth to close out the scoring. The only other hit the Cubs picked up was a Logan Watkins triple but Nick Struck and a pair of relievers made it stand. Struck 3-1 struck out six and scattered five hits over five innings.

Jeff Beliveau and Frank Batista each pitched two scoreless innings, allowing only three hits.

In other action, Rafael Dolis walked four and gave up a hit while allowing four runs in two innings to allow Carolina emerge with a 7-6 victory over Tennessee. Matt Spencer, James Adduci each had a pair of hits while Rebel Ridling was 1-for-4 to finish April hitting .403.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?

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USA TODAY

Would potential bargains like Mike Moustakas or Carlos Gonzalez make sense for White Sox?

The 2017-18 baseball offseason continues to be, well, the 2017-18 baseball offseason, even with spring training games being played in Arizona and Florida.

A bunch of names remain on the free-agent market, including All-Star players who thought they would be in for big multi-year contracts. But as teams continue to deny the wishes of guys who expected to get big deals, the suggestion that those players might end up needing to take one-year offers if they want to play during the 2018 season is becoming a more common talking point.

So with potential bargains to be had for some pretty big-name players, do the White Sox jump into the waters and try to lock up a potential future piece on the cheap? Though they aren’t expected to contend this season, the White Sox have been mentioned in a pair of recent reports surrounding a pair of All-Star position players: Mike Moustakas and Carlos Gonzalez.

MLB.com's Jon Morosi wrote last week that the White Sox are a potential fit for Moustakas, who has sat and watched as former Kansas City Royals teammate Eric Hosmer received a huge contract from the San Diego Padres. Moustakas set a new Royals record last season with 38 home runs but has yet to find a team.

The White Sox, connected to Baltimore Orioles star Manny Machado earlier this offseason, seem to have a current big leaguer or highly ranked prospect locked into almost every position on the diamond for the foreseeable future, but third base isn't necessarily one of them. Jake Burger was last year’s top draft pick, though there’s speculation he could slide over to first base. The team still envisions him as a big league third baseman, for what it’s worth.

Moustakas is 29 and already has seven big league seasons under his belt, including a pair of All-Star appearances and a pair of trips to the World Series, including the Crowns’ championship back in 2015. His 38 homers and 85 RBIs in 2017 were both career highs. He slashed .272/.314/.521, the final of those three numbers the best mark of his career.

Moustakas has rarely hit for average or reached base at too high a clip, though those recent power numbers would be intriguing at a hitter-friendly park like Guaranteed Rate Field, where he has 10 career dingers, 26 career RBIs and a .249/.308/.456 career slash line as a visitor.

Certainly Moustakas would be a buzz-worthy addition, and if the White Sox could get him for a good value thanks to this slow-moving market, that adds incentive to bring him aboard. A short contract would have even more incentive for the rebuilding White Sox, who would have the option to either sign him to a long-term deal or deal him away in a deadline deal depending on his immediate production levels.

But for fans hoping the White Sox will spend big on a third baseman in one of the next two offseasons — Machado is a free agent next winter, and Colorado Rockies star Nolan Arenado is set to hit the market the winter after next — slotting in an outside addition at the hot corner now could impact those plans.

Gonzalez is a completely different story, a three-time All Star during his 10-year big league career who is just three seasons removed from a 40-homer campaign in 2015. The 32-year-old Gonzalez also has a trio of Gold Gloves to go along with his 215 career home runs. FanRag’s Jon Heyman listed the White Sox as a possible landing spot for CarGo this weekend.

But his walk year in Colorado was not a very good one by his standards. In 136 games for a Rockies team that ended up in the playoffs, he slashed .262/.339/.423, all those averages way down from his usual level of production. And his power numbers plummeted to 14 homers and 57 RBIs after he combined for 65 homers and 197 RBIs in 2015 and 2016.

The good news for the White Sox is that down year makes Gonzalez far more affordable. Should he command only a one-year contract, the White Sox could take a flier, stick him in the outfield — which still has an unresolved spot with few strong offensive options for center field — and trade him should he bounce back in a big way. Or, at 32, perhaps he’s a guy the White Sox could opt to keep around should he prove valuable and the rebuild continues to move along ahead of schedule.

Gonzalez seems the less risky move at this point, as Moustakas could still be looking for a multi-year contract. But the White Sox have plenty of financial flexibility and flexibility in their decision-making should they add either guy and he proves worthy of a midseason deal or a long-term look.

