Caution: Stove is hot! A look at past Intimidators heading to new organizations this week

As the Winter Meetings in San Diego come to an end today, the dust is far from settling.  In fact, in the last week, several former Intimidators — and one very notable former Boll Weevil — have been dealt or picked up by new Major League clubs.  Here are our best efforts to keep track on the trades and Rule V selections involving guys that used to play here in Kannapolis.

Jimmy Rollins (Piedmont Boll Weevils, 1997)

Jimmy Rollins played for the Piedmont Boll Weevils in 1997 and still holds several franchise records.

Jimmy Rollins played for the Piedmont Boll Weevils in 1997 and still holds several franchise records.

The Philadelphia Phillies traded shortstop Jimmy Rollins to the Los Angeles Dodgers this week. Rollins had been a member of the Phillies since they drafted him back in 1996.  He played for the Piedmont Boll Weevils in 1997 and went on to have (and continues to have) — in my opinion — the best Major League career of any player in Piedmont/Kannapolis franchise history.

Rollins was named NL MVP in 2007.  He helped the Phillies win the World Series in 2008 and return to the Fall Classic in 2009.  But this week ended his decade-and-a-half run with Philadelphia.  The odd connection for the Kannapolis community is that Rollins will serve as the stop-gap shortstop for the Dodgers until local product Corey Seager is ready to ascend to the Major Leagues as LA’s shortstop of the future.

Brandon McCarthy (Kannapolis Intimidators, 2004)

Kannapolis Intimidators starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy follows through on a pitch vs. Hickory, June 20, 2004.

Speaking of the Dodgers, you might have noticed a former Intimidators pitcher mentioned in the last paragraph of that Jimmy Rollins article. A 2003 Intimidators starting pitcher, Brandon McCarthy signed a 4-year deal with the Dodgers this week after going 10-15 with a 4.05 ERA in 2014 between the Diamondbacks and Yankees. The deal, as reported by ESPN.com, is for four years and $48 million.  McCarthy made his big league debut not long after his time in Kannapolis, taking the mound in the Majors for the White Sox in May 2005.

McCarthy has put together a solid Major League career, also pitching for the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers during his nine years in the show. He, along with Gio Gonzalez, has been the best pitcher to come out of Kannapolis in the last 10 seasons.

Josh Phegley (2009), Chris Bassitt (2011), Marcus Semien (2011), and Rangel Ravelo (2011-13)

4 traded to AthleticsThe biggest move made by the White Sox this week — and they’ve made many — was the acquisition of Oakland hired gun Jeff Samardzija. Rick Hahn sent Billy Beane four former Intimidators in exchange for Samardzija, a front line starter.  Three of the four players sent to Oakland have enjoyed at least a cup of coffee in the Major Leagues with Ravelo — who represented the Intimidators in the 2012 South Atlantic League All-Star game — being the lone prospect yet to reach the big leagues.

Catcher Josh Phegley, a 2009 Intimidator, spent most of the last four years with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights. He made his big league debut in 2013.  Chris Bassitt and Marcus Semien were each drafted in 2011 and spent their professional debuts with Kannapolis that year.  Semien, a sixth round pick who helped Cal make an appearance in the College World Series, made his MLB debut in September of 2013, while Bassitt, who dominated out of the Kannapolis bullpen, went on to make his MLB debut last fall.

As for Ravelo, he lit the Sally League on fire when he was promoted from Bristol in July of 2011, hitting safely in his first 11 games with Kannapolis (part of a 20-game hitting streak between the APPY and Sally Leagues).  The following year, he was a South Atlantic League All-Star third baseman but left the team midseason for personal reasons. He opened 2013 back in Kannapolis as a newfound first baseman and was quickly promoted up to Winston-Salem.  Last year, at just 22 years old, he hit .309 in 133 games with Double-A Birmingham. For his career, he is a .301 hitter in the Minor Leagues.

Here’s more about the players in this deal from Future Sox.

Andre Rienzo (Kannapolis Intimidators, 2010)

This deal just came down today.  Andre Rienzo is heading to Miami.  He made his big league debut in 2013 after Jake Peavy was dealt away to Boston (which brought J.B. Wendelken, Frank Montas, and Cleuluis Rondon to the organization along with Avisail Garcia). Rienzo, the first Brazilian national to reach the big leagues, gets a new start with the Marlins after a rough 2014 in the White Sox system.  Chicago receives Dan Jennings in the deal, getting a left-handed reliever that posted a 1.38 ERA and 8.5 K/9 in 47 games for Miami over 40⅓ innings.

Chris Curley (Kannapolis Intimidators, 2012)

The Los Angeles Angels have selected Chris Curley in the Triple-A Phase of today’s Rule V draft. When the White Sox signed Chris Curley out of the Frontier League in July of 2012, there was no doubt he could hit.  Remember his first game with Kannapolis? He hit a home run in his first at-bat.  By the end of the season, he earned a late promotion to Winston-Salem, and in 2013 he was named Carolina League MVP with the Dash. Last year, he continued to produce with Double-A Birmingham.

Euclides Leyer (Kannapolis Intimidators, 2012-13)

Also today in the Rule V draft, former Intimidators pitcher Euclides Leyer was picked up by the Cincinnati Reds.  The elder Leyer spent the back half of 2012 and all of 2013 in Kannapolis before moving up to Winston-Salem last season.  His younger brother Robinson Leyer spent 2014 with the Intimidators, so the name should still be pretty familiar.

Game Notes 8/30/14: Danny draws walks, Bassitt to the bigs, and Salt Lake CC teammates….

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
61-73, 32-35 (Chicago White Sox)         85-52, 42-26 (Miami Marlins)
Saturday, August 30, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #66 (133 of 137)
LH Chris Freudenberg (2-1, 4.88) vs. RH Kyle Fischer (1-0, 2.60)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) take the field for the second game of this 4-game series against the Grasshoppers (A, Marlins). Kannapolis sends Chris Freudenberg to the mound for his final outing of the season against Greensboro’s Kyle Fischer. The Intimidators are looking for their first home win against the Grasshoppers, which swept a 4-game series in June and have won all five of their games at CMC-NorthEast Stadium this season.

The White Sox drafted Chris Freudenberg in the 8th round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

The White Sox drafted Chris Freudenberg in the 8th round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Intimidating Starter: Chris Freudenberg, 21, makes his sixth start with Kannapolis and 15th of the year. He is coming off a win at West Virginia on Aug. 24, limiting the Power to a run on four hits over 6.0 innings in his second quality start with Kannapolis. The left-hander has struck out 25 batters in 24.0 innings, including a season-high seven strikeouts in consecutive starts on Aug. 13 against Lexington and Aug. 19 against Asheville. Freudenberg struck out seven Tourists in a row to end his outing two starts ago. Freudenberg was promoted from Advanced Rookie Great Falls to Kannapolis on Aug. 1 after going 3-3 with a 3.17 ERA (17 ER/48.1 IP) in nine games (nine starts) for Great Falls. Overall this season, he is 5-4 with a 3.73 ERA (30 ER/72.1 IP) in 14 starts. He is in his second year with the White Sox after being selected in the eighth round of the June 2013 draft out of South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. Last season with Advanced Rookie Bristol, the lefty went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in nine games (six starts) in the Appalachian League. He graduated from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2011.

