Results tagged ‘ Arizona ’

Some sights from Spring Training

The White Sox are currently playing their first exhibition game of the season, and three of the Dash’s owners–Billy Prim, Jimmy Strickland and Bryan Andrews–are in Glendale taking in the sights and sounds of Spring Training.

The view from Camelback Ranch. This is Jose Abreu’s first plate appearance as a member of the White Sox organization.

ST4

Tommy Thompson will return to Winston-Salem to lead the Dash in April. From left to right: Strickland, Thompson, Prim and Andrews.

ST1

Tim Anderson could very well start the season in the Triad. From left to right: Andrews, Prim, Anderson and Strickland.

ST2

A blast from the past! Former Dash manager Joe McEwing and pitching coach Bobby Thigpen are now with the White Sox. From left to right: Andrews, Prim, McEwing, Thigpen and Strickland.

ST3

We’ll keep you posted on the start of the White Sox exhibition slate. Have a great weekend.

- Brian

Hawkins activated from disabled list

Courtney Hawkins is back in Winston-Salem's lineup Sunday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Courtney Hawkins is back in Winston-Salem’s lineup Sunday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Prior to Sunday’s sweep chance of Carolina, the Dash received an offensive boost. Outfielder Courtney Hawkins, the top prospect in the White Sox system according to multiple outlets, has been activated from the disabled list. He will be in the Dash’s lineup Sunday as the center fielder and five-hole hitter.

Hawkins hurt his left shoulder while making a diving catch in Lynchburg on May 1, and he was on the disabled list for exactly one month. The Corpus Christi, Texas, native spent the majority of his recovery time with the club, but he did head to Arizona to play in a few extended spring training games over the last week.

In our pregame chat with Hawkins, he discussed the injury and its silver lining. The 19-year-old also chatted about the Dash’s playoff push, his productivity while on the bench and a new mentor.

Prior to his injury, Hawkins was hitting .177 (14-for-79) with seven homers and 17 RBIs. He was leading the minors in strikeouts (45) through the season’s first month, but he had only struck out four times in his last five games.

To make room for Hawkins, fellow outfielder Yoandy Barroso has been placed on the disabled list. Thus, the roster sits at the league maximum of 25.

Winston-Salem and Carolina conclude their three-game series this afternoon at 2. Pregame coverage begins at 1:45 here. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Spring Training Preparation

Pitchers and catchers may not report for a couple of weeks, and the spring training opener follows toward the end of February. However, tomorrow is the true beginning of spring training.

Tomorrow afternoon, the White Sox equipment truck departs for Glendale, Ariz.

Sure, this event is not quite the same as team workouts or exhibition games, but this 1,800-mile journey signals that baseball is not just a distant memory. It is on the horizon.

However, baseball is a 12-month responsibility for the players, and many Dash alums have been preparing since the fall. Here are some spring training-related tweets from the last few weeks.

The players have been gearing up to use the equipment that will begin the trip to spring training tomorrow. It’s a bit of a stretch, but baseball fans are happy about any signs that our national pastime is almost here. We’ll take it!

- Brian

Can A 2012 Alum Start 2013 In Chicago?

Carlos Sanchez has the best chance of any 2012 alum to crack the Opening Day roster (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Carlos Sanchez has the best chance of any 2012 alum to begin the season with the White Sox (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The White Sox announced their non-roster invitees to spring training yesterday, and 13 of the 20 players heading to Glendale are former Dash players.

Of those 13 players, nine contributed to the Dash’s 2012 run to full-season minor league baseball’s best record and a Mills Cup Championship Series appearance.

It is an honor for these players to receive an invitation to spring training, and the goal is to impress while with the “big boys.” However, it is important to note that highly-touted prospects who go to spring training are not normally true contenders to make a roster unless they have significant experience in Double-A or Triple-A.

The flurry of invitations still bring about a question: can any of these 2012 Dash alums wow the Sox enough to break camp with the big league squad?

First off, any player who ended the season with the Dash would need to make a three-level jump in order to crack the roster, which means C Mike Blanke, RHP Erik Johnson, SS Marcus Semien, C Kevan Smith, LHP Scott Snodgress and OF Keenyn Walker will be long shots.

This leaves three other 2012 Dash alums: RHP Jake Petricka, INF Carlos Sanchez and OF Trayce Thompson.

Petricka has been a highly-ranked prospect in the White Sox system for the last few years, but he did struggle a bit with both Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. The Minnesota native has plenty of potential, but additional minor league seasoning is almost certainly necessary.

Trayce Thompson still may need some more time in the minors before heading to The Show (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Trayce Thompson still may need some more time in the minors before heading to The Show (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Thompson has all the tools, but he has taken some time to adjust to every level. In 2011, the former second-round pick started crushing Low-A pitching, and his ascension to the top of the home run and RBI totem poles in the Carolina League this season stemmed from his surge after the All-Star break.

While Thompson reached Triple-A for the postseason, he still likely needs some time in the International League to figure out how to hit at that level. Thompson will be in the big leagues at some point, but Opening Day 2013 seems a bit too early.

This leaves Sanchez, who jumped up prospect rankings with a tremendous 2012 showing. The 20-year-old led the CL in batting average among qualifiers before going to Birmingham, where he hit .370 in 30 games. This prompted a late-season bump to Charlotte.

In 18 games with the Knights (regular season and playoffs), Sanchez hit .237 (14-for-59) with seven runs scored. These numbers are not eye-popping, but the Venezuelan most certainly held his own at the minors’ highest level.

Sanchez’s name even came up in Scott Merkin’s story about the non-roster invitees on whitesox.com yesterday.

“Carlos Sanchez also could be a long shot in consideration for that utility infield job. But with the 20-year-old phenom having just two years of professional experience and 991 Minor League at-bats to his credit, the White Sox goal is to get Sanchez a full season of at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte during the 2013 campaign. He topped all White Sox Minor Leaguers with a .323 average and 169 hits in 2012.”

A “goal” can always be changed, and Sanchez certainly has plenty of momentum from last season. He is an underdog in the race for one of the elusive 25 spots on Robin Ventura’s Opening Day roster, but he appears to be in the running.

You never know. A great spring could open the door for a 2012 Dash alum to reach The Show in 2013. Good luck to Carlos and the rest of the former Dash players heading to Arizona next month.

- Brian

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 86 other followers