With the Winston-Salem Dash expected to reach their one millionth fan at BB&T Ballpark on May 16, we decided to ask our fans why they love the Dash. Here is what they had to say:
We would like to thank all of our fans for their support of the Dash since BB&T Ballpark opened, and helping us to reach one million fans faster than any High-A team ever has!
After an off day, the Dash are back at it tonight, as they begin a four-game set on the road with the Potomac Nationals. You can listen to Brian here, starting at 6:50 with the Pregame Dash. First pitch will follow at 7:05.
- Rob, Erika and Curt
The Dash wrap up a month-long run without an off day at 11 a.m. against Frederick. Before the club suits up for a homestand finale against Frederick, let’s update you on three Dash players currently on the disabled list.
White Sox top prospect Courtney Hawkins, who suffered a left shoulder injury last Wednesday at Lynchburg, went to Chicago to continue his recovery. Hawkins spent a few days with the club after injuring himself while making a diving catch in the third inning of Wednesday’s victory over the Hillcats.
Dash skipper Ryan Newman summed it up best with regards to Hawkins—his swing is so violent that the team has to be absolutely certain that his shoulder is fully healed. This is exactly what the White Sox are doing.
Infielder Rangel Ravelo has a cut on his left thumb, and he is simply waiting for it to heal naturally before returning to the field. Ravelo was off to a 4-for-5 start with Winston-Salem before suffering this injury.
Finally, Steven Upchurch underwent Tommy John Surgery earlier this week, his mom informed me. Upchurch has been a key cog in the Dash’s bullpen since early last season. We wish him all the best in his recovery.
The Dash and Keys meet at 11 a.m. We’ll talk to you on the Pregame Dash here at 10:45.
Even though the Dash have dropped three in a row, there are plenty of positive notes to hit on during this Tuesday afternoon. How about an optimistic set of Dash Dots? Last time we did that, Winston-Salem mustered a sweep at Frederick (proof here). Here’s hoping for a similar result.
- Dating back to last season, Winston-Salem outfielder Adam Heisler has reached base in 34 straight games, which is tied for the second-longest current streak in Minor League Baseball. High Desert’s Jamal Austin has reached safely in 38 straight games, while Nashville’s Scooter Gennett also has a 34-game run.
- Heisler made his way aboard in the final three contests of 2012 with rookie-level Great Falls before finding his way on base in all 31 games thus far this season (19 with Low-A Kannapolis and 12 with Winston-Salem). Heisler has hit safely in 27 of these 34 games, and he owns a .303 (40-for-132) average with 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored during this streak.
- Winston-Salem leads the Carolina League in fielding percentage (.976), and the Dash are tied with Potomac for the fewest errors on the circuit (28). The Dash stumbled out of the gates defensively, amassing 10 errors in the first four games and 21 in the first 14. Since then, though, the Dash have only made seven defensive miscues in their last 17 games.
- Dash alum Jordan Danks hit a game-winning home run in the eleventh inning against Kansas City Monday, helping the White Sox avoid a sweep against the surging Royals. It was Danks’ first homer of the season.
- In that ballgame, Addison Reed, who shined with Winston in 2011, earned his 11th save. He also has a win, which means that Reed has had some factor in the decision in 12 of the White Sox first 13 wins.
- How about the start for Double-A Birmingham? The Barons are a Southern League-best 20-10 on the season, including a 13-2 record at home. Birmingham just wrapped up a five-game sweep of Chattanooga over the weekend with a thrilling 16-14 win Sunday afternoon.
- Multiple 2012 Dash alums are at or near the top of the SL in a handful of offensive categories. Dan Black is currently leading in batting average (.340) and RBIs (25) and sits second in hits (35). He is only two behind fellow Baron and former Winston-Salem player Marcus Semien, who tops the league in hits with 37. Trayce Thompson also has the second-most runs (24) on the circuit.
- On the pitching side, Steve McCray and Scott Snodgress are two of five pitchers in the SL who have won four games this season, while Erik Johnson (third, 1.30) and Spencer Arroyo (ninth, 2.36) are in the top 10 on the circuit in earned run average. Taylor Thompson is tied for third with five saves thus far this season, too.
- Vine is one of the newest social media platforms, and both Dash players and Dash fans are having fun with it. Check out Courtney Hawkins’ clips from the Dash’s MVP Education Day at BB&T Ballpark last Saturday. Plus, Dash fan Eric Martinez sums up a Saturday night game here.
