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Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014

Utahns in baseball: Former Ute C.J. Cron returns to Salt Lake — for now; Stephen Fife back on the DL

By Carter Williams, Deseret News

Published: Sun, July 20 11:37 p.m. MDT

 Los Angeles Angels' C.J. Cron, right, rounds third after hitting a three-run home run as Houston Astros relief pitcher Josh Zeidl looks on during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 5, 2014, in, Anaheim, Calif.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Los Angeles Angels' C.J. Cron, right, rounds third after hitting a three-run home run as Houston Astros relief pitcher Josh Zeidl looks on during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 5, 2014, in, Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

(Mark J. Terrill, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Former Utah baseball standout C.J. Cron is headed back to Salt Lake — for the time being, at least.

Cron was optioned to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees on Saturday to make room on the 25-man roster for newly acquired closer Huston Street, whom the Los Angeles Angels traded for late Friday night.

As Los Angeles Times Angels beat writer Mike DiGiovanna points out, a hitter needed to be sent down to Salt Lake to help Los Angeles' bullpen after the Angels needed 16 innings to defeat Seattle, which also happened on Friday.

The Utah alum is batting .269 with the Angels this season, with nine home runs and 27 RBIs in 53 games. However, he was batting just .205 in 44 at-bats this month.

"They said they needed an extra pitcher and with (Erick) Aybar hurt, they needed an extra middle infielder," Cron told DiGiovanna on Saturday. "But at the same time, I'm getting sent down for a reason. I have to get better."

Cron, who was promoted in early May, still had options available and became the odd man out. However, DiGiovanna noted that Cron's stay in Salt Lake will likely be brief.

According to league rules, the Angels will have to wait until July 29 to promote Cron back to the majors, unless a player on the team's 25-man roster is placed on the disabled list before the 29th.

In other roster moves, former Ute pitcher Stephen Fife returned to the disabled list with right forearm stiffness. The righty struggled in his start against Triple-A Sacramento on Friday, then left the game after just 3 2/3 innings. He was placed on the disabled list shortly after.

It is the second time Fife has been placed on the disabled list with trouble in his pitching forearm. The ex-Ute missed about a month and a half with right forearm tightness before returning to Triple-A Albuquerque on June 27.

Taylorsville High alum John Buck was given his outright release by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, making him a free agent. Buck had been designated for assignment by the Mariners on July 7.

Meanwhile, Bingham High alum Brady Lail was promoted to advanced Single-A Tampa in the New York Yankees organization. Lail allowed four runs in five innings in his debut with Tampa, picking up a no-decision in the Yankees' 5-4 loss to Palm Beach on Friday.

On the field, Judge Memorial High product Keenyn Walker picked up a hit in six-straight games over the week, including at least one RBI in his last three games. He also went 7-for-7 stealing bases during the week.

Finally, Utah alum Tyler Wagner lowered his Florida State League-leading ERA down to 1.71 on the season with a one-run complete game win over advanced Single-A St. Lucie on Thursday. It was his first complete game of the year. He has allowed just two runs over his last 34 1/3 innings pitched.

MLB

John Buck (Taylorsville H.S.), Seattle Mariners: Released by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday. He batted .226, with one home run and six RBIs in 27 games for the Mariners this season.

C.J. Cron (Utah), Los Angeles Angels: Zero hits in six at-bats in Los Angeles’ 3-2 win over Seattle on Friday in 16 innings. Cron was then demoted to Triple-A Salt Lake on Saturday to make room on the 25-man roster for Huston Street.

Jeremy Guthrie (BYU), Kansas City Royals: Did not pitch this week. Guthrie is 5-8 on the season, with a 4.56 ERA in 19 starts.

Brandon Kintzler (Dixie State), Milwaukee Brewers: Allowed one hit and no runs while striking out one batter in one inning of work Saturday, as Milwaukee fell to Washington 8-3. Kintzler lowered his ERA to 3.71 on the year.

Triple-A

Matt Carson (BYU), Columbus (Cleveland Indians): Four hits, one double and one run scored in 14 at-bats throughout the week. Carson is batting .274 on the season, with 16 extra base hits and 22 RBIs in 53 games.

Stephen Fife (Utah), Albuquerque (Los Angeles Dodgers): Allowed eight hits, three walks and seven runs in 3 2/3 innings, before leaving with an injury on Friday. Fife was placed on the disabled list with right forearm soreness on Saturday.

Matt Spring (Dixie State), Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox): Zero hits in three at-bats during the week. Spring has two hits in eight at-bats since being promoted to the PawSox.

Double-A

Tyson Brummett (Spanish Fork H.S.), Chattanooga (Los Angeles Dodgers): Allowed one hit and one walk in 1 2/3 innings at Montgomery on Wednesday, while striking out a pair of batters. The righty is 4-5 with a 2.79 ERA with Chattanooga.

Parker Morin (Utah), Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City Royals): Three hits and two RBIs in seven at-bats throughout the week. Morin collected at least one hit in six of his seven games since returning from the disabled list.

Braeden Schlehuber (Viewmont H.S.), Mississippi (Atlanta Braves): Three hits, one double and a run scored in nine at-bats throughout the week. Schlehuber picked up all three of his hits during the week on Sunday, going 3-for-4 at the plate in a 5-1 win over Birmingham.

