Game #127 Preview – Dash vs. Salem

Game #127 – Home Game #64
Winston-Salem Dash (27-30, 57-69) vs. Salem Red Sox (27-26, 60-61)
Wednesday, August 20 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash exploded for six runs in the second inning against the Red Sox on Tuesday night before holding on for a 6-4 victory in the series opener. Winston-Salem snapped Salem’s eight-game winning streak while moving closer in the playoff chase.

Keon Barnum had a two-run double in Tuesday's win over Salem. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Keon Barnum tallied a two-run double in Tuesday’s win over Salem. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Jake Peter – 2B
Nick Basto – DH
Omar Narvaez – C
C.J. Beatty – RF
Brandon Brennan – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• Outfielder Courtney Hawkins delivered a two-run single in the second inning on Tuesday. The 20-year-old has rattled off three consecutive multi-RBI games for the first time in his professional career.

• First baseman Keon Barnum went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. The 21-year-old now has hits in four straight games, during which he is batting .375 (6-for-16). Barnum now has 55 RBIs this season, which ranks second among active Dash players.

• Third baseman Nick Basto tied a career-high with three hits in Tuesday’s contest. It’s the fourth time he has compiled three hits in a game this season, with the others coming on April 6 against Wilmington and against Potomac on May 2 and July 22.

• Catcher Omar Narvaez went 2-for-2 with two singles, two walks, an RBI and a run scored on Tuesday. The Venezuelan native had been in a 2-for-26 slump before his breakout performance.

• Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon saw his seven-game hitting streak come to an end on Tuesday. During that stretch, the 20-year-old batted .355 (11-for-31) with five RBIs and six runs scored.

• After his solid start on Tuesday, right-hander Terance Marin earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham earlier today. Replacing him on the Dash roster is right-hander Adam Lopez from Low-A Kannapolis.

• The Dash are now two games behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot with 13 regular season contests remaining. Carolina sits a half-game behind Winston-Salem in the standings.

• With Tuesday’s win, the Dash have earned at least a split in the season series against Salem, having won ten of 18 meetings. Winston-Salem has a 4-4 record against the Red Sox at BB&T Ballpark.

• Right-hander Brandon Brennan will try to pitch the Dash to their third straight win tonight. During his most recent outing against Lynchburg last Thursday, the California native allowed two runs in five innings and finished with a no-decision in the 5-4 Dash win. While with Winston-Salem, Brennan is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA in three starts.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7. Every Dash home game can be viewed on MiLB.tv.

- Dave

Game #126 Preview – Dash vs. Salem

Game #126 – Home Game #63
Winston-Salem Dash (26-30, 56-69) vs. Salem Red Sox (27-25, 60-60)
Tuesday, August 19 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash avoided a sweep at Wilmington on Sunday with a 4-1 win over the Blue Rocks. Winston-Salem begins its final homestand of the regular season tonight with a three-game series against Salem.

Terance Marin is making his first start on the mound since July 31. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Terance Marin is making his first start on the mound since July 31. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – DH
Jake Peter – 2B
Nick Basto – 3B
Omar Narvaez – C
Keenyn Walker – RF
Terance Marin – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• Right-hander James Dykstra turned in a strong start on Sunday, surrendering one run and six hits in eight innings. The California native struck out four while earning his third win with the Dash.

• Outfielder Courtney Hawkins clubbed a three-run homer in the third inning on Sunday. The 20-year-old drove in eight runs during the three-game series at Wilmington and now has 79 RBIs on the season, tops in the Carolina League.

• Hawkins’ 18 homers is second in the Carolina League to former Myrtle Beach slugger Joey Gallo and is the most among active players in the circuit. The Texas native’s round-tripper on Sunday was his first since July 30, a span of 15 games.

• Winston-Salem has slugged only two dingers in 15 games this month. This is a drastic change for the Dash, which had 11 in April before posting large home run numbers in May (18), June (23) and July (19).

• Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon had a single, a run scored and a stolen base on Sunday. The 20-year-old is riding a seven-game hitting streak, during which he is batting .355 (11-for-31) with five RBIs and six runs scored.

• Third baseman Trey Michalczewski went 2-for-4 with two singles in Sunday’s contest. It was the 19-year-old’s first multi-hit game at the High-A level. He now has hits in three straight games.

• The Dash are currently three games behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot with 14 regular season contests remaining. The Red Sox have won eight straight games coming into this series.

