Results tagged ‘ Birmingham Barons ’

Dash Top 10 – #5: Anderson rescues Dash with homer

The 2014 season is in the books, and there were many great moments throughout the summer. Over the next few weeks, we will count down the Dash Top 10 of 2014.

Previous moments:
#10 – Shortest MiLB game in 2014
#9 – DeMichele’s five-hit, five-run effort
#8 – Buckner’s controversial walk-off blast
#7 – Narvaez’s two-homer Dash debut
#6 – Danish tosses six no-hit innings

Moment #5 – June 2
Anderson’s walk-off blast erases late Lynchburg surge

Tim Anderson registered the Dash's first walk-off homer of 2014 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Tim Anderson registered the Dash’s first walk-off homer of 2014 (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Winston-Salem boasted the White Sox three most recent first-round picks during the 2014 season. Courtney Hawkins was the Dash veteran, with whom the city became very familiar. Carlos Rodon was the North Carolina kid who carried NC State to unprecedented heights.

Tim Anderson did not have a connection to the state, and he was not here for very long. However, Anderson had a month-long surge that rivaled anyone in the Carolina League, and it began with one majestic blast on the second day of June.

The Dash took a 4-2 lead into the ninth inning, but Lynchburg stunned the BB&T Ballpark with three runs to thrust Winston-Salem to the brink of a very tough loss.

With that one-run lead, the Hillcats summoned Ryan Kelly, he of 20 Triple-A appearances in his Minor League career, from the bullpen. Kelly had not given up a base runner in his first four efforts with the Hillcats, and he would ultimately finish the season as a key cog in the bullpen of Double-A Mississippi.

However, Zach Voight snapped that impressive run of 5.1 hitless frames with a single to lead off the ninth, setting the stage for Anderson. The Alabama kid sat in a 2-2 count before Kelly left a pitch up in the zone.

Before this mighty swing, Anderson was hitting .284 with two homers and 14 RBIs. From that swing until his promotion to Double-A Birmingham, the Alabama native was a .323 hitter with four homers and 17 RBIs.

A Dash player may not have hit a harder ball than this bomb to dead center field, and it ultimately prevented Winston-Salem from suffering a difficult defeat.

Our fourth-best moment is a tremendous one for the organization and the community. Stay tuned for that.

– Brian

Walker rejoins Winston-Salem

Keenyn Walker was an important part of the 2012 Winston-Salem club (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Keenyn Walker was an important part of the 2012 Winston-Salem club (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

The Dash will add yet another prospect to their roster, the White Sox announced Monday afternoon. The club has assigned outfielder Keenyn Walker to Winston-Salem from Double-A Birmingham.

As a result, Winston-Salem now boasts 10 of the White Sox top 30 prospects, according to Baseball America. Walker checks in as the 23rd-best farmhand in the organization.

He joins Tim Anderson (3), Courtney Hawkins (6), Jacob May (9), Tyler Danish (10), Keon Barnum (14), Braulio Ortiz (20), Myles Jaye (24), Brad Goldberg (28) and Frank Montas (29) as ranked prospects in the Winston-Salem clubhouse.

Walker was hitting .155 with 11 stolen bases and 15 runs scored in 32 games with Birmingham, where the Salt Lake City, Utah, native spent all of 2013. The speedster was with the Dash toward the tail end of the 2012 season, during which Winston-Salem went to the Mills Cup Finals. In 37 games within the Carolina League, Walker hit .238 with three homers, 16 RBIs and 17 stolen bases.

To make room for Walker, fellow outfielder Adam Heisler was placed on the seven-day disabled list (retroactive to Friday). Heisler is hitting .277 with two homers, eight RBIs and 13 runs in 30 games this year.

Stay tuned for a full preview of the Dash’s homestand finale with Lynchburg.

