White Sox

Birmingham Bounces Huntsville To Snap Losing Streak

Birmingham Bounces Huntsville To Snap Losing Streak

Monday April 25, 2011
Posted: 10:04 p.m.
WHITE SOX Birmingham AA
The Barons snapped a two-game losing streak and pounded their way by Huntsville, 6-2 at Joe Davis Stadium Monday night. The Stars had been tied with Tennessee for first place in the Southern Leagues North Division and remained there after the Smokies were bested in Jacksonville.

Christian Marreros two-run triple snapped a 2-2 tie and sparked a three-run sixth inning. Marrero would then score on a wild pitch to help Birmingham keep pace in second place in the South Division. Tyler Kuhn had two hits, including a two-run homer in the second inning, for the Barons.

Justin Edwards picked up his first victory in four starts of the season, striking out four and allowing two runs over five innings. Greg Infante pitched two scoreless innings for his fifth save.
Charlotte AAA
Charlotte remained mired in an early-season slump Monday night, dropping a 4-3 decision to Gwinnett County at Knights Stadium. It was the 10th loss in 12 games for the Knights.

Julio Teheran made it a difficult evening for Charlotte, scattering six hits and striking out seven over eight innings. While he allowed three runs, two of those came in the seventh. Prior to that late Knights burst, Teheran was dominant.

Lucas Harrell 1-1 allowed all four runs and took the loss despite striking out seven in his six innings of work. He was undone by the long ball, allowing a pair of homers. Alejandro De Aza had two hits for the Knights.
Winston-Salem A
The Dashs woes continued Monday night at BB&T Park as they dropped a 14-7 decision to Frederick, marking the eighth time in 10 games that they have lost.

The Keys banged out 15 hits and withstood a seven-run fifth inning by Winston-Salem, an inning that saw their lead dwindle from eight runs to one. Frederick, however, wouldnt let the Dash draw any closer, scoring six runs over the final three innings to put the game out of reach.

Starter Terry Doyle 0-2 took the loss after allowing eight runs on nine hits over six innings. Jake Oester had three hits for the Dash while Austin Yount two-run and Andy Wilkins three-run each hit homers in the fifth. Jose Martinez was 2-for-5, pushing his average to .391. In other news, right-hander Justin Collop was place don the disabled list with an undisclosed injury. Collop made his first start of the season Sunday and was hit hard by Wilmington.
Kannapolis A
Lexington scored the winning run Monday night on a passed ball in the bottom of the 10th to edge by the Intimidators, 7-6, at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

Telvin Nash led off the inning with a single and was then pinch-run for by Ben Orloff, who went to third on a Chris Wallace double. After Jimmy Ballinger intentionally walked Mike Kvasnicka to load the bases, Blanke couldnt handle a pitch with Tyler Burnett at the plate, allowing Orloff to come home with the winning run.

Drew Lee, who joined the club from Bristol last week, was 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs after coming on a pinch runner for Ross Wilson in the first inning. There was no immediate word on any injury.
CUBS Peoria A
The Chiefs exploded for eight second-inning runs and coasted to 14-3 victory Monday night over Clinton at Alliant Energy Field to move over the .500 mark for the first time this season.

Arismendy Alcantara and Pierre LePage each had two-run singles in the inning while Peoria added runs on a pair of bases-loaded walks to end any doubt as to the games outcome. The top of the Chiefs batting was marvelous throughout with each of the first three batters picking up a pair of hits.

Peoria had 13 hits in all with LePage, Alcantara and Greg Rohan each picking up three RBIs. Rohan has a team-leading 17. Eric Jokisch 3-0 went a career-high five innings and picked up the victory in relief after starter Hayden Simpson went only four innings. The former top pick allowed five hits, walked a batter and gave up two runs.

Micah Gibbs also had two hits, extending his hitting streak to a career-high five games. The run total was Peorias highest since scoring 16 against Cedar Rapids on Aug. 30, 2009. Marcus Hatley was activated from the DL while Casey Harman will be added from Extended Spring Training. To make room on the roster, pitcher Eduardo Figueroa has been promoted to Daytona while catcher Chad Noble has been sent back to Mesa.

Iowa AAA
It may still be April but Lou Montanez is making some Triple Crown noise in the Pacific Coast League as he continues to assault opposing pitching. He had another big evening on Monday as Iowa out-slugged Memphis, 12-8, at Auto Zone Park.

Montanez had four hits, including a homer, and drove in four runs to lead the 15-hit I-Cub effort. He pushed his average to .438, putting him in the top five in the PCL batting race. Montanez also has 25 RBIs, temporarily putting him in the lead pending Anthony Rizzos performance with Tucson late Monday night.

Brad Snyder added a homer and three RBIs to help make a winner of Robert Coello 2-2. Esmailin Caridad tossed three scoreless innings to pick up the save.
Tennessee AA
Jacksonville went the double nickel route Monday night, scoring five runs in the fifth inning to power its way to an 8-4 victory over visiting Tennessee.

