Goss: Injury bug bites Louisville’s Nick Ratajczak at worst possible time
By Dick Goss firstname.lastname@example.org June 19, 2013 9:32PM
Nick Ratajczak, of Louisville. | AP photo
Updated: July 22, 2013 6:13PM
There are times when the ol’ notebook overflows.
Now, for instance.
Injuries can hit at the worst possible times. Louisville senior Nick Ratajczak (Joliet Catholic) had started every game at second base in his two seasons with the Cardinals. But in practice, three days before the start of the best-of-3 Super Regional against Vanderbilt, Ratajczak and a teammate collided. Ratajczak suffered a right shoulder injury that threatened the remainder of his season.
Of course, Ratajczak is nothing if not tough. He played much of the first game against Vanderbilt but had to sit out the second when the Cardinals clinched their berth in the College World Series.
Louisville (51-14) went 0-2 in the World Series. Ratajczak could not play in a 2-0 opening-round loss to Indiana and then in the elimination game against Oregon State, an 11-4 loss, he at least was able to pinch hit. He finished his final season hitting .283 with two home runs, 34 RBI, a .390 on-base percentage and .358 slugging percentage.
Indiana (49-15) and sophomore first baseman Sam Travis (Providence) met Oregon State in an elimination game late Wednesday night. Travis went 1-for-3 in the win over Louisville and 2-for-4, both doubles, and drove in a run in a 5-4 loss to Mississippi State.
For the season, Travis is hitting 317 with 22 doubles, two triples, 10 homers and 57 RBI. He sports a .550 slugging percentage and .421 on-base percentage.
Tony Pashos (Lockport), who has played nine NFL seasons — four with Baltimore, two with Jacksonville, one with San Francisco and two with Cleveland — sat out last season. The Browns cut him after he needed offseason surgery to repair a ruptured foot tendon.
A right tackle by trade, the 6-foot-6, 325-pound Pashos, who played his college ball at Illinois, signed this offseason with Washington. The Redskins re-signed incumbent starter Tyler Polumbus and also signed Jeremy Trueblood, who is coming off a shoulder injury after spending seven seasons with Tampa Bay.
Pashos is optimistic about his chances to become the starter but knows he first has to shake off some rust. If Pashos does not start but makes the team, he could be penciled in as the backup at both tackle spots.
Adam Gettis (Lincoln-Way East), who played at Iowa, is vying for playing time at guard with the Redskins.
Allie Quigley (Joliet Catholic) is off to a strong start in her career with the Sky of the WNBA. Quigley has played in all six games for the Sky (4-2 entering an 11:30 a.m. Thursday game at Tulsa) and is averaging 14.5 minutes, 7.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.7 steals. She is shooting .381 overall but is at .467 (7-of-15) on three-pointers, and has made all six free-throw attempts.
Mike Kashirsky (Providence), the full-time, left-handed batting practice pitcher for the White Sox, and Sox pitcher Dylan Alexrod will have their numbers retired by the Windy City ThunderBolts before the June 27 game at Crestwood against the Normal CornBelters. Alexrod formerly pitched for the Thunderbolts and Kashirsky was a coach there for four-plus seasons.
Outfielder Joe Benson (Joliet Catholic), who was claimed by the Texas Rangers off waivers from the Minnesota Twins late last month, got off to a rousing start with the Frisco Roughriders, the Rangers’ affiliate in the Double-A Texas League. He homered in four of his first five games. In 24 at-bats, he has the four homers and two triples among eight hits.
However, that injury bug is a nuisance. Benson, who played little over the last three weeks because of a groin injury, was placed on the disabled list Wednesday.
Elsewhere in the minor leagues, several former area standouts are worth a quick hit.
Middle infielder Dean Anna (Lincoln-Way East) is hitting .337 for Tucson, San Diego’s Triple-A team. He has 21 doubles, a triple, eight homers and 37 RBI.
Tanner Roark (Wilmington) started three games early on but has been lights-out since being moved to the bullpen with Syracuse, Washington’s Triple-A affiliate. He is 3-3 with a 4.07 ERA and has struck out 52, walked 14 and allowed 44 hits in 551/3 innings.
Ethan Hollingsworth (Plainfield South) is 2-3 with a 4.14 ERA at Altoona, Pittsburgh’s Double-A team. But in the last five appearances, he has worked 13⅓ innings and allowed six hits and two runs while striking out eight.
Mike Foltynewicz (Minooka) is 2-0 with a 1.57 ERA at Double-A Corpus Christi and 3-0 with a 2.57 ERA overall in the Houston organization. He has 69 strikeouts in 66⅔ innings.
Zach Petrick (Morris, Joliet Junior College) was promoted from St. Louis’ Class A affiliate at Peoria to A-Advanced Palm Beach and in his first 10 innings there he yielded no earned runs, six hits and one walk while striking out 11. His season ERA is 0.63 in 42⅔ innings.
Outfielder John Ruettiger (Joliet Catholic) is at Frederick, Baltimore’s A-Advanced team. He is hitting .262 there, .272 overall, and has stolen 18 bases in 21 attempts.
Washington’s farm club at Potomac has the best record at 42-27 and is tied for second in team ERA at 3.82 in the A-Advanced Carolina League. The significance? Former major leaguer Chris Michalak (Joliet Catholic) is the pitching coach.