Hoppers Hurler: Kyle Fischer, 23, makes his second start and eighth appearance of the season for the Grasshoppers. He won his first start, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing one run on five hits at Lakewood on Aug. 24. Fischer faced Kannapolis out of the bullpen on Aug. 15, and he tossed 3.0 scoreless, hitless innings with two walks and three strikeouts. The Marlins selected Fischer in the 30th round of the June 2014 draft out of St. Cloud State, and he made his pro debut with the GCL Marlins, posting a 11.12 ERA in nine relief appearances in rookie ball.

Bassitt to the Bigs: Former Intimidators relief pitcher Chris Bassitt becomes the 80th player to go from Kannapolis to the Major Leagues since 1995 and 56th since the Intimidators became a White Sox affiliate in 2001. The White Sox purchased his contract from Double-A Birmingham to have him start the second game of their doubleheader against the Tigers today. Bassitt, the White Sox 16th round selection in the June 2011 First-Year Player Draft, appeared out of the bullpen in 16 games with Class A Kannapolis during his professional debut season in 2011. He was 3-1 with a 1.82 ERA (5 ER/24.2 IP) with 29 strikeouts, holding SAL hitters to a .202 average.

Last Time Out: Greensboro scored three runs in the fourth inning and never looked back on its way to beating Kannapolis, 7-2, on Friday. J.T. Riddle drove in two runs on a fourth inning base hit, and an error brought in the third run. Domingo German tossed 5.0 scoreless frames with seven strikeouts to earn the win, while Intimidators spot starter Jose Brito was tagged with the loss. Kannapolis put together a 2-out rally to pull within a run in the seventh, highlighted by a pair of 2-out doubles by Chevy Clarke and T.J. Williams, but the Grasshoppers scored four runs with two outs in the ninth off Brad Salgado to pull away.

Danny Draws Walks: First baseman Danny Hayes drew his league-leading 72nd walk on Friday. He went 1-3 in the game, upping his on-base percentage to .385, the fourth-best in the SAL. He also ranks tied for fourth in the league with 33 doubles and fifth with 75 RBI.

Olympian On Base: Eddy Alvarez, who in February won an Olympic silver medal in short-track speed-skating, extended his on-base streak to 15 games since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox on Aug. 11. He was held hitless for just the second time in 15 games, going 0-3 and lowering his average to a still-red-hot .459 (28-61) in the Class A SAL. Prior to signing with the White Sox in June, Alvarez last played baseball while at Salt Lake CC in 2011.

Salt Lake Teammates: Tanner Banks made his Class A debut Friday with 2.1 scoreless innings, two hits and two strikeouts for Kannapolis. With the AZL White Sox, he went 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA (4 ER/22 IP) with 31 strikeouts before earning a promotion on Thursday. Banks played two seasons at University of Utah after spending his first two years at Salt Lake Community College where he was teammates with infielder Eddy Alvarez.

Broadcast Information: All 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Tonight’s pregame shows begins at 6:50 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Game Notes 8/28/14: One last round against Rome with Wheeler on the rubber

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. ROME BRAVES
60-72, 31-34 (Chicago White Sox)         54-81, 30-35 (Atlanta Braves)
Thursday, August 28, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #66 (133 of 137)
LH Andre Wheeler (3-3, 2.92) vs. RH Daniel Cordero (1-1, 7.29)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) wrap up this 3-game series against the Rome Braves (A, Atlanta Braves) at CMC-NorthEast Stadium with a chance to claim their first series win since Aug. 11-13 against Lexington. Kannapolis sends left-hander Andre Wheeler to the mound for his final start of the 2014 season to face Rome’s Daniel Cordero.

Intimidating Starter: Andre Wheeler, 22, makes his 16th and final start of the season when he faces the Braves. The left-hander tossed a relief inning in Rome on April 26, allowing a run on three hits. He is coming off a no decision at West Virginia on Aug. 22 in which spun 5.0 innings and struck out seven while allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. The two runs he allowed in the first inning snapped a streak of 17.0 scoreless innings, including three straight starts of 5.0 shutout innings. Wheeler was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for Aug. 11-17 after tossing 10.0 scoreless innings to earn consecutive wins against Lexington and Greensboro. Since July 31, Wheeler has a 0.41 ERA (1 ER/22 IP), the second-lowest in the SAL. After trading starts with Jordan Guerrero since mid-June, Wheeler has assumed one of the Intimidators five starting spots. He is 3-3 with a 3.18 ERA in 15 starts compared to a 2.22 ERA in 12 games in relief. The White Sox selected him in the 15th round of the June 2013 Draft out of Texas Tech.

Brave on the Bump: Daniel Cordero, 21, makes his sixth start with Rome and first against the Intimidators since a promotion from Advanced Rookie Danville. Cordero opened his season in Rome and made four starts, going 1-1 with a 7.79 ERA (15 ER/17.1 IP). He returned to the mound in June in the Appalachian League, going 4-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 12 games (12 starts) with Danville and rejoined Rome on Aug. 22. He is coming off a no decision against Charleston, allowing two runs on four hits in 3.2 innings of work. Cordero made his professional debut with the DSL Braves in 2012 and made his U.S. debut in 2013 in the GCL, going 2-3 with a 3.80 ERA.

Last Time Out: Sean Bierman enacted revenge, working 5.0 strong relief innings to lead the Braves past Kannapolis, 5-2, on Wednesday.  Bierman, who opened his season with Kannapolis and signed with the Braves last week, struck out eight batters while allowing a pair of unearned runs. Rome’s Jacob Schraeder broke a 2-2 tie with a 2-run home run (10) off former University of Tampa teammate Matt Abramson with two outs in the seventh inning. Rome added another run in the eighth when Codey McElroy scored on a Cody Livesay RBI-groundout. Bierman (2-1) won his second game in as many appearances with Rome.  He tossed 5.0 innings, allowing two unearned runs on three hits while walking three in his second 5-inning relief effort with Rome. Kannapolis trailed 2-0 before plating a pair of runs thanks to a Braves error in the sixth inning.  Carl Thomore reached on a throwing error by shortstop Codey McElroy and later scored on an Eddy Alvarez RBI-single.  Jacob Morris added a bases-loaded walk to push the tying run across.  Abramson (3-8) took the loss for Kannapolis, allowing three runs on six hits over 3.0 relief innings.  Starter Jordan Guerrero took no decision, allowing a run on four hits, and Tanner Mendonca gave up a run on two hits and three walks while striking out three over 2.0 frames in his second South Atlantic League appearance.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez went 2-5 with a double on Wednesday and has hit safely in 12 of 13 games with Kannapolis. He is now batting .463 (25-54) since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox. An Olympic silver medalist in short-track speed-skating at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Alvarez signed with the White Sox in June.

Chevy Revs the Engine: Outfielder Chevy Clarke continued to improve at the plate, going 1-3 on Wednesday. The former first round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in 2010, Clarke is batting .333 (10-30) in his last nine games after opening 0-21 in his first six games with Kannapolis.