– Brian

Plenty of roster moves announced Tuesday

Brandon Hardin is heading to Double-A for the first time (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Brandon Hardin is heading to Double-A for the first time in his career (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The Dash’s roster looks a bit different now than it did when the club was concluding its road trip in Lynchburg on Monday. Here is a look at what the White Sox announced Tuesday morning:

  • RHP Brandon Hardin promoted to Double-A Birmingham from Winston-Salem
  • RHP Myles Jaye assigned to Winston-Salem from Double-A Birmingham
  • INF Zach Voight promoted to Winston-Salem from Low-A Kannapolis
  • INF Nick Basto assigned to extended spring training from Winston-Salem

Hardin thrived in the back end of the Dash’s bullpen. He posted a 1.32 earned run average in 13.2 innings over 14 outings. The former Delta State product concludes this stint with Winston-Salem by recording a streak of seven consecutive scoreless outings, during which he logged four saves. He becomes the sixth Dash player promoted to Double-A or Triple-A thus far this season.

Jaye rejoins Winston-Salem after beginning the season with the Barons, which is where he finished the 2013 season. Jaye started the final game of Birmingham’s run to the Southern League Championship, a deciding Game 5 against Mobile last September. Thus far this season, Jaye struggled in the SL, posting an 0-6 record to go along with a 6.32 ERA. However, the former Toronto farmhand was stellar with the Dash in 2013. He went 9-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 20 starts in the Triad.

Voight will play in the Carolina League for the first time. In 26 games with the Intimidators, Voight hit .237 with one homer and eight RBIs. A 20th-round pick in 2012, the Denton, Texas, native led all White Sox farmhands with a .320 average and a .417 on-base percentage with rookie-level Great Falls a year ago.

Basto has been strong at the plate for Winston-Salem thus far this year. He leads all qualifying hitters on the club with a .293 average, and he also has driven in 20 runs.

Stay tuned for a full preview of Tuesday’s homestand opener with Potomac.

– Brian

One promotion out; another promotion in

Bryan Blough picked up four saves before heading to Double-A Birmingham (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Bryan Blough saved four games before joining Double-A Birmingham (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Four days ago, the Dash went through a double promotion, with Tyler Danish joining Winston-Salem from Kannapolis when Mike Recchia jumped to Double-A Birmingham.

On Monday morning, the White Sox announced a similar move, this time within the Dash’s bullpen. Right-hander Bryan Blough is heading to Double-A for the first time. In a corresponding move, southpaw Jose Bautista is set for his first stint in the Carolina League.

Blough has been with Winston-Salem since August of 2012, when he joined the Dash during their push to the Mills Cup Finals. He was an integral part of the Dash’s bullpen during that stretch run, and he became the Opening Day starter for Winston-Salem in 2013. Blough led the CL and finished second in the Minor Leagues with 172.2 innings pitched. He also paced the league in starts (28) and finished tied for the top spot in wins (11).

This season, Blough returned to the bullpen and posted a 1.93 earned run average in 13 appearances. He also logged four saves in five tries.

Bautista boasted a 0.92 earned run average in 10 appearances out of the Intimidators’ bullpen this year. The Dominican Republic native struck out 26 in 19.2 innings. He signed with the White Sox as an international free agent in 2009.

The Dash are enjoying their only day off this month on Monday. Winston-Salem embarks on an eight-game, seven-day road trip Tuesday.

– Brian

Danish, Recchia moving up

Tyler Danish has not given up a run in his last 22 innings (Ray Marsden/Kannapolis Intimidators).

Tyler Danish has not given up a run in his last 22 innings (Ray Marsden/Kannapolis Intimidators).

Minor Leaguers’ primary goal is to advance in their organization. Two White Sox farmhands have jumped a level, the club announced Thursday. Tyler Danish, Chicago’s second-round pick in 2013, has joined the Dash from Low-Kannapolis, while fellow righty Mike Recchia is heading to Double-A Birmingham for the first time in his career.

