The American Association has another of its former stars, Fargo, ND third baseman C. J. Retherford, guaranteed of a major league spring training look. The Los Angeles Dodgers have given him a non-roster invitation, always a good sign.
Retherford, 27, was the organization's Pride Award winner for a June explosion in which he sizzled at .458 with 13 homers in 26 games for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, CA. For the year, he hit .311 with 23 homers and 25 doubles, but batted only .250 in 44 games for Double-A Chattanooga, TN.
Meanwhile, it was surprising to see right-handed pitcher Stu Pomeranz (New Jersey Jackals, Can-Am League) non-tendered by Baltimore, especially since Manager Buck Showalter told this writer in September "he was going to impact us" (in 2012) if not for a severe oblique injury shortly after he was called up to the Orioles. The pitcher seemed to bounce back well in the Florida Instructional League this fall. The O's could re-sign Pomeranz or he might end up elsewhere for next season.
HANKERD RE-SIGNED, PROMOTED
The Chicago White Sox not only gave first baseman-outfielder Cyle Hankerd a new contract, but also promoted the 2011-12 Amarillo, TX (American Association) slugger to their Triple-A Charlotte, NC roster.
Hankerd, who was drafted by Arizona out of Southern Cal in 2006, hit 20 homers and drove in 65 runs in only 83 games for the White Sox's two Class A farm clubs last season. The 27-year-old right-handed batsman hit .437 in nine games at Kannapolis, NC, then stepped up to the Carolina League (Winston-Salem) and hit .325 with 15 of his home runs. He also had 27 doubles and was well above .400 in on-base percentage at both stops. He is a .288 hitter for seven minor league seasons, and hit .351 in 75 games for Amarillo over two seasons.
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