On The Farm: Dashing Towards The Playoffs

On The Farm: Dashing Towards The Playoffs

Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010
Posted: 9:45 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
The Dash continued their quest to make a clean sweep of the Carolina Leagues Southern Division on Thursday afternoon by topping Lynchburg, 11-0, at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem, which has won seven consecutive games, improved its lead to 1 games over Kinston, which was scheduled to play Thursday night.

A trio of Dash pitchers allowed only five hits. Joe Serafin 3-4 picked up his second consecutive victory and 10th overall this season after scattering three hits over six innings. Ryan Kussmaul and Charlis Burdie each allowed a hit over the final three innings to preserve the victory.

Winston-Salem scored five times in the first inning, providing Serafin and Co. all they would need. Jon Gilmore had the third of three consecutive singles to lead off the inning, a liner to right that brought in the games first run. Nick Ciolli continued his tear since coming up from Kannapolis by rocking a two-run double to right before Luis Sierra added a two-run double of his own.

Ciolli finished 3-for-5 and has hit safely in all five games .478 in which he has played for the Dash. Winston-Salem finished with 15 hits and has outscored the Hillcats, 27-2, through the first three games of the series. ... Joe McEwing was named carolina League manager of the year on Thursday. Eduardo Escobar, Jon Gilmore, Brandon Short and Justin Greene were all named to the post-season All-Star team.
Kannapolis A
Andre Rienzo put quite the exclamation point on what was a marvelous season Thursday night in Kannapolis 8-5 victory at Delmarva.

Rienzo 8-4 improved to 8-0 in his last 11 starts dating back to July 7. He posted a 1.95 ERA over the 64 innings in that 11-game stretch. He allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last 10 starts.

Ryan Lee was 3-for-6 with an RBI while Kevin Dubler had two hits, two walks and drove in three.
In other action, Mike Aubreysthree-run homer in the bottom of the 13th gave Norfolk a 4-1 victoryover Charlotte. Carlos Torres started and allowed a run in seveninnings. Dayan Viciedo was 1-for-5. ... Birmingham blanked visiting Carolina, 8-0. Ricky Brooks scattered four hits and struck out eight over five innings to pick up the victory. Josh Phegley hit his first Double-A homer and drew a pair of walks while Chris Marrero had two hits and two RBIs.
CUBSDaytona A
The Cubs remained in the Florida State League playoff hunt Thursday night but are on the verge of elimination despite defeating Clearwater, 5-4, at Bright House Field. Daytona remains two games behind Tampa, which defeated Brevard County, with three games left in the regular season.

Rebel Ridling had a homer and three RBIs to pace the Cubs while DJ LeMahieu added a homer and two RBIs of his own. Nick Struck allowed three runs over 5 13 innings to pick up his first FSL victory. The Cubs close out the season with three games at Lakeland while Tampa will host Dunedin in a three-game set.
In other action, Tennessee dropped a 6-2 decision at Jacksonville. The Smokies managed only three hits. Rafael Dolis allowed four runs in 5 23 innings to take the loss. Tennessee manager Bill Dancy was named Southern League manager of the year on Thursday.

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

Blackhawks: Tommy Wingels fractures foot, will be ready for training camp

Blackhawks: Tommy Wingels fractures foot, will be ready for training camp

Tommy Wingels, who the Blackhawks acquired earlier this month, will miss 6-8 weeks after suffering a left-foot fracture during his offseason training. Team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement that the Blackhawks, “anticipate a full recovery in 6-8 weeks and in time for training camp. We do not anticipate any long-term issues.”

The Blackhawks signed Wingels, a Wilmette native, to a one-year deal on July 1. Wingels will still be at this weekend’s convention.

Bears training camp preview: Three burning questions for the offensive line

Bears training camp preview: Three burning questions for the offensive line

With training camp starting next week, CSN Chicago’s Chris Boden and JJ Stankevitz are looking at three burning questions for each of the Bears’ position groups heading into Bourbonnais. Friday's unit: the offensive line. 

1. Will Kyle Long and Josh Sitton flip spots, and will it be effective?

One of the more intriguing storylines to come out of the Bears’ offseason program was the possibility of a Kyle Long-Josh Sitton guard swap, with Long moving from right to left and Sitton to left to right. The prevailing wisdom is that Long’s athleticism would be better suited for the pulls needed at left guard, while Sitton has made Pro Bowls at both positions. But is it prudent for the Bears to make this switch with Long still recovering from November ankle surgery and some nasty complications that came after it? He’s shown he’s skilled enough to already make one position switch on the offensive line (from right tackle to right guard), so there’s no reason to doubt he couldn’t handle another so long as he’s healthy. We’ll see where he is next week. 

“You want flexibility,” coach John Fox said. “You don’t want as much flexibility as we had to use a year ago because we had to play so many guys due to injury. But we’re messing around with (Sitton) and Kyle both playing opposite sides, whether one’s on the left, one’s on the right. We’ll get those looks in camp, we got plenty of time.”

2. Can Charles Leno Jr. capitalize on a contract year?

Leno has been a pleasant surprise given the low expectations usually set for seventh-round picks. He started every game in 2016, checking off an important box for John Fox — reliability. Whether Leno can be more than a reliable player at left tackle, though, remains to be seen (if the Bears thought he were, wouldn’t they have signed him to an extension by now?). He has one more training camp and 16 games to prove he’s worthy of a deal to be the Bears (or someone else’s) left tackle of the future. Otherwise, the Bears may look to a 2018 draft class rich in tackles led by Texas’ Connor Williams and Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey. 

“I know if I take care of my business out here, everything else will take care of itself,” Leno said. 

3. Will Hroniss Grasu survive the roster crunch?

A year ago, Grasu was coming off a promising rookie season and was in line to be the Bears’ starting center. But the Oregon product tore his ACL in August, and Cody Whitehair thrived after a last-minute move from guard to center. If the Bears keep eight offensive lineman this year, Grasu could be squeezed out: Leno, Long, Whitehair, Sitton and Bobby Massie are the likely starters, with Eric Kush and Tom Compton filling reserve roles. That leaves one spot, either for fifth-round guard Jordan Morgan or Grasu. The Bears could try to stash Morgan, who played his college ball at Division-II Kutztown, on the practice squad and keep Grasu. But Grasu doesn’t have flexibility to play another position besides center, which could hurt his case.