Danish sizzled in the South Atlantic League to the tune of a 3-0 record and a 0.71 earned run average. The Florida native boasts the lowest ERA among active, qualifying Minor League pitchers. Chase Anderson does still qualify with a 0.69 ERA, but he was recently promoted to Arizona from Double-A Mobile.

Though he was strong in all seven outings with Kannapolis, Danish dominated in his final four efforts. He concluded his time with the Intimidators by rattling off 22 consecutive scoreless innings dating back to April 23.

In 22 career appearances in the Minor Leagues, Danish owns a 0.93 ERA (seven earned runs in 68 innings). The 19-year-old was drafted out of Durant High School in Plant City, Fla.

Danish will take Recchia’s spot in the rotation; therefore, the righty is slated to begin his High-A career Sunday at home against Frederick.

Recchia also thrived in seven starts before his promotion. He went 4-3 with a 2.90 ERA, which is good for the ninth-lowest mark in the Carolina League. The Worth, Ill., native also sits second in the CL and fourth in all of High-A baseball with 47 strikeouts.

This time last season, Recchia was in independent baseball with the Windy City ThunderBolts. The White Sox inked him to a deal in June, and he made 12 starts with the Dash from early August of 2013 until his final outing Tuesday in Myrtle Beach. He went 5-3 with a 3.71 ERA, capping his time in the CL with back-to-back seven-inning showings.

A key to Recchia’s success this season was his ability to shut down the first batter of the inning. He pitched 40.1 innings, which means he started 41 frames. Only five of those 41 leadoff hitters reached against him (three singles, one walk and one hit by pitch).

Fans can hear from Recchia on tonight’s Pregame Dash, which begins at 6:45 on 600 AM-WSJS in Winston-Salem. Stay tuned for a preview of tonight’s series lid-lifter against Frederick, which will be posted here on the Dash Board later today.

– Brian

Scary weather near MiLB cities

A powerful weather patter has affected much of the country over the last few days, and the thunderstorms are slowly moving east. Last night, the White Sox Double-A affiliate was in the path of a dangerous supercell that prompted a tornado warning.

As a result, the Barons’ game in Chattanooga was suspended in the seventh inning, during which Birmingham scored four runs. Chris Bassitt summed it up well.

Unfortunately, Chattanooga was not the only Minor League city in the way of these crazy storms. A massive, rotating thunderstorm was bearing down on Birmingham.

The storm did dissipate before reaching the downtown area, which was a huge break for the downtown area. Storms with tornadic motion normally have a “hook” at the bottom of the cell. The tweet below shows the weakening of the cell just before hitting downtown Birmingham.

The home city of another Southern League city was not so lucky. Pearl, Miss., where the Mississippi Braves play, was hit hard by a tornado. The images are horrifying.

This storm system will continue its slow trek to the east, and folks throughout the Carolina League should heed former Dash All-Star Chris Beck’s words.

The forecast calls for the most dangerous weather over the next few days to be south of Winston-Salem. Still, it is not a storm to take lightly, and severe weather is likely over the next 36-48 hours.

Our thoughts go out to all those who were affected by these powerful storms. Stay safe the rest of the week.

– Brian

Well, that was quick

Jarrett Casey struck out 11 in eight innings with Winston-Salem in 2014 (Erik Weasenforth/W-S Dash).

Jarrett Casey struck out 11 in eight innings with the Dash in 2014 (Erik Weasenforth/W-S Dash).

When the Dash’s Opening Day roster went public, one of the biggest surprises was left-hander Jarrett Casey. Casey jumped from Winston-Salem to Double-A Birmingham in early August of last year and helped the Barons win the Southern League championship.

Casey did not let his assignment to Winston-Salem get him down. In fact, Casey was the Dash’s best reliever for the season’s first three weeks; therefore, he has returned to Birmingham, the White Sox announced Tuesday morning.

