White Sox

Tennessee Remains Smokin' Hot At Jacksonville

Tennessee Remains Smokin' Hot At Jacksonville

Saturday April 23, 2011
Posted: 9:40 p.m.

CUBS Tennessee AA
The Smokies have spent the better part of the seasons first month tearing up the Southern League with an impressive offensive performance. Heading into Saturdays game at Jacksonville, Tennessee was leading the league in hitting and was the only team on the circuit batting higher than .300.

Tennessee put on another show against Suns, banging out 13 hits and charging to a 6-2 lead before holding on for a 7-3 victory at The Baseball Grounds. The middle infield provided the spark this time with shortstop Marwin Gonzalez collecting three hits and second baseman Nate Samson going 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs.

First baseman Josh Vitters rounded out the infield assault, adding a homer and two RBIs. Brooks Raley started and struggled again, getting chased after 4 13 innings. The Smokies bullpen was brilliant, though, throwing 4 23 shutout innings Hung-Wen Chen earning his first win of the season.
Peoria A
The Chiefs rallied for a pair of seventh-inning runs Saturday afternoon at OBrien Field to earn a surprising 3-2 victory over Beloit and gain a doubleheader split. The Snappers grabbed the opener, 5-2.

Greg Rohans two-run single not only pushed his team-leading RBI total to 14 it capped the big late comeback. Arismendy Alcantara led off the seventh with a single and went to second on Matt Szczurs bunt single. Rohan followed a Pierre LaPage bunt with a single to center to win it. Rohans RBI double in the sixth had cut Beloits lead to 2-1.

Eduardo Figueroa 1-1 pitched 2 13 perfect innings of relief to earn the victory. Starter Graham Hicks tied a career high with eight strikeouts.

Peoria recorded a season-high four errors in the opener, including an opening-inning miscue that led to a pair of Beloit runs. Cam Greathouse 0-1 started and went 4 13 innings, allowing all five runs though only two were earned. Micah Gibbs went 2-for-3 while Greg Rohan drove in his team-leading 11th run with a sacrifice fly.
Daytona A
The Cubs stretched their winning streak to five games Saturday evening, topping Dunedin, 6-2, at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium to remain in first place in the Florida State Leagues North Division.

Junior Lake and Jake Optiz paced Daytona, combining for seven hits. Optiz had three doubles while Lake had a homer, two stolen bases and three RBIs. Jae-Hoon Ha added a pair of hits and has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, pushing his average to .375.

Nick Struck 2-1 scattered four hits and fanned seven over 5 13 innings. He retired 10 in a row after Scott Podsednik picked up a leadoff single. Ryan Searle pitched 2 13 scoreless innings and has not allowed a run in his 9 13 innings pitched this season.
Iowa AAA
Brad Snyder and Matt Camp combined for five of Iowas seven hits Saturday night and it proved to be not enough as Memphis picked up a 3-2 victory at AutoZone Park.

Camp had three hits and Snyder drove in a run. Ramon Ortiz took the loss after allowing three runs and striking out five over seven innings. In other news, the Cubs called up Justin Berg and optioned Jeff Stevens to Iowa. Berg was 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five appearances for Iowa this year.
WHITE SOXCharlotte AAA
Brandon Hynick made one mistake Saturday night and it cost him. The big right-hander severed up a home run ball to Diory Hernandez in the fourth inning and that was the difference as Gwinnett County squeezed by Charlotte, 3-1, at Knights Stadium.

Hynick 0-2 allowed six hits over seven innings and got into trouble in the fourth by allowing back-to-back singles to lead off the inning before Hernandez deposited the ball over the left-field wall. Jordan Danks had an RBI single in the seventh for the Knights, who lost their second straight game and for the eighth time in 10 games. Gwinnetts Mike Minor took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Lastings Milledge connected for a two-out double.
Winston-Salem A
Jared Mitchell led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a homer Saturday night to give Winston-Salem a 3-2 victory and a doubleheader split with Wilmington at BB&T Park. It was Mitchells second homer of the season and completed a comeback that saw the Dash rally from a 2-0 deficit.

Ian Gacs two-run homer in the sixth knotted the score at 2-2, setting the stage for Mitchells heroics. It was Gacs sixth homer of the season. Ryan Kussmaul 3-0 earned the win with two perfect innings while Addison Reed also pitched two perfect innings in relief of Joe Serafin.

