Two Slammers sign with Dodgers
By Tim Tierney For Sun-Times Media August 19, 2012 8:16PM
Before a 2-1 loss Sunday to Lake Erie at Silver Cross Field, the Joliet Slammers announced the Los Angeles Dodgers had bought the contracts of relievers Daniel Carela and Amalio Diaz, who both went to the Dodgers’ Class A team in the Midwest League.
“This is why we’re in existence, because we want them to move up,’’ Slammers manager Bart Zeller said after the game. “I’m proud of them. I hope they do well and I don’t ever want to see them back in a Slammers uniform again.’’
Carela (2-2, 3.00) had 41 strikeouts in 36 innings this season while Diaz (1-1, 2.60) posted 19 saves in 22 attempts, second in the league.
“I’m so proud of them, they have worked so hard,’’ said Zeller, who praised pitching coach Carmen Pignatiello. “I can’t credit Piggy enough for the hard work he put in.’’
Previous Slammers in affiliated baseball also are pitchers. Gaby Hernandez was picked up this year by Arizona. Aaron Dott (Yankees), Ryan Quigley (Padres) and Chris Pack (Diamondbacks) were acquired last season.
As for Sunday’s game, the only run the Slammers (35-49) scored in their sixth straight loss came on an RBI single by Matt Mirabal to make it 2-1 in the seventh.
Slammers starter Jim Schult (5-7) allowed just two runs over 72/3 innings, including a leadoff home run in the third.
“He gave us everything we could have asked for,’’ Zeller said. “He gave us seven good innings, especially with a depleted bullpen with Diaz and Carela gone. Jimmy just battled. He made one bad pitch.’’
Brad Netzel (2-for-4) extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a first-inning single and has hit safely in 27 of the last 29 games. The University of St. Francis product has raised his average from .216 on July 4 to .287.
“I changed my swing a little bit, tried to open up my stride a little, just less to think about when the pitch is coming,’’ Netzel said. “Lately it’s been working for me.’’
The Slammers go to Kentucky this week for three games against the Florence Freedom before coming back to Joliet for the final homestand Friday through Sunday against the River City Rascals.