In six appearances spanning eight scoreless innings, the Indianapolis native scattered five hits and struck out 11. He also collected two of the Dash’s three saves thus far this season. Casey stranded a pair in the ninth inning of the Dash’s 4-2 win at Salem on April 9. Four days later, he finished off Winston’s only other win on its first road trip by inducing a double play off the bat of Cody Stubbs to escape a jam in a 1-0 victory.

Casey is one of three Carolina League hurlers with a 0.00 earned run average and at least eight innings of work. He anchored a Dash bullpen that boasts a 1.85 earned run average and almost 12 strikeouts per nine innings.

As a result, the Dash’s roster sits at 24 players. Winston-Salem has today off before kicking off a seven-game road trip Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Potomac.

– Brian

Winston-Salem tweaks bullpen

After two outings in Kannapolis, southpaw Sean Bierman has made the leap to the Dash (photo via the Kannapolis Intimidators).

After two outings in Kannapolis, southpaw Sean Bierman has made the leap to the Dash (photo via the Kannapolis Intimidators).

The Dash’s roster has not changed much thus far this season, but the White Sox did announce a pair of promotions affecting the Winston-Salem bullpen on Thursday afternoon. Evan Crawford has jumped up to Double-A Birmingham after two efforts in the Carolina League, while fellow southpaw Sean Bierman has earned a spot in the Dash’s clubhouse after starting the season in Low-A Kannapolis.

Crawford, who logged 10 appearances with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012, joined the White Sox organization via the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. He tossed two and two-thirds innings with Winston-Salem over two outings and surrendered two runs (one earned) on one hit. He will head to the Double-A level, where he has made 80 appearances over his seven-season minor league career.

Thanks to this promotion, the Dash have added another left-hander in Bierman, who made two starts with the Intimidators to begin the season. Bierman, who went 0-1 with a 7.00 earned run average in those efforts, was 11-8 with a 3.00 ERA in 31 outings with the Tampa Bay organization. He came over to the White Sox from the Rays as one of the players to be named later in the Jesse Crain trade, which was agreed to in July and completed in October.

As a result, the Dash’s roster remains at 25, with 13 of those men being pitchers. Winston-Salem aims to avoid a sweep at the hands of the Frederick Keys tonight at 7. A full preview is on the way later.

– Brian

A look around the White Sox system

Each team in the system is at least 10 games into the season, so let’s spin around the organization and see how each team is doing thus far this season.

MLB: Chicago White Sox (7-6)

Former Dash star Jordan Danks (right) is ready to fill in for Avisail Garcia in the White Sox outfield (photo via

Former Dash star Jordan Danks (right) is ready to fill in for Avisail Garcia in the White Sox outfield (photo via

Chris Sale improved to 3-0 this season after Friday’s outing against the Indians, but the White Sox bats played a big role in the outcome. Sale grinded through five innings, allowing three runs and six hits while striking out five. The ace spoke with the Chicago Sun-Times following his start.

Infielder Marcus Semien has played well of late, recording hits in nine of his last ten games. Among those was this solo homer on Sunday against Cleveland:

In this article, learn more about Erik Johnson’s standing in the Chicago pitching rotation. Plus, Semien takes part in Jackie Robinson Day festivities on Tuesday and who Sale credits for the development of his changeup:

Thanks to the season-ending shoulder injury to Avisail Garcia, outfielder Jordan Danks was called up from Triple-A Charlotte to help fill the void. The Dash alumnus spoke with CSN Chicago about the opportunity:

Triple-A: Charlotte Knights (6-6)

Catcher Josh Phegley is off to a solid start in 2014. His .286 batting average currently ranks second on the team among qualifying players, and he has scored four runs in eight games.

The other BB&T Ballpark looks pretty darn good, too (photo via Charlotte Knights).

The other BB&T Ballpark looks pretty darn good, too (photo via Charlotte Knights).

The Knights opened their sparkling new Uptown Charlotte facility, the second BB&T Ballpark, on Friday night against the Norfolk Tides. For a recap of their historic evening, click here.

