Bulls

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.

NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Workout season could be more important than ever

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USA TODAY

NBA Mock Draft 3.0: Workout season could be more important than ever

With Zion Williamson making his NBA regular season debut Wednesday night, we finally got a chance to see what a No. 1 overall draft pick is supposed to look like: an athletic and versatile skill set, with the chance to impact a franchise for years to come. 

2019 No. 2 overall pick Ja Morant also looks like a franchise-changing talent with his speed and playmaking ability, lifting Memphis into playoff contention.

So, which players will have that kind of impact in the 2020 draft?

Well, for now it’s almost impossible to say. James Wiseman, the 7-foot-1 Memphis center, dropped out of school after playing just three games because of an eligibility battle with the NCAA. His size and raw tools are intriguing, but at this point his offensive game is extremely limited.

Meanwhile, Lonzo Ball’s younger brother, LaMelo is sitting out the rest of the Australian professional league season while he rehabs from a foot injury, another Australian professional, R.J. Hampton, just returned from a hip injury and North Carolina’s combo guard Cole Anthony is getting ready to return from a knee injury to finish his one and done season. 

That’s left NBA talent evaluators scrambling in trying to figure out the top of the draft, with only Georgia’s Anthony Edwards healthy and available among the players projected as the possible No. 1 overall pick. 

So, as we get closer to the end of January, here’s a look at how teams could view the available talent, with the understanding that the draft order will change dramatically as NBA scouts and GMs get a look at how players perform in the most important games of the season still to come.

2020 NBA mock draft 3.0

Will Nick Madrigal make Opening Day roster? White Sox say he has 'a few more things to prove'

Will Nick Madrigal make Opening Day roster? White Sox say he has 'a few more things to prove'

What’s the White Sox plan for second base in 2020?

Depends on when you ask.

“If we sat here today,” general manager Rick Hahn said during his pre-SoxFest press conference Thursday, “it would be some combination of Leury Garcia, Danny Mendick and Nick Madrigal.

“Ask me again on March 25.”

Presumably, Hahn and manager Rick Renteria will be asked many more times between now and then.

It doesn’t seem like a particularly difficult question to answer if we’re talking about the bulk of the 2020 campaign, as Madrigal — ranked as one of the best prospects in baseball — figures to be the guy at second base for a majority of the season. But with just 29 games played at Triple-A Charlotte last year, the White Sox might not be as ready for him to make the leap to the bigs as the fan base seems to be.

“He's got a few more things to prove,” Hahn said. “I think that when we go through trying to be as objective as possible thinking about where he is developmentally, he hasn't necessarily answered all the questions we have for him at the minor leagues.

“But we're going to go in with fresh eyes and a fresh approach in spring training and see where he's at and in all probability make an assessment there.

“I don't think we have him, by any means, written in pen as the Opening Day second baseman at this point, if that's what you mean. But could he change our minds? Yeah.”

Madrigal just might do that. After all, the bat-to-ball skills that continue to be described as “elite” are still there. He struck out just 16 times — 16 times! — in 532 trips to the plate between three levels of the minor leagues in 2019. He’s had his defense talked up as Gold Glove caliber since the White Sox selected him with the No. 4 pick in the 2018 draft. All the rave reviews are still there.

Considering the alternatives are two guys who seem to be ticketed for reserve status, at best, in Garcia and Mendick, it’s no shocking thing to suggest that Madrigal is probably the organization’s best second baseman. But during this rebuilding process, the White Sox have been consistently patient with their prospects, an approach that has maddened fans at times. But Yoan Moncada and Eloy Jimenez arrived at the big leagues eventually, and a big-money extension for Luis Robert has cleared his path to an Opening Day roster spot a year after he set the minor leagues on fire.

“We still want him to get more at-bats,” Renteria said of Madrigal on Thursday. “I want to see him out there defensively. He can catch the ball. We already know that he's a heady player. I think we want him to still have the at-bats this spring to see big league play, more big league pitchers.”

And so you can begin to envision an Opening Day lineup without Madrigal in it as he continues to polish off the final stage of his minor league development in Charlotte. That means Garcia, likely, as the Opening Day second baseman and the main option there until the White Sox deem Madrigal ready for the major league stage. Mendick will probably earn a roster spot, as well, and he might see more time than expected should Renteria opt to utilize Garcia’s versatility in the outfield on any sort of regular basis.

While there are plenty of guys out there on the free-agent market that might strike as better options than those two — and the White Sox might not be done making smaller additions before Opening Day — it might also not make the most sense to pay for someone who will be backing up Madrigal in a matter of weeks or a couple of months. Just something to consider.

Anyway, Madrigal’s really going to have to blow the doors off the Cactus League, it would seem, if he’s going to be starting alongside Robert & Co. in the March 26 opener against Kansas City. But until he and the White Sox get down to Arizona, the answer can’t be more certain than “maybe, but probably not.”

But, hey, feel free to ask Hahn again come March 25.

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