White Sox

On The Farm: Iowa Inches Closer To Division Title

On The Farm: Iowa Inches Closer To Division Title

Friday Sept. 3, 2010
Posted: 10:15 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

CUBSIowa AAA
The I-Cubs arent ready to give up first place just or their place in the Pacific Coast League playoffs. They made that much obvious Friday night at Principal Park by defeating Memphis, 4-2, in the opening game of a four-game series that will determine who wins the American North Division title.

Iowa took over sole possession of first and need to win two of the three remaining games to make the playoffs. Should the two teams split, Memphis would win on a tiebreaker. The I-Cubs have been in first or shared a piece of it for 47 consecutive days.

Brad Snyder continued his spectacular season, connecting for his career-best 25th homer in the seventh inning. The solo shot snapped a 2-2 tie and increased his career best RBI total to 103, second best in the PCL. Matt Camps RBI single in the eighth gave the I-Cubs a two-run cushion. Bobby Scales was 1-for-2, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. Hes batting .357 15-for-42 during the streak.

Luke Sommer pitched two scoreless innings for his first Triple-A victory before Jeff Stevens picked up his 10th save despite a shaky ninth inning.

In other action, Daytona was officially eliminated from the Florida State League playoff race after dropping a 3-2 decision at Lakeland. Luis Castillo bunted home Francisco Martinez in the 10th inning with the run that knocked the Cubs out of post-season contention. Brooks Raley started and allowed a run over 5 23 innings. Daytona managed only four hits, one of which was a Junior Lake two-out, two-run homer in the ninth that knotted the score at 2-2. Peoria lost 4-2 at Kane County. Brett Wallach allowed three runs in four innings to fall to 0-4 in seven starts as a Cub. Carolina edged Tennessee, 5-4, in 10 innings. Steve Clevenger had three doubles for the Smokies while Tony Thomas had a double, a triple and two RBIs. Esmailin Caridad took the loss. Trey McNutt started and allowed three runs in six innings. ... Eduardo Figueroa allowed an unearned run over five innings, picking up the victory as Boise defeated Yakima, 4-3.

Matt Szczur
Chicago prospect Matt Szczur, who left Peoria last month to return to Villanova to play football, made his season debut Friday night in a 31-24 loss to Temple. Szczur caught five passes for 17 yards, had five carries for 18 yards, completed his only pass attempt for 26 yards, returned a punt for one yard and returned seven kickoffs for 170 yards.
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
Terry Doyle had his final tune-up for the Carolina League playoffs on Friday and though he was a little shaky demonstrated that hes ready for the post-season in Winston-Salems 6-4 victory over Lynchburg at BB&T Ballpark.

Doyle 8-8 earned his third consecutive victory after scattering eight hits over five innings. He allowed four runs and surrendered a pair of homers in the process but still reached the .500 mark for the first time since July 20. Taylor Thompson and Brandon Kloess allowed two hits over the final four innings with the latter picking up his first save.

Andrew Garcia had two hits, including a homer, and three RBIs. Nick Ciolli extended his Carolina League hitting streak to six games while the Dash pushed their winning streak to eight.
In other action, Kannapolis began its last series of the season by dropping a 5-2 decision to Lakewood at FirstEnergy Park. The Intimidators managed only three hits. John Spatola had one of them and drove in two. Charlotte was bested at Norfolk, 4-2. Brandon Hynick allowed three runs over six innings and fell to 1-4. The Knights were without Brent Morel, who was promoted to Chicago earlier in the day. Mississippi bested Birmingham, 6-1. Chris Marrero was 1-for-3 with an RBI. ... Host Helena scored ninth-inning run and edged playoff-bound Great Falls, 5-4. Mike Earley had two hits and two RBIs for the Voyagers.

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

Welington Castillo on board with the reasoning behind his Monday benching and the identity Rick Renteria is trying to establish

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AP

Welington Castillo on board with the reasoning behind his Monday benching and the identity Rick Renteria is trying to establish

And that’s why you always run hard to first base.

Rick Renteria didn’t use a one-armed man to teach his team a lesson Monday night, but he used a relatively extreme measure, benching one of his few veteran players to send a message that lack of hustle won’t be tolerated on this rebuilding White Sox team.

In fact, it won’t be tolerated anywhere in this rebuilding White Sox organization.

That’s the hope, at least.

Welington Castillo stood at home plate while his popup fell into the first baseman’s glove during the sixth inning of Monday night’s loss to the visiting Baltimore Orioles, and because of it he didn’t go back out with his teammates for the seventh inning. It was the latest in-game benching by Renteria for a similar offense. Avisail Garcia was sat down during spring training, and Leury Garcia at the end of the team’s previous homestand.

This kind of reoccurring strategy might seem a tad strange, a manager enforcing hustle regulations to pro players during a season in which his team entered play Tuesday with baseball’s worst record. But part of rebuilding and development is establishing a cultural identity, and Castillo seemed on board with Renteria’s strategy, as well as the end goal of these punishments.

