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Baseball: ThunderBolts’ Chad Cregar ready for a good turn

Chad Cregar ThunderBolts | File photo

Chad Cregar, of the ThunderBolts | File photo

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Updated: August 25, 2013 6:29AM



After breaking the Windy City ThunderBolts franchise records with 31 home runs and 93 RBI last season, the follow-up year has not gone as planned so far for Chad Cregar.

The T-Bolts first baseman/designated hitter started slowly, hitting .178 with one homer and 11 RBI over the first 25 games of the season.

He then missed the final month before the Frontier League All-Star break because of a groin injury.

“The rehab went great, but I’ve been in a crusty mood sitting on the bench,” Cregar said. “I haven’t been my normal happy self. It’s been tough to sit and watch, but I’ve been in the dugout pulling for the rest of the guys.”

Cregar was activated before the first game of the second half Friday and is back in the cleanup spot in the T-Bolts’ order. He had two RBI over his first six games back.

For a Windy City offense that ranks last in the league with just 15 home runs in 57 games and last in runs (197, 3.5 per game), a boost from Cregar is essential if the T-Bolts (23-34) have any hope for a second-half charge.

“Chad can leave the yard any time and everyone knows it,” Windy City’s Mike Torres said. “Not having him in there, you can definitely feel the impact it has on the lineup. It’s big getting him back.”

Cregar said he’s eager to do some damage in the second half.

“Oh, man, I’m definitely fired up,” he said. “Every day I’ve been sitting here dying to get back on the field. I’m ready to go for sure.”

The new crew

Three players have made their T-Bolts debuts since the All-Star break. In addition to shortstop Chase Tucker, whom Windy City acquired in a trade with Gary on the final day of the first half, outfielder Jayce Ray and pitcher Markus Solbach were signed over the break.

Ray, a rookie who finished his college career with the University of Washington this spring, has had a fast start, going 6-for-18 in the leadoff spot.

Solbach, a native of Dormagen, Germany, who spent three seasons in the Minnesota Twins organization, threw 11/3 scoreless innings Sunday in his Windy City debut.

Tucker has gone 2-for-14 with two RBI and two runs.



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