Familiar Faces: Two members of the Rome Braves have played for the Intimidators. Sean Bierman opened his season with Kannapolis, making two starts before moving up to High-A Winston-Salem. The White Sox released Bierman, who recently signed with the Braves. In his two relief appearances with Rome, he is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (0 ER/10.1 IP) with 11 strikeouts and four walks. Infielder Ross Wilson, a White Sox 10th round pick in the June 2010 First-Year Player Draft, spent parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Intimidators.

Roster Moves: The Intimidators placed starting pitcher Robinson Leyer on the Disabled List, retroactive to Aug. 26, effectively ending his season.  Leyer went 5-9 with a 3.81 ERA in 25 games (25 starts), leading the team in games started and innings pitched (134.2 IP).  In a corresponding move, the Intimidators receive left-handed pitcher Tanner Banks from the AZL White Sox. Banks is 1-1 with a 1.64 ERA in 14 games.  The White Sox drafted him in the 18th round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft.

Broadcast Information: All 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Tonight’s pregame shows begins at 6:50 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Game Notes 8/27/14: Battling the Braves as the season winds down

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. ROME BRAVES
60-71, 31-33 (Chicago White Sox)       53-81, 29-35 (Atlanta Braves)
Wednesday, August 26, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #65 (132 of 137)
LH Jordan Guerrero (6-1, 3.00) vs. RH Brandon Barker (5-1, 4.61)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) look for a third straight win as they face the Rome Braves (A, Atlanta Braves) in the second game of this 3-game series. Kannapolis is coming off a win on Tuesday, 5-4, in the series opener and now leads the season-series, 4-games-to-1, against Rome. The Intimidators are sending Jordan Guerrero to the mound against Rome’s Brandon Barker. Kannapolis can clinch a series win with a victory today over the Braves.

Intimidating Starter: Jordan Guerrero, 20, makes his eighth start and 26th appearance of the season. The lefty is facing an Atlanta affiliate for the third time in his career. He spun a scoreless inning of relief on April 27 against Rome and also faced the Advanced Rookie Danville Braves July 7 2013 with Bristol, giving up three runs on eight hits over 5.0 innings in a loss. Guerrero is coming off his first loss of the season, allowing two runs on six hits over 5.0 innings. As a starter, he’s 2-1 with a 3.41 ERA (12 ER/31.2 IP) in seven starts compared to 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA (11 ER/37.1 IP) in 18 relief appearances. The Moorpark, Calif., native is enjoying a solid August, with a 2.30 ERA (4 ER/15.2 IP) in four games (two starts). Guerrero was drafted in the 15th round of the 2012 first year player draft by the White Sox. He went 0-4 with a 3.93 ERA (15 ER/34.1 IP) in 12 games (five starts) over two seasons with Bristol.

Brave on the Bump: Brandon Barker, who turned 22 last week, makes his fourth start of the season and his 11th appearance with today’s start against Kannapolis. Barker has won five straight decisions with Rome. Atlanta drafted Barker in the 16th round of the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Mercer, and he made his professional debut with Advanced Rookie Danville, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings before earning a promotion to Rome in early July. He is 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA (8 ER/9.1 IP) in his three starts with Rome compared to 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA (6 ER/18 IP) in seven relief appearances.

Last Time Out: The Intimidators pulled ahead in its final at-bats in Tuesday’s 5-4 win over Rome. Carl Thomore followed an intentional walk in the eighth inning with a tie-breaking RBI-single to cash Jacob Morris. Thomore finished 2-4. Kannapolis overcame a 3-1 deficit with three runs in the seventh when Chevy Clarke launched a solo home run, and Eddy Alvarez added a 2-run home run to put Kannapolis in front, 4-3. Reliever Connor Walsh tossed the last two innings for the Intimidators, earning the win despite also begin tagged with a blown save by allowing Rome to tie the game in the eighth. Starting pitcher Jeff McKenzie tossed 6.0 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) in a no decision.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez upped his average on Tuesday, going 2-4 with a home run (3). He has hit safely in 11 of 12 games with Kannapolis and is now batting .469 (23-49) since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox. An Olympic silver medalist in short-track speed-skating at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Alvarez signed with the White Sox in June.

Chevy Revs the Engine: Outfielder Chevy Clarke continued to improve at the plate, going 2-4 with a home run on Tuesday. The former first round pick of the Los Angeles Angels in 2010, Clarke is batting .333 (9-27) in his last eight games after opening 0-21 in his first six games with Kannapolis. The long ball was Clarke’s first since Aug. 2 with Advanced Rookie Great Falls against Billings.

Familiar Faces: Two current members of the Rome Braves has played for the Kannapolis Intimidators. Second baseman Ross Wilson, a White Sox 10th round pick in the June 2010 First-Year Player Draft, spent parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Intimidators. Wilson went 1-5 with a double and a run scored on Tuesday against his former team. He joined the Braves organization earlier this year after opening the season in the Marlins system between High-A Jupiter and AA Jacksonville. Also with the Braves is left-handed pitcher Sean Bierman, who opened this season in the Kannapolis rotation.

Broadcast Information: All 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Tonight’s pregame shows begins at 6:50 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Game Notes 8/26/14: Only seven games left, and it all starts tonight

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. ROME BRAVES
59-71, 30-33 (Chicago White Sox)        53-80, 29-34 (Atlanta Braves)
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #64 (131 of 137)
LH Jeff McKenzie (3-4, 6.04) vs. LH Yean Carlos Gil (6-6, 3.51)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) open the final home stand of the season with a 3-game series against the Rome Braves (A, Atlanta Braves) on Tuesday at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. With seven games remaining in the season, Kannapolis is looking to finish the second half above .500 after dropping six of its last seven games. The Intimidators are sending left-hander Jeff McKenzie to the mound for his ninth start of the season after three relief appearances. Rome is countering with Yean Carlos Gil, who has started 20 games for the Braves after opening the year in the bullpen. The Intimidators lead the season-series, 3-1, after taking three of four games at State Mutual Stadium.

Intimidators Starter: Jeff McKenzie, 23, makes his ninth start for Kannapolis and his first career appearance against an Atlanta affiliate. His last start came Aug. 7 in Hagerstown, in which he was tagged with a second straight loss, giving up seven runs on eight hits over 3.1 innings against the Suns. After going 2-4 with a 6.15 ERA (28 ER/41 IP) in eight starts for Kannapolis, McKenzie moved to the bullpen and went 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA in three relief appearances. McKenzie threw the first complete game of his career in his last away outing July 27 at Lakewood, tossing all 7.0 innings in the first game of a doubleheader, limiting the BlueClaws to three runs (two earned) in a win. He made two starts with Advanced Rookie Great Falls to open this season, going 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA before earning a promotion to Kannapolis on June 25. In 13 games (10 starts) in 2014 between the Voyagers and Intimidators, he is 4-4 with a 5.20 (36 ER/62.1 IP). He made his professional debut in 2013, working in the Voyagers bullpen going 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA (4 ER/25 IP) in 16 games, converting all six save chances. The White Sox drafted McKenzie in the 28th round of the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Bakersfield, where he was named Western Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year, becoming his school’s first All-American baseball player in by going 13-2 with a 1.88 ERA (24 ER/114.2 IP) with six complete games (four shutouts).

