July 2012

The CL Tour – TicketReturn.com Field

The Dash play their final game in Myrtle Beach tonight, and the Pelicans’ ballpark is one of the nicer ones in the Carolina League. This facility was known as BB&T Coastal Field before a name change prior to this season. It is now the free-flowing TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark.

Here are a few photos around the park in advance of our final day on the beach.

A view from the only outfield seats in the Carolina League outside of BB&T Ballpark.

The ballpark from behind home plate, which shows the smallest fence in the CL.

My view from the booth, with a healthy number of seats below me and in front of the backstop.

One of the beach-themed aspects of the stadium. It is a group seating option for Pelicans fans, and that is real sand.

The concourse area in Myrtle Beach certainly continues with the beach theme.

Finally, this isn’t at the yard, but it is the view from just outside the visiting team hotel. Safe to say, we are in a great spot during our trips to Myrtle Beach.

The Dash and Pelicans wrap up this three-game series with a rubber match tonight at 6:05. Pre-game begins here at 5:50. Talk to you then.

– Brian

Injury Updates, Roster Moves

Photo courtesy of Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash

The Dash earned a narrow victory at Myrtle Beach last night in a game that had a playoff feel, but Winston-Salem did not exit the ballpark without some issues.

A pair of key hitters–infielder Marcus Semien and outfielder Keenyn Walker–left the game due to an injury. Semien tried to score from third base on a fly out to left but was thrown out at the plate. During the play, Semien suffered a left knee laceration. He was immediately taken out of the game and is now on the disabled list for the third time this season.

Five innings later, the home plate area was the site for another Dash injury. Walker scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning on a Dan Black single. Walker needed a crafty slide to avoid the tag, and he was holding his left shoulder right after climbing to his feet. This is Walker’s third second stint on the disabled list. He had two trips one trip to the DL while with Low-A Kannapolis.

Both Semien and Walker cannot play for seven days, so they will be eligible to come off the disabled list next Saturday when the Dash entertain Potomac. Both players’ timetables are unknown at this time.

The Dash did receive an infielder and outfielder from Low-A Kannapolis to fill the holes created by these two injuries. DJ Jarrad joins Winston after hitting .216 in 13 games with the Intimidators. He can play second base, third base and shortstop. Bill Rice, like Jarrad, jumps to High-A ball for the first time in his career after hitting .328 in 36 games in the South Atlantic League. Rice has played in all three positions in the outfield.

Winston and Myrtle continue this three-game series tonight at 7:05. Join me at 6:50 for the Pre-Game Dash here. Talk to you then.

– Brian

Inside Brent Morel’s Rehab Assignment

Brent Morel’s time in Winston-Salem has come to an end. The three-year big league veteran is heading to Triple-A Charlotte to continue his recovery from a lower back injury that sent him to the disabled list May 22.

Morel played in seven games with Winston and hit .227 (5-for-22), but this average is a bit misleading. After mustering only one hit in his first five games, Morel went a combined 4-for-9 Wednesday and Thursday. It was obvious that Morel was taking it easy with his back during the first few days of his rehab stint in Winston. Once he felt comfortable, Morel rarely disappointed when putting the ball in play.

Defensively, the third baseman played in the field in five of those seven games. He was Winston’s designated hitter in his first game and last game with the Dash. However, he did not have many chances to work on his glove. The Bakersfield, Calif., native only had five total chances in 31 innings.

Now, Morel joins the Knights, who are home through Tuesday. He is scheduled to play this evening. We wish Morel, who just completed the first big league rehab assignment in Dash history, luck in his recovery.

– Brian

Dash Alumni Update

Matt Heidenreich will make his first professional start outside the White Sox system tonight (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Over the last few weeks, the Dash’s roster has gone through drastic changes. Winston-Salem has endured 29 roster moves this month, with some of its bigger names leaving the Triad.

How have some of these former Dash players fared elsewhere? It’s time to find out.

Miguel Gonzalez (promoted to Double-A July 24): Gonzalez just joined the Barons after spending the entire season with the Dash. He started his first Southern League game last night and went 1-for-4 with a double during the Barons’ loss at Chattanooga.

Matt Heidenreich (promoted to Double-A July 4; traded to Houston July 21): After a starting spot in the All-Star Game and a team-leading eight wins in Winston-Salem, Heidenreich earned his first promotion to Double-A on our nation’s birthday. In three starts, the righty struggled a bit (1-2, 5.89 ERA). However, the White Sox saw a chance to improve their big league roster and shipped Heidenreich and Blair Walters to Houston for big league reliever Brett Myers. Heidenreich, now with Double-A Corpus Christi in the Texas League, makes his debut in the Astros’ system tonight against San Antonio.

Jake Petricka (promoted to Double-A July 21): The number five prospect in the White Sox minor league system according to Baseball America, Petricka was challenged with a promotion to Birmingham after having an up-and-down season in Winston-Salem. So far, so good for the right-hander, who recorded a quality start in his first appearance since the promotion. He held Montgomery to a pair of runs in six innings of action.

Carlos Sanchez has hit safely in all four games with Double-A Birmingham this season (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Carlos Sanchez (promoted to Double-A July 21): Sanchez, who still leads the Carolina League with 115 hits, has begun his Double-A career tremendously. The 20-year-old infield prospect is hitting .500 (8-for-16) with two runs scored through four games. He has hit safely in all of those contests, including a pair of three-hit showings. Sanchez went 3-for-4 in his Double-A debut Saturday.

Brady Shoemaker (promoted to Double-A July 2): A triple crown candidate in the Carolina League, Shoemaker is hitting .288 with two homers and 10 RBI in 20 games with the Barons. His power numbers may be a bit down, but the Brazil, Ind., native is still hitting .303 with a 1.023 OPS with runners on base.

