GreenJackets pitcher Rich Rundles appears to be the victim of an Internet hoax.
During an on-line chat Friday with Baseball America minor-league editor Lacy Lusk at the publication's Web site (baseballamerica.com), someone posing as Rundles posted a question that asked why he wasn't considered one of the top prospects in the Boston Red Sox organization.
The chat transcript reads:
Q: Rich Rundles from Augusta, Ga. asks:
Who am I? I am not listed as one of the Red Sox Top 30 prospects, yet I have a 2.48 ERA and an excellent KBB (strikeout-to-walks) ratio. Plus I'm young and left handed. What is the scouting report on me?
A: Lacy Lusk: You were a South Atlantic League All-Star this year; you've outdueled the more ballyhooed Adam Wainwright (Braves); and you were a third-round pick in '99. I'd say if you continue to show consistent mechanics, as you have this season, you'll find yourself in the Top 30 in no time.
When asked Saturday about the posting, Rundles was dumbfounded. And when he saw it firsthand, he simply shook his head with mouth agape.
"It wasn't me, and I don't know who it could be," Rundles said. "I'm concerned about it because I wouldn't want someone in the organization to read that and think it was me. It looks like I'm trying to advertise myself or something, and that could make you look bad."
Rundles informed Jackets pitching coach Bob Kipper about the posting, and Kipper told him not to worry about it. But the 1999 third-round pick clearly was shaken up by the apparent prank as some teammates ribbed him about it. The fact that Red Sox scouting director Wayne Britton is in town, he said, only compounds the problem.
"I wonder if there's any way they can trace it to find out who it really was," said Rundles, who is 7-6 with a 2.48 ERA, 87 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 109 innings this season. "It would be great to be recognized, but it really could make you look bad to do something like that."
Rundles said he would like the publication to remove the posting from its Web site. The Baseball America site is one of the most popular baseball sites on the Web, and the publication is widely read in the baseball industry.
Attempts to reach Lusk at the Baseball America office in Durham, N.C., on Saturday were unsuccessful.
THE BIG CHILL: The Childers brothers have been reunited again.
Former Westside High star Matt Childers was promoted to Double-A Huntsville by the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday, joining his older brother, Jason, on the Stars pitching staff.
Despite posting a disappointing 6-11 record and 6.44 ERA at high-Class A High Desert this season, Matt makes the jump to Huntsville to fill a spot in their starting rotation after Stars ace Nick Neugebauer was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Matt, a ninth-round pick by the Brewers in 1997, was impressive in his Huntsville debut Friday. The 22-year-old right-hander allowed two earned runs on five hits in six innings of work in a 4-0 loss to Mobile.
Last winter, he was added to the Brewers' 40-man major-league roster.
"I think Childers pitched very well tonight for his first outing in the Southern League," Huntsville manager Ed Romero told The Huntsville (Ala.) Times.
Jason Childers, a 26-year-old right-hander who signed as a free-agent with the Brewers in 1997 out of Kennesaw State, has emerged as one of the top middle-relief prospects in the organization this season at Huntsville. He is 6-6 with one save and a 3.22 ERA, striking out 62 batters while walking only 18 in 64 1/3 innings.
The brothers - who also were teammates last year at Class A Mudville - are the latest in a line of Childers who played in the minors. Their father, Terry Sr., made it as high as Triple-A with the Montreal Expos in the 1970s, while older brother, Terry Jr., was the catcher on the University of Georgia national championship team team in 1990 and also played in the minors. Another brother, Scott, was teammates with Terry Jr. on the Westside club that won back-to-back Class AAA state titles in 1987-88.
LOCAL PLAYER UPDATE: Augusta Christian product Donnie Thomas was released by Elmira of the independent Northern League earlier this month but was re-singed by the club last week. His stats were not available and do not appear in this week's area players report. Thomas was released by the Houston Astros last season. ... Former North Augusta star and Kansas City Royals farmhand Vic Radcliff, who was playing in the independent Texas-Louisiana League for San Angelo this season, left the club earlier this month for personal reasons.
FORMER JACKETS: Right-hander Seung Song is 2-1 with a 2.10 ERA since a promotion to high-Class A Sarasota in late June, striking out 32 batters while walking just eight in 25 2/3 innings. He is a combined 5-3 with an organization-leading 2.06 ERA with Augusta and Sarasota. ... Third baseman Justin Sherrod, an SAL all-star with the Jackets before a promotion to Sarasota 10 days ago, is batting .158 with one home run and one RBI in his first six games with the Sarasox. ... At Double-A Trenton, center fielder Tonayne Brown is fifth in the Eastern League with a .317 average. Brown was a member of the SAL champion Jackets in 1999. ... Trenton left-hander Corey Spencer, who pitched in middle relief for the Jackets the past two seasons, is tied for third in the Eastern League with 17 saves. ... Right-hander Marty McLeary, a starter with the 1999 Jackets, is 0-0 with a 3.12 ERA in six relief appearances since a recall to Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this month.
Reach Rob Mueller at (706) 823-3425 or firstname.lastname@example.org