Brave on the Bump: Yean Carlos Gil, 23, makes his 21st start of the season and second against Kannapolis. He ranks third in the SAL in WHIP (1.15) and 11th in ERA (3.51). Gil opened the year with 12.0 scoreless relief innings over five games before moving into the rotation with an April 25 start against Kannapolis. The Intimidators tagged him with a loss, as he gave up two runs on three hits over 4.0 innings. As a starter, he is 4-6 with a 3.92 ERA (45 ER/103.1 IP) in 20 starts. He is coming off a no decision against Savannah on Aug. 20 in which he gave up two runs on four hits over 4.0 innings, and his last win came two starts ago when Gil shutout the RiverDogs over 5.0 innings of 1-hit ball while striking out six on Aug. 14. He made his professional debut in 2010 with the DSL Braves at 19 years old, and compiled a record of 6-11 with a 3.00 ERA in 48 games (32 starts) over his first four seasons.

Last Time Out: Eddy Alvarez paced the Intimidators offense with a 4-hit game, and Chris Freudenberg kept the Power offense quiet in a 7-1 win at Appalachian Power Park on Sunday. Freudenberg tossed 6.0 innings, allowing one run to earn the win, outdueling West Virginia starter and Pirates prospect Luis Heredia, who suffered the loss. Brad Salgado tossed the final 3.0 innings of scoreless relief for the save (3). West Virginia reliever Jake Burnette gave up five runs in relief, walking four batters in the seventh inning alone during the Intimidators 3-run frame.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez collected a career-high four hits on Sunday in West Virginia, going 4-6 with 2 RBI. He’s hit safely in 10 of 11 games with Kannapolis, batting .467 (21-45) since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox. An Olympic silver medalist in short-track speed-skating at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Alvarez signed with the White Sox in June. On Saturday, he hit two home runs, going 3-4 with an RBI-double. The 4-hit game by Alvarez on Sunday is the seven by an Intimidator this season and first since Adam Engel on July 19 against Lakewood.

Dowdy’s Streak Snapped: Jeremy Dowdy saw his career-best hitting streak of seven games come to an end on Sunday in West Virginia with an 0-5 game. During his streak, he hit .500 (12-24) in the South Atlantic League from July 27 to Aug. 21, including five multi-hit games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .316 (24-76) in 20 second-half games.

Familiar Faces: Two current members of the Rome Braves has played for the Kannapolis Intimidators. Second baseman Ross Wilson, a White Sox 10th round pick in the June 2010 First-Year Player Draft, spent parts of the 2011 and 2012 seasons with the Intimidators. He is batting .247 with seven home runs and 37 RBI in 70 games with Rome this season. Left-handed pitcher Sean Bierman opened this season in the Kannapolis rotation, made two starts with Kannapolis before earning a promotion to Winston-Salem. He made five relief appearances for the Dash before being released.

Broadcast Information: All 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Tonight’s pregame shows begins at 6:50 p.m. with first pitch at 7:05 p.m.

Game Notes 8/24/14: A Silver Medal Slugger, Eddy still steady, and Intimidators looking avoid a sweep

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at WEST VIRGINIA POWER
58-71, 29-33 (Chicago White Sox)        51-77, 31-29 (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Sunday, August 24, 2014 – 2:05 p.m.
Appalachian Power Park – Charleston, W.V.
2nd Half Game #63 (130 of 137)
LH Chris Freudenberg (1-1, 6.00) vs. RH Buddy Borden (7-7, 3.03)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) try to avoid matching the team’s longest losing skid of the season and a second straight series sweep when Kannapolis wraps up this 3-game set against the Power (A, Pirates). West Virginia defeated Kannapolis, 5-4, on Saturday to eliminate the Intimidators from post-season contention. Kannapolis has dropped six straight games since Aug. 17 and will try to salvage this series with a victory or else endure the team’s third 7-game skid of the season and first since July 9-16. Today Chris Freudenberg takes the ball for his fifth start with the Intimidators as he faces West Virginia’s Buddy Borden, who faces Kannapolis for the third time this season.

Broadcast Information: Sunday’s game in West Virginia will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Pregame shows will begin at 1:50 p.m. with first pitch at 2:05 p.m.

Intimidating Starter: Chris Freudenberg, 21, makes his fith start with Kannapolis and 14th start of the year. Freudenberg matched his season-high in strikeouts by fanning seven straight batters to wrap up his last outing, an Aug. 19 loss to the Tourists in which he allowed four early runs on six hits over 4.0 innings. The left-hander made a strong debut with Kannapolis, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing a run on two hits in a win on Aug. 3 against Augusta, however he has allowed 11 runs on 15 hits in 12.0 innings since. Freudenberg was promoted from Advanced Rookie Great Falls to Kannapolis on Aug. 1 after going 3-3 with a 3.17 ERA (17 ER/48.1 IP) in nine games (nine starts) for Great Falls. Overall this season, he is 4-4 with a 3.93 ERA (29 ER/66.1 IP) in 13 starts. He is in his second yeard with the White Sox after being selected in the eighth round of the June 2013 draft out of South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. Last season with Advanced Rookie Bristol, the lefty went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in nine games (six starts) in the Appalachian League. He graduated from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2011.

Power Pitcher: Buddy Borden, 22, makes his 25th start of the season and third against the Intimidators. He is coming off consecutive scoreless outings at Asheville and Lexington, with 18 strikeouts over 11.0 innings in his last two starts, including a career-high 10-strikeout performance over 6.0 innings in a while over the Tourists on Aug. 9. He leads the South Atlantic League in average (207), ranks tied for third in WHIP (1.15), tied for fourth in strikeouts (111), and fifth in ERA (3.03). Among starting pitchers, he’s third in fewest baserunners/9 IP ratio (10.77) and fourth in highest strikeouts/9 IP ratio (8/23). Borden last allowed a run on Aug. 4, when he gave up one tally on two hits over 7.0 innings to beat the Hagerstown Suns. In three August starts, he is 2-0 with a 0.50 ERA (1 ER/18 IP) with 22 strikeouts and four walks. The Pirates selected Borden in the seventh round in the June 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of UNLV, where he was 11-9 with a 4.30 ERA in 41 games (27 starts) over three years. Borden made his profession debut in 2013 with Short-A Jamestown, going 0-0 with a 1.09 ERA (2 ER/16.2 IP) in six games (three starts).

Last Time Out: Eddy Alvarez hit a pair of home runs, but the West Virginia Power broke a tie in the seventh inning to beat the Intimidators, 5-4, on Saturday. Wyatt Mathisen drove in Jeff Roy in the seventh to give the Power their third and final lead of the game. Alvarez led off the game with a home run, but the Power scored two runs in the bottom of the first, including an RBI-double by Austin Meadows. Meadows added a sac-fly in the third for a 3-2 lead. Roy tripled to score Erich Weiss for a 4-2 advantage. In the fifth, Toby Thomas doubled and scored on a Chevy Clarke ground out to get one run back, and Alvarez hit his second home run to equalize the score. Zach Von Rosenberg (2-2) earned the win while Dylan Chavez (4-5) took the loss. The Power bullpen tossed 3.0 perfect innings, including Isaac Sanchez spinning the ninth inning for the save (6).