• The Dash and Red Sox are meeting for the first time since June 19-21, when Winston-Salem took two-of-three in the Triad. Overall this season, the Dash hold a 9-8 edge in the season series.

• Right-hander Terance Marin will get the start for the Dash tonight. The California native had pitched in relief of Carlos Rodon during his last two outings, allowing seven runs in eight and two-third innings. Overall this season, the 24-year-old is 3-3 with a 4.06 ERA.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7. Every Dash home game can be viewed on MiLB.tv.

- Dave

Game #125 Preview – Dash at Wilmington

Game #125 – Road Game #63
Winston-Salem Dash (25-30, 55-69) at Wilmington Blue Rocks (26-26, 59-61)
Sunday, August 17 – 5:05 p.m.
Frawley Stadium (Wilmington, Del.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem endured another heartbreaking defeat, falling 6-5 in ten innings at Wilmington on Saturday night. Cody Stubbs’ walk-off single sent the Dash to their tenth loss in the last 11 games.

Courtney Hawkins has taken over the Carolina League lead in RBIs. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Courtney Hawkins has taken over the Carolina League lead in RBIs. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – DH
Jake Peter – 2B
Nick Basto – 3B
Omar Narvaez – C
Keenyn Walker – RF
James Dykstra – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• Left-hander Carlos Rodon was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte before Saturday’s game. The former NC State star made four appearances with the Dash, posting a 1.86 ERA in nine and two-third innings. Read more about Rodon’s time in Winston-Salem here.

• During this recent funk, the Dash have been dealt some painful setbacks. Of the ten losses since August 5, four games have been one-run margins and two tilts were decided by a pair of runs. Winston-Salem’s opponent has won in its last at-bat six times during the last nine games.

• Outfielder Courtney Hawkins went 2-for-4 with two doubles, four RBIs and a stolen base on Saturday, including a game-tying two-bagger in the ninth inning. The 20-year-old now has hits in four straight games and seven of his last eight contests.

• With his four RBIs on Saturday, Hawkins has surged to the top of the Carolina League in that category. The Texas native has driven in 76 runs this season, three more than former Myrtle Beach catcher Jorge Alfaro for the top spot.

• Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon tallied a triple, RBI and two runs scored on Saturday. The 20-year-old has a six-game hitting streak, batting .370 (10-for-27) with five RBIs and five runs scored during that stretch.

• First baseman Keon Barnum went 3-for-5 with two singles and a double. The 21-year-old hadn’t registered at least three hits in a game since a four-hit effort on June 30 against Carolina.

• The Dash are now three games behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot with 15 regular season contests remaining. The Red Sox have won seven straight games and now lead Carolina by two-and-a-half games for the postseason berth.

• Winston-Salem wraps up the season series with Wilmington this evening. The Blue Rocks have won ten of the 18 meetings between the clubs in 2014, and the Dash are 3-6 at Frawley Stadium.

• Right-hander James Dykstra will try to help the Dash avoid a road sweep tonight. The California native has struggled in his last two outings, allowing 14 runs in seven and one-third innings. In six starts with the Dash this season, the 23-year-old is 2-2 with a 5.82 ERA.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

This evening’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 4:50 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 5:05.

- Dave

Game #124 Preview – Dash at Wilmington

Game #124 – Road Game #62
Winston-Salem Dash (25-29, 55-68) at Wilmington Blue Rocks (25-26, 58-61)
Saturday, August 16 – 7:05 p.m.
Frawley Stadium (Wilmington, DE)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash suffered another tough loss on Friday, falling 5-3 at Wilmington. The Blue Rocks rallied for three runs in the bottom of the eighth to send Winston-Salem to its ninth loss in the last ten games.

Cleuluis Rondon now has hits in five straight games for the Dash. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Cleuluis Rondon now has hits in five straight games for the Dash. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Michael Marjama – C
C.J. Beatty – DH
Zach Voight – 2B
Keenyn Walker – RF
J.B. Wendelken – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• During this recent funk, the Dash have been dealt some painful setbacks. Of the nine losses since August 5, three games have been one-run margins and two tilts were decided by a pair of runs. Winston-Salem’s opponent has won in its last at-bat five times during the last eight games.

• Right-hander Tyler Danish allowed two runs and four hits in six innings while striking out four on Friday. The 19-year-old had his 25-inning scoreless streak come to an end when Raul Mondesi hit a solo homer in the fourth inning.

