A Minor Leaguer's Life: Bats, Games And A Nickname | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

A Minor Leaguer's Life: Bats, Games And A Nickname

Tyler Saladino plays baseball in the minor leagues in Birmingham, Ala. A prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, he was sent to the AA Birmingham Barons after spending part of spring training with the major league club.

And when he arrived in Alabama, Saladino's first task was to find a place to live, as he tells Morning Edition's David Greene. He settled on sharing an apartment.

"There's three other teammates living here right now," he says. "We're all splitting the cost of everything. I think it's $881 for the month, and we're splitting that four ways. So it's actually working out pretty well for us."

An infielder who plays mostly at shortstop, Saladino's goal is to reach the majors. To help him get there, Barons hitting instructor Brandon Moore tutors him in getting the barrel of the bat through the inside part of the plate, to cover more of the strike zone.

"Once you start getting the barrel to that inside pitch," Moore says, "because you backspin the ball better than anybody I got, when you're on — you're going to see doubles and triples in that left-center-field gap."

Many in the Chicago organization think Saladino will make it to the majors; Moore is one of them.

"He asks good questions for a young ballplayer — which is always fun," Moore says. "The guys that, in my experience, ask the right questions, at his age, usually do pretty good."

NPR's Southern Bureau Chief Russell Lewis, who has attended some of Saladino's games — and is an admitted Barons fan — says the fans and players seem to like the rangy player who always seems to have a smile on his face.

And while many of his teammates call Saladino "Sally," some fans have given him a different nickname: Salad.

"Let's go, Salad!" yelled one fan at a recent game.

In that game, Saladino hit a run-scoring single. The next night, he nabbed a liner behind second base to make a nice defensive play, spinning to throw the runner out at first.

With plays like that, Saladino hopes to make his case for being in the majors. And if it he makes it there, perhaps he can pick his own nickname.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Mia Wasikowska On The Sounds Of Camels And The Lure Of Travel

Melissa Block talks with actress Mia Wasikowska about her new film, Tracks, which follows a woman on a long journey with only camels and a dog for company.
NPR

Giving Chickens Bacteria ... To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free

What does it take to get chickens off antibiotics? According to Perdue Farms, an added dose of the "good bacteria" known as probiotics can help crowd out the harmful microbes that make a chicken sick.
NPR

Why Did Congress Kick The Can On Funding Islamic State Mission?

The president got approval for his plan to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters, but lawmakers didn't approve funds to pay for it or the broader air campaign.
NPR

Some Tech Firms Capitalize On Privacy

Steve Henn of NPR's Planet Money team profiles some entrepreneurs who are working on a novel business model to start up a new tech company. It's pay for service. What a concept.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.