White Sox

On The Farm: Bristol Blanks Burlington Again

On The Farm: Bristol Blanks Burlington Again

Friday, Aug. 13, 2010
Posted: 9:45 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

WHITE SOXBristol Rookie
Chase Blackwoods two-run homer highlighted a three-run 12th inning as Bristol downed Burlington, 3-0, marking the third consecutive game in which the Sox have blanked the Royals. Burlington has not scored in 36 consecutive innings against Bristol while managing only one run in the last 39 innings between the two teams.

Jarrett Casey started and went the first 10 innings for the Sox, striking out seven and scattering five hits. Richard Marshall went the final two innings, allowing a hit and fanning two.

Bradley Salgado also drove in a 12th-inning run.

Charlotte AAA
A quartet of players picked up multiple hits Friday night and CarlosTorres pitched just well enough to win as Charlotte downed hostNorfolk, 7-3.

Torres 9-7 allowed three runs on three hits and survived five walksin five innings to pick up his second victory in as many outings. Thefive walks equaled a season high. Randy Williams allowed one hit inthree innings before Ryan Braun pitched a scoreless ninth.

Brent Morel, Jeremy Reed, Tyler Flowers and Josh Kroeger each had apair of hits. Flowers had an RBI triple and Kroeger a run-scoringsingle to spark Charlottes four-run second inning.
Birmingham AA
Justin Greenes RBI single in the ninth provided the winning margin as Birmingham held on for a 2-1 victory at Mobile Friday night. Greenes hit proved critical because it gave the Barons a 2-0 advantage, one they would need after the BayBears rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning.

Chris Marreros seventh-inning homer had given Birmingham the lead and made a winner of Matt Long 6-8 who had lost his previous two starts. Long went six innings and allowed only two hits.

In other action, Frederick scored three eighth-inning runs and defeated Winston-Salem, 4-3. Josh Phegley had two homers and three RBIs for the Dash. Kannapolis won its fourth straight, topping Savannah, 7-5. Ian Gac had four RBIs while Cameron Bayne earned his fourth consecutive victory and now leads the South Atlantic League with 10 wins.
CUBSTENNESSEE AA
Chris Rusin was consistent both as a starter and reliever for much of his time at Daytona, where he has spent the majority of this season. He arrived at Tennessee earlier this month and has exhibited the same characteristics, pitching well but not in an overwhelming or overpowering fashion.

Hes made three starts for the Smokies, the third of which was Friday in an 8-4 victory at Chattanooga. Rusin went six innings, allowing three runs two of which were earned in picking up his second consecutive victory. He scattered seven hits and struck out six, adding what would appear to be another strong arm to an already interesting staff.

Kyle Smit, who joined the Cubs at the trading deadline in a deal with the Dodgers, added a scoreless inning and has allowed only one run in 6 13 innings over four appearances since the deal.

Matt Spencers three-run homer in the fourth inning was the big blow that broke the game open.

In other action, Peoria and Beloit were rained out and because the two teams dont play again this season, the game will not be made up. The Chiefs did send catcher Mario Mercedes to Tennessee and brought up catcher Jose Guevara from Boise. Daytonas game against Dunedin was also washed away and will be made up as part of a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 5:05 ET.

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

White Sox catching prospect mentioned in some elite company

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USA TODAY

White Sox catching prospect mentioned in some elite company

White Sox catching prospect Zack Collins is being talked about in some elite company after a recent accomplishment.

Collins participated in the Southern League Home Run Derby in Double-A earlier this evening for the Birmingham Barons, and he secured his first career home run derby win.

Now, this is cool, thanks to NBC Sports Chicago’s stats guru Chris Kamka: Dating way back to 1895, Babe Ruth was born on Feb. 6, 1895. Collins was born on the same day as Ruth, but 100 years later.

It’s still way too early to make any sort of comparisons, but it’s a fun way to connect the two.

Collins so far this season is hitting .267 with 9 HR, 33 RBI’s and 59 BB in 62 games. Those walks lead the Southern League. The next highest is 39.

Collins is hitting much better than he did when he was with Single-A Winston-Salem last season. Collins hit a mere .233 in 101 games.

Think about this too. Rick Hahn mentioned several White Sox prospects will get promotions in the coming days. Could this mean Collins will get his opportunity? We’ll just have to wait and see.

 

Glanville: Ready or not, play ball

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USA TODAY

Glanville: Ready or not, play ball

As my career wound down in Major League Baseball, I found myself caddying a lot. Caddying is just what it sounds like, coming in as needed, helping the talent of the future as a mentor or advisor. It also meant that when you do get the chance to start, you may be facing tough assignments that are spaced out inconveniently for you.