• Mondesi also became the first batter to net a hit against Danish since a leadoff single by Lynchburg’s Emerson Landoni in the fifth inning on August 3. Danish did not surrender a hit to 36 consecutive batters over 11.1 innings. During that stretch, Danish faced just three more than the minimum.

• Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon registered a double and a run scored in Friday’s contest. The 20-year-old has a five-game hitting streak, batting .391 (9-for-23) with four RBIs and three runs scored during that stretch.

• Outfielder Courtney Hawkins had a single, RBI and run scored on Friday. The 20-year-old now has 72 RBIs this season, tying former teammate Jason Coats for second in the Carolina League. The Texas native trails former Myrtle Beach catcher Jorge Alfaro (73) for the top spot.

Michael Marjama went 1-for-4 with a single and run scored on Friday. The California native has hits in three straight games, during which he is batting .500 (6-for-12).

• The Dash are two games behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot with 16 regular season games remaining. The Red Sox have won six straight games and now lead Carolina by a game-and-a-half for the postseason berth.

• The Dash are just 3-5 at Frawley Stadium in 2014 after posting a 15-5 mark in Delaware during the previous two seasons. Winston-Salem has scored just 13 runs in eight games at Frawley this year.

• Right-hander J.B. Wendelken will take the mound for the Dash tonight. During his most recent outing at Lynchburg last Sunday, the 21-year-old allowed just one run in seven innings while tallying five strikeouts. He ended up with a no-decision in the 2-1 setback against the Hillcats.

• Wendelken has pitched well against Wilmington this season. In three starts against the Blue Rocks, the Georgia native boasts a 1.93 ERA in 18.2 innings. Overall this season, Wendelken is 6-9 with a 4.70 ERA.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05.

- Dave

Game #123 Preview – Dash at Wilmington

Game #123 – Road Game #61
Winston-Salem Dash (25-28, 55-67) at Wilmington Blue Rocks (24-26, 57-61)
Friday, August 15 – 7:05 p.m.
Frawley Stadium (Wilmington, Del.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash delivered a thrilling 5-4 victory over Lynchburg on Thursday night to avoid a rare home sweep and snap a season-long eight-game losing streak. Winston-Salem now hits the road for three games at Wilmington.

Adam Engel recorded his first three-hit game with the Dash on Thursday. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Adam Engel recorded his first three-hit game with the Dash on Thursday. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Michael Marjama – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Nick Basto – DH
Omar Narvaez – C
Jake Peter – 2B
Keenyn Walker – RF
Tyler Danish – RHP

DASH DOTS:

Michael Marjama tied a season-high with three hits on Thursday while driving in a run and scoring a run. The California native was pressed into duty at first base for only the second time this season when Keon Barnum was a late scratch from the lineup.

• Outfielder Adam Engel went 3-for-4 with three singles, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. The 22-year-old had amassed only two hits in four games with the Dash prior to Thursday.

• Outfielder Keenyn Walker had the go-ahead single in the bottom of the eighth inning on Thursday. The Utah native also registered a triple, a run scored and a stolen base while snapping an 0-for-14 slump.

• The Dash have only been swept twice in 103 series at BB&T Ballpark since the downtown facility opened in 2010. Salem took three straight from Winston-Salem in the Triad from August 14-16, 2013, and Frederick swept the Dash in a rain-altered three-game series from April 16-17.

• The eight-game losing streak that came to an end on Thursday was tied for the longest in the Dash era (since 2009). Winston-Salem also dropped eight consecutive games from August 11-18, 2013.

• The race for the final Southern Division playoff spot remains tight. Winston-Salem is currently one game behind Salem for the potential berth with 17 regular season games remaining. Carolina is a half-game behind the Red Sox.

• This series marks the final time that the Dash and Blue Rocks will get together during the regular season. So far, the clubs have split 16 meetings, but Winston-Salem is 3-4 at Frawley Stadium.

• Right-hander Tyler Danish will try to maintain his magic on the mound tonight. During his most recent outing at Lynchburg last Saturday, the 19-year-old spun six no-hit innings while issuing two walks and striking out five.

• Danish has been phenomenal during the last month. The Florida native has not allowed a run in his last three starts and is currently riding a 22-inning scoreless streak dating back to July 23. Danish is 5-2 with a 2.57 ERA with the Dash this season. His overall ERA of 1.92 between the Dash and Low-A Kannapolis is the sixth-lowest among full-season Minor League qualifiers.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05.

