Rohan's Hot Start Continues As Peoria Completes Sweep

Rohan's Hot Start Continues As Peoria Completes Sweep

Wednesday April 27, 2011
Posted: 9:49 p.m.
CUBSPeoria A
Greg Rohan continued his blistering hot start Wednesday evening in leading Peoria to a 7-2 victory at Clintons Alliant Energy Field. The victory was the fourth in a row for the Chiefs, marking their first four-game sweep in Clinton since 1998.

Rohan had a pair of homers and drove in three runs, marking the third time in four games that he ahs driven in three runs. His average climbed to .366 as his hitting streak reached four games. Rohan is 10-for-19 over that stretch. His 20 home runs are tops in the Midwest League and tie Rebel Ridling for most RBIs in franchise history for the month of April since Peorias affiliate change in 2005. Travis Hansen had 26 April RBIs in 2003.

Matt Szczur had three hits, extending his hitting streak to six games and pushing his average to .310. Robinson Lopez earned the victory after allowing a run in four innings of relief. He replaced Dallas Beeler, who retired all nine batters he faced after throwing only 30 pitches before leaving with an undisclosed injury.
Tennessee AA
Jorge Padillas RBI single capped a two-run ninth inning for Jacksonville Wednesday afternoon as it stunned visiting Tennessee, 2-1, at The Baseball Grounds.

David Cales had come on to start the ninth inning and allowed a leadoff single, a fielders choice and a walk before Jake Smolinski lined a run-scoring single to left, tying the score at 1-1. Cales intentionally walked Kyle Skipworth before Padilla lined a single to right to bring in the winning run.

Robert Whitenack started and went six innings in his Southern League debut after going 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA in four starts for Daytona. He scattered three hits and struck out three without walking a batter after officially being up a level on Wednesday. Blake Parker pitched two shutout innings before Cales imploded.

Ridling went hitless, which dropped his average to .397 while Nate Samsons second-inning RBI single provided Tennessee with its run. The Whitenack promotion came a day after lefty Luke Sommer was released.

In other action, Daytona dropped an 8-6 decision to Tampa in 11 innings at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
WHITE SOXCharlotte AAA
Charlotte saw its losing streak stretch to six games Wednesday afternoon at Knights Stadium after ScrantonWilkes-Barre took the second game of a four-game set, 8-5. It marked the second time this season that the Knights, who opened the season with five consecutive victories, have lost six straight.

Freddy Dolsi 1-2 got hit hard early, allowing all eight runs in the first two innings. He recovered and lasted five innings but the early Yankees barrage proved to be too much. Dayan Viciedo and Jordan Danks each had a homer and two RBIs.
Winston-Salem A
Frederick had a big day on the base paths, stealing five bases, including a steal of home, Wednesday afternoon at BB&T Park to run by Winston-Salem, 4-2.

The Keys scored single runs in each of the first two innings before plating a pair in the sixth to take a 4-0 lead. One of the sixth-inning runs came via a Trent Mummey steal of home. Jose Martinez and Andy Wilkins each hit solo homers for the Dash. Hector Santiago 0-2 took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits over six innings. LHP Matt Wickswat was added to the roster from extended spring training and pitched a scoreless inning.
Birmingham AA
The Barons game at Huntsville was postponed because of weather and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on June 15 when Birmingham makes a return trip to Huntsville. RHP Johnnie Lowe was placed on the disabled list while RHP Henry Mabee was activated off the disabled list.
Kannapolis A
The Intimidators were rained out at Lexington Wednesday and will play a doubleheader on Thursday with the first of the two seven-inning games beginning at 5:05.

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

GLENDALE, Ariz. — With Zack Burdi headed for the minors, the White Sox 12-man pitching staff is all but set.

The Opening Day roster won't be finalized until Sunday and the White Sox hypothetically could find an attractive candidate to claim off the waiver wire over the weekend. But barring that, it looks as if veteran Anthony Swarzak and second-year reliever Michael Ynoa have made the team after Burdi said Wednesday morning that he'd start the season at Triple-A Charlotte. 

The No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com, Burdi finished the spring with a 6.75 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings. Burdi finished his Cactus League on a high note with three strikeouts over an inning on Tuesday, including one of Kansas City four-time All-Star catcher Salvador Perez. 