As I did in 2004, I faced some tough pitchers often to protect the next generation centerfielder in Marlon Byrd in Philly. I faced a Rolodex of Cy Young award winners that year (Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine, and others) or All-Stars (Brad Radke and so on), and the other starters were reserved for the young buck.

That was then, but how to be ready with so many unknowns is still an important lesson about being prepared for anything that can come at you. And in baseball, anything will come at you.

Like many players who arrive to the big leagues, they have had a lifetime of being every day players. High school, college stars, or even minor league stars, who were always in the lineup. Then, as the air gets thinner, so does the opportunity to be a starter and the more you may learn about life coming off of the bench.

Addison Russell had a surprise entry into the Cubs-Cardinals game the other day after teammate Javier Baez took a pitch off of the elbow. In theory, it was supposed to be Russell’s “day off” so when he made an error in the field, speculation arose from announcer Alex Rodriguez that he may not have been fully prepared. The implication was that he had shut off his mind to enjoy his day off, and was caught off guard.

Only Russell knows how he felt, but after I spent a career in the National League as perennial starter and bench player, there is no such thing as a day off, especially in a lineup under Joe Maddon, which has emphasis on versatility, flexibility and open-mindedness.

If you are on the bench to start a game, there is an understanding that you may get in the game. At least there should be unless, and this has happened to me, the manager tells you that under no circumstance will you be called in the game. Even then, in the back of my mind, should the game go 15 innings, I could hardly be surprised if a promise may have to be broken.

One time, Phillies manager Terry Francona gave me a day off during a season where I ended up playing in 158 games and leading the NL in at bats. He said to me “it looks like the bat is swinging you.” We were out of it in September, so he could sit me and keep me on the bench. The Cubs do not have the luxury of handing out day spa packages, they are in the race, in fact, many days, they are getting chased.

I only played one partial season in the American League and this was with Texas as Alex’s teammate. After years of National League life, the AL was another planet. Players came off the bench only in matchup situations, the rare pinch run or pinch hit, and maybe for defense (other than road interleague play.). The AL does not have the built in bench call because in the NL, the pitcher hits, a circumstance which opens up many ways you can get in the game.

Like Alex, I was spoiled on years of being a starter, so it did take a little time to know how to get ready for the chance you may come in the game. He was a DH later in his career, so he knew when he was hitting, so he could get loose with a plan. If you don’t have that advantage, usually around the fourth inning or some inning before the pitcher is batting, I would start warming up. Some parks are easier than others to do that. Stretch, hit off of the tee, jog somewhere. And you will have to repeat this each inning you are not used, just in case.

What really bites into your preparation is when something happens very early in the game. This is when you could not get into a stretching routine to be ready because of the timing (Baez injury happened in the 3rd) or you could have skipped your typical pre-game warm up to bask in your day off. Sure, being a pro means being ready but being thrust in a game is still pretty jarring.

Then when you age in the game, you don’t have the bandwidth to be stiff on the bench or you may not ever get loose, so you are (or should be) constantly warming up. I learned a lot as a young player watching veterans like Shawon Dunston, Lenny Harris, and others who came off the bench ready to go. We were all a quick turn away from a pulled muscle.

Baseball is a stop and go sport, outside of the elements of surprise of in game injuries or wild substations, you may get hit by weather like the Cubs experienced last night. When is the tarp coming off? Warm up, sit down, warm up, sit down. It is not the best way to be loose, especially when you are 34, but it is always part of any sport that plays outdoors. You have to put the built-in excuses out of your head because there is a role player performing well despite the obstacles.

As an every day player, you often get out of touch with the reality of coming off of the bench and having to perform. It is challenging for any player to come off the bench no matter what the circumstance, which is what makes pinch hitter extraordinaire, Tommy La Stella, an incredible asset. It is one thing to be loose, it is another to hit a guy throwing a 96 mph sinker.

Baseball is a tough game because it depends so much on rhythm while everything is trying to disrupt it. Errors happen, no matter what, even when you are prepared and at your best. And it is ok to recognize that you may not really be loose, which is a natural occurrence over 162 games. You can’t be totally limber every day after long flights and split doubleheader’s while the body is just being the body. Sometimes you are productive playing through it, some times, you are not.

Yet there are a whole host of players who make a career out of their instant utility. Productive players who are not afforded advanced notice all of the time. Every year, these players help win championships (see David Ross.) Coming cold off the bench, going into games when the starter’s hamstring tightens up. Facing closers who throw 100 mph. Pinch running with a tight hamstring. It happens every single day on every single team. They are as important to winning as having an MVP in Kris Bryant, or a brilliant veteran, like Jon Lester.

So let’s take this opportunity to appreciate these players more instead of only noticing them when a starter has to do what these bench players have always done. Being ready on call.