Utahns in baseball: Former Ute C.J. Cron returns to Salt Lake — for now; Stephen Fife back on the DL

Published: Sunday, July 20 2014 10:30 p.m. MDT

Los Angeles Angels' C.J. Cron, right, rounds third after hitting a three-run home run as Houston Astros relief pitcher Josh Zeidl looks on during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, July 5, 2014, in, Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


Former Utah baseball standout C.J. Cron is headed back to Salt Lake — for the time being, at least.

Cron was optioned to the Triple-A Salt Lake Bees on Saturday to make room on the 25-man roster for newly acquired closer Huston Street, whom the Los Angeles Angels traded for late Friday night.

As Los Angeles Times Angels beat writer Mike DiGiovanna points out, a hitter needed to be sent down to Salt Lake to help Los Angeles' bullpen after the Angels needed 16 innings to defeat Seattle, which also happened on Friday.

The Utah alum is batting .269 with the Angels this season, with nine home runs and 27 RBIs in 53 games. However, he was batting just .205 in 44 at-bats this month.

"They said they needed an extra pitcher and with (Erick) Aybar hurt, they needed an extra middle infielder," Cron told DiGiovanna on Saturday. "But at the same time, I'm getting sent down for a reason. I have to get better."

Cron, who was promoted in early May, still had options available and became the odd man out. However, DiGiovanna noted that Cron's stay in Salt Lake will likely be brief.

According to league rules, the Angels will have to wait until July 29 to promote Cron back to the majors, unless a player on the team's 25-man roster is placed on the disabled list before the 29th.

In other roster moves, former Ute pitcher Stephen Fife returned to the disabled list with right forearm stiffness. The righty struggled in his start against Triple-A Sacramento on Friday, then left the game after just 3 2/3 innings. He was placed on the disabled list shortly after.

It is the second time Fife has been placed on the disabled list with trouble in his pitching forearm. The ex-Ute missed about a month and a half with right forearm tightness before returning to Triple-A Albuquerque on June 27.

Taylorsville High alum John Buck was given his outright release by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, making him a free agent. Buck had been designated for assignment by the Mariners on July 7.

Meanwhile, Bingham High alum Brady Lail was promoted to advanced Single-A Tampa in the New York Yankees organization. Lail allowed four runs in five innings in his debut with Tampa, picking up a no-decision in the Yankees' 5-4 loss to Palm Beach on Friday.

On the field, Judge Memorial High product Keenyn Walker picked up a hit in six-straight games over the week, including at least one RBI in his last three games. He also went 7-for-7 stealing bases during the week.

Finally, Utah alum Tyler Wagner lowered his Florida State League-leading ERA down to 1.71 on the season with a one-run complete game win over advanced Single-A St. Lucie on Thursday. It was his first complete game of the year. He has allowed just two runs over his last 34 1/3 innings pitched.


John Buck (Taylorsville H.S.), Seattle Mariners: Released by the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday. He batted .226, with one home run and six RBIs in 27 games for the Mariners this season.

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