"Man, it's been crazy," Burdi said. "Coming in and being the young guy in the locker room and then just progressing and showing a little bit more (comfort) around the guys and the veterans and then just being able to pick their brains and go out every day and try to progress. You get to the innings and you are facing guys you've watched your last 10 years of your life. It has been crazy and definitely something I won't forget."

Burdi lasted the longest this spring out of the cache of highly-touted prospects the White Sox brought to big league camp. Prior to escaping a first-and-third, one-out jam Tuesday, Burdi looked like he would allow a run in a third straight game after a hot start to camp (he only allowed a run in one of his first 10 appearances). But Burdi battled back and struck out Perez on three pitches, one of two straight strikeouts to strand both runners.

Pitching coach Don Cooper has been impressed by Burdi throughout the spring. But he also wants to see the Louisville product continue to work on command in the minors.

"You can't not see his stuff," Cooper said. "Everybody gets excited when you see 99, 100, 101. But whether you throw it 101 or 83 like [Mark] Buehrle you have to throw it to the glove with command, change speeds and all that stuff. But he's a big part of our future going forward. He's one of the names."

Burdi said he plans to operate like he has already spring and not pay attention to any of the hype. Though he'd like to play in the majors, Burdi is excited to play alongside the likes of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer in Charlotte.

"Once you get a feel for all this stuff and you feel how cool it is to be in the locker room with all these guys and play with them, of course you want to get back up here," Burdi said. "But at the same time, a lot of my really good friends are on Charlotte and I couldn't be more excited to go down there and play with them and make the most of the season down there."

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

Bears Chairman George McCaskey sets 2017 demands for Ryan Pace, John Fox

PHOENIX — When the 2014 season concluded, with all its drama, poor play and internal dysfunction, Bears Chairman George McCaskey passed along the unvarnished mood of Bears matriarch and owner Virginia McCaskey:
 
"She's pissed off," George McCaskey declared.
 
The 2016 season ended worse record-wise (3-13) than 2014 (5-11) but Bears ownership sees arrows pointing up, not down as they appeared after 2014, occasioning the jettisoning of the general manager and coaching staff.
 
"[Virginia] sees the progress, but like any Bears fan, she wants results," George McCaskey said, chuckling at the recollection of relaying his mother's mood. "That's the quote that won't go away."
 
"Progress" and "results" are vague terms, and sometimes relative. But Bears ownership is not setting a public fail-safe point for either general manager Ryan Pace or head coach John Fox to remain in place, although no scenario could presumably consider four wins actual "progress" from three.
 
"We want to continue to see progress, see the building blocks but there isn't any sort of particular threshold," McCaskey confirmed. "We're not on any particular timetable that somebody else is wanting to set for us. We're wanting to see continued progress toward our goal of sustained success."
 
"Sustained success" is not beyond the scope of possibility, assuming that a talent core can be established and includes a quarterback, which the personnel department under Pace believe it is on the brink of putting in place, whether around Mike Glennon, Mark Sanchez or a player to be drafted or traded for later.

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GM Phil Emery adopted the buzz phrase of "multiple championships," but current leadership does sound less grandiose and more grounded. And where Emery drafts proved disastrous, the Pace administration has had clear hits, injuries notwithstanding, as recently as the 2016 class, which McCaskey mentioned in the context of Pace building the roster exactly the way ownership prefers.
 
"We have confidence in Ryan and John," McCaskey said. "We want to build through the draft. Ryan said that in his interview when he said he was interested in coming to the Bears and we like how he's stuck to that plan. We saw it last year when we had three rookies on the Pro Football Writers of America all-rookie team; Cody Whitehair, Leonard Floyd and Jordan Howard.
 
"And that's what we need to keep doing; keep building through the draft. I told Ryan he should get ripped this time of year every year for not being more active in free agency and that's because we're developing our own guys and rewarding our own guys."
 
McCaskey supported the actions, or lack of same, by Pace in the pursuit of max-dollar free agents this offseason. The Bears dropped out of sweepstakes for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and safety Tony Jefferson, among others, when prices spiked far beyond the parameters set by the Pace staff.
 
"I've been very impressed with [Pace] as a leader, as an evaluator of talent," McCaskey said. "And one of the things I've been most impressed by with him is the discipline he's shown just as recently as this free agency period. He didn't want to overpay guys. Too often, I think, you overpay guys who don't come through for you and then you have a big hole in your salary cap and you're behind the 8-ball. So I like the discipline he has shown, the restraint he has shown in free agency."