Silver Sox make moves for stretch, playoffs
Appeal Sports Writer
RENO – Following his team’s second home loss in three games to the fifth-place Yuma Scorpions on Sunday, Reno Silver Sox manager Les Lancaster wasn’t pulling any punches.
“We can’t win with this team,” Lancaster told the Nevada Appeal. “We’re looking for anybody to give us a boost on the offense at any position.”
Just as Reno hit the road Monday for a three-game series with last-place Long Beach (which began Tuesday), Lancaster added three new bats to his lineup, released two players and traded another in a flurry of activity.
The Silver Sox released left fielder D.J. Stacey and outfielder Brandon Carter, while trading right-handed pitcher Everett Stull to the United Baseball League for a player to be named.
Reno brought in two players from the Mexican League – third baseman Lou Lucca and center fielder Demond Smith – and left fielder Carlos Rodriguez from the Bridgeport (Conn.) Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League.
A source with the Reno Silver Sox said that the 33-year-old Smith batted .353, had six home runs, 16 doubles and 27 RBI for the Algodoneros de Union Laguna (the Union Laguna Cotton Pickers) and would be placed on the disabled list for an unspecified reason and period of time.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Smith – a switch-hitter – was originally drafted in the sixth round in 1990 by the New York Mets and has played as high as Triple A.
Lucca and Rodriguez are expected to make an immediate impact for the Silver Sox, the source said.
The 35-year-old Lucca played for the Potros de Tijuana, where he hit .309 in 94 at-bats, with two homers and 19 RBI. The Florida Marlins originally acquired the 5-11, 210-pound Lucca, who played for Oklahoma State, in the 32nd round of the 1992 draft and he also has played Triple-A ball.
The 29-year-old Rodriguez was born in Cuba and was picked up by the Boston Red Sox in the 11th round of the 1998 draft after playing for Louisville. The 6-1, 227-pounder had his best season in 2003, when he hit 21 homers as a member of the Quebec Capitales of the Northeast League.
Rodriguez also played minor league ball for the Yankees from 2003-04 and Double-A ball for the Astros in 2005.
Stull was 2-2 in eight appearances for the Sox and carried a 4.15 earned run average. In 34 2/3 innings, Stull allowed 16 runs (all earned), 35 hits and 17 walks, while striking out 21.
Stacey, a Galena High School graduate, played in 13 games and was batting .222, with one homer and five RBI. He also played for the Reno Astros for four years.
Carter played in 10 games for Reno and was batting .207. He had 2 RBI in 30 at-bats.
The Silver Sox will play a three-game set with Long Beach before traveling to San Diego for another three-game series with the Surf Dawgs.
First-half champion Reno is 12-13 in the second half (37-28 overall) and is tied with the Surf Dawgs for third-place.
The Sox will return home Aug. 21 for a pivotal four-game series with first-place Chico.
In other news, Sox catcher Marcus Jensen was named the Golden Baseball League’s player of the week for the second time this season.
The 33-year-old Jensen went 3-for-3, with a pair of homers and 5 RBI against San Diego on Aug. 10 and finished 4-for-5, with two more homers against Yuma Aug. 13. He also had a 1.091 slugging percentage.
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Jensen is batting .351 – trailing only San Diego’s Seth Pietsch (.353) – and has 14 homers and 57 RBI. Only Fullerton’s Peanut Williams has more home runs (17) and RBI (61) this season.
The Silver Sox entered Tuesday’s game with Long Beach 6 1/2 games behind Chico and 2 1/2 behind Fullerton with 15 games to go in the regular season.
Reno will host the first two games of the best-of-five GBL playoffs on Aug. 30-31.