On The Farm: Archer Shoots Down Suns

On The Farm: Archer Shoots Down Suns

Tuesday Sept. 14, 2010
Posted: 9:15 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
CUBSTennessee AA
Chris Archer had a dominant season at two levels this year, easily handling the Florida State League before earning a mid-season promotion to the Southern League, where his efforts were even more impressive. Though it appeared as if the opposing teams on the Double-A circuit were starting to get a better scouting report on him towards the end of the regular season, Jacksonville obviously wasnt privy to a copy.

Archer looked like the pitcher that blistered the Southern League upon his arrival in July when he took the mound Tuesday night for the championship series opener at Smokies Park. He led a quartet of pitchers that shut down and shut out the Suns, 5-0, giving Tennessee the early advantage in a rematch between the 2009 finalists.

Jacksonville took home last years crown but if the Smokies continue to get pitching like they did on Tuesday, there wont be a repeat. Archer scattered four hits over six innings, striking out eight and walking only one. It marked the seventh time in 14 Southern League starts that he didnt allow an earned run.

Aaron Shafer, Blake Parker and Esmalin Caridad each followed with a no-hit inning of their own, adding four more strikeouts without walking a batter.

Robinson Chirinos had the big hit for the Smokies, connecting for a three-run homer in a four-run fourth inning. Brandon Guyer added a solo homer in the sixth but, because of how the Tennessee staff was performing, the shot proved to be merely window dressing.

In other news, Tennessee was nominated for the 2010 Larry MacPhail Award on Tuesday, emblematic of the organization exhibiting the most outstanding promotional work during the regular season.
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
Potomac evened the Mills Cup championship series at a game apiece Tuesday night, topping Winston-Salem, 5-3, at BB&T Ballpark.

The Nationals scored three eighth-inning runs off Brandon Kloess, who allowed a pair of hits and issued a walk. His meltdown spoiled what was another fine effort from starter Dylan Axelrod, who left with a lead after allowing two runs on three hits over seven innings.

Seth Loman had two hits, including a homer, and an RBI for the Dash. Joe Martinez also had two hits and an RBI. Kenny Williams added a double and an RBI. The series will resume Thursday night at Potomac.

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

The Kyle Schwarber reboot begins Monday in Iowa

The Kyle Schwarber reboot begins Monday in Iowa

MIAMI – This isn’t a Tommy La Stella situation. The Cubs purposely told Kyle Schwarber to take a few days off to decompress before reporting to Triple-A Iowa. The reboot will begin Monday in Des Moines.

“We’re doing it to hopefully reset him, get him back up with a fresh start,” manager Joe Maddon said. “As you would expect, he was very professional about it, understood it entirely.

“There’s no actual timetable. I don’t anticipate it to be long. But we’ll see how it plays out, give him a little bit of room to get things right and then move it forward from there.”

The Cubs broke the news to Schwarber after Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the San Diego Padres at Wrigley Field, where the entire lineup went 1-for-27 outside of rookie Ian Happ’s two-run homer. It left Schwarber hitting .171 with a .673 OPS, not enough to justify his 12 home runs and suspect outfield defense. The Iowa Cubs are in the middle of a four-game series this weekend in Round Rock, Texas.

The Cubs hope Schwarber can regain his confidence and almost become a trade-deadline addition, reenergizing the team the way he did in 2015, when he blasted 16 homers in 69 games and five more in the playoffs.

Under entirely different circumstances in 2012, future All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo used 70 games with Iowa to rework his swing and make adjustments after bombing his audition with the Padres.

“He’s going to go down and be able to exhale a little bit,” Rizzo said. “Hopefully, he can smooth things out. We’re all confident he will. Just do the best down there to get back up here and to be the Kyle Schwarber that we all know and love.”

Niklas Hjalmarsson reflects on time with Blackhawks: 'I had the best time in Chicago'

Niklas Hjalmarsson reflects on time with Blackhawks: 'I had the best time in Chicago'

Niklas Hjalmarsson heard some of the rumors, but not to a large degree. The former Blackhawks defenseman wasn’t spending a lot of time on the internet reading up on his potential fate. He figured he’d still stay put in Chicago.

“But when my agent called me about the 10-team list, I understood it was serious. Stan [Bowman] wouldn’t ask for that unless they made up their mind already,” Hjalmarsson said via conference call on Saturday. “That’s when it hit me that I’m probably not going to put the Hawks jersey on anymore.”

Indeed, Hjalmarsson’s next jersey will be that of the Arizona Coyotes, who acquired him in exchange for defenseman Connor Murphy on Friday. Hjalmarsson’s departure marks the end of the line for another Blackhawks core player, and this one is jarring in how it will change the team’s defense.

Speaking of change, Hjalmarsson faces a lot of it himself now. Sure, there’s the obvious change for a guy who’s played his entire career in one place. It’s new surroundings and a new team, on which he knows former Blackhawks teammate Antti Raanta and fellow countryman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

But the Coyotes have dealt with a lot of upheaval lately. Goaltender Mike Smith is gone. So is veteran Shane Doan. On Thursday, head coach Dave Tippett and the Coyotes parted ways.

“They’re on a rebuild, a lot of new faces, lot of changes,” Hjalmarsson said. “It’s tough to know what to expect but I think they’re a hungry organization that wants to win like other teams. I’m looking forward to try to contribute with playing my game, just try to get the organization back in the playoffs.”

Hjalmarsson should find chemistry with Ekman-Larsson – the two were teammates in the Winter Olympics in Sochi – and Hjalmarsson will likely play a bigger role with the Coyotes. Arizona will probably look to Hjalmarsson a lot during its rebuild, given his Cup-winning history.

The first 24 hours were full of mixed emotions of Hjalmarsson. With his limited no-move clause, he was always a likely candidate to be moved from a Blackhawks team laden will full no-move clauses. He’s turning a page, but he won’t forget his time in Chicago anytime soon.

“I’m trying to always be a positive guy,” Hjalmarsson said. “I spent my whole 20s in Chicago, 10 unbelievable years. I didn’t think I’d win three Cups. Hopefully I can get one more before my career is over. I had the best time in Chicago, enjoyed every single year, playing in front of the best fans in the league. I’ve been spoiled. Now it’s time for me and my family to move on and seize the opportunity in Arizona and create some new fond memories.”