Former Utah slugger C.J. Cron has homered in three straight games and might be headed for extended playing time with the Los Angeles Angels after the Angels granted struggling designated hitter Raul Ibanez his release from the club on Saturday.
Cron and Ibanez have split time as the Angels' primary designated hitters, but Cron entered the weekend batting .283, while the 42-year-old Ibanez was batting just .157 in 57 games.
Cron sat out most of last week during the team's road trip to Atlanta, but has played in the Angels' last four games and started all three games in the team's series sweep of the Rangers over the weekend, homering in all three games.
Robert Morales, an Angels beat writer for Long Beach Press-Telegram, wrote that the former Ute is making his case to stay in the majors for the long haul.
“Not many guys even get this opportunity, so when you do get it you want to make the most of it,” Cron told Morales, prior to the Angels' game against Texas on Sunday. “You don’t want to put any doubt in their minds that you can’t play at this level.”
Cron is now batting .286 since being called up to the big leagues in May, with six home runs and 18 RBIs.
Former BYU pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (4-6) also picked up his second straight win on Wednesday, lifting the Kansas City Royals past the Detroit Tigers 2-1. Guthrie struck out nine batters in the win while dipping his ERA to 3.86 on the year.
In the minors, Pine View High product Marcus Littlewood started the Single-A Midwest League All-Star Game at catcher and drove in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly for the West team. The West went on to defeat the East 7-0 Tuesday night.
Former Ute pitcher Tyler Wagner allowed just two hits and struck out nine batters in five shutout innings for Single-A Brevard County on Friday. Wagner now has a 1.96 ERA on the year, which is the third best ERA among active pitchers in the Florida State League.
Meanwhile, fellow Utah alum Stephen Fife began his rehab from a forearm injury on Saturday. Fife allowed just one run and three hits in six innings for the Arizona Dodgers in the Arizona Rookie League. He last pitched on May 10 and was placed on the minor league disabled list two weeks later.
Dixie State alum Bubba Blau and former Ute Nick Green each debuted in the minor leagues over the week. Blau picked up a save after two shutout innings on Friday for the Rookie Brewers, while Green pitched 1 1/3 innings of shutout baseball on Friday for Idaho Falls in the Pioneer League.
The two are the first of seven players with Utah ties who were drafted earlier in the month.
Blau (Milwaukee), Green (Kansas City), former Utah pitchers Mitch Watrous (San Diego) and Tanner Banks (Chicago White Sox), and Sandy native Kavin Keyes (Seattle) have all signed with the teams that drafted them.
Only BYU pitcher Kolton Mahoney (Milwaukee) and shortstop Tyler Chauncey (Los Angeles Dodgers) have not signed since being drafted.
John Buck (Taylorsville H.S.), Seattle Mariners: Zero hits in 10 at-bats during the week. Despite a hit-less week, Buck appeared in four more games over the week, and eight of the 23 games he's played in this season have come over the past two weeks.
The Taylorsville High product is batting .232 on the season, with one home run and five RBIs.
C.J. Cron (Utah), Los Angeles Angels: Four hits, three home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored in 10 at-bats over the week. Cron doubled his home run count on the year over the weekend, homering in three-staight games.
Jeremy Guthrie (BYU), Kansas City Royals: Allowed four hits, one walk and one run in 6 2/3 innings to pick up his fourth win of the year and help the Royals to a 2-1 victory over Detroit on Wednesday. Guthrie also struck out nine batters for his second consecutive start.
At the time, Kansas City surged past the Tigers for the American League Central lead, but the Royals have since lost four straight to fall behind Detroit in the standings.
Brandon Kintzler (Dixie State), Milwaukee Brewers: Allowed eight hits and three runs in four appearances totaling four innings over the week. Kintzler dropped to 1-3 on the season on Wednesday, allowing one run in 2/3 innings in a 4-3 loss to Arizona.
The Dixie State product has a 3.49 ERA in 28 1/3 innings pitched this year.
Matt Carson (BYU), Columbus (Cleveland Indians): Remains on the 7-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain suffered on May 24. Carson is batting .273 on the season, with seven doubles, five home runs, 17 RBIs and 26 runs scored in 41 games with the Clippers.