Wilmington scored nine runs over the final three innings of the opener to earn a 10-2 victory. Cameron Bayne, who hadnt given up a run in 14 innings this season prior to Saturday, allowed a first-inning run and then surrendered six more late before leaving following his five innings. His ERA jumped from 0.00 to 3.32. Dan Wagner had a pair of hits and an RBI.
Birmingham AA
Huntsville exploded for three eighth-inning runs Saturday night and stunned Birmingham, 4-3, at Regions Park. Chuck Caufields two-out, two-run double punctuated the inning.

Nate Jones was charged with all three runs in 23 of an inning to suffer the loss. Dylan Axelrod allowed a run on five hits while striking out seven over seven innings before turning it over to Jones.

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

Michael Kopech undergoes successful Tommy John surgery, on track for 2020 return

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USA TODAY

Michael Kopech undergoes successful Tommy John surgery, on track for 2020 return

Michael Kopech's Tommy John surgery was a success.

The White Sox announced Wednesday that Kopech underwent the procedure Tuesday to address the significant tear in his UCL and that he is on track to return for spring training ahead of the 2020 season.

This was the expected outcome when the team announced Kopech's injury two days after he made his fourth major league start. But the news that day sent a shockwave through the fan base, one of the brightest young stars of the rebuild slated to miss a full season as he recovers from this significant injury.

The White Sox said then that Kopech would likely be ready to go for spring 2020, a season many fans and observers have circled as one where the franchise could shift from rebuilding mode into contention mode. Of course, the delaying of Kopech's first full big league season — and the valuable development that comes with that — throws into question what kind of contributor he can be should the rest of the team be ready to win. Similarly, does the delayed developmental time for Kopech and the host of other prospects who suffered significant injuries this year shift the timeline of the entire rebuilding effort?

Those questions won't be able to be answered until Kopech and the rest get back on the field.

The completed surgery brings with it the same projection from 12 days ago, that Kopech should be ready to go by spring 2020. As we wait for that date, the rebuild will progress without him. What will the puzzle and his place in it look like by then? Just another element of the waiting game on the South Side.

Danny Trevathan believes he's not the last Bears player to win defensive player of the week honors in 2018

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USA Today

Danny Trevathan believes he's not the last Bears player to win defensive player of the week honors in 2018

Danny Trevathan figured any one of his Bears’ teammates could’ve received the NFC Defensive Player of the Week honor bestowed upon him on Wednesday, which he earned with eight tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble against the Seattle Seahawks. Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Prince Amukamara, whoever — what the Bears did defensively in Monday night’s 24-17 win was a collective effort. 

“It could’ve went to any of the guys on defense,” Trevathan said. 

The Bears’ defense finished in the top 10 in scoring and yards allowed in 2017 thanks to a collective effort that was similar, but not exactly the same. That team only four three players finish the season with 3 1/2 or more sacks (Akiem Hicks, Leonard Floyd, Pernell McPhee, Lamarr Houston) but finished seventh in the league with 42 sacks. 

Through two games in 2018, the Bears lead the NFL with 10 sacks. The collective effort is still there, with seven different players recording a sack so far. What’s different, though, is the Bears now have an elite pass rusher in Mack, which raises the level of that collective play. For example: When Mack makes a play, like a strip-sack, it acts as motivation for the rest of the team. 

“Just seeing it happen, you'll want to go out and do it yourself,” outside linebacker Leonard Floyd said. “It definitely motivates the rest of the team to go out and make those types of plays.”

But it’s not just Mack that’s lifting the play of the Bears’ defense. To throw another guy out there: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman’s work soaking up double teams in the interior of the defense, especially on Monday night, was critical in keeping Russell Wilson contained as well as allowing Trevathan to make a number of the plays he did. 

“Eddie’s the key,” Trevathan said. “The front seven starts up there and he’s one of the disrupters up there. I just let him work his game and play off him. Half of the time I don’t even get touched, so you know you got a good D-linemen when your linebackers aren’t getting touched and able to make plays.”

What the Bears’ defense did on Monday night — and what they did in the first half of Week 1 — feels like the kind of evolution Vic Fangio’s defense needed to reach the top-five-in-the-league goal that a number of players set prior to the season. The collective mentality is there with a group that has continuity, and then the addition of Mack has brought about a different dimension that can take this defense to that next level. 

“We got a lot of hitters on defense,” Trevathan said. “Khalil brings that X-factor, we got a lot of guys there. But it’s all about us working together. You might not get the spotlight, but all really don’t care about that. As long as we get the W, the defense is on top and we’re winning games, we’re having fun, we’re cool with that.” 

So with that in mind, is Trevathan going to be the only player to win a defensive player of the week award this year?

"Oh, heck no. Heck no. Heck no," Trevathan said. "We’re looking to get it every week."