“That’s something that he always says, that’s something that he’s not going to let pass,” Castillo said Tuesday. “He always says you’ve got to run the bases hard no matter what. And for some reason, I was just frustrated, I wanted to get the job done. I saw the ball was going to be fair, and for some reason I did not run. I think that the decision that he made was the right decision. That’s not me, and I’m not going to do it again.”

Castillo was brought in this past offseason to provide some veteran experience to what is otherwise a very young squad of South Siders. Coming off career years both offensively and defensively, Castillo seemed to be an addition that would benefit this club in the short and long term. He could be here all the way through the 2020 season, when the White Sox could see their talented minor leaguers arrive and open the organization’s contention window.

And therein lies the importance of what Renteria did Monday. Castillo would figure to be veteran enough to be past such punishments. But if he buys in to Renteria’s style and passes it along to the young guys when they come up, then Renteria will have achieved what he wanted: for this to be the standard of the present and the future.

“The same rule that is for the young guys is for the veteran guys, too,” Castillo said. “We are a team, we are a family. One thing is for me, and the same thing has to be for everybody because we are a family, we are a team. Sometimes that’s good that that happens, and we’ve just got to learn from that.”

“We’re trying to eliminate habits if they’re there. Accidents you understand, but we’re trying to continue to create the identity of the White Sox organization as to how we’re going to go about doing things,” Renteria said. “They accept it, they understand it, and when we take an action I think for the most part they are accountable to what goes on.”

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

dominik_kahun_ap.jpg
AP

Getting to know four newly-signed Blackhawks

The Blackhawks announced Monday that they have officially agreed to terms with forward Dominik Kahun, defensemen Lucas Carlsson and Darren Raddysh and goaltender Kevin Lankinen on entry-level contracts.

Kahun ($925,000 cap hit), Lankinen ($925,000) and Raddysh ($730,000) each signed two-year deals that run through the 2019-20 season while Carlsson's is a three-year deal that runs through the 2020-21 campaign and carries a cap hit of $792,500.

So who are these guys? Let's meet them:

Carlsson

Drafted in the fourth round (No. 110 overall) by the Blackhawks in 2016, Carlsson set a career-high with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 44 games this season with Brynäs IF of the Swedish Hockey League. He was tied for fourth among all blue liners with seven goals.

Carlsson, 20, doesn't have major upside, but he's a reliable, well-rounded defenseman and that's what drew the attention of Blackhawks vice president of amateur scouting Mark Kelley.

“When he’s on the ice, he makes things happen," Kelley told Scott Powers of The Athletic last summer. "I think what impressed the Sweden under-20 coach was Lucas’ ability to challenge in all three zones. He’s an active defensively. Offensively, he challenges. He keeps plays alive.”

Kahun

The 22-year-old forward spent the last four seasons with EHC München of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga, Germany's top professional hockey league, where he established career highs in assists (29), points (41) and tied a personal best with 12 goals, leading Munchen to their third straight championship in 2018 after recording four goals and 10 assists in 17 playoff contests.

He raised eyebrows at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, where he compiled five points (two goals, three assists) in seven games and won 55.4 percent of his faceoffs (41 of 74), helping Germany capture a silver medal.

“He has made an enormous step this year, has become much more stable and mature," German national team coach Marco Sturm said after the Olympics. "I am sure that he would grab it in the NHL,” Sturm told the Hamburger Morgenpost.

Most recently, Kahun had a goal and two assists in seven games for Germany during the IIHF Men's World Championship. He's 5-foot-11, 176 pounds whose known to be a solid two-way player and can play center but may need some time to adjust to the smaller ice surface and NHL style of speed and physicality.

Lankinen 

Lankinen is 23 years old and coming off a season in which he was in the discussion for the Urpo Ylönen trophy, annually awarded to the top goaltender of the Finnish Elite League, after registering a league-best 1.33 goals against average and .946 save percentage in 15 games with HIFK.

He missed a large portion of the season because of an injury, but it didn't stop him from turning in a strong postseason, guiding his team to a bronze medal after posting a 1.99 GAA and .936 save percentage in 13 playoff games. The year before that, he led the league with seven shutouts in 42 games, backstopping his team to a silver medal.

This is a low-risk, medium-sized reward signing for the Blackhawks, who could use some more young goaltending depth in the pipeline, especially given how this season unfolded with the big club.

Raddysh

The Blackhawks signed Raddysh to a one-year AHL contract last June, and he turned it into an NHL one after a strong season with the Rockford IceHogs.

Raddysh, 22, accumulated 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 66 regular-season games with the IceHogs, and has appeared in each of the team's playoff games en route to the Western Conference Final.

Last season Raddysh was named the OHL's top defenseman after scoring 16 goals and 65 assists for 81 points in 62 games for the Erie Otters, where he was teammates with current Blackhawks winger Alex DeBrincat. He's the Otters' all-time leader in assists (143) and points (184) among defensemen.

Raddysh might be nothing more than a depth defenseman, but his development is worth monitoring because the offensive production is there and that's something the Blackhawks lacked this past season from their back end.