Double-A: Birmingham Barons (5-5)

The defending Southern League champions won three of five games against the Jacksonville Suns to reach the .500 mark. The Barons were washed out at Mobile on Monday night, so a doubleheader is on tap this evening.

Former Dash outfielder Trayce Thompson was recently profiled on talking about some of the valuable lessons he learned during Spring Training with the White Sox.

Low-A: Kannapolis Intimidators (4-7)

The Intimidators were swept in a four-game series at Greenville this weekend, the last contest a heartbreaking 5-4 setback to the Drive in 14 innings. Kannapolis looks to regain its footing this week in Hickory. That series opener was also postponed, so the Intimidators and Crawdads will play two this evening.

Infielder Cleuluis Rondon continues his development at the Low-A level. The Venezuelan native, who celebrated his 20th birthday on Sunday, is batting .298 with six RBIs, three runs scored and three stolen bases in 11 games.

Stay tuned for a preview of tonight’s homestand opener against Frederick.

– Dave

Recapping the weekend around the system

The rainy off-day for the Dash means that it’s a perfect time to scroll through the White Sox system to see how the teams and some former Dash players are doing.

Chicago White Sox (3-3):

Chris Sale dazzled in his start against the Royals on Sunday, tossing eight scoreless innings while striking out six. Following his outing, Sale told, “You know what you’re getting when you face a team like this and a starter like James (Shields). You’ve just got to bear down and give it everything you’ve got.” Sale is now 2-0 on the season with a 1.76 ERA on the young season.

Marcus Semien has received plenty of congratulatory high fives so far in 2014 (Ed Zurga via

Marcus Semien has received plenty of congratulatory high fives so far in 2014 (Ed Zurga via

Infielder Marcus Semien has started all six games, playing at second base and third base. With Gordon Beckham recovering from an oblique injury, the Chicago Sun-Times discussed Semien’s attempt to convince White Sox management to keep him in the lineup.

Erik Johnson struggled in his first start with the South Siders this year, allowing seven runs against the Royals on Friday. Fellow Dash alum Jake Petricka also pitched in that contest. Johnson spoke with the Chicago Tribune following his start, and you can read about that here.

Nate Jones, who pitched with Winston-Salem from 2008-10, allowed four runs in two outings and failed to retire a single batter. He was sent to the disabled list on Friday with a strained hip muscle, and could miss more than two weeks. Before he was placed on the DL, Jones told CSN Chicago’s Dan Hayes about his discomfort.

Charlotte Knights (3-1):

Dylan Axelrod, who pitched for the Dash in 2009 and 2010, had a solid outing against Norfolk on Sunday, allowing just one run in five innings while striking out seven batters. The Knights won that game, 2-1.

Former White Sox slugger Jim Thome will be tossing the ceremonial first pitch at Charlotte’s home opener in their new ballpark on Friday, April 11 against Norfolk. Thome, who played with the Knights in 1993, spoke with about his time there.

Birmingham Barons (1-2):

The defending Southern League champions won their opener against Montgomery before losing two straight games. Following a rainout on Sunday, the Barons are playing a doubleheader against the Biscuits today to conclude their five-game opening series.

Former Dash infielder Micah Johnson is off to a hot start in Birmingham, hitting .462 with a home run, two RBIs and four runs scored in three games. Johnson was recently featured on prior to Opening Day.

Kannapolis Intimidators (2-2):

The Intimidators split their opening weekend series with Greenville and return to Kannapolis for their scheduled home opener against Hickory tonight.

Tyler Danish, a second-round draft pick of the White Sox last year, shined for Kannapolis in their Friday night victory over Greenville. The 19-year-old pitcher struck out six over five innings while allowing no earned runs.

That’s your look around the White Sox system. The Dash will take the field again Tuesday night at Salem, trying to cool off a Red Sox team that started 2014 with a weekend sweep of Myrtle Beach. All three games of that series are scheduled to begin at 7:05 p.m. Join Brian Boesch for the Pregame Dash at 6:50!

– Dave


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