Friday, June 29, 2012

COREY SMITH, BEN COPELAND CUT FROM AFFILIATED JOBS; SUGAR LAND'S DREW LOCKE COOLS OFF

Does anyone need a strong bat?

The Chicago White Sox released third baseman (and sometimes first baseman) Corey Smith from their Double-A team in Birmingham, AL, even though the 13-year veteran minor leaguer is only 30 and hit .341 (14-for-41) in his last 10 games in the Southern League.

Smith, a right-handed hitter, was at .286 overall for 65 games this season with 19 doubles, a triple, eight homers and 39 runs batted in. He had a solid .359 on-base percentage.

The New Jersey native helped the Newark Bears capture the Atlantic League title in '07 when he drove in 72 runs in 119 games while collecting 58 extra-base hits and batting .274. He has been largely in Double-A since 2003 with some AAA experience and major league spring training time with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

LOCKE COOLS OFF FROM BACK-TO-BACK SLAMS

Outfielder Drew Locke made a huge early impact after Houston purchased his contract from neighboring Sugar Land and placed the 29-year-old with their Texas League franchise in Corpus Christi.

Locke, who signed out of Boston College and played in the Dodgers and Astros systems for seven seasons before joining Sugar Land this year, hit grand slam home runs in back-to-back games and batted .381 with three homers and 12 RBI in his first five games with Corpus Christi, but he has tailed off to .219-4-15 for a 17-game run so far.

FORMER LANCASTER OUTFIELDER CUT LOOSE

Another former Atlantic Leaguer who was released recently is outfielder Ben Copeland. Cleveland cut Copeland out of Class AA. He had been signed away from Lancaster where he hit .319 in 139 at-bats early in 2011.


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