On The Farm: Iowa Loses To Memphis, Eliminated From Playoff Picture

On The Farm: Iowa Loses To Memphis, Eliminated From Playoff Picture

Monday Sept. 6, 2010
6:30 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

CUBS Iowa AAA
Mark Hamiltons two-out homer in the top of the ninth inning Monday afternoon lifted Memphis to a 7-6 victory at Principal Park, clinching a division title for the Redbirds and denying Iowa a berth in the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

The I-Cubs and Redbird finished tied for first place in the American North Division but Memphis owned the tiebreaker and will advance into the post-season. Iowa owned or shared a piece of first place for the final 51 days of the season but was denied a playoff spot because Memphis owned a better head-to-head record.

Iowa held a 6-3 lead going into the seventh inning before Memphis scored three times to set the stage for Hamiltons dramatic blow of Hung-Wen Chen in the ninth inning. Jason Dubois ended the season on a 13-game hitting streak after hitting a pair of solo homers. Robinson Chirinos was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, finishing with a .364 average in 15 PCL games after hitting .318 at Tennessee.

In other action, playoff-bound Tennessee finished out the regular season with a 3-2 victory at Carolina. Brandon Gyer was 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs to finish second in the Southern League with a .344 average. Brett Jackson had a pair of hits while Craig Muschko allowed a run in five innings for his ninth win. Peoria ended its Midwest League season with a 9-4 victory at Quad Cities. Jae-Hoon Ha had a hit, two RBIs and finished with a .317 average. Matt Cerda had a double and three RBIs, giving him 80 for the year. Yohan Gonzalez went two scoreless innings for the win.

WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
The Dash won the Carolina Leagues Southern Division second-half championship with a 10-5 victory over Salem at BB&T Ballpark on Monday, completing a sweep of divisional crowns. Winston-Salem also won the first-half title and will face Kinston in the opening round of the playoffs, which begin on Wednesday.

Winston-Salem finished with the best overall record in the league as well as posting the best first- and second-half records. The two Divisional titles marked the first time in franchise history that Winston-Salem has finished first in four consecutive halves. It also marks the first time a Carolina League team has won four consecutive halves since Wilmington turned the trick in 2001-02.

Seth Loman went 4-for-5 with a homer and three RBIs while Johnson went 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs. Greg Paiml had three hits and three RBIs while Taylor Thompson picked up the victory in relief.
In other action, Kannapolis dropped its South Atlantic League finale, 3-2, at Lakewood. Tyler Saladino had two hits and an RBI. Justin Collop allowed three runs in seven innings to take the loss. Mississippi ended Birminghams Southern League season on a sour note with a 2-1 victory. The Barons managed only five hits. Brian Omogrosso allowed a run in his inning of work to take the loss. Charlotte also ended its International League season with a loss, dropping a 7-0 decision to Gwinnett at Knights Stadium. Jeremy Reed had two of the Knights six hits. Jeff Marquez 8-9 took the loss to finish 0-5 in his last nine starts. His last victory came on July 16 at Durham.

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.