He entered the game with just two hits over his past 10 games and a .071 batting average in that span.

Single-A

Jaycob Brugman (BYU), Stockton (Oakland Athletics): Seven hits, one double, one triple, one stolen base and three RBIs in 24 at-bats throughout the week. He’s batting .283 since being promoted to Stockton. He also has five extra base hits in 13 games.

Chris Capper (BYU), South Bend (Arizona Diamondbacks): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. Has yet to appear in a game with the Silver Hawks this season.

Taylor Cole (BYU), Dunedin (Toronto Blue Jays): Allowed four hits, two walks and two runs (one earned) in five innings, picking up a no-decision in Dunedin’s 5-3 loss to Jupiter on Wednesday. He also struck out eight. Cole has settled down and allowed just two earned runs over his past two starts after allowing 14 over his previous three outings.

Jake Hannemann (BYU), Kane County (Chicago Cubs): Five hits, one double, one stolen base and one run scored in 25 at-bats throughout the week. After a hot stretch heading into the month, Hannemann has struggled over his last 10 games. The former BYU standout is hitting just .184 in that span.

Adam Law (BYU), Rancho Cucamonga (Los Angeles Dodgers): Four hits, one double, one RBI and two runs scored in 22 total at-bats throughout the week. Law’s batting average has slipped below .300 for the first time in nearly two months. He’s still batting .293 on the year, with 44 runs scored in 70 games.

Brady Lail (Bingham H.S.), Tampa (New York Yankees): Allowed six hits and four runs in five innings, picking up a no-decision in Tampa’s 5-4 loss to Palm Beach on Friday. Lail also struck out four batters.

The former Utah prep was promoted to advanced Single-A Tampa this week after compiling an 8-4 record and 3.71 ERA in lower Single-A Charleston. He also had 95 strikeouts in 97 innings in Charleston.

Marcus Littlewood (Pine View H.S.), Clinton (Seattle Mariners): Two hits, a triple, three RBIs and a run scored in 11 at-bats throughout the week. Littlewood is batting .229 in 59 games, with 18 extra base hits and 34 RBIs.

Adam Miller (BYU), South Bend (Arizona Diamondbacks): 0-0, 0.00 ERA in two appearances for South Bend. The BYU alum allowed a hit and an unearned run in 2/3 innings against Fort Wayne on Monday. He then allowed two hits in a shutout inning against Burlington on Friday.

The righty has a perfect ERA in four relief appearances since coming off the disabled list on July 8.

Dominique Taylor (Northridge H.S.), Lexington (Kansas City Royals): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. He’s batting .305 this season, with five home runs, four triples, 14 doubles, 30 RBIs and 38 runs scored in 61 games this season. Taylor last played on June 24.

Tyler Wagner (Utah), Brevard County (Milwaukee Brewers): Allowed four hits and one run in seven innings, picking up a win while nabbing his first complete game of the season in a 6-1 win over St. Lucie on Thursday.

Wagner lowered his Florida State League-leading ERA down to 1.71 on the season. He also has allowed just two runs over his last five starts, totaling 34 1/3 innings (0.52 ERA).

Keenyn Walker (Judge Memorial H.S.), Winston-Salem (Chicago White Sox): Six hits, one double, one triple, three RBIs, seven stolen bases and four runs scored in 29 at-bats throughout the week. Walker extended his hitting streak to six games on Sunday with a triple against Frederick. He’s now batting .206 in Winston-Salem.

Short-season leagues:

Eddy Alvarez (SLCC), Arizona White Sox (Chicago White Sox): Five hits, one double and two runs scored in 11 at-bats throughout the week. The Utah resident and 2014 Winter Olympic speedskater went 3-for-4 against the AZL Diamondbacks on Friday. He’s batting .265, with four doubles, a triple and four RBIs in 17 games this season.

Tanner Banks (Utah), Arizona White Sox (Chicago White Sox): Allowed two hits, two walks and one run in 1 1/3 innings against the AZL Angels on Saturday. Banks is 1-1, with a 1.86 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.

Bubba Blau (Dixie State), Arizona Brewers (Milwaukee Brewers): Allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) in 2 1/3 innings against the AZL Indians on Thursday. Blau has a 1.23 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings with the Brewers’ Arizona League team.

Nick Green (Utah), Idaho Falls (Kansas City Royals): Allowed two hits, one walk and two runs in one inning of work on Friday, picking up a loss to Billings. Green, who hadn’t allowed a run yet this season prior to Friday, has a 2.84 ERA in seven games with Idaho Falls.

Kavin Keyes (Alta H.S.), Arizona Mariners (Seattle Mariners): Five hits, two doubles, four RBIs and two runs scored in 14 at-bats throughout the week. Keyes is batting .333, with one home run and seven RBIs in six games.

Trey Nielsen (Utah), State College (St. Louis Cardinals): Allowed one walk and no hits in four shutout innings, picking up a no-decision in State College’s 7-0 win over Vermont on Wednesday. Nielsen was making his first start of the season after seven prior relief appearances.

He lowered his ERA to 1.25 in 21 2/3 innings this season.

Mitch Watrous (Utah), Arizona Padres (San Diego Padres): Remains on reserve list. Has not made minor league debut yet.

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