Blair Walters (traded to Houston July 21): The other prospect shipped to Houston for Brett Myers, Walters was assigned to High-A Lancaster in the California League. He has yet to pitch for the JetHawks, but he is close to his home town of Oak Park, Calif., which is just an hour and a half away from his new home.

It was fun watching these guys, and many other former Dash players, compete in the Carolina League. Good luck to them in Alabama, California, Texas and beyond.

– Brian

Wednesday Odds And Ends

Here are a few notes prior to the Dash’s battle with the Carolina Mudcats tonight at 7:00 inside BB&T Ballpark:

– The Lowe’s Community Build video recap that was shown on the video board here at BB&T Ballpark is now available on YouTube. Check out Dash players and front office team members assisting the community below.

– The Dash have another roster switch. Catcher Kevan Smith, who was a midseason All-Star while with Low-A Kannapolis, is heading to Winston-Salem for the first time in his career. A former Pittsburgh Panther who had a stint with the football team there, Smith is expected to play as early as tomorrow.

– Congratulations to Dash trainer Cory Barton, who has been selected as the trainer for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League. The AFL displays some of minor league baseball’s best players and coaches, and it is quite an honor for Barton, who has been invaluable to me during my first season with the Dash. He truly deserves it.

Winston-Salem and Carolina get going at 7:00. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:45 here. Talk to you then.

– Brian

Snodgress Talks About Dazzling Debut

It was a complete effort from Winston-Salem tonight. The Dash trounced Carolina 10-3, and, despite the offense’s second straight double-digit offensive showing, the pitchers stole the show.

Three hurlers combined to whiff 16 Mudcats, which is a season-best performance for the Dash. Starter Scott Snodgress was the star, recording 10 strikeouts to set a new career high. He also became the first Winston pitcher to strike out 10 batters in a game this season.

After the game, the newest Dash arm chatted about his tremendous High-A debut.

– Brian and Daniel

First Time Promotion, Righty Returns

Miguel Gonzalez will try to gun down runners in the Southern League (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

As we have discussed over the last few days, roster moves have drastically changed the Dash’s roster. This trend continued Tuesday with two more moves affecting Winston-Salem. For the first time in his minor league career, Miguel Gonzalez has earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham. Also today, the Dash received Jon Bachanov from Double-A Birmingham.

Gonzalez was hitting .247 with a home run and 16 RBI in 50 games with the Dash. The Venezuela native’s best asset is his defense and, more specifically, his arm. He threw out 22 of 42 attempted base stealers, which is a 52 percent rate. For his career, Gonzalez has thrown out 42 percent of runners trying to steal.

Bachanov’s first stint at the Double-A level lasted almost four weeks. The Orlando, Fla., native was 0-1 with an earned run average of 9.00 in five outings with the Barons. In the bullpen, Bachanov only allowed two earned runs in four and a third innings of work. While with the Dash, Bachanov posted a 6-2 record and a 4.22 ERA in 18 appearances, nine of which were starts.

Over the last seven days, the Dash have been hit with 15 roster moves. Safe to say, this roster is in flux right now.

The Dash and Mudcats continue their four-game series tonight at 7:00. Pre-game begins at 6:45 here. Talk to you then.

– Brian

Morel Talks About Rehab Assignment

White Sox third baseman Brent Morel has been with Winston-Salem since Friday. He is recovering from a lower back injury that forced him to the disabled list May 22.

Morel is back in the lineup and at third base today, and he is scheduled to play for five innings during the Dash’s 7:00 p.m. date with the Carolina Mudcats at BB&T Ballpark. He and I chatted prior to the game about his progression, at bats, defense and advice for current members of the Dash. You can listen to the full interview below.

– Brian

Another Day, Another Roster Move

Scott Snodgress went to Stanford before the White Sox nabbed him in the fifth round last year (Stanford athletics).

Over the last five days, the White Sox have moved 13 players. It began with three moves Wednesday, highlighted by the first High-A promotion for Keenyn Walker. Friday, a pair of Kevin’s–Kevin Moran and Kevin Vancejoined the Dash’s bullpen.

Also Friday, we learned that Brent Morel would begin a rehab that continues today. Morel will play at third base for five innings this afternoon.

There were some huge moves on Saturday as well, with Jake Petricka and Carlos Sanchez heading to Double-A Birmingham and Erik Johnson and Daniel Wagner coming to Winston-Salem. Also yesterday, news broke that the White Sox had dealt now former Dash arms Matt Heidenreich and Blair Walters to Houston for big league closer Brett Myers.

Today, the White Sox released two more moves, placing Moran on the disabled list and receiving left-hander Scott Snodgress from Low-A Kannapolis.

Moran made his High-A debut Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark and worked two-thirds of an inning, allowing two runs thanks to four walks.

Snodgress has been a solid starter for the Intimidators throughout the season. The southpaw was 3-3 with a 3.64 earned run average in 19 starts. Over 99 innings of action, the Yucaipa, Calif., native struck out 84 men and held South Atlantic League swingers to a .233 batting average.

Winston-Salem and Frederick meet in a rubber match today at 5:00 p.m. Pre-game begins at 4:45 here. Talk to you then.

– Brian

Thompson Talks Trade, Walker, Morel, More

It has been a busy day here in Winston-Salem. From the promotions of Jake Petricka and Carlos Sanchez to Double-A Birmingham to Brent Morel’s rehab assignment to the White Sox trade with Houston to Keenyn Walker’s great High-A debut, there is plenty to chat about here with the Dash.

The main man to talk about all of this is Winston skipper Tommy Thompson. Here’s my conversation with him about all of these topics and much more. It is a MUST listen.

– Brian