Two former Gems have big roles in pennant races

Indians Tigers Baseball
Cleveland Indians' Greg Allen runs to the dugout after the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017, in Detroit. The Indians won 11-1 and swept the four-game series. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio STF
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 11, 2017 12:01 am Updated: Sep. 12, 2017 1:43 am

It's been a while since any Quincy Gems alums have made a significant impact on a major league roster, but two of them have been thrust into important roles during the stretch drive because of injuries on two teams.

Greg Allen singles home a run in the second inning to tie the score during a 2012 game at QU Stadium. (H-W Photo/Michael Kipley)
Michael KipleyPhotographer

Greg Allen, a center fielder from San Diego State, was called up on Sept. 1 by the Cleveland Indians when they expanded their roster. Allen's contract was selected from the Class AA Akron Rubber Ducks, where he was batting .264 with 21 stolen bases.

Allen figured to be used mostly as a pinch-runner during the last month, but center fielder Bradley Zimmer broke a bone in his left hand during Sunday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Allen started in center field Monday night against Detroit. He has five hits in his first 20 at-bats.

Indians manager Terry Francona said veteran Austin Jackson will start in center Tuesday. Jason Kipnis, Cleveland's All-Star second baseman, is on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, but he may be used in center field when he returns this month.

The Indians have won 19 consecutive games and are just two away from tying the major league record of 21 set by the Chicago Cubs in 1935.

Allen, a San Diego native, hit .302 with three home runs, 32 RBIs and 25 stolen bases for the Gems in 2012. He was a sixth-round pick by the Indians in the 2014 draft.

Adam Rosales turns a double play for the Quincy Gems against Galesburg during the 2004 season. | H-W File Photo
Michael Kipley,

Adam Rosales has been in the big leagues since the 2008 season, serving as a utility infielder for the Cincinnati Reds, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers and the San Diego Padres. He is known mostly for his fast home-run trots, owning 10 of the fastest 11 trips around the bases last season.

He was released by the Rangers after the 2015 season, and he signed as a free agent with the Padres. Rosales enjoyed his best season as a pro in 2016, hitting a career-high 13 home runs while hitting .229 in 214 at-bats for San Diego.

Rosales, 34, then signed a one-year, $1.25 million free agent deal in January with the Athletics, and he was hitting .234 in 210 at-bats when he was dealt to Arizona at the July 31 trade deadline. The deal was made because starting shortstop Chris Owings was hit in the hand by a pitch from St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn on July 30, suffering a broken finger.

He has hit .258 with three home runs and eight RBIs in 62 at-bats with the Diamondbacks, splitting most of his time at second base with former Cardinals infielder Daniel Descalso.

Rosales figured to settle back into a utility role in September. Nick Ahmed, who had been out of the lineup with a fractured right hand suffered in late June, was scheduled to rejoin the Arizona roster on Sept. 1, but he fractured his right wrist in what was scheduled to be his final Class AAA rehab game on Aug. 30.

For now, Rosales and Ketel Marte are sharing the shortstop duties for the Diamondbacks, who have the third-best record in baseball and should make the National League postseason as a wild card.

Rosales is a native of Park Ridge and a graduate of Maine South High School as well as Western Michigan University. He wasn't much of a hitter during his two summers with the Gems, hitting .209 in 129 at-bats in 2003 and .216 in 153 at-bats in 2004.