Luke Montz three-run homer off Ryan Buchter proved to be the decisive blow in the inning and the game. Rafael Dolis, however, also had a hand in the inning and took the loss, allowing four runs on six hits in 4 13 innings.

One bright spot for the Smokies was Rebel Ridling, who remained red hot while taking control in the early race for the Southern League batting title. Ridling had three hits, including a homer, and three RBIs to push his average to .436 while extending his hitting streak to six games.
Daytona A
The Cubs were postponed at Dunedin because of rain.

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

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.

Javy Baez can do anything defensively, but what's next for him at the plate?

Javy Baez can do anything defensively, but what's next for him at the plate?

MESA, Ariz. — You don’t need to spend long searching the highlight reels to figure out why Javy Baez goes by “El Mago.”

Spanish for “The Magician,” that moniker is a fitting one considering what Baez can do with his glove and his arm up the middle of the infield. The king of tags, Baez also dazzles with his throwing arm and his range. He looks like a Gold Glove kind of player when you watch him do these amazing things. And it’s no surprise that in his first media session of the spring, he was talking about winning that award.

“Just to play hard and see what I can do. Obviously, try to be healthy the whole year again. And try to get that Gold Glove that I want because a lot of people know me for my defense,” he said Friday at Cubs camp. “Just try to get a Gold Glove and stay healthy the whole year.”

Those high expectations — in this case, being the best defensive second baseman in the National League — fall in line with everything the rest of the team is saying about their own high expectations. It’s been “World Series or bust” from pretty much everyone over the past couple weeks in Mesa.

Baez might not be all the way there just yet. Joe Maddon talked earlier this week about his reminders that Baez needs to keep focusing on making the easy plays while staying a master of the magnificent.

“What I talked to him about was, when he had to play shortstop, please make the routine play routinely and permit your athleticism to play. Because when the play requires crazinesss, you’re there, you can do that,” Maddon said. “But this straight up ground ball three-hopper to shortstop, come get the ball, play it through and make an accurate throw in a routine manner. Apparently that stuck. Because he told me once he thought in those terms, it really did slow it down for him. And he did do a better job at doing that.”

But the biggest question for Cubs fans when it comes to Baez is when the offense will catch up to his defense. Baez hit a game-winning homer run in his first major league game and smacked 23 of them last season, good for fifth on a team full of power bats. But arguably just as famous as Baez’s defensive magic is his tendency to chase pitches outside of the strike zone. He had 144 strikeouts last season and reached base at a .317 clip. Seven Cubs — including notable struggling hitters Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist — had higher on-base percentages in 2017.

Baez, for one, is staying focused on what he does best, saying he doesn’t really have any specific offensive goals for the upcoming season.

“I’m not worrying about too much about it,” he said. “I’m just trying to play defense, and just let the offense — see what happens.”

Maddon, unsurprisingly, talked much more about what Baez needs to do to become a better all-around player, and unsurprisingly that included being more selective at the plate.

“One of the best base runners in the game, one of the finest arms, most acrobatic, greatest range on defense, power. The biggest thing for me for him is to organize the strike zone,” Maddon said. “Once he does that, heads up. He’s at that point now, at-bat wise, if you want to get those 500, 600 plate appearances, part of that is to organize your zone, accept your walks, utilize the whole field, that kind of stuff. So that would be the level that I think’s the next level for him.”

Will Baez have a season’s worth of at-bats to get that done? The versatile Cubs roster includes a couple guys who split time between the infield and outfield in Zobrist and Ian Happ. Getting their more consistent bats in the lineup might mean sacrificing Baez’s defense on certain days. Baez, of course, also has the ability to slide over to shortstop to spell Addison Russell, like he did when Russell was on the disabled list last season.

Until Baez learns how to navigate that strike zone a bit better, it might make Maddon more likely to mix and match other options, rather than considering him an everyday lock like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

But like Russell, Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras, Baez is one of the young players who despite key roles on a championship contender the last few years still have big league growth to come. And Maddon thinks that growth is right around the corner.

“I want to believe you’re going to see that this year,” Maddon said. “They’ve had enough major league at-bats now, they should start making some significant improvements that are easy to recognize. The biggest thing normally is pitch selection, I think that’s where it really shows up. When you have talented players like that, that are very strong, quick, all that other stuff, if they’re swinging at strikes and taking balls, they’re going to do really well. And so it’s no secret with Javy. It’s no secret with Addy. Addy’s been more swing mode as opposed to accepting his walks. That’s part of the maturation process with those two guys. Albert I thought did a great job the last month, two months of getting better against righties. I thought Jason looked really good in the cage today. And Willson’s Willson.

“The natural assumption is these guys have played enough major league at-bats that you should see something different this year in a positive way.”