Silver Medal Slugger: Eddy Alvarez blasted his first two home runs with Class A Kannapolis on Saturday, a pair of solo shots to lead off the game in the first and to tie the game in the fifth. Alvarez, an Olympic silver medal-winning short-track speed-skater in the 5,000-meter relay in February in Sochi, finished the game 3-4 with 3 RBI, a pair of runs scored, and a game-tying double to go along with his double-barrel blasts. Saturday’s game marked the fourth time this season that an Intimidator led off the game with a home run and the fourth time an Intimidator had a two-HR game in 2014.

Multi-HR Games                                                   Lead Off Game with HR
Hunter Jones (June 5 at ASH)                                Hunter Jones (May 28 at HIC)
Christian Stringer (June 24 at HIC)                         Hunter Jones (June 5 at ASH)
Christian Stringer (July 6 at HAG)                           Adam Engel (July 23 at HAG)
Eddy Alvarez (Aug. 23 at WVA)                               Eddy Alvarez (Aug. 23 at WVA)

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez has now hit safely in nine of 10 games with Kannapolis, going 3-4 on Saturday. He is batting .436 (17-39) since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox and has reached base in all 10 games he’s played in the SAL. Alvarez ranks second on the team in batting average in August behind catcher Jeremy Dowdy at .471 (8-17). His two home runs on Saturday were his first since homering in consecutive games July 27-28 with the AZL White Sox.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy is on a career-best hitting streak of seven games since July 27. He is now batting .500 (12-24) during that span in the South Atlantic League, including five multi-hit games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .338 (24-71) in 18 second-half games. 

Losing Skid at Six: Kannapolis lost its sixth straight game on Saturday in West Virginia, its fifth losing streak of at least six games in 2014. The Intimidators last lost six in a row Aug. 5-10 and will try to avoid the team’s longest losing streak of the year, seven games, which Kannapolis has hit twice, first from May 19-26 and then again from July 9-16.

Leonards Streak Snapped: Shortstop Ryan Leonards saw his career-best 11-game on-base streak come to an end with an 0-4 night on Saturday in West Virginia. Leonards reached base safely in 11 straight games from Aug. 8-22, including hits in nine of those games with a career-best 7-game hitting streak from Aug. 12-21. The White Sox 21st round pick in the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of University of Louisiana-Lafayette, he hit just .191 (17-89) with Kannapolis in July but is batting .296 (16-54) in August.

Game Notes 8/23/14: Streaks snapped for Wheeler and Leonards, Intimidators host comedy of errors

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at WEST VIRGINIA POWER
58-70, 29-32 (Chicago White Sox)        50-77, 30-29 (Pittsburgh Pirates)
Saturday, August 23, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
Appalachian Power Park – Charleston, W.V.
2nd Half Game #62 (129 of 137)
RH Robinson Leyer (5-9, 3.68) vs. RH Luis Heredia (2-4, 3.82)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) look to snap a 5-game losing skid in Game 2 of a 3-game series against the West Virginia Power on Saturday at Appalachian Power Park. Kannapolis sends Robinson Leyer to the mound in his South Atlantic League-lead tying 25th start to face Pittsburgh Pirates No. 14 prospect Luis Heredia. The Intimidators lead the season-series over West Virginia, 7-5, with two games left between the two Northern Division foes in 2014. Last season, the Power dominated Kannapolis by winning all 10 games against the Intimidators, and today an Intimidators’ win would secure a season-series victory over West Virginia.

Broadcast Information: Saturday and Sunday’s games in West Virginia will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators. Pregame shows will begin 15 minutes before listed first pitch time.

Intimidating Starter: Robinson Leyer, 21, makes his 25th start of 2014 and second against West Virginia on the heels of his roughest outing since his season debut. Leyer took a loss at Greensboro on Aug. 17, allowing six runs on eight hits in 2.0 innings of work, just the third time he’s allowed six runs all season and the first such outing since his second start of 2014. The right-hander beat West Virginia in his lone start against the Power, limiting them to a run on seven hits over 5.1 innings on April 30. Leyer put together a remarkable stretch from April 16 through June 28, going 4-2 with a 1.59 ERA (13 ER/73.2 IP) in 13 starts, the sixth-best ERA in all of full-season Minor League Baseball in that stretch and the best in Class A. July and August have been tougher, as Leyer is 1-5 with a 5.04 ERA (28 ER/50 IP) in nine starts. Today, Leyer is looking for his first win since his complete game in Greensboro and just his second win since June 5 in Asheville. He ranks nine in the SAL with 129.2 IP and 11th in ER (3.69). The younger brother of former Intimidator Euclides Leyer, Robinson spent 2013 with Advanced Rookie Bristol, going 2-7 with a 6.35 ERA in 13 starts.

Power Pitcher: Luis Heredia, who turned 20 earlier this month, makes his 17th start of the season and third career start against the Intimidators after facing Kannapolis twice in 2013 with West Virginia. He is coming off consecutive no-decisions, including a dominant performance on Aug. 11 against Augusta in which he spun 7.0 shutout innings. The Pirates No. 14 prospect according to MLB.com, Heredia is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA (4 ER/24 IP) in four starts in August after opening the year 1-3 with a 4.86 ERA in his first 12 outings. He spent last season with West Virginia, going 7-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). In two starts Kannapolis last season, he is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA (1 ER/8 IP). The Pirates signed Heredia out of Mexico in 2010, and he made his professional debut at 16 with the GCL Pirates in 2011, going 1-2 with a 4.75 ERA in 12 games (11 starts). He followed that with a strong second season in 2012 with Short-Season State College, posting a 4-2 record and 2.71 ERA, 12th-lowest in the NYPL, in 14 starts as the youngest player in the league.

Last Time Out: West Virginia scored eight runs in the seventh inning to come from behind and beat the Intimidators, 10-5, on Friday night, taking advantage of three Intimidators’ errors in the inning. Edwin Espinal’s first inning two-run single put the Power up 2-0. The Intimidators returned fire in the fourth on a Carl Thomore 2-run home run (4). Danny Hayes 2-run single in the seventh made it 5-2 Intimidators before the Power put up a snowman in the home half of the inning. Clario Perez (4-1) earned the win, and Matt Abramson (3-7) was charged with the loss.

Let’s Build A Snowman: West Virginia put up eight runs in the seventh on Friday, matching the biggest inning by an Intimidators opponent this season. Hagerstown also scored eight runs in an inning against Kannapolis on June 1.

Five Game Dive: Kannapolis lost its fifth straight game on Friday in West Virginia, its sixth losing streak of at least five games in 2014. The team’s last slide of at least five games came Aug. 5-10 when the Intimidators lost six in a row.

Wheeler’s Streak Snapped: Andre Wheeler gave up two runs in the first inning, seeing his scoreless inning streak end after 17.0 innings from July 31 through Aug. 16. The left-hander, who earned South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week honors during his run, finished Friday’s game after 5.0 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits while striking out seven and walking none. Wheelere leads the Intimidators with 104 strikeouts in 92.1 innings of work in 2014.