- Dave

Game #122 Preview – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #122 – Home Game #62
Winston-Salem Dash (24-28, 54-67) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (28-23, 62-59)
Thursday, August 14 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash suffered a tough loss on Wednesday, falling 4-3 to Lynchburg for their eighth straight setback. Winston-Salem jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, but could not hold it.

Courtney Hawkins ranks second in the Carolina League in home runs. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Courtney Hawkins ranks second in the Carolina League in home runs. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Michael Marjama – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Nick Basto – DH
Omar Narvaez – C
Jake Peter – 2B
Keenyn Walker – RF
Brandon Brennan – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• Left-hander Carlos Rodon allowed an unearned run and three hits in three and two-third innings on Wednesday. The former NC State star struck out seven batters in his second High-A start.

• In four appearances with the Dash this season, Rodon sports a 1.86 ERA in nine and two-third innings. The Holly Springs native has struck out 15 batters and walked five.

• Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon tied a career-high with four hits on Wednesday, all of them singles. The 20-year-old added two RBIs as well, raising his total to 16 since he was promoted to Winston-Salem from Low-A Kannapolis on July 2.

• Third baseman Trey Michalczewski went 1-for-4 with a single and RBI on Wednesday. It was the 19-year-old’s first hit and RBI at the High-A level.

• Winston-Salem has dropped a season-worst eight straight games, a skid that is tied for the longest in the Dash era (since 2009). The Dash also dropped eight consecutive games from August 11-18, 2013.

• Not only did the Dash lose on Wednesday, but both Carolina and Salem swept doubleheaders. As a result, Winston-Salem is a game-and-a-half behind the Mudcats for the final Southern Division playoff spot with 18 regular season games remaining.

• The Dash have only been swept twice in 101 previous series at BB&T Ballpark since the downtown facility opened in 2010. Salem took three straight from Winston-Salem in the Triad on August 14-16, 2013 and Frederick swept the Dash in a rain-altered three-game series from April 16-17.

• Right-hander Brandon Brennan will take the mound for the Dash tonight. During his most recent outing at Lynchburg last Friday, the 23-year-old allowed one run in five innings while striking out five. In two starts with Winston-Salem, the California native is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA.

• Right-hander Lucas Sims will pitch for Lynchburg tonight. The 20-year-old is rated by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Atlanta Braves system. This season, Sims is 7-9 with a 4.42 ERA in 24 starts with the Hillcats.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS in the Winston-Salem area, as is the case with every Thursday game throughout the season. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7. Every Dash home game can be viewed on MiLB.tv.

- Dave

Game #121 Preview – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #121 – Home Game #61
Winston-Salem Dash (24-27, 54-66) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (27-23, 61-59)
Wednesday, August 13 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash fell 9-3 against Lynchburg in Tuesday’s series opener for their season-long seventh straight loss. Former NC State star Carlos Rodon will take the mound tonight to try and snap Winston-Salem’s skid.

Carlos Rodon will make his second start with the Dash tonight. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Carlos Rodon will make his second start with the Dash tonight. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Nick Basto – DH
Omar Narvaez – C
Jake Peter – 2B
C.J. Beatty – RF
Carlos Rodon – LHP

DASH DOTS:

• Second baseman Jake Peter went 3-for-3 with three singles and two runs scored. The 21-year-old has hits in five of seven games with the Dash since his promotion from short-season Great Falls on August 5.

• Shortstop Cleuluis Rondon tallied a single, double and RBI in Tuesday’s contest. The 20-year-old has ten multi-hit games since he joined Winston-Salem from Low-A Kannapolis on July 2.

• The current seven-game losing streak is the longest of the season for the Dash. Winston-Salem had dropped six in a row from April 14-19.

• Despite their recent skid, the Dash are tied with Carolina for the final Southern Division playoff spot. Winston-Salem has 19 regular season games remaining and they meet with the Mudcats seven times during the final ten days of the year. Meanwhile, Salem sits one game behind in the playoff push.

• With Tuesday’s win, Lynchburg has captured the season series from the Dash. The Hillcats have come out on top in 11 of the 18 meetings between the clubs, but Winston-Salem is 5-3 against Lynchburg at BB&T Ballpark.