The Dash try to avoid losing their fourth straight home game, something they have only done once in BB&T Ballpark history, tonight at 7 against Frederick. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 here.
- Erika, Rob and Brian
The NBA playoffs are in full gear, and there is a Dash connection in the Western Conference. Golden State guard Klay Thompson has had a breakout season for a Warriors team that will open up the Western Conference Semifinals tonight in San Antonio.
Thompson is the older brother of former Winston-Salem outfielder Trayce Thompson, one of the top prospects in the White Sox minor league system. Now with Double-A Birmingham, Trayce was a year-end All-Star in the Carolina League in 2012.
The Thompson family has quite a sports lineage. The oldest son in the family, Mychel, also has some NBA experience on his resume, while their father Mychal was the first overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft. He won a pair of NBA titles with the Lakers in 1987 and 1988.
Both Klay and Mychel made it to a Dash game late last season, and they each threw out a first pitch to Trayce. We documented this neat moment with the picture below (from left to right: Bolt, Klay, Trayce and Mychel).
Good luck to Klay and the Warriors against the Spurs!
After four roster moves on Saturday, the White Sox announced two more transactions affecting the Dash today.
Infielder Rangel Ravelo, who was just called up from Low-A Kannapolis on Thursday, has been placed on the seven day disabled list after re-aggravating a left thumb injury he suffered a couple of weeks ago while with the Intimidators. Ravelo left last night’s game in the third inning and was replaced by David Herbek.
In two games with Winston-Salem, the Cuban-born infielder is 4-for-5, including a career-high three runs scored during Friday’s blowout win over Salem.
Brent Tanner returns to the Triad to take that 25th spot. Tanner was sent down to Kannapolis on Thursday after hitting .417 in eight games with the Dash. In two starts with the Intimidators, the former South Alabama Jaguar went 3-for-8 with a home run, a double and three RBIs. He started once at first base, while he made his first appearance behind the plate in the other.
The Dash and Red Sox wrap up their three-game set at BB&T Ballpark this afternoon. Join Brian and I here for the Pregame Dash starting at 1:45. First pitch will follow at 2. Talk to you then!
The Chicago White Sox announced four roster moves today affecting the Winston-Salem Dash on a busy Saturday throughout the organization:
Right-hander Daniel Webb earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham, making him the third player from the Dash’s Opening Day roster to earn a promotion.
In his time with the Dash, the righty went 1-0 with two saves. He led the Carolina League in innings pitched (15.0) among pitchers who had not allowed an earned run. The Paducah, Ky., native will be making his first career trip to the Double-A level and will join the Barons’ bullpen upon his arrival.
As a result, side-arming righty J.R. Ballinger is heading back to Winston-Salem. Ballinger was promoted to Birmingham back on April 22. In his time with the Barons, the Moss Point, Miss., native made one appearance, striking out four in two and a third innings against Montgomery on April 25. Upon his return to the Triad, Ballinger will rejoin the Winston bullpen, where he only surrendered one earned run in four and two-thirds innings of work prior to his promotion.
A pair of former Kannapolis Intimidators, right-hander Brandon Hardin and outfielder Yoandy Barroso, are heading to the Carolina League for the first time in their careers. Hardin comes to Winston-Salem after pitching extremely well for the Intimidators in 2013. The former 10th-round pick has a 1-0 record with a microscopic 0.71 ERA in 2013 and will join a Winston-Salem bullpen which owns a strong 3.13 ERA so far this year.
Barroso will join Winston-Salem’s outfield to help fill the void left by Courtney Hawkins’ trip to the disabled list. A year ago with rookie-level Great Falls, Barroso hit .300, tying him for the third-best average among White Sox farmhands. This season, Barroso posted a .204 average and four RBIs in 17 games with Low-A Kannapolis.
The Dash continue their series against the Salem Red Sox tonight at 7:00 with Chris Beck on the bump for Winston. Join me for the Pregame Dash here at 6:45, or catch the live telecast on My 48 beginning at 7.
In Winston-Salem’s 10-1 victory over Salem Friday night, Mark Tracy was the star of the show. The Dash’s designated hitter went yard twice and drove in six runs. Here are some notes on Tracy’s stellar Friday:
- Tracy matched the single-game high in home runs and RBIs in Dash history (2009-present). This was the Dash’s 30th two-homer effort, and Tracy became the 22nd different player to accomplish the feat. The Presto, Penn., native is also the sixth Dash swinger to drive in six runs in a game. Reigning Carolina League MVP Dan Black mustered Winston-Salem’s last six-RBI day, which was also against Salem on August 15, 2012.
