Monday, March 29, 2010

Big League Cougars

By Mark Siefert

Welcome back, Cougar fans.

We only have two sports teams competing right now, so it is sort of a slow sports week around campus.

So, this week I want to talk about two former Cougars who are tearing up the ranks of professional baseball. Everyone around campus last year heard about Luke Gregerson who made it to the big leagues with the San Diego Padres. But probably not many have heard about reliever Dave Cales who is with the Chicago Cubs and received many honors last year.

Gregerson will start on the Padres this year as the set-up man to closer Heath Bell. After such a breakout season last year as a rookie, Luke will look to repeat that same success facing all the same hitters for a second year in a row. If San Diego is out of the playoff hunt by the trading deadline like they have been for the past few years, then I would not be surprised to hear Luke’s name surface for teams looking for late inning help in the bullpen. Anyone who listens to Chicago Sports Radio must have heard the rumor that the Cubs were highly interested in bringing Luke back to his Chicago roots. Whatever happens for Luke this year, we wish him the best of luck.

Cales, a reliever, is tearing up minor league ball. He came to the Cougars for a year after attending University of Missouri and UIC. He was drafted by the Cubs and quickly became a sensation in rookie ball. Because of his unorthodox delivery, Cales has been striking out hitters and making big impressions on the Cubs front office. Dave has been steadily moving up through the Cubs farm system and will likely start this year in Double-A.

With a young Cubs bullpen to start this season, I would not be surprised to see General Manager Jim Hendry shake things up if the season is not going well and bring up Dave middle to late in the year. For Dave’s sake, I hope he gets called up and has a rookie performance like Luke did last year.

How cool would it be to have two Cougars in the pro’s at one time?

Whatever happens, I hope both men have great seasons and continued success throughout their careers.

Stay classy, Cougars.

Mark Siefert is a senior social science major from Crest Hill. He is a member of the baseball team. Consideration for the student bloggers is provided by Saint Xavier University.

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