Stacking Up The Streak: Here’s how Andre Wheeler’s scoreless innings streak compares to other Intimidators in 2014:

Consec. Inn.            Pitcher             Date             Games (Started)     Notes                                                                               

22                 Tyler Danish       April 23-May11         4 (4)              Final 22 IP before promotion to Dash

18.1            Jake Sanchez       April 4-May21            7 (1)                SAL All-Star traded to OAK on June 14

17               Andre Wheeler     July 31-Aug.16     4 (3)        SAL Pitcher of the Week (Aug. 11-17)

12.2            Matt Abramson        April 21-May11       7 (0)             First 7 outings with Intimidators

Comedy of Errors: The Intimidators matched their season-high with five errors on Friday in West Virginia. The two previous 5-error games came against Hickory on April 16 at L.P. Frans Stadium and on May 20 in Kannapolis.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez has hit safely in eight of nine games with Kannapolis, going 1-5 on Friday. He is now batting .400 (14-35) since joining the Intimidators from the AZL White Sox. On Thursday, he saw hit career-high 9-game hitting streak, spanning two games with the AZL White Sox and seven with Kannapolis, come to an end, however the Olympian has reached base in all nine games played with Kannapolis. Alvarez won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in February in short-track speed-skating in the 5,000-meter relay. The White Sox signed Alvarez in June.

Cajun Cooked: Shortstop Ryan Leonards went 0-4 on Friday, ending his career-best hitting streak after 7 games. The Crowley, La., native had five multi-hit games in this stretch, batting .565 (13-23) in seven games from Aug. 12-21. The White Sox 21st round pick in the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of University of Louisiana-Lafayette, he hit just .191 (17-89) with Kannapolis in July but is batting .320 (16-50) in August.

Game Notes 8/21/14: Clinch City, Guerrero going, mighty Mitchell, steady Eddy, and don’t doubt Dowdy

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. ASHEVILLE TOURISTS
58-68, 29-30 (Chicago White Sox)     82-46-41-18 (Colorado Rockies)
Thursday, August 21, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #60 (127 of 137)
LH Jordan Guerrero (6-0, 2.95) vs. RH Johendi Jiminian (12-5, 4.31)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) play to avoid a series sweep in the third and final game against the Tourists (A, Rockies) in 2014. Asheville leads the season-series, 8-1, having won eight straight games against Kannapolis, and the Tourists can clinch a playoff berth with a win today over the Intimidators and a loss by Charleston at Greenville. Asheville enters today’s game as the South Atlantic League’s best team in the second half at 41-18, first in the Southern Division, while Kannapolis has slipped to fifth in the Northern Division at 29-30 since the All-Star Break.

Clinch-City, USA: If the Tourists clinch a playoff berth in today’s game, they would become the third different SAL squad to secure its playoff berth in Kannapolis. In the first half of the season, Savannah won the Southern Division thanks to a pair of wins followed by a rainout on June 11 at CMC-NorthEast Stadium. Greensboro swept the Intimidators over four games to end the first half, clinching the Northern Division on the last day of the half, June 15.

Intimidating Starter: Jordan Guerrero, 20, makes his seventh start after opening the season in the bullpen. The lefty has faced Asheville three times in relief, posting a 6.35 ERA (4 ER/5.2 IP). Guerrero is 2-0 with a 3.38 ERA (10 ER/26.2 IP) in six starts compared to 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA (11 ER/37.1 IP) in 18 relief appearances. The left-hander continues to improve, with a 2.66 ERA in 11 games (six starts) in the Second Half after going 3-0 with a 3.47 ERA in 13 games before the All-Star Break. He is coming off a no decision at Greensboro, allowing two runs (one earned) while scattering seven hits over 4.0 innings on Aug. 15. The Moorpark, Calif., native is enjoying a solid month of August, with a 1.69 ERA (2 ER/10.2 IP) in three games (two starts). Guerrero was drafted in the 15th round of the 2012 first year player draft by the White Sox. He went 0-4 over the course of two seasons with advanced rookie Bristol in 12 app/5 starts with a 3.93 ERA (15 ER/34.1 IP).

Twirling Tourist: Johendi Jiminian, 21, makes his league-leading 26th start and second against Kannapolis. He ranks third in the league in wins (12) and second in innings pitched (135.2). Jiminian is coming off a win on Aug. 15 against Augusta, allowing a run on six hits for his first win since beating the Intimidators on July 13. In his lone start against Kannapolis, the right-hander worked 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Jiminian has been better on the road this season than at home, going 7-2 with a 2.96 ERA in 13 starts compared to 5-3 with a 6.03 ERA at McCormick Field. Jiminian was one of the league’s best arms after the first half of the season, going 8-3 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts before the All-Star Break, but he is now 4-2 with a 5.43 ERA in 11 starts since. The Rockies signed Jiminian prior to the 2010 season, and he spent two seasons with the DSL Rockies before making his domestic debut with Advanced Rookie Grand Junction in 2012 in the Pioneer League, going 2-4 with a 7.71 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). Last season with Short-A Tri-City, he went 3-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) in the Northwest League.

Last Time Out: Asheville’s Ryan McMahon hit a 2-run home run as part of a 5-run second inning as the Tourists early lead held up in an 8-6 win over Kannapolis on Wednesday night. The Intimidators rallied from down 6-1 for four runs in the third inning, all with two outs. Jeremy Dowdy’s base hit drove in Ryan Leonards and Danny Hayes, and Dowdy and Jacob Morris scored on a Toby Thomas base hit. Kannapolis did not score again until the ninth inning when Leonards’ sac-fly cashed Eddy Alvarez, but the Intimidators left the tying run at the plate in the ninth. Asheville’s Konner Wade (8-8) earned the win, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits over 5.0 innings, while Thad Lowry (4-6) took the loss for Kannapolis, giving up eight runs (seven earned) in 6.0 innings. Trent Daniel recorded the final out of the game for the Tourists to collect the save (13) after Alex Balog worked 3.2 innings in his second relief appearance of the year.

Mighty Mitchell: Reliever Andrew Mitchell tossed 3.0 scoreless innings on Wednesday, striking out four batters while allowing one hit and no walks. The outing was the longest by Mitchell since working 3.0 frames in a 13-inning affair on June 7 at Asheville, 17 appearances ago. Mitchell’s no-walks effort on Wednesday was his third of the year in 29 games with Kannapolis and his longest outing without a walk since Aug. 18, 2013, when Mitchell tossed 5.0 walk-free frames. The former TCU Horned Frog has 81 strikeouts in 61.1 IP but leads the league with 62 walks and 23 wild pitches.

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez continued his impressive start with Kannapolis, hitting safely for the seventh straight game. He waited until Wednesday’s ninth inning before extending his hitting streak with a double down the right field line. He is now batting .464 (13-28) with hits in all seven games played for the Intimidators. Alvarez, a short-track speed-skater who won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi in February, has now hit safely in nine straight games between the AZL White Sox and Kannapolis, batting .471 (16-34) since Aug. 7, the longest streak of his young career. Alvarez strung together an 8-game hitting streak with the AZL Sox from July 16-28, batting .417 (15-36) in that stretch. The White Sox signed Alvarez in June.