- The former Colorado farmhand also equaled career highs in homers and RBIs in a single game. Tracy also went yard twice and drove in six runs for High-A Modesto in a 19-6 win at Visalia on June 12, 2012.
- Five of Tracy’s last six hits have been home runs, and all 12 of his RBIs have come home thanks to home runs.
- Both of Tracy’s dingers came on the first pitch of his at-bat. The right-handed swinger followed those homers up with an RBI single in the fifth and a full-count strikeout in the eighth.
- We can’t forget about Chris Bassitt’s fourth consecutive gem. Bassitt held the Red Sox to one run in seven strong innings for his fourth straight win and quality start. The Curtice, Ohio, native has allowed just three earned runs in his last 27 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.95.
The Dash’s blowout victory pulls the club within a game of first-place Myrtle Beach in the Southern Division standings. We’ll talk to you tomorrow.
While BB&T Ballpark approaches its one millionth fan, the Dash hit a different milestone last night in Lynchburg. For the 600th time, Winston-Salem’s franchise suited up with the Dash nickname.
The team became the Dash prior to the 2009 season, and the club boasts a 331-268-1 (.553) record in the Dash’s 600 total games (regular season and playoffs).
Here are some of the many accomplishments for Winston-Salem during the Dash era:
- The Dash lead the Carolina League in winning percentage (.553) and total wins (331) since Opening Day 2009.
- Winston-Salem has qualified for the playoffs in three of its four full seasons under the Dash nickname (2009, 2010, 2012). The Dash have also played in a pair of Mills Cup Championship Series (2010, 2012).
- The Dash finished the 2012 campaign with the best regular season record in full-season Minor League Baseball (87-51-1).
- Among Winston-Salem nicknames, the Dash have the second-best winning percentage. Only the Cardinals (.585, 1945-53) recorded a better one.
- A total of 13 Dash alums have played in Major League Baseball. So, Winston-Salem has churned out a big leaguer every 46 games since 2009.
- The Dash have also hosted an All-Star Game and an exhibition against the Chicago White Sox, both of which resulted in victories for the home team.
The only current Carolina League squad with a winning record against the Dash invades BB&T Ballpark for the first of a three-game weekend set tonight at 7. Join Rob and me for the Pregame Dash at 6:45 here. Here’s to 600 more!
While the Dash cruised to a 15-6 blowout over Lynchburg last night, the news was not all good for Winston-Salem. White Sox top prospect Courtney Hawkins made a diving catch in left center field to end the third inning. He was slow to get up, but the 19-year-old jogged off the field and into the Dash’s dugout.
However, David Herbek pinch hit for Hawkins in the top of the fourth. The White Sox have not disclosed Hawkins’ injury, but he has been placed on the seven-day disabled list, the team announced this afternoon.
In 23 games with Winston-Salem thus far this season, Hawkins is hitting .177 with seven home runs and 17 RBIs. His seven homers are one shy of the Carolina League’s lead. However, the former first-round pick leads Minor League Baseball with 45 strikeouts. Hawkins had been improving on his strikeout rate, though. He only whiffed four times in his last five games.
The Dash’s roster only contains two players who have been in the outfield for the majority of their minor league careers–Mark Haddow and Adam Heisler. For the time being, Dash fans should expect to see Grant Buckner, who has played 35 of his 174 minor league games in left field, shift from the infield to the outfield.
TWO MORE ROSTER MOVES:
The White Sox also announced that Brent Tanner has been assigned to Low-A Kannapolis in a move that will likely yield the Mississippi native some more at-bats. In eight games with the Dash this year, Tanner hit .417 (10-for-24) with three RBIs. Of his 10 hits, five of them were doubles. The former 32nd round pick had four multi-hit games in his seven starts, including a career-high tying four knocks last night.
Infielder Rangel Ravelo takes Tanner’s spot on the roster. Ravelo comes to the Dash from Kannapolis, where he hit .226 in 17 games before landing on the disabled list. A year ago, Ravelo was one of four Intimidators to make the midseason All-Star Team in the South Atlantic League.
The Miami, Fla. native was drafted by Chicago in the sixth round in 2010 out of Hialeah High School (FL). Born in Cuba, Ravelo has played both corner infield positions throughout his minor league career.
DASH ALUMS IN THE NEWS:
- Chris Sale picked up his third win of the campaign as helped the White Sox snap a three-game skid last night, giving up just two runs in seven innings of work against Texas. The southpaw struck out seven on the night, tying a season-high. Sale has now gone at least seven innings in all but one of his six starts in 2013.