Tyson Brummett (Spanish Fork H.S.), Chattanooga (Los Angeles Dodgers): Placed on restricted list on June 21. Click here for restricted list information. The righty is 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA with Chattanooga.
Parker Morin (Utah), Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City Royals): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. The catcher has not played since May 12. He’s batting .211 on the year, with three doubles and six RBIs with the Naturals.
Braeden Schlehuber (Viewmont H.S.), Mississippi (Atlanta Braves): One hit, one RBI and one run scored in seven at-bats throughout the week. Schlehuber is batting .198 with three home runs and 21 RBIs for Mississippi in 38 games.
Matt Spring (Dixie State), Portland (Boston Red Sox): One hit, one home run, three RBIs and two runs scored in 14 at-bats during the week. Spring hit a two-run home run in the first inning of Portland's 8-6 loss at Erie on Tuesday.
The catcher is batting .218 this year, with three home runs and 18 RBIs in 26 games.
Jaycob Brugman (BYU), Beloit (Oakland Athletics): Two hits, two RBIs and one run scored in 12 at-bats with the Snappers this week. He's batting .269, with four home runs and 30 RBIs this season.
Chris Capper (BYU), South Bend (Arizona Diamondbacks): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. Has yet to appear in a game with the Silver Hawks this season.
Taylor Cole (BYU), Dunedin (Toronto Blue Jays): Allowed seven hits, two walks and five runs in five innings, as Dunedin fell to Brevard County 5-2 on Wednesday. Cole is 5-3, with a 2.60 ERA for the Blue Jays this season, and has 101 strikeouts in 83 innings.
Jake Hannemann (BYU), Kane County (Chicago Cubs): Four hits, two home runs, four RBIs and two runs scored in 11 at-bats during the week. Hannemann homered in back-to-back nights for Kane County against Cedar Rapids on Thursday and Friday.
He's batting .242 in 67 games, with four home runs, four triples, 10 doubles and 29 RBIs for the Cougars.
Adam Law (BYU), Rancho Cucamonga (Los Angeles Dodgers): Six hits, two RBIs and two runs scored in 16 at-bats this week. Law is batting .310, with 21 RBIs and 29 runs scored in 46 games this year.
Brady Lail (Bingham H.S.), Charleston (New York Yankees): Allowed seven hits, one walk and four runs in seven innings, picking up a no-decision in Charleston's 6-5 loss to Kannapolis on Sunday. He also struck out five batters in the game.
Lail is 7-3 on the year, with a 3.64 ERA in 14 starts this season.
Marcus Littlewood (Pine View H.S.), Clinton (Seattle Mariners): One hit, one RBI and one run scored in eight at-bats over the week.
Littlewood also went 0-for-1 with an RBI sacrifice fly in the Midwest League All-Star on Tuesday to help the West All-Stars defeat the East All-Stars 7-0.
Adam Miller (BYU), South Bend (Arizona Diamondbacks): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. The BYU alum last pitched on May 15. He is 3-0 this season, with a 2.80 ERA.
Tyler Wagner (Utah), Brevard County (Milwaukee Brewers): Allowed just two hits and two walks in five shutout innings while striking out nine batters to lead the Manatees to a 9-3 win over Daytona on Friday. Wagner lowered his ERA to 1.96 in the win and improved to 6-4 on the year.
Keenyn Walker (Judge Memorial H.S.), Winston-Salem (Chicago White Sox): Placed on 7-day disabled list. Walker is batting .194 since joining Winston-Salem and has not played since June 15.
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Bubba Blau (Dixie State), Arizona Brewers (Milwaukee Brewers): Allowed one hit and one walk in two shutout innings of relief on Friday, picking up a save in the Brewers' win over the Reds in the Arizona Rookie League.
Nick Green (Utah), Idaho Falls (Kansas City Royals): Allowed one hit in 1 1/3 shutout innings of relief as Idaho Falls fell to Grand Junction 7-6 in the Rookie Pioneer League on Friday.
Stephen Fife (Utah), Arizona Dodgers (Los Angeles Dodgers): Allowed three hits and one run in six innings in a rehab start for the Arizona Dodgers in the Arizona Rookie League on Saturday. It was the former Ute's first appearance since landing on the disabled list with right forearm tightness last month.