Ragin’ Cajun: Shortstop Ryan Leonards paced the Intimidators offense on Wednesday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored for his first 3-hit game since joining Kannapolis. The Crowley, La., native has hit safely in six straight games, a career-high streak, with five multi-hit games in that stretch. Leonards is batting .632 (12-19) in his last six games, since Aug. 12. The White Sox 21st round pick in the June 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Leonards hit just .191 (17-89) with Kannapolis in July but is now batting .349 (15-43) in August.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy continued to produce at the plate, going 1-3 with 2 RBI on Wednesday, to extend his career-best hitting streak to six games since July 27. He is now batting .500 (10-20) during that span in the South Atlantic League, including four multi-hit games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .328 (22-67) in 18 second-half games.

Broadcast Information: This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.

Game Notes 8/19/14: Christian’s string, Wheeler’s weekly award, and a hurting from the Hoppers

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS vs. ASHEVILLE TOURISTS
58-66, 29-28 (Chicago White Sox)      80-46-39-18 (Colorado Rockies)
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 – 7:05 p.m.
CMC-NorthEast Stadium – Kannapolis, N.C.
2nd Half Game #58 (125 of 137)
LH Chris Freudenberg (1-0, 5.14) vs. RH Antonio Senzatela (13-2, 3.30)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) open the second-to-last home stand of the season when the Tourists (A, Rockies) come to town for three games this week. Asheville, which is a South Atlantic League best 39-18 during the Second Half of the season, has won its last six games against Kannapolis after the Intimidators took the first game of the season-series between the two teams. The Tourists, which lead the season-series over Kannapolis, 6-1, enter this series off an 11-3 win over Augusta that helped them take 3 of 4 games in the series. While Kannapolis dropped its most recent contest in Greensboro, 14-2, the Intimidators have won five of their last seven games. Chris Freudenberg takes the ball for his fourth start while Antonio Senzatela looks to duplicate his past success against the Intimidators.

Intimidating Starter: Chris Freudenberg, 21, makes his fourth start with the Intimidators and 13th start of the season. Freudenberg matched his season-high with seven strikeouts in 4.0 innings on Aug. 13 against Lexington while taking no decision, allowing three runs on four hits including a pair of home runs, the first time in his career he allowed multiple home runs. The left-hander made a strong debut with Kannapolis, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing a run on two hits in a win on Aug. 3 against Augusta, however he has allowed seven runs on nine hits in 8.0 innings since. Freudenberg was promoted from Advanced Rookie Great Falls to Kannapolis on Aug. 1 after going 3-3 with a 3.17 ERA (17 ER/48.1 IP) in nine games (nine starts) for Great Falls. Overall this season, he is 4-3 with a 3.61 ERA (25 ER/62.1 IP) in 13 starts. He is in his second season with the White Sox after being selected in the eighth round of the June 2013 draft out of South Mountain Community College in Phoenix. Last season with Advanced Rookie Bristol, the lefty went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in nine games (six starts) in the Appalachian League. He graduated from Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., in 2011.

Twirling Tourist: Antonio Senzatela, 19, makes his 24th start of the season and third against the Intimidators. He earned a win by dominating Kannapolis on July 10, striking out a season-high nine batters over 7.0 scoreless innings, starting a string of three straight scoreless starts, spanning 19.0 innings. His other start against Kannapolis resulted in no decision on June 6, allowing four runs on four hits over 6.0 innings in an eventual Asheville comeback win. The right-hander is coming off his first loss April 24 and just his second of the season after a string of 12 straight winning decisions over 16 starts from May 5 to Aug. 1. He went a respectable 7-1 with a 4.42 ERA in 13 starts and has dominated the league since the All-Star Break, going 6-1 with a 1.83 ERA in 10 starts. Senzatela now leads the South Atlantic League in wins (13) and winning percentage (.867) and ranks seventh in ERA (3.30). He came within one out of a 9-inning complete game on May 22 at Hagerstown. He made his professional debut in 2012 with the DSL Rockies, going 5-2 with a 0.72 ERA (5 ER/62.2 IP) in 13 games (12 starts), and earned a mid-season promotion in 2013 from the DSL to Short-Season Tri-City.

Last Time Out: Greensboro beat Kannapolis, 14-2, behind Coco Johnson’s big night at the plate, going 2-3, six RBI, two runs scored and a double. The Hoppers pounded out 17 hits, including seven doubles, as all nine Greensboro batters hit safely. They jumped in front with a 6-run second inning off Robinson Leyer, who took the loss for Kannapolis, and added eight more runs off the Intimidators bullpen, including six more off Connor Walsh in his Class A debut. Christian Stringer gave Kannapolis an early lead with a first inning solo home run (9), and Jacob Morris added a home run (8) in the eighth to account for the Intimidators offense output on the day. Chris Sadberry tossed 4.0 relief innings in the win.

Hammered by Hoppers: Sunday’s loss to Greensboro saw Kannapolis give up a season-high 14 runs while enduring the largest margin of defeat of the season, surpassing the 13 runs Greenville scored against Kannapolis on April 11. The Intimidators also suffered its largest margin of defeat (12 runs) in the 14-2 loss, surpassing the 11-run loss to Greenville on April 11 (1-43). The 14 runs against the Intimidators are the most since Charleston beat Kannapolis, 15-5, on April 27, 2013. It’s the first time the Intimidators allowed double-digit runs since June 24 in an 11-10 loss in Hickory.

Pitcher of the Week: Left-hander Andre Wheeler was named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the week of Aug. 11-17. Wheeler went 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA with 10 scoreless innings over two starts while earning wins over Lexington and Greensboro. He is the fourth Intimidator to earn a weekly award this season, joining fellow pitchers Tyler Danish (April 28-May 4) and Thad Lowry (June 2-8) along with third baseman Trey Michalczewski (June 2-8). Wheeler extended his scoreless innings streak to 17 with five frames on Saturday, his third straight scoreless start. He faced the minimum through the first three innings, thanks to a pair of double-plays to erase two base runners. Wheeler last allowed a run on July 25 in Hagerstown. In his last seven games (five starts), he is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA (5 ER/27 IP). This season, Wheeler is 3-3 with a 2.99 ERA with a team-high 97 strikeouts in 87.1 innings in 26 games (14 starts).

Christian’s String: Christian Stringer has strung together a season-best 8-game hitting streak, which is now one game shy of his career-best 9-game hitting streak that he put together at the end of 2013 with Advanced Rookie Great Falls. Stringer went 1-4 with a solo home run (9) on Sunday. He is batting .314 (11-35) in eight games since Aug. 10. After batting .245 through July, the left-handed-hitting Texan is batting .338 (24-71) in 17 games in August.

An Intimidator Knighted: Tyler Barnette, who opened this season in the Intimidators bullpen, made his Triple-A debut with the Charlotte Knights on Sunday, tossing 2.0 scoreless, hitless innings of relief with a strikeout in the Knights game against the Durham Bulls. The former Charlotte 49er became the first Intimidators player promoted directly to Triple-A since Adam Heisler made two stints with the Knights last August. This season in Kannapolis, Barnette went 2-8 with a 5.08 ERA over 85.0 IP in 25 games (11 starts) with Kannapolis, including a 1.51 ERA out of the bullpen.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy continued to produce at the plate, going 1-4 with a run scored on Saturday, extending his hitting streak in the South Atlantic League to a career-best five games, batting .529 (9-17) since July 27. After batting .214 in 31 games last season with Kannapolis, he is hitting .307 (54-176) with a home run, nine doubles, two triples and 20 RBI in 47 games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .328 (21-64) in 17 second-half games.