- Despite the recent struggles of the Chicago bullpen, closer Addison Reed has just kept on rolling. After picking up the save last night, he is now a perfect nine for nine in save opportunities and his ERA is down to just 1.50.
- Dylan Axelrod continues to pitch well and have nothing to show for it. Back on Sunday, Axelrod turned in his third consecutive quality start for the South Siders, but he did not factor into the decision and the White Sox fell to the Tampa Bay Rays. Despite giving up three runs or less in four of his five starts, the righty has yet to earn a victory this season.
- After winning Carolina League MVP honors in 2012, Dan Black has picked up right where he left off this season for Double-A Birmingham. As a team, the Barons are leading the Southern League in batting average, and a big reason is Black, who sits fourth in the league with a .312 mark. Marcus Semien is not too far behind, currently sixth in the league in average at .303. In addition, Black leads the circuit in RBIs with 21 and Semien leads in hits with 30.
- The pitching staff has also been very good for Birmingham. The staff has been led by Baseball America’s number four prospect in the organization, Erik Johnson. The righty sits fifth in the league in ERA at 1.44 and is tied for second in the Southern League in strikeouts with 32. Another pair of Dash alums, Stephen McCray and Scott Snodgress, are tied for the circuit’s lead in wins with four apiece.
- Also, Jared Mitchell did this last week week for the Barons:
- While he hasn’t made it to Winston-Salem yet, Low-A Kannapolis right-hander Myles Jaye could soon be making his way to the Triad. Jaye is one of just nine starting pitchers in all of Minor League Baseball to sport an ERA under 1.00. Through five starts, he is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 30 innings of work.
The Dash are set to return to BB&T Ballpark for a six-game homestand tomorrow night, but first they wrap up their seven game road swing tonight as they go for a series split against the Lynchburg Hillcats at 6:05. Join Brian here for the Pregame Dash starting at 5:50.
- Brian and Rob
The first month of the season is in the books, and Winston-Salem is very much in the thick of the Southern Division race. The Dash are 13-12, two games behind first-place Myrtle Beach.
To put the finishing touches on April, how about a dose of some crazy, interesting stats about the Dash. Some of these stats could end up in “Crooked Numbers,” Benjamin Hill’s tremendous creation on MiLB.com.
- We may have jinxed this a few days ago, but Winston-Salem was the last team to lose a game during which the Dash plated the first run. The Dash finished the month with a 10-1 record in games they scored first, with the lone loss on Monday in Lynchburg.
- Most minor league teams average between four and five runs per game, so reaching six runs in a game is considered “above average.” Last season, Winston-Salem scored six or more runs in 67 of its 139 regular season games. This number was easily the best in the Carolina League. In 2013, however…
- Winston has surpassed the five-run mark only four times this season, which is tied for the third-worst mark in the minor leagues. Toledo (Triple-A, Detroit) and Burlington (Low-A, Los Angeles Angels) have posted only three such offensive outputs.
- Ah, but the Dash took this statistic to a new level from this standpoint: Winston- Salem was the only squad among the 120 full-season teams in Minor League Baseball that did not win multiple games when scoring six or more runs. The Dash are 1-3 in these situations, with the lone win coming on April 14 (15-2 vs. Carolina). Only three minor league squads have won just two games with six-plus runs: Bradenton (High-A, Pittsburgh), Jupiter (High-A, Miami) and Toledo (Triple-A, Detroit).
- A few round numbers for the Dash in April: Dash relievers struck out 80 batters in 80 innings of work, and Winston-Salem allowed an even 100 runs in 25 games.
Finally, let’s look ahead to May and maybe the strangest scheduling in the minor leagues this year. This quirk is not directly related to Winston-Salem, but many former Dash players will go through it. Double-A Birmingham will play a five-game, four-day series at Jacksonville from May 17-20 before enjoying back-to-back off days. Then, from May 23-27, the Barons will play five more games against the Suns…IN JACKSONVILLE AGAIN! According to Google Maps, a drive from Birmingham to Jacksonville takes seven hours, so I’m guessing the team will remain in Florida during their off days.Thanks to Lisa for pointing this out. The team goes from Jacksonville to Jackson. I did not read the schedule correctly. My apologies.
The Dash begin yet another month tonight at 6:05 against Lynchburg. What quirks will we uncover in May? Hope you’ll stay tuned to find out.
The Pregame Dash begins at 5:50 tonight, and you can listen here. Talk to you then!