• Left-hander Carlos Rodon will be making his second start with the Dash tonight. Last Thursday at Potomac, the 21-year-old surrendered two hits and a walk in three scoreless innings while striking out three.

• Rodon has made three appearances (one start) with Winston-Salem since he was promoted from the Arizona League on July 30. In those outings, the former NC State star has allowed two runs in six innings of work while registering eight strikeouts. His season ERA with the Dash is 3.00.

• Right-hander Terance Marin is slated to pitch behind Rodon tonight. During his last outing at Potomac last Thursday, the California native allowed five runs in four innings to suffer the loss. Marin is 3-3 with a 4.05 ERA this season.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7. Every Dash home game can be viewed on MiLB.tv.

- Dave

Game #120 Preview – Dash vs. Lynchburg

Game #120 – Home Game #60
Winston-Salem Dash (24-26, 54-65) vs. Lynchburg Hillcats (26-23, 60-59)
Tuesday, August 12 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash suffered another heartbreaking loss on Sunday, 2-1 at Lynchburg in walk-off fashion. Winston-Salem has now dropped six straight as they return home for a three-game series against the Hillcats.

The Dash are still up a half-game on Carolina for the last playoff spot. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

The Dash are still up a half-game on Carolina for the last playoff spot. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Nick Basto – DH
Michael Marjama – C
Jake Peter – 2B
C.J. Beatty – RF
James Dykstra – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• Outfielder Jason Coats went 2-for-4 with a single, double and RBI on Sunday before he was promoted to Double-A Birmingham. The Texas native ranked among the Carolina League leaders in hits, homers, RBIs, doubles and games played.

• Right-hander J.B. Wendelken had a strong outing on Sunday, allowing one run and five hits in seven innings. The 21-year-old struck out five and ended up with a no-decision.

• In addition to Coats’ promotion, the White Sox have made several roster moves involving the Dash since Sunday. Infielder Justin Jirschele was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte, infielder Trey Michalczewski comes to Winston-Salem from Low-A Kannapolis and outfielder C.J. Beatty was signed by the White Sox and assigned to the Dash.

• Beatty is the first Winston-Salem native to play for the franchise in the Dash era (since 2009). The 25-year-old played college baseball at North Carolina A&T and was most recently with the Washington Wild Things of the independent Frontier League.

• The six-game losing streak for the Dash equals their longest of the season. Winston-Salem also dropped six in a row from April 14-19.

• Despite their recent skid, the Dash still hold a half-game lead over Carolina for the final Southern Division playoff spot. Winston-Salem has 20 regular season games remaining and they meet with the Mudcats seven times during the final ten days of the year.

• Lynchburg has won seven of the ten matchups against the Dash this season, but Winston-Salem sports a 5-2 mark against the Hillcats at BB&T Ballpark. That includes a three-game sweep against Lynchburg from August 1-3.

• Right-hander James Dykstra will toe the rubber for the Dash tonight. During his most recent outing at Potomac last Wednesday, the 23-year-old surrendered a career-high eight runs in just three and one-third innings, suffering the loss in the 10-2 setback against the P-Nats. Since he was promoted to Winston-Salem on July 15, the California native is 2-1 with a 4.80 ERA in five starts.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7. Every Dash home game can be viewed on MiLB.tv.

- Dave

Coats’ MVP case

Jason Coats (right) is a contender to win Winston's fourth straight MVP award (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Jason Coats (right) is a contender to win Winston’s fourth straight MVP award (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Outfielder Jason Coats has earned a well-deserved promotion to Double-A Birmingham after turning in one of the best seasons by an offensive player in the Carolina League this season.

Even though he will spend his final few weeks in the Southern League, Coats is on a short list of MVP contenders here in the CL. He is likely the Dash’s best chance to continue an incredible streak. Winston-Salem has claimed the league’s Most Valuable Player award in each of the previous three seasons.

No team had accomplished this feat since Lynchburg rattled off four consecutive MVPs from 1983-86. Here is how Coats’ numbers compare to those of the last three MVPs in the Dash purple:

2011 – Ian Gac: .279, 33 HR, 96 RBIs
2012 – Dan Black: .315, 17 HR, 88 RBIs
2013 – Chris Curley: .280, 24 HR, 92 RBIs
2014 – Jason Coats: .291, 15 HR, 72 RBIs

Coats’ promotion is a huge step for a tremendous player, and it is what Minor Leagues ultimately want. However, this jump to Double-A prevents Coats from logging 20 more games in Winston-Salem. Gac, Black and Curley all started and finished their MVP seasons in High-A.