Broadcast Information: This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com and on the TuneIn Radio App with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.

Game Notes 8/17/14: Christian’s string, Wheeler a dealer, and a former Niner Knighted…

KANNAPOLIS INTIMIDATORS at GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS
58-65, 29-27 (Chicago White Sox)     78-48, 34-22 (Miami Marlins)
Sunday, August 17, 2014 – 4:00 p.m.
NewBridge Bank Park – Greensboro, N.C.
2nd Half Game #57 (124 of 137)
RH Robinson Leyer (5-8, 3.31) vs. RH Domingo German (8-3, 2.56)

Today’s Preview: The Intimidators (A, White Sox) play for a second straight series victory after taking two of the first three games against the Grasshoppers (A, Marlins). Kannapolis has now won five of its last six games, including a shutout victory, 6-0, in Greensboro on Saturday. The Intimidators have won four of the six games they have played at NewBridge Bank Park, however the Hoppers still lead the season-series, 6-4. Today Robinson Leyer makes his team-leading 24th start of the season, which will tie for the second-most in the South Atlantic League, while dueling Greensboro ace Domingo German.

Pitchers Duel: Both of today’s starting pitchers rank among the South Atlantic League leaders in ERA. Domingo German (2.56) ranks fourth in the Sally while Robinson Leyer (3.31) is ninth. The two hurlers faced each other on June 15 in a game Greensboro eventually won against the Intimidators bullpen.

Intimidating Starter: Robinson Leyer, 21, makes his 24th start of 2014 and third against Greensboro. Leyer is coming off four straight quality starts (6 IP or more with 3 ER or less). In his last outing, he spun 7.0 innings, allowing a run on five hits with seven strikeouts and a walk in a no decision against the Legends. He has worked at least 6.0 innings in six of his last seven starts, including a career-high 7.2 innings in a home loss to Asheville on July 13. In two starts against the Grasshoppers, Leyer is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA (3 ER/13 IP), including his first career complete-game victory when he tossed all 7.0 innings in a rain-shortened win on July 8 at NewBridge Bank Park. Today Leyer is looking for his first win since his complete game in Greensboro and just his second win since June 5 in Asheville. He ranks sixth in the SAL with 127.2 IP and ninth in ERA. The younger brother of former Intimidator Euclides Leyer, Robinson spent 2013 with Advanced Rookie Bristol, going 2-7 with a 6.35 ERA in 13 starts.

Hoppers Hurler: Domingo German, who turned 22 on Aug. 4, makes his 23rd start and third against the Intimidators. He pitched Greensboro to a First Half clinching victory on June 15, allowing one unearned run on four hits over 7.0 innings but was battered by Kannapolis on July 7, allowing five runs on nine hits in 4.1 innings in a no decision. He ranks fourth in the SAL in ERA, tied for eighth with 104 strikeouts, and 20th with 112.1 IP. His eight wins rank tied for 11th on the circuit. He has not allowed an earned run in his last four outings, spanning 14.0 innings, and he has produced a scoreless start in four of his last six starts. In fact, the last time German allowed an earned run came against Kannapolis on July 7. German was lights out in the first half, going 7-2 with a 2.10 ERA in 14 starts, however he is fallen off the pace in the second half, going 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in eight starts since the All-Star Break.

About Last Night: Andre Wheeler led the Intimidators to a shutout victory, 6-0, over Greensboro on Saturday night. Wheeler (3-3) tossed 5.0 scoreless innings for the third straight start before turning the mound over to the bullpen. Andrew Mitchell followed with 2.0 innings of work, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out one.  Matt Abramson tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth for the save (6). The Intimidators broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth.  Jeremy Dowdy, who walked to reach base, took off from first on a hit-and-run with Toby Thomas at the plate.  Thomas laced a line drive over the head of left fielder Austin Dean, scoring Dowdy for a 1-0 lead.  In the sixth, Eddy Alvarez singled through the right side of the infield, and Christian Stringer followed with a triple to plate Alvarez for a 2-0 lead.  Stringer later scored on a Greensboro error for a 3-0 advantage. Danny Hayes broke the game open with two outs in the ninth inning, lining a bases-clearing double down the left field line to score Carl Thomore, Chevy Clarke and Ryan Leonards for a 6-0 lead.

Wheelin’ is Dealin’: Left-hander Andre Wheeler extended his scoreless innings streak to 17 with five farmes of work on Saturday, his third straight scoreless start. He faced the minimum through the first three innings, thanks to a pair of double-plays to erase two base runners. Wheeler last allowed a run on July 25 in Hagerstown. In his last seven games (five starts), he is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA (5 ER/27 IP).

Christian’s String: Christian Stringer has strung together a season-best 7-game hitting streak, which is now two games shy of his career-best 9-game hitting streak that he put together at the end of 2013 with Advanced Rookie Great Falls. Stringer went 1-5 with an RBI-triple on Saturday, upping his average to .323 (10-31) in seven games since Aug. 10. After batting .245 through July, the left-handed-hitting Texan is batting .343 (23-67) in 16 games in August.

Don’t Doubt Dowdy: Jeremy Dowdy continued to produce at the plate, going 1-4 with a run scored on Saturday, extending his hitting streak in the South Atlantic League to a career-best five games, batting .529 (9-17) since July 27. After batting .214 in 31 games last season with Kannapolis, he is hitting .307 (54-176) with a home run, nine doubles, two triples and 20 RBI in 47 games. After batting .295 during the first half of the season, Dowdy has upped his average to .328 (21-64) in 17 second-half games.d

Steady Eddy: Eddy Alvarez, who won a short-track speed-skating silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, continued to hit since his promotion to Kannapolis on Monday.  He went 1-5 on Saturday and has now hit safely in all five games with Kannapolis, batting .474 (9-19). Alvarez put together an 8-game hitting streak with the AZL White Sox from July 16-28, batting .417 (15-36). The switch-hitting infielder hit safely in his last two games prior to joining the Intimidators, putting him at seven straight games with a hit between the AZL and South Atlantic League.

Hammerin’ Hayes: Danny Hayes overcame a slow start to this weekend’s series in Greensboro with a big finish to the Intimidators win on Saturday. After going 0-for-10 to open the series, Hayes drew his league-leading 65th walk before toe-dipping into the waters with a base hit in the eighth inning. He then burst through the floodgates with a bases-clearing double in the ninth, his 30th double of the season, which ranks tied for fifth in the league.

Niner Knighted: Former Charlotte 49ers RHP Tyler Barnette has been promoted to Triple-A Charlotte. He is 2-8 with a 5.08 ERA over 85.0 IP in 25 games (11 starts) with Kannapolis, including a 1.51 ERA out of the bullpen. Barnette is the first Intimidators player promoted directly to Triple-A since Adam Heisler made two stints with the Knights last August.

No Broadcast Today: Broadcasts on the Kannapolis Intimidators Baseball Network, available at IntimidatorsBaseball.com & on the TuneIn Radio App, will resume when the team returns to Kannapolis on Tuesday, Aug. 19. This season all 70 home games and select road games will be broadcast on the KIBN with Josh Feldman, now in his fourth season as the Voice of the Intimidators.

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