Vols in the Pros: July 23rd, 2019

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Photo Credit: Mason Burgin/RTI

In a new weekly piece, staff writer Ben McKee takes a look at how Tennessee’s players are faring in various professional leagues across the United States.

Here’s a look at how former Diamond Vols fared in professional baseball and how former Lady Vols fared in the WNBA the past week.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL (MLB)

Here’s a full look at how former Vols are faring across the MLB.

Nick Senzel, CF, Cincinnati Reds

Senzel was 5-for-18 at the plate last week despite being out of the starting lineup in three straight games due to a right hamstring injury. The former Vol did appear in both games over the weekend, however.

He also picked up two RBIs, walked, and stole a base.

Christin Stewart, OF, Detroit Tigers

Stewart was 4-for-19 with a home run, a run scored, two RBIs and four walks last week. On Monday, Stewart was 1-for-2 with a two-run home run against the Indians. It was his first home run since June 21st. On Friday, the outfielder was 2-for-4.

Zack Godley, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks

Godley appeared in two games last week for the D-Backs. His first appearance on Wednesday was successful as he threw two scoreless innings in a 19-4 win over the Rangers. He didn’t allow a hit or a walk.

Saturday’s appearance against the Brewers wasn’t as smooth. Godley recorded just one out as he allowed three earned runs, two walks, and a hit.

Yan Gomes, C, Washington Nationals

Gomes was 0-for-10 in three games for the Nationals last week. He did record a stolen base, though.

Drew Steckenrider, RHP, Miami Marlins

Steckenrider is currently on the 60-day injured list. The former Vol has already missed a big chunk of the season with a flexor strain. According to MLB Trade Rumors’ Steve Adams, Steckenrider is expected to be able to return to the mound by early August.

In 15 games this season, Steckenrider is 0-2 with a 6.28 ERA. He recorded 14 strikeouts in 14.1 innings.

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL (MILB)

Andrew Lee, RHP, Harrisburg Senators (Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals)

Lee received a promotion to Double-A at the beginning of the month, and last week, appeared in two games. On Monday, Lee allowed two earned runs on four hits in 3.0 innings pitched. Lee then pitched 5.0 innings on Saturday, allowing two runs on two hits. He also had three walks and three strikeouts.

A.J. Simcox, SS, Lakeland Flying Tigers (Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Detroit Tigers)

Simcox was 3-for-10 in four games last week. He added an RBI, a walk, and two stolen bases. On Thursday, he was 2-for-5 at the plate with an RBI and a stolen base.

Zach Warren, LHP, Clearwater Threshers (Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies)

Warren appeared in two games as he continued his impressive season. On Wednesday, he allowed just two hits in 2.0 scoreless innings. Warren then picked up a save – his sixth of the season – on Saturday. He didn’t allow a hit or a walk.

Andy Cox, LHP, Daytona Tortugas (Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds)

Cox pitched in three games last week. He picked up a loss in Tuesday’s affair, allowing a run on two hits in 1.0 innings. On Wednesday, he recorded just one out and allowed a run on two hits. Cox then picked up a save on Friday.

Jordan Rodgers, 3B, Florida Fire Frogs (Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Atlanta Braves)

Rodgers was 1-for-11 in four games last week, but he did hit a three-run home run on Wednesday for his lone hit.

Andre Lipcius, 3B, West Michigan Whitecaps (Class-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers)

Lipcius has been heating up of late. In his last 10 games, the third-round pick is hitting .385 and has scored four runs, driven in four runs, and walked five times.

Last week, Lipcius was 9-for-28 including two multi-hit games. He added four runs, 2 RBIs, and two walks.

Hunter Martin, RHP, Quad Cities River Bandits (Class-A affiliate of the Houston Astros)

Martin appeared in one game last week, pitching an inning on Wednesday. He gave up two walks but did not allow a run.

Ricky Martinez, SS, Hillsboro Hops (Class-A-Short affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks)

Like Lipcius, Martinez has also been hot at the plate in his last 10 games, hitting .355 to go along with three runs, three RBIs, and seven walks.