Bulls are unlocking something with Zach LaVine: 'He was terrific'

Bulls are unlocking something with Zach LaVine: 'He was terrific'

MINNEAPOLIS—The applause was thunderous on the welcome back for Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, two Timberwolves draft picks sent away when the chance to acquire Jimmy Butler came along.

But some of the air was taken out the Target Center due to the absence of Jimmy Butler, who’ll miss the next several weeks after deciding to have surgery on his right meniscus following an injury Friday night.

So while there was no rematch of the thrilling contest the two teams had in Chicago, some things were very much the same.

Lauri Markkanen’s struggles continued.

LaVine showed more flashes of his complete game and Dunn had a couple moments of his own.

And on the other side, Tom Thibodeau kept his starters in the game with victory secured and his team up 20 points in the Timberwolves’ 122-104 win over the Bulls Saturday night.

The Timberwolves broke the game open in the fourth quarter with some key shot-making from veteran Jamal Crawford, as he was one point short of the Timberwolves having four 20-point scorers on the night.

Jeff Teague, Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins combined for 70 points in their first game of many without Butler.

LaVine was a main reason the Bulls stayed afloat in the first 36 minutes, finishing with 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds in his first game back in front of the Minneapolis crowd he spent his first few years playing for.

Going head-up with his former teammate Wiggins for a stretch, the two seemed to relish their practice matchups. Wiggins was doing a lot of pure scoring while LaVine seemed to enjoy probing the defense and making plays for teammates, taking more of a ballhandling role as opposed to floating around the perimeter for 3-point attempts.

“He’s doing a much better job not settling for tough shots,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s attacking the basket much better than he was. You can just see him getting his legs, getting more comfortable. It was good to see him as a playmaker, he was terrific.”

Perhaps the Bulls are unlocking something with LaVine, getting him the ball in different places and on the move, where he made some nifty passes in traffic, exercising patience and maturity.

“I liked it. Hopefully we get a little bit more of it,” LaVine said. “But it’s working. Should’ve stuck to it.”

They didn’t, as the Bulls didn’t look as organized as they have previously. Dunn looked extremely motivated and aggressive but it seemed to work against him at times as Teague took advantage of Dunn being too quick for his own good. So hyped up, Dunn blew a breakaway dunk in the first half, but luckily Nwaba was right behind him for a putback.

That type of energy was expected for Dunn and LaVine, maybe even moreso for Dunn considering his underwhelming rookie year where he didn’t get much chance to play as a top-five pick.

Dunn finished with 10 points on four of 12 shooting while Cameron Payne scored 11  in 19 minutes, but the decision making from both point guards left plenty to be desired—which is to be expected given the lack of veterans on the floor.

Their starting unit again struggled as Justin Holiday and Robin Lopez again sat as the evaluation of the younger players continued.

Cristiano Felicio had a better outing than his foul-plagued game against Philadelphia, scoring 11 points but had his hands full on the other end. David Nwaba impressed for the second straight game as a starter, getting in the open floor to force the action, scoring 14 with nine rebounds in 34 minutes.

“The second quarter, I thought, was one of our better quarters of the year,” Hoiberg said. “As bad as we played in the first quarter, I thought we were down 20. We just didn’t sustain it. Against a great team like that, it’s gonna cost you.”

Nwaba, along with Bobby Portis, was a big reason why the Timberwolves couldn’t run away from the Bulls until well into the fourth quarter, even after taking a double-digit lead in the first quarter and sending Hoiberg scrambling for early timeouts.

“You can expect it because you haven’t played with that group before,” LaVine said. “We’re gonna get that chemistry down. We (only) had a couple practices with that lineup.”

Whether it’s the lineup change or just the rookie blues, the year has clearly caught up with Markkanen, who only made one field goal in 32 minutes.

“Gotta get some extra shots up. I see myself thinking too much,” Markkanen said. “That’s how it is. Of course it’s frustrating to not make shots but it is what it is. Gotta work through it.”

Markkanen has gone one-for-eight in each game coming from the All-Star break and missed all seven of his 3-point attempts.

“He’s shooting the heck out of the ball in practice,” Hoiberg said. “He’s struggling right now with his confidence, no question about it. As a shooter, you gotta keep looking to be aggressive, take the open ones. It takes one game to get that confidence back.”