If you extrapolate Coats’ numbers out over these final 20 games, you would get 18 homers and 85 RBIs, which are both right in the range of the MVP trio listed above.

Fortunately, though, Coats is not fighting against those numbers and players. He is competing with the current crop of Carolina Leaguers. The Allen, Texas, native leaves the Carolina League while still leading the way in hits (125), doubles (35), total bases (209), and games played (115).

He is currently in the top 10 in the three triple crown categories listed above: ninth in batting average, tied for fourth in home runs and second in RBIs.

Coats has superior numbers to most players in the Carolina League. His main competition figures to come against Myrtle Beach’s Joey Gallo, who dominated this league, but only for two months. He hit .323 with 21 homers and 50 RBIs in just 58 games, leading the Pelicans to an emphatic first-half Southern Division title.

However, Coats has a tremendous case, and one that could lead Winston-Salem to history. For now, we thank the former TCU star for all he brought to the Dash. Maybe he will leave us with a parting gift in a few weeks when the MVP award is announced.

- Brian

Game #119 Preview – Dash at Lynchburg

Game #119 – Road Game #60
Winston-Salem Dash (24-25, 54-64) at Lynchburg Hillcats (25-23, 59-59)
Sunday, August 10 – 6:05 p.m.
Calvin Falwell Field (Lynchburg, Va.) 

GAME BACKGROUND:

Tyler Danish held Lynchburg hitless through six innings, but the Dash fell 4-1 to the Hillcats on Saturday night for their fifth straight loss. Winston-Salem will try to avoid a winless road trip this evening.

J.B. Wendelken will try to follow up Tyler Danish's gem (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

J.B. Wendelken will try to follow up Tyler Danish’s gem (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Jason Coats – RF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Nick Basto – 3B
Omar Narvaez – C
Jake Peter – 2B
Keenyn Walker – DH
J.B. Wendelken – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Right-hander Tyler Danish didn’t allow a hit in six scoreless innings on the mound on Saturday, giving up only two walks while striking out five. The 19-year-old has a 0.81 ERA over his last eight starts, which span 44.2 innings.
  • Danish now has a streak of 22 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to July 23. In 21 combined starts with Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem this season, the Florida native boasts a 1.92 ERA, which is the seventh-best among qualifiers in full-season Minor League Baseball.
  • Winston-Salem outfielder Jason Coats is at or near the top of the Carolina League in many offensive categories. Coats paces the circuit in hits (123), doubles (34), total bases (206), games played (114) and at-bats (425). He is also in the top 10 in the three triple crown categories: ninth in batting average (.289), tied for fourth in home runs (15) and tied for second in RBIs (71).

  • On July 20 at Frederick, Tony Bucciferro no-hit the Keys until the ninth inning, when Glynn Davis registered a one-out single. Frank Montas’ 6.1-inning bid on May 22 at Salem is now the third-longest showing.

  • For the third time this season, Winston-Salem took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. Danish and Jose Bautista’s combined run of 6.2 hitless innings, which ended on Emerson Landoni’s go-ahead two-run double, is the second-longest bid for a Dash hurler.

  • The Dash continue to struggle at Calvin Falwell Field. Winston-Salem has dropped seven of nine contests at Lynchburg this season. Since 2012, the Hillcats are 22-9 (.710) against the Dash at home, including both the regular season and playoffs.
  • Winston-Salem has dropped five consecutive road games for the first time since last August 11-18. The Dash are in danger of coming up empty during this six-game swing to Potomac and Lynchburg. The franchise has not endured a winless road trip of any kind since a standalone three-game series at Myrtle Beach from April 18-20, 2011.
  • The last time Winston-Salem failed to win a game on a multi-stop trip was April 25-30, 2008, which was the last season of the Warthogs era. On that road trip, both Wilmington and Potomac netted three-game sweeps.
  • Right-hander J.B. Wendelken will try to snap the Dash skid tonight. During his most recent outing at Potomac last Tuesday, the 21-year-old allowed four runs and six hits in four and two-third innings, suffering the loss in the 6-2 setback against the P-Nats. Overall, the Georgia native is 6-9 with a 4.90 ERA this season.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 5:50 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 6:05.

- Dave

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