For the week, he was 4-for-15 at the plate with an RBI and six walks.

Jay Charleston, 2B, Burlington Royals (Rookie-Advanced affiliate of the Kansas City Royals)

In three games, Charleston was 1-for-9 with a run scored, two RBIs, and two walks.

Benito Santiago, C, St. Louis Cardinals

The former Vol catcher is in an extended spring training with the Cardinals.

Matt Ramsey, RHP, Free Agent

Ramsey made his Major League debut with the Los Angeles Angels earlier this season, pitching a scoreless inning in an 11-5 win over the Yankees on April 25.  After just one appearance with the Angels, Ramsey was optioned back to Triple-A. He struggled with a 5.27 ERA and on June 2, the Angels released him.

Will Maddox, 2B, Free Agent

After 36 games with the Richmond Flying Squirrels in the San Francisco Giants organization, Maddox was released on June 25. He hit .202 with the Flying Squirrels.

Maddox began the season as a member of the Detroit Tigers’ organization, but he was released on April 25th. On May 7th, the Giants signed the former Vol and assigned him to the Flying Squirrels.

Lady Vols in the WNBA

As the All-Star break arrives, here’s a look at how former Lady Vols are performing for their respective teams.

Candace Parker, F, Los Angeles Sparks

Parker hasn’t played since July 9th due to a sprained right ankle. She’s missed four consecutive games and won’t participate in the WNBA All-Star game because of it.

Shekinna Stricklen, G/F, Connecticut Sun

In one game last week, Stricklen scored eight points in 16 minutes as the Sun defeated Atlanta 98-64. She was 3-of-6 from the field and 2-of-5 from three to go along three rebounds and a steal.

Glory Johnson, F, Dallas Wings

It was a rough week for the Wings as they lost three games. Johnson played over 20 minutes in each contest.

On Wednesday, in a 69-64 loss to Phoenix, Johnson scored 10 points in 28 minutes. She added eight rebounds, an assist, and a steal. The following day, in a 69-64 loss to the Sparks, Johnson scored three points, grabbed two rebounds, picked up two steals, and blocked a shot.

In a 70-66 loss to Phoenix on Saturday, Johnson scored 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from the 3-point line. She also had nine rebounds, two blocks, and an assist.

Mercedes Russell, C, Seattle Storm

Russell helped guide the Storm to two wins last week. In a 90-79 win at Minnesota, Russell scored seven points, grabbed nine rebounds, and blocked three shots. She followed up with six points, six rebounds, a block, a steal, and an assist in a 69-66 win over Las Vegas.

Diamond DeShields, G, Chicago Sky

Last week, it was announced that DeShields had made the All-Star Game for the very first time in her career. She wraps up the first half of the season averaging 15.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.2 steals and is shooting 38 percent from the field.

DeShields helped the Sky to two wins last week. In a 77-76 win over Atlanta, she scored 22 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 2-of-5 from the 3-point line. DeShields added eight rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block and was 10-for-13 from the free throw line.

On Friday, she wrapped up the first half with 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and a steal in a 78-70 win over Indianapolis.

Isabelle Harrison, F, Dallas Wings

Teammates with Johnson, Harrison’s Wings didn’t have a strong week, losing three games.

Harrison, though, scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds last Wednesday before scoring 14 points, securing nine rebounds – four on the offensive glass – four assists, two steals, and a block on Thursday. In Saturday’s game, Harrison scored two points and added three rebounds as well as an assist.



Ben McKee
Ben McKee is a graduate from the University of Tennessee and has a degree in Journalism and Electronic Media. He grew up an Army brat and lived in Alabama for a bit, but he bleeds orange. He covers Tennessee football, basketball, baseball, and the Lady Vols for RTI, and he's also a co-host on the RTI Live Show and RTI Podcast. You can also hear Ben on the morning sports radio show "The Swain Event." He's the producer and co-host along with